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The Angels Saga

Volume 19

Morning Stars III


Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly

Copyright 6184 SC / 2021 CE


Generations come.  Generations go.  The vast history of eternal life can be held in a moment of infinity by the infinite one when he needed to.  But to enjoy it, to savour it, to love all that could be and all that was, to be a blessing to his children, and to find them in the centre of his heart – the aeons come, and the aeons go – the love of God remains from Age to Age and Eternal Life goes forth as it always had and always would. 

Chapter One 

A grand old king, Gabriel, overseer of Zaphon, in reflection, felt to cut it short and not pursue what he had wanted.  So therefore, exercising his wisdom, on the 1,000,000th year of his reign, to the day, to the hour, just after the reign being complete, he left Zaphon, took a short flight to Mitraphon, handed Raphael the key to the executive toilet, and smiled at him.  ‘Watch that Daniel.  Just watch him.  He ain’t a quitter.’  And Raphael just smiled. 
*   *   *   *   * 
‘Bugger.’  Said Daniel.  ‘All that bloody effort, and off he goes.  Off the bugger goes.  Oh, Raphael.  Holy bloody Raphael.  Oh, kiss his arse why don’t we.  What, I fuc*ing work my ass off for one million fuc*ing years, and the bastard chooses Raphael.’  And then Daniel proceeded to insult God somewhat, saying Job can fu*k himself, and Valandriel just stood there, shaking his head, saying ‘You dickhead.  You total dickhead.’ 
Later on, Meludiel had come around to console her beloved, patting his head, telling him all would be well and not to worry so much.  ‘That’s life, Danny boy.  That’s life.’  But young Daniel would not be consoled.  ‘Its not fair,’ he winged.  ‘It’s not fair.’ 
Who says life is fair,’ said Meludiel. 
It’s supposed to be.’ 
Well look at it this way.  Raph has worked hard as well.  So give the guy a break.’ 
Daniel looked at her through teary eyes, after a while nodding, but then went back to sulking.  Meludiel patted him on the head, kissed her beloved, and sat there, looking out the window, knowing now everything was right in the world. 
*   *   *   *   * 
Raphael, exiting the executive toilet, now knowing why Gabriel enjoyed his tenureship so much, sat at the large official desk on the executive level of Zaphon, feeling very impressed with himself.  It was good.  It was grand.  It was great.  He was happy, very happy, and thanked Jesus his best friend for all the prayers on his behalf for his promotion to this position.  And now Raphael, ever so happy, looking out the window, practically ignored Cindradel who came in, holding a package, placing it on his desk carefully, and exiting.  She buzzed him a few moments later, said there was a package on his desk, and told him to stay calm about it.  Nothing could get to him, though, and opening the package, he laughed.  ‘’The Prophecies of Daniel, Seraphim of Eternity.’’  Now what was going on here, he wondered to himself?  He looked at the scroll – it was just one page, and the prophecy of the four beasts by the looks of it.  But looking at it a section was highlighted.  And looking at the highlighted section, it was of the second beast, the Bear.  And then, instantly alarmed, realizing that whatever Daniel had been on about, Gabriel’s reign had come and gone and now, here he was, Raphael, having replaced him, sitting on the throne of Zaphon. And here it was, a scroll of Daniel, with a second beast being highlighted.  Perhaps it was a practical joke, but Raphael would get to the bottom of this escapade.  He would find out just who exactly sent this package, and he would have words.  Strong words indeed. 
*   *   *   *   * 
So he won’t trace us, Dan?  You are sure of that?’ 
Look, Val.  The prophecy is ancient, now.  He’ll suspect us as well, but he will have a million people in his head who he could think ‘might’ have done it.  Just deny everything and watch.  We have number two now.  My guess is, the way they are going, Raph will choose Uriel to replace him, and we strike Uriel with the Leopard.’ 
And number four?’ 
If Uriel chooses Raguel, in the end, then we have our man.  But Uriel might think differently by then.  There is a lot to consider.  So we wait and see.  But Michael and Gabriel have established a pattern, and you know how the big seven think.  They like to be consistent.  Believe me, they like to be consistent.’ 
We’ll see,’ said Valandriel.  ‘We’ll see.’ 
Patience, Kemosabe.  Patience.’ 
*   *   *   *   * 
‘Talzudiel, Talzudiel, Talzudiel.  So you think you can challenge the supreme power of Azrael, do you?  4 hours?  You really expect me to believe you can conquer Mt Zadar, wings tied, in 4 solitary hours.’ 
Possibly under, oh supreme lord of pride,’ responded Talzudiel the Seraphim to his brother Seraphim Azrael. 
Azrael thought on responding to the Columbian lord’s sledge, but let it pass.  ‘Alright, I will bother to come and witness the event.  But you will be a laughingstock of the Seraphim if you fail to live up to your claims.’ 
I’ll make it.  And I’ll have your record to, Azo.’ 
The Scotsman looked at the trained physique of the 43rd of the Male Seraphim of Eternity and considered it.  He really was looking very fit and perhaps, if he had been training for a while, might just make a go of it.  But he would never take Azrael’s record.  Nobody possibly could.  He had spent the second half of the second Arc constantly working on improving his climbing time of Mt Zadar and, at just under 6 hours, he felt he had a record that would last forever practically.  But along comes the Prince of Talzudiphora, 43rd disc of the Realm of Eternity, claiming he could take the record in a time of 4 hours, or even less.  Really, it was a bold bloody claim, and Azrael admired his brother’s challenge, if not thinking him the fool for making such an outrageous boast. 
So when is the date?’ 
You set it, Azrael.  Any time, day or night.  I will be ready.’ 
Azrael considered that.  ‘Alright then, how about 3 weeks from today, Galadon afternoon.  We’ll get the Melladon celebration out of the way and you can have a big party before you fail dismally.  How about that.’ 
Suits me fine, Azrael.  Suits me fine.’ 
Oh, and good luck lad.  I think you’ll bloody need it.’ 
No luck.  Just skill.  And I have been training.  Believe me I have been training.’ 
We’ll see.  We’ll see.’ 
Talzudiel finished his ale, nodded at his brother and left the pub.  Watching him go Azrael didn’t seriously think his record was in any jeopardy, but you could never tell with an angel like Talzudiel.  You could never tell with someone from the Columbian disc of Talzudiphora, who were so deadly at the Realm soccer championships these days. 
*   *   *   *   * 
Raphael sat with Nimorel, his twin, in the executive lounge reserved for the Overseer and his company, in the tower of Zaphon.  It had been a happy and prosperous week for the 3rd Seraphim male of eternity.  A number of early introductory engagements with many of the official business councils, various charity organisations, other good works organisations, and leaders from religious communities and their entourages making themselves known to him.  This, apparently, in much of Gabriel’s imparted wisdom to himself was the standard everyday stuff of the life of the overseer of the Realm of Eternity.  The core business of the role. 
What would you like to eat?’ he asked her politely. 
Oh, anything looks good,’ she said, putting down the menu.  ‘I am sure the cooks of Zaphon’s most illustrious member know what they are doing.’ 
Undoubtedly,’ he responded. 
They sat in silence for a while, and then Raphael turned to his twin.  ‘We have talked about this for a long time, Nim.  Our success here in Zaphon.  The eventual probable appointment of myself to the position after Gabriel’s glory ending.  We made so many plans, so many I have forgotten, some still with me.’ 
She nodded. 
It’s a time,’ he continued, ‘to perhaps bring a change of pace to the life of the Realm of Eternity.  There has been so much hustle and bustle in the last couple of million years, as Michael and Gabriel have both exerted their influences, getting so many new things accomplished.’ 
And you don’t desire that?’ she queried him. 
Yes.  Yes I do desire accomplishments.  But without the fanfare.  Without the fuss.  I think I understand, now, that this life of Eternity will inevitably march forward, as it has always done.  And that our life will go on after this – that there will be others in this role.  I know, truly, that my brother Uriel has his own mind, as does Raguel and Phanuel and especially Saruviel, and so on.  And that, in each their turn, they will bring their own touch, their own styles, their own wisdom to the role of Eternity’s overseer.’ 
She listened with interest at his discourse. 
But for my own way, for my own period in this magnificent role, I desire a calm and steady pace – a period of true stability – in which accomplishment is not so much the name of the game, but rather stable consolidation and consistency.’ 
Then it will be as you say,’ responded Nimorel. 
Let us hope so,’ he replied after a moment. 
Their dinner arrived, roast lamb with vegetables and gravy, and as they fed themselves, Raphael made private acknowledgements of his statements to Nimorel, affirming again to himself the fundamental philosophy of life and rulership he intended to bring upon the lives of the Realm of Eternity during his, hopefully, stable and wise reign as the appointed overseer of God. 
*   *   *   *   * 
Shamus Warne looked out the window of the train as it travelled, steadily, on the way from the station at the airport to the cricket hotel.  Lizzy Hurly, his cherubim twin, sat opposite him, reading a woman’s magazine as was her wont, lost in her own world, not worried about the upcoming match and discussions.  The two of them were in ‘Cricketalia’, as it was called, technically a nation on the 43rd disc of Talzudiphora.  A while ago, in the tenure of Gabriel as overseer of the Realm of Eternity, the Columbian nations of Talzudiphora, under Talzudiel’s guidance, started progressing further and further in competency at the game of cricket, and established the nation of ‘Cricketalia’ on the 43rd disc to be totally devoted to the game.  The main theme of Cricketalia, as in the constitution of the nation, was simply that – cricket.  So much so had the passion become obvious to all and sundry, that the IROECB (International Realm of Eternity Cricket Board) had moved its base of operations to Cricketalia.  And now, for Shamus Warne, heavily involved in the game of cricket, the future of cricket in the realm, and the possibility of even further cricket based nations developing even more so on the outer discs as time went by seemed a greater and greater reality.  The traditional nations, such as Australia and England, as well as Pakistan and India, were all terribly competitive still and while Cricketalia itself had a developing nation at the game, it was more seen as a lynch pin for specific newer nations based solely on the game of cricket, with Cricketalia something of a foundation stone.  And then the bug had caught on and ‘Footballia’ on the 55th Greek disc of Ulantriphora had emerged, and suddenly a spate of lesser sporting nations the further outwards you went. 
The capital city of Cricketalia was named in honour of the greatest of them all and suitably named ‘Bradman’ which made every passionate Aussie quite proud.  But many legends were honoured with towns and cities named after them, even the district of Warne in southern Bradman had eventuated, and wherever you went, whatever job you had, cricket was the one word on everyone lips. 
Shamus looked down at his speech.  He was to speak at the 70th millennial Grand Cricketalia One Day International Cup of Glory – a long awaited event – and he wanted his speech to be perfect.  He had spoken to Lizzy a number of times about his words, which concentrated on a major theme – the power of tradition in the game of cricket, and how continuity of the sport brought and continued to bring countless joy and personal satisfaction to countless souls.  She was, apparently, suitably impressed.  But you could never tell with Lizzy. 
Funnily enough, Sariel would be present.  And the history between Lizzy and Sariel the Seraphim was well known to many, going way back to earthly days.  But that didn’t bother Shamus and, going over his speech carefully, glancing at the outside familiar city sights, he knew they were nearing their destination, and the ongoing pleasure of fame, fortune and cricketing legend status pushed him yet on again to continue his majestic life, as he saw it, happy enough with how things, for the time, were faring. 
*   *   *   *   * 
Winoniel sat in the cold wind, covered in blankets, but not feeling any the warmer.  Her twin, Talzudiel, was warming up, going through his stretching exercises, the crowd gathered, including Azrael and Cosadriel, carefully watching him. 
Does he have a chance?” Cosadriel asked Az. 
Negative,’ responded the serious looking Azrael, suddenly concerned that the extremely fit looking Talzudiel may indeed have just that – a chance. 
Meludiel sat next to Winoniel, as did Nimorel, and Elenniel had been consoling Winoniel all morning about her twin’s pride. 
But, that is often what men are simply like, Winny,’ she continued from their ongoing debate.  ‘They ARE based on pride.  It is the core motivator which gets them up in the morning – putting their brothers in check.  Without these ambitions they drift off into mediocrity, without any clear focus.’ 
But a sensible angel knows the limits of reason.  A sensible angel is not preoccupied with putting everyone else in their place,’ responded Winoniel, who wouldn’t be won to the argument. 
Even Ambriel,’ started Meludiel, ‘competes in his own way.  Perhaps only in the ways of love, but in such things, I might hate to say it..’ she left off speaking. 
What?’ asked Nimorel. 
But in such things even Ambriel has his own pride,’ finished Meludiel.  ‘The king of love, with none greater.  Oh, he won’t go on about it, but I sense it in his attitude, in the things he says.  He will be the number one angel of the graces and mercies of God, for who else possibly could be?’ 
I don’t think I mind that in him, though Mel,’ responded Winoniel.  ‘God knows it’s a better attitude than my own twins.’ 
They are only being boys,’ responded Nimorel.  ‘It is just what they are like.  Boys will be boys, as they say.  My twin, Raphael, reminds me constantly that we are subject to the frailties which God made us all with and, rather than criticizing so much, we should celebrate in a spirit of charity and love the good things we find in each other, even when those things rear their ugly heads.  Like today,’ she said, looking at the boys discussing Talzudiel’s chances, and the other women nodded. 
Aquariel, standing next to Gabriel, her hands in warmers for the cold, looked concerned.  ‘You don’t think he will injure himself, do you Gab?  I mean, he will be going so quickly if he is to do it in the time he boasted of.’ 
Gabriel said nothing, but just stared at Talzudiel.  Michael, standing next to Gabriel spoke up. 
I wouldn’t worry so much, Aqua.  Talzudiel is not stupid.  Proud, yes.  One of the most.   But not stupid.  I think he fully intends to get this record, and perhaps even knows how to.  It really could be a spectacle.’ 
If the idiot doesn’t kill himself trying,’ she said, looking on. 
Ambriel, standing next to Raphael, was not exactly worried about Talzudiel’s glory, but concerned, like Aquariel, that he might possibly injure himself.  ‘I am sure an experienced angel like Talzudiel will not make a fool of us all.  Don’t worry, brother.  But I know that is your way.’ 
Ambriel looked on, still concerned for his brother, but took Raphael’s words to heart. 
Satan of Infinity was standing with Cherubim Semyaza of Eternity, with Daniel the Serpahim of Eternity and Nadiel the Cherubim of Eternity, watching on. 
The dickhead’s going to do it, then?’ queried Satan. 
Your guess is as good as ours,’ responded Daniel. 
Nadiel pumped her fist in the air, as Talzudiel was about to get started and yelled ‘Come on Tally boy.  Show us what you are made of.’  A cheer went up from the group of angels then, and Talzudiel bowed. 
Well, ladies and gentlemen,’ began Talzudiel.  ‘We have come here today, not so much to witness the glory of Talzudiel, which is well enough known to all anyway, but the utter humiliation of the pride of the ‘Challenger’’ he said, looking directly at Azrael, who waved back at him. 
Come on, you South American peacock,’ yelled Azrael.  ‘Time to put us all out of our misery.  Your obvious failure impending will brighten up all our days.’ 
Talzudiel stared at him with dagger’s in his eyes, but continued unperturbed. 
Anyway, records were meant to be broken.  Such is life.’  He turned to the timekeeper, who was connected via walkie talky to another timekeeper on top of Mt Zadar. 
I’m ready,’ said Talzudiel. 
The crowd hushed somewhat, and as Talzudiel stood right next to the starting line of the traditional starting point for this challenge, some questioned whether, in reality, the record would indeed fall today. 
Ready.  Set.  Go.’  And Talzudiel was off, running like the wind. 
As they watched him go, Azrael noted how fluently he ran, like a leopard after its prey and grinned a little consoling himself.  He seemed to know now, if he hadn’t done so already for sure.  Talzudiel was in ‘Lethal’ phase.  His record was as good as gone. 
*   *   *   *   * 
Later that night, after the celebrations over Talzudiel’s triumph had died down, Talzudiel, Azrael and Cosadriel were out the back of the bar at the foot of Mt Zadar, drinking, all slightly intoxicated. 
You kicked arse,’ said Cosadriel to Talzudiel. 
Yep,’ responded Talzudiel. 
Scottish arse,’ continued Cosadriel, looking at Azrael, who didn’t respond. 
Yep,’ responded Talzudiel. 
But that aint exactly a challenge, is it?’ continued Cosadriel. 
Again, Talzudiel smiled, and said ‘Yep.’ 
They all sipped their beers for a while, and then, finally, Azrael said ‘Bah, humbug,’ and the two others burst out in laughter. 
*   *   *   *   * 
It was perhaps a vain attempt at glory, yet again, but the ‘Prophecies of Daniel the Seraphim’ cropped up on some documentaries for a few years with the new overseer now in place.  The common assumption, still, was that Michael or Gabriel was beast number one and that Gabriel or Raphael was now beast number two, and if Michael number 1 and Gabriel number 2, then Raphael was the third beast of the Prophecies.  Opinions were divided.  One thing was certain – the fourth was still to come. 
Michael had a pretty good idea who was behind the scenes, promoting the prophecy yet again – Daniel and Valandriel.  He had no real proof, and the Theophany responded to his queries with ‘Why are you asking me for?’ But he was not an idiot – he knew what was going on.  Still, Raphael would go on unbothered by the prophecy, and then likely Uriel, and Raguel, and Phanuel and Saruviel, and so on.  It would die away, eventually, Michael assumed, and be considered nothing more than humour.  An old joke of Daniel’s.  Still, one day perhaps, he would sort Daniel out on the issue.  One day, perhaps. 
Gabriel, who had now retired from the position of overseer with the appointment of Raphael, was now summing up his new life post glory days.  Oh, he soon found out that Terraphora disc beckoned to him to be its overseer, as the tradition was quite strong now that each disc have its own overseer, and that based on birth rank of Seraphim and then Cherubim.  It was taken for granted, in fact.  And, with that much being accepted, Gabriel drifted into Michael’s company a lot who, for the most part, was accepted as overseer of Zaphora, the central disc, and the two became, as strange as it might sound, even closer than ever.  Daniel was a concern, though.  Rumour had it that his and Valandriel’s ultimate goal was a power-sharing arrangement for some sort of ultimate rulership over the realm.  Apparently, Valandriel as a ‘Prime Minister’ type of figure, and Daniel as a more symbolic ‘Arch-Regent’ type of figure, with each to rule from their respective discs.  This was the goal of their glory, apparently, as both Michael and Gabriel learned from discussions with various of the Seraphim. 
In the end Michael was not really sure if that bothered him.  Daniel was an eccentric sort of character, Valandriel usually less so, but they were not quite like his traditional adversary, Saruviel.  They would keep him concerned, but he didn’t really need to worry about morality aberrations for the most part, perhaps apart from some traditional liberal attitudes which were, in truth, a part of his traditional judaic faith anyway.  But the very fact that they both sought positions of order, well, well that summed it up.  They wanted to both keep a firm hand in the influence each maintained of peace and stability to the lives of the Realm of Eternity.  Perhaps it wasn’t a bad thing at all in the end, and their attempts at maturity almost to be encouraged.  Perhaps. 
Michael and Gabriel formed a tag team of sorts, in these days, hanging with each other a lot, fielding genuine inquiries for their plans for the local discs.  An Aussie politician wrote a good document on Australian and American national governance, describing the delineation between the traditional roles of Federal versus State governance, and an equating of this idea to the Realm of Eternity as a whole and the role of the Realm Overseer, to the individual discs and each disc Overseer, and the document was well received, discussed on television documentaries and current affairs and economic shows a fair bit and both Michael and Gabriel, one evening, watching a particular telecast, gained a fair impression of the potential their own roles could achieve in this respect.  The glory of supreme power was gone from them, now, and each knew that, perhaps never to return.  But, also, perhaps never needed to or never should.  They had responsibilities enough with their own discs and, while it was still so much of an issue for each Seraphim to look forward to their impending overseersmanship's, upon Michael and Gabriel the reality of their discs of responsibility hit home and, in private discussions, the Theophany a bit later hoped that they had gotten the point from what God was educating them on.  They did so. 
The initial years of Raphael’s responsibilities were, indeed, marked by a spirit of stability, constancy, and calmness.  He imparted this very effectively, much in the way Sariel undertook such responsibilities in ancient of days.  It was times of prosperity, growth and peace in general for the Realm of Eternity, and the other realms enjoyed similar good times.  Life had its highs, and lows, but generally went about its business with its predictable and usual merry hum and strum, as each of the angels and children of God pursued their ongoing agendas, in general, of life, love and the pursuit of happiness. 
*   *   *   *   * 
Raphael stood on top of Zaphon tower.  Here he was – overseer of the realm of eternity – ruler of God’s most glorious domain.  Well, ok, perhaps that was a boast.  In the end heaven above the realms of infinity and paradise and the other ones were quite significant as well, but he had to be biased?  Didn’t he?  Call it patriotism, which he usually disavowed out of pacifistic reasons, or perhaps just a particular hometown love for his own realm of antiquity, but the Realm of Eternity was glorious to the Archangel Raphael.  It always had been. 
Here he was – on top of the world – on top of the universe.  The power to him was immense, but, naturally, with great power came great responsibility.  That much was an unavoidable truth. 
He looked skywards.  Of all the angels to take to the sky that morning with him for his regular flight, Ambriel had shown and was still up there, slowly circling downwards, enjoying the glories of the new morning.  Whatever was on his mind, Raphael hoped the best of enlightenments for his dear brother. 
Here they all were.  Still together.  The angels of God.  The children of Eternity.  Life, now, to Raphael the Morning Star of God’s glory, was still intensely alive at times, still filled with wonder, still filled with love.  Challenges still came along, and he had concerns for Saruviel, of all people, who he often wondered whether he still had found the peace of mind and heart – his souls consolation – that he longed for all his brethren to find.  Perhaps he had.  Perhaps he would in time. 
In all his long life, things had not yet changed that dramatically for the angel Raphael.  He still did what he did from youth, minister to other angels in love, and the ancient teachings of Mitraphora still guided his heart, still drove his ways of mentoring and teaching others, still helped him declare his love for all who came into his life.  But that was the heart that Raphael found within him – a heart which had steadily grown stronger with the passing of time, and grown to love more, to be more angelic – to be more godlike. 
There were so many things he wanted to say to people, new people who came into his life, younger angels, and he did so, often.  But the passion of life was not diminished in his heart, and he was still young in many ways, still alive, still full of the joys of God Almighty.  He felt so good and so thankful to God for the peace he constantly found and, in praise, especially in these current glory days, he poured out his heart to God, expressed his deepest thanks and gratitude, and served him with a dedicated spirit, a whole spirit, completely in love with him and alive to the life of an angel of God – alive to the life of Raphael, third-born Archangel of the Seraphim Angels of Eternity, overseer to the Realm of God’s eternal Glory. 
*   *   *   *   * 
‘No, Jesus.  Sure, I hear what you are saying about loyalty.  I’m not stupid.  You just can’t afford it.’ 
Jesus took a sip of punch.  ‘Why not, Daniel?  I do remember your commitment.  My spirit was well aware of it at the time. 
Certain people.  David Rothchild, for example, disputing various things.  My own interpretation, as well.  God is saviour.  Jesus Christ’s claims, well.  Well, they were wrong.  He wasn’t the saviour.  He ISN’T the saviour.  And that is the way it is.’ 
I understand,’ responded the man from Nazareth, and disappeared back into the party, one of Raphael’s get togethers for elder Seraphim and Cherubim. 
Michael came over, noticing Jesus had left Daniel.  ‘What did he want?’ asked the firstborn of the Seraphim. 
An old issue,’ said Daniel, and said nothing more. 
Michael looked at Daniel, into his heart, and said nothing more on the issue.  He sort of knew, from the Holy Spirit telling his heart, what had transpired.  An old issue.  Really, an ancient one. 
*   *   *   *   * 
Talzudiel was in a good mood.  A very good mood.  But hey, who wouldn’t be.  The world record holder for conquering Mt Zadar the quickest – an amazing effort.  But now, that was just the beginning, and more records beckoned.  Many more records, hopefully. 
He was in his room in his private abode, not far from the central administrative section of Talzudiphora disc, in the city of Bogota Prime.  Bogota Prime, or simply Bogota, was the capital city of Talzudiphora, on the eastern section of the disc.  Of course, Talzudiphora was huge – but every disc of eternity from about Mitraphora and onwards outwards was like that – huge distances which only doubled every time.  Getting around required special ultrasonic travelling jets, which knew no real maximum speed, but simply took about the same time to reach the speed needed.  It was mostly about starting up, and slowing down, and that was about it in getting where you wanted to go in the realm of eternity. 
Around his room were tributes to his glory – medallions, trophies, pendants, and other tributes to his glory from his long, long life as an Angel of God.  Some were made of Eternya, the valuable ones, which would last indeed forever, for Eternya was special stuff designed to last forever regardless of attempted wear and tear upon the object.  They were trinkets in many ways, simple things, and idols in another.  Special mementoes of past glories, special little tributes to his efforts in being what and all he could be.  And he was, indeed, proud of them.  Perhaps something more, ultimately, beckoned beyond such glories as competition, but not for now in the life of Talzudiel.  For now achieving real and credible records – records of great pride and glory – was the name of the game and, in doing as such, Talzudiel found the ecstasy in life which his own name in the angelic tongue truly meant. 
He sat there, at his desk in his den, looked up at a picture of his twin Winoniel, wondered in the end if he was simply doing this to win her heart, as he often did question his motivations, but once again dismissed the idea.  In the end Talzudiel assumed he was pursuing a form of wisdom – resume credentials.  Records of achievement.  Something he could display in his curriculum vitae to others to show, indeed, he was qualified on one of the more important aspects of life – achievement at an outstanding level. 
Oh, he was a wealthy angel, and indeed it did seem he had already been eternally rewarded with the job as overseer of Talzudiphora, so why bother in the end?  Really – why bother?  But, perhaps it was just because of the rewards he had already been given in life, the position of true glory, that he should in fact bother to show himself worthy of the position.  And perhaps, in doing the things he did, in achieving the records and the glories which Talzudiel, Seraphim angel of God, had achieved, he would never actually need to brook criticism of his esteemed position and be accepted, in general, by all those who worked beneath him and those in the realm who might, perchance, one day question his deserving or suitability for the role.  Perhaps it was just that. 
Or perhaps he just liked competing, and had some male pride, which is what he smiled to himself and concluded, before getting to his feet, going off to find Winoniel, and get some food into him. 

Chapter Two

Raphael looked at the notice.  ‘A Challenge.  To my Seraphim brothers and sisters.  The upcoming Kalphon Games.  What are we all, really, made of?  What lies in the competitive spirit of the Seraphim of Eternity?  Will Azrael triumph?  Will Ultra-Angel Michael reign supreme?  Will that idiot Daniel fluke it again?  Will Cosadriel fight the fight and kick arse?  Or will I, Talzudiel, humble you all with my obvious skills and talents which exceed the best of your humble but poor aptitudes and attitudes?  The Kalphon Games – a test of Seraphim Glory – be there or lose bragging rights for the next few centuries.’ 
Raphael didn’t like this.  He didn’t like this one little bit.  Talzudiel had exceeded himself, in arrogance.  His Zadarian success had gone to his head.  What, did he really think himself unbeatable?  Did he really think his talents the greatest of all? 
Raphael looked at the slip, thought long and hard about tearing it up and forgetting the dumbness of it, but inside his heart, a little voice, a little voice from his youth, which occasionally sat up and made a joke, or gave a taunt, or even, possibly, responded a bit to a challenge, said ‘What.  Are you really such a wuss, now, Raph, that you can’t hack Tally having a go?’ 
Raphael took the paper, put it on his bookcase, went to his office wardrobe, put on his joggers and track suit, and came out to Cindradel.  ‘Hold my calls, Cin.  I have an arse to kick.’ 
Cindradel looked at him, slightly confused.  ‘An arse to kick?’ she queried. 
An arse to kick,’ responded Raphael resolutely. 
Then you go kick your arse,’ said Cindradel, smiling.  And, encouraged, Raphael started off, making for the elevator, doing 'Rocky' fists in the air, ready to do the run of his life, ready to kick some arse.  Some South American Seraphim Arse.

*   *   *   *   *

Come on. Get serious,’ said Meludiel to the pride filled Daniel.  ‘God is saviour.’ 
Of onions, celery and cabbage leaves.  It’s all the food he would probably call holy.’ 
You’ve been reading Raphael’s recent policy statements, I take it,’ responded Meludiel with a frown. 
Yes I bloody have, Mel.  A ‘Holy’ person abstains from luxuries in life, walks humbly, follows the spirit, and is at peace with his fellow man.  That’s the wisdom of Mitraphora?  Jesus Christ!’ he exclaimed. 
Don’t blaspheme,’ she responded instinctively. 
Daniel just glared at her. 
You love God.  I know you adore him.’ 
Like a hole in the head,’ responded Daniel. 
Daniel,’ she responded chidingly. 
Oh, lighten up Meludiel.  The Lord of Glory is well known for his rebukes to keep law and order, as blessed Michael likes to put it, and while I have my own particular fascinations on that subject, I wouldn’t approach it the same way as firstborn.’ 
You’ll get your opportunity one day,’ she said looking away. 
Exactly,’ he started, excitedly.  ‘Valandriel and I have a far deeper perspective on how the future and life should be arranged.’ 
It will take you in ways more predictable than that,’ she suddenly said prophetically. 
What’s that supposed to mean?’ he asked her. 
Does a leopard change its spots,’ she replied, smiling sarcastically at him. 
Def Leppard,’ he responded. 
She looked at him, curious. 
Def Leppard,’ he responded. 
What about bloody Def Leppard,’ she responded. 
Me and My Wine.  The video.  There you go.’ 
She sat there, for a moment, thinking on the video.  ‘I don’t get your point,’ she said at last. 
Think the drum kit.’ 
She sat there, thinking for a while.  ‘I still don’t get your point.’ 
‘What is written on the drum?’ 
‘Oh. Uh, Def Leppard isn’t it,’ she said guiltily, already getting his point 
No it’s bloody not.  And you know it.  It’s Deaf Leopard.  And there you have it.  Changed their bloody spots.’ 
My point is,’ continued Meludiel, ‘Jesus is very upset at your attitude.  He was put off.’ 
Screw him,’ responded the 45th Male Seraphim of Eternity. 
Great attitude,’ said Ariel, putting down her magazine. 
Even Jesus deserves a break,’ said Ambriel. 
Daniel grizzled.  ‘Oh, for heaven’s sake.  Ok.  I will lighten up.  Tell you what.  I’ll go to the throneroom.  Chat with the old man.  Tell him he’s doing a fantastic job running the universe.’ 
Good attitude,’ said Ambriel, returning to his newspaper. 
Hey.  I know,’ said Daniel. 
Here we go,’ responded Meludiel. 
I’ll start a new religion.’ 
Not again,’ bemoaned Ariel. 
The eternal and sovereign way of Jehovah the absolute supreme glorious being of everlasting salvation, holy delight, joy of hearts and minister of pure and true devotion to his called and chosen holy elect of eternal beauty and truth.’ 
Ariel giggled a little. 
The title’s too short,’ said Ambriel. 
They all laughed at that. 
Tell him you love him,’ said Meludiel. 
Jesus Christ!’ swore Daniel. 
The glare from Meludiel was enough of a rebuke.

*   *   *   *   *

Raphael was exhausted.  17 weeks of training, running mainly, but some other exercises, and here he was, halfway on a jog from Zaphon Tower to the rim, and he had pushed himself a little too much, he was now starting to realize.  And then the spirit started speaking to his mind, and reminded him that Talzudiel had been pushing himself on sporting excellence for a very long time, and a newbie, even a zealous one, was hardly going to challenge him anytime soon.  And then he reminded him of the virtue of humility.  And Raphael acknowledged the point. 
He had committed to a 20 year program of training for his initial glories, and would commit to what he had started.  But, with his initial lesson learned, he would likely scale it back after that.  Fair enough for the new overseer to establish his fitness at the beginning of a regime, but he didn’t have to go crazy about it.  20 years would suffice in this sense. 
As for Talzudiel.  Well, let him have his glory. 
He kneeled down, pulled a little pebble out of his sneakers, and stretched his legs.  And just then, looking at the MacDonalds sitting there next to the road, the sign lit up, the foods he had been abstaining from in his recent health kick looking oh so tempting, Raphael caved, went inside, and ordered 3 Big Macs with fries, and a dozen chicken nuggets.  And his unbeknownst to himself personal guardian angel just chuckled a little. 

*   *   *   *   * 

Goodbye Alice in Wonderland,’ said Talzudiel. 
Jewel Kilcher smiled curtly, and curtsied.  ‘I am sure I will miss you in the extreme, kind sir.’ 
Our relationship has reached its end,’ he said in his polished Spanish accent. 
It was love at first sight,’ she responded. 
But not a love to last forever,’ he finished. 
Tallie.  Don’t forget to get some KFC before you get home.  And I like popcorn chicken remember.’ 
Will do, Jewel,’ he responded. 
She watched him go, the one who had fixed her broken heart, with his polished excellence in sporting endeavour, his genteel loving, his calm charisma, and his panache.  She was far, far too serious for a woman of her own intutition to fall for a man who practically required service to an ego, supposedly, greater than Daniel the Seraphim’s.  Supposedly, although she had met that particular angel once or twice, and he was the quintessential bastard more than anything else, with that sadistic grin while he was looking at her, with that malevolent mock of ‘I have listened to every fucking one of your songs, and I will be watching you forever.  If you fuck up, Miss Kilcher……’ look.  He was insidious.  She would conquer him in time to be. 
But she loved Talzudiel for the time being, delighted in his fine and fit stomach, his professional loving, his expertise in cooking and restauranting, and, despite herself, and her musical critique of ultra high sensitivity, laughed at his crooning on the Spanish guitar, and tempted herself to fall for him forever. 
He was quite a work of art, this angel fashioned by that eternal God she still challenged and responded to with quiet amusement at the subtle comments of sarcasm about all things male he was in the habit of discoursing upon in their occasional meeting around Zaphona city. 
Jewel was happy with life, and being the rather newish lover of Talzudiel, who was currently less and less involved with his twin Winoniel, caught up in a current haze of action and adventure, seeking, it would seem, a more appropriate mate for his vision of self-glory.  She was the other woman, she knew it, but for the time being Alice in Wonderland really didn’t mind. 
But the Scarlet letter Ty threatened at labelling upon her in their current email dialogues.  The estranged husband, legally separated, but still, technically wed.  It had been a long relationship, most passionately and dedicatedly pursued with devotion in early epochs of life, but time and, well................, just that.  Time.  It passed, and other people, other men, seemed to somehow crowd in and reminded her that nothing really lasts forever in affairs of the heart in the purest of romantic fantasies, for they all fell in the end. 
Alice went home in the end. 
Got a real job in the end. 
Did find a man in the end. 
Enjoyed fucking him in the end. 
………………………………………..yet at the end of the white picket fences……and the lovely valentine roses…….and the lovely supply of anniversary presents…..something still lacked for Alice. 
For she had yet to be challenged by an equal in her heart. 
And living in the real world, with the freedoms she knew she had earned, and the suffering her gender had unjustly lived, she knew herself justified in the desires of the heart she craved. 
Till one noble enough to commit eternal arose? 
Or the gentle twilight of the soul took over, and she rested in romances Sheol, and simply got by, with her friends, her family, and that old guitar. 
And that old rock’n’roll. 
For she had yet to be challenged…… 

*   *   *   *   *

'Raphael. Have you put on a little weight?' 
Raphael glided past Cindradel into the overseers office, barely a word said, and ignored blithely the question. But a little while later, when Cindradel placed some of Raphael's work on his desk for the morning, she looked at him. 'You have. Haven't you. A little bit of a belly by the looks of it.' 
'Shut up,' he said defensively. 
'I thought you were training. To kick arse,' she said smiling, and picked up a biscuit from his desk next to his hot coffee which she had brought in. 'You can't be having these,' she said, indicating the biscuits,' if you really want to kick arse, can you?' She was grinning like a cheshire cat. 
'Be that as it may,' said Raphael, picking up a biscuit of his own, dunking it in his coffee, and eating it. 'Everyone needs a break every now and again.' 
'Ooh. Holy Lord Raphael preaching mercy. Whatever will they think of next,' said Cindradel, and departed to her desk before Raphael could offer a response. 
He leafed through the papers, really thought about buzzing her in to give her a piece of his mind, but took a quick mental note of that idea. In the end, stuff it. He had all eternity if he really needed it to put Talzudiel in his place. Best to leave things be and let life sort out the likes of his younger Seraphim brother. He was sure time would one way or another. 
'Cindradel,' he said, as he buzzed her on the intercom. 'We will be having a decade or so of easy times. I have decided that. So long work lunches, good meals, and time to put on a bit of weight. But I will tidy us all up again soon enough.' 
'Aye aye, sir,' she responded, and ordered the takeaway pizza he then requested. 
Time to lighten up, thought Raphael to himself. Not take life too seriously.

* * * * *

Winoniel farted. Talzudiel tried not to notice the fowl smell, because they were the curried eggs she liked, so he turned the other nose, as it were. But she loved those eggs, so he would never complain. 
''So you think you are Superman,' said Winoniel, as she served up dinner for the evening. Fortunately it wasn't eggs again. 
'I'm not Superman. I know, I know. I'm on an ego trip. Everyone says so. But it's a time to challenge eternity, you know. We are young. It's time to set our records. I know we have been around forever in many ways, sis, but I can still tell it. We are young. We have just begun this sojourn with Almighty God. I want records which last, and I am prepared to work my ass off to get them.' 
'Just don't boast about it,' she replied. 'It's not very attractive.' 
'Everyone needs to boast once in a while. It's what makes us real,' he said. 'We are not all lords of Raphaelesque humility you know.' 
'But you are not even a lord of Danielesque humility, so believe me you have some way to go,' she retorted. 
'Ouch. That hurt,' he said, looking at the fried chicken she had served up, with salad and coca cola. 'Why the soft drink?' he asked her. 'We normally have juice.' 
'Time to lighten up,' she said. 'Raphael himself has been putting word out. There is a time for this and a time for that and now is a time for everyone just to calm down a bit, and relax. You can get serious again soon enough.' 
'Fine,' he said, and poured himself a drink of Coca Cola. 'Mmm. Tastes good,' he said. 'But don't you think I'll get addicted?' 
'Talzudiel. Just enjoy the liberties for a while. You know Raphael. We'll be on our knees in prayer again before you can blink.' 
'Probably,' he responded, and finished his coke and poured another glass. 'Very well. I shall relax for a while. Don't let it be said that the Prince of Columbia doesn't know how to have a good time.' 
'Just don't get too inebriated on sabbaths,' she said grinning, as Talzudiel used to do in younger years.' 
'I will be the perfect gentleman,' he said bowing to her. 
'Yes, my lord,' she replied giggling, as she served the chicken and salad and they got on with their meal. 

* * * * *

'As you can see, he has gotten over it,' said Meludiel, sitting on the couch in Danielphon, reading through a society magazine of Zaphora, the central disc of the realm, on the Zaphon Tower community. 
'Yes, I suppose you are right,' said Daniel, borrowing the paper again and looking at the picture of Raphael at the head of a large dining table in one of the restaurants of Zaphon Tower. 'I wonder how long it will last though?' 
'Oh. Don't be such a spoil sport,' said Meludiel. 'You should take this as a sign that God is listening, even to Daniel the Seraphim's complaints, and ensuring the life we live in harmony continues on as such.' 
'Very profoundly said,' dear sister,' replied Daniel. 
'I think so,' said Meludiel smiling. 
'Oh, but don't let that wisdom turn to pride, now, ya hear,' said Daniel, grinning. 
'Shut up,' she said, and threw a pillow at him. 
'Heh heh heh,' he grinned, and she giggled at his jokes all that afternoon. 

* * * * *

The ValDan agenda is about success,’ said Valandriel.

The ulterior motive is still to get laid, isn’t it,’ replied Daniel, not looking up from the game of Space Invaders he was playing.

Valandriel glared at Daniel.  ‘You and your obsessions with Meludiel have gone on long enough brother.  It is time you focused on fidelity to your twin, and building empire with her.  She is the main partner is wealth and asset acquisition.  It is not necessarily romance, no, but you scratch her back and she scratches yours, and the world goes on as normal.  Partners in crime.’

Ariel is a dimwit.  No imagination,’ said Daniel.  ‘She thinks she is still somewhat innocent and spiritual.  Gosh, our innocence died a long time ago.  Saruviel took care of that.’

We still have innocence.  Probably a lot.  Children of the light usually don’t go into too much knowledge of evil in the end,’ replied Valandriel.  ‘Just not what we are made of.  And the ValDan agenda was formed on us being children of the light.’

As long as we get laid,’ replied Daniel.

Is this mating season?’ asked Valandriel, perturbed.  ‘You’ve been sex obsesses a lot recently.’

I’m going off to find Meludiel.  Maybe she will give me some,’ said Daniel.

Jesus!’ swore Valandriel.  ‘What had gotten into Danny Boy?’

*   *   *   *   *

How do I rise?’ Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly asked God Almighty.

He sat there, in the throne-room of Zaphon.  Finally a thought came to him.  Then why are you down there?

He left the throne, booked his flight to heaven, and when he arrived he put in his application to visit home.  As a Cherubim of Eternity it would take several months at the moment, as he was high up on the rights list for gaining access.  So he waited.  The day came, and he was taken to home, and he came and sat with the Theophany of God.

Have you earned the glory, Daniel?’ the theophany asked him.

It happens one step at a time, until you reach your destination.’

Does that truth change?’ asked the theophany.

No it doesn’t,’ replied Daniel.

Then back you go,’ replied God.

So Daniel left, and went back to Infinity, and went back to Eternity, and went back to Terraphora were he had his first home, and he took out the Cherubim Torah and read for a while, and applied for his first job at the canteen in Terraphon, and worked there for a few months, before deciding to continue on with his studies of the Cherubim Torah, to monitor and maintain his general founders work of the Advancing Noah Movement and Haven Noahide Fellowship, to email new members of the fellowship throughout the realm to develop his interpersonal encouragement ministry, and to commit to his job in the canteen for quite a few thousand years of dedicated service.  And that was that.

*   *   *   *   *

A wise worm chooses discipline when the other’s are following the liberties of the leader,’ said Talzudiel to Winoniel.

You have rebuffed my advice then, I see,’ she replied.

Everyone is going with the flow of the era, and taking it easy.  An individual who sets a high standard at this time can stand out in a way which will make them shine, with glory acknowledged by all and sundry.  So many get so close, when with some more effort, up she rises.  And with more effort still the sky is the limit.  This I know,’ replied Talzudiel.

You are not lazy,’ said Winoniel, turning the eggs she was frying.  ‘This much I will give you.  Of all the Seraphim you are quite driven.  There are – competitors – but it is indeed a truth you have worked out.’

So rise I shall,’ replied Talzudiel.  ‘Serve me my eggs, my queen.’

Yes, my lord.  But remember, other angels have talents to, dear angel of God.’

Talzudiel looked at his sister.  ‘They don’t apply them that much.  It isn’t too much of a concern.’

You don’t think they will rise to the challenge?’ asked Winoniel.

I don’t think they give too much of a shit about rising to the challenge,’ replied Talzudiel.  ‘They would rather goof off, watch Hollywood movies, eat pizza, enjoy sexual relations with their partner, and not much else.  They are lazy.  It is endemic.’

Sometimes, after a period of tranquility, the glory comes again,’ said Winoniel.  ‘I have seen it before.  Rise and fall.  But, ironically, rise again.  And when it starts with passion, watch out, for the world is full of competitors.’

Talzudiel shall defeat them all,’ replied Talzudiel.  ‘He’s got the shit up his arse, dear twin.’

Lady Gaga has the shit up her arse, dear Talzudiel.  In fact, dear twin, I think most people have the shit up their arse.  Even the theophany of God probably has the shit up his arse.  So keep it under control, because pride comes before the fall.’

Amen,’ replied Talzudiel, and got stuck into his eggs, salad and ginger beer dinner.

*   *   *   *   *

You don’t really have talent, you know,’ said Madonna to Jewel.

Jewel looked up.  ‘Miss Kilcher.  You wouldn’t know talent if it shot up your anus.’

Oh, believe me,’ replied Madonna.  ‘I have had a lot of talent up my anus.  You name the dick, he’s been up there.  Talent galore has erupted up my anus Jewel Kilcher.’

Yes.  When you dwell on the lowest common denominator of spirituality, a lot of talent does get shoved up your anus.  But I have classy talent,’ replied Jewel.  ‘It requires some thinking.’

You’re a wisecracking wannabe,’ replied Madonna.  ‘Have you even come out and played with that chick yet?’

Jewel went ice cold looking the bi bi baby.  ‘Some of us have lines we don’t cross.  Ice cold decisions in a prayer room when the holy spirit was prepared to mock you eternal.  No thanks Miss Ciccone. I’ll pass.’

So limited,’ replied Madonna.  ‘A much broader experience in liberty.’

Not really true.  Just the lower level guttural sort of entertainings.’

But the hard work creates the copyright whoever is in the business of working at it.  And the glories of knowledge divine can be claimed by even the basest of souls, if they work their ass off for it,’ replied Madonna.

Jewel glared at her.  Then she softened.  ‘Then work hard bitch.’

Madonna smiled, and sat down opposite her in the Los Angeles Hard Rock Café were the pop stars often hung to be seen and make collaboration projects.

I commit,’ said Madonna.  ‘I doubt you really do.  I put on a show, work at it, and tour forever.  I doubt you commit to much touring, even when you do commit.  I’ve never seen your name up in lights that much, and you have just as much fame available to you.  You just don’t work very hard at it.  God blesses me more because I put in more of an effort at entertaining the masses.  That is what actually works in the real world bitch.’

That might be true,’ replied Jewel.  ‘But I concentrate on quality, and will get to the work of harder touring later on in eternity.  So that is what works in the real world bitch, when your kind drops down the list a bit, and the people want something a bit more challenging and refined.’

Madonna glared at her.  ‘Possibly true,’ she said after some consideration.  ‘I’ll have to think about that.’

You do that,’ replied Jewel. ‘Oh, and the show was spectacular last night.  You kicked ass Maddy.’

Madonna blushed.

*   *   *   *   *

Well, you know.  Sometimes it is a matter of biting the bullet and doing the hard yards,’ said the Theophany of God to Raphael in the task force room of the overseers office in Zaphon tower.

I don’t really want to get so fit yet,’ replied Raphael.  ‘My responsibilities are important to me.  Talzudiel’s challenge can wait till another day.’

The king needs to sort out his subject, or the subject will end up ruling the king.  You don’t want to be usurped do you?  Michael and Gabriel both got the job done.  I assume you will choose to complete your arc and million years, and not let Talzudiel have all the glory?  Or are you not the thirdborn male of the Seraphim of Eternity, my blessed Raphael?’

Fine,’ replied Raphael. ‘I’ll think about it.’

You do that.  But at least use your power to push him around a little.  Don’t cut him too much slack.  Uses excuses to send him off on vain missions which accomplish very little, and delay his rising power.  You know, mess with him, my boy.’

I’m not that nasty,’ replied Raphael.  ‘I will allow him his fair go.’

You never really understand, do you?  All of you, so young.  I don’t mind people who use their privileges to stay in power.  It was the point of working hard to get somewhere in life.  Other’s will get their glory in due course.  Live a little, and push the little bugger around a bit.  He’ll get his own glory in due process.’

Raphael looked at the Theophany.  ‘Well, ok.  If you insist.  I’ll keep him occupied.’

Good,’ replied God.  ‘It is how it is done.  Now back to business, and let’s look at these blueprints.’

So God and the Theophany got on with their current task force project, and Talzudiel the Seraphim was none the wiser to the endless array of minor duties which would soon be entering his life.

*   *   *   *   *

And what if the challenger is challenged?’ asked Callodyn the Cherubim to Madonna.

I am not sure if you qualify as a challenger.  We don’t consider your love intelligence existent,’ replied Madonna.  ‘Your sensitivities are legendarily absent.  Your know it all status was realized long ago, from your own vain choices of pride filled responsiveness to a Kelly Clarkson song from Kelly, who had no knowledge of your dismal ranking amongst the human community.  Pride it was, some demented, and very offensive assumption that she would give the slightest of shits about Daniel Daly.’

True,’ replied Callodyn.  ‘But I took it to heart anyway.  There are clauses in the wisdom of the tree of eternal schizophrenic bullshit which we are currently unearthing still to this day which allow us liberties of bullshit yet for unseen in human history.  So suck my dick bitch.’

Your vanity is extraordinary,’ replied Madonna.  ‘Just like the devil’s.’

Oh, you flatter me,’ replied Callodyn.  ‘I mean, you assume I care.  I don’t,’ replied Madonna.  ‘You are trite, repeating the masculinist stupidity of the clan elders before you.  So yesterday your antiquity of male pride.  So yesterday.  You don’t matter.  You are nobody to me.’

And what if the challenger is challenged?’ asked Callodyn the Cherubim to Madonna.

I wouldn’t receive the challenge,’ she replied.  ‘You are too dim to be a star.  Maybe a comet somewhere near Uranus.  But it would blow its flame out before achieving any real significance.’

True,’ replied Callodyn.  ‘Oh well.  So much for choosing to challenge the love of someone on the road to hell, paved with good intentions.  Too insignificant a personage, myself, to challenge someone as wise and learned as a pop star of your legendary status.’

Our wells of spiritual vengeance will sort you out one day Callodyn,’ said Madonna coldly.

You know the old rules,’ said Callodyn.  ‘Noahides know the ancient ones. Dream on, sweet cheeks.  Dream on.’

*   *   *   *  *

You look randy,’ Meludiel said to Daniel.

I have heat at the moment,’ replied Daniel.

Heat is not good.  I will cool you down,’ replied Meludie.  ‘I think you may have been keeping company with unwise individuals,’ said Meludiel.

Ooh, baby, give me some,’ said Daniel.

Calm down Daniel.  Listen to the Rainbow Torah.  Get back to yourself,’ said Meludiel.

Daniel nodded and went to his room and started listening to Genesis on youtube.  Gradually he settled back into the familiar chronicle and life slowly started ebbing back to its usual flow.  Heat was new to him.  Not something he’d experienced before.

Right, Noah built the ark,’ thought Daniel.  ‘He worked.  I’ll have to do some work to calm down.’

Daniel sat at his desk and started typing.  He typed out ‘The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog’.  ‘I’ll do some standard typing practice,’ he said to himself.  And so, akin to counting sheep, he did his typing drills for 15 minutes, and started calming down as Genesis played.

Is the danger over Will Robinson?’ asked Meludiel coming into his room.

Mostly,’ replied Daniel.  ‘Normal broadcast is resuming.’

Watch your company, kemosabe,’ replied Meludiel.  ‘Some fires are very, very furious.  Watch your company.’

Over the next few weeks Daniel began reading the book of Genesis each day, completing the Rainbow Torah, from his New World Translation.  There was a time for many things in life, but this was a time for standard scripture reading, and keeping the faith, and mainly that.  Mainly that.  The days passed, and the heat on him diminished, and he started to get back to normal.

You over it?’ Valandriel asked Daniel.

It was very strange experiences not used to,’ replied Daniel.  ‘Gotta be careful with the company you keep.’

Don’t I know it,’ replied Valandriel.

Anyway, life goes on,’ said Daniel.  ‘We’ll concentrate on the DanVal agenda soon enough, and this Talzudiel fellow.  Things are heating up in the Realm of Eternity, by the looks of it.  Things are heating up.’

Indeed,’ replied Valandriel, glad to get his brother back to normal.

*   *   *   *   *

I’m back at it,’ said Raphael to Cindradel.  ‘A bit more focused and a bit more committed this time.  I will respond to this Talzudiel fellow, and I won’t do so unintelligently, and I won’t do so in any heat of fierce rivalry.  I am the overseer of the Realm of Eternity, and aplomb will be concentrated on and a standard of behavior set.  But he will know he is not in the fight alone.’

Don’t let it go to your head,’ replied Cindradel.  ‘Michael and Gabriel kept it under control in the end.  You are third in the chain, and we have a long chain to build.  Keep a level head brother.  We’re counting on you.’

Raphael sat down at his desk, and put on a Kanye West album.  Then he put on a Beyonce album, and chilled to that.  Bolt.  Usain Bolt.  Perhaps he could have a chat with Usain, and get some pointers from that fellow.  Competition amongst the Seraphim was well established, but they were also the kind of angels who did learn a new thing from time to time.  Consulting with some expertise could give him the kind of edge he needed to keep angels like Talzudiel were they should be, doing the things they were supposed to be doing.  The music played, and he sat there thinking, and life rolled on by.

Chapter Three

There were 7 Shadow angels of the Realm of Eternity. Lelldorius was the 7th of them. He dwelt often secretly down in the depths of Zaphora, the central disc of the Realm of Eternity, in the catacomb chambers. They were interconnected by often long hallways, like an ants nest in the heart of eternity. Lelldorius, like the other 6 Shadow Angels had a number of chambers which were his personal property. One of the things Lelldorius did, apart from his role of mentor to Kalphon Keep, was collect stamps. He collected, primarily, stamps of the Realm of Eternity. The Realm of Eternity, as far as Lelldorius was concerned, was the main thing of life in the universe. He prided himself in this idea, but reminded himself not to become arrogant about it. So stamps of the Realm, though he did collect others, were the main focus. He had bookcases carved out of the stone in the walls of the chambers, not all of them, but many. And books were stored there, and other things, as well as many of his voluminous stamp albums. And they were valuable as well.

'You know,' said Raphael. 'Stamps is not really a major concern to me, Lelldorius,' sitting at the table in chamber L12 of Lelldorius ownership.

'Everyone needs a hobby,' replied Lelldorius.

'I think my current pastime assigned by God is to sort out Talzudiel. Maybe I should put him on a stamp so the realm can lick him to death.'

Lelldorius chuckled on that.

'He's a handful at times, especially on this kick of this to challenge the challenger and all such. It's not what I would call the role of an angel. Spirituality is supposed to be synonymous with angelicdom, and I am really not sure our brethren always live up to our calling in life. Rot probably started with Saruviel, but others also are quirky and responsible for much of the questionable behaviour in the realm. Mitraphon Keep has much work to do because of it to sort out the spiritual climate in the realm.'

'Yet that is our work,' replied Lelldorius. 'And quite obviously the job and position was created because it needed to be done. Not all of us are serious and responsible about things in life. A lot of us often see things from a differing perspective.'

'True,' replied Raphael. 'Yet a sense of balance must be maintained, and I ensure that in many ways. Like each angel should see to.'

'Have another drink,' said Lelldorius, pouring out some low alcohol wine to Raphael's glass.

'You don't drink the heavy stuff?' Raphael asked him.

'Not much. The soft stuff usually, but occasionally I indulge. And when the overseer comes visiting, why not.'

'Cheers,' replied Raphael, raising the wine glass to his lips. 'Now stamps you say? Maybe. Maybe one day, or coins or something. Usually it is basketball and baseball trading cards. My kind of thing.'

'From your American culture,' replied Lelldorius.

'Things have moved on from that time on Earth a lot,' replied Raphael, who had been the human rapper Jay Z in his manifestation. 'I was around a lot of people who weren't always that spiritual. It was a thing I went through, and learned a lot. Spirituality, I learned, was important. Life with boys in the hood taught me that truth. But cards, that is not much of an issue, and I collect them still.'

'You should show me your collection some time,' replied Lelldorius.

'Maybe indeed,' replied Raphael.

They passed the afternoon in conversation and drink, and when Raphael left Lelldorius picked up an old album from a corner of the room, one which had a random assortment of trading cards in it, and considered, 'maybe. A new hobby?' but he left the idea at that, and started preparing his dinner for another quiet night in.

* * * * *

During the time of Raphael's term as overseer, on Terra, planet Earth in the physical aspect of the universe, life continued onwards. And an angel had manifested, been born and named Marcus of the Hooper family, and while odd in his own way, had an inspiration in his head to do something a bit different in the history of mankind on planet Earth. And that history would have interesting ramifications.

'Why Hooper?' asked Raphael the Seraphim.

'He's actually of the Cherubim. In his manifestation. You wouldn't know,' replied Wolfgang.

'I see,' replied Raphael. 'Probably got the notification but thought nothing of it.'

'He's got some things in his destiny which will be pretty curly for Earth for quite a while,' replied the Theophany. 'There will be some Terran activity again during your time as Overseer. No real grand judgment day, but there will be expressions of my judgment going on, and Earth will face some travails. Some quite unusual travails. You are personally assigned to Marcus Hooper, to watch him, to guide him, to standard guardian angel duties for a while. But don't exhort him to change his plans too much. These – things – sort of need to come out in time in humanity anyway. There's no real easy way around it, but to give them object lessons on the potential consequences of such decisions.'

'What you driving at?' asked Raphael.

'You'll see in time. Suffice to say you have your work as Overseer, but standard Guardian Angel duties will be required shortly, and Marcus will need careful attention to guide him through some pretty tricky days. You're the man I want at this time.'

God stood, stretched his arms, and looked at Raphael. 'You going well in the new job?'

'Ah, it's ok,' replied Raphael. 'Talzudiel is a handful, and Nimorel. Well, she's always got issues anyway. But I'm getting on with things. Everythings fine.'

'Good, good. Remember, if you need to talk to me, just signal the spirit. I'll show up soon enough.'

'Thanks,' replied Raphael.

God left the overseer's office, and Raphael puzzled on the little manilla folder profile on his subject, looked through a few things, noted the angelic identity, and put the folder in his desk, getting on with his day.

* * * * *

Marcus Hooper was chided by Raphael spiritually on his ambitions with spiders, of all things, and left them alone. But there was a bit of the angel's brain which said to Raphael 'I'm on this planet permanent-like. I'll get to my spiders one day.' Raphael observed that, and worked with the Cherubim in his spiritual psyche to sort him out on some issues of this and that in politeness and life-appropriateness. The angel was off kilter in some ways, not quite adjusted to rational thinking at times, and during these younger years of Marcus Hooper Raphael was concerned with dealing with mental disorders which cropped up at times. But try as he might he couldn't get the damn spiders out of Marcus thinking, so eventually left it be, and rebuked it enough till his ward was more normal about the ideas. Then Marcus settled down to working forever in a supermarket, and enjoy his life hobbies. So Raphael left him be, feeling he had done his duty. The theophany remarked that Marcus would one day push at an industry giant to accomplish his glory, which Raphael felt was true of the angel. But the worries and concerns for that – for another day.

* * * * *

'Lelldorius. Have a coke,' said Raphael, handing Lelldorius a cold can of Coca Cola.

Lelldorius opened it and started sipping. Raphael looked around.

'It's a green sort of light you have lighting the room at the moment,' said Raphael.

'Aquamarine,' replied Lelldorius. 'At a certain level of brightness, with the Rainbow Music playing.'

'Rainbow Music?' queried Raphael, eyebrow raised.

'A genre of Noahide relaxation music,' said Lelldorius. 'Daniel the Seraphim got me onto them once. I'm a big fan.'

'It's sedate,' commented Raphael. 'Ok I guess. I like hip hop. Classical also, traditionally Mitraphon's music. Beethoven and Mozart especially these days.'

'Relaxation music does it for me,' said Lelldorius. 'And occasionally some jazz. A little bit of rock and roll also. Not too much. Trying to take my angelic duties seriously and not be too out there. Some of us need to be the quiet ones.'

'I think that too,' said Raphael. 'In hip hop, I gots to speak my piece, naturally. But I'm Jay Z, and I'm saying something with my moniker.'

'I think names are like that. They say something about who we are. Carefully chosen for us usually. I think God is behind it.'

'You could be right,' replied Raphael, sipping on his own can of coke.

'Well, shall we?' queried Lelldorius.

Raphael opened the jar and poured out the coins. Then he took his parcel and emptied the stamps. They had numerous catalogues to the side of them, and the albums prepared, as well as the steaming equipment to remove some of the stamps from their envelopes. Then, for the next five hours, as the rainbow music played, Lelldorius and Raphael catalogued a stamp and coin collection which they had equal rights on, making notes also, and eventually, the afternoon spent, the remaining work put in a box, and albums placed on shelves.

'Soothing,' said Raphael at last. 'And educative.'

'Always that. Good enough hobby, I think,' replied Lelldorius.

And they chatted, and Raphael left, and Lelldorius thought about making a few notes in his journal about the peace which pastimes could bring.

* * * * *


The End