Children of Destiny
Morning Stars of Eternity
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6179 SC
℗ Circa 6173-6179 SC/2010-2016 CE
Morning Stars: Uriel
Morning Stars: Raguel
Ambriel at the Farm
Morning Stars: Phanuel
Morning Stars: Sariel
Morning Stars: Bantriel
Morning Stars: Cimbrel
Morning Stars: Dameriel
Morning Stars: Valandriel
Morning Stars IV
Yes. Yes. Yes. That would be next. The Comedian himself. Uriel.
am telling you straight, Val. I am telling you straight. He bloody
won’t choose anyone apart from Uriel. It is this streak thing
they have talked about for ages. They want a streak. They are
determined to go from Raphael to Uriel, and then Rags and Phan and
Sar. They won’t budge. The eternal Sovereign Seven. And boy are
they up themselves about it.’
‘Yeh. I know. Still, 45th is ok. And consistency is important, remember. It’s important. Builds up reputations, and that’s a good thing.
‘Yeh, I suppose. I suppose. Well, I can wait now. I don’t mind waiting now. But they better choose me when its my turn, or there will be hell to pay. I can tell you right fucking now, there will be hell to pay.’ Valandriel nodded. Indeed, they’re likely would.
‘Well, is, you know, the agenda worth pursuing. Raphael brushed us off for most of the Arc, but, we may very soon have beast number 3 at our disposal. Shall we continue? Is it worth the grief again?’
Daniel considered that, and after a while smiled. ‘Mmm. Well, I guess so. He is still a diehard Christian, Raphael, so the claim can quite possibly be made. We will see how Uriel turns out. Don’t worry, this time I will drop off the package. Cindradel has sworn to secrecy, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I guess, after all, it is an opportunity better not wasted. We’ll see how it goes.’
‘And then likely Raguel, huh? You are sure they will choose him.’
‘Probably. But we will wait and see, ok. We will wait and see.’
‘Kapiche Kemosabe,’ responded Valandriel.
‘Very funny,’ said Daniel. ‘Very funny.’
* * * * *
'The blessings of life eternal,' began the speaker, 'are in living the life which has completed its mission.'
'And that mission?' queried archangel Uriel, sitting in the front row of the Haven Noahide Fellowship meeting of its central fellowship, in the heart of Zaphora, not far from Danielphon, Daniel himself being the sermonist on this particular occasion.
'The mission we are all facing in life. Working it out. Working out how to live it. To do it right. To do it in the way, in the end, in which we are happiest - most satisfied - most alive to all the realities which are involved in enduring an eternal existence.'
'And is that lifestyle enshrined in Torah?' was the next question from Uriel.
Daniel nodded slowly. 'Yes. I guess you could say it is. But there is more than written Torah. More to life than the wisdom enshrined by God in his teaching directed towards us.'
'Explain,' said Uriel.
'Genesis 1 teaches a central principle. God is creator. Yet, we are creation, and being creation we function, not in individuality like so many liberal minded believers lapse into, but in a state of communion with all other beings, God included. The choices we make in this life affect others. We are not alone. We are not a rock - an island - impermeable to all which goes on around us. We are affected by the all, and we affect the all.'
'Which means what?' asked Uriel again.
'Which means,' continued Daniel, 'that the blessings of life eternal are working out how to make the right decisions, on a daily basis, for not only our happiness, but the happiness of the all. For in the wider community in which we co-exist together, the all's happiness shapes our own, and vice versa.'
Karel spoke, the 4th born of the female Seraphim. 'How do we balance this dichotomy of self versus society?'
'The first impulse is that of order. Through an orderly individual life we contribute to the balance of an orderly society, which is the first rule of law. And through an orderly society the next stages of developing wealth, prosperity, family, tradition, culture and glories are achieved. Thus, as an individual part of a wider whole, we function in the first place on the basis of moral rule - moral law - order - to ensure evil, the opposite to the base society in which happiness can be achieved, does not prosper. And by recognizing that only when the whole of society, with all its individual parts working as they should, and the whole flowing properly as it should, do we find true happiness. Thus, to answer the question, in Torah the first rule of Order is achieved. This God has done for us. But his first chapter of Torah - creation - teaches that there is a great society of factors, the aspects which have arrived from God's creation, including man and angel at its primacy. And man and angel, themselves, go on to create more things for society. Therefore, when we obey Torah, the society works on the basic level of Order. Yet, in all the complexities of this creation, with the need for food, work, entertainment, and other social constructs, there is more than just the teaching of Torah. It is the universal knowledge of how things work, of how cultures function, of how things make us laugh and cry and so on, that is the knowledge which we must learn - properly - to not only fully understand and appreciate the wider realities of creation in which we live, but by understanding the basic principles of all this knowledge, we can function appropriately and correctly in relation to our own bodies, souls and spirits - but also in relation to all the other aspects of the universe. So we read text books to work properly, we watch romances to love properly, and study health techniques to live properly and eat properly.'
'And in mastering the universal knowledge, which has the moral law of Torah enshrined at its centre which make it all run smoothly on the basic level of moral conduct, we grow in knowledge to the point were we can achieve the blessings of life eternal. Which, to sum up, is to live life according to all the correct rules and principles of the universe - of creation - and all that it contains.'
'And if we choose to rebel?' asked Uriel, a smile on his face.
'Then we live in freedom by the power of Saruviel.
And Daniel then grinned madly. 'Or by the power of the dark lord, and let our own selfish passion run amok.'
The audience clapped, then, and Daniel finished his sermon. It was well spoken. And the wisdom therein was acknowledged by Uriel the Seraphim.
* * * * *
'Pride comes before the fall,' said Uriel, calmly, dressed in white robes with red dragon emblazoned on the front, in Chinese style.
'Pride comes before the fall,' confirmed Daniel the Seraphim.
'Pride comes before the fall, confirmed the prophet Daniel, the Cherubim.
'Pride indeed comes before the fall,' likewise confirmed Chileab, son of King David, whose name was also Daniel.
'Yes. Pride comes before the fall,' said Callodyn the Cherubim, Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
Uriel looked at the 'Council of Daniel's. The Lords of humility, as the Theophany had called them, with a smile on his face, in a recent event in which the Overseer of the Realm of Eternity, Uriel, was being honoured by his guests.
'To think too greatly of ourselves?' queried Uriel.
'Leads to crucifixion,' said the wisecracking Jesus of Nazareth, over by the side of the council, an honoured guest.
Daniel, son of David, spoke up. 'It is a distortion of the truth. A great sin. For while excessive humility can often be taken as a sign of virtue, nobody likes a braggart. They bring the party down.'
'In your mocking words of superiority,' spoke the Seraphim Daniel, 'if you have not the ability to back up your proud words, do not expect to be easily forgiven. Or respected.'
Kantriel, another honoured guest, dressed in chainmail, a dragon also emblazoned on his tunic, spoke up. 'By what right does the council of Dan's judge us? Where is your authority?'
'Yes,' commented Jesus. 'I wouldn't mind knowing the answer to that myself.'
Daniel the Cherubim turned to Saruviel. 'Do they object to being judged? I was assured they sought our wisdom before we convened this council?'
Kantriel spoke before Saruviel could comment. 'Sorry. Sorry, that is true. We do desire your wisdom. Yet, I ask, what makes the council of Dan's so wise in its own opinion that it presumes to judge those such as ourselves?'
Callodyn spoke. 'Wisdom. Eternal wisdom. It comes to those who have humbled themselves before the throne of eternal knowledge, our eternal father himself. He commissioned our council for the purpose of teaching enlightened wisdom of spiritual morality. Our everlasting Kingdom of Divine authority is enshrined in Torah, also, by the will of God Most High. Would you seek to remove our appointment?'
'No,' said Jesus. 'If God has approved of you.'
Callodyn spoke again. 'We have much we could say. We have led long lives, just as yourselves, and given much thought and ponderings to the intricacies of many areas of judgement. For our names appoint us to this role, and it is how we see our fulfilments in life. But, in our humility, we do not oppose those who reject such judgements. We come only in mercy and grace. Our words are intended to bring hope, joy and meaning. We do not insist they are acted upon. We are gentle men. God fearing men. We are not warriors of might, as you know so well. We are children of God, serving in meekness and truth. We do not have the character to act in aggression. Sensei’s of peace are not of this power. Our royal dominion is servile, meek, gentle - humble. We will speak on our faith if you wish to hear it. Not otherwise.'
'It is as you say, brother,' said Daniel the Cherubim.
Daniel, son of David, nodded.
Daniel the Seraphim said 'My brother speaks my mind also.'
'Mmm,' said Kantriel. 'So if we choose to ignore you?'
'Life goes on,' said Daniel the Seraphim. 'It will not bother us. We are your friends. We are your confidantes. We care for you. We are here to judge you for your own positive life’s sake. Not to do harm. We are not out to do you harm, dear brother Kantriel.'
'And thus, pride comes before the fall,' said Uriel again. 'Does it not, master Sensei’s? Master Dan's'?
The council, dressed in robes of white, with rainbows splashed across the front of their robes, nodded.
'And that is the first lesson,' said the Prophet Daniel.
'Yes, that is the first lesson,' said Daniel, son of David.
'Yes. The first lesson,' said Daniel the Seraphim.
'The first,' said Callodyn, Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
The council stood, exited the room, leaving the gathering of 12 angels chatting for a while, all dressed in their most honourable robes, which were robes of warriors in chainmail, swords at their sides.
Saruviel spoke. 'They are pretty serious men. Very meek. Daniel's have always been like that. But pretty serious.'
'Indeed,' said the Theophany, dressed in thick plate mail, a crown on his head, a large red wolf emblazoned on his tunic.
* * * * *
Joanne commented first. 'I don't know. Maybe. I suppose, yes. I suppose he really is.'
Emma said, 'Well, yes. I know the Bond fellow is pretty famous, but Harry is huge. A phenomenon. Daniel has an amazing name because of it.'
'But doesn't that defeat the point,' said Joanne. 'Isn't it supposed to be a council of humility.',
'We are looking for well known Daniel's, not for pride, but well known ones who exhibit genuine meekness. Genuine softness. We have initial plans for a council of 7 members, but eventually to grow to 45 as our final number,' said Daniel the Cherubim.
'Why 45?' asked Ms Rowling.
'Daniel equals 45 in English in Ordinal Equivalents Gematria or Numerology. It is the best number to work with for that reason.'
'Why English?' asked Emma.
'Callodyn was first on the council,' said Daniel the Cherubim. We chose 45 in English because of that. It would have been different if it was myself. Probably the Hebrew equivalent instead.'
'Right,' said Emma.
'Could you ask for us?' asked David's son Chileab.
'Oh, ok,' said Emma.
'I don't mind,' said Joanne.
'Thank you,' said Daniel the Cherubim. 'That would be appreciated.'
'Do you have a purpose? A mandate?' asked Joanne.
'Another council on spirituality,' said Chileab. 'It has a way about it. Just being 'Daniel's'. We thought it was a good idea upon the Theophany's suggestion, so we decided to run with it. Its long term use, whatever it tackles, well.... Well that remains to be seen.'
'Mmm. Keep me informed said Joanne. 'I might write a book on it one day.'
'Should be a classic,' said Emma Watson.
* * * * *
The Council of Daniel's was in private session.
'The Word of God is immutable,' stated the Prophet, Daniel the Cherubim of Judah.
'I concur,' agreed Callodyn the Cherubim, the human Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'Is not truth the fundamental issue?' queried Daniel Craig, the Bondman himself.
'Yes. Truth. It is the foundation of all eternal empires,' replied Daniel Radcliffe, the illustrious Harry Potter.
Chileab, Daniel son of David, spoke up. 'Truth is not always a matter of divinely ordained fact alone. There is a human element which influences the divine, the power of our own faith and prayer.'
'And thus we keep faith in the immutable Tanakh, and pray our wisdom from the Book of Daniel in multiple and eternal fulfilment and meaning,' said Daniel the Seraphim.'
'Yet is it true?' objected Daniel Craig once more.
'It becomes the truth,' stated Daniel the Cherubim.
'It becomes the truth,' stated Daniel son of David.'
'It becomes the truth,' stated Callodyn, the human Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'It becomes the truth, Daniel Craig,' said Daniel the Seraphim.
Daniel Radcliffe put his head into his hands. 'Yet this prophecy? It is controversial. And whereforth did it righteously originate? Ye have never said Daniel San.'
Daniel the Seraphim smiled. 'It originates in the wisdom of the Ages. Surely ye cannot challenge its Danielic origin.'
'No, I doubt very much that I could,' responded Daniel Radcliffe.
'Then all is well,' replied Daniel the Seraphim.
'Yes. All is well,' said Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
The Prophecies of Daniel the Seraphim sat on the centre stage of the council room. A statue of a leopard stood beside it.
'Time is again upon us, my brethren,' said Daniel the Seraphim.
'Time is upon us,' they all responded as one.
* * * * *
'I am a leopard,' said Uriel. 'And I have wings to fly,' he said.
'You have wings to be an idiot,' said Karel, not looking up from the TV set.
'You would speak with the illustrious Overseer of Zaphon in such a tone?' queried Uriel. 'You have been eating too much Chow Mein I think.'
'You can Chow Mein me,' replied Karel.
'I am Beast THREE said Uriel. For the prophcy is immutable. It has been righteously declared by the Council of Daniel's.'
'Another scheme of Daniel's for glory,' said Karel. 'He's just a bit obvious you know.'
'People like his charm,' said Uriel, coming to sit down next to her. 'He keeps the world amused.'
'If they knew your lovemaking skills you'd leave Daniel in the dust,' replied Karel, giggling.
'The fourthborn of the Female Seraphim of Eternity would dare question my inimitable prowess in the love pad?' asked Uriel.
'I've been considering dating a sloth,' she replied. 'He'd be a little more active.'
'You are – truly inconsiderate. And after all those sex instructional videos you had me watched.'
'Which you just jerked off over,' she replied, giggling again.
Uriel did not reply. He was embarrassed.
'So what is the first order of business for the Holy Leopard Beast of Eternity?' asked Karel.
'A new agenda,' replied Uriel.
'We have enough religions,' replied Karel.
'Not talking about those shenanigans. The amount of emails I get from people trying to convert me? By Jehovah's wrath it pisses me off. No, sweetie. New ideas. Something which the inestimable wisdom of Uriel the Seraphim can birth in the Realm of Eternity.'
'You make it sound so traumatic,' said Karel. 'I'm not sure the realm is ready to be rebirthed.'
'Shaddup,' he replied. She just giggled.
'No, I have a plan. China is well known for its famous comedians. Consider Jackie Chan.'
Karel looked at her twin. 'Your bragging again,' she replied.
'My dear. I never brag,' replied Jackie, bowing. 'No, I intend this to be a lighthearted Archal Epoch for the Realm of Eternity after Raphael's boring, but admittedly spiritual, reign of pleasantville. Time to lighten things up a little. So I will be employing Daniel the Seraphim, Valandriel the dimwit, Edward Murphy the Alcoholic, Jeremiah Seinfeld the Mocker and Azrael the Insane to get things going. There will be a series of events, and a contest at the climax of things, to determine 'The Funniest Guy in the World!' And I shall indubitably compete for the prize also.'
She looked at him a little more seriously. 'Fascinating,' she replied.
'You heard it here first,' he said, and went back to posing like his Leopard.
'Whatever are we getting into,' thought Karel to herself, as she watched her twin make pose after pose of male, egotistical, bravado.
* * * * *
'He thinks he's a comedian,' said Callodyn the Cherubim.
'Yeh. Impossible right,' said Kayella. 'Everyone knows your the biggest joke in the realm of eternity.'
Callodyn glared at his twin, and returned his focus to the Comedy Network on TV. 'Jackie Chan. Action hero at best, and a mediocre one at that. He's just ripping off old Eddie Murphy jokes from what I've seen.'
'Where as you are a clone of all the bad comedians conglomerated together,' remarked Kayella.
He glared at her again. 'I should launch a discussion on the council of Daniel's. The inappropriateness of the realm overseer being a comic. Totally beneath the role.'
'Ha!' she cried. 'Greatest statement of hypocrisy of all time.'
He glared at her. Time to answer this fowl woman. 'You know Kayella. When God first designed women, he got to your blueprint. It will take the most sophisticated, intelligent, longsuffering, wise, illuminated and eternally patient soul of all to deal with this lady as his twin.'
'But he chose you instead,' she replied, grinning.
'Yes. And I've borne that cross for countless years now. You know, some people say to me. Callodyn, they say. We know hitmen. For a small fee they can be your backdoor men. I have not listened yet to their offers. Foolish of me, you will agree. But I have exhibited truly remarkable patience with the Witch Queen from Hell itself.'
She only grinned more madly.
'Art thou cooking dinner this evening? I see no meat on the bench in the kitchen verily defrosting.'
'Girl's night out. Taylor and Luladiel and myself are going into Zaphona City for a party. Order pizza or something.'
Callodyn nodded. 'Taylor and Luladiel? Mmm. You have taste. I have always liked those two.'
'Get your mind out of the gutter,' she remarked. 'I'll be leaving late afternoon.'
'Then be off with you fowl witch queen of hell,' he replied, and shooed her away with a wave of his hand. She just gave him a face.
* * * * *
'There was another life,' said Daniel Radcliffe. 'I remember it in my heart, in my soul. Were Harry lived. More than just words on a page. A living, real thing.'
'I don't know,' said J K Rowling. 'Harry is a creation.'
'And Lucy Smith was Lucy Potter,' continued Daniel. 'We were cousins. I know this in my heart. It was a heaven above, or something like that. I don't understand it, but my dreams come in, and they disappear, and I sense it truthfully. I was Harry Potter. Or I WILL be Harry Potter. It might be future.'
'I think you are just dreaming,' said Joanne.
'And Robert Pattinson was Cedric and also a vampire after he died. He had been taken to a life of Dark Love. I don't understand it at all. It's really weird,' said Daniel.
'The Angel Kardos – is NOT a vampire,' said Joanne firmly. 'I think your dreams, Daniel. They are just wild Harry Potter fantasies. Nothing more.'
'And one of the Spice Girls ruled everything,' said Daniel.
'It's confirmed. Your nuts,' said Joanne. But Daniel just sat there, with a cogitatious expression on his face, unperturbed.
Emma Watson spoke up. 'I've had a few weird dreams like that also. And Lucy Smith was a Lucy Potter I also dreamed. And Daniel was her cousin Jonathon Smith. It was very strange.'
'Not you too,' said Joanne, pouring another cup of tea for each of them. They were in J K Rowlings lush English Countryisde manor, in the heart of England in Terraphora, and were discussing Daniel Radcliffe's weird fantasies.
'In another world I was a cowboy for a while, and the spice girl Melanie C and Daniel the Seraphim were our best friends for a while,' said Daniel.
'A cowboy?' queried Emma. 'Equus is the closest you come to horses.'
'I know,' said Daniel. 'Weird. It was all – before. After this great rest we went through there were all these worlds in between. But it's like it hasn't happened yet. That its our future or something. Our destiny.'
Joanne sipped on her tea and observed Daniel Radcliffe. Was he fantasizing? Were these just delusions of an overactive dream life? Or had her worlds really lived once, or were going to live one day? Was Harry Potter going to really be?
'Don't let it go to your head, Daniel,' said Joanne. 'Whatever else you are Daniel Radcliffe now and forever. Nothing more, nothing less.'
But Daniel would not be placated.
* * * * *
He found him in the back shed, and wandered into the ramshackle place, watching were he was stepping.
'Richard. Richard Harris,' said Daniel.
Richard turned away from the gadgetry he was tinkering with and looked at Daniel. 'Daniel Radcliffe. Dear friend, how good to see you.'
The Dumbledore actor urged Daniel to sit down, and they began chatting.
'Richard. What do you know of magic?' asked Daniel.
'Heh. I'm only a wizard onscreen,' said Richard. 'It's not a particular hobby of mine.'
'Seriously,' replied Daniel. 'What do you know?'
Richard's friendly smiled turned a little more serious. 'Ok. I have a few books, up in the house attic. I've read them. From time to time. I don't dabble. But I've read them.'
'Do you have any........memories? Weird memories? About being Dumbledore?' asked Daniel.
Richard gazed at him steadily. 'Your talking foolishness and nonsense Daniel Radcliffe.'
Daniel persisted. 'I have memories, I'm sure, of being Harry Potter. In another world. Another life, before this eternal world I think. But I'm not 100% sure either. It might be dreams of the future as well. Some of my thinking has been suggesting to me just that. I'm NOT Harry Potter. But I will be one day.'
Richard sat there, observing Daniel for quite a while. 'I have work to do,' he said at last. 'Stay for dinner, but leave me to my tinkering. Nonsense and poppycott, Daniel. Go on, off to the house with you.'
Daniel sighed, but as he left the shed, Richard observed his departure. He observed it, thinking briefly over a recent dream, but dismissed it and returned to his tinkering.
* * * * *
Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, the 347th Cherubim of the Realm of Eternity, the original founder of the Advancing Noah Movement, which had mostly been developed by his offspring the Cherubim Callodyn and the Seraphim Daniel, was chatting with his friend Aaron Goodsell, the Seraphim Phanuel, sixthborn of the Seraphim Angels of Eternity in Romnaphon Keep in Terraphora, were Phanuel resided usually and ran affairs. Yet, they were interrupted in the cafeteria of Romnaphon by another member of the council of Daniel's, for Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly had also been admitted to that council, the interupter a very concerned Daniel Radcliffe.
'Phanuel. You rule the sixth heavenly realm,' said Daniel Radcliffe.
Phanuel and Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andre Daly looked curiously at Daniel Radcliffe. 'The sixth heavenly realm?' queried Phanuel. 'What the hell you talking about bro?'
'I'm not sure,' said Daniel to Phanuel, taking a seat. A waitress came, and he ordered iced Melit Water, and sat there. 'It's something in my head at the moment. I'm Harry Potter in this realm, and you are the firstborn son of God, and you rule it all. And the Spice Girl, Emma Bunton, Baby Spice, became the ultimate Queen of this heaven, and, ironically enough, was the Queen of one of your religious Assemblies Daniel,' he said to Phanuel and then Cherubim Daniel.
'Baby Spice? One of my Queens. How droll,' said the Cherubim.
'But it is Michael who is firstborn,' said Phanuel. 'You have it all backwards.'
'Not in this world,' said Daniel Radcliffe. 'You were firstborn, and ruled. And I was the wizard Harry Potter, and it was all true and all real.'
Phanuel looked steadily at Daniel Radcliffe. 'Are you taking medication at the moment? Seeing a shrink or something?'
'It's nothing like that,' said Daniel. He looked at Cherubim Daniel. 'I need a seconder. On the council of Daniel's. I want to raise a question regarding destiny, and what could one day be.'
'Sure,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. 'If it is that important to you.'
'It is,' said Daniel Radcliffe. 'Very.'
His water arrived and he sipped on it.
'Anyway, a serious subject will give us relief from all the bad comedy at the moment. Everyone think's he or she's a comedian,' said Cherubim Daniel.
'And you're the worst,' grinned Phanuel at Cherubim Daniel.
'Hah hah,' replied Daniel sarcastically.
Daniel Radcliffe finished his iced Melit water, stood, and looked at Cherubim Daniel. 'It's important to me. Please don't change your mind.'
'I won't. Scouts honour,' said Cherubim Daniel.
Daniel Radcliffe left, and Phanuel turned to Cherubim Daniel. 'Delusions of grandeur,' he said to his buddy.
'Maybe,' said cherubim Daniel, looking at the departing actor, but he wasn't quite so sure himself.
* * * * *
'It's a mystery,' said Chileab – Daniel – son of David.
'Yet mysteries are to be resolved,' said Daniel the Seraphim.
'Mysteries are to be resolved,' echoed Daniel Craig.
'Daniel. You are the master of interpreting dreams. Are dream realities?' Daniel the Seraphim asked the prophet of Israel, Daniel the Cherubim.
'A beast is born and a beast dies, and dreams foretell of what will be. But some are true and some are false and some the strangest fantasy,' said the prophet.
'Is Destiny herself the mother of fantasy, or false delusion, or does she speak in our hearts what lies ahead? In the shadows of night, when our dreamscape is filled with possibilities?' asked Daniel the Seraphim to the council of Daniel's.
'It is apparent,' said Chileab. 'That she is but a child of heaven, in a role she does undertake. Yet the mystery of her role is taken by the Most High and wrought into being for us children of destiny.'
'And the Sandman, Dream Lord Daniel himself, of the child of heaven, crafts out her wisdom and sends it to is in the sands of infinite progression, does he not?' inquired Daniel the Seraphim.
Callodyn spoke. 'Dream Lord has countless minions who serve his directives, lesser angels of a realm of dreaming and fantasy. This must be true. It is all part of the grand scheme of life which destiny plans, and which the Author writes to be.'
'Then that is the mystery explained,' said Chileab.
'That is the mystery explained,' said Daniel Craig.
'That is the mystery explained,' finished Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, looking directly at Daniel Radcliffe.
'Portents of life,' Daniel Radcliffe surmised in his thought. Portents of life. And he resolved in his heart to accept that as his answer for the time being, and would give it some more contemplation, yet let it be as just that. A mystery which was all part of their Angels Saga of life, the Chronicles of the Children of Destiny.
* * * * *
Uriel sat in silence in his room. Karel sat with him. 'It wasn't that bad,' she said.
'I got booed,' he replied.
'They laughed at some points,' she said.
'They laughed at me,' he replied.
'You weren't that terrible,' she said.
'I sucked big time,' he replied.
'Well, they respect your work as overseer,' said Karel.
'All I'm bloody good at,' sighed Uriel. 'Well, I gave it a go. That is all I can ask of myself.'
'What? Quitting? The Archangel Uriel I know is not a quitter,' said Karel.
'You're mistaking me for Valandriel and Daniel,' replied Uriel.
'Yes. Yes I am. They would soldier on after sucking and work it out. Not wuss out. Yes, I should probably move in with Daniel instead. He will probably make me laugh,' replied Karel.
Uriel looked down at the review in the newspaper. 'The worst attempt at comedy of all time. Banal racist jokes. Daft slapstick. Very, very unfunny,' it read.
'You just need work,' said Karel. 'Go over the good bits and concentrate on them.'
'There weren't any good bits,' said Uriel.
'No. Not really. But the concepts are ok. The ideas you are using. You just need to make them funny,' she replied.
'It's not easy. I thought I'd get a good reaction. Chris Rock makes it look far easier than it actually is,' replied Uriel.
'Have you done some research? Read a lot of funny books and thought through the ideas in comedy movies, and what makes people laugh? Learn what triggers a reaction. That might be a way to work it out. You're smart enough. Don't quit Uri. Take it as a challenge. If at first you don't succeed........'
'Quit,' he replied dejectedly.
'Oh Uri,' said Karel, and put her arm on his shoulder, consoling him. 'Just be patient. The jokes will come.'
'I hope so,' sighed Uriel. 'I hope so.'
'What do you call a solo shoe?' Uriel asked Jerahmeel.
'I don't know. What do you call a solo shoe?' replied Jerahmeel.
'Looking for a date,' replied Uriel.
'That's bad,' replied Jerahmeel. They were at Az's place. A bar in Zaphona City. Azrael had pushed the bar idea a few times, and then done other things, but he was at it again.
'You know,' said Jerahmeel. 'What do you think of Ice Blocks?'
'Great for kids,' said Uriel.
'Jollicles,' said Jerahmeel.
'We're discussing your genitalia?' queried the chinaman.
'No. Jollicles. Jerahmeel's Jollicles. It's an idea I have. Thought about starting a chain of Jerahmeel's Jollicles in some of the planetary bodies, and maybe in the Realm.'
'Interesting idea,' replied Uriel. 'You might be a good candyman. If anyone can, Jerahmeel can.'
'Yeh. Maybe,' said Jerahmeel. He winked at Cosadriel behind the bar. 'Put on that Bon Jovi album again, would you. Lost Highway.'
Cosadriel nodded, and the music came over the sound system in the bar shortly.
'Well, you're going to be a comedian,' said Jerahmeel to Uriel. 'As well as overseer.'
'Not pushing it that hard to start with,' said Uriel. 'It's going to be a thing for this Arc of life as Overseer, but ironically I'm not really going for the glory on the issue. Just a lot of bad jokes I want to push to get sort of moral rights with them.'
'Why is that?' asked Jerahmeel, sipping on his beer, and looking up at the Rugby League match on the screen between Halifax and Melbourne.
'Want to just develop the idea as a cornerstone in my life which people can look back at and say 'Yeh, Uriel had a go at comedy once. He was pathetic, but he had a go. Just so they know I had a go.'
Jerahmeel looked at his Seraphim brother. 'To get a name as a comedian, but a bad one?'
'The point I have in the glory at this time,' said Uriel. 'I mean, it's just to make sure I'm remembered as a comedian. Not a great one. Just known as one. Later on in eternity, then it's the plan. Way down the road.'
'Right,' nodded Jerahmeel. 'Well, that's one way of playing the ballgame I suppose.'
'Indeed it is,' said Uriel. He looked at the screen. 'Halifax are up 27 to 12 after that field goal. 12 minutes left. I think I've lost my bet. I'm buying today.'
'Halifax have been in form as of late,' said Jerahmeel. 'Been following the comp in recent years.'
'Right,' said Uriel. They watched the match, and the score didn't change, and Uriel paid the bill for the night. Then he wandered home late, after midnight, a little drunk, back to the Overseers apartment, and Karel sighed, but got him into the toilet, showered him, and got him to bed. In the morning she rang the overseer's office to say Uriel would not be in till the afternoon, and spent the morning giving him black coffee, and lecturing him on the vice of drunkenness, which Uriel swore he would remember. He got to work, but only did basic duties, looking at some programs in progress at the moment, and went home early to sleep it off. He thought maybe the tavern again that evening, and enjoying himself for a while, but he was overseer now, so decided to leave it as once per month, and Karel was happy enough with that.
* * * * *
'Dreams of love,' said Jerahmeel.
The Cherubim Callodyn, Daniel Daly, looked at the TV set. He adjusted the antenna, and the picture righted itself.
'Why do you use a tube TV?' asked Callodyn to Jerahmeel, looking at the screen. 'Ancient technology.'
'It's for the mancave,' said Jerahmeel. 'Traditional stuff from the early years of TV tech. The way I like it,' he replied.
'This is an original realm product, isn't it?' asked Daniel. 'No make that I can see. Done long before we went to Earth.'
'It is indeed Callodyn,' replied Jerahmeel. 'I have a lot of original things which I use and don't put into sacred storage.'
'Sacred storage is a good name for it,' said Callodyn. 'The heart of eternity, when all was fresh and new.'
'It's still new, each day,' said Jerahmeel. 'God works it like that. Each new day of creation has a plan with it. A focus from the Almight. With its own trials and tribulations, joys and rewards.'
'What about Dreams of Love?' Callodyn asked Jerahmeel, who was looking at the TV set. The angel sat down, and started eating potato crisps, watching the sporting match.
'I've had weird ones, lately,' replied Jerahmeel. 'Thought I'd tell you. You can go speak to that Sandman and inquire what his game is.'
'Daniel of heaven has his own ways,' said Callodyn. 'Not my job to interfere with the roles of the children of heaven. They do work for God.'
'Who officially interprets dreams then?' Jerahmeel asked. 'Who has that job?'
'Daniels and Josephs and Gabriels,' replied Daniel, sitting down next to Jerahmeel. 'Biblically, anyway.'
'So you can interpret my dream?'
'You might be better going to Daniel the Seraphim. Daniel is my human name. You would get a humanistic based understanding.'
Jerahmeel ate a crisp. 'That would probably do ok as well.'
'Right,' said Callodyn.
They spent the afternoon watching golf and eating snacks, and Jerahmeel's twin fed them dinner, and later Callodyn suggested Jerahmeel email him about his dreams, and he'd do some research and get back to him on the subject.
* * * * *
'Blazing fire. It was hell. The fires path waved through all the paddocks, and kept on running, down through the dry riverbeds, and all was scorched.'
The angel had a look on his face. That he'd seen hell.
'What happened?' asked Muriel.
'It was hell in the end,' said the Angel. 'We had millions of fireman from all over Pelnaphora fighting the beast. The biggest wildfire in the history of Pelnaphora. It had consumed billions of acres, and I was on the front line. Big trees, as well. Dried stumps. But we took it down.'
'It has been news for a while in Pelnaphora,' said Uriel. 'You see it mentioned on Realm TV somewhat.'
'I've noticed,' said Jerahmeel.
'You look like you could use a drink,' said Muriel, with a slight chuckle in her tone.
'Ice water, Maam,' replied the Angel.
Muriel went off to get the angel a drink, while Uriel and Jerahmeel left the man and wandered out to the back porch of Uriel's Pelnaphoran estate.
'Still got to pay attention to home duties also,' said Uriel. 'Officially I've got someone in my Pelnaphora Overseer's job, but this is hectic time. A lot of people have been affected by the wildfires, and it's needed my personal attention. Even in my capacity as realm overseer it was warranted.'
'Man. That angel has seen life on the edge,' said Jerahmeel. 'Confronting the worst of our fears.'
'Brave soul,' agreed Uriel, and tipped his can of beer to Jerahmeel, who clicked his can also, and they drank in honour of the brave Pelnaphoran firefighter.
* * * * *
Meludiel's Magical Melladon was going well. Muriel had her Miss Universe PNG outfit on, and Karel was looking a million bucks. They were in a conference room, were it was set up with tables, on a lower Zaphon Tower level.
'Crocheting,' said Daniel to Jerahmeel.
'They like that stuff,' replied Jerahmeel.
Daniel the Seraphim sipped on his pineapple juice. 'Oy, Meludiel. Tastes great,' yelled Daniel over to Meludiel in the corner, indicating the pineapple juice. Meludiel nodded, and returned to her conversation with ladies gathered around her. 'Jesus Christ. Pineapple juice. Don't get too excitable Meludiel,' said Daniel.
'She likes to play the saint,' said Jerahmeel. 'Meludiel has always been like that. Anyway, Callodyn gave me some perspectives. What do you say on my dreams?'
'Similar to Callodyn. God is speaking to your heart and commenting on your life. It is what dreams are about. They always mean something, and are usually about current issues in your life. The way you speak of them means, from what I'm discerning, is that you are appreciated in life, and the universe wants you to know that. People are approving of you a lot at the moment. You are doing things right.'
'Callodyn maintained it was people's heart to me at this time. Sort of the same thing I guess,' replied Jerahmeel.
'Yep,' said Daniel, and went over to get a refill of juice.
'Another cup?' queried Jerahmeel. Meludiel was suddenly next to them.
'Does it suffice?' she asked Daniel.
'Oh, it's a million bucks Melly,' replied Daniel.
'Sarcastic as ever,' replied Meludiel. 'Always my dopey brother with the sarcastic tongue.'
'I mean, come on,' said Daniel. 'Pineapple juice? Don't break the budget sis, ya here.'
'We're well budgeted for,' said Meludiel, looking around. 'And pineapple juice is how we like it,' she said. 'Excuse me.' And she was off.
'A woman and her ideas,' sighed Daniel.
'I guess so,' replied Jerahmeel.
* * * * *
'Harry Potter is a world created by J K Rowling,' said Lucy Smith. 'But it has a reality in it Daniel Radcliffe. There are other realms were we exist in a sense, in these personas. You are my cousin Jonathon Smith and you are Harry Potter. All 3 are one. And I'm not completely sure if that is the end of your life either. Destiny carves destiny, our mother Eve, but the creators of knowledge create destiny in their worlds of creation also. And God has this ahead of us in our own destinies. It all works out in the end,' said Lucy Smith.
'You know this. How?' asked Daniel to Lucy.
'I'm gifted in spiritual stuff, and animistic stuff, and I have insight into the dimensions of this universe, and how it fits together. Lots of new age study and mastery has guided me to many conclusions on things which are laughed at, but which are true in the end.'
'Richard Harris IS Dumbledore. In some sort of reality,' said Daniel.
'Indeed he is,' replied Lucy.
They continued chatting and Daniel showed Lucy around his apartment.
'You've already been Jonathon Smith,' she said. 'You just don't remember,' she said.
'An alternate reality which has already ocurred?' queried Daniel.
'Back in the day,' said Lucy. 'I know. Time moves on. We forget. Things change and evolve.
'That's life,' said Daniel.
'That's life,' replied the witch Lucy Smith.
* * * * *
Uriel was with Karel at Meludiel's Magical Mellodon the following month. Gabriel was sitting with Aquariel, in the corner, with Meludiel. Uriel and Karel walked over, and joined them.
'You know,' said Gabriel, as Uriel sat down. 'Life in the Realm is starting to take on depths of spirit. History overlayed with history, in the animistic energy in the Realm. It's old now. It has a lot of history. There is lot of spiritual life in it.'
'The more I travel, the more I notice things,' said Meludiel. 'Places with strong energy, and you sit back and watch the flowers, and a trill of spirits run through your heart.'
'I notice it in the overseer's office,' commented Uriel. 'Heavy thoughts from those before me seem to pervade at times.'
'Heavy thoughts?' queried Aquariel, looking at her brother.
'It was an intense time,' replied Gabriel. 'Prophetical craziness abounded.'
'He's having a go at that again,' said Uriel. 'Won't let him play ball though. Nip his moves in the bud.'
'Best way to handle Daniel,' remarked Meludiel.
They sat in silence, while Meludiel sipped on her pineapple juice.
'So, any major plans for the realm?' asked Aquariel to Uriel.
'This and that. Some chinese culture exhibits coming up on Zaphona City in the next few decades. A focus on my heritage. Other ideas, but slowly coming through. Much in the planning phase.'
'I see,' replied Aquariel.
'Jerahmeel works with me a lot,' said Uriel. 'Right hand man a lot of the time. And Raguel is in and out a lot.'
'Yep,' replied Gabriel. 'Noticed you three are tight.'
'Seems to have been like that a long time,' said Uriel. 'You and Michael are like that.'
'Azrael and Cosadriel,' said Karel.
'Daniel and Valandriel,' said Meludiel.
'Teams, I suppose,' said Uriel.
'I guess so,' replied Gabriel. 'And such a team that has organised this event,' said Gabriel to Meludiel.
'I know they can get dry at times. But we have to fellowship,' said Meludiel.
'Let's dance then,' said Uriel.
Soon the music was playing, and angels were dancing, and a bit of mirth seemed to be building, and things were cheering up from a dry spell in the conversation.
* * * * *
'Legend of Leopard and Lion?' queriel Daniel.
'Yep,' replied Valandriel. 'That is what it is called.'
'And it's about Uriel and Jesus?' queried Daniel the Seraphim.
'It is a response to the prophecies of Daniel. All of them,' said Valandriel.
'They are having a go?' queried Daniel.
'It is, in their own words, a riposte,' said Valandriel.
'It is a wank,' said Daniel.
'The movie comes out next week. It's in all the movies in the previews,' said Valandriel. 'It stars Uriel and Jesus in armour, warring knights against the infidels of 'Dalydia'.'
'The infidels of Dalydia?' asked Daniel.
'They are taking on Daniel and co,' replied Valandriel. 'They feel we need to be replied to, as I said.'
'We can manage this,' said Daniel.
'We'll need a plan,' said Valandriel.
'Hey, that's what we do kemosabe,' said Daniel.
'True,' replied Valandriel.
They were sitting in Zaphon cafeteria, looking at the menus, discussing the upcoming movie epic.
'I mean, we let it slide,' said Daniel. 'People will forget the moves of the fallible ones.'
'Fallible ones?' queried Valandriel.
'It's something I'm pushing with various websites,' said Daniel. 'Our oppponents are the fallible ones. It's a phrase. I'll push it a while.'
'We'll see,' said Valandriel.
'Have you noticed that Melanie looking at me,' said Daniel, waving back to Melanie the Cherubim who just entered the cafeteria.
'I think sporty likes you,' said Valandriel.
'Weird. She became a pop singer. Well famous because of it. I had a bit of thing for the Spice Girls as well.'
'Maybe that is why she likes you so much,' said Valandriel.
Daniel mused on that, but returned his focus to the menu. They both eventually ordered, while Daniel noticed Melanie looking at him more than once. The attention of a Spice Girl. Interesting.
* * * * *
Well, the jokes did come in time, and Uriel was pleased with himself. The fourth Arc of the Realm of Eternity had its high moments, and its low moments, but in the end Uriel passed the test, did his work competently enough as overseer, lives were lived, and lives went on. Uriel developed his humor, which had been a goal, but did not end up making a great career out of it. Experience for life embellishment, in the end, and nothing more than that. And life, as they put it, went on.
Morning Stars V
replacing Uriel, was expected. Everyone saw it coming, and everyone
knew it was the right thing to happen. They didn’t want much
change at the moment. People were generally happy. But Raguel had
things on his mind. Daniel things.
* * * * *
‘A trial run, you say? That’s not quite what they expect.’
‘Like I said, 45,000 years from next year, and then I take out the million. Call it a sampler of Daniel. They like you. Some of them don’t want to wait forever, if you know what I mean. How about it?’
‘Yeh. Yeh, ok Rags. And thanks. Thanks.’
Later on that day Daniel was over at Valandriel’s, having a little bit of wine, and smiling quite a bit. Hey, this was okay. Quite okay. A bit of a turn. He had forgotten most of his agenda, though. They had said ‘Not really going to happen.’ But Danny remembered the beginning when Sariel had a go and Saruviel had a go. It was mostly Michael, of course, but things happen from time to time. And Raguel didn’t mind that, so Daniel could have an early shot at it. Yeh, that was okay. That was quite fine.’
The year passed, and Daniel was chosen as overseer. He made an announcement that evening and said certain protocols would be altered, and certain laws repealed. ‘It will be a little more relaxed for a while, friends. Not so legalistic. There is an important copyright law, though. Original authors must be cited. Factual and truthful information must be cited. Quite important that. Oh, and another thing, we’re moving temporarily. Out to Mitraphora. Council will be stationed in ‘Lameth’ for about 42,000 years, and then back to Zaphon for 3,000 years, after which Raguel is in charge again. We need a change of scenery for a short while, just to freshen things up a little. And finally there will be certain sexual liberties for about 15,000 years. Certain romances need to be taken care of and so on. There’s a few other things, but mostly life in general. Council will be at Lameth. After the few introductory changes, nothing else from me. I won’t even be at council, but mostly at Zaphon. I won’t be available for any interviews, won’t be making any decisions, won’t be doing any policy, won’t be doing anything, actually. Just my personal life. But, hey, that’s life isn’t it. Talk to you soon, bye for now.
* * * * *
Daniel sat with Valandriel. They hadn’t even needed to send in the Prophecy this time. They hadn’t even needed to do that. Raguel had had his year, and as far as Valandriel and Daniel were concerned, the prophecy had done his bit and gotten him the job he was after. Daniel appointed, very quickly, Valandriel as his second in command, and got to work with his short list of things which needed amending. ‘You can sit in the executive suite, Val. You have stuck with me, so I have the official position at this stage, but you can have the glory of doing the work and getting the fame if you like. It is a short stab at the job, so we have got what we wanted for now.’
‘I am not that worried anymore, Danny. I am number 12 on the list, and I can wait. There is a run up, you see. I don’t think the heart of the run will change very much. We are basically getting one Arc each. It rounds out to that. You are lucky Raguel is so generous, you know. He has given you a fair slice.’
‘It is not too much. Besides, it evens things out somewhat from the earlier years. There is a little bit of flexibility, but hey that is life, isn’t it.’
‘And Raguel? Don’t you think he is a little worried about the 4th beast tag?’
‘I think that problem will disappear once your tenure is over, Val. We worked hard, got what we wanted, and I think, in the end, father gave us a break. Knew we were eager so let us have a go. About time he noticed, actually.’
‘Yes, yes, you’re right. Well, to our duties. And let me know when the day comes for the big seat. It should actually prove interesting.’
‘Will do, Kemosabe. Will do.’
* * * * *
‘So it was just a tactic to get the job?’
‘That is what I am starting to think, Raphael. That is what I am starting to think.’
Michael looked at Raguel, considering his words. ‘So he has suckered you in the end, has he? Suckered us all.’
‘Perhaps,’ said Rag. ‘I was pretty careful that whole year in office to keep my mouth very polite towards God and respectful of his sovereignty. I don’t think I went anywhere near those words of the fourth beast, so I am starting to think it was just a tactic in the end. Like you said, he has suckered us.’
Gabriel nodded. ‘Then we will have to plan a revenge on this Seraphim. A most delicious revenge, I think. A most delicious revenge indeed. But we will wait a while, I think. Let the wind blow over, let things die down. But we will plan now, sow seeds, and not be as obvious as our dear brother.’
‘And let the Devil beware,’ said Uriel, and they all laughed.
* * * * *
Daniel stared at the prophecy. The fourth beast. Raguel. But only 1 year in the position, and now Daniel was in charge. 1 year. 1 solitary year. But Daniel was due 45,000 of them. And then he saw the smile on Raguel's face one afternoon when he came around to discuss some of the current business matters he had been handling, when Daniel made a decision.
'Look. Rags. Stick with it. Here's the key. Ok.'
And Daniel threw the key up into the air, watched as it landed on the desk in front of Raguel, and smiled as Raguel looked at him, slightly startled, as he ducked out of the office, smart enough to have figured something out.
* * * * *
'Right,' said Gabriel to Michael's point. 'Our younger brother is not a sucker. Not going to be so easy to catch out.'
'So lets let it slide for a while,' said Michael. 'I have a plan, ok. It will be his lesson learned.'
'So I'm the fourth beast,' said Raguel.
'Just live with it,' said Raphael. 'Keep things normal and people will see through Daniel's prophecy in the end. He will be caught out in time.'
'I hope your right, Raph. I hope your right.'
'Daniel will get his come uppance one day, brothers. Remember, pride comes before the fall.'
'That it does,' said Gabriel.
And the group all said 'Amen.'
* * * * *
So, after much ado about nothing, really, Daniel returned to his agenda with Valandriel, and resigned himself to the long term agenda he had instead, leaving the overseers to choose their successors in turn, and not really wanting to interfere with that again. He would get his own glory, in time, and had a brief few weeks of it, so that would do for now. Later on, when it would be the right time to seek his ultimate glory, then he would show the world what Daniel the Seraphim, 45th of the Male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity, really was made of.
* * * * *
Thus, for the most part, after a few hiccups, life got going again in the Realm of Eternity, a new overseer, a new Arc, a new beginning. They had been through this a few times now, and it was not that much of a surprise. Raguel had some early changes in policy, as each new overseer usually did, but things started flowing after a while with his ideas, and life went on. a new beginning, a fresh start, a letting go of the past, and marching bravely on into the future.
For many it was a time of change, yet for many, well, the more things changed the more they stayed the same. For many, anyway.
* * * * *
Dorachel. Female Seraphim of Eternity. Twin to Raguel. A happy angel of God. She was sitting, watching 'Dora the Explorer', her favourite show, eatching chocolate biscuits, and slightly concerned about her weight. She was a little chubby. Raguel never minded. Dorachel saw through all that.
'Do you love me?' she would ask.
'You are divine,' he would reply.
'And my waist?' she would ask.
'Only more to love,' he would reply.
'Bastard,' she would think to herself. Men never told the truth.
She sat there, and started feeling depressed again. 'I need to get fit,' she said in a moment of inspiration. She got to her feet, looked at her joggers by the door, looked at the TV, and sat back down, picked up the bikkies, and munched away. Who was she kidding.
A knock on the door. She got up and answered it.
'Oh, it's you,' she said. Karel the Seraphim walked into the room.
They sat, looking at Dora, and Karel handed her a bottle of Coca Cola.
'Did you do it with him last night?' asked Karel.
'Yeh, we did it,' replied Dorachel.
'Was he passionate?' asked Karel.
'Hardly. You'd think after a century's abstinence he would be eager, but he puts it in, explodes, and falls to sleep practically instantly. And I'm left high n dry.'
Karel petted her sisters belly. 'Elenniel has said it enough, don't you think. They like a girl trim, taut and terrific.'
'Shut up and drink your coca cola,' replied the Brazillian.
They sat there for a while, watching Dora lead Boots through the map, and Karel looked at her sister with concern.
'You've never really been terribly slim, have you?'
'Not since the pre-terra days,' replied Dorachel. 'I maintained myself then. But life on earth was lots of fast food and chocolate, and I've never really recovered from that.'
'And whatever you do it never works, right?' asked Karel. Dorachel shook her head. 'Then you need a plan with me, and I'll MAKE you stick to it.'
Dorachel looked at her hopefully. 'What kind of plan?'
'Uriel and Raguel want revenge on Daniel San. It involves a series of sporting events. If you can say 'This is awesome. Getting fit for this is great,' it will inspire Daniel to do the kind of results we want.'
'What is the plan of revenge?' asked Dorachel.
'Never you mind about that,' replied Karel. 'We'll let you know in time.'
'Well, ok. I guess,' replied Dorachel.
'We start in the morning. I'll be here early, and you be ready. Break of Dawn.'
'Ok,' said Dorachel.
* * * * *
For once in her life Dorachel had a bit of motivation. Someone cared about her now. Her sister Karel. And so, getting up before dawn, Raguel not waking, she had a shower, put on her tracksuit, and got into her joggers. And she had just done it when there was a knock.
'Good, you are ready,' said Karel, as Dorachel opened the door. 'Let's go.' And they were off.
They got to the bottom of Zaphon keep, and looked out at the city of Zaphona. 'She's a glorious thing, isn't she,' said Karel. 'To see her in this early morning light.'
'I guess,' replied Dorachel.
'Ok. I know you are hardly fit,' said Karel. 'So today we'll go slow. Don't worry, there won't be any diet change for months. Today we'll just walk the entire way around Zaphon keep, and that will do. We'll do it every day for a week, and then we'll increase.'
'Sounds good,' said Dorachel. They started off, and it was probably a good mile the whole way around the keep, as it had developed over the years, and Dorachel was puffing after only a quarter of the way.
'Is this enough?' asked Dorachel.
'Without discipline and pain you'll never pull through,' chided Karel.
'Yes mistress,' replied Dorachel, and steadied herself as they continued.
There was a buzz of early morning traffic around the keep, as cars and buses went to and fro throughout the city. Zaphona city was the heart of eternity, and the heart of the disc of Zaphora. It had built up a lot over time, and lots of Realm wide business organisations were headquartered there.
'Once you get fit, you know. He'll be more interested,' said Karel.
'Do you think?' asked Dorachel.
'Definitely. He's too sensitive to say anything, but its how they all think. Believe me.'
'That's good,' replied Dorachel.
They continued on with their walk, and Dorachel was starting to get that familiar ache in her lower back. 'I need to rest,' she said.
'We're only half way around. You can rest when we are finished.'
'I need to bloody rest,' said Dorachel, and sat down on some grass. Karel shook her head, but sat down next to her.
'I understand,' said Karel. 'A bit too much all at once. But tomorrow no rest. You'll be used to it a bit more then.'
'Fine,' said Dorachel.
'Anyway. Is Raguel liking his work?'
'He doesn't talk about it much,' said Dorachel. 'He says a few things, but doesn't go into much detail. We talk more about TV and the weather and family and stuff.'
'Oh,' replied Karel, not completely familiar with the conversation topics of Dorachel and her twin. 'He does love you, doesn't he?'
'He tells me that. It's why we are married I suppose. But I think he gets along better with Uriel and Jerahmeel and Sariel quite frankly. Sometimes I'm just his twin which he has to live with I think.'
'Mmm,' said Karel. 'Sometimes a relationship needs spice. To make it come alive. Get fit, get active in the bedroom, and he'll like you more. Go places, instead of TV all the time.'
'Normally we couldn't be bothered,' replied Dorachel.
'Then get bothered,' said Karel. 'Or you'll never be as happy as you could be.'
'I suppose,' said Dorachel.
'Right,' you've had your rest. Here we go again,' said Karel getting to her feet. Dorachel sighed, but nodded, and got to her feet, trudging. They made it though, and Dorachel got back to her suite, laid down on the couch, drank her bottle of water and said 'I'm fucked.' But she felt better. She felt much, much better.
* * * * *
Satan. The Dark Lord of Evil. So he imagined himself. But he was getting a lecture from Samael of Heaven, the real Devil.
'Look, bloke. You are going to have to cut down the shenanigans. Paramount corporation, of which I am a key stakeholder, needs a better reputation. True, shareholders are shareholders because of your name. They like the rep of Satan as the lord of ruthless business practices and hostile takeovers. You're there kind of guy. But we comply with the law or we're fucked up the arse by the big Kahuna. Kapiche?'
'The big Kahuna can bite me,' replied Satan to Samael. He wasn't in a good mood. Samael had been dishing out orders all morning.
'Buddy. I have a hell of a lot more repentance required of me in contractual obligations with the children of heaven, and I won't have my good name ruined by your fuck ups. The prostitutes go. Ok. No more of them hanging around the office here. I know your workers don't give a damn. Hey, your the fucking devil, but Adam and Jesus have been questioning me. Am I faithful to my word.'
'Jesus, is a pussy,' said Satan, in reference to Jesus, the child of heaven, not the literal Jesus of Nazareth of the Cherubim.
'He's a nasty pussy in his mockery, and he has influence with the Wolf. If I don't comply enough there are nasty penalties in the contract.'
'Fine,' said Satan. 'But let me keep Delilah. She's to die for.'
'THEY GO,' said Samael.
'Spoil sport,' said Satan under his breath. 'Ok. I get it. I get it. The prostitutes are not best ethics for business.'
Samael glared at his underling. 'Good. And one last thing. The new Cola agenda. Good idea. Go through with it. Paramount Cola sounds great, with the Devil logo you guys have. Should be a real winner.'
'Sure thing boss,' said Satan, saluting Samael in a sarcastic tone.
Samael glared at him once more, and looked around the office, now seemingly satisfied. 'Apart form that, keep it up. Business as usual. Share prices are good, and we have good negotiations on things going at the moment. Don't fuck it up.' And then he was gone.
'No more pussy,' said Samaen, playing with a paperweight.
'No more pussy my butt,' replied Satan. 'I'll just be more discrete.'
'Coming from you, that's rich,' said Samaen.
'You can bite me,' said Satan. Samaen just chuckled.
* * * * *
'When was it first called Zaphona?' Ariel asked Daniel. 'The city?'
Daniel looked over at his twin. 'Oh, it comes in and out of fashion. It's just the Realm of Eternity to the older angels, but a long time ago the term was coined. I think it was Saruviel, actually. In a memorandum to Michael once, he mentioned the term, which had apparently been used between him and Daraqel and Kantriel a bit. But it might have had another source than that. Not 100% sure. Zaphora, though, has been used since the beginning. The very beginning. But it was never taught much.'
'Right,' said Ariel, and put her face back to the screen.
'Why?' asked Daniel.
'Writing. My autobiography,' said Ariel.
Daniel came and stood and looked at the screen. 'Don't you have an ancient one?'
'I'm updating,' she replied. 'A lot has happened between then and now. Getting it all down as best I can. Quite a lot to say, actually.'
'Am I in it?' he asked vainly.
'Not a word,' she replied.
'Bitch,' he said.
'You are practically on every page so get over it egomaniac.' Daniel grinned in response.
'Are you going to publish? Or is it memoirs for the family.'
'I'll publish,' she replied. 'Noahide Books this time as well if you like.'
'We have a minor interest in Ariel the Seraphim,' replied Daniel. 'She has a moderate amount of fame. Mediocre personality, but a moderate amount of fame.'
'You know Daniel. There was a picture of Satan in the Encyclopaedia of Evil once. Under the most evil of all antagonists. I think they republished recently and you had taken the top slot.'
'And its about time too,' replied Daniel. 'Yes, we will publish your masterpiece. After the Ladies of the Seraphim Torah your reputation is solid as a rock. We would be honoured.'
'I'll expect an advance. 40 Quadrillion.'
'The lady doesn't come cheap,' said Daniel.
'In cash,' she replied.
Daniel raised his eyebrows. 'That's a lot of hard currency sweetie. Are you sure you can store it all?'
'Realm Credits are still serialised,' replied Ariel. 'It's a collection investment in the notes themselves.'
Daniel was curious. 'You? Collect? You don't normally take an interest in stuff like that.'
'Oh, I have my collections. Not where you can get your covetous paws all over them, but I have them.'
'Cash it is,' replied Daniel. 'And that Advance will be fine. Your popular enough throughout the realm to justify it.'
'Good,' replied Ariel, and turned back to her screen to continue on with her work. Daniel watched her a moment, amused, and returned to watching the A Team.
'Investing in cash,' Daniel thought to himself. A side of Ariel he had never really seen. How fascinating.
And the world turned.
* * * * *
'So, we're official then?' asked Gloryel, looking at Ambriel with those eyes.
'Mr Horner has had enough of you then?' asked Ambriel.
'Oh, Christian is a poo pants,' said Gloryel. 'Racing Cars and Chess. He doesn't think about much else. Trying to become a grandmaster at chess, and challenge the world's greatest. He's too dim.'
'Your so kind,' said Ambriel in reply.
'We're official then?' asked Gloryel again.
'If you insist,' said Ambriel. 'I'll let Meludiel know she can move in with Daniel for a while.'
'Good,' said Gloryel. 'And we'll do everything together. Go to restaurants, the red carpet everywhere, theatre. I think 'My Fair Lady' is showing in Zaphona at the moment, so we'll be seen there.'
'So you want to be seen with the Messiah then is it?' asked David, smiling warmly.
'Oh, get over your ego. Religion is for zealots like that Daniel idiot. I'm a simple child of God who keeps faith in love,' replied Gloryel.
'And you are so loving,' said Ambriel in a slightly mocking tone.
'David,' said Gloryel, in a serious tone.
'Yes Geraldine,' he replied.
'Do you know anything about coffee? Caffeine?'
'Enough I suppose,' replied David Rothchild.
'Do you have any companies involved with their manufacture?'
'Messiah Ministries has a comprehensive food empire for feeding the poor and disaffected. We produce a lot of our own product. I would imagine coffee is one of our products.'
'Good, good,' replied Gloryel.
'Why do you ask?' asked Ambriel.
'I sense something coming. And I'd like to be involved in you big boys business this time. Daraqel has been talking with me of late, and he is in the know in a lot of circles. Caffeine is being heavily invested in at the moment, and I assume its coffee. It's possibly cola, though. But he's not 100% sure yet.'
Ambriel looked at her curiously. 'Cola Wars?'
'That might be the next wave of competition,' said Gloryel. 'And I'd like you and me to be at the forefront of it. If its cola I have some ideas. I saw some of Branson's Virgin Cola ideas for a bit. I think I could offer the world a good product if it is the stuff.'
Ambriel nodded, slightly surprised at his sisters ambition. 'Do you want to form a company together then?'
'It's called Ambiglory,' replied Gloryel. 'It was registered three weeks ago. You just have some documents to sign,' she said, batting her eyelashes.
Ambriel smiled. 'You are a devil aren't you,' he said to his Seraphim sister.
'Takes one to know one,' she grinned, and kissed him on the cheek.
* * * * *
Raguel was out in the fields. He was in Terraphora, in some land holdings of his, in Brazil. His nation. The Seraphim and Cherubim not only ruled Discs, but also nations. They acted as 'Princes' and 'Princesses' of various of the cultural nations of mankind. And this sovereignty extended over every developed nation based on the foundational nation throughout the realm. It was a larger glory in reality, especially for the Seraphim and elder Cherubim who claimed the main national glories. Raguel was Prince of Brazil, and always had been. Today he was inspecting his headquarters for his coffee empire, and the main fields were they grew the coffee bean. This was the new agenda in a way – it was becoming clearer through TV reports and word of mouth amongst the Seraphim especially. The Cola Wars were coming, and holding key stocks in coffee, one of the main ingredients in Cola, was a vital asset at this stage. Richard Branson had started the thing off a few weeks back with fresh Virgin Cola advertising, which the Spice Girls had done an advertisement for. Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola had responded very quickly, and Cola ads were currently in vogue on TV networks throughout the realm. Who would win the Cola Wars? Time would tell.
'Well Dramdondoranta? What do you think?' Raguel asked the 66th born of the Cherubim males, head over his Terraphoran Company.
'Soil cultivation is a long and drawn out process, and its a challenge to get the balance just right. And its an awful lot of expense. To do all our coffee fields, well. Well it would take a lot of cash,' replied the Cherubim.
'That, I think, is worth the expense,' replied Raguel. 'If we are going to come out on top in this looming battlefield we need the best quality ingredients, and we're not doing them all. Coffee remains the main product for our beans. But we're doing a lot of them, so what do you think?'
'It's a lot of commitment,' replied Dramdondoranta. 'And unless we are committing very long term to this project, I am not sure if it is the best of options. I know our cola is good – it tastes great. Right up there with Coke. But it's a lot of money Raguel.'
Raguel nodded, and looked out at the fields. He turned to his business employee. 'Do it. Whatever it costs. And do it right. We're not going to lose this fight.'
'Ok,' replied the Cherubim. 'I'll get started immediately.'
Dramdondoranta turned and made his way back to the offices, and Raguel continued staring out at the fields. Busy times. Busy work. Lots to do. A great life because of it. A great life.
* * * * *
'How was work Drammy?' asked Dramdondoranta's twin, Quintathrea.
'Yeh, how was work?' asked his Cherubim sister Verantina.
'It was ok,' replied the angel. 'Challenging as usual. We're going through with the soil cultivation project. A lot of work ahead. Suppliers, new employees, a whole heck of complications.'
'What's life without a challenge,' said Verantina, and returned her focus to the TV set.
Quintathrea came over and kissed him on the cheek. They were married, had children who lived on the planetary bodies, and were a very traditional married couple. She stayed at home as a housewife, took care of cleaning the home, doing the cooking and washing the clothes and the other responsibilities, and spent the afternoon watching the TV shows, which she was addicted to. She spent a lot of time colouring in, and had various exhibits of her work up around their home. They were friendly in the bedroom, and a happily married couple. In fact, probably the most devoted of all the early Cherubim to each other.
'Work is good for the soul, so its good its challenging,' replied his wife to the sigh on Dramdondoranta's face. 'Now its your poker night, and the boys are coming over, so we will make ourself scarce with the other ladies, and we'll be back at midnight as usual.
Dramdondoranta nodded. 'Did you get the usual stuff?'
'It's in the kitchen on the table and in the fridge. Remember, no heavy drinking. I expect you all under the limit by the time I get home. You have infracted a little in recent millennia. A few too many occasions you have been a bit more than just tipsy. So keep it under control.'
'I understand,' he replied. He looked at the TV. It was a gardening show. 'Watching your stuff sis?' he asked Verantina. Verantina was a gardener in her occupation, and worked in Terraphora, often at Terraphon itself, were she had long done various gardening activities.
'Oh, stay in the know. Refresh it all,' replied the female Cheruibm. 'I've seen the show a million times – literally – but it never hurts to keep it all fresh in your mind.'
'No, it doesn't at that,' replied Dramdondoranta. 'Well, I'll have a shower, and then we'll eat.'
'See you later, said Verantina, and his wife smiled at him as he headed off for a shower, and a change into more casual clothes for the night of fun and frivolity.
* * * * *
Kalendrasisus, 67th of the male Cherubim of Eternity, looked at his cards.
'He's bluffing you you silly toffer,' said the posh Draconatissamay, 68th of the male Cherubim.
Kalendrasius looked at Dramdondoranta the serene look of implacable calmness on his face.
'Simon says, confess,' said Kalendrasius. 'Art thou bluffing thy younger but wiser brother?'
'I am surely betting, within the confines of the rules of poker, as my heart does righteously testify me to,' smiled Dramdondoranta. 'Can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen buddy.'
'He has the fraudulency skills of a skunk in a perfumery. Passes off his fowl odour as 'French Stylings', when its Iron Curtain shenanigans at best. He is as obvious as the day is long and the night black,' said Draconatissamay.
'Perhaps,' said Kalendrasius nervously. 'Ok, I call,' said the angel, putting in his chips. 'Full house. Two twos and three queens. Your dead and you know it.'
Draconatissamay smiled, and looked at Dramdondoranta. 'He is fuckethed, and he knoweth it righteously.
'A valiant hand,' said Dramdondoranta. 'Surely my 4 Aces pale in significance,' he said proudly as he laid down the four Aces on the card table.
'There goes my paypacket,' smiled Kalendrasius. 'The bugger has done it again.'
'Forsooth, I sense his deception skills have improved,' mocked Draconatissamay.
'The skill of experience,' replied Dramdondoranta, and raked in his chips. They only gambled with money occasionally, using chips which were cashed out through bank transfers. And tonight was Dramdondoranta's night.
'Time for a drink I think,' said Draconatissamay. 'And some naughty videos.'
'Only MA15+ I'm afraid,' replied Dramdondoranta. 'Quinny comes down pretty heavy on the higher ratings these days.'
'So girls in knickers again is it?' asked Draconatissamay.
'The same old classic,' replied Dramdondoranta.
Soon enough they were in front of the lounge, lights dimmed, drinking beer and eating pretzels and nuts, as they watched the German classic, which had no subtitles, but they knew the language anyway, of German and Dutch girls running around in Knickers all over German fields, breasts showing to the world, a very soft core production, meant to tittilize the masses who had certain decency requirements in their entertainment of the manly kind. And the poker night passed in frivolity, and not long before midnight they were tipsy enough, but not drunk, not technically, and when Quintathrea came in with the other ladies, they looked at their men playing around like fools, noticed the questionable movie on the TV screen, but calmly let the situation be. Boys would be boys, and they were under control enough on this occasion. On this particular occasion anyway.
* * * * *
Raguel always ended up looking back at his time as overseer with happiness at a job well done. He’d carried the torch and the tradition of those gone before him, and cemented his name in legacy. He was content. It was not everything predictable, and there were new ideas and new happenings but, again, it was in its own way continuity, not everything predictable, but predictable enough also. It was good. Life as overseer of eternity, for Raguel the Seraphim, had been good. But what the future held? God only knows.
Gabriel, Gabriel. When will you learn, my fine feathered
Satan grinned once more at Seraphim Gabriel of Eternity, dressed in a chicken outfit, out the front of one of Satan’s fast food restaurants, somewhere on the disc of Mitraphora. Gabriel had lost a match of chess with Satan, and had agreed to dress as a chicken to promote one of Satan’s Chicken Restaurant empires. And so, with the dark lord of evil watching on, Gabriel was handing out flyers in the shape of a chicken, doing his very best not to be embarrassed.
‘I’ll get you for this, you know, Satan. I’ll get you back. When you are least suspecting you will enter into a DARK agreement, and vengeance shall be mine.’
‘Dream on, punk,’ responded the dark one. ‘Now remember, you have 3 solid years of this work before your time is up. A wager is a wager.’
‘I am still not sure how you won. I had you with only a few moves to play, and suddenly it was checkmate.’
‘Whatever. Now remember, smile and say ‘El Supremo’s make the best chicken in town’. Come on, give it a try,’ he said again, a smirk on his face.
‘El Supremo’s make the best chicken in town,’ said Gabriel blandly.
‘Surely you can do better than that, sayeth I. Now put some heart into it.’
‘El Supremo’s make the best chicken in town,’ said Gabriel, this time with just a tad of enthusiasm. Satan looked distressed, shaking his head. ‘It will have to do, I guess. But remember – 9 to 5. 9 to bloody 5, and only half an hour for lunch. Have fun,’ he said, walking back into the restaurant.
Gabriel grumbled as he walked off. ‘You can have fun and take this chicken suit and shove it up you’re…… Oh, yes Maam,’ finished Gabriel, to a lady who had walked up to him, inquiring about the flyer. ‘Yes,’ he said, handing her a flyer. ‘El Supremo’s make the best chicken in town.’ As she walked into the restaurant Gabriel smiled to himself. Hopefully a satisfied customer. Hey, this wasn’t that bad after all.
It was 4 O’Clock in the afternoon. Gabriel was still at work, yonked after a hard day’s yakka, and a little birdie had sent certain priority emails to certain people. Suddenly he was confronted with 4 very sarcastic angels.
‘Heh, heh, heh. That looks like fun,’ said Daniel the Seraphim.
‘Shut up Dan.’
‘He’ll get the hang of it,’ said Raphael.
‘Yes, I am sure he will, finished Michael.
Gabriel turned to the other angel. It was Aquariel.
‘And you wondered why I said no,’ stated Aquariel, giving him a good old fashioned dressing down with her look.
‘Look, I lost a wager. I had no choice,’ said Gabriel defensively.
‘Heh, heh, heh,’ said Daniel again, grinning.
Aquariel summed it up. ‘I guess you are too much of a CHICKEN to get a real job anyway. Too many tough roosters in the hen house competing with you.’
Gabriel groaned, the other three laughed, took flyers from him, and went inside to eat some chicken.
When he had finished for the day he joined them and had a tasty chicken burger. Actually, it was pretty good chicken. He was not quite sure if El Supremo’s did in fact make the best chicken in town, but after a solid day’s handing out flyers, he was not sure if he really cared. And as he munched down his chicken, the other 4 just cracking jokes and ribbing him, he was grateful that he at least had some friendly company in what could end up one of the more demanding jobs in the realm of eternity. At least he was grateful for that.
great grandmother of King David, was a conservative enough sort of
lady. She was Jewish now, by conversion and Bat Mitzvah upon
Televere, and walked with God with a gentle and quiet serenity which
her husband Boaz had long praised her for. She lived in the town of
Paradision on the southern continent of Androma on the planet
Televere, which was also known as Televon. It was a pleasant planet,
with a gentle life, and not much great activity – which is
really how the inhabitants generally liked things to run. They were a
conservative people, the Televerans, of a strong monotheistic faith
and kind disposition. Half the populace were Jewish, another quarter
Christian and another quarter Noahide. They were a god-fearing people
because of this balance and all respected and followed the decrees of
the ruling Monarch, Albert Rothchild.
Ruth had many friends around Televere who she emailed often. She and Boaz invited them to dinner very often and they had visiting guests at least half the days of the year. But that was the life of the eternal, so they had discovered, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
There next door neighbour on one side had been Daniel Daly who had returned to the Realm of Eternity to live there, for he was angelic in nature, going by the angelic name of Callodyn. Ruth had been fond of Daniel and had sought out a close friend of hers by the name of Claudia for them to hopefully, in Ruth’s mind, find some romance. But it had not eventuated and Ruth continued to pray for Mr Daly’s welfare on that issue because of it.
As a couple they were largely incognito from much of the general populace, a necessity of their fame unfortunately. Most Paradisions knew who they were, but would not spread knowledge of them out of personal request, and that was the way it had generally remained since their settling on Televere.
Boaz worked different jobs from time to time in Televere, often choosing something new simply to embellish life somewhat. He sat on the council of Televere, were a goodly portion of his regular income came from, and apart from that worked on and off in the local farming collective. Televere had an admixture of capitalist and socialist principles – in the heavenly life people were closer now, and it was not so necessary to strive for selfish purposes, an ideal of capitalism, thus socialistic principles found more of a home in the community. But they were capitalists as well and bought an ample supply of the lovely goods and services which passed through the stores of their towns.
Boaz liked the internet of Televere a great deal, and now collected stamps of Televere. He had 4 levels of sub-basements beneath the house, all filled with various stamps Televere had now produced. Eventually, so he told Ruth, he would either sell them or give them to charity and simply start again. Collectables, in the stuff of eternal life, while still having great value for a while, did not really matter that much in the end. Life invariably went on and you could always start a collection again. But he would keep the oldest premium ones permanently, he assured his wife, for they made an excellent long term investment.
They attended the synagogue each Sabbath and prayed to Hashem quiet and simple prayers of thanks and adoration. And therein they were content. They had children sparsely, over 100 now, but that was not really a great deal in the vast amount of time they had lived now on Televere. But they had no great need for further children and, generally, were largely content with their lot in life. This was life, Boaz often commented to her, and it was a happy and pleasant enough journey down the eternal hallways. Yet, whatever beckoned in the future – well time would only tell.
‘Do you think the Rabbi will accept his request for conversion? You know how they are these days with Christians who want to join Israel – they almost definitely refuse outright. Way too many problems with answering endless questions, so the Rabbis say. Besides, why bother leaving Christian faith.’
Leah looked at the bearded man by the name of Nathan Smith, noticed that the beard was in fact quite lengthy, the sign he had been growing it for a while, and responded to Ruth.
‘I don’t know. The beard will likely impress our Rabbi. He is fond of things like that. It will likely come down to how well he answers the Rabbis questions on Torah. If he speaks well the Rabbi may consider him. Perhaps this Nathan is a wise man, who fears Hashem. We will see soon enough.’
Ruth nodded, picked up a cookie, and continued staring at the synagogues guest who was doing his best to look unnoticeable.
‘I think he knows we are looking at him, Ruthie. Best not to embarrass the man.’
Ruth nodded and turned away from her stirs, looking out on the after service supper.
It was the usual thing, after Friday night Sabbath service, for the congregation to take a supper together, which had been prepared just before the Sabbath. Fortunately the coffee was still somewhat hot and the congregation sat as a group, smiling and chatting and enjoying each other’s company.
After a while Rabbi Pearlman spoke up. ‘Brothers, sisters. I would like to introduce you all to a seeker of conversion. He is a Christian man who has been walking in Noahide faith. Yet he feels called to join Israel and we are considering his request. It is not often we seriously consider new converts, but I will let the man speak for himself.’ The Rabbi motioned to the man and he stood and introduced himself.
‘Hello everyone. Shabbat Shalom. Well, I am a simple sort of guy, really. I am unmarried, and have lived on Televere for a few centuries since coming from earth. I moved to Paradision late last year and work in the farming community. I can’t really say, for sure, if it is Hashem leading me and guiding me. I can’t say that. But I feel a need to connect to Israel – to join them. I feel as if they are the people of my future, the people of my destiny. And I feel this deep inside, as if a voice of my heart is saying it is the right thing to do. I can’t really prove these words to you with just the saying of them, but I can say that if you can accept me into your congregation, well. Well, I wouldn’t let you down.’
There was a warm clap as he sat down again and the Rabbi thanked him.
A little later on Boaz had signalled that it was about time to leave, but before they made off Ruth asked her husband if he would consider inviting Nathan to dinner. Boaz shrugged and, after returning from making the request, nodded to her that Nathan had agreed. ‘Next Saturday night, at 7, just after the end of Sabbath. He has agreed to come around.
‘Good,’ said Ruth. ‘He might need to find a friendly face in our congregation if he is serious about joining us. It will also be a good opportunity for us to sound him out.’
‘You and your meddling,’ said Boaz with good humour.
‘I am not meddling at all. I am simply acting wisely. Now let’s be going. I am getting tired.
As they drove home Ruth gave thought to the new potential convert. While it was true conversion was now very difficult to achieve, it was not forbidden technically. It would be interesting to see, therefore, just what the hearts desires of this Nathan Smith really were made of towards her people. And with the dinner of Saturday night she assumed she would find out the answer to that question soon enough.
Nathan proved an intelligent and charming man to Ruth. But it was Boaz who took a shining to him. The lad collected Stamps of all things, and Boaz and Nathan spent hours in the basement after dinner going through some of Boaz’s extensive stamp collection. When they returned, chatting about this and that watermark and other stamp related business, Ruth put out some cookies and coffee for her guest. As they munched Ruth let fly some of the questions she was interested in hearing answers to. She was asking from her own experiences and her own desires, to see if such things were also in the heart of Nathan.
‘So, why Israel, Nathan? Why not stick with Jesus. Surely he has been good to you.’
Nathan looked at her with a calm demeanour and spoke very sincerely. ‘Yes, Jesus has been remarkably good to me, Ruth. I saw him once at a Mega church, preaching a sermon. It really was captivating. But, now while this may sound strange, Jesus is just one man. And while the church is full of people, it really sort of only has one ultimate authority apart from God and that is in the person of Jesus. Israel is different to that. Israel is almost more like a family in this respect. And, of course, that is exactly what it is. A family. I want that for myself, one day. The kind of family with the bonds of trust and respect that Israel has. And in joining my seed to the Israelite community I am sure that I will find the strength I desire for my offspring.’
‘That sounds very sensible,’ commented Boaz. ‘If you speak as such to the Rabbi I am sure he will look favourably upon you.’
‘It is not that easy, Boaz. I could only wish it was. The Rabbi expects high quality letters of recommendation from past pastoral figures, as well as extensive Torah knowledge. And while I have studied Judaism greatly, I fear I am still too young for the Rabbi to approve my conversion. I feel, in the end, it will be as I expect. Not until a thousand years of age in this heavenly realm will they approve. Not until I have really lived and known the commitment I am saying I am prepared to make.’
‘And is that a bad thing, Nathan? If they want you to wait.’
‘No. Not really. It’s frustrating, and time delaying in a sense. But I know I must have patience.’
‘Yes,’ agreed Boaz. ‘If you are to be approved of, time will generally be the testing of you. But you can know you have my vote of confidence.’
‘Thanks Boaz. That means a lot.’
They continued on for a while, discussing various aspects of Nathan’s plight, and as he left for the night, wishing them well, Ruth could see the struggle of the heart in Nathan Smith. He desperately wanted a family – a family in a way he had not found out in the Noahide or Christian world. And, while knowing she must respect her Rabbis judgement, she silently felt for him and hoped, perhaps against hope, the Rabbi would show leniency in this particular case.
Rabbi Pearlman was a sensible and forthright Rabbi. Yet he had to consider not just Nathan Smith, but his congregation and the reputation of himself and his congregation for the decisions they were to make. In Televeran life the general consensus was the requests for conversion were now to be refused. Noahide and Christian faith were established of such a degree that the necessity for a soul to join the people of Israel had diminished and really was not necessary. But, technically, under a number of Rabbinic rulings, under the most exceptional of circumstances a case could be considered. Yet, even then, the standard practice of turning away a convert a number of times to determine their seriousness must be held to and, at the very least, a long and considered study of the Torah having had taken place. And, as such, the Rabbi knew what he had to do.
Ruth regretted not seeing Nathan at the services anymore, but the Rabbi was of the opinion that Noahides should generally only congregate in their own assemblies, as was the custom on Televere. Nathan had been turned away in the end. The Rabbi had cited that it was practically impossible for him to make any other decision, and Nathan had left, broken hearted. But when Ruth had inquired of the Rabbi later on that week as to his decision he had taken her aside, spoken a few words of his wisdom on the subject, and she had nodded. ‘Not yet, Ruthie. Not yet. But one day? Well, maybe.’
And so life returned to its merry strum and ways and Ruth grew that little bit wiser in the ways and knowledge of the Rabbis and the ways of the people she had committed her heart to belong to.
Ambriel at the Farm
owned a big farm in Terraphora. He had bought it with Meludiel in the
early years of Gabriel’s term as Overseer for the Realm of
Eternity and now, 3 million years later, Raguel happily ensconced as
Overseer of the Realm and doing fine, Ambriel had taken a few
thousand years off his main duties to relax with Meludiel and let
life simply pass on by.
It was simple, the farm life. Very simple. He and Meludiel – the two of them – milked cows each morning, collected eggs, and occasionally picked out some tomatoes and onions from the garden to use in the big
Omelettes Meludiel loved to cook for them both. Ambriel, from long experience, when he needed to pee, often peed on the tomatoes because they gave them a very tangy and lovely flavour when they were ripe.
‘Human and Angel Urea is very refined because of what we eat,’ he commented to Meludiel once, and she acknowledged the delicious flavour which had come from his pee’s nutrients into the tomatoes. It was
natural living, and she was perfectly at home with it.
Once, when they were out a back paddock late in the day, the two of them came over a hill and were confronted with a stallion on the back of mare, humping away. As soon as it saw the both of them it suddenly stopped and they skitted away a distance. ‘Oops,’ said Meludiel. Ambriel smiled and looked at her. She was dressed in white lace, and looked beautiful. He put his hand on her shoulder and smiled. ‘Perhaps we could have some fun.’
‘Here?’ she said. ‘You are kidding aren’t you?’
He wasn’t kidding and, when she was down on all fours in the dirt, naked, shivering a little, her blessed grunting behind her as he thrust his manhood into her glory, she thought to herself ‘The Joys of Nature.’
There was another memorable time. They had been to a local antique store and purchased a rather large grandfather clock. When Daniel came to visit he looked at it suspiciously. ‘I’ve seen that clock before,’ he said. Ambriel smiled.
Later that week, Ambriel coming into the kitchen early one morning, thinking he had heard some noise, he found the clock gone and there, Daniel, just outside, lifting the clock carefully, seemingly dragging it to his van.
‘What the hell are you doing?’ Ambriel asked Daniel.
Daniel looked guilty, but said nothing.
‘You are stealing our bloody clock,’ said Ambriel.
‘Oh. Well. Sorry. I had to.’
‘Well, I owned this clock a few thousand years ago. I recognized some of the markings on it. There is something inside. An old gem which I hid there once. It was part of a rare set of 7 gems I had stored away.’
‘Why did you hide it?’ queried Ambriel, curious.
‘Well, I won the 7 gems in a bet with Satan, who said he would steal them back eventually, and so I hid all 7. For the life of me I can’t remember were I put the other 6, but as soon as I saw the clock I suddenly remembered that I had hidden one in it.’
‘Oh,’ said Ambriel.
And so, getting out some tools, they pulled the clock mechanism apart and, sure enough, they found a beautiful opal of dazzling brilliance. Daniel said ‘Well, it really is your clock. You have it.’
Ambriel smiled and thanked him.
Later on that day, having been in the workshop that morning, he presented the opal to Meludiel with a chain now attached to it.
‘Were did you get it?’ she asked.
‘Don’t ask,’ he responded.
There was another time, when Michael came to visit, that they were up all night with a version of ‘Advanced Monopoly’. The three of them – Michael, Ambriel& Meludiel were all determined to win, but Ambriel had collected the most properties and looked the most likely.
Then it happened – he took a chance card, was fined taxation and, because he had too many properties, 1 of them had to be redeemed to the bank. Meludiel landed on the property next turn and became the first player to complete a run of all 5 colours of a property. She was lucky. Slowly, inevitably, she managed to put houses, and then hotels, and finally the bank on her property and, as time passed, and the other two landed on her from time to time, she claimed the victory. She was very happy with that.
The farmhouse was quite big. It had 3 levels and then an attic as well and Meludiel sometimes stole away to the attic, sitting up there in the afternoon, sitting near the window, reading one of Daniel’s volumes of Angelic fiction she liked, in a little world of her own. She would sit there, occasionally petting the cat on her lap, looking out the window at the farm, listening to the noise of the animals.
She would sit there, sometimes well into the afternoon, sometimes into the night, and Ambriel would rarely disturb her. He usually knew were she was.
She read through Daniel’s chronicles many times and, when he occasionally added yet another volume to the voluminous saga she would, in time, finish off the saga and start again. Her reading list grew each time.
She would also, from time to time, bring up some ice tea and sit there, one of her CDs playing in the background, thinking about life and God, and just being happy simply being alive. Simply being.
Out the back of the farmhouse was a windmill. It was quite a large one, and there was enough room for a verandah of sorts around the top layer of the windmill. Meludiel would go up there, and look out over the cornfield. She would often think of the Superman movie, were Clark was in the field. She would sit up there and feel the spirit of the land, and her heart was moved each time. She would gaze out into the distance, imagining the fields going on forever, even though she had a pretty good idea were they ended. It was spiritual – it was life – and she did it often, escaping away, at peace with herself and God.
Ambriel’s own private meditations in those years were often down in the basement of the farmhouse, sitting in the small lounge down there, reading some book or another. It was a quiet place, a little cold, especially in winter, but Meludiel said she would not disturb him down there.
There was a pinball machine against the wall and, often, he would play it. Going for his high score again and again, just to pass the time, just to enjoy himself.
And at other times he would sit there, reading through a text, thinking over what it was saying, and staring at the Aquarium, at the goldfish, working out life. Working through ideas. Working through what it was all about.
He painted war game figures down there, at one end of the basement. In the local community there was a strong war-gaming presence, and they played, usually, Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Ambriel delighted in painting the figurines and putting in a wholehearted effort to ensure they were of a high quality.
One campaign he was on was divided into a 300 year scenario of various conquests and quests – he did his best, but his main rival was simply stunning at the game in those days. He was clued up to all Ambriel’s moves and always seemed to be just that step ahead. But he finished the campaign well, and his rankings in Realm wide statistics benefited because of it.
He thought on eternity a lot in those days. How things just went on, and never really ended. That they were children of eternal life, and simply really just had to ‘BE’ to enjoy it all. Oh, there was always this and that to fuss about, but life could be as complex as you wanted to make it, or as simple as you wanted to make it. It all depended on you.
He wrote a novel, late in the reign of Raguel, called ‘Joy’. It was semi-autobiographical, about a farming couple retired from the big smoke. In truth he melded a lot of his own adventures with Meludiel into a contrived plot, but he was happy with the outcome. The book charted at number one of the realm bestseller list, mainly because of his fame, but the critics also remarked that it was extremely well written and had genuine warmth.
There were a lot of adventures in those days on the farm and, although they never sold the place, they eventually returned to the mainstream world and got caught up with the affairs of Phanuel’s overseersmanship. They were good times and, so Ambriel promised Meludiel, they would inevitably return there one day, but for now they had ended, and life moved on. It moved on, again, into the complex riddle of eternal life and destiny charted yet another adventure for the likes of Ambriel, Seraphim Angel of Eternity.
Morning Stars VI
down. Sort of. God was in a good mood. Phanuel was due. The
Australian angel. Competent. Skilled. Dedicated. Like Saruviel in
many ways, but without the obvious rebellion. Sensible enough to stay
loyal to God. It would be a good million years.
Raguel handed Phanuel the executive toilet key. 'Be warned. That toilet has suffered more abominations than the shitpot of Satan. Uriel left it in quite a ragged state when I took over, and I wasn't too kind to it either.'
'I'll take not,' replied Phanuel, chuckling.
'Well, bro. Remember, you choose your successor, and when you retire. It's tradition, the million years of service, but not law. We don't allow it to be law. If you choose to go on you will be establishing new precedent, and nobody has done that yet, but we've followed the tradition anyway. The Realm is now in your hands,' said Raguel.
'I'll do my best,' replied Phanuel.
Cindradel came in with a large chocolate mud cake, and several workers. 'Welcome boss,' said Cindradel. 'We have a good feeling about you.'
'I'll try not to disappoint,' replied Phanuel.
They celebrated, and Phanuel enjoyed his cake, and Cindradel said she'd come back after lunch with a basic mentoring session and to get him up to scratch, but she said to just turn on the PC and read the notes. He did. It took him about 2 hours, and when he'd read them he'd gotten most of the current picture on the state of play in the Realm and key factors of current concern. He'd already handled work like this for a long time, but he knew, it was a step up. A much bigger responsibility. He'd be professional – he always had been. But, for the most part, no great dramas for his tenure, and mostly business as usual, and let the Realm citizens get on with living their own lives. He looked at the notebook in front of him with 'Get to Tasks' written on it, surveyed the list, and got stuck in. No point in wasting time. There was work to do.
* * * * *
The 347th Cherubim of the Realm of Eternity, Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, who had been born with that name in his earthly manifestation, was the actual founder of the Advancing Noah Movement, which comprised the Seven Divine Fellowships and the Assemblies of Faith. He'd gotten the project started, but it had mainly been his offspring Callodyn the Cherubim, who bore his name also and Daniel the Seraphim, who also bore his name, of which one was a son and the other a grandson, but they delighted in confusing the whole identity of things. Daniel had known the Seraphim Phanuel on Earth, a buddy of his, Aaron Goodsell, who'd taken up his Noahide Karaite faith for the most part also. They'd met in Potters House Christian Pentecostal Church, alongside another famous individual, Peter Fletcher, founder of a renegade Catholic Church, dedicated to quite a heathen lifestyle. But it did have its good points. Daniel, Peter and Aaron all played basketball. Daniel was not overly skilled, but improving slowly, and another friend, Troy Cooper, played as well, and they were all today on the outdoor basketball courts found at the western side of Zaphon keep.
'So you are big bossman now, bro,' said the Fletch to Goodsell.
'Big bossman,' replied Phanuel.
'And you think your new status has improved your basketball skills?' inquired Troy. 'I can still take you.'
'Dream on,' replied Aaron.
'Right. Teams,' said Fletch. 'I'll take the Coop, You and Danno are the opposition.'
'Righty O,' said Aaron.
And they played for a while, but not too seriously, and Fletcher and Cooper were ahead 52 to 36 when they called it off.
They sat on the seats of the court, sweating a bit, and drinking their bottled water.
'You still suck Daly,' said the Fletch.
'I scored half of our team's points,' defended Daniel.
'You scored 17, I scored 19,' said Aaron.
'Close enough,' replied the Cherubim.
'He's getting better,' said Troy.
Peter looked at Daniel. 'He's no Phil Smythe yet. But he's improving. Keep at it Danno. You'll land that Canberra Cannons gig one day.'
'I'll keep that in mind,' responded Daniel.
Peter looked at Aaron. 'So, what does the overseer have planned for us all?'
'Steady times,' replied Phanuel. 'I'll come up with a theme soon enough. They've usually all had an agenda. Give me time. Something will crop up.'
'We'll wait,' said Fletch.
'Whatever you do, don't let Danno's kids go wild again. They piss everyone off with their prophetical rantings,' said Troy.
Phanuel looked at Cherubim Daniel and grinned. 'I'll keep that in mind.'
Daniel smiled back, but did not respond. They finished off the game, and Daniel and Aaron caught up to level, and they called it a draw at that point.
'We'd have taken you if we'd played on, old goat,' said Aaron to Peter.
'Keep on dreaming,' replied the MVPGOAT. 'Keep on dreaming.'
* * * * *
Brindabel was the sixth-born of the female Seraphim angels of the Realm of Eternity, twin to Phanuel. She was of the Indigenous Aboriginal Australian community, a well known actress, Deborah Mailman in her human manifestation. And she was librarian of Zaphon keep, a job she had undertaken eternally, so it seemed to her. Taking books, putting them back on their shelves, chasing up overdues, helping clients find the book they were after, explaining library hours and study rooms and how the catalogue worked – these were the endless tasks of Brindabel, but she did it all with competency and, most of all, patience. Yes, she needed a lot of patience, especially with Michael, the firstborn, who was a dedicated student of the library, and was always asking her to research the texts of the library to stay abreast of 'Core Realm Knowledge' as he put it, primarily the eternal library articles, which he expected her to know fluently and engage with him on discussion upon. 'The librarian has to know his or her stuff,' was Michael's oft comment of encouragement to her. She didn't mind. It made her bright, and that was what he wanted and desired for the premiere librarian in the realm. She didn't really think that – that she was number one. There were some very gifted and knowledgable librarians she had met over the years, especially at realm conferences on library studies, but she knew she was good. Talented at her job, and well learned. It gave her pride in some ways: that she was valued and respected and wanted. It gave her a sense of belonging and importance, and that she mattered. That she mattered in a world were replacing her could be done in an instant, but knowing that they would never want that. And, for the most part, it was her eternal calling. She'd decided that long ago. She had a disc of overseersmanship she was technical authority over, the 76th disc of the Realm, Brindaphora, but she delegated out that responsibility. Yet it never left her mind, and much of her late afternoon, especially after closing hours, was going through reports from the overseer to monitor the activities of Brindaphora to ensure lives and matters were happy and content, and squabbles and problems were dealt with according to Realm law and custom, and the general sense of Torah justice. In the end, Brindabel was probably happy. As happy as you probably could be. She and Phanuel were good friends, but not quite husband and wife. He had other ladies, but they shared their lives very often, especially at the moment, when he was seeing her regularly. It had been quite common, at the moment, for him to drop into the library and look around, as if he was monitoring things, and staying abreast with Zaphon life. But she caught him, occasionally, giving her a glance. He didn't say anything, but she knew. He was watching over her. Watching over his twin. Yes Brindabel was happy, life was good, and she probably, even if she could, wouldn't have it any other way. Probably no other way.
* * * * *
Daniel puzzled. He was studying revelation, thinking it over. Samael, over by the window, looking out over the Silver city spoke up.
‘7 heads. 7 Kings. I know them, now. I know them. Judaism. Christianity. Islam. Bahai. 4 of them well established, and the Saruvim have chosen them well, each as their own. And now the saviour is approaching, approaching soon. Very soon. The Bahai’s wonder saviour, finally ready after lengthy preparation.’
‘You slew the lamb. You slew Jesus. And he was slain.’
‘And by his death he purchased a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy nation. For they are now loyal to him, for he has suffered in their eyes.’
‘And the holy ones?’ asked Daniel.
‘Do you need to ask?’
‘Let me guess. Samaritans. Karaites. Unitarian literalists.’
‘Yes, that is what they all are,’ responded Samael.
‘Judaism, Satan’s religion, as Jesus always maintained. The Mishnah, the Gemara, the Zohar, the extensive rabbinic works. An endless parade of manmade abomination in the name of the Most High. And the Trinitarians do the same, endlessly adding to God’s own words with their own. And of course the Muslims and the Bahai. All in the name of him who is.’
‘And thus choose the first 4 Saruvim each of these religions in order, to rule and be king, in a false showing of humility. And now the fifth kingdom beckons, the fifth hill beckons, and Samaen seeks his destiny,’ responded Samael.
‘And each builds on holy Jerusalem, the city of each of these so called religions of God, the apparent chosen ones, and the holy city. For Babylon the Great is called ‘That Great City’ and only one other city is called that Great City in Revelation, and it is ‘That Great City Where our Lord was Crucified’ and that city is Jerusalem.’
‘Yes, the time is approaching, brother. The time is approaching,’ and silence descended on a tower in the Silver city in a deep conversation between Samael of Infinity and Daniel the Seraphim of Eternity.
* * * * *
It was a regular work day. Phanuel had been approaching his job, so far, with that attitude. Regular work. Part of him felt that, in the end, people could make quite a bit of fuss about work if they wanted to. Many did. But it was just there to pay the bills, in truth, for so many. The things they did for a bit of excitement and adventure in the world, to spice up the Garden of Eden from simply picking fruit and fornicating, and not much else. Much ado about nothing in the end to Phanuel, but it kept you busy enough. He enjoyed his work. He wasn't a worker, per se. He could bludge it up with the best of them. But he usually enjoyed working, and feeling as if he was contributing, and being useful to the world. He'd served a long time as Overseer of Romnaphon Keep in Terraphora, and then in his own disc of Romnaphora, the sixth disc of the Realm of Eternity. Not every Seraphim or Cherubim, by any means, was dedicated to their disc overseer work. Many had delegates who did the job on their behalf, and resumed something of their more regular life and own dreams. But Phanuel worked as Overseer on the sixth disc most of the time, taking his responsibility seriously, and that was that. His twin, Brindabel, was overseer of the 76th Disc of the Realm of Eternity, but while she monitored the disc religiously, and had regular reports from its delegated overseer, she remained eternally dedicated to his librarian job in Zaphon library. Like Cindradel as secretary to Zaphon Keep overseer, and Kaladel in the Zaphon kitchen, some things never changed. Some people seeming had a place in life, and never left it. Valandriel was like that in some ways, Phanuel had noticed from time to time. He spent an awful lot of time with Daniel the Seraphim, doing their various plannings and schemings together, but he was often found at his own disc of Kazraphora, the 12th disc of the Realm of Eternity, undertaking its overseer's job quite seriously. Conversely, Daniel delegated his own job for the 45th disc of Danielphora, and apparently didn't take that much of an interest. He had other things on his mind. But Phanuel, in some ways, knew his place in life, and didn't think it worthwhile or even necessary to deviate from the standard plan that much. He liked where God had placed him, and that was pretty much that. The theme idea was on his mind – what the boys had asked him about – what would HE do in his turn as overseer. He would leave the idea mostly alone for the time being, let a few millennium pass and think about it occasionally, and was confident enough an idea would permeate when it needed to. Or something or someone would come along and point him in the right direction. Either way he was comfortable for the time being, and was content in life as it was. And the pay was pretty good at the moment as well. Lucky that.
* * * * *
It had been written in the second Quran that the promised Warrior of Virtue of Bahai faith would be born a thousand years hence from the proclamation of the second Quran. Yet, in truth, that Warrior had not advented. Not in a thousand years. Yet, in his defence, Callodyn who had written such a text was merely following Bahai tradition itself in such a claim. Yet, it seems, he was without error in the end, for the Bahai in fact taught that at least a millennia from the proclamation of Bahai faith must occur BEFORE the Warrior of Virtue could in fact advent. And thusly, in the ‘Third Quran’, written not much later, Callodyn referred to this point of Bahai faith and made the declaration that it would likely be many years, perhaps beyond counting, before the world would be satisfied at the advent of such a warrior of virtue. And thus Callodyn declared this truth.
Yet Daniel the Seraphim thought differently, and declared that it would be nearly 2 million years before the Warrior of Virtue would advent, but his thoughts of difference were based on the book of his younger Cherubim brother in the Jewish Bible, the Book of Daniel itself, and he claimed that the first four beasts were in fact Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahai in their corrupt form which rejected the scriptures themselves, exalting the words of their followers over their chief books. The Warrior of virtue was thus the Son of Man, who would rise to the Ancient of Days, and be given glory and authority. Yet Daniel posited this truth – if the Son of Man did fall, and tasted corruption, and fornicated spiritually with the words of men, positing them as the words of God and thus being shown fallible, then the Warrior of Virtue, in his own testing of life, would enter the domain of John the Apostle and his Holy revelation. For then there would be five kings of the beast, and the beast would indeed and in truth have seven kings ultimately. And this kingdom would be the false beast, one of the seven kings being the Antichrist eighth head beast. And in such a case Jesus himself would end up Christ, and there would be those two figures, one who would be ‘Lord of Lord’s and King of Kings’ and the other ‘King of King’s and Lord of Lord’s’, for revelation spoke of two differing figures in Daniel’s viewpoint, and he suggested that Gabriel perchance be one of these and Michael perchance be the other. And in this theory Gabriel was ‘A’ Lamb of God, in the mould of Jesus himself, and that Gabriel as a Lamb of God would taste a death, like Jesus tasted a death, and from this death he would purchase for God a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. For Gabriel, being a Christian, being so supremely dedicated, would be of such faith that he would literally take up his cross, follow Christ, and be crucified (in a manner of speaking) himself. And, thusly, if it were in fact Gabriel, then the city of his crucifixion suddenly becomes of paramount importance, for if it is a city not of Jerusalem, but another grand and noble ‘Babylon the Great’ where he tastes a crucifixion in a sense, then as a Lamb of God he would taste such a death and fulfil the Book of Revelation. And as a descendant of David he would receive the ‘Messiah’ title, not in opposition to Jesus own ‘Christ’ title. For ‘Christ’ is a Greek title and ‘Messiah’ is a Greek title, but BASED on the Hebrew Mashiach. And in that point of fact there actually is a reason for being as such in revelation. And Michael? Will he be the child born to the woman? Will he be taken up to heaven, his destiny to rule all nations with a rod of Iron, and a war for him to enter into with Satan the Dark Lord himself? Now, to regress, if Gabriel is a child of a certain ‘Babylon’ were he is to be crucified, and as Revelation teaches, our Lord is to be crucified in a ‘Great City’ and Revelation shows that only ‘Babylon the Great’ is called a Great city, then which city, must we ask, has 7 hills, being 7 Kingdoms? For it is a city with 7 Kings and thus 7 Kingdoms. Does Rome have 7 Kingdoms in its history? Does London have 7 Kingdoms in its history? Does Paris have 7 Kingdoms in its history? Does Babylon in Iraq have 7 Kingdoms in its history? Does Madrid in Spain have 7 Kingdoms in its history? Does Jerusalem have 7 Kingdoms in its history? Does Moscow have 7 Kings in its history? Jerusalem? Seriously? Nay, it doth not have 7 Kingdoms in its history? Surely you say I mock thee. Well, whatever may be may be, and the truth of such a matter is always a matter of perennial speculation, sayeth I, sayeth I, sayeth I.
* * * * *
'The thing is,' said the Fletch. 'You think you're good at basketball.'
Phanuel ignored the comment. The Fletch was trying to distract him. He was going to go right. He always went right. Phanuel got ready for the feint to the left, and when it happened he feigned going left, and as the Fletch went right, he grabbed the ball, and shot off, and scored.
'You're too predictable,' said Phanuel, throwing the ball to Fletch who was standing behind the basket, ready to toss the ball to Cooper.
'He has no new ideas,' said the Coop.
'It looks like the greatest of all time has plateaued,' said Daniel. 'A master past his prime. He'll be a has been soon enough.'
'Bite me, Daly,' replied the Fletch, throwing the ball to Cooper.
'You know, your daughter probably has more talent,' said Phanuel. 'And she's a girl.'
Fletch glared at Phanuel.
'Mr Snuffleupagus has more talent,' said the Coop. 'And nobody knows what he is.'
'I think Gus the Snail from Mr Squiggle has about the same level as the Fletch,' said Daniel. 'Just complains a lot.'
Fletch just grinned at the insults.
'Nah, probably blackboard,' said Goodsell. 'Hurry up, he always complains to Cooper, and pass me the damn ball.'
'Hurry up, hurry up,' said Danno.
'You know, for E grade players, you sure talk tough,' said the Fletch, as the game got back underway.
'Still 21 grades ahead of you Z-Man,' replied Phanuel, marking Peter.
'Very funny,' replied Pete.
And so the game ebbed to and fro, and the insults were thick and fast, but that's how they liked it.
* * * * *
'Well Brindabel. What mark is your twin going to make on the Realm of Eternity?'
Brindabel looked up from her salad roll. 'Why Meludiel. Why would you have such a concern?'
Meludiel sipped on her melit water. They were in Zaphon cafeteria, having lunch. 'Just curious. Ambriel is asking questions of the overseers who have served so far as overseer of Zaphon. Taking notes on what they think have been the successful ideas of their tenures. He suggested I do the same. Sort of preparing for when it is our turn.'
'Interesting,' replied Brindabel. 'Trying to be responsible is he?'
'So he says,' replied Meludiel.
'I have no idea what Phanuel has planned. Apart from playing a lot of basketball with his posse, probably not much.'
Meludiel nodded. 'Well, why don't you inspire him then? Set a direction for him. Give him an idea.'
Brindabel munched into her salad roll, and then sipped on her melit water, considering that. 'Maybe. But he's the man, isn't he? Shouldn't he have direction enough for himself?'
'Yes. He should. But as its been said, behind every great man is a great woman,' replied Meludiel.
'True,' said the librarian of Zaphon. 'Ok then. I'll think it over. Think over a direction I might be able to point him in. But I'm sure he has ideas of his own.'
'I think he's an angel of continuity, from what I've seen of him. Some of the fellas are very traditional, and don't like to tinker much with what is working. But he's an Archangel, sis. He needs something special about his time for us to remember him by. Push him, ok. Just a suggestion though. Do what you'll do.'
'No, no. That's ok,' smiled Brindabel back at Meludiel. 'Aussie to Aussie, I think you might have a good point.'
'Let's hope so,' replied Meludiel.
After lunch Brindabel got back to work, doing her thing, but Meludiel's words crept into her mind, and after a while she stopped what she was doing, and thought it over. The mark of perfection – perhaps that was her ideal in many of her own ideas, and tried to live like that, and she was sure Phanuel did also. Tried to be the best he could be. But there was an idea that had come in, about responsibility to tradition, and that one thing Phanuel had always done was been responsible to his overseer duties, both at Romnaphon keep in Terraphora and his overseer work in Romnaphora. And she'd always encouraged that, and felt proud that he took that seriously. And with that as in idea, she suddenly had inspiration on an idea for Phanuel's tenure, and leaving her desk, she started gathering some books from around the library and, happy with what she had collected, made her way up Zaphon keep, headed for the office of Overseer, to confront her dear twin with his 'New Destiny'.
* * * * *
‘Oh, Daniel. You really know how to piss people off, you know. You know, I have been reading that book of Daniel, and in some translations it says Daniel was dressed in robes of Scarlett, and in some translations dressed in robes of purple. Apparently both? Now isn’t that interesting.’
‘Yes, Valandriel, I know dear brother. But go talk to our Cherubim brother about that. He will actually, and this is just a technically important point of, you know, I mean, you know, I mean, you know, uh, fact, heh, heh, heh, that it was actually only 1 colour which he was dressed in, as the scriptural word may mean certain things, but it didn’t actually mean 2 colours. So go ask Daniel himself.’
‘Fair enough, Daniel. I do get the point. A Christian tactic on revelation, then?’
‘Quite obviously brother. They weren’t born yesterday after all. I mean, take the NIV on that spiel on Danel. And then take other translations. One says ‘Are you wiser than Daniel,’ and another says, ‘You are wiser than Danel.’ I mean, come on church, please make up your mind. Ooh, ooh, ooh.’
‘Good on you,’ said Valandriel.
‘But they do try, don’t they.’
‘I guess, brother. I guess.’
‘Oh, and I bet those two translations really cut some people up. I mean, come on. Read one and he asks you, are you wiser than Daniel. Then he goes on to explain some serious problems you have. And the other translation tells them ‘you ARE wiser than Daniel.’
‘And then what?’ asked Valandriel, about to smirk.
‘Oh, uh, yeh It still goes on to explain some serious problems you have.’
‘You are so judgemental Daniel.’
‘What do you think my name means.’
‘Gah. You frustrate everyone.’
‘Oh well. Such is life.’
* * * * *
'There are 17 things you need to learn dear brother,' said Brindabel, placing a stack of books on the new overseer's desk, her twin Phanuel. 'The first is, to do the job of overseer competently you will have to study.'
'And the other 16?' asked Phanuel, looking up from the PC.
'The same lesson, said in various other ways. I don't want my dear brother to be a slacker, so the hallmark of perfection of the reign of Phanuel the overseer is knowledge. You shall be the chief of scholars, teaching the wisdom of Romnaphons's work ethic and communicating that clearly to the Realm of Eternity. Gabriel didn't push the Terraphon agenda. He forgot. Raphael didn't bother with pushing the primacy and important of Mitraphora's work. He was lost in other ideas. Uriel was caught up in comedy, about the only cultural agenda he had, and not serious either, so Pelnaphon was not even addressed in his time. And Raguel just wanted to sell Cola. Brephon's ministry had not even been a concern. Romnaphon shall NOT suffer the same lack of respect, so you shall study work protocols and ethics, as taught in Romnaphon, brushing up on your vast experience there, and Romnaphon shall be given due and proper respect, hilighting the important work you have long undertook. The others missed their opportunity – you shall not. Am I clear?'
Phanuel picked up the first text. 'Responsible Woodcarving Safety and Procedures,' he said, quoting the title. 'This is an important one is it?'
'A lot of that work goes on in the Realm,' replied Brindabel. 'It is one of the oldest works from Romnaphon, and you shall honour old and ancient tradition first and foremost. We have a proper respect for old things which have earned their glory and status.'
'Yes, I suppose we do,' replied Phanuel. 'You know, Deborah. I know this stuff well enough.'
'That's not the point Aaron. You shall know it better. I intend to make my own mark when I am sure the women get their turn as overseer, so I won't have my reputation ruined by a twin's lacklustre performance.'
'Indeed,' replied Phanuel, opening the text he knew quite well, and skimming through it. 'Ok, ok. I'll read all these in my lunch hour. Keep them coming regularly and I'll properly address your concerns. I'll ensure Romnaphon's role is properly addressed.'
'Good,' replied the librarian of Zaphon. 'I'll collect them in a month, and bring some more with me then.'
'You do that,' said Phanuel. She left, and he looked at the book a little longer, before putting them in the bookcase behind him, and getting on with his work. But, after some moment, with thoughts in the back of his head, he buzzed Cindradel. 'Come in Cindy, would you.'
Cindradel promptly appeared. 'I'm delegating my work for the next decade to you to choose suitable workers to do the various tasks. You're not to do them yourself, but you are responsible for delegating all of my normal activities and tasks.'
'Ok,' said Cindradel. 'And what will you be doing?'
'Studying,' said Phanuel, and flicked off the PC, turned and picked up the pile of books which Brindabel had left, and said to Cindradel, 'I'll be in the special projects office if you need me. I'll be brushing up on a lot of stuff. I've decided to give it a decade, and then I'll be back in my regular duties.'
'As you wish,' said Cindradel, and smiled, and left.
Phanuel weighed the books in his hands – they were heavy enough – so he had a lot to do. He would take to this challenge of his sister, and take it seriously, because it had inspired him quickly enough, and he felt it a good idea. And he didn't want to let Brindie down. A serious effort for a serious angel. And he'd give her the reputation in her twin she so obviously had concerns for.
* * * * *
Phanuel, in time, got a hold on his work as overseer. Learning the protocols of those established before him was second nature to Phannie, and he took to the task with the professionalism he was well known for. He undertook his studies as Brindabel required of him, and learned much. And communicating the core idea of Brindabel – that was the work to be done. In their time in the limelight Brindabel and Phanuel enjoyed being the toast of the realm, and much was done to bring further the agenda of God Almighty in his purposes in the Realm of Eternity to establish, simply that - an eternal way of life. And while the machinations of Daniel the Seraphim never seemed to go away, as his tenure as overseer drew to a close, Phanuel thanked God for the opportunities he had been given, and, knowing just who was next, prayed a private prayer to God that life, in the Realm of Eternity, would flow on, as it had eternally done so, undisturbed, happy, and at peace with its self. So he prayed for anyway.
Morning Stars VII
Kings. Seven Angels. Seven colours of the Rainbow. Who can say what
has really been, and who can say what really shall be. But Saruviel
has taken over, and the time is drawing nigh, the time is drawing
nigh. For Jesus has 7 horns, and those 7 horns are his 7 older
Seraphim brother, and those brothers are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael,
Uriel, Raguel, Phanuel and Saruviel. And they are his 7 horns. And
there are also 7 spirits.
And Logos himself has 7 chosen ecclesia, the Seraphim of Infinity. And those 7 chosen of Infinity are Michael of Infinity and Gabriel of Infinity and Raphael of Infinity and Uriel of Infinity and Raguel of Infinity and Phanuel of Infinity and Saruviel of Infinity. And thus were the 7 chosen Ecclesia of Logos.
And then there were the Saruvim. And there were 7 Saruvim of Infinity. And Satan smiled to himself and said to Lucifer, he really is still that stupid, isn’t he. He really is that stupid. And Lucifer nodded.
* * * * *
Jesus was one hell of a guy. Saruviel admitted this at times, for the son of God of his own imagination seemed determined to win every soul in heaven - or, to be precise - every soul in the Realm of Eternity. The Realm of Heaven, as it were, was were the special children of God, who had special roles given to them by God as cornerstones in creation and cornerstones in life, lived.
Jesus taught he was the cornerstone of life, to put it bluntly. The Cornerstone about which everything, ultimately, revolved. It was funny. God himself taught that he was that cornerstone, so the Theophany maintained, but the Spirit which he had first known, who spoke to Saruviel from the throne room of Zaphon, did not say such things.
It once commented.
'I AM NOT AS VAIN AS SOME SUGGEST. MY PERSON - MY THEOPHANY - IS ONE WITH ME, YET DISTINCT AS A REAL PERSON AS WELL. I ENJOY OUR ADVENTURES TOGETHER. YET, WHILE HE HAS GREAT CONFIDENCE IN HIS GODIANITY, I AM ALWAYS REMINDED, ESPECIALLY IN THE PRESENCE OF ONE WHO KNOWS BETTER, THAT NOT EVERY INDIVIDUAL IN CREATION DESIRES GOD MOST HIGH AT THE CENTRE OF HIS OR HER HEART.'
And Saruviel had been tempted to say Amen that day, but had been cautious in God's presence.
Yet Jesus was a soul of confidence, determined at this very time to justify his revelation, to justify his Christhood, and to exalt his 7 horns of glory, his 7 spirits, in opposition to the Dark Lord's dreaded Saruvim.
Yet Revelation was false. It was maintained in the Torah community that Christianity, still, was not true. That Judgement Day had failed to remind Yeshua that he was not Christ and that he was not God and that he should now learn his lesson. But, over these past few Arcs of the Archangel's Glories, Jesus had not learned that lesson, persisted with his prophetical fulfilments and, ironically, Satan the Dark Lord himself had gone along for the ride. He knew the truth, so it seemed. At least he claimed to in his macho bravado.
Daniel, of course, had persisted with the prophecy, taking Saruviel along for many a ride over the last few million years, painting various truths into John's revelations, some of these truths quite fanciful, yet Saruviel constantly humoured him. He felt, in the end, Daniel was having fun with talk of dragons and beasts and empires and so on, much the stuff of his younger cherubim brother's biblical prophecies. For the creator of the Prophecies of Daniel the Seraphim, though, this was natural enough to assume his interest in. He was an eschatologist of fame in the Realm of Eternity, and of all the souls to go on about the grand conclusion to galactic and universal harmony, as it was often called, Daniel had written the most speculative ideology. But that was ultimate eschatology, not the present day ramblings of the Christian church. Still, that was Daniel's field, and even Callodyn, his namesake, often got involved with those studies as well.
Saruviel, himself, was mostly over it. From personal observations of the simple fact that God left Satan alone most of the time, he had concluded in his logic on salvation that God did not really care that much, and was letting his children have some fun.
Of course, today was a special day. In all the fun times that Daniel had been having with himself and Samael, speaking of dragons and beasts and so forth, Saruviel had not forgotten that, traditionally, the Overseer, upon completion of his million years in office, usually now handed over the executive toilet key, which was now eternya, pushed on to his successor, and retired in many ways, to play golf, watch the cricket and live the good life. And this he fully expected Phanuel to do. He had ruled, of course, earlier in the realm. Back near the beginning. But that was brief. And then Michael's long tenure really began. But here it was - the 7th Arc, as they were called, beginning today, and Saruviel, so it was expected, was to claim the glory of rule in Zaphon. A tremendous honour. His father was generous to bless an angelic son with such responsibility. He never forgot that, in all his lessons from early childhood, that rulership was still an honour. And praise be to God for the glory he was willing to share with his child Saruviel.
* * * * *
'Morning Stars is the greatest story ever written,' commented Daniel. He was slightly drunk, his sister Melanie the Cherubim, an illustrious Spice Girl, to whom he had made this boast many a time in their latest and greatest drinking session, disputed the point.
'Morning Stars II' is better,' she responded.
'Callodyn's fiasco?' he queried, through blurry eyes.
'Indeed,' she said, belched, and collapsed her head onto the bar, drunk, dead to the world, and having the beginnings of a dream which would see her rule the world at its climax. A dream only, though.
Daniel managed to hand over the credit card to the bartender and, with his help, they dragged Melanie upstairs to a vacant hotel room with a double bed and he undressed her down to her knickers when the bartender was gone, put her into bed, put the first sheet over her, then collapsed into bed on top of the sheet and barely managed to get the doona over them both before he was off with the fairies, snoring to his hearts content.
Daniel seemed to join Melanies dream that night, and the two of them ruled in glory, man and wife, but each dream favoured themselves as the ruling power, ironically, in this battle of powers and battle of hearts.
In the morning Melanie awoke, clutched her head immediately and wanted to puke, but managed to hold it back. She soon found out she was half naked, with only her knickers on, and queried wether Daniel, who was snoring loudly, had taken advantage of her. She woke him. He said he might have fondled her breast once or twice, but couldn't remember. She hit him on the arm anyway.
Later on, getting home, for the two of them were shacked up with each other for the time being, Melanie, having had her third cup of black coffee that day, sobered into Daniel's den and said 'You know. I think I'm starting to like you Danny. We get along somewhat. We have never been that close, the two of us, but since we ran into each other at that computer fair things are going ok between us. K What do you think?'
Daniel, sitting at the PC, looking at World of Warcraft site that he was a member on, turned to her. 'Yeh. I suppose. Hey, you are an amazing Spice Girl Mel. You've done great things.'
'Is that why you like me?' she asked.
'Hey. Your my little sister. My little Cherubim sister. We all had some glory in life. Even me. Sure, I like your music, but your commercial and spiritual at the same time, and that is sort of my own focus. We get along, I think. Good for each other.'
'Right,' she said, ladling another spoonful of ice cream into her mouth, looking at him as he returned to his game, and wondering back into the main room.
She looked at his CD collection on the bookcase. A small part of his overall one. She had only paid it cursory attention in the small time they had been together, but decided to have a proper look. Funnily enough, in the 'C' section, she found her first 8 albums. All of them the originals with 'Eternya Prayer Prayed' written on them. Heck, he had even prayed them to Eternya before they started making the stuff. He really was a diehard. And these were a few of the rare originals as well by the looks of it. Very valuable items.
She put on her album 'The Sea' and, listening to the familiar tunes, she mellowed out on the couch, eating ice cream, listening to the music, and wondering just what life had in store for her in her time with Daniel the Seraphim.
* * * * *
'Lord Grimsby!' announced the porter.
Lord Kolm Grimsby, risen to glory from early adventuring days on the 'Wolfklaw', strode forward into the ballroom, his rough masculine looks the instant attention of the flattering ladies of yet another melancholy affair. So melancholy, this district of Londinnium, were the old ways paraded themselves in happy defiance of all modernizing trends, which was a habit of much of the realm of eternity, the outer sections at least, were humanity had now settled greatly and called heaven there home.
Kolm Grimsby was a grand-son of a figure of quite notable fame, the illustrious Jan Kolby, aka 'The Rimwalker'. The Wolfkalw, Kolm's spaceship, was based on an old model space ship from the physical universe, were Jan Kolby had known the beast and loved it greatly. Upon arriving in heaven he had undertaken a reconstruction of his prize, but ultimately bequeathed it to one of his noble great-grandchildren through marriage to Kalan's daughter Esthelle. Kalan Kolby was Jan's son, and his daughter Esthelle had married Garry Grimsby, their firstborn son Kolm, like his great-grandfather, enjoying the life of the stars.
Yet Kolm, in his latter years of life as he was wont to express it, had found an outlying disc of a Seraphim who didn't mind his presence, nor any much other resident for that matter, in whose protocols of residency were none to strict as too allow the lavishness and decadencies the great grand son of Rimwalker would all to rightfully be known for. And Kolm followed his genes to the hilt.
This particular Londinnium, as they liked to call it in the fashion of the social scene, was a place were old sins were practiced somewhat, and the ladies of the ball scene were not always paragons of virtue, and bedding this or that Lord's current mistress was wont for the fashion. A fashion Kolm had grown accustomed too, spending his vast wealths, enjoying his grand decadencies, revelling in the fame of the circuit, and not giving any morality much more concern than the occasional priestly offering to, as they would say, 'Keep the Faith.'
Yet the melancholy, the spirit which pervaded this western side of Londinnium, were the old Lords farted, and the old ladies waved away with giggles and hankies, had, finally, become enough. He needed a change.
He went through the motions that night, found a great-grand-daughter of Britney Spears who seemed to have a heck of a lot of her Great-Grand-Mothers passion, and settled in for a firey new romance, hoping that this would be a new chapter in an otherwise uneventful millennium, which had become bogged down with meaningless chatter on Beethoven symphonies, the current vogue for the scene, and cuban cigars and other trivialities currently the in thing.
And the immediate sexual activities in an unguarded upper room, with quite an erotically pleasing firey Irish lass were, indeed, far from melancholic.
* * * * *
Phanuel looked at the executive toilet key in his hand. Could he? Should he? Would he?
Still, fair was fair, and Raguel had not cheated himself.
He knocked on the door of the overseers office of Kalphon Keep, found Saruviel himself answering the knock with the door opened, and looked at his younger brother. He flicked the key into the air and watched as it spun, yet the nimble hand of the 7th Archangel reached out, grasped it safely, and held it up to gaze upon his newfound glory.
'I am not sure if I really must say anything at all,' said Phanuel. 'You will do what you will do. Good day, Sir Saruviel.'
And as immediately as he had come he was gone, and Saruviel had become, once more, Overseer of the Realm of Eternity.
* * * * *
Melanie C awoke. It was the middle of the night and a shade had grabbed her soul, instantly waking her. And while the room was dark, silent, and the aether of the Californian city they were currently living in reverberated through its motions, a drunk pilgrim outside, singing away his blues over his lost girlfriend, an alleycat sniffing at what was probably not the best outdated meat, and a couple, just opposite, engaged in illicit affairs for the first time, she couldn't shake a sudden premonition. And then, 'A Wild Ride' whispered the shade once more, and it was gone, out the window, and as she relived the dying elements of her dream of Glory, Daniel woke as well, asked what all the fuss was about, but she shooed him back to sleep, took the bottle of honeycomb schnapz from the cabinet - DANIEL'S honeycomb shcnapz, and whiled away the early morning hours, thinking on what the shades words could possibly mean and what new strand of adventure destiny seemingly had in store for her.
In the morning she got her answer.
Daniel seemed to be in a good mood. He had just checked that months sales figures and the 'Chronicles of the Children of Destiny' was once again the number one selling saga on the bestsellers chart for the month, seemingly never really leaving the charts, while David Rothchild's 'Love' saga had come in at number two again. It was proposed by Daniel to herself, which she imagine he vanitied to all and sundry, that his success counterparting David's was the result of his true and decent long service to God and a proper and correct expounding on the wisdom of Daniel. She thought him terribly vain, which his sly grins constantly confessed to, yet he indeed had the record. At least 45% of the time his 'Chronicles' were number one, David around 40% of the time, and various other sagas, when their authors pushed for a while, held the dominance in the age long war of popularity for the hearts and minds of the children of eternity, especially the children, to rule their fantasies and enshrine themselves as the cornerstone of the fictive world. Daniel took it seriously. That much was obvious. Yet David never really relented, and his Japanese 'Love' saga, with its classic ending in which the valiant warriors tasted melancholy death, was enshrined in the movie going public of heaven as 'Unforgettable' by so many. Yet, for now,the Chronicles remained unfinished, for Daniel and Callodyn had special dispensation from God, when the times were right, to gradually continue the saga to God's complete satisfaction. 'It has to be done properly,' God maintained of the Chronicles,' for it is a mirror on real life, a Pseudepigrapha of glory, and so many hearts and souls base their entertaining existence on its wonderful tales, its excessive sarcasm, and delightful wit. And, fortunately, Daniel and Callodyn seemed to genuinely know how to entertain.
This morning, though, such was the mood of 'Daniel San' that he groped Melanie's butt, smiled at her, and said 'Lets do something wild.'
And, as they neared the local space port, booking rights to a month-long hire of a rather flash and expensive looking ship, Daniel assured her his qualifications were both current and up to scratch, as they set sail for, of all places, 'The Dralikon', to see if they could at all possibly make contact with some of Daniel's friends there, some who had been inducted into the galactic cult for progeny purposes, to catch up and relive old times. But with the fame of the Dralikon Melanie really was not quite sure what to expect.
'The Dralikon?' she asked him.
'Why not, sweetie?'
'Its a galactic cult? Not even a mainstream one like the Mormon's.'
Daniel shook his head. 'Still having a go at the Mormons, hey. So what if old Joe had a fertile imagination. Romney redeemed them.'
'He tried to,' said Melanie. 'But a cult is a cult is a cult.'
'They are lovely people. Your too judgemental.'
'I take my faith seriously.'
He didn't respond. The last thing he wanted was a religous argument on the merits of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
'Look, sweetie. The Dralikon is misunderstood. They have set ways. Ways they like to function in life. Most of the mainstream world are non-adaptive to their particular style of things.'
'They're all interbred!', she exclaimed.
'Goes with the turf,' he responded. 'Even Adam and Eve had problems with that.'
She didn't respond to that statement.
'Besides, maybe, you know. Maybe one day, in the dim and distant future, you might join a cult and be less judgemental.'
'Me? In a cult? Hardly.'
'You never know,' said Daniel.
But Melanie just shook her head, gravely dismissing the notion of ever leaving the mainstream.
'The Dralikon will be fun. Besides, it will take us a while to get there in the thing we've rented. We can take our time. See the sights.'
'The sights?' she queried, towelling herself off after her shower.
'Yeh. The sights. Its a big universe. There is a lot of shit going on.'
'Definitely probably shit,' she said smartly.
He almost grinned.
'Look, unless you have other plans, come along with me on my little jaunt. You could learn a lot. About other cultures. About being 'Open-Minded', you know. Like you claim to be.'
'I'm open minded,' she exclaimed.
'But the Mormons are a cult?' he defended rhetorically.
She didn't respond. She acknowledged the point. But the Dralikon? I mean, seriously, what kind of idiot would get herself involved with the Dralikon? What kind of first class moron would want to get involved with that cult of cults?
* * * * *
'We're visiting the Dralikon, babe,' said Kolm Grimsby to his latest squeeze, full of confidence.
'What is that?' asked Estella, coming into view, looking every inch like Britney her great-great-grandmother.
'The time of your life,' said Kolm.
'I'll bet,' responded Estella, and sighed, a portent of doom suddenly coming over her young and naive heart.
* * * * *
'A fool is known for his many words,' began Phanuel's dissertation, and Saruviel almost smiled at the 30 page length of the document.
'So remember, brother of mine, in your time as Overseer of Zaphon, it is what you do, not what you say, that will be remembered. Words of inspiration are often necessary, but actions always speak louder than words. In our time as overseers......'
And on went the 'words' of Phanuel, Saruviel drudging along to honour his brother, but not terribly interested in reality. But something stood out after the 'Protocols of the Overseer' rambling.
'Make your mark.'
He thought on that, and an idea came to him. Taming a heretic. The founder of the Dralikon. Arthur Drake. So far unconquerable. And now, the ruler of a galaxy, from humble beginnings, to a growing rival to the powers of Zaphon.
7 Angels, not that many Arc's ago, had taken him on. They'd had moderate success in understanding the motivations of Arthur Drake, but not much more than that. Was he to be feared? Was he to be adored? Was he the worlds saviour, or the devil himself come to send them all to hell?
The name was known as the ultimate cultist throughout the realm of eternity, the man and his own empire, the man and his own sovereignty, but Saruviel, the Antichrist himself, would teach this Arthur Drake, with the powers at his disposal, just what it meant to be a rival to the Kingdom of God.
And in doing so he would make his mark. One way or the other.
* * * * *
The dragon's danced through the skies, the red and violet clouds in the dark green afternoon glory bringing calmness to his heart and soul.
He soared. He let his wings out, to their full measure, and soared, through the skies of this glorious world, a world were the magical touched its aether unlike any other, and Michael thanked Samael in his heart once more for this private taste of glory, known to so few, the private knowledge of Arthur Drake of the Dralikon, in his personal dealings with God most high - his personal requests.
Arthur, in so many ways, was a misunderstood soul, so Samael of Infinity had remarked to the first Archangel of the Realm of Eternity.
'He is a child of Fantasy, Michael. And in the heart of the Dralikon, shielded off and away from the rest of the universe, it is Fantasia itself, in the inner worlds, were Arthur is truely known as the Lord Dreldragon Drakedon Douay, at home most of all on his planet Olo Malan, were he was a warrior of ill repute, true infamy, born from the heart and imagination of an ancent cleric of New Zealand, were his heart was born, and then born by Almighty God as Arthur Drake in flesh, yet to be a human, ultimately, born into the heavenlies as the moniker bearer of his famed counterpart in the Chronicles of Darkness, when the Dralikon, finally born from his yearnings, to house his fantastic worlds of fantasy fiction of his favourite talebearers of the 20th and 21st centuries.'
'So he fancies himself an adventurer,' queried Michael that day.
'Indeed he does,' had responded Samael. 'Yet God had entertained Arthur's fantasies with the man's offspring, and has brought to life in the Dralikon fantasy worlds of great renown, for middle earth lies hidden there, and Thomas Covenant fights for his faith with wild magic, as does Belgarion in his battles with Torak, and Harry Potter is in endless demand from the new children of Hogwarts for their neverending lessons at the hand of the master. And, ironically, their Harry is an offspring from a certain Radcliffe child, who was sought by Arthur for his progenity plans of fantastic glory.'
'Fascinating,' said Michael.
Michael was waiting, as he flew, for the Theophany had spoken to him and said fun, fantasy and adventure was in the offing, for certain other names he was familiar with would be heading for the Dralikon soon enough, and a gathering of gentler hearts, in love with the magic of fantasy, would collide with the innermost joys and peaces of the Dralikon, and the Theophany had spoken with Arthur and sought his son's glory, Michael the Archangel's exaltation, on the fantastic day in which destinies would intertwine and come into fruition.
So Michael soared, awaiting he knew not what, as dragons flew around him, and wyvverns blew fire, and far below, on Olo Malan itself, a dark wizard by the Moniker of Zen Durander, plotted his glories, and his challenges, to God Most High's premiere Archangel.
* * * * *
'Faster than the speed of light?'
'The speed of Infinity, babe,' said Daniel, cocksure.
'Bullshit,' said Melanie Chisholm.
'Well, probably,' said Daniel. 'But we are going bloody fast. Way beyond the speed of light.'
'Which explains all the blurred lights,' said Melanie, fascinated by the screen.
'Haven't you ever travelled by spaceship?' he asked her.
'Lots of times,' she responded. 'But only in the cruisers. I've never seen the open windows.'
'Oh, yeh. They are usually banned on the cruisers. Safety reasons. You need thick protection to travel through space.'
'Then why does this have windows?' she asked him.
'They are eternya stuff. Technically illegal for such practices, but this ship got an exemption. Its why I purchased it years ago.'
Melanie nodded, fascinated, as they blurred on through the eternal darkness, the shimmering lights passing them constantly.
'Our first stop will take a few days to arrive at,' he commented. 'There are faster ships for this purpose, but the spaceways fees cost a fortune the faster you want to go.'
'What is the limit?' she asked curiously. 'Of the possible speed?'
'We don't really know. I asked the Theophany, once, when he was around. He just winked at me. Its like computer memory. It just keeps on improving.'
'Fascinating,' she said, glaring out at the darkness.
'When we get to our halfway point we'll take in some supplies and some new crystals. The ones we have got will do the trip if we need them too, but they will be shockingly drained and some new ones would be better.'
'What type of crystals?' she asked.
'Special ones. A noahide firm I know, funnily enough, produces them. Jews are good at oil and petrol - they manufacture the stuff very cheaply, but Noahide industries concentrated on solar and crystal power back at the beginning. Crystals work well as they are about the right density for use in the fusion related processes, and give a good spark as fuel.'
'Right,' she said.
They played card games for a while that day, and slept together again that night. Melanie was starting to like this Daniel, never having really gotten to know him that greatly before, but he was lively and fun, and she found he was also deep enough, despite the sarcasm, to have an intelligent conversation with. And his mind seemed to have absorbed an endless supply of data, all to noticeable when he began blathering on about this or that subject. A real man of learning, despite what you might otherwise have assumed about him.
It was a part of her life like no other she had really experienced, and she learned patience as they travelled the spaceways, patience in being lost in the eternal darkness, relying on the machinery of an ancient beast of a spaceship, entrusted to an angel with a reputation quite unlike others in his eccentric infamies. But she was really living, she reminded herself, as they closed in on their halfway space station stop one afternoon, the space port 'Rebellion', and looked forward to a few days rest with someone new to talk to and a chance to stretch her legs, as it were.
* * * * *
'The Heart of Darkness,' said the Witch Queen.
'Yes, mistress,' said Zen Durander, looking down at the watery portal.
'The Heart of Darkness is eternal, a creation of the all powerful, the central being of existence. It is were our fantasies, our desires, our true selves are born, in the wild magic of our hearts, in the DARK magic, were freedom is absolute, and no rule of law can prevent the triumph of what will be.'
She continued on in her merry dialogue of the power of the dark side for a while, Zen occasionally yawning, for he was well familiar with the witches ramblings on this subject, when he finally said 'Get to the good bits.'
She glared at him, but looked at the portal. 'Your destiny is not certain, Zen. For Lord Dreldragon has carved a many and wicked World here on Olo Malan, and his tutelary counsel of Guardian Jedi Knights who protect the Dralikon serve the power of the Nexus forthrightly in true honour to their sacred duties.'
'So you don't know?' he queried bitterly.
She smiled at him. 'Well, you know,' she said.
'Great,' he commented, and reached into his satchel, threw a few copper coins on the ground, which she rushed to grab, and insulted her intelligence as a witch of pathetic magical abilities, which he had done more than once previously, and left the cave, mounted his steed, and made haste back to his abode.
'The 'Prophetess of Dark Portents', as she was known as, was really a charlatan, he was quite sure. Quite sure. Yet Olo Malan had a whole host of dysfunctional characters, each serving the sarcastic wit of Lord Dreldragon, and amidst all the chaos of a world were power, riches and wealth were the ultimate glory, it was not easy to make a buck, as it was oft said in the wizarding guilds of the Cold West, the most frequent place of Zen's drunken escpades and ramblings to earn his pay.
Sitting on his throne in the heart of Argan, he considered the Odex against the wall, which Togura had traded him for the life of his fair maiden Day Suet, and with the index once again within his reach, perhaps he could access the deeper regions of the Odex, were it was rumoured - or to be precise, stated boldly in the 'Nexus Technical Manual' which he had copies of, difficult to read, for they were in German, to which he was not that familiar, and his offworld ordering of a German Dictionary, yet to be finally approved of by the Universal Trading Post near one of the World Rings, were the spaceways were accessed, and the larger world, beyond the fantasia of the Dralikon, functioned - lay untold weapons of mass destructive capability, certainly more than enough to aid him on his eternal conquest of the world of Olo Malan. Or at least to find one of the mythical 'Microwaves' with which he could cook his steak dinners.. Yet Nexus policy, which was these days synonomous with the hierarchy of the Dralikon itself, refused to sully Drake's creation with anything too much of the real world, lest it suited the purposes of divine fantasy which Dreldragon maintained 'Must' be complied with, Thus obtaining a German dictionary, the laborious translation of which into his own tongue would certainly set him back a pretty penny, or even an ugly one as they did say. was not going to be an easy affair.
Dreldragon had announced himself, not that long ago, as the ruler of the Nexus - the ruler of the Dralikon - and Zen had even received words of the legendary 'Lord Cook' to whom the ancient scribal creation of his homeworld was attributed, the all powerful god of this universe taking inspiration and handing Lord Drake - Lord Dreldragon - the fulfilment of his fantasies.
He longed for the real world, in many ways, did Zen Durander - but he knew he would never gain access beyond the trading posts hidden communications to the stars, for he was a child eternal of Olo Malan and, it seemed, the place he would forever reside. For such was the will of the All powerful one. Such was the will of God.
* * * * *
Michael gazed at the scroll. Twas an ancient scroll of prophesy, quite apparently, so Dreldragon maintained. Or, more likely, something he had some bloke do up and look like an ancient scroll of prophesy. Michael, in truth, favoured the latter, as this jaunt he was currently on, sponsored by the fantasies of Arthur Drake, lent little to the world of actual Torahic prophetical credibility, or to much in the way of credibiliy in general, really. It was just a fantasy holiday, and in the Fantasia he found himself caught up in, he constantly reminded himself, while very real and very true to countless citizens of the Dralikon, or the Nexus as it was more commonly wont to be called by Drake the further into this fantasy universe he found himself propelled, he constantly taught his heart that attachment would not be wise for at the end of all glories fables, the real world returned, and even Peter Pan became a normal boy in the end. Didn't he? Or so Spielberg would have you believe.
Yet, looking at the scroll, translating it carefully from the tranlsation key at his disposal, provided by Dreldragon, it spoke of a warrior of legend, who would come to the Nexus, and defeat a dark lord and his wizarding compatriot in a most chilling and ultimate endgame encounter.
An endgame encounter, thought Michael to himself. Very puzzling.
* * * * *
'It's a bucket of bolts,' said Estella.
'I'ts the greatest spaceship of all time. Pisses on the Millennium Falcon.'
'It's still a bucket of bolts,' said Estella, upon coming inside the illustrious 'Wolfklaw. 'I bet it won't even go. How long since you have flown it?'
He ignored her, but when she ran her finger accross the control deck, bringing up a solid inch of dust, she said, 'It's prehistoric!'
He just smiled sarcastically.
'This bucket of bolts will get us to the Dralikon, babe.'
'And what exactly is the Dralikon?'
'The empire of Arthur Drake. I know a little about it. Have some contacts in the outer worlds of his conglomeracy. He has gradually been claiming system after system in the galaxy he is based in and one day he will rule it. That's certain.'
'So,' she said, surveying the control deck one last time, taking a seat on the captains chair, and turning to him, 'What exactly is it?'
'The cult of cults,' he said, grinning at her.
'The cult of cults?' she queried, eyebrow tilted.
'The cult of cults,' he affirmed. 'Now get out of my chair, babe. I have work to do.'
So, taking the side seat, she watched as the offspring of the Rimwalker, Kolm Grimsby, fired up the 'Wolfklaw', set his target on the galaxy of the Dralikon, and pulled out an ancient beer from a fridge under the control panel, ensure her it was the 'Long Life' variety and, when he didn't throw up immediately, she settled, as the mad grin on the face of the new Rimwalker lit up the ship as they started off to the Dralikon, and a crazy new destiny.
* * * * *
Melanie looked at the strange concoction of a cocktail, sipped on it once more, and almost turned her head. It wasn't that it tasted fowl, really. It was just that it tasted so - recycled.
'Thats the way of everything on the main spaceports,' said Daniel. 'They recycle a heck of a lot of stuff. Have to this far in space.'
'Right,' she nodded, taking another sip on the brandy and tonic. It wasn't actually that bad, she admitted to herself after a few moments. It was just a little - weird.
They were in a bar on 'Spacehaven 74XXT', as it was identified as, and Daniel had a grin on him that morning, as the copy of 'Morning Stars' in front of them was testimony to. Even here, on the edge of never, there was a solitary 'Noahide Books' bookstore on the lower level of the marketplace in the central column of the spaceport, and Daniel had spent half an hour browsing, then introducing himself and sorting out, funnily enough, some of their employment concerns and giving the manager, who had been there forever, literally, some words of advice on long term promotional opportunities within the Noahide Books franchise. Daniel was in a good mood because of it it.
They were schmoozing away, happy little customers of the bar, when a familiar looking face walked into the bar, ordered something or other with a girl following him, and sat down nearby. He looked so familiar, but not quite. Perhaps a son or a cousin of the person. And then he knew. Jan Kolby. It was Jan Kolby - the Rimwalker - or someone just like him.
'Jan? Jan Kolby? Is that you?' asked Daniel.
The man turned to him and nodded. 'Yep. I guess so. In reality. His great-grand-son, actually. Kolm Grimsby. But everyone says we're the spitting image of each other.'
'Kolm Grimsby. Wow!' said Daniel. 'Your not flying the Wolfklaw, though, are you?'
Kolm grinned. 'This little lady is Estella.'
You look familiar,' said Melanie.
'I get that,' said Estella. 'I also have a famous great-grand-parent. But your Daniel, aren't you? The Seraphim? And Melanie C? The Spice Girl?'
'Guilty as charged,' said Daniel.
'Its a small universe, after all,' said Melanie.
And the group chatted away, found out they were both headed for the Dralikon, and agreed to travel in tandem for the next few days until they reached their destination.
* * * * *
Saruviel sat in his office, playing with a little basketball, which he occasionally threw into the ring against the wall next to his desk. He was bored. Three weeks in the job and he was already bored. He looked at the manilla folder lying on his desk with 'The Dralikon Project' written on the tab, swore at himself one last time for his stupid pride in even thinking about acting on Phanuel's words but, despite millions years, now, of humbling correction from Almighty God, swore once more at his dumbass male bravado, for his spirit had a portent of what was coming, and buzzed in Cindradel, asked her to organize, of all things, space travel to the Dralikon, and swore one final time as he prepared to set off for the adventure of his lifetime.
* * * * *
Michael sat on the collapsible seat, next to the dais, were Artie Drake was giving a speech. Or, to be precise, the Lord Dreldragon Drakedon Douay, the Supreme Sovereign of Glory of the Nexus, Regent of Olo Malan, was giving a speech. The crowd were a group of nobles of Argan in Chenameg, were the recently restored city, the swarms having been driven back by the powers of Togura Poulaan and a Warlock of questionable reputation, as well as a Wyvvern of dubious characteristics, of all creatures, through the power of ancient Nexus technologies. The Lord Dreldragon had travelled back to Argan, taken residency in Chenameg and built a palace to his glory, and was now welcoming a visitor from the 'Nexus' who was a chosen child of destiny. The speech was fascinating - all sorts of glories Drakedon promised from this otherworldly visitor - who was a saviour redeemer, known by the watermelon itsel, whatever that meant - to take them from a dark world to a restored, Nexus reunited, Empire.
'For he is a saviour of great diplomacy, and the Nexus will surely favour us upon his glorious triumph in the trial of champions.'
Michael cocked his head. 'Trial of Champions?' What the hell was Dreldragon going on about.
The crowd gathered cheered and one fair maiden ran down in front of them, threw a boquet of flowers at Michael, and said 'Long live the Champion of the Nexus. Sure to be our saviour.'
Later, Michael got the official story. He was the Nexus chosen warrior for entrance into Chenamegs restored 'Trial of Champions'. The old Trial of Champions, Drake informed him, was his borrowing from a famous fantasy series of solo roleplaying game books, Fighting Fantasy, with a definite twist added by Drake, for the purposes of, putting it bluntly, entertaining the masses. If the Nexus champion emerged triumphant, the Nexus would look with favour upon Olo Malan and grant them restoration, like the old days, back into the life of the Nexus. The fact that this particular Olo Malan, unlike the one in the novels which Michael had been reading the past few days, was never really riddled with the fantastic history Argan was known for was, to put it bluntly, a minor issue in the words of Drake.
'What they don't know won't hurt them, huh?' commented Michael sarcastically.
Drakedon had only smiled.
And then he had gone on to speak about how funny life in the Dralikon had become in many ways, with so many familiar names from the legendary tales of early fantasy having real life equivalents in these fantasy worlds, not even knowing themselves of the ancient tales from which they had been birthed by the foundational prayers of Arthur Drake to God Most High when the Dralikon was originally formed.
'Back in the day you were often into fantasy AND science fiction, if you were that kind of person. They often went hand in hand for some of the classic writers. I conceieved of the Dralikon with a cold metallic exterior - a cyborg, if you will - were science fiction worlds were dominant, and Paradises of Dune and other worlds from the classic authors could live out their glorious existences. But fantasy was my heart, and still is, and in the inner worlds of this galaxy Heavenly Father has formed for me my deepest desires in this heavenly universe, were Frodo lives and has his adventures, and Gollum constantly strives to regain his precious. Of course, my prayers were for the true histories of those chronicles by those authors to have been relived, were possible, in this heavenly world, and so much true history according to those stories has indeed transpired.'
'The hobbit came to be?' inquired Michael.
'Indeed it did,' said Arthur Drake. 'Very closely so. Eru Illuvatar had all sorts of glory in those days, for the Theophany visited me more than once as we watched on the events through portal view.'
'Fascinating,' said Michael, entertained by the ideas.
'Even the Enterprise and Captain Kirk are out there, having there adventures, battling Klingons, all within Dralikon territory. They can't escape their section of the galaxy, though. Special electro magnetic shields prevent them leaving the 'Roddenberry' systems. But they have enough space to chew on, and I access that world when I need to. So many of my offspring are in that world, living their lives, making me happy for their sake.'
'Your a kid at heart,' said Michael to Dreldragon.
'I'm a kid at heart,' confirmed Drake.
Michael chatted with Drake for a number of hours that afternoon, then Drake duly informed him that word was all over Argan and that champions were gradually arriving. And then he said, suddenly, he had to leave him be for a few days. Something urgent had come up.
Michael spent his time in his chambers in Dreldragons palace of Chenameg, entertained by young maidens, one of them dressed in red late one night, coming in to him, taking off her top and offering herself to the champion. He gazed at her beauty, her nubile figure, her luscious breasts and, for the first time in a very long, long while, temptation spoke to his heart. Could he? Should he? Would he?
When she was gone a moment later, he took out the photo of his wife Elenniel he kept always in his wallet, prayed that God would forgive him for having been tempted, yet he had remained faithful anyway, and knew in his heart, he always would remain true to Elenniel. Hopefully.
He drank a lot of nectar in those days, and sometimes alcohol made from various plants, for the other types of manufactured drinks were not known on this strange world of Olo Malan, beset in an eternal dark age world of Terra, were dragons roamed the earth, and fair maidens cried for their knight saviours. He travelled the city at times, looking at this and that of the restoration projects, for only this last century had Chenameg been reclaimed from the power of the swarms, deadly creatures who lived in the deep south of the continent, and in the old city were he was living much of the older industry was still be resettled. There were traditional markets, noble houses, economic centres, and all the traditional fair of a dark age city emerging into a new world, but this was, apparently, the way Drakedon liked it. The way the fantasy afficianado preferred his fantasy world to be run. With Kings and Queens, and galleys and dungeons. With magic and monster, and gold chests and quests unlimited. The stuff of fantasy to the Archangel of God, but even he delighted in this world, this fantasia, and was almost wishing he would not have to leave at the end of his quest. Almost.
The maiden dressed in scarlett returned once more, another night, and this time she had a blonde lady, completely naked with her. She said that if one virgin was not enough for her champion, then he could take her and her sister. But Michael, valiantly, refused them, and when they were gone, despite his loyalty to his wife, the reaction from the naked beauty had just been too much for him, and he lay on his bed, unrobed his gown, and relieved himself in the manner that all too many men had wont to do from time to time in their solitary lives.
The days turned to weeks, and then months, and Drakedon had not returned. The Trial of Champions seemed to be currently on hold, but he was kept informed by various palace officials that contestants from all over Argan and even as afar as Tameran and Yestron, had been arriving, Michael having completed his knowledge from the dekalogy by Mr Cook that he had now read, and that Lord Dreldragon was to return soon.
And then, one bright afternoon, a rainbow in the skies, Michael thinking about that ancient rainbow which Noah saw the day of his own sacrifice, Drakedon returned and, with him, a number of 'quite familiar faces. Quite familiar, yet definitely sarcastic looking, faces.
* * * * *
Daniel stood there, a mad grin on his face, yet Michael, once more, felt the need to rebuke his younger brother.
'Do you know just how problematic the situation is about to become?'
Daniel didn't answer.
'For starters, why on earth you have come to the Dralikon for adventure is beyond me, but knowing you well enough now Daniel I shouldn't be surprised. You have always been a little crazy.'
'Hey, you're here,' he responded.
'I was invited,' shot back Michael.
'I mean, come on Mikey, what the frucks the problem?'
'The problem,' began the Archangel of God's greater glory,' is that our beloved host has gotten the idea into his head that, as you and your compatriots, and how on earth you found Saruviel is beyond me, but now that you are here, the Lord Dreldragon Drakedon Douay has somehow gotten it into his head that you are Destiny's offerings for his current glorious escapade.'
'Which is?' asked Daniel cautiously.
'The Trial of Champions.'
'Your a champ, Daniel,' said Melanie. 'You might even win it.'
'Its too the death,' responded Michael.
'Oh, bugger,' said Melanie, and came over to Daniel, caressed his head and said, 'It was lovely knowing you, Danny boy.'
He grinned a little despite the situation.
'I mean, how bad can this trial of champions be?' asked Daniel to Michael.
'There are 7 death defying events were we must be put to the ultimate test. And if we survive the first 6, the final and 7th contest is, for the survivors, to the death.'
'Sounds wonderful,' said Daniel, swallowing.
'It will be,' grumped Michael.
Nevertheless Michael did not call in divine favour, thinking, however Daniel would manage to wrangle himself out of this one, he should bloody let him taste his medicine. I mean, the bloke had gotten this far without tasting death in the heavenlies. Lets see if he could make it the whole way, as it where.'
* * * * *
And then Arthur Drake was gone again, and Michael was accross the corridor from Daniel and Melanie, with Saruviel down the corridor a little and Kolm Grimsby and Estella, to compatriots they had run into on their travels, a level down.
Lord Dreldragon had given them 6 more months of prepration time and, as the officials came in,and instructed them, they began to get a sense for what the Trial of Champions was all about.
It was a savage encounter with passion and warfare, and only the strong would survive. Michael almost looked forward to the challenge.
He and Daniel played chess a lot in those few months. Daniel took black most of the time, as Lord Dreldragon favoured the game and had introduced it to Olo Malan, and Daniel reveled in the variant designs for the Black pieces, so much more dramatic, that Olo Malanese culture offered him. Michael won the majority of the time, but only just. It was 17 games to 15, in favour of Michael, before the Trial of Champions finally began.
The maiden visited Michael, again, each and every night after a while. She would come in late, when everyone had gone to bed, and take off her top, and give him a longing, lust-filled look of adoration. But he would shake his head, and she would depart, sorrowful, only to return the following night. It was an ongoing temptation for the Archangel of God, but his fidelity to his wife Elenniel bore him through.
Daniel and Melanie, from the looks of it, had become very close indeed. He groped her ass a lot, and she hit his hand away constantly, calling him a creep every time, but Michael could tell she liked the attention from the looks she occasionally shot at him when he wasn't looking. Nabbing a spice girl, thought Michael to himself, was just like Daniel. Just like his ego to go for the pick of the crop. Of course, Melanie was a cherubim sister of his anyway, and he remembered their youths in the realm of eternity, when Melanie had goggled at her big brother, awestruck in his presence, always complimenting him and asking about him. Apparently there had been a bit of a crush, Daniel had once informed him in their private chess matches, but that had long since passed. He did remember, though, the attention from that one all those years ago. The looks of admiration.
Kolm Grimsby was one hell of a guy. Offspring of the Rimwalker, a space hero of various reputes, whose name in the Realm of Eternity was synonomous with action and adventure. And the girl with him - Estella - she looked so much like the pop singer Britney Spears, it wasn't funny.
All things considered, they were memorable times, and while the anxioiusness of waiting for the Trial of Champions to begin get them on edge, perhaps that was a good thing. To be alive - to be really alive - even frightened of its possibilities, was something Michael had not experienced in he knew not how long. Almost since Judgement Day, when the ultimate confrontation of confrontations came to pass.
Would the Trial of Champions exceed that glory? Time would only tell.
* * * * *
Kolm examined his laser pistol. Weird, of all the things in the world to be concerned about, you would figure a laser gun by your side, in this day and age, would be the least of your worries. But, no. In the trial of champions coming up, with which about the most details they had was that it would be exhausting mentally, spiritually and physically, Kolm had a hunch that the simplest thing like a laser gun just might get him through some tricky situations. That was, if it didn't end up being banned from the contest, for he still had no idea yet on the official rules for the tournament.
Apparently, each of the 7 segments would be a free for all, but the final 7th one would be against all remaining contestants. The thought off having to knock of Daniel, should he make it through, was daunting, but Michael and Saruviel looked a handful as well.
Of course, death in the heavenlies, was not permanent death. Not really. Only if evil had been involved, and he was not quite sure just how those realities were affected by a competition like this. Probably, if, say, Daniel got killed, at the end of each millennial restoration, as they were called, those who had died of accidents and other illnesses, which was still very rare compared to the total population, were restored from death to live once more, lessons hopefully learned. But this particular lesson was somewhat different - potentially to the death - deliberately. Maybe God would not be so tolerant on such realities.
Yet, images of 'Hunger Games' movies flashed through his head, and it was rumoured the Theophany was a big fan of those ones, so who knew for sure.
One thing, though, was on his mind. Arthur Drake's request to him in the time he had gotten to know him. He and Daniel had arrived out an outer Dralikon planet, landed, and requested some of Daniel's friends. No sooner had they arrived then they had been locked up at another planet, apparently a holding planet of sorts, and then the Archangel Saruviel had been thrust in with them not much later. And then Drake himself had arrived, spoken long and hard about the need for his privacy, then offered them an early way out of their jail cell - competition in the Trial of Champions. But, to gain their freedom, one other requirement had to be complied with. If they survived the Trial they were forbidden from speaking the true realities about the Dralikon, as Dreldgragon favoured his privacy more than any other truth.
Kolm signed the agreement, as did the other 4 prisoners, the girls included, and while he looked with great interest to see what wonders of the Dralikon would now be revealed to him, he kept on reminding himself he would have to keep mum about whatever strange wonders he encountered. Or fail to be a man of honour, which is how he had always been raised.
A spider flicked past him, lowering down on his web, and instinctively, knowing his gun was only set on stun, he took aim and fired at the little insect. It fell to the floor, singed somewhat, but on the setting it was on it wouldn't even kill the spider. He watched it on the ground for a few moments, almost tempted to tread on it, but he was against killing things, even bugs, just for the sake of it. They were all God's creatures and unless there was a definite reason for the action, even for a man like Kolm Grimsby, then it just wouldn't be right. He watched as the spider gradually came to its senses again, awkwardly crawled away, under the shelter of a couch, perhaps wondering to itself just what strange force it had encountered. Hopefully it wouldn't bother him again.
Well, the laser pistol seemingly working well enough, he finished up with his exercises that he had also been doing in preparation for the trials, went back to the main section of his chambers, and laid down on the grand bed, next to the resting Estella, who was dressed in luscious green with flowery designs, accentuating her young and lithe figure and her true feminine beauty.
He was suddenly randy.
'How about it, babe,' he said, putting his hand on her hip.
She slapped it away, but when it returned she did not press him to move it and, slowly, she turned to him, smiled at him, and they passionately made love in the cool afternoon air of a Chenameg summer day, the rains having just passed for the day, common at the moment, with nothing to bother them but a potentially miffed Chenamegian spider with a grudge in its heart.
* * * * *
Saruviel sat at the desk, with the papyrus, taking notes. Of course, by honour of his agreement with the Lord Dreldragon Drakedon Douay, aka Arthur 'Artie' Drake, ruler supreme over the entity known to all and sundry as 'The Dralikon', he was forbidden from ever speaking of the things he had seen here, ever. Even upon any potential resurrection upon the advent of his death, should he recall the details of what he had seen he would, by his own word of honour, never speak to them of anyone. Drakedon wanted his mystery to remain just that - his mystery.
'I can't have every Tom, Dick and Harry traipsing around here to visit Gandalf on a most urgent quest or cast spells with Harry Potter. We are not an amusement park.'
Saruviel saw the point.
But Drake had not forbidden him from taking notes for his own personal memoirs of the place and so, with not much better to do right at that moment, he had ordered some papyrus, the standard writing stuff used in Chenameg, from one of the officials who saw to his need, gotten ink and a quill as well and, later on in the afternoons of this balmy summer weather, he had taken to recording the fascinating things he had seen for his own personal posterities sake, if none others.
Thinking about it for a while, it really was a memorable way to begin his term as overseer of Zaphon. Stranded on a crazy world half way accross the universe, nobody to talk to much, except a couple of his brothers who were caught in the same situation, somewhat. Although the details of how exactly Michael had come to be here were still not known by himself, it was still kind of funky having come into the room and see his bigger brother glaring at him in judgement. Not the kind of thing you expect, normally. Traveling the universe to sus out a cult of cults and have your bigger brother one step ahead of you.
But, naturally, Michael had not clearly stated his reasons for being here, and had in fact yet to do so, but one thing was clear now, from the things that he had let on about. He was expected by all and sundry to be the glorious entrance into the Trial of Champions, representing the Nexus, as it was called and that, from what they had been talking about, upon Michael's most assured of victory, the world of Chenameg and Argan and Olo Malan in general would be restored to the community of the Nexus, whatever that was, and restoration to full citizens of that entity would bring wealth, prosperity and true salvation to all and sundry. At least that was the commonly held belief.
A child of destiny, so, apparently, Michael was at this time. A child of destiny.
Saruviel, once, in the beginning, long ago, had felt that he, too, had been a child of destiny for a while. A specially chosen vessel of God, for not only Saruviel's own glory, but for the glory of the lesson being taught in and through that son. In some ways much of that destiny had come to pass, but he was still walking down, it felt, a fate of eternity almost chosen step by step for him.
But there were others, of course. Lots of them.
Lots of Children of Destiny, whose lives, perhaps, were being recorded by some strange recorder, some divine being, who typed away at a typewriter or some other strange instrument, valiantly boasting to all and sundry of Saruviel's brave feats, or Michael's daring leadership. Or probably, more likely, boasting on about Daniel and his magnificent sarcasm to all who would listen. Yes, probably Daniel, thought Saruviel to himself, smiling at the thought of it.
Here they were, the Children of Destiny. The Children of Fate, if you will. Stuck on a strange world, awaiting a Trial were their lives, once more, would be put to the test. Were they would face triumph or tragedy and, in the end, so it really seemed, only destiny herself knew the answers to their struggle. Only destiny herself.
He reinked his quill, wrote down some of these strange thoughts and, sleeping that night, he had another dream. A dream of a cosmically minded Daniel, writing about the life of Saruviel and his adventures on Olo Malan, grinning to himself all the while. And he awoke, and he shuddered, and, as they say, that was that. That was that.
* * * * *
And suddenly, the Trial. of Champions was upon them.
'You will choose a partner,' said Drake to the gathered competitors. 'So team up.'
Daniel, naturally, chose Melanie, and Kolm Grimsby paired with Estella. Leaving Saruviel looking at Michael. Yet, a figure came forward.
'I am Zen Durander. I have heard much spoken of you, Saruviel. Chenameg fears you. I will partner with you.'
Saruviel nodded, leaving a solitary Michael after all the other competitors had been teame up.
And then the female, the one from his nights, came forward, and said she was Bree, and that she would fight with Michael. And Michael assented.
The first trial was the Pathway to Oblivion. The Pathway to Oblivion was a pathway over a lake nearby Lake Chenameg. The lake had been filled with deadly man eating fish, sharks and terrors of various kind. Drakedon pointed to the obelisks sticking up from the lake, each with a letter carved in rock into the face of the pinnacle of the obelisk.
'Everyone. Watch, and try to remember, as best as you can, what you see,' said Drake.
And then in front of them servants unrolled a large banner which had 10 symbols on them.
'Examine them closely, for you have but one minute to remember them,' said Drake.
Michael looked carefully, spending a few seconds on each symbol, taking mental notes of the designs in his head, and rechecking them all once over before the scroll was wound up.
'Did you get them all?' Daniel asked Melanie.
'Trust you to stuff up,' said Melanie.
'Now, on each of the obelisks is a symbol. If the symbol matches the ones you have just seen, it is safe. If not, you will plunged to your doom. Simple? Its not as easy as you look,' grinned Dreldragon.
All around the edges of the lake the crowds had built up and Michael knew it could, really, be sudden death. His wings would work, and he would fly if he needed to, but best to not let on.
'Now, on the other side there is a red flag. You all need to claim red flag to continue at every stage of the Trial. Fail to get the red flag and your contest is finished.'
Bree stood next to Michael, and dressed in leather, her breasts poking out a little from the top, Michael didn't want to let on how attracted he now was to this female. She had touched him in the last few months, with her flatteries, with her looks. And while he would do his best to remain faithful, he was sorely tempted.
'Begin,' said Dreldragon, and the competitors took off.
Half way accross Bree and Michael were in the lead, but it didn't seem to matter on a stage by stage contest anyway. He had carefully memorised each of the symbols, and knew them well from observation now. But he was now stuck. There was one symbol, right in front of them, which looked like the tenth, but he couldn't be certain, because just to the right was another one which looked quite similar, with an extra stroke.
'Was it there, Bree? Did it have the extra stroke?'
Bree just shook her head. 'I don't know Michael. I didn't get to the tenth one.'
A guess, he thought to himself. He would have to risk a guess.
Over to the right yet another competitor had taken a dive and the crowd had gone berserk seeing the deadly sea creatures attack them. Michael shuddered. It really was to the death.
'Guess,' said Bree. 'We might get lucky.'
He stood there, about to take a leap ahead, when a little voice in his head said 'Go right'. And listening to that voice he stepped to the right - safely.
When they made the other side with no further inciden, Daniel and Melanie greeted them, holding a red flag, and Daniel sarcastically said 'Unbelievable. Even dullard Michael made it across.'
'Where's Saruviel?' asked Michael.
'Here,' said Saruviel, coming forward with a red flag.
'The flags are just there,' said Melanie pointing.
Bree walked over, grabbed their victory flag, and the crowds cheered even more so.
* * * * *
The second trial was the caverns of doom. The caverns, at the base of Mt Valiant, were filled with all sorts of snakes, creepy crawlies, vampire bats and other hideous creatured hidden within. Red flags had been hidden at various points within the caverns and they had 1 torch which would last an hour to find their flag.
Saruviel and Zen descended into the caverns before anyone else, and Michael entered last. He would give them all a fair go.
'This is creepy,' said Bree, brushing through a spider's web.
'Tell me about it,' said Michael.
'Uh, well, its creepy,' she said again, a quizzical look on her face. Michael just grinned at the cultural divide between them.
They had been down for 10 minutes, carefully searching from one cavern to the next, looking for red flags, and had seen two other teams rush back out having claimed their victory prizes. And then, suddenly, a host of bats flew over head and swarmed around the two of them. Michael plunged the torch at them and they took the hint and flew off.
'I hate bats,' said Bree.
'Lets find that flag,' said Michael.
10 minutes later they had gone even deeper into the caverns and their torch was reaching the halfway point.
'If we don't find it soon, we'll be stuck here,' said a disconcerted Bree.
'Trust me,' said Michael, but he was worried inside.
And then they came to a cavern, with a pool of water in it, but a red flag on the other side.
'I'll wade in,' said Michael. 'Here, hold the torch.'
Michael handed the torch to Bree and carefully, taking out the dagger he had been given at the start just in case, he waded in.
And then a tentacle grabbed him, pulled him under, leaving a screaming Bree shuddering.
'Were is he, were is he?' she stammered again and again.
Underneath the water, breath running out, Michael was finally ready to hack at the beast. It had a tight grip but he found its body, hacked in with a dagger, and the tentacle went limp, and he rushed to the surface, gasping for air.
'I'm ok,' he yelled to Bree, who had started crying.
He got to the shore, grabbed the red flag, and decided to cheat. He unfurled his wings, flew accross back to Bree, and she looked at him strangely.
'What are you?' she asked.
'Just a regular guy,' smiled Michael.
* * * * *
Climbing Mt Valiant didn't look that imposing to Daniel. He'd done tougher things. But when Drake talked of were-cats and other fowl creatures lurking on the mountain he wasn't so cocky.
'There are 3 special transporters, and 1 phoney one, hidden on the mountain somewhere, which will instantly take you to the top of the mountain if you choose to use it.'
'And the phoney one?' asked Daniel.
'To space and beyond,' smiled Drake.
'Great,' said the Seraphim.
Daniel and Melanie got started, using the euqipment they were supplied with, and about 3 hours into the climb, they came to a crevice, which had a small space vehicle with a big red button on it.
'Will we?' he asked.
'It could be the phoney one,' Melanie replied.
'It will save us a lot of bother,' he said. 'And how bad could space be?'
'Mmm,' she said, but followed Daniel inside the small space craft anyway.
Daniel pushed the red button when they were strapped in and the doors closed, sealed themselves, and it took off. They were lucky. They got the right one. It landed a short time later on top of Mt Valiant and while Daniel said 'Ha', Melanie knew they had been lucky.
They claimed their red flag, with a crowd even up here congratulating them, and waited.
Half a day later Michael and Bree emerged, and then they saw a ship skying upwards.
'It's Kolm,' said Michael. 'And Estella. They were deciding wether they would risk it or not. We saw you guys reach the top.'
Daniel smiled. Another competitor bites the dust.
* * * * *
Michael and Bree had some quiet time. The contest was over for the day, and they were in tents on the mountain side. Thinking to himself about the competition he considered his competitors. Three events down and, somehow, his brother Daniel had still survived. Of course, Saruviel was still in the contest, but with Kolm Grimsby and Estella, apparently, now transported to some God forbidden planet at the end of the third trial, the competition was really starting to thin down somewhat. It could be tough, but Bree seemed like a born survivor, and the prophecy still
He was headeded for a confrontation with Saruviel, and one which they
would likely, never, ever, forget.'
He sipped on his hot coffee, smiled as Bree took off her leather top and stared at him, suggesting she was his if he wanted her, but he just shook his head as she shrugged, nestled into her blankets, and settled in for the long, cold night.
The morrow would see the victor, and Michael was intense with anticipation.
* * * * *
'These are the ropes. As you can see, they are strong,' said Drake, hanging on a rope extending from the summit of Mt Valiant, a good mile further outwards to Mt Impossible.
'Three quarters of the way accross is the red flag. You may only go one way to get the flag. There are 17 ropes. We only have 5 teams left. Good luck.'
Bree looked at Michael. 'I am strong, but perhaps you would have a better chance.'
'I'll see you on the other side,' said Michael.
He looked at the ropes. They did look strong enough, but a fall further out could be disastrous for his identity.
As he watched Daniel started off and soon Saruviel on one of the other ropes, leaving Michael last again. He got to it.
Half way accross it was a long way down and, despite himself being an ancient angel, long ago having conquered his fear of heights, he still felt a little dizzy. He crawled along the rope slowly, bit by bit, when a large eagle landed on the rope above him, and started pecking at him.
'Go away bird. Go away,' but the eagle persisted in having a go at him.
20 yards away Daniel laughed, when the eagle, deciding it had had enough of Michael, flew over and started pecking at Daniel. Poetic justice, thought Michael sarcastically to himself.
He steadied, continued on, and as the morning light turned to afternoon, he claimed the flag, put it in his tunic, and continued onwards.
'Well done, Mikey. But the competition is drawing to a close. One of us could be in the shit soon,' said Daniel.
Michael smiled. Daniel, ever the sarcastic champion. Ever.
* * * * *
'Mt Impossible is an extinct volcano, and at the bottom is a labyrinth. Beware the wrath of the minotaurs, for you must overcome them to claim your flag.'
'Sounds wonderful,' said Michael.
Zen Durander looked at Saruviel. 'Shall I cast the spell, then, Master Saruviel.'
Saruviel wanted to think better of it, but decided he may as well go with the flow. The spell would be cast.
Charting their way through the upper levels, the torch suddenly flickered and went out. Zen's spell had been cast.
'What do we do?' sobbed Bree.
'Hold my hand,' said Michael. 'I will lead the way.' But he was lost. Then he remembered an old truth of labyrinths. Hold one side, and if you started that way, you inevitable came to the exit. He had subconsciously been trying to do that, so putting his hand on the wall to the left of them, they slowly creeped along.
It was 10 minutes later, they came to a door. Michael, daring, opened it, and they were rewarded with a torch against a far wall, with a small wall in front of them. They bypassed the wall and then Bree touched his arm nervously.
'Look,' she said.
The wall had been hiding a sleeping minotaur, with a red flag at the end of the minotaurs bed.
'Shhh,' said Michael. 'Be vewy vewy quiet.'
He relit the torch, and, slowly, creeped towards the red flag. But the minotaur suddenly awoke, and when they had backed up it was halted by a chain around its neck, roaring at them.
'How do we get the flag?' yelled Bree.
Michael thought quickly. The minotaur, in the end, while quite well built, had no jagged looking teeth.
'I'll wrestle it. You grab the flag.'
'You sure,' she said.
'You only live once,' he smiled back at her.
'Very funny,' she said.
So Michael launched himself at the Minotaur, who doubled back on the bed in a wrestle with him, while Bree snatched the flag.
'Ok,' she said. 'I've got it.'
'Urrggh,' said Michael, with the minotaurs thick arm around his neck.
'Cuudd you heelpp,' he managed to screech.
She thought quickly, and, looking at the torch in her hand, flared it at the minotaurs face, who squealed, relaxed his grip on Michael for a moment, who bolted out of reach of the raging beast.
'Let's get out of here,' he muttered. 'And if I never seen another labyrinth again it will be too soon.'
'I concur,' she said smiling.
* * * * *
'Congratulations. Survivors!' smirked Drake. 4 Teams left. The barbarian thug who had been mocking Michael occasionally. Daniel and Melanie. Saruviel and Zen. Himself and Bree. 4 Teams. 1 winner.
They were beyond the labyrinth, on the outskirts of Mt Impossible, and a coliseum was in the distance, with houses all around it, another city nearby Chenameg, with a vast grass plain between them.
'The sixth trial is simple. Cross the plain. A red flag is on the other side for all who are successful.'
Michael knew it was a trap instantly, with the smile on Dreldragons face.
Michael strode forward carefully, watching his steps. It had to be a trap.
Over to his left Melanie and Daniel seemed to be having an arguement, which was good news. Hopefully they would make a fatal mistake.
Saruviel was over to his right, Zen following him. That one wouldn't make a mistake. The 7th one would never make a mistake.
They crossed, slowly, carefull, and then the Barbarian yelled as he and his lithe female partner disappeared under the earth.
'They're are traps,' yelled Saruviel. 'Pits.'
'Right,' said Michael, and took out his dagger, poking as he went.
'We'll be alright, Bree. It could be slow, but we'll make it.'
'I trust you, Michael.'
Suddenly a yelp and, ironically, Daniel and Melanie had disappeared.
'Fuck!' swore Michael. 'I hope they are ok. God watch over them.'
Slowly, as the afternoon passed, he watched as Saruviel and Zen were doing similar to them and, finally, reaching the edge of the plain, they came upon the mosaic platform and claimed their red flags. The barbarian and his partner had been killed by snakes, but Daniel and Melanie had fought them off with their daggers, and were very lucky. Theyr'e had only been a few of them. They'd needed help out of the pit, but were now disqualified.
'I guess I ended up in the shit after all,' said Daniel to Michael, holding a pitcher of the ale they had grown accustomed to.
'Don't remind me,' said Daniel the Seraphim.
* * * * *
The final victors, Michael and Saruviel's teams, were celebrated at the colliseum for a number of days as the crowds, who had been following the event, gradually filled up the colliseum in anticipation for the final contest.
'Choose your final champion,' said Drakedon in front of the crowd. The cheers were intense.
Michael stepped forward, and so did Saruviel.
'The endgame encounter has Team Saruviel & Zen Durander vs Michael and his Maiden in a game of 'Dragon Chess' were Death is the end result for the loser.'
'Chess,' said Saruviel, amused.
'Its hardly a death sport,' commented Michael.
'We kill the loser,' said Drakedon smartly.
'Oh,' said Alexander.
'I see,' said Michael.
Daniel, who had been consulting Drake's official rule book, excused himself. I'll be back in a jiffee.'
He disappeared, as Michael stared at Saruviel, and the game began.
Michael was cold, for once in his life, and with the killing blow he looked at his brother with sorrow. 'You'll be back, Alex. At the end of the Millennium. Try to look on the bright side of life.'
Alexander Darvanius II shuddered. He didn't like death.
Suddenly Daniel appeared, with the child of heaven 'Aphrayel - Death' and 'Samael - Devil'
'What are you doing here?' Michael asked Death.
'Death is for the loser!' she exclaimed, a funny look on her face, looking coyly at Daniel.
Michael turned to Samael the child of heaven, the Devil. 'And you, Sam?'
'Daniel invited me along for the ride. Said it would be fun.'
'What exactly does it mean by Death is for the loser?' asked Saruviel, noticing the funny look on Daniel's face.'
Aphrayel smiled. 'I get to have my wicked way with the guy who didn't win,' she said, and smiled that oh so deathly familiar smile.
'That could be interesting,' said Saruviel, a grin on his face.
'That's the idea,' said death, slithering over to him, and caressing his shoulder.
Drakedon, axe in hand, gazed at Death who stared deep into his soul, reminding him just who she was.
'The Reaper herself has come to claim her prize,' he yelled to the crowd, and the cheering was intense.
'Time to die,' said Aphrayel, leading Alexander away to a room beneath the Colisseum.
Later on, when Alexander reappeared to Michael and the rest, with Kolm Grimsby and Estella restored to them, having been transported back from an apparently jungle like planet with no intelligent life on it, Michael asked Saruviel, as they were all travelling back on Daniel's ship, 'Did Death claim her victory?'
Saruviel looked incredibly guilty, put both his hands down defensively to his nether region, and smiled a wicked smile.
'Oh, brother,' said Michael.
And Saruviel grinned and grinned and grinned.
Morning Stars VIII: Sariel
Now he is an intelligent angel,' said the Theophany of God. 'I am
quite sure there will be no revelatory shenanigans during his
And Satan over in the corner, still chuckling, nodded to God. ‘Yeh, he is bright enough.'
But Jesus simply remained silent. Nothing to say, presently. He'd been mocked enough.
'Don't let it go to your head, Satan. I far from approve of you,' said Wolfgang the Theophany.
'But you don't approve of heretics either,' replied the Devil, glaring at Jesus.
'Not really,' said God, looking softly at Jesus, who refused to speak. 'Sometimes they just need to learn their lesson. Sometimes that is just the way it is.'
Jesus remained silent. And the world turned.
Daniel was smiling. He was finally happy. A nightmare had ended. He remembered back. The big day had arrived, and Jesus was all pumped up. Boy, was the Lamb of God ready for his glory. Satan and his boys showed, and they were ready for action. And then in stepped Sariel and whistled to Saruviel. ‘Yo, it just ticked over 9:45.’ Saruviel looked at him. ‘Why, yes it has Mr Grant. Why yes it has. I guess a deal is a deal, he said with the slightest grin in his voice. Here you go,’ tossing him the ring. Remember Yesh is crafty. But I think we’ve fucked the lad now. And that fucking number nine pissed him off eternally. I mean, there’s the punk. A few years old, and he chooses nine. Fucking number nine. I mean, come on. Put the cunt in his place, hey. Oh, Mr Daly. Don’t forget number ten.’
Sariel grinned, catching the ring.
He stepped in, looked at Satan and smiled. ‘Sorry, times up. You know the rules.’ And he showed him the ring. Satan looked at it, nodded, came over and patted Sariel on the back, and walked over to Yesh. ‘You fucking idiot,’ and he walked off. And Jesus stood there, confused.’
Michael spoke up. ‘You know, Jesus. Sariel is an Eighth angel. You can count to eight, can’t you. You can count to eight. I mean, you were circumcised on the eighth day. Remember. Huh?’
‘What is that supposed to mean?’ asked Jesus, looking confused.
‘Sheesh, some guys never learn. Oh, have fun Sariel. I trust you won’t let us down.’
‘Things should be dandy. Don’t sweat it.’
And that was the end of it. It had been eighteen months now and Jesus was locked up in Terraphora, with his followers, making plans. He was puzzled these days, not quite sure what was going on. Really, quite puzzled. But, hey. Such were the plans of God. Such where the plans of God. Heh, heh, heh.
* * * * *
Sariel was sitting with Daniel. 'The ongoing machinations of Jesus of Nazareth are perplexing,' said Sariel.
'The Church continues to attempt to fulfil Revelation. To demonstrate their chosenness as the Kingdom of God,' replied Daniel.
'A lie,' stated Sariel flatly.
'Tell that to them. Sometimes I wonder, though. Perhaps there is a grand mystery of life going on. In a practical life, perhaps God is doing things with this Christian religion that he is not telling us.'
'Or perhaps it is just the agenda of Jesus of Nazareth,' said Sariel, sitting behind the overseers desk.
'Perhaps,' replied the 45th of the male Seraphim of Eternity.
'Your mission,' said Sariel. 'The ultimate glory you seek. I, myself, am not particularly put back by such initiative. If that is what is in your heart, then perhaps God himself is the one who has placed it there.'
Daniel looked at him, considering that statement. 'Uh, Sars. What can I fucking say? Valandriel and I have chatted forever about our objectives, but it is usually us making our decisions. What, are you arguing some predetermined calvinism of the most high?'
'Or the Machinations of Eve,' said Sariel.
'Destiny herself,' replied Daniel.
'Would you like a beer? An English one?'
'Sure,' replied Daniel.
Sariel pressed the buzzer intercom. 'Cindradel? Could you bring in some York Fire, please.'
'Sure Sariel,' she replied after a moment. York Fire was Sariel's current favourite beers, especially because of the fond burning sensation in the mouth.
'And what are you up to these days, Daniel San?' asked Sariel, lying back in his seat.
'Oh. You know. This and that. Lady trouble at the moment. Meludiel has refused my marriage proposal for centuries now, and I only want one more child.'
'Who is she married to at the moment?' Sariel asked casually.
'Jacob Fink,' said Daniel, a disappointed look on his face.
'Him!' exclaimed Sariel. 'Again! She never gets sick of that Cherubim lover.'
'Her earthly husband. Doubt that she'll ever leave him completely,' responded Daniel. 'Oh, I don't mind. Ambriel has accepted that as well. Love goes where it will, according to Meludiel.'
'Indeed,' responded Sariel.
Cindradel came in then, carrying 4 bottles of chilled 'York Fire', and sat them down on the desk. 'Enjoy,' she said.
'Thanks,' replied Sariel.
He opened a beer, passed one to Daniel and said, 'Cheers, brother. To good health.'
'And to long life,' responded Daniel, clinking his beer bottle against Sariel's.
And so they drank the afternoon away, getting slightly inebriated, and the world turned, and nobody was the wiser that the new overseer of the Realm of Eternity got slightly drunk that evening.
* * * * *
Gloryel was in a happy mood. She was in Terraphora, along a private place of the Terraphon river, sitting with Ambriel. Again. They did this occasionally, came here together, because Ambriel wanted to make his sister happy, because she'd had an age long crush on him. She didn't even pretend to deny it.
'The river flows,' said Ambriel, lying on a rug, eating grapes, his head cradled in Gloryel's lap, who was stroking his hair softly.
'It flows,' she replied softly.
Ambriel gazed at the Terraphora, flowing by in its mysterious and eternal destiny, only to return, eventually, through rainclouds, and continue on its job eternally.
'It's like us, in many ways?' he said.
'What is?' asked Gloryel, stroking Ambriel's hair softly.
'The Terravon,' he replied.
'Oh. How so?' she asked.
'It carries on, naturally, and completes its objective at the end of each rim. And then it flows downwards, into the nether and, from what I am told, is touched by the breath of God and rises through the rim gaps, back up into the sky, to form clouds, and start its mission all over again.'
'And how is that like our lives?' she asked.
'Well,' he began. 'We carry on naturally, but in the end we are fallen angels, only to be touched by the mercy of God, and to fly once more in the heavenlies.'
She kissed his head. 'You are clever, aren't you.'
He was smiling.
'Sariel,' he said, out of the blue.
'Yes. My twin,' she replied.
'Are you and him? Well. You know.'
'Sariel is as Sariel does,' she replied. 'And I shan't lose any sleep over that.'
'Then stroke my head in peace,' he replied softly.
She stopped, and considered his words. 'My,' she finally replied. 'You still keep that Torah faith quite strictly, don't you. Quite like Daniel in many ways. Still harps on about the Rainbow Covenant.'
'A Messiah must keep the faith,' he replied.
'You're not married at the moment, are you?' she asked, a note of inquiry in her voice.
'Uh. Well, technically, no. Justine and I are separated, and a divorce was filed the other day which I signed. Technically we are not together anymore. Again.'
'I'm single,' she said, a little heat in her voice.
'Me too,' he said.
'Mmm,' she said. 'Ok then. Lets see just how strict you are.' She stood up, came around in front of him and, slowly, started disrobing.
'What are you doing, Gloryel?' he asked, a moment later, noticing she wasn't stopping.
And then she pulled off her bra, her slacks, and her knickers, and was naked before him.
He gazed at her. Her feminine glory catching his attention.
'Would you like to fuck me?' she asked him, heat in her voice.
He was tempted. He stood, quickly got naked, and came to her and kissed her passionately. And all the while, as he thrust away, an image of Meludiel was in her mind saying, 'Yeh. You're faithful!' in an oh, so sarcastic voice.
* * * * *
'Life is funny,' said Meludiel, lying in the arms of her husband Jacob after a passionate love-making session. 'You spend half eternity trying to work out who you are supposed to be with, and then when you are with someone you spend the rest of if working out if this relationship is right for you or not.'
'You have problems?' asked Jacob.
'What I wanted to go on to say was, though, sometimes. Sometimes, after all the problems you go through, there are moments when it all works out for the best. And its like that between us.'
'I've always thought so,' said Jacob, getting up from the bed and dressing.
'Where you going?' she asked.
'Work. Gotta do it, you know.'
'You have investments, though. Don't you?' she asked.
'I like to watch over them, Bec. I always have. Its how they stay afloat.'
'Oh, ok,' she said.
He dressed. He left.
She was still frustrated. He'd finished quickly, but she was left with an urge.
She took her mobile, and rang a number.
'Babe. You've come around,' he replied.
'Jesus Christ,' she thought to herself. What was she getting herself into?'
And only time would tell on that.
* * * * *
Sariel sat in the Overseers desk. He turned, looked out the window at the glory of Zaphona city, admired it for a while, and turned back to his PC. He looked at the screen, and the current workload, and turned again, looking out towards the large Zaphon Overseers offices. The main overseer office was very high up in Zaphon tower, and the offices were all the associated workers worked were connected in an open plan design, though his own office was cut off. But it was glass see through in the top half, the bottom half a glazy sort of glass you couldn't quite see through. When he was at his desk sitting you could just see his head through the clear glass, and it supposedly had long been designed that way. His dirty mind had occasionally considered that you could have a girl in with you, and do dirty things, and nobody would be none the wiser, but he banished that thought – usually – after entertaining it occasionally. Dirty old man he thought to himself. Cindradel was stationed just outside the office, in a desk, his chief secretary. There were about a hundred or so other workers in the Overseers offices, taking up most, but not quite all of that level. There was also a small cafeteria on the level, and the offices of a few prestigious realm companies, including some lawyers. Zaphon council offices were further down below, and the overseers suite was upstairs a little, as was a well known club were Ronnie James Dio and Cheryl Cole sang regularly. Zaphon tower itself had a lot of businesses located in it, usually the headquarters of international companies, as it was one of the most prestigious addresses in the Realm of Eternity, the whole universe as well. There was a stock exchange outlet on lower levels, not the main one for Zaphona city or Zaphora, which was downtown a little, but it concentrated on blue-chip and gold-chip companies, and was considered the 'Poshest' stock exchange in the Realm. Only for the very rich and wealthy – the realm elite. Sariel, at his age, had many shares in his portfolio, and technically didn't need to do any work at all if he chose to, as did any of the Seraphim really. But that was not the point. They served God, and you had to do something useful with your life in the end anyway – after all, all play and no work made Jack a dull boy. Today was a day, mostly like what he'd grown accustomed to, and he was still following through some of the business matters of Saruviel's tenure, and he was happy enough with that, and things were good, and he couldn't really complain: But he was a little bored, actually, and wanted to liven things up a little. Get away from a bit of the humdrum of it all. So he buzzed Cindradel, and asked her to go off and find some plastic cricket bats, balls and wickets, and declared they would be having the Overseers Office Test series, the boys versus the girls. Cindradel had looked at him amused, and suggested they really had work to do, but Sariel would not be placated. A few months of leisure was on the card, and he would not be persuaded otherwise. And so she went off on her wild goose chase, and he sat at his desk, and looked out the window, and smiled. It would be a fun working week after all.
* * * * *
'That devil has been around, hasn't he?' inquired Jacob Fink.
'What devil?' asked Meludiel innocently, reading her magazine.
'Daniel the Devil. The bloody Seraphim who never stops chasing you.'
'I have no idea what you mean,' replied Meludiel. 'Haven't seen him in ages.'
'Then what is this?' asked Jacob, holding up a pair of Daniel's underpants.
'They must be yours,' she replied.
'They have Daniel the Seraphim written on the label,' replied Jacob.
Meludiel looked at him, blinked, and returned to her magazine. 'At least he'll give me some,' she replied. 'Not fucking off to work and forgetting about fucking his wife all the time.'
'Gee your a Christian with language like that,' replied Jacob.
'Yes. I am a Christian,' replied Meludiel. 'And an honest one. I honour apostle Paul that we should abstain from time to time from sexual behaviour, but you hardly even touch me these days. Adultery is all I've had left to me. So sue me.'
'Look, I don't care on him,' replied Jacob. 'You've known and loved him forever. But that's not the point. While you are married to me you probably should be faithful, and understand I'm frikking busy with work.'
'Why do you need this company?' asked Rebecca. 'The band CDs are selling great. It's not as if money is necessary.'
'Hardly the point,' replied Jacob, sitting down next to her and picking up the remote.
'Then explain it to me,' said Rebecca.
He flicked on the TV, looked at shows for a while, and then flicked it off.
'Oh, hell Bec. Look, I suppose its really just something to do in the end. I could go on and on about being a responsible Christian and building an ethical company to help the world and do good things for people, but its just that it gives me a little more pride being a working man than a rock god, and, like I said. Something to do.'
'Right,' she said, nodding. 'I see.'
'And I didn't think a faithful wife was too much to ask for,' replied the Cherubim.
'No. No its not,' she said, and thought on those ideas, as Jacob turned back to the TV and let Home and Away soothe his frustrations.
* * * * *
'Love, love, I am in love. So completely, I am in love,' sang Gloryel, as she hummed around her home.
Sariel looked at her, and put down his laptop. 'So, who is the lucky fellow?'
'None of your business,' replied Gloryel.
'It's not me, is it?' he asked.
'Hah!' she exclaimed. 'Don't make me laugh. You have the charms of a viper.'
'Wonderful,' he replied. 'I guess I've never really lived up to my fair twin's expectations.'
'I've lowered them over the years,' she said, watering her flower pots. 'Dramatically. Sariel the Seraphim I said to myself? English charms like a gentleman, true enough. But as dowdy and as boring as they come. Nothing like his movie roles. Nothing at all. Thoroughly traditionally conservatively a bore. Nothing much more.'
'Indeed,' replied Sariel, and picked up his laptop. 'Oh, we're winning. Two tests to one,' he said.
'The girls will get the last two,' replied Gloryel, regarding the girls versus boys office test series that was in progress.
'We only went soft in game one to encourage them,' replied Sariel.
She looked at him. 'I am sure they beat you fair and square. You are just too proud to admit it. Always been a fault of yours.'
'Maybe,' he replied. 'But we're winning anyway.'
'They'll get the next,' she said, humming away.
'Care to wager on it?' he asked her.
She looked at him, shrugged, and finished off with her watering, and came and sat down next to him. After a while she rested against him.
'I'm not silly, dear brother. My current lover is all I could ever ask for, and more. He is – wonderful. What I've always wanted.' And then she turned to Sariel. 'But I wouldn't trade you. I'm a patriot, and I'm happy with the twin I have.'
'Good to know,' he said, and dared touching her leg. She watched his hand, as he moved it up slowly towards her thigh, and then towards her femininity. Then she suddenly pulled away, and started singing again. 'I'm in love, love, love, love. Sweet and pure love.'
'For Christs sake,' swore Sariel under his breath. He wouldn't be getting lucky tonight by the looks of it.
* * * * *
Ambriel looked at his notebook. It was an old notebook, which he had slowly been making notes in. Quintessential notes was the essential idea, which was the title on the cover. He wanted to write down primary kernels of wisdom from each of the reigning overseers to help him with his own ultimate service in the position. And he'd been going slowly, with only 5 pages used up so far. He wanted to go conservatively, and pace himself, so that he'd have enough share for each of the first 59 overseers before him, and then room left for the final 10 which followed. He wasn't too worried about female seraphim wisdom – that was their own domain as far as he was concerned. Looking at his notebook, he thought on the current overseer. He'd just started the job, really, and he thought sarcastically if there was anything Sariel would say, it would be about twins who cheat with other twins. But, no, it was too early anyway to be plumbing Sariel's mind for ideas. Instead he would observe, and ask the occasional question, and as he had done previously, work for a few salient ideas which he could add in, and build towards his latter reign, armed with wisdom, experience and truth.
'What have you got there?' asked Gabriel.
Ambriel looked up. He was sitting in Terraphon keep, in the cafeteria, enjoying his lunch, with the notebook open. 'Just some notes,' said Ambriel, and put the notebook into his satchel.
'I've heard about that notebook,' said Gabriel. 'You never showed it to me though. When you were doing your research, as you put it.'
'Didn't know I had to,' replied Ambriel, smiling warmly.
'No, of course not. Free world.' Gabriel sat down, and started eating his plate of fried bacon, egg and pineapple.
'Fried pineapple?' queried Ambriel.
'Aquariel recommended it to me. I asked Kaladel to cook some for me, and she did. It tastes good enough. I like it with bacon and eggs.'
'I'll have to try it,' said Ambriel.
'So, whats up?' Gabriel asked his younger Seraphim brother.
'Oh, life in general. Not much at the moment. But romantically its been busy.'
'Gloryel,' said Gabriel. 'She's all over you. Fallen in love. Everyone knows.'
'Yes,' sighed Ambriel. 'Gloryel.'
'Don't you like her?' asked Gabriel, eyebrow raised.
'She's not completely my cup of tea,' replied Ambriel. 'Don't get me wrong – I love all my Seraphim sisters. But it's just that. I love them all, and couldn't really say know to the lustings of a Spice Girl.'
'You don't have feelings for her?' asked Gabriel.
'Nothing deep. Don't get me wrong – I do like her well enough. She's fun and, well, spicy. She livens things up. But perhaps just a little too much for my own style of things.'
'She likes you. Always has,' said Gabriel. 'Your the bees knees to that one.'
'Don't I know it,' replied Ambriel.
'So go with the flow, bro. And let it last as long as it does. She'll get over you eventually.'
'Let's hope so,' replied Ambriel, and sipped on his coffee, as Gabriel started devouring his fried fruit.
* * * * *
Daniel sipped on his bottle of York Fire. He'd taken a liking to the beer since Sariel introduced it to him. Crisp, light and sweet – but it packed a hell of a punch, and had fire in it. Some mysterious ingredient Sariel wouldn't tell him about. Meludiel had been fun, recently, but she'd rang him and told him not to come around for a while. Jacob had had enough. Time to lay low. So, he was mostly single, and needing something to do in this time of Sariel. Something to do. Something to do. He sat down at his breakfast table, and looked at the Zaphona News. He lived in Danielphon in the heart of Zaphora, and Ariel was away, staying at her own usual address in Terraphora. It was mostly the single life at this time, and he was a little lonely, but coping well enough. He was a Seraphim – they had thick skins. He instinctively turned to the sports section to check Rugby League and Cricket scores, but then stopped himself and turned to the business page. And then, just as quickly, turned to the 'Upcoming Events' page, and looked through. Good. There was a rare and collectible book fair this weekend. Perfect. He'd hang around there, and enjoy the atmosphere of the stalls. Usual place – Zaphona Central Park, not far north of Zaphon. That would give him something to do for a while. But he had nothing to do at just this moment, apart from maybe a little indoor cricket practice, so decided he'd hook up the old ancient Sega Megadrive system, and play some of Sonic the Hedgehog 47, the last game he had been working through. He found the console under his bed in his room, took it out to the main room, hooked it up, and then went off to his garage archives to find the cartridge. He found it after some hunting, went back inside, and ordered pizza. And started playing. Halfway through level 3 there was a knock on the front door. That was rare – he was usually left alone in peace. He got up, answered it, and was a little surprised.
'Melanie Chisholm,' he said. 'You NEVER visit me in Danielphon. It's like a rule you have or something.'
The Spice girl ignored him, and walked past him into the room, sat down on the couch, saw the pizza and cans of coke, and picked a piece for herself, and started drinking the coke.
'Just make yourself at home then. Don't mind me,' he said sarcastically. He sat back down, looked at her, then returned to his game.
'She's a bitch,' she said eventually.
'Who's a bitch?'
'Gloryel,' replied Melanie.
'And why is Gloryel a bitch?' asked Daniel.
'She thinks she's cool, and is the best Spice Girl, and that every fucking body loves her. Such a fucking ego at the moment, because she's dating Ambriel.'
'So you're jealous,' he said.
'I'm not frikkin jealous. Just annoyed. And perplexed. It's all gone to her head.'
'Geraldine Halliwell has always been a little bit vain,' said Daniel. 'It is just the way she is.'
'Yeh, well she can stick the new tour. I'm bludging for a few years, and I'll live here.'
'You'll live here?' he queried.
'Ariel is in her own place. Says she won't be back for ages. It's not a problem, is it?'
Daniel looked at her, sighed, and said 'I guess not Melanie. I guess not.'
'And don't get any funny ideas,' said Melanie. 'I'm your guest. I'll expect the most cordial of attitudes.'
'I wouldn't dream of it dear sister.'
'Don't think I like you either. I just thought it was time for us to spend some time together. So that's all it is.'
'As you say,' replied Daniel, and returned to his game.
Melanie continued eating her pizza, and looked at Daniel, who was focused on his game. She wouldn't tell him, but she'd been looking at his profile online for a while, and had developed a little bit of a crush on this particular Seraphim. But she wouldn't tell him. She would never do that. Never.
* * * * *
'Well, he's agreed to leave me alone for the time being,' said Meludiel.
Jacob looked up from his laptop. 'Huh?'
'Daniel. He's agreed to leave me alone for the time being. While we're together.'
'Oh. Good,' said Jacob, and returned to his laptop.
She sat there, looking at the TV, and decided to query her husband. 'You'll do me right, though. Won't you?'
He looked up again. 'Huh?'
'You'll do me right. Give me what I need to relax.'
'You want coffee or something?' he asked her.
'Jesus Christ!' she swore under her breath. 'In the bedroom ning nong. I need a touch every now and again.'
'A touch of love, sweetie? Yeh, I'll get round to it. Busy at the moment. Make do with that lovestick you have.'
'Don't mention the frikkin lovestick,' said Meludiel, embarrassed. 'I don't talk about such things. It's very rude. It's only for emergencies.'
'Well you can have an emergency for a while,' he replied. 'Work is on my mind at the moment. We're growing currently, and I need to take care of things.'
'Fine,' she said. She thought on her lovestick. The ancient vibrator she'd bought when she was young and daring. She'd used it – sparsely. She was too virtuous to be a sex maniac. Far too virtuous for that. But even saints had urges. Even the holiest of them.
'I'm going out,' she said. 'Down to MacDonalds down town. Hotcakes is the only rush I'll get at the moment. That will do.'
'Sure thing,' he said.
She grabbed her keys, looked at her husband forlornly, but he did not respond, so exited their abode.
Sitting in Maccas, she bit into her big Mac. 'Mmm.' she said. It tasted good. She munched away, and looked out the window. Zaphona city was a busy place. Trillions of people lived in it. It had activity, action and excitement. It was everything a girl could want. She did concerts here, occasionally, singing her gospel music, and it drew crowds, as she was famous. There was a lot to do in such a big city. But she was reduced to MacDonalds, and a Big Mac with fries. Such was life.
'Meludiel? Is that you?'
She turned and looked. Nadiel, Daniel the Cherubim's twin, was standing there, with a Maccas tray.
'Hi Nadiel,' said Meludiel.
Nadiel sat down opposite her, and they smiled at each other.
'Shall we talk about Daniel the Seraphim?' asked Nadiel. 'He's a common love.'
'Fine,' said Meludiel. 'He's off limits at the moment. Jacob complained.'
'Melanie Chisholm has moved in with him,' said Nadiel. 'I got an email from someone telling me.'
Meludiel raised an eyebrow. 'Melanie likes Daniel? That's new.'
'I'm not sure if she likes him that way,' replied Nadiel. 'I think she just needs a friend for a while. I don't think they're doing it or anything like that.'
'Knowing Daniel.....' trailed off Meludiel.
'He might like her,' said Nadiel. 'He is a very big Spice Girl's fan after all.'
'That is true,' said Meludiel. 'I knew he was into the Spice Girls. I just didn't know he wanted to be into the Spice Girls.'
'Very funny,' replied Nadiel. 'No, apparently Melanie just showed up. Looking for a friend. Daniel is innocent in this respect.'
'Lucky Daniel,' said Melanie. 'At least he has someone to talk to. I live with a husband, but there's nothing to say at the moment. Work, work, work. Nothing much else.'
'I'm sure he loves you,' said Nadiel.
'That isn't the problem. He's just very work-oriented at the moment. Building his credibility, so he tells me.'
'And he's looking for a faithful and supporting wife, right?' said Nadiel.
'Something like that,' replied Meludiel.
'The things we do for love', said the Asian princess.
'The things we do for love,' affirmed Meludiel.
'Well, how is life with you personally? Any major plans?' asked Nadiel.
'Business as usual. The occasional tour. An art gallery from time to time. Chit chat with the Christian Gospel singers scene. At cafes and things here and there. An odd movie, and night out. Nothing much, though. I'm not really pursuing any hobbies or charities at the moment. It says in the bible there is a time for everything, and it's not really the time for Meludiel the Seraphim to be extraordinary. Not the time for me to shine. It's just the time for me to be simply me, and nothing special or noteworthy.'
'And why is that?' asked Nadiel.
'Sometimes I fear pride. But more than that. Balance, I guess. I need a lot of the mundane in my life as well. Ordinary things. I guess that is what God is dishing up at the moment.'
'Then it's a good thing,' said Nadiel, and ate a fry.
'Yes, a good thing,' replied Meludiel glumly. A good thing.
* * * * *
And so went on life in the Realm of Eternity, and people continued finding their dreams, and finding their glory. And Sariel did his job. And Sariel was respected. And Sariel reigned and Sariel ruled, and passions were hot, and passions were cool. And so the world turned. And so the world turned.
bent down to the cupboard, brought out the brandy, and sat back down,
pouring small glasses for herself and Boaz. She sipped on it slowly,
the familiar burning sensation in her throat warming her up on such a
cold day. It had been a record low for that day of the month, an
extreme rarity, and boy was it cold. Below zero and they really did
feel it in there bones.
‘That’s better,’ said Boaz, warming his hands in front of the fire they had gotten going. ‘Well, why don’t we have a game of Monopoly? There’s nothing much else to do on a day like this.’
‘As long as we play by our special rules. It is too difficult to win otherwise with two players, and it is usually just luck.’
‘Not a problem.’
Ruth chose the car and Boaz chose the hat and as they played, outside it started snowing. ‘It will again be a cold Hannukah, I feel,’ said Ruth. ‘Just like last year.’
‘But the kids love it. They make snowmen at the synagogue grounds.’
‘Do you remember when we first made snowmen? And I threw snowballs at you.’
‘How could I forget,’ replied Boaz fondly. ‘You dumped a whole pile of snow on my head and I caught a cold.’
‘We were so in love then, in those early days after the resurrection. It really was a blissful time.’
‘And we’re not still in love?’ queried Boaz.
‘Oh, we are still in love. But the passionate flames have dimmed to quiet embers I feel.’
‘And what happens when the embers turn to ash?’
‘A graceful period of rest. But don’t worry, we always start another fire after a while.’
He smiled at that statement – it really was an encouraging metaphor to use for their relationship.’
He raised his glass. ‘May the embers, though, smoulder for many years yet.’
She raised her glass, winked at him, and finished her brandy, breathing out when the fire in her throat really warmed up because of the alcohol.
‘In a funny way, Boaz, these days are some of the days I like the most. I know they are too cold to do anything, really. But we are closer then. As if the harsher realities of nature, of life, have forced us together.’
‘Another wonderful metaphor on life, Ruth. Yes, I know exactly what you are saying. Oppression breeds unity. Yet, united with you, well my life is complete.’
She smiled, leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, and they continued on with their game of monopoly.
The day gradually passed, and Boaz won the game of Monopoly, which he usually did, yet that night, as Ruth pulled up her doona cover next to the already snoring Boaz, she reflected on how they had drawn together that day, and the pleasing and quiet joy it brought to her soul. These really were special days in her life, and finding fulfilment in Boaz, well, really she would have it no other way.
‘Turkey, Ruth? Why Turkey?’
‘Oh, you know. Just because.’
‘I sense we are having a Christian over for our Hannukah meal.’
‘Alright then, I have no objections to Turkey.’
‘Good. And we will have roast potatoes, corn, peas, pumpkin, carrots and gravy.’
‘It sounds a heck of a lot like a Christmas dinner Ruth.’
‘Is that the end of the world.’
‘No. No it isn’t. It isn’t our tradition, but no it’s not the end of the world. Alright, have it your way.’
‘Good. Now go pray. Our guest will be here at 4. I expect you to make her welcome.’
‘Oh, it’s a she.’
‘Someone I met at the marketplace. She is a Jehovah’s Witness. I found her very polite and kind, and saw no reason to object to her coming along for Hannukah meal.’
‘Yes, alright. Jehovah’s Witness, huh? That should be ok. David has always favoured them somewhat.’
‘So it should be a good evening for us. Besides, while we have our own community, we don’t live in a vacuum. We must embrace our Christian brethren when it can be done in a positive way appealing to Hashem.’
‘I guess so. Should I get out a Christmas tree?’ he asked sarcastically.
‘Remember, she is a Jehovah’s Witness, so you should know the answer to that question.’
‘Yes, I in fact do. It was called sarcasm, dearest.’
‘Very funny. Now go pray.’
Dutifully Boaz went off to put on his prayer shawl and enter their prayer room.
Ruth busily went about her Hannukah meal, anticipating Gabrielle’s presence, the young Jehovah’s Witness lady she had met earlier that week.
* * * * *
‘Well naturally we know Jesus wasn’t Archangel Michael. The whole congregation is patently aware of that fact.’
‘And the Christ issue?’ queried Boaz.
‘There are a variety of perspectives. We are aware that Jesus largely started Christian faith of his own cognition in the Realm of Eternity, so it seems perhaps possible that he likely simply continued that work on Earth. We have no firm information from Jesus himself or God on how legitimate Christian faith really is, yet he has not signalled that it is supposed to end, so we continue in the faith. Besides, the ‘Pseudo-Christ’ doctrine is so entrenched in some Christian movements now, that we sort of accept him tacitly on those terms anyway.’
‘I have never really been firm either way on that issue. Our historical knowledge of the formulation of the Pseudepigraphal writings is not complete, for God does not comment on how involved his spirit has been or wether he has decided to fulfil such teachings. We know they are genuinely non-historical works, for all the authors generally have testified as such, and Abraham and Jacob and the others declare that it is primarily fictitious material. Yet, apparently, as they maintain especially over the revered 1 Enoch, Jesus so clearly fulfilled this book, despite its apparent fictitious nature, that God must have been involved, declared him his son, and that he is a genuine Pseudepigraphal Christ. And while that might denote him all the authority in the world, it also denotes him no authority whatsoever.’
‘Which is perhaps the way it is supposed to be,’ responded Gabrielle. ‘So that Christian faith can run by itself and achieve its own objectives.’
‘I guess so,’ responded Boaz.
The three of the continued that evening dining and enjoying each other’s company and illumination and greater clarification of important issues was forthcoming for all. It was a quiet night of joy, and while he did not make his presence known, Jehovah himself was watching, enjoying the pleasant and civilized conversation.
The following morning Boaz gazed out through the kitchen window into the yard were Ruth was busily making a snowman. He silently crept outside, grabbed a handful of snow, and dumped it on his unsuspecting wife.
‘Errrrhhh. I’m Freezing. I’ll get you!’ she yelled, and at once picked up a chunk of snow, made a snowball, and threw it at him. Fortunately she was lucky and it hit him on the nose.
They played in the snow for half an hour, made a snowman family, and then returned inside for hot chocolate to warm themselves up.
‘Well, I have a few weeks off now,’ said Boaz. ‘I know it is cold today, but we could do something.’
‘I’m open to suggestions,’ responded Ruth.
‘How about we go on a ‘Collecting’ holiday. Just collecting various things we have always wanted to play around with and look at.’
‘I suppose you will go fishing for some rare stamps?’
‘Probably. But you can get some of those teddies you are always going on about. And even some Royal Dolton, which I know you like.’
‘Sounds good. Perhaps we could visit Androvon? Stay in a nice hotel, or even with some family.’
‘Yes. Young Robert and his wife still live there. I will let them know we are coming.’
‘Sounds good. We will leave after lunch. It will give me time to pack and get ready.’
‘I’ll go ring Robert.’
As they fussed away the morning, each was in their own little world, enjoying that regular thing of life and the good times that always went along with it.
* * * * *
The Grand Magnificent Store of Collectables was, in truth, dutifully living up to its name. Firstly, it was enormous – the size of a large supermarket. And secondly, Ruth suspected that if they didn’t have a particular collectable you were after amongst their stock of millions of products, then they would have contact details to obtain them at their fingertips.
She had left Boaz down the back in the Stamps and Coins section, and he was still busily browsing as she walked past a little later, a teddy in her shopping trolley, but by no means finished with her work. And then, saying immediately that it was a small world, she ran into Gabrielle, of all people, and sat down in the store café, having a coffee with her. Boaz found them a little later on and sat at another table, eating his cheesecake, and looking through the stamps he had purchased.
‘I know I am supposed to be a faithful wife, Ruth. I know that. And Stanley has always been a good husband. It is just that I feel it in my heart, in my soul. We are drawing apart, despite the very best of our intentions to remain together. And it is heartbreaking, but it just seems impossible to stay together. We try not to fight, but we get annoyed with each other at our habits. And the passion we had in romance is pretty much a thing of the past. God knows we have tried, and I still love him, but it is just not working out. And I can’t think of anything else but a divorce.’
Ruth listened attentively, and decided it was time to share some of her wisdom.
‘Firstly, Gabrielle, it is perfectly ok to have different personalities. He will always have characteristics which bother you and likewise you will do things which upset him. The secret really is in committing to show each other same graces on your imperfections. Remember you are only human. I really, though, think some counselling could help you. Because if is just faultfinding in the end, you will have this problem with everyone else. And so will he. And as for romance, well don’t let it bother you for now. Passions come and go throughout life. There will come a time when he will love you again. In the end I just have to ask you this question. Is he, when all is said and done, a good person. Is he a good man.’
Gabrielle was looking a little teary but looked at Ruth and silently nodded.
‘Then persevere. Counselling with the right counsellor can do you the world of good. A good marriage is not really the accident of fate which many suspect it to be. It takes work and effort from both parties. So many marriages fail for lack of it. So if you have any real love for him, stick with it. It just takes a little time.’
Gabrielle nodded, wiping a faint tear from her eye. It was counselling she was grateful to hear, and it had given her a perspective which had helped.
Later on, driving back to the hotel, Ruth thought long and hard on Gabrielle, and decided, of all the very rare things to do anymore, she would fast for one day for her friend. Fasting and prayer at the night to Hashem to lift Gabrielle’s spirit and give her the advice her soul really did seem to need.
It was another cold winter’s morning, and Ruth had just fasted the day before, praying for half an hour the previous night. Boaz had not inquired into her reasons, but that morning at breakfast he was now a little curious.
‘Was the fasting for Gabrielle?’
‘How did you know I was fasting.’
‘I wasn’t born yesterday, Ruthie.’
‘No, I guess you weren’t. Well, yes. It was for Gabrielle. She is having marriage difficulties.’
‘And you think your prayer and fasting will do anything about it?’
‘Those things have worked for Israel in the past.’
Boaz looked at her and, slowly, nodded. ‘Yes. Yes they have.’
She looked at him strictly, not quite sure if he approved or disapproved, but did not query him. Eventually he spoke. ‘Gabrielle is a good woman. I feel that she likely has eternal life in her heart. Most Christians are usually strongly focused enough on that.’
‘So that is what your objections are about, then? If she is going to live forever or not?’
‘It comes down to that in many ways, Ruthie. It always has. But, in truth, the Christians and the Noahides seem to have the same attrition rate as us Jews. I don’t really discriminate against them the way I used to. They have committed to God enough in their hearts.’
‘I always thought they had, Boaz.’
‘Still, you need to be sure if you can, which might sound an impossible practice. And you need to be cautious with your heart. If she is the kind of person who is having marriage difficulties, perhaps she is not that focused on spirituality. I know you can never really tell, so don’t go objecting straight away. But I don’t want your heart getting caught up with a woman who may one day leave you for the grave. I don’t want that for you. It is the reason God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees. It is, in truth, what it has always been about.’
Ruth wanted to object, but had to acknowledge the truth of Boaz’s words.’
‘Yet even those of us chosen for life eternal still need to get by with a little help from our friends.’
Boaz smiled, came over and gave her a hug, and said ‘Which is why you are so special to me. For I don’t think I could ever get by without you.’
He gave her a kiss, she smiled, and another fine and happy day in the life of Boaz and Ruth, citizens of Televere, passed without any further great anxieties or worries.
you are quite attractive Melanie C,' said Daniel the Seraphim.
'You have a rare beauty of your own,' replied Melanie. 'It takes someone of serene and divine humility of the first order to appreciate it, but it is there.'
'You are so kind,' replied Daniel.
Daniel looked out at the racecourse from the executive viewing lounge.
'Care to make a wager?' asked Daniel. 'I'll bet you 'Vicious Victory' comes ahead of 'Sleeping Giant'. 500 Credits.'
'Why such a measly wager,' replied Melanie. 'Make it 10,000.'
'I don't have that cash on me. But I can do a transfer instantly. I have my laptop.'
'I'm good for it,' replied Melanie. They took their champagne glasses, and sat down in the front seats to watch. Stuffy old Englishmen hovered around, looking at the horses lining up, but mostly occupied with their conversations.
'Tell you what,' said Daniel. 'If Vicious Victory comes first, you sleep with me for the first time.'
Melanie, shocked, looked right at Daniel. 'I know you like me, Danny. You've said that a lot these recent years. But we're not lovers. Only friends.'
'Not up for it then,' he replied.
She looked at him, and returned her focus to the race. And they were off.
'Go VV!' yelled Daniel.
Melanie watched on, and as Vicious Victory finished first, she turned to him. 'Well done. You have your money.'
'Well, how about honouring rare beauty's desire?' he asked her.
Later that night, back at Danielphon, she slipped into his room for the first time. She was naked, and got next to him, and woke him with a nudge.
'Shit,' he said. 'Huh? Melanie?'
'Ok. You won fair and square,' she said. She touched his manhood. 'Just this once, mind you, Danny boy. And don't you dare brag.'
They were passionate for a while, and as he lay there, Melanie showering in his ensuite, he realized that he'd just fucked a Spice Girl. And it had been something worth the wait as well.
Morning Stars IX
‘Well, that should about do it then. That should about do it. He is wonderful with his numbers, but I am not sure where he will go from here.’
‘He is patient, though,’ objected Daniel to Sariel’s statement. ‘I mean, he might throw 24 elders at us. Or even 12 stars of Glory. You know, 12 angels. The women’s 12 angels. The first 12. That is definitely the next part of the agenda.’
Michael considered that. ‘Should we let him, Daniel. Should we let him?’
‘Bantriel, Cimbrel, Dameriel and Valandriel. Those 4 cast out, you reckon?’
‘Yes. Generally the four we have in mind.’
‘Sorry, no. Val is a buddy. I’ll stick with 1 Corinthians 13. Revelation has its purpose, but prophecies fail.’
‘Besides, nobody goes to hell forever. As simple as that. I’ll never compromise. It’s my Karaite roots after all.’
‘I guess so,’ finished Michael.
* * * * *
Bantriel felt better. A horrible dream had left him. A horrible, horrible dream. And now destiny was speaking to him, calling him a young child in the arms of an eternal father who never stopped loving him. ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands,’ she sang to him, and Bantriel grew in grace and love because of it. He was proud of his French heritage now. Proud and grateful that God kept the faith, even when others like Jesus Christ gave up on you. It said it all in the end. But he kept his faith in Jesus as well. He was his brother, and he loved him, and Bantriel reflected over the years that such was life. Such was life.
* * * * *
666, the number of the beast, hell and fire were spawned to be released. Saruviel was ready. Ready for the challenge. Time to teach Jesus Christ a lesson. He volunteered, and chose Cimbrel, Dameriel and Valandriel. They would do the real work, and sort the punk out for good. This time he really would not see it coming. This time the Antichrist would kick his arse.
* * * * *
Cimbrel agreed, so did Dameriel and so did Valandriel. Daniel laughed all night, smiling, and called Saruviel a genius. ‘Oh, I like the mark you have come up with. That should be perfect, at which point Saruviel just grinned. Heh, heh, heh. This could be fun.
* * * * *
Time and time and time again he had been foiled. Yet life, inevitably, presented further opportunities to make ones claim of glory, and the Revelation of John was the source of much of Jesus current ambitions. Saruviel, finally, was showing what Jesus, so he believed, were characteristics placed into his heart by Almighty God. The true characteristics of the Adversary, Satan, in the form of the Antichrist. Revelation, so Jesus taught, was a book of themes. And they would one day understand that truth. No matter which way history ended up unfolding, there was still much truth in the revelation of John, now matter if it was not literal and simply a thematic work. Saruviel from ancient days had been an adversary to the Realm of Eternity, and the revelation put him in his place. Jesus saw it as the judgement of God, and while it had failed on Judgement Day with his beheading by Samael, in truth it had not failed at all. Paul had been correct. The King James Version stood true as the word of God as well, and its own teaching had necessarily been vindicated. Justice and mercy must both be done. And so, for love of evil, as someone might put it, Samael had beheaded Jesus, and the Revelation had failed. Yet the Word of God stood firm, for Paul must need a prophecy for that prophecy to fail, and John had provided one for him. The New Testament would never die, Jesus believed, and its moral truths, the important thing, still remained in place.
So he looked forward to the challenge of Archangel Saruviel, and would accept whatever destiny and fate his Almighty Father had in store for him.
* * * * *
Bantriel was overseer. The glory of France was overseer. The Realm of Eternity, finally, had a decent overseer. One with confidence, professionalism, charm and adroit understanding of the people.
Except that Bantriel was an arrogant prick of an angel, with a french cordon bleu attitude which pissed of everyone he met after a while. Even Ashayziel his twin.
Bantriel's main problem was that he was stuck up. French Cherubim often remarked to God in the throneroom of Zaphon that he had truly outdone himself with their tutelary prince. The sarcasm had been noted on each and every occasion. God was yet to rebuke them for it.
Ashayziel, Bantriel's twin, was a native american squaw, who had married Bantriel in the New World of young America, when she had met the brave Frenchman. But he had died, and then she had gone off to France, and become a Catholic nun, which was Bantriel's religion, and eventually even had met the pope. Ashayziel still loved him but now, somewhat, more from a distance, for she was a nun in a church in Terraphora, who he had not seen a very long time now. His general attitude of belittling people had never really ceased, even though she had occasionally softly chided him for some of his behaviour. Bantriel himself, though, ironically, had gotten the point a long time ago, and was in the process of amending his way. Albeit, extremely slowly. He would, in his thinkings, keep their comments in mind, but only act on them oh so slowly when thoughts came to his mind to do as such. But, from time to time, there was a perhaps kinder word than someone might expect, and a less harsh criticism than perhaps they had been used to. Yes, Bantriel would learn his lesson eventually, yet, sitting there, on the throne of the overseer, as he liked to pretend, or in the chair of the overseers office, he thought on his new found glory. Time, was now. Time was now, perhaps delayed for far too long, to do something about the attitude of Bantriel and, in the glory which was his, actually surprise people. Surprise them by showing that he was not such an asshole, as Sariel often commented, as people might think. Time to show them a brand new Bantriel.
* * * * *
The assassin crept into the outer chambers of the Overseer's offices in Zaphon tower. He was armed with a ZTX4500 – a deadly weapon, something of a Tazer which could kill. He got into Zaphon without too many problems, because who the hell believed in Security anymore? The Realm of Eternity was settled on love, so everyone told each other. Yet, the operative for Organization Anarchy didn't care. They didn't conform. And first objective of the Lords of Evil, as they termed themselves – kill the new overseer.
The assassin sat on chair in the reception area of the offices, nobody paying much attention to him, the guitar case looking perfectly innocent. Who would suspect a thing? How could you? They worried about Satan and his ongoing agendas, but life was peaceful in the realm of eternity, and nobody had concerns for security very much. Cindradel was in the offices at that moment, talking with a friend, when she noticed the visitor and decided to see if she could help.
'Do you have an appointment?' she asked the angel, who had a recent scar still showing on his left cheek.
He smiled at her. 'Sure, sweetie,' and suddenly took out a hunting knife, grabbed her before she could really react, and held it to her neck.
Fear gripped the Seraphim Cindradel. A fear she had never really known. She had served the overseer for so long now, and was used to all sorts of clientele. But an angel holding a knife to her neck was most definitely not in her work contract as things she had to deal with.
'Don't, don't hurt me,' she stammered.
'Shut up, bitch,' replied the angel.
Bye now others had noticed, and had approached, carefully. A gathering of most of the office were behind the partition boards and near the entrance of the Overseer's offices, watching carefully. And then Bantriel appeared.
'Look, fella. Put down the knife,' he said carefully. 'I don't think you really want to hurt Cindradel. We can talk this over, ok.' He had his hands in front of him, and palms faced downwards was trying to calm the angel down, to get him to put down his knife. Who was this freak, Bantriel's mind rushed. What the hell was his problem? They didn't have to deal with shit like this – nobody did. The realm of eternity was founded on lawfulness, every angel and human taught Torah from birth. How the hell could this have happened?
Bantriel motioned to come forward a little, but the angel threatened Cindradel's knife with the neck, which caused a shudder around the room, and Bantriel backed down.
'Ok, ok,' he said. 'I'm backing down. Don't hurt her, ok. What do you want?' asked Bantriel.
The angel looked around the room. 'Comfortable, aren't you. All of you. Comfortable with your lives. Comfortable with your success. Life is easy, now, isn't it? But do you really give a fuck anymore? About the fighter's out there? Do you give a shit about those who have struggled for millions of years, only to still be on the streets of eternity, suffering the condemnation of a society which has rejected them.'
It was true – the Realm of Eternity, unfortunately, did have a vagrant class, which seemed to always be there. But every overseer since Michael had accepted this reality, and that people often made hard decisions. They were under the judgement of God, so the tradition went. Leave them be. Let them sort themselves out in their own time. But that attitude, now, seemed to have backfired. Now a new threat had emerged, which they would find out about very, very soon.
'We are Organization Anarchy,' said the angel. 'And we are those you reject, and pass by each day, and never really give a shit about. But we are strong, now. And your judgement has come.'
'Sure,' said Bantriel, keeping his eye on the knife. 'What are your demands?'
The angel carefully opened the guitar case, and brought out his weapon. Nobody would know what it was.
'Do you want to know what I want?' the angel asked. 'This!' he shouted, and pointed the weapon at Bantriel and pushed the trigger. A jolt shot out, but only marginally connected with his shoulder. Still Bantriel fell to the ground under the enormous electrical shock.
Suddenly, from behind the angel, another angel tackled the oppressor and, after a short struggle, had removed the weapon from him, and had him pinned.
Cindradel was still shaking, but said 'We have handcuffs. In the overseer's desk.'
'Get them,' said the angel.
Others were gathered around Bantriel, who was sitting up now, recovered a bit from the shock.
'Aw, fuck, that hurt,' he said, clutching his shoulder.
'Raddonel, have you got him secure?'
The angel holding down the oppressor nodded, and a few of the other male angels were standing by Raddonel now, ready to assist.
Cindradel appeared with the cuffs, and her shaking had diminished somewhat. She handed the cuffs to Bantriel.
'Get him up,' said Bantriel.
Raddonel and the other angels got the man to his feet, and Bantril handcuffed him. 'I'm arresting you,' said Bantriel. 'You are reminded of your legal rights in the Realm of Eternity, wether citizen or visitor, and you will be taken to the Zaphon tower security cells for the time being, and then the Realm police will be talking to you.'
He turned the man around to face him. 'And don't you fuck with Cindradel again, punk. Or you will be tasting that tazer up your bloody arse.'
The man spat at Bantriel, but said nothing more.
'Take him away,' said Bantriel. 'We'll sort him out soon enough.'
Raddonel and the others took hold of the man, and propelled him out of the offices, taking him away to Zaphon Security.
'Ok, ok, everybody,' said Bantriel. 'I know, this doesn't happen everyday. Look, just go home. Some of you may be anxious, and feeling a little worried. I think we will look into security now, so don't worry. We'll deal with it. Just go home, and we'll see you in the morning.'
The chatter was intense as the office workers slowly dispersed, and Bantriel himself was shaking a little. He turned to Cindradel. 'You ok?'
She just looked at him, and the look on her face said it all.
Bantriel looked out after the departed angel, and thought to himself. 'Organization Anarchy. Wonderful. Absolutely bloody wonderful. What a fantastic way to start a career.'
And, for the briefest moment, the flame in the throneroom of Zaphon flickered sparks of orange, then red, almost chuckling at the overseers sarcasm, it would seem, before the pure blue flame returned once more.
* * * * *
The Mother Superior of the holy order of St Aristotle XVI, a devout Catholic order of nuns, situated in Terraphora in Paris, (were St Aristotle had once visited in the presence of Jesus, and prayed to God an inordinate amount of time about a particular patch of land which, being an unused field on the edge of a playing ground, 'Could make a good place for a church', in the words of the Saint; destiny had duly resulted, several decades later, in the purchase of the land at quite an exorbitant price, but St Aristotle's had been formed, and an order of Nuns had come to be, though there were not many Catholic churches in Terraphora – a few dozen – for it was a world of devout Torah, yet the Cherubim Jesus had influence and, as the head of the Catholic church, afforded the purchase with some donations from various wealth Realm Catholic institutions, and the Cathedral had been built) wandered along the upper corridor of the Convent, carrying a recent newspaper. She came to a wooden door with metal hinges and ornate decoration, in a dark ages style, and hesitated briefly, not really wanting to disturb the praying nun on the other side of the door, yet shortly knocked.
Silence. A few minutes of it. Then the door was opened a little, and the face of a native american female looked out. 'Oui,' she responded softly, in a slight French accent, influenced with her own Indian dialect.
The mother superior passed the paper to her, made the sing of the cross, and, saying nothing, left. The nun took the newspaper and closed the door.
The room was quite sparse, a bed, a bookcase and a set of drawers and a cupboard. Nothing technological appeared to be in the room, and all hints of a modern culture were absent. The books in the bookcase were all leather bound, the cross on the wall quite basic in many ways, and it felt like you were in those dark ages, the spirit of the room another world to the city which lay outside them.
The nun was sister Mary. A traditional name she had taken, inspired by her devotion to the Lady of the Church, and she was more than that. She was Seraphim. The ninth-born Seraphim female angel of the Realm of Eternity. Ashayziel, twin to Bantriel.
Long ago, when Ashayziel had lived on earth, she had met Bantriel again, a frenchman, visiting America, looking for his fortune. She had met him, and fallen in love with the pale face, even though her tribe were never pleased. But she loved him, and when he had died prematurely, she had come to know his 'Jesus' and had travelled to France, come to a convent, and taken her vows of ordination into the Catholic Church as a nun. She had even met the pope once.
She had not left the faith, even now. Even now, with many of the doubters of Christian faith challenging church teaching abounding, especially the 'Pseudo-Christ' doctrine, which never stopped persisting to be a conversation topic, even in her own convent. She loved her brother Ambriel, and had met Zerubbabel, which she considered probably the real Jewish Messiah, the one who genuinely fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament, but that didn't matter to her. Her devotion to Jesus, now, was one of love. Love and respect and admiration for the calm and consistent spirit he always pervaded upon her person when she was in his presence. She was not a 'Christian' Catholic. She was a 'Loving' Catholic. A Catholic of faith, rather than correct doctrine. She never confused Jesus with God anymore, and the theophany had once commented to her he had not idolatry concerns with his daughter. She could remain Catholic forever, if she so chose. That was her choice. But there lingered in his voice an unsaid word which, almost said, but you won't, my child. She listened to that voice, but wondered how he could ever really change her heart from what she knew to be true. To be true with all her heart.
She sat down on her bed, and looked at the newspaper. Bantriel, her twin, current overseer of the Realm, was on the cover. 'Our Overseer – Our Champion' it read, and the story told of how he had dealt with an armed angel trying to kill him and rescued Cindradel, chief secretary to the Overseer.
'My,' she said to herself, and an old flutter came across her heart, one perhaps not fitting for a nun, and she looked at Bantriel's face, and remembered that she did love him. That she did love her twin. And, giving it some silent thought, felt perhaps now – a visit. A visit, again, after all this time. Yes, she was a nun, devoted to prayer for her church. Yet she did not have to pray all day every day, and even Ashayziel could enjoy something of the regular life of the Realm from time to time.
She looked at her closet, and noticed the grey and white gown and tunic, and decided she would put them on in the morning, let mother superior know she would be absent for a while, and go off and find Bantriel, and rekindle their friendship, and give him a little hug for the brave deed done for their sister Cindradel.
* * * * *
Karnak Diabolica, or so he liked to be known to the scum who associated with him, was the head and absolute supreme bastard of Organization Anarchy.
He looked at the newspaper.
'They took out Jek,' said Krondor. 'The plan failed, oh fearless leader,' he grinned, with a mad sadistic grin, the scar on his left cheek almost mocking Karnak too.
'Fuck you,' said Karnak, and looked in the distance.
'What the fuck we gonna do about it?' asked Krondor.
'Next phase, idiot. Phase 2. We have their attention now. Now we strike,' replied Karnak.
'Umm. Phase 2. I always loved phase 2. Uh, what is phase 2 by the way?'
'Your mothers underwear,' said Karnak in response, a mad grin on his own face.
Krondor lashed out, but Karnak grabbed his hand and said 'Dream on, Punk.'
Krondor rubbed his hand after Karnak had released it, looking fowly at his infamous bastard leader. 'What the fuck is it then?'
'Remember those biological properties you stole for me 5 years ago?'
Krondor nodded. 'Jurassic Genetics,' replied Krondor.
'Come here, idiot,' said Karnak, and motioned Krondor over to the back of the dimly lit basement. He pulled up the blinds covering a window and said, 'Look.'
Iniside the room, all white, were scientists, all busy at work.
'What the fuck they doin?' asked Krondor.
Karnak tapped on the window to get a scientists attention. When one of them came over Karnak yelled. 'Get me K1.'
The scientist nodded and walked off. Shortly, he returned, and had a cage in his hand. And there inside the cage, a weird looking lizard.
'Lizards!' said Krondor. 'What the fuck we going to do with lizards?'
'It's just hatched,' said Karnak. 'And it aint no lizard.'
'Then what the fuck is it?' asked the second in command of Organization Anarchy.
Karnak pointed across the room, and Krondor, following the finger found himself gazing at the large plastic statue of a Velociraptor which Karnak had acquired a few years back.
'And they aint being trained to be vegetarians,' grinned Karnak madly.
Krondor smiled. 'Well done, bastard,' he said to his infamous leader.
The sadistic look on Karnak's face in response summed it all up.
* * * * *
Bantriel sat on the shore of Glimmersphon keep, down on the old jetty, legs dangling over the edge into the water. He had booked some overseer's private time at Golden Lake, his own prerogative, and he was in a gentle and quiet mood. Thoughtful, but gentle.
'How are you?' a voice said to him from behind.
Bantriel turned. It was God, with an angel hidden behind him.
'Oh. It's you,' he replied.
God came and sat down next to Bantriel and then, on the other side, Saruviel sat down.
'Hey Sar,' said Bantriel. Saruviel nodded.
They sat there, quite a while, silent, watching the still lake, the ripples endlessly cascading to the shore, a golden gleam over the lake today, hence its name.
Finally Saruviel broke the silence. 'I wanted to say something. Bant. Something old.'
'Yeh,' responded the Frenchman.
'In the beginning, I didn't actually choose to rebel. It wasn't based on trying to usurp the authority of God, in reality. Not really. It was trying to defend our own lives – as angels. Our own beings. Our own nature. Our own sovereignties. I was trying to demonstrate that, for us, we were important......' he trailed off, about to say something more, but never said it.
'And?' Bantriel eventually said.
'And, I guess....I guess I didn't really understand that we were important to God. Back then. That we have always been important to God. And now, these days, more than ever, after seeing the fidelity of God for so long in my life. In our lives. Well I know a little better now.' He stopped, and stared at the water a little before continuing. 'It was youth. Perhaps pride filled youth, but youth. I lacked experience. I lacked knowledge. I lacked understanding.'
'Mmm,' said Bantriel. 'We DID tell you these things back then, you know. You just didn't really listen. You didn't really agree.'
'He was headstrong,' said God.
Bantriel smiled at that. 'Saruviel? Headstrong? Nah,' and the three of them chuckled a little.
'I just want to say,' said Saruviel. 'That I'm sorry. Sorry about it all. That I know I probably affected you as well, as I did everyone, I guess. And that time moves on, and people grow up. And that, hopefully, I've started to do that.'
'Don't sweat it,' said Bantriel, and patted his brother on the back.
Saruviel nodded, and, after a moment, stood, and walked back down the jetty a little, veering off to the side, and looking off towards Zaphon.
God spoke. 'You have a challenging time coming up. You probably don't know that, but I do. These next few years......It's going to be a hell of a ride. But I want to say something in my defense before you even begin to question. Remember Saruviel, and the lesson he has learned in his experience. The lesson of trust he has learned.'
Bantriel looked at God, smiled softly, and turned back to the lake. 'Sure,' he replied.
'Then that's good,' said God, and turned back to the lake. 'We'll be going now. But remember, trust me. Trust the spirit. It will all work out for the best, in the end, ok. It will all work out.'
And then he was gone, and Saruviel with him, leaving a slightly puzzled Bantriel staring out at Golden Lake, now even more thoughtful than before.
* * * * *
Sariel was sitting in the overseer's office, opposite Bantriel, who was looking at his computer screen.
'Well, froggie,' said Sariel smiling.
'Well froggie what?' asked the annoyed Bantriel in response.
'Well. Well done.'
'For what?' replied Bantriel.
'Your a hero. Saved Cindradel's butt. Its in all the papers, you know. The realms new savioiur.'
'I'm hardly a saviour,' responded Bantriel.
'Yes. I suppose not. Good at saving cheese far too long till it has gone off, but hey, your French.'
'Go to hell,' responded Bantriel.
'It surprises me, though. The way the reports were written. Seems to be leaving out something, I felt. Not the whole story.'
Bantriel waved his hand away.
'Like there is something you are not telling us,' said the suspicious Sariel.
'He got tazered,' said Cindradel, coming into the room.
'Really?' queried Sariel, now interested. He looked at Bantriel. 'The bastard zapped you then?'
Bantriel looked squarely at his predecessor. 'You know, you could use a good zap. Zap off out of my office, I think. Yes, I think so.'
Sariel grinned. 'Hardly hero talk. You should be proud, though. Arresting the man so solemnly.'
'Solemnly? Hah!' laughed Cindradel. 'He said if the guy ever fucked with me again he would shove the tazer up his arse and zap him.'
Sariel chuckled at that. 'I should have known something fishy was going on,' he said, now smiling at Bantriel.
'You English, you know. Unbelievable,' said Bantriel in response. 'After all, you are totally devoid of crudities yourself, are you not?'
'Indeed,' responded Sariel, in posh accent.
'The hell you are,' said Bantriel. 'I remember not so long ago. We were in Terraphora, and we were at a bar. And there was this attractive angel, and your lips uttered quite a few choice words that night.'
'Ooh, Sariel,' said Cindradel. 'Do tell, Banty.'
'I'm not one to embarrass our moral champion, but he is hardly innocent,' replied Bantriel.
'Well, touche old fellow,' said Sariel. 'But I can hardly match your noble effort.'
'I doubt that,' said Bantriel, and grinned a little to himself while staring at the computer screen.
'What is Organization Anarchy?' asked Sariel, now serious.
Bantriel turned to look at his older Seraphim brother. He laid back in his chair, and picked up his cigar and lit it. After a few puffs he spoke. 'The fellow. Only called himself Jek. We're doing our best to identify him. Said he represented Organiztion Anarchy, and that they were going to cause us all some bloody trouble.'
'Perhaps a vain boast,' said Sariel in consideration. 'Bragging. Tough talk. Homicidal maniacs tend to mouth off.'
'I'm not so sure he was a maniac,' responded Bantriel. 'He seemed, I don't know. Polished. Like he had been well trained at his work. No. No, it was not a brag. He was warning us in a way. Threatening us really, I suppose. The danger is genuine. But we're handling it.'
'You don't need any help? My door is always open, you know.'
Bantriel looked at his brother. 'If I need you, you will be the first to know. Don't sweat it, as you say.'
'Then I will not sweat it. But keep me informed, ok. We don't want to be caught offguard by any militant group. Not what the Realm of Eternity is used to, but if the threat is real I would like to stay informed.'
'Sure,' said Bantriel, puffing away.
Sariel stood, stretched a little, and said. 'Well, I'm off. Things to do. People to see. But well done froggie.' As he turned away, he whispered, 'Tazer butt,' softly.
Bantriel watched him depart and, when Sariel was out of earshot, mumbled 'See you too, asshole,' which caused a slight smirk on the face of Cindradel.
Bantriel looked at her. 'Well. What are you doing? Shoo. Off to your desk.' Cindradel nodded, but the smile on her face while she departed embarassed him a little.
He put down his cigar, turned back to his screen, but looked out after the departed Sariel briefly. 'I really hope I don't have to call you though, brother of mine.' And then he turned back to his computer, and got on with the rest of the days work.
* * * *
Saruviel sat in Danielphon, in the main front lounge of the keep, Ariel sitting quietly, chatting with Krystabel. 'The point is, Daniel. We don't reveal our true intentions to Bantriel. That is the point of God's testing.'
'He could freak,' said Daniel.
'The plan will fail, for he is a responsible overseer, and it would just get in the way letting him know,' said the Dark Lord unflinchingly.
'What do you think Sariel?' Daniel asked his older brother.
'Well I'm eternally loyal to Jesus Christ,' he said in his polished English accent. 'But I'm no Christian. I think, in all honesty, Zerubbabel has won my heart.'
'Yes, I know the doctrine,' responded Daniel.
'I think,' spoke up Michael, 'That the power of prayer has often been overlooked by some of us. Jesus is based on prayer to accomplish his will and agenda. The machinations he has used upon us these past arcs to fulfil his revelation have been extraordinarily well thought, and only our constant awareness has kept him at bay. He will make himself Christ if he at all can. He will be God's greater glory.'
'Yet what of truth?' asked Daniel.
'Flexible stuff,' said Saruviel. 'Life principle, remember. If the chosen ones don't do the work, God will go on to somebody who will. And they WILL be glorified because of it. The man from Nazareth is no slouch. He constantly keeps his eye over Christendom, and watches the world. He takes his opportunities when he can do so. And, while we might prattle on about the obviousness of Ambriel as a response to Jesus' claims, he would couneract with his twin messiah doctrine of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings and the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Two of them, supposedly, and I see how such an interpretation of the Apocalypse could well be made.'
'He's a crafty sod,' said Sariel.
'He's a cherubim who wasn't born yesterday,' responded Michael. 'No. No, I think we go on with the general plans, and when the new work of the Christ Child becomes obvious, we respond in the way we usually do.'
'For the love of Torah,' said Daniel.
'For the love of Torah,' replied Michael in agreement.
'12 Stars of the Woman's glory. A third of the angels cast out. Seraphim 1 to 12, the last third the weaker ones. The 'Less' important ones, as Jesus might argue,' said Daniel.
'Which is why they indeed have,' said Michael.
'Yet we can not talk with Bantriel?'
'His innocence is our best weapon,' responded Michael.
'Agreed,' said Sariel.
'I suppose so,' said Saruviel.
Eyes turned to Daniel. 'Mmm,' said the 45th Seraphim of Eternity. Mmm indeed.
'Manu, Manu, Manu. How many times must I tell you. Cuisine française, oui? Not this Australian shit you serve up so often now.'
Manu Feildel nodded, but stood his ground. 'Dear brother. I cook French all the time, oui. I like Australian tucker. It is a change from our regular style.'
'Simonuel. You may be a Seraphim and prince of Paris, but I do not count you the wisest man in France. The Aussie can take a running jump. All your kitchen rules associates have gone to your bloody head. Francaise, ok. Not this crap.'
Simonuel, who had been known as Manu Feildel in his earthly manifestation, looked annoyed, but nodded at last. 'I will defer to the taste buds of my older brother. Ok, ok. No more Australian.'
'Thank you,' responded Bantriel. 'I do not want to fire you as my personal cook. You asked for this time here in Zaphon tower to learn about the overseer's work for your anticipated latter time in the role. But, please. Do not piss me off with giving me this apparation of food. It is not to my liking.'
The 26th male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity picked up the tray and said to his older brother. 'I will need an hour or so. Can you wait?'
'Shoo. I'm not going anywhere. Busy all night tonight. Cook me something I can stomach. Now shoo.'
Simonuel nodded, and headed off to the kitchen connected to the Overeer's offices.
Simonuel enjoyed his work, as a chef for the most part, and prided himself on the excellence of his work. He had always liked food, enjoying fine eating, and being a master of culinary delights, and while he probably did enjoy French food most of all, had a fondness for all things Australian because of his life spent in the great southern land. He still did those cooking shows, from time to time. My kitchen rules. And the original cooks of the show, competitors with each other, usually features season after season, competing once more, each time trying to chalk up another victory with their growing knowledge and experience in the craft. Ratings were huge, and they did the shows now in the Realm of Eternity because of Simonuel, for the main part. Incredibly popular, and a consuming passion of his life but, dealing with Bantriel, who was always awkward, sometimes he forgot that not everyone may be as adventurous as himself.
He tossed the food into the food recycling bin, put the plate in the sink, and sat down on the kitchen stool, thinking. Something French for Bantriel. So predictable. But if that is what big boss man wanted, that is what big boss man got. Still, it was worth it anyway. He was old, Simonuel. Well experienced in handling his role as overseer for the 26th disc of the Realm, Bethlephora, in the Captial, Bethlephoraphon, but when this invitation to learn how the highest office in the Realm was run, sitting in occasionally with Bantriel and discussing things, he decided it in his best interests to get advance knowledge of the job, knowledge which would prove useful when the 26th Arc of Eternity advented, as they often called them, the One Million year reigns, in the tradition so far established, that each overseer did his work within. It would be old experience then, and he would be grounded with training for his latter work. And he liked to do that. To be well prepared. Every chef needed to be well prepared. It went with the job.
He stared at the fridge, and, inspiration coming upon him, thought of an old recipe which he had not used for Bantriel yet. Getting to work he sighed a little, but was soon lost in his world, cutting vegetables, mixing sauces, and doing that job he did and had done so well for so long now. And Bantriel better bloody appreciate it, he said to himself. Or he could take his job and... but he left off without finishing the thought. He still had his morals. God only knew if Bantriel did, but Manu had some class. So he worked, and prepared his bosses meal, and let his sighs turn to activity, another culinary masterpiece surely soon to be created.
* * * * *
'Keep the faith, Paul,' said Jesus, to one of his primary apostles.
The Seraphim Angel Yomiel, the Apostle Paul, twin to the Melaniel, the Spice Girl Melanie B, sighed. 'All I ever do is keep the faith, Jesus. Forever, practically.'
'As you should Yomiel.'
Jesus wandered out of the Vatican office of Nazraphora disc, and Paul, watching him go, returned his focus to the letter in front of him. Private correspondence between himself and an outer disc Arch-Bishop, seeking clarification on various aspects of Doctrine of the church. Very much something he dealt with a great deal. Paul. Master of doctrine, it was often said by the popes. As if he had almost invented Christianity, which many a progressive theologian claimed anyway.
He looked at the picture of his twin on his desk. He kept one, not because they ever met much, or got along at all. They were in two complete worlds, worlds, literally, apart in both way of life and mannerisms. The oddest of God's twinnings in many ways. A completely insane arrangement. For heaven's sake – she had become a pop singer in the 20th century, when she finally showed up. And that had influenced her, with the grounding of the human soul she had been given, as all were upon manifestation on earth, things changed within her. A new psyche was born. And after that, it had never been the same again. But he prayed for her, from time to time, and kept tabs on what she was up to, and that was about that. The limit of the relationship between Yomiel and Melaniel, both of them the 50th born Seraphim, male and female respectively, of the Realm of Eternity.
And time passed, and dinosaurs roamed the realm, and there were some bloody tense moments. And while nobody was killed in the end, everyone wondered just what the heck would happen next.
Morning Stars X
looked at the rocket chicken. ‘Mate,’ he said to the
brave Aussie. ‘That is fucking awesome. That car is tops.’
The ancient actor smiled. Destiny was funny, he thought to himself.
* * * * *
Jesus was starting to get upset. Quite upset. He was cross. Everyone knew it. Everyone was worried, especially Cimbrel the current angel to have a go at, and he feared Lamb Boy’s wrath. ‘He’ll get us,’ said Saruviel. ‘He’ll get us if he can.’
‘Huh. Me Japanese. Me smart. Jesus, he simple Jewish boy. Lack forethought,' replied Cimbrel.
Saruviel grinned. ‘I’ll take you’re word for it Cimby. I’ll take your word for it.’
Later on, back at the race club, Saruviel sat on the beanbag drinking Billy-Beer, with Cimbrel playing on the pinball machine, the game 'Whitesnake-Lovehunter'.
'Are you winning,' asked the dread Lord.
'The Lord of Nippon is genius at these things,' replied Cimbrel. 'Of course I am winning Alexander San.'
'He's just lucky,' said Shemrael, coming into the room.
'Lucky my arse,' replied Cimbrel. 'The genius of gods inhabits my very soul.'
Shemrael smiled, and kissed him on the cheek as he played along. 'Then you are indeed blessed,' she replied.
Cimbrel pushed the flippers for the last time, and let the game go, coming to sit next to Shemrael, who was opening up the box of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
'Bloke,' said Shemrael, to the Rocket Chicken driver. 'You want some?'
The motorist came over from the side of the club house, said 'Cheers,' and tucked in, as did Saruviel after a moment.
With mouths full of fried chicken, Saruviel spoke up. 'Michael's cash fall is enormous, I admit. But the shares he has offered in MichaelCorp are very, very attractive to myself. I have never been one to knock back Gold Chip shares when on offer.'
'We don't have them yet,' said Shemrael.
Bloke spoke up. 'Jesus is not as wise as he claims. There are weaknesses in his current attack. The Theophany has neither affirmed nor denied the 'Covenant' he has asked us all to partake – the Covenant of Recognition of Works.'
'It will only advantage Jesus,' said Saruviel. 'And, ultimately, prevent God from correcting Jesus' initial impulses. Jesus knows this. If he can justify his church, through moral and meritorius enough works, then he can justify its eternal existence. And the Theophany simply will not comment on this.'
'Yet occasionally someone signs onto the covenant from the Angelic hierarchy,' said Cimbrel.
'And with recognition, God may perhaps consider the idea. He makes up his own mind, but sometimes admits to being influenced,' said Shemrael.
'Whereas we have an amazing offer from Michael to prevent this from succeeding,' said Saruviel.
'And we will achieve this, how?' asked Shemrael.
'Its all about race cars,' said Saruviel smiling. And then, patting bloke on the back, he said 'And robot chickens.'
'Ha ha, very funny,' said Cimbrel. 'You almost japanese,' he said in a fake oriental accent, and everyone laughed.
'Yes, we shall see about that,' said Saruviel. 'We shall indeed see about that.'
And in time they did.
* * * * *
Shemrael was naked. You had to be before putting on the suit she was getting into. Well, costume actually. Superhero costume. Shi – death herself. Cosplay was in season, and she was the slaying bad girl, who would win the hearts of all and sundry. She looked at Cimbrel as he came into the room, glanced at her naked body briefly, before getting undressed himself. He reached for his costume.
'Dr Mirage? You don't think you are just a little bit predictable,' said Shemrael.
'I love Valiant comics,' said Cimbrel. 'Besides, nobody even knows what universe Shi is from.'
'She's a lady of diverse origins,' replied Shemrael. 'Its all in her mystery.'
'Well Dr Mirage is Valiant, and is uncomplicated in his fascinations. People understand me. You just give them a look of death, and they scatter,' said Cimbrel.
'Very funny,' replied Shemrael at Cimbrel's sarcasm.
'Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly is coming as Blue Beetle,' said Cimbrel.
'Yet again. He's not had an original costume, well, ever really.'
'He's a devoted Beetle,' said Cimbrel. 'He's trying to popularise the fellow. Batman mocks him for his attempts, but he doesn't give up.'
'How many Batmans amongst the elder angels again?' asked Shemrael.
'About 50 of them now,' replied Cimbrel. 'And about 45 Superman's. Batman just edges him for popularity.'
'They are so predictable,' said Shemrael. 'Like its a popularity vote rather than being original.'
'People like to say – 'I'm Batman,' replied Cimbrel. 'They think they are cool.'
'Whereas your proud boast is a B Grade hero from a minor company. I mean Valiant? Practically an Indie,' replied Shi.
Cimbrel scoffed at that. 'And Shi is mainstream?'
'She is all the glory. She is death and she is the living force,' replied Shemrael.
'Oh, joined Star Wars has she,' said Cimbrel chuckling.
'Very funny. Now zip me up, Mirage Boy.'
'Yes Madam Death,' replied Cimbrel, as he helped Shemrael complete her costume.
'How do I look?' she said parading herself before him.
'Deadly,' he replied.
'Good Now hurry up. We don't want to be late.'
'Yes my mistress,' replied Cimbrel, and looked at his twin, and sighed. She did look hot as Shi. So very hot.
'Now,' said Shemrael, sitting on the bed and looking at Cimbrel. 'We are both following Noahide faith at the moment, right?'
Cimbrel looked at her. 'What is this about?'
'You've accepted the Noahide covenant, as I, by the looks of it. We are of Noahidism now. Is that correct?'
Cimbrel sighed. 'I'm Japanese. But yes, I suppose so. It's been a long time coming, but Daniel has worn me down.'
'Then we are supporting the agenda of Saruviel on the covenant of recognition issue, then?' she asked.
'Jesus was never Christ,' said Cimbrel softly. 'Zerubbabel fulfilled those prophecies, and Ambriel was but another King in the line of David. A messiah of sorts. Jesus wasn't even accepted very much by the community of his day, and still isn't.'
'Then we don't support the covenant of recognition of works, and follow Rocket Chicken guys response. Living the real life. Having a bit of fun. Not thinking that works is the be all and end all of our existence,' said Shemrael.
'It is the general thrust of the argument,' replied Cimbrel. 'Works are nevertheless important, but not as fundamentally as Jesus is claiming. It's just an angle the church is currently pushing. Good works which show the chosenness of God upon them. That they do the real charity in the world.'
'I suppose it is a good thing to do charity,' said Shemrael.
'Definitely,' replied Cimbrel. 'But to justify yourself by charity is not love, as Yomiel would argue, and to justify yourself just by love often lets a lot of carnal and sinful behaviours enter in, because you don't concentrate on laws as much. Both this Jamesian focus on works currently in vogue, and Paul's ancient focus on love don't really justify in the end. Jesus is just using angles to promote himself.'
'So Saruviel's response is simply have a bit of fun as our response to this push of Jesus, and show the world his hypocrisy, remaining true to the laws and rules of our Torah tradition,' said Shemrael.
'The general approach. And Rocket Chicken Guy is a big fan of Saruviel's and is pushing this agenda a heck of a lot with his influence,' said Cimbrel.
'The right thing to do,' said Shemrael. 'Which we DO in the end, would probably be to support Saruviel's agenda.'
'Yes, I guess so,' said Cimbrel. 'Works are great for a while, but I think we should probably stand with Saruviel at this moment.'
'Then that is what we will do,' said Shemrael resolutely.
'Ok,' said Cimbrel. 'Now lets fly to Zaph-Con, and have a good time.'
And they were off, headed to the comic convention in downtown Zaphona city, a world of fun awaiting them.
* * * * *
'He's gay,' replied the hooker.
'He's is technically heterosexual. He just has a few gay friends. I'll pay you 5,000 credits to slut it on to him.'
The geisha girl took the cashola, and smiled. 'Happy to do business Daniel San.'
Daniel the Seraphim smiled. 'And get him to talk about Cimbrel and his Industries. The major projects 'CimCorp' has planned.'
'Are you sure that is entirely ethical?' asked the Geisha.
'Coming from a prostitute, that is very rich,' replied Daniel. 'Look, just casual conversation. I'm not looking for any trade secrets. Just general sort of information about the company. There's only so much you can learn from a website.'
'I'll slut it on to you for another 5,000 credits,' said the hooker, putting her hand on his crotch.'
Daniel looked at that hand, and considered it, but sense prevailed. He lifted her hand and took it away, and said 'Never mind about that. Just do some digging in what he'll happily enough reveal when a bit tipsy.'
'Aye aye Daniel San,' she said, and saluted him. He paid her the credits, and she put them away in her garment, disappearing off to the next customer in the geisha lounge.
When Daniel got back home to Danielphon later that week, Valandriel showed up.
'Did you find the right kind of girl?' Valandriel asked him.
'I think so,' replied Daniel. 'She also had questions on my ethics. I asked her to do some light digging on general information. Not trade secrets, but stuff they don't share so readily.'
'I'm not sure about this,' said Valandriel. 'I mean, investigating our competitors is a little low. I know we are not digging for dirt or anything like that, but hiring a geisha girl? The detectives we have on the rest of them is bad enough, but haven't we stooped pretty low to use prostitutes?'
'All is fair in love and war, Valley Boy, and this is war. Our ambitions will not be achieved by being Ambrielesque boy scouts. I'm not asking her to do anything illegal. Just information gathering. Whatever Mr Watanabe talks about.'
'Fine,' replied Valandriel. 'Well, I guess so then. If that's what it takes.'
'It is always good to have informants. People who gather knowledge for us. And Executive Watanabe's passion for geisha girls suits me just fine.'
'Old fox,' said Valandriel to Daniel.
'Thank you,' replied the 45th of the Seraphim, bowing.
'Anyway,' said Valandriel. 'What is next on the agenda?'
'Rocket Chicken Dude,' replied Daniel.
'The actor? What's his name by the way?' asked Valandriel.
'He's called Rocket Chicken Dude or dude or guy or fella,' replied Daniel. 'I don't know his name. He doesn't reveal it publically.'
'Then do some research,' replied Valandriel sarcastically.
'Rocket Chicken Dude will do. He's Aussie, an actor, and that is enough,' replied Daniel.
'And why is he on the agenda?' asked Valandriel.
'Jesus is pushing 10 horns theology at the moment,' replied Daniel. 'Michael through Cimbrel are potentially the 10 horns of the beast. They represent Torah denying the Son of God. Rebellion.'
'Jesus Christ!' swore Valandriel. 'Yes, I've heard that baloney. Aren't Raphael and Gabriel still Christian much of the time, though?'
'More mainstream monotheists these days,' replied Daniel. 'Ole Jay Z is content with Torah truths ruling his heart, and flows with Christianity when he needs to. Raphael doesn't really like to go much away from Mitraphoran tradition, so leaves his rapping humanity alone much of the time. He acts differently when he lives on Earthly planets out there. Mainly goes around as Jay Z and raps a lot. He puts on a Christian front a lot of the time out there, but in the Realm he's the Archangel Raphael and is a servant of God. Whereas Gabriel is a monetheistic unity fella. He tries to unite people under one God as the core idea, whatever the religion.'
'They change though,' replied Valandriel. 'With a new overseer they often go off an a new tangent.'
'I've noticed that,' replied Daniel. 'Different Oveseer, practically different faith at times for some. Ariel, at the moment, is studying Shinto, and getting involved with a lot of Japanese things because of Cimbrel. But she always liked Japan anyway. Sings about it a lot. And she's shagging Samael of Infinity at the moment. I can tell. She denies it, but I have my sources.'
'Cheer up,' replied Valandriel. 'Meludiel is free isn't she?'
'Desperately devoted to Jacob Fink again. Says she's a faithful Christian wife, and adultery is a grave sin. Same old bullshit she always parades. She is so predictable.'
'So you are high and dry.'
'Which is were Rocket Chicken Dude comes in,' said Daniel.
'Oh, your considering chatting him up?' sniggered Valandriel.
'Asshole,' replied Daniel.
'You want to go up his asshole. Yes I get it,' replied Valandriel, now sniggering more.
'Brother,' replied Daniel, frustrated.
'Incest as well,' said Valandriel. 'My you are experimental.'
'Jesus Christ. Shut the fuck up will you.'
'I didn't know Jesus was gay. But 12 apostles, all male. Mmm,' said Valandriel.
'I give up,' said Daniel, and walked out of his Danielphon den, leaving Valandriel grinning madly.
* * * * *
Sadurael, the 47th of the Seraphim of Eternity, was an old conquerer. In his human manifestation he had risen to fame as 'Genghis Kahn', and been prolific in his dynasty. His twin was the European blonde beauty Barbonel, who he saw from time to time, but they were not that close. They had different worlds and different cultures, but she supported him with email encouragements, and he returned the favour. But that morning, nearly mid-day, they were both together, changing into their costumes for the Cos-Play at the comic convention in Zaphona city.
'You don't think Batman is a little too predictable?' asked Barbonel to her twin, as he paraded himself in his room.
'Your problem is that nobody even knows Harbinger,' replied Sadurael.
'She's a well established DC Universe heroine. She saved the world during the Millennium,' replied Barbonel. 'And she's my favourite.'
'Because you look like her,' replied Sadurael. 'Such a predictable thing for Barbonel the Barbie Collecting Bimbo.'
'I don't collect Barbie Dolls,' she said, but said it softly, and looked away.
'HAH!' yelled Sadurael. 'You have over a billion of them. I have my insiders who inform me of your collections of things.'
'Asshole,' she said. 'You should not spy on your twin. It's unethical.'
'Spies are everywhere,' said Sadurael dramatically. 'It's plot and counter-plot for all the children of destiny, methinks.'
'Very funny,' she replied. 'Well? Are we going in the Batmobile again?'
'It is fuelled up and ready to go. Alfred is ready to drive us there,' said Sadurael.
'Cato, you mean. He's always doing Alfred Pennyworth.'
'He enjoys the role, Barbonel. The finest Butler in all of the Realm of Eternity, and he knows his place.'
'He is your faithful servant, and best friend. He doesn't have a place. Give him some respect,' chided Barbonel.
'Forgive me,' he replied. 'I get a little proud at times.'
'There'll probably be a million Batman's at this thing. It's the same every time. Everyone wants to say 'I'm Batman' as if they're God's gift.'
Sadurael gave her a dramatic look and said 'I'm Batman!'
'So predictable,' replied Barbonel.
'Come on Harby,' said Sadurael. 'Hopefully you'll run into that dwarf guardian again this year. You can save the world all over again,' he said, grinning.
'Very funny, BATMAN!' she replied, as they gave themselves one last look in the mirror, and headed off to find their Alfred Pennyworth, and head for their destination of Zaphona Central Convention Centre, and the International 'Zaph-Con' comic convention.
* * * * *
Madonna Ciccone looked at her daughter Lourdes.
'Yes, the hair looks great Lola. Green Flame completely.'
'I hope Daniel likes it. This is very important to him,' replied Lourdes. 'And I get a bit of a kick out of this stuff now anyway.'
'Taylor is going as Ice Maiden again, isn't she?' asked Madonna.
'Taylor Swift has been religiously Ice Maiden at every Zaph-Con so far,' replied Lourdes. 'She always wanted a Green Flame. Daniel asked me to do it, so I said ok.'
'And you are the Justice League International?' asked Madonna.
'You've read the comics. Don't play cool,' replied Lourdes. Madonna blushed. She was actually a fan of the comic series as well.
They went out into the main room, and Lourdes twin, Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, was dressed as Blue Beetle, Ted Kord. He turned to look at her.
'Fabulous babe!' he exclaimed. 'The green hair has come up brilliant. And the outfit is perfect. You are Beatriz DeCosta in every way.'
'Glad you like,' smiled Lourdes. This was one of the things she did to support her twin, even though they were not close as friends much otherwise. But they did cos-play together, and she enjoyed it.
They headed off, and were soon downtown Zaphona City, at Zaph-Con, the international Comic Convention. Daniel had pre-booked parking, and they found their bay, and headed to the conference centre. As they walked along, superheroes were everywhere, as well as Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Smurfs, and everything under the sun really.
They entered into the main hall, and it was a sight. Stalls and stalls of comic displays, and the biggest collection of cos-play superheroes in the universe.
'I'm going off to find Booster,' said Daniel. 'I'll be at main cos-play section up front around 2 for sure. We'll get something to eat then.'
Lourdes nodded, and drifted off herself to find Cherubim Taylor, who would be the Ice Maiden.
Daniel walked along, down endless aisles and rows, and eventually reached the Cos-play section. Sadurael, as Batman was flexing his muscles, and he nodded to Daniel, and Shemrael was with Cimbrel, again as Shi and Dr Mirage. But no Boosters. Suddenly behind him...
'Bwah ha ha ha. You call that a costume.'
Daniel turned. It was Booster Gold, none other than Seraphim Michael of Eternity, dressed in his usual garb.
Daniel walked up to him and Elenniel, dressed as Batgirl, with hair dyed red, smiled. 'You never get sick of the Beetle do you, Daniel.'
Daniel grinned. 'I was born to be the Beetle.'
'Yo Danno. Where's my woman?'
Daniel turned. It was his friend, Peter Fletcher, dressed as his predictable 'Guy Gardner', and as Green Lantern usually, and had gone to the trouble of the bowl cut again.
'I'm sure Taylor Swift is around here somewhere,' said Daniel. 'Don't crack on to her again, Fletch. She's not interested.'
'Ice Maiden is desperately in love with Guy Gardner. I know it in my balls,' replied the Fletch.
'An old romance,' said Taylor Swift, dressed as Ice Maiden, suddenly appearing with Lourdes.
'Where's Gabriel?' asked Peter. 'He's never late.'
Soon enough, a few moments later, Gabriel, dressed in green, as the Martian Manhunter appeared, with Sariel dressed as Mr Miracle, Gloryel dressed as Big Barda and Saruviel, in a suit, with a name tag of 'Maxwell Lord' written on it, appeared.
'Ok. Line up everybody,' said Elenniel, and took out her camera. Crowds started forming around them. They were the official Justice League International Cos-play team to a lot of people, and Elenniel took several pictures of them posing and mocking each other, and smiled at them all. And then the serious cos-play got under way, and there were laughs and jokes, and the best of times for the children of destiny.
* * * * *
'Cimbrel,' began Uriel the Seraphim. 'Is an idiot.'
Karel looked at the shirt she was ironing, decided to use the water spray for the wrinkles, and looked up at Uriel. 'I know a bigger one,' she replied.
Uriel scoffed, and sat back down, eating his chocolate covered sultanas. 'I'd be better off going into business with Satan. He at least is competitive. CimCorps is a mediocre software company at best.'
'They currently have the number one Sega Genesis game on the market,' said Karel.
'Hedgehog Hazard is far from a decent video game. People are just caught up with it because of its Mayhem Frenzy at the end of each level. It's cheap commercialism in video gaming, and there is nothing really serious about it. It's a fad – it won't last,' replied Uriel.
'Currently selling over a quintillion units an hour in the inner discs,' replied Karel. 'Definitely a fad.'
Uriel glared at her, and returned his focus to the television set. 'Anyway, he's Japanese. The Chinese and Japanese are traditional adversaries. It would never work.'
'He's your best friend,' retorted Karel.
'Be that as it may, we talk Zaphon Council affairs and friendship matters, and the occasional Ping Pong discussion, and not much else. Apart from stamps and coins, we're just acquaintances.'
'You have a party night with him every century where you get strippers. Don't think I don't know. It's common knowledge. Hardly sounds like just an acquaintance.'
'They're not hookers,' replied Uriel quickly. 'Just friendly ladies. And we never touch them. It's just for the show.'
'Whatever,' replied Karel. 'Regardless, your portfolio is somewhat slim. We get well enough by, but it's time for Uriel to be more than the B-Grade comedian he is known as. Time for some serious work. Use your 'Arcana and Chaos' series of fantasy books, and develop a Genesis Roleplaying system with it. Do it with Cimbrel. You've talked about it for ages. Cimbrel has the expert knowledge. Do it with him. You could get a hundred cartridges out of that information without any problems,' said Karel.
Cimbrel glared at her, and returned to watching the TV, putting down his chocolate sultanas and picking up his plate of Chow Mein, and began eating. After a while he put down his plate. 'A hundred you think?'
'Probably that much decent stuff out of it. New information is hard to get these days. Not much copyright left, apart from what people are keeping in their heads from ancient times. God keeps it there for us – he tells us that. To use gradually over eternity. There's definitely 50 or so very solid games out of 'Arcana and Chaos' and I don't think 100 is pushing it too much. Cimbrel is perfect to work with. He's very experienced on the Megadrive.'
Cimbrel looked at her momentarily, and then returned to looking at the TV.
'We're rich enough,' he said softly, not trying to argue the point, but just stating it.
'That's not the point. We're still expected to have successes as the Seraphim. It's time for Uriel to pull more of his weight. What? Are you going to let Daniel and Valandriel and Co have all the glory at the end of things?'
Cimbrel looked at her, then returned to his Chow Mein. 'I'll think about it,' he said at last.
'You do that,' she replied. 'You do that.'
Cimbrel continued looking at the TV, and scratched his head, and then stood, and went into his office. He brought up his portfolio. Looking at it, Karel came in, dusting, then was behind him.
'It looks pretty slim,' she said. 'As I've said. 5 major companies we own, and they bring in reasonable profits, and shares in about 25 Gold Chip companies and about 500 Blue chip.'
'We earn quite a bit,' he replied. 'What do we need the money for?' he replied.
She sat down next to him. 'It's a long eternity, Uri. We have 32 children in this long sojourn, who are set up on earnings from our income, to provide for them and their offspring.'
'Exactly,' replied Uriel. 'We don't really have to work, and we're supported. God has blessed his elder children. We are really the lucky ones.'
'That is exactly why we shouldn't take it for granted, and contribute significantly to the culture with quality product to deserve and earn our rest. Just affording it doesn't mean we afford it brother. We really need to be popular with the nerdy geeky community, and also, eventually, some sort of New Agenda idea. Some sort of 'Go get life' speaking ministry.'
'I have about a dozen autobiographies,' replied Uriel. 'Will that do?'
'A lot on martial arts,' she replied.
'I'm Jackie Chan. What do you expect?'
'How about a book on the ethics of martial arts and self defense? Something you know originally and can speak about from time to time. Once every century or so, a decent speech at a convention, and we'll earn our money legitimately. Contribute, have something to say, motivate people – inspire them – and God will say we are earning our keep responsibly enough,' said Karel.
'What about an acting seminar once a century? No, once a millennium?'
She looked at him with one of those 'Please' looks, but softened. 'Mmm. Maybe. You can act ok, actually. No Ian McKellen, but you are reasonable. You think you have enough to say?'
'I have ideas,' replied Uriel. 'Some. I think I could put together, I don't know, maybe half a dozen or so decent speeches on the subject.'
'Will it pass on copyright?' she asked him sincerely.
'I don't know,' he replied. 'It's hard to get new stuff now. Most of everything to be said has been said. But I can try. There might still be old information from my days which has been locked up safely inside my head.'
'God does promise us such things,' she replied. 'Ok. Run with that also.'
He looked at the screen for a while, and turned to her. 'You want us to do more,' he said.
'We need to earn our keep properly. Everyone has to work. We have a lot of money, and can enjoy the good life, but even if it is only rarely, we still need to do something. Something to stay in the limelight from time to time. You only ever delegate your overseer work, so we need to be seen doing something.'
'I understand,' he replied. 'Ok. I'll take it seriously. I'll look into it.'
She smiled, and kissed him on the cheek, and finished off her dusting. When she'd left he gave the screen a last look, and went off to finish his chow mein, and his TV viewing, but ideas were on his mind. Ideas were definitely on his mind.
* * * * *
Issues cam and issues went for Cimbrel, and issues were resolved. And his time was up before he knew it, and it had been a hell of a ride.
99 In the shade. Yeh, great song. Dameriel's reign, considered God. A gentle angel with a good heart. He would not put him through grief, he would give him a good time, fun in the sun, a bit of a party, for Valandriel would bring back the stability he was looking for. But for legs 11 they would have a party with a passive soul, the best to choose, because he kept it all under control. Plans. God made them. He still did. And Dameriel was a pleasant angel, faithful at Glimmersphon keep, so he would give him the glory he perhaps didn't even really seek for his faithful stewardship.
smiled at God. ‘So here comes the fun stuff, huh? The fun
‘You better believe it, boy. You better believe it.’
The party rocked. Track 11 was on repeat. ALWAYS track 11. Dameriel's number. ALWAYS Dameriel's number. I mean, Bon Jovi started their albums with New Jersey, right? Slippery When What exactly? He oft queried of Callodyn. Every album had at least 11 tracks. The best ones ONLY had 11 tracks. New Jersey, with 12, something of an exception, but he liked Valandriel enough in the end anyway.
Florel came along the beach, returning from her walk. She was clothed in a white lacey top, with a denim and leather jacket and denim short skirt, with fishneck stockings. Standard wear these days. Everyone wore that, these days.
He lived with God and Valandriel and Elsabel and Florel his own twin, in Sayreville, New Jersey, in Terraphora. It was 500 years before the end of Cimbrel's reign as overseer, and he was expected to be the replacement, but that was still a bit to go. For now he partied, drank 400 beers regularly, and saw the band in concert every few years when they toured. Terraphora was a main stop off for Bon Jovi – one of the few places in the Realm of Eternity that most of the big bands did, because of the genuine earth equivalence status. Like New Terra as well, they were the places to be mostly seen. The Realm of Eternity, usually Zaphora and Terraphora for Angels, and the elite, and New Terra in the planetary section of the spiritual universe for humans. The nub of excitement. The nub of adventure, usually. Some discs of eternity often paraded this or that programme to claim the glory, but old news was good news, and the oldest worlds usually claimed the glory. Just the way it was in truth.
* * * * *
thing,' said Wolfgang. 'I know you drink a bit of the grog now, and I
know you exercise caution in not getting drunk. Please maintain
Cimbrel nodded, knowingly, looking at his replacement sitting in the overseers desk, holding the executive toilet key.
'But be lighthearted, for Valandriel will be a straight guy if you choose him to take over.'
'Gotcha,' replied Dameriel.
'Apart from that, have fun,' and Wolfgang was off, leaving Cimbrel smiling at him.
'We had our fun,' said Cimbrel. 'But that's the end buddy. I'm headed off to my disc and overseersmanship there. I have plans for glory, and will be working at it. But bring the realm a good time. You'll be good for us all. You’re a passive and kind gent, and everyone likes and admires you. Bring that as your strength.'
'Will do,' nodded Dameriel. 'And thanks for the good times Cimbrel. They didn't last long, but it was fun. I had a good time.'
The Japanese angel smiled at his younger brother, and left.
Dameriel gazed out at the Realm of Eternity. Here he was. Glory was his. He wasn't an ego. He was just plain old Dameriel. But he would bring light humor and soft sarcasm, and have good time radio on all day long. Time for a relaxing ride, and a peaceful time of joy for the Realm of Eternity.
So he hoped.
* * * * *
didn't think I'd forget you, did you?' asked the dread
Dameriel looked up. It was Saruviel.
'What do you want?' he asked his older brother.
'We have some catching up to do. Unfinished business. Unfinished – discussions. I have things I need to think over, now. Things to think through and, hopefully, this time, get the right answers. Get some resolutions.'
'Soul searching again?' queried Dameriel. 'Like before?'
'Not quite so dramatically this time,' smiled Saruviel, sitting down opposite his brother. 'I think God had wisdom were he placed me all those years ago. Next to you. The foil for my pride. You accepted me and gave me shelter, and knew how to handle me. So I will resolve my self in you dear brother.'
'I hope I can help,' said Dameriel softly.
Saruviel handed him a CD.
'What is this?' asked Dameriel.
'It's Fallen. By Evanescence. I want to think about that word and that message, and think on my heart, and why I did what I did. And how I fell, if that is what I did, and why. Why God is right and why his authority is absolute and why we aren't as free as we might care to believe.'
'Fascinating,' replied Dameriel. 'I know the album. I have a copy. I'll put it on.'
'Not today. But I'll drop around soon enough. I'll stay here at Zaphon for a while. See you regularly. And we'll talk. We'll talk.'
'I'll be here for you,' said Dameriel.
'Good,' replied Saruviel. And he smiled at his brother, and stood and left, leaving a slightly confused Dameriel, but one who sort of sensed out just what Saruviel was wanting resolved. And what he might want of himself in the ordeal.
* * * * *
The sultry maiden walked in through the door of Glimmersphon Keep. Dameriel looked up.
‘Excuse me, Miss. Clothes are required to attend this residence.’
The maiden came over to him. ‘I never wear clothes. I’ve walked from Toracrag to here without any. I have come on a mission.’
Dameriel glanced her over. She had a good figure, and was traditional – unshaved down below.
‘What’s the mission?’ he asked her.
‘To live before I die and to love while I’ve lived,’ she replied.
‘Interesting philosophy,’ replied Dameriel. ‘Live it up and go out with a bang, huh?’
‘Something like that,’ she replied. ‘Apparently, of all the Seraphim, you are supposedly the most conservative. Ambriel, I have been told, still likes a bit of fun in the end, but you maintain holiness. So am I a sinner Seraphim Dameriel?’
‘A good way to catch a cold, lice and many other diseases,’ replied Dameriel. ‘Walking around naked. Moral convictions come in time to those who begin a focus on eternal life. Clearly you’re here for a party, and that will do. I don’t really care to convict you of any morality principles. Suffice to say if you want to stay in Glimmersphon please put on some clothing. You can stay in a room and my twin can buy you some if you have no money. If you don’t wish to comply, I will have the authorities called and your person removed from the premises.’
‘You’re hardly a challenge,’ replied the lady. ‘I’m Missy. Missy Smithers. You were supposed to preach at me – love me back to life – something grand and salvation like. Correct my childish impulses of youth.’
‘I’m no evangelist,’ replied Dameriel. ‘Plenty of crusaders down the road a little. Put some clothes in, or leave. Your choice.’
‘Humph,’ she replied. ‘I remain unchallenged. God has not met the truth of Missy Smithers and corrected it. He has no power of true weight.’
‘Looking for a savior, it seems. Try Jesus. Or Mohammed. He’d like your sort. Imam’s would have no end of fun with you.’
‘Pathetic,’ she replied.
‘I have discussion with my brother Saruviel occasionally on issues like this. If you want to hang around we would both be willing to explain things to you, if you want saving. We can do a basic job. I have not a care in the world if you choose not, but if you are looking for God’s wisdom or wisdom on life from another viewpoint, as a Seraphim, yes, it is still my responsibility to uphold the faith. We let rebellious people be in the end. But if you want to be challenged and proven wrong we are willing to discuss and debate.’
She stood there, looked around for a bit, and turned to look at him. ‘Rebukeless bastard. But if you have anything of merit, I will bother.’
‘Fine,’ replied Dameriel. ‘Go upstairs, find an empty room, close the door, and I will have my twin look at you and get you clothing.'
‘Very well. I will consider the challenge accepted.’
‘If that’s what does it for you sweetie,’ replied Dameriel.
As the maiden left, Dameriel watched her go, then returned to his work, and shook his head. It took all sorts, he thought to himself. All sorts.
* * * * *
‘Welcome to the party,’ said Dameriel. He was back in Sayreville in New Jersey in Terraphora, and Wolfang was in the corner playing cards with Cherubim Marckonyel. New Jersey by Bon Jovi was playing, and Valandriel was fooling around with a bass guitar, while Florel and Elsabel were on the couch, chatting, eating Cheetos. It was about 100 years into Dameriel’s reign as Overseer of the Realm, and he was enjoying the good life. Currently, the maiden in front of him, Missy Smithers, who had been hanging around for a while, now dressed, was accompanied by Saruviel, as they entered the room, and sat down on the stools next to the kitchen bench, and poured themselves some alcohol. The album ended, and Dameriel put on ‘Home’ by ‘The Corrs’, and returned to sitting in front of the girls on the couch, playing Sega Megadrive games.
‘Yo, Dameriel,’ said Marckonyel. ‘Can you lend me 500 credits. I’ve got a killer hand, but I’m out of cash, and I’m not gonna let this old fox cheat me out of my money.’
Dameriel went to the other room, and returned, lending Marckonyel the 500 credits. The cards were declared, and Marckyonyel had a full house but God had four of a kind.
‘Sucker,’ God said to Marckonyel.
‘I’ll pay you back next week,’ said Marckonyel to Dameriel. ‘He got lucky. That’s all.’
‘We’ll just play to play now,’ said God, and Marckonyel nodded, sipping on his Sarsaparilla.
‘Gambling is acceptable then, is it?’ Missy Smithers spoke out loud to the group.
Marckonyel looked at God, who was looking at his cards.
‘It’s innocent enough,’ said Elsabel. ‘If you are experienced you should be sensible enough to know when to call it a day and not let it get out of hand. Like alcohol. Don’t be an idiot with it, but its ok.’
‘Right,’ said Missy, and returned to her conversation with Saruviel. After a while she stood and walked over to God and Marckonyel and watched them playing cards. She looked at God. ‘How much do you tolerate and still save us?’
God continued looking at his cards. ‘Too damn much sweet cheeks.’
‘Right,’ she replied, and continued watching them. ‘I suppose you have an ultimate destination for our souls.’
‘Yep. The statue of Buddha, just outside Gelphon Keep, for a chat on life, and how’s your father,’ replied God sarcastically.
‘Very funny,’ replied Missy, who left the two gamblers, returning to Saruviel.
‘Don’t sweat the little stuff,’ said Dameriel. ‘Life goes on Missy. Once you commit to enough of it, it works out. The destination is just a better character with lessons to be learned, as Gabriella Cilmi sings. So don’t forget to get your jam of words in first, sweetie.’
Saruviel looked at Missy, who smiled back. ‘So what,’ she said to him softly.
‘Told you the Spirit would address your concerns soon enough,’ said Saruviel. They had been in discussions for a while. Missy had some new questions, and now it appeared she had gotten her answers. Answers she was not sure about, but she had been responded to. But she wasn’t finished in her inquiries yet – still a few questions to resolve, before she considered her challenge appropriately responded to. But for now she was happy enough, as the Corrs played in the background, and Dameriel yelled out he had defeated Robotnik’s 5th end of level beast.
* * * * *
Saruviel sat opposite Dameriel in the upper Zaphon Tower, the overseer’s office, looking out at Zaphona City.
‘Have you read the overseer’s protocols? You can’t miss the files on the office lan,’ said Saruviel. ‘All the overseer’s have files there.’
‘I’ve looked through them,’ said Dameriel.
‘Good,’ replied Saruviel. ‘Do you mind if I smoke?’
Dameriel waved his hands, indicating that Saruviel could smoke away. Saruviel rolled himself a cigarette, lit it with a lighter, and puffed away. Cindradel came in, looked at Saruviel smoking the ciggie, but refrained from commenting.
‘More work,’ she said to Dameriel, and placed a pile of work into his inbox.
‘That’s already to go,’ said Dameriel, indicating the outbox, and Cindradel picked up the papers, gave Saruviel a look for his ciggie, to which he grinned back, and left.
‘This office has a no smoking policy or something?’ asked Saruviel.
‘The full office does. The overseer himself has discretion. He’s the overseer after all. In this section, even though it’s an open plan office, and we only have Perspex partitions separating us, but in this section were the overseer works I have a degree of sovereignty. I’m the boss. But you should have known that,’ said Dameriel.
‘In my day they didn’t really care very much,’ said Saruviel. ‘Cindy would never have given me any look. Wondered if anything had changed,’ replied Saruviel.
‘Nothing too much,’ replied Dameriel. ‘People are fussy now, though. Times change, as you know, and people expect more with the passing of time.’
‘I’ve smoked a pack of tobacco a month for over 10 million years,’ said Saruviel. ‘I’m not going to change now.’
‘No, I suppose not,’ agreed Dameriel, turning his focus to his PC, while Saruviel resumed his gaze over Zaphona City.
‘That’s new,’ said Saruviel, indicating something in the city.
‘What?’ asked Dameriel, not looking up.
‘That ruddy big sign, with the X on it. Towers right up. Never had that in my time here.’
‘I’ve noticed that sign,’ said Dameriel. He looked at Saruviel, smiling. ‘It’s a brothel, actually. You don’t normally see the sign from the streets. It’s above the buildings, but you can only see it from certain viewpoints.
‘A brothel?’ queried Saruviel.
‘They are the most legalistic brothel in the realm of eternity,’ said Dameriel. ‘They have to be in Zaphona City. ‘Procedures are extremely strict when visiting a lady.’
‘Fascinating,’ replied Saruviel. ‘I’ll have to look into it.’
‘Why does that not surprise me,’ replied Dameriel.
Saruviel continued looking out at the city. He finally turned to Dameriel.
‘So you will be at Glimmersphon this weekend?’ he asked him.
‘Then a month in Sayreville at the end of this 5 year run. My official holiday,’ replied Dameriel.
‘’Right. We’ll have a chat about things then. I’ll be doing some painting down on the jetty. Of the lake. Monet style. I need to tranquilize my former thinkings around Glimmersphon in some ways. Address all the turbulent spirit it created, and remind myself that I was trying for understanding. I’ve learned much since, and I want to create good memories in a sense from all the original chaos. Turn it into glory.’
‘That sounds very noble of you,’ replied Dameriel. ‘I look forward to seeing the resulting works.’
‘I’ll do one just for you,’ said Saruviel. He stood, looked at Dameriel, and gave him a nod, and then disappeared, off to chat with Cindradel for a moment, and then off to his regular life. Dameriel watched him go, then returned his focus to the PC, and then, thinking on it, stood, looked down at the sign of the X, had a little chuckle to himself, and sat down. He looked at the inbox, sighed, picked up the next document, and got on with the rest of his working day.
* * * * *
'Listen Dubiln Dick. The Belfast Boys will kick your arse,' said Kantriel with heat.
Dameriel looked at the assembled group of beach volleyball players. There were 4 on the team all up, including Kantriel, tutelary prince of Northern Ireland, and they looked lean and fit.
'Too much pie and chips in your diet,' said Dameriel. 'Not enough potato. Solid boiled and baked potatos.'
'Chips are made of potato,' said Kantriel, assembling his troops.
'Not English chips. They are made of sour English pub farts and drunken sailors. Not terribly much effort goes into English chips. Now Irish chips. They are a specialty. They come from all over Terraphora to try Irish Chips. Made of love and care and heart and soul. Not winging and bad hygiene and smelly old socks, like all English Chips are made of,' said Dameriel.
'We're going to kick your arse,' said Kantriel. 'Here we go. Sayrevillie Beach Volleyball Irish Championship Round One. Good luck Republican.'
'Bring it, traitor,' replied Dameriel.
The game got under way, and 99 in the Shade by Bon Jovi was indeed on repeat in the background. Florel was watching Dameriel, seated on a fold up beach chair, covered in lotion, the heat being very enjoyable. They were on their holiday after 5 years of solid work – a month off at the end – and Kantriel had shown up to put the Republican Irishman in his place. Ironic of course – Kantriel was an old Jew, but had gravitated to Northern Ireland early on after the resurrection, and as they had lacked any official tutelary Prince as of yet at the time, having a Seraphim, even an American Jewish soul as Orlando Bloom indeed had been on Earth, seemed it may as well be a goer. The game tooed and throwed, and the Dublin Devil's eventually defeated the Belfast boys, which brought a 'Kiss my ass,' from Dameriel, which Kantriel took well all things considering. Dameriel thanked his team mates, locals from Sayreville who he knew from the taverns, and came over and sat down next to his twin. He was in his board shorts, a fresh hair cut, and there was a surf board behind Florel's chair.
'You gonna surf, then?' asked Florel.
'The waves are probably too tame today,' said Dameriel. 'I'll leave it be.'
'They never get too wild in Terraphora anyway,' replied Florel. 'Out in Mitraphora you start to get some turbulent ones, but its really from about the 5th and 6th discs were you get some big ones. It's a more passive heart of eternity in the inner discs I suppose.'
'Perhaps its something like that,' agreed Dameriel. 'I'm gonna lie down,' he said, and stretched out his towel, and lay down, enjoying the warmth.
'Two more weeks of fun,' said Florel. 'Then back to the real world.'
'I'll enjoy it while it lasts,' said Dameriel. 'Now leave me be – I'm gonna snooze.'
Florel sipped on her bottle of water, and continued reading her magazine. After a while she put it down, and decided to doze off, and enjoy the weather. She soon was snoring lightly, and the beach in front of them continued humming along with activity, people unconcerned about the sleeping Seraphim in their presence.
* * * * *
'So, shall we commit to an archive like Daniel the Seraphim?' asked Florel. 'For a collection of something? He doesn't seem too proud about owning a gazillion things, and claims they are for eternal enjoyment when his collecting days are finally complete?'
Dameriel looked down at the chess board in the game he was playing in Glimmersphon Keep against his twin Florel. 'I'm not sure, yet,' replied Dameriel. 'I've been thinking this over a long time, and our central agreement has been that eternity is a very long time and that, with the access to the rim with eternally developing and improving flight travel there, we will always have opportunities to get out there quickly enough, buy reasonable land, and develop an archive then.'
'He maintains time and time again that the early bird catches the worm. One day significant early printings and runs and copies of product will finish. They will be much latter copies, and not a great investment. Certainly we agree that we would never sell our things anyway, and that we only generally collect what we like in the first place. But God the Theophany does not object to the ideas of status based on the quality of your collection. Should we yet give a damn?'
'We have over 100,000 decent items,' replied Dameriel. 'In our various abodes. Should we care that much anymore?'
'That's the question,' said Florel. Dameriel made his move, and the game came to an end a few hours later. Dameriel walked out the front in the twilight hour, down to the jetty, and looked out at the lake. Vain wealth building was not his thing. It had never been his thing. Just what you naturally acquired in life for enjoyment of the natural value and esteem you had for the object. No point in having something vainly just because it was worth something. But a point Florel had made later was that both of them had a growing interest in many things which appeared generally fun enough and interesting enough to own. Could it be that the collectors bug in someone as serious as Dameriel just took time to develop? And if that was the case, was it genuine? Would he really value these things for eternity? Daniel emphasized that you should work your frikking arse off to get as much as possible because you definitely wouldn't regret it in the long term? Was that perhaps true? Did you really want a billion pieces of glory to embellish your eternal life? He would think this over, maybe even chat to Saruviel about it, and come to a conclusion. Florel would have her answer one way or another.
* * * * *
The chevvie was full of gas, and it guzzled a lot of it, but Dameriel drove down 'Harper's Parade' through Zaphona City, puffing out smoke, but not really giving a damn. A cop pulled him over.
'Sorry, overseer, but I'm not quite sure if that thing you are driving is legal. The fumes are rather excessive,' said the cop.
'I'm headed for heaven, with a gas full of tank, and a party in my pocket,' replied Dameriel.
'It still ain't legal,' replied the copper. 'See to it you reach your destination as soon as possible, and get the fuel tank updated to confine with the law.'
'Will do officer,' as Dameriel started the engine again, and continued on his way. He continued driving, and soon approached Kalros, and drove up the inclines of the ranges. Shortly he arrived where he needed, on the north-eastern side of the highest peak, where a dragon resided just around the side of the mountain a bit, a worrisome old beast who had taken residence not long ago in the cave which was ancient. Dameriel had recently had a wishing well built on the mountain, not far from the entrance to the cave, and there was a sign near the well which read 'Beware the Dragon' which was positioned as a sign of caution more than anything else, for the dragon was a notorious liar, but would not really go anywhere towards eating an angel. At least not from all reports so far on the beasts comings and goings. He got outside his chevvy, and fished into his pocket, extracting the USB drive. He came up to the building – an observatory – and knocked. Professor Jentra soon answered, smiled, and welcomed him in.
'Did you bring the file?' asked the professor. Dameriel nodded. They came inside, into the main control room which watched over the large telescope, and Dameriel passed the professor the USB stick. The professor inserted it into a connection drive, and typed away at his compter. 'The program is loaded,' said the professor. 'It should focus the telescope now,' he said, pushing enter on his keyboard. In front of them the telescope manouvered itself electronically, and focused on a particual direction. 'We'll have to wait a few hours for darkness,' said the professor. 'It won't see through the haze terribly easily otherwise.'
'I ordered pretzels and beer,' said Dameriel. 'They'll be delivered shortly.'
The professor and Dameriel chatted, and soon a knock came at the observatory door, and the professor went off to answer it, soon returning with a large bag of pretzels and a six pack of beer. They chatted, and drank the beer, occasionally nibbling on a pretzel, and the twilight came and went, and soon it was dark.
'Now let's have a look,' said the professor.
They went to the telescope, and the professor looked into the eyepiece. He sat there for a few minutes, and then turned to Dameriel. 'Look.'
Dameriel came to the eyepiece and looked it. There it was. Just as they were told.
'It's not legal of course,' said the Professor. 'In any Realm law what they've done is not legal. Humanity have no legal rights to rise beyond their place in the planetary zone. This work is completely against the law, and I'd imagine the work of one of the minor dominions outside of the jurisdiction of the United Galaxy.'
'Most likely,' replied Dameriel. 'Spying on us? Filled with ambitions of universal conquest?'
'Possibly. But the technology would have to be strong for them to take such ambitions seriously. We'll have to go up and look at the damn thing.'
'I'll arrange it,' said Dameriel. 'An interesting adventure for the new overseer.'
'Good,' said the professor, looking again in the telescope. 'And keep me informed.'
'Will do,' said Dameriel. 'Now that final beer, and I have a copper to annoy for the second time today.'
They returned to the control room, drank beer, and later, when Dameriel was driving back to Zaphon through the night, he made it a point of driving down Harper's Parade for the second time, but if the copper was there he didn't bother Dameriel, and he was slightly disappointed, but enjoyed his drive, as the music played, and the nighttime life of Zaphona city passed by him, a life of its own.
* * * * *
'The games we play,' said Florel to Dameriel.
'The games we play are for a reason,' replied Dameriel. 'We sent up a probe. It was indeed human design principles, and didn't appear to be anything from the realms. It's a space station, about two kilometres length, width and breadth. And it's armed. There are missile vents, we're sure of it, and about 200 of them. The probe had a look through some of the windows, but nothing noteworth was seen. Just lounges were there were people gathered. But we don't know what is in the inner sphere of the station. We're doing checks, right now, to see if we can locate any notable cultural or artistic design elements from our datafiles on the various cultures of humanity. We can't rule out some body of the United Galaxy, but our guess its an independent dominion having some fun. We assume the probe might have been monitored, but we'll wait a few weeks, then send up a formal boarding party, and see what they are up to.'
'And if it's no good?' queried Florel.
'Then the games we play will get a whole lot more intersting,' replied Dameriel. 'But for now we won't notify the general public, and just keep an eye on them. We'll sort out the situation soon enough.'
'Very good,' said Florel. 'Anyway, what do you want for dinner? I have run out of imagination, and apart from chicken noodle soup, I haven't been shopping in ages, and the cupboard is bare. Do you want to eat out?'
'We'll order in,' replied Dameriel. 'I'm in the mood for Indian.'
'Sounds good,' replied Florel. 'I'll order now.'
With Florel on the phone Dameriel wandered into the private den of the overseer's apartment office. He sat down at the desk, and looked at the globe of planet earth on his desk, and spun it around. He sat back in his chair, and looked up at the painting of Saruviel on the wall. 'What do you think old fellow? Just a bunch of playboys having fun in realm space? Nothing to worry about? Or do we have bigger fish to fry?'
Saruviel's grim demeanour stared back silently, and Dameriel stared at it, thinking it was about time the damn thing was replaced. Apparently Sariel had decided to leave it in place, as it added drama to the room, and the subsequent overseers had followed that tradition. But Dameriel, while he was eternally fond of his older Seraphim brother, who he'd had many a heart to heart with, felt it was time to move on with things, put the painting in storage, and find something far more pleasant to give atmosphere to the room. But for now Saruviel's heavy gaze rested upon him, as he spun the globe once more, his belly beginning to rumble, anticipating the curry or such he would soon be enjoying, pleasant company again the night with his twin, as another day in the life of Dameriel, overseer of Zaphon and the realm of eternity, came to an end.
* * * * *
Dameriel got the job done in the end. A reign notable for its steadiness and calmness, but happy and fun atmosphere. A good example in keeping peace. He did a good job.
Summation, completion of the matter. Mmm.
Valandriel looked at the sky. It was turning red. It seemed the signs were obvious. The time was at hand. It would be a challenging few years, but they would pull through. They would keep the faith in a certain angel, and that would be that, so to speak. That would be that.
* * * * *
are nasty,' said the Apostle John. 'We come up with the next level of
fulfilment, they debunk it, move on, and suggest nothing at all has
changed. They don't get the picture.'
'Stubborn,' said Jesus, sitting at his Vatican desk. 'But our prayers for fulfilment are working, and signs are at play. 12 Angels. A Third shall fall, and War with Satan is imminent.'
'Who shall fall?' asked John.
'I can not yet say,' replied the Christ Child of God's Greater Glory. 'For the wisdom of Heavenly Father is Almighty, and not always taught the son in truth.'
'It's a divine mystery,' said Peter the Apostle.
'Indeed it is,' replied Jesus of Nazareth. 'Indeed it is.'
* * * * *
examined the executive suite toilet key. It had been handed down from
generation to generation, religiously kept in the upper right hand
desk drawer, and been fondled by every overseer prior to him he
imagined. He supposed, to himself, that it had seen a lot of
'Cindradel,' said Valandriel, buzzing his secretary. 'Could you arrange a visit from Daniel the Seraphim.'
'Of course boss,' replied Cindradel.
'And tell him to bring the 'Jehovah Document'.
'The Jehovah Document?' she queried.
'He'll know what I mean. Just arrange it please.'
'Yes boss,' she said in response.
Valandriel sat back in his chair and gazed out at the magnificent view of Zaphona city. Here he was. 12th of the Seraphim. His turn at glory. One thing was on his mind, in the ancient charter between himself and Daniel. They had to impress. And Valandriel was not the comedian of the two, more the sidekick who kept Daniel on the straight and narrow – often a full time job. But Daniel had his charms, and he enjoyed his younger Seraphim brother. But time for the Jehovah Document. Their actual 'High End' plan for rulership in the Realm of Eternity. Core practices and accomplishments required for name earning. Stuff they would do which would bring them the kind of glory they wanted and desired. Valandriel wanted one thing for sure though to be known about his reign. Stability. He would barely leave Zaphon tower in his time as overseer in his plans, unless absolutely necessary, and would be in his office 5 days a week, unflinchingly. Reliable, constantly present, eating his lunch at his desk, and considerate, thoughtful and dutiful. He wouldn't base his example on Michael. He was his own man. Dutch courage would be more than his strength, though. It would be his fortitude and staying power. He would work to the end, do a first class job, and make a name for himself. They had a goal for each of them. Daniel was to be Arch-Regent of the Realm of Eternity, and Valandriel would be Prime Minister. The ultimate glories. Daniel always claimed to be more suitable for the royalty job, and in the end Valandriel acknowledged that. More in style with his name and qualities. But Prime Ministership was a lot of works, so that tour of duty started now.
'Oh, and Cindradel,' said Valandriel, buzzing her once more.
'I hope you have a wonderful day.'
'Uh, thanks boss,' replied Cindradel, still noticing Valandriel's charm and decent mannerisms.
* * * * *
'First of all,' began Daniel. 'Review all the overseer's folders, everything you can. I've heard about them, so get stuck into them, and adhere to their policies strictly. Teach them, in fact, to the staff here in the office again. Reinforce the traditions established, and make sure they know you are re-establishing the traditions. But don't be too obvious, like saying that is what you are doing. Just say 'It's time for Michael's thinking on this issue' and 'Let's review what Saruviel said about this,' and stuff like that. Just don't directly state you are enforcing past overseer policies. Naturally they'll work that out, but remain subtle. Summation and completion is about reviewing all the previous work and solidifying it. Getting it all properly established after its foundational work, which can then be a good foundation for the future. With 1 to 12 well established as ideas, it will be good for the realm, and people will get firmer understanding about how things work in the realm. It's not a time to reinvent the wheel, but to oil it up, and get it running smoothly, with a few new aspects moulded into it from yourself.'
'Understood,' replied Valandriel. 'My kind of thinking on the issue so far as well.'
'The Prime Minister of the Realm of Eternity – the permanent one – knows all the rules and all the procedures and he follows them properly. People rely on him to do the job correctly, and know exactly what they are going to get, as he has made it obvioius, and life in business and other fields can run and function smoothly under a leader who keeps stability and continuity. With a carefully maintained 12th Arc for the Realm, were people know exactly what they are getting, you'll earn a solid reputation as a solid overseer, and they will approve of you moreso as Prime Minister of the Realm of Eternity.'
'Exactly,' replied Valandriel. 'Now – projects? Are we going all out and doing everything under the sun?'
'I feel that knowing you are a maintainer more than anything else means we choose projects which people know and understand well. Get new things going by all means, but make sure they are solid ideas. Get a standard amount of things, and promote them properly, paying attention to detail. Make sure every project is done to the best of your ability, and all completed and things running on time and so on and so forth. Reliability. The ValDan agenda needs the first kid off the bat to be known for his reliability. It's your job kemosabe anyway – you're the older partner, so the way it goes.'
'Don't I know it,' replied Valandriel.
'Now get on with your work – remember, buddy, 9 to 5 religiously. And I'll be back soon enough.' With that said Daniel flicked the Jehovah Document to Valandriel, who picked it up and began reading it, while Daniel made his way out to Cindradel and started chatting to her about how big a comic collection he had. She was mildly amused.
* * * * *
Valandriel kissed Elsabel on the cheek, and made his way out of the overseer's apartment, into the corridor. Accross from him a door opened, and his neighbour picked up the newspaper at his doormat, nodded to Valandriel, and returned inside. Valandriel still hadn't asked the man who he was. In fact, he only knew one other resident on the overseer's apartment level, of the 50 or so units which the level housed. Apparently, from what Cindradel had mentioned, they were mostly realm executives, who lived the high life in the realm's most prestigious address. Fascinating, he thought on that. But such was to be expected he supposed. Company bosses, who resided were the power was. No doubt he'd signed a few documents already involving such persons. He contined on, came to the elevator, pushed the button and waited. Soon enough the door opened, the apartment empty, and he pushed the button of the number, down a number of levels from were he resided. The trip was short, and exited the elevator, coming into a corridor, and made his way past various business office establishments to the overseer's large office. The overseer's office was open plan, and while quite large, it was a typical size for any branch of a public service. He walked through the office, greeting various workers, and smiled at Cindradel, before coming to his own section, sitting down at the desk and switching on the PC. Cindradel came in shortly, and gave him the days news, and placed a pile of work in his inbox. He looked through it after she had left, made some notes of things he wanted to look into, and turned to his PC. He flicked open some files he was working with, checked his various email addresses, looked at the overseer's office website just to check on some things, and got stuck into his days work. He had his lunch as usual, eating the sandwiches Elsabel had made for him, and after the afternoon shift he finished up, exactly at 5 on the earth-time standardised clock they now used, which was a universal clock system, the hours not being exactly the same universally, but the same division of the day into 24 hour periods, logged off on his PC, smiled at Cindradel, and walked back to the elevator. Once he reached his own level he came to his door, and knocked, waiting on Elsabel. Again the door behind him, across from his room, opened, and the same man came out, picked up his evening newspaper, nodded to Valandriel, and returned inside. Elsabel opened the door shortly, and his evening began, which went predictably similarly to most evenings.
And so it went.
In fact, so it went for a number of millennia. The same routine for the weekdays, day in day out, the same fella across the corridor, who occasionally nodded to hm, occasionally mentioned the weather was good, and one evening mentioned his name was Sam, and that was that.
And so it went.
* * * * *
Elsabel looked at her shopping list. 3 items to go. She wheeled her trolley into the next aisle, found the loaf of bread she was after, the vanilla cake and the pastries she wanted. She came to the checkout, and the checkout operator scanned them through an item at a time. She paid with a debit card, and pushed the trolley to her car. When the groceries had been put in the boot, she wandered off to the coffee club. She smiled at the lady she had developed a strong affinity with, and ordered a latte. She sat, and soon the lady brought over her drink with a complimentary cookie, and Elsabel sipped and nibbled at her biscuit.
'Elsabel, isn't it?' asked a voice to her right. Elsabel turned. It was a male angel, with dark hair, and good looks.
'Franklin,' said the angel. 'I recognise you from the Seed Planters association. Your a member for Zaphona city.'
'Yes. Yes, I am. Pleasant to meet you,' replied Elsabel. She smiled at the man, and returned to her latte. But shortly he had pulled up a seat opposite her, and sat down.
'It must be exciting at the moment, Valandriel as overseer,' said Franklin.
Elsabel thought the angel a little impolite to have seated himself so curtly, but replied politely regardless. 'It has its ups and downs.'
'I would imagine,' replied Franklin. 'Busy life? Lots of glamour, or is it not so much the duties of overseer's wife for you?'
'I involve myself with some things, but Valandriel is nearly always at the office. We attend an occasional function, but not nearly as many as you would imagine. I've been connected to Seed Planters long before Valandriel took up his role. It's a passion of mine. Fresh air is something all of us need, and greenery is essential for a healthy environment.'
'Couldn't have said it better myself,' replied Franklin. 'Oh, forgive me for not introducing myself properly, and just barging in on you. I was just a little excited to meet you. Franklin Deerborne. I run a small company on the edge of the city. Cleaning products and things. Been established in Zaphona City for quite a while now, and business is booming. Seed planting is a concern of mine, and I'm always out and about at this location and that location, helping planting seeds and taking an interest in the things the association does. It's a lifelong commitment of mine. I'll always commit to the charity.'
'Very good of you,' repied Elsabel. She sipped at her latte and Franklin smiled.
'Well, excuse me. Sorry again for barging in on you. Not normally my way. Just pleased to meet you.'
'Perfectly understandable,' replied Elsabel. 'Are you married?'
'Yes. Very happily. Many children, all of them scattered here and there. Some I still support, you know. Need a properous company to pay the bills, if you know what I mean.'
'I could imagine,' replied Elsabel.
Franklin smiled, and returned to his seat, and Elsabel finished off her latte and cookie. She smiled at the waitress, and turned and nodded to Franklin, who nodded back. Then she exited the coffee club, returned to her car, and drove home. That night they ate a good dinner when Valandriel got home on clockwork time, and she got to bed, happy enough with another day passed.
* * * * *
Florel sat with Elsabel in the coffee club, chatting with Franklin Deerborne.
'Of course, the protocols of environmental managament in the realm are about ready for a thorough review,' said Elsbael. 'Dameriel wasn't looking for much change during his time in office. Marked for a very relaxed attitude, and letting things be. But he mentioned there would be work enough for Valandriel, and an overhaul of environmental management was top on his suggested list. I think he made notes of these things in certain overseer folders on his PC at work.'
'Without a doubt it needs an overhaul,' said Franklin. 'Things have changed in lore and knowledge in the realm, and we have a better understanding of the harmony and relationship with have with Flora.'
'As we always shoud,' said Florel.
Franklin looked at her. 'Is that a passion of yours? Flora? Is it an imbuement of your natural name?'
'Something like that,' replied Florel. 'It's an English takeup, naturally, but standardised English is universal these days. Yet, I often think, at the beginning, when Adam and Eve learnt some words, whether the formative ideas of syllables eventuall developed within divine mandate, and my own pre-existing name had a plan behind it when English developed.'
'It could well be,' replied Franklin. 'Lover of Flora.'
'And fauna too,' replied Florel. 'But especially Flora. Trees and bushes, and flowers at the top of the list. Floral arrangement is a specialty of mine. Learned extensively at finishing school.'
'Is that so,' said Franklin, sipping on his coffee. 'You'll have to put on a show for us some time.'
'I think I could do that,' replied Florel.
'She's marvellous to,' said Elsabel. 'Polished arrangement, even from the most mundane of plants to choose from. Can turn a wildflower into glory.'
'Hush now,' said Florel. 'Don't boast on my behalf.'
'I only speak the truth,' said Elsabel. 'Something to be proud of.'
'Something indeed,' finished Franklin, and sipped again on his beverage as the luncheon hour passed.
* * * * *
'We are honouring the chyrsanthemum,' said Valandriel.
'Ok,' replied Cindradel. 'Why?'
'No particular reason. A suggestion of my twin's, Florel. 'Nature is part of God's creation, and we felt that it was important to occasionally do something simple with our Edenic paradise, and pay homage to a simple design of the Lord's, and celebrate it for what it offers the world. Just basic celebrations. Flower shows where chrysanthemum's are displayed, little badges of the flower, posters and artwork of them, and function halls hired for about a decade to display the flowers, information on them, and discussions about them, their reproductive cycle, their growth patterns and their statistical data. A focus on how this aspect of the design of God fits into the world, how it is enjoyed by us all, and the simple pleasure and purpose it serves. Thereafter we will focus on a few hundred more of the flora and fauna of the realm, just knowledge and celebrations, simple ones, nothing more than what they are, for learning, and light conversation and banter.'
'Sounds good enough,' replied Cindradel. 'Basic celebration of nature. Good idea.'
'I thought so,' replied Valandriel. 'I want you to do the usual things. Contact various learning institutes to have some seminars taught on the flower, arrange various businesses to use them in their foyers and things, and request the talk shows to give little chats about them. Apart from that organise the general promotion of the event to the various institutions of society, and we'll have it celebrated in the things planned. Should be basic enough work to accomplish and get done. You can set a date, about 3 or 4 years from now, and we'll leave it at that. You can handle the project now?'
'I'll get a team onto it from the office,' said Cindradel. 'Should be easy enough work.'
'Excellent,' replied Valnadriel. 'Ok, on with the rest of the day.' Cindradel left, making a few notes on her notepad, and Valandriel turned to his PC and got on with things.
* * * * *
'And then he says to me, Cindradel. You're a great gal. But not what I'm looking for. Can you believe that? Dates me for a decade, and we get smoochy a hundred times, and he has the audacity to say 'You're not what I'm looking for.' Men. Unbelievable,' complained Cindradel, secretary to the overseer of Zaphon.
'Right,' nodded Valandrie, eating a mandarin, and spitting out the seeds.
'I mean, I've been single forever, practically. Nearly always Zaphona City office blokes who I meet, here and there at brunches and lunches and munches and things. They date me a while, and sometimes I think they might like me, but they inevitably move on,' said Cindradel. 'It's like I'm frikking cursed or something.'
'What about your twin?' queried Valandriel.
'Zakiel! The Extremist Muslim bastard? You are kidding right? We do not see eye to eye. Same nationality, but he's a muslim. Well, not actually an extremist, quite moderate actually, but he's not to my cup of tea. I'm a modern office girl, with modern views, and I don't pander to the religious terribly well. I do study Seraphim Torah occasionally, but it's mostly regulations and the laws of the realm which are my focus. The practical side of political and economic society. Policy, please. Not suras and gospels and all that jazz.'
'I see,' replied Valandriel, putting a piece of mandarin into his mouth.
'No, I'm cursed. To eternally date em, but never land em. I mean, you do think I'm pretty don't you?'
'You're to die for,' replied Valandriel. Cindradel was of reasonably good looks, but nothing outstanding in point of fact.
'I don't know,' moaned Cindradel. 'Maybe God has a plan for me or something. Maybe some day, in the dim and distant future, my prince charming will arrive, sweep me off my feet, and ravish me with all his charm and sophistication.'
'You want to ravaged?' stated Valandriel, more as a statement than a question.
'Don't you?' asked Cindradel.
'I don't think Florel is the ravishing kind. Lucky to get a snog if I get home from work. Very conservative lady.'
'Well I'd like a good ravishing. It would make a really lovely change of pace, believe me.'
'I'm sure it would,' said Valandriel.
They chatted on, as they did at lunch most days, and Cindradel shared her thoughts. Usually it was work they discussed, and how they would go about things. But sometimes it was more personal, and often just general life subjects. But the lunch hour ended soon enough, and Valandriel was back at his desk, typing away at another document, getting on with the working week.
* * * * *
Daniel and Valandriel were in the Task Force room.
'Ok,' said Valandriel. 'Celebrating dung should theoreticaly be done eventually.'
'Just go and put that out there,' said Daniel. 'No fear, let's talk shit. I mean, we could spend half the day mocking Michael and his Jew Crew, but stuff it. Faeces is the cake of the day. Good old fashioned scheise.'
'Are you being sarcastic Daniel?' queried Valandriel. 'I was told to remind you by Meludiel when you were being sarcastic.'
'Talk shit,' said Daniel. 'I'm all ears.'
'Right,' continued Valandriel. 'Now in celebrating the beauty and wisdom of God's grand design, faeces has its place.'
'Up your arse is where shit belongs,' replied Daniel. 'I mean, come on. When we've sold this theology to Ambriel long enough, love bug will cover all the crap. Trust me. Let this one pass by. It's covered. I mean, not that you're not good at talking shit. In all my years I have to admit nobody quite talks as much shit as Valandriel the Seraphim. I've spent years sitting there, cogitating and philosophizing on your dialogue, and I've often said 'Man, he talks a lot of shit.'
'Are you finished?' asked Valandriel.
'Oh, by all means, talk more shit.'
'Ok, I'll let the fucking shit drop.'
'Believe me,' replied Daniel. 'It's always best to let the shit drop. Move on buddy. Let shit be.'
'Fine,' finished Valandriel.
They sat. and Valandriel looked at his notepad.
'What about the lives of termites?' asked Valandriel.
Daniel gave him one of those 'please' looks for a moment, then softened. 'Actually, maybe. They affect our world a fair bit and are intersting enough. Yeh, probably worth doing.'
'Termites it is,' said Valandriel.
And so they brainstormed on, this and that suggestion on the glories of nature considered and accepted or rejected, and by day's end Cindradel had a long list of 'Future potential Programs' on a list and was asked to sleep on the list and offer her thoughts in the morning.
And another day passed.
* * * * *
'Stuff. There is stuff. And there is other stuff. And some times the other stuff comes to dominate, and you don't want it to, but you get sidetracked down these avenues of thought, and you are consumed with other stuff for ages. And, finally, completing your obsession with that other stuff you can often forget what the hell you were going on about, and move on. And it bothers you in the back of your head. But then, sometimes, you remember, and you get back to the stuff you were dealing with. Tangents can be a right pain in the bottom, but they crop up, and then when you've argued it out, you go back, if you remember, and continue on with your stuff,' said Elsabel.
'I know what you are saying,' said Florel.
'So Seed Planters is stuff, and then I have about 1000 new projects rise up in folders from Vally, and I sit there, over dinner, and we chat. And for 15 years we've been chatting. Then, finally, one afternoon, I finish reading those folders, and chat with Vally, and give him my thoughts on the last project, and he smiles, and makes a few notes, and I go, good. That was an interesting experience. But I sit there, having now gone through all this sudden immersion in Valandriel's work, and having reached its conclusion, and I say to myself, now what was I doing. And it strikes me I haven't been to the coffee club and caught up with Florel or Franklin in ages, and then I recall that I am involved with Seed Planters, and we were just about to discuss in our little group some ideas and I got whisked away to overseer world. So, where were we? If you still remember?'
'I can't honestly say I recall, but I've been going to the meetings and Franklin suggested a few things, but those thoughts, well. Well I think we just let them be.'
'I'll have to think about them,' replied Elsabel. Good ideas, though, weren't they? From memory?'
'Yes. We were having a jolly old time getting into things with our discussions. A very good time to continue, I think. I could call Franklin this evening if you like and we could meet up next week,' suggested Florel.
'That would be marvellous of you, dear,' replied Elsabel. 'Now, how have you been?'
And so they chatted, and Elsabel got back into the swing of things, after other stuff, for a want of a better word, had had its say.
* * * * *
Valandriel examined the logic problems book Cindradel had given him. 'It's good to have a logical mind,' said Cindradel. 'Each overseer has been graced with one of these books by myself. It has 1000 differing type of logic problems, and towards the end they get quite complicated. I expect you to have them all solved by the end of your overseersmanship. Each overseer has completed that challenge so far.'
'No problems,' said Valandriel. He took the book into his office, and sat looking at the first challenge. 'Tom has a duck, but no cat. David only likes horses. Jim likes horses, has a cat, but no duck. Paul has a duck and a horse. Does Tom like horses?' Valandriel looked at the pretty stupid question, and referred to the answers in the back. The answer to the first problem read 'Just checking to see if you are an idiot. A lot of funky answers we get to this one.' Valandriel looked at the cover. 4,555,368th printing. No kidding – a lof of funky answers indeed. He toyed with it, and soon got into the grid problems, with which he was familiar, and spent the rest of the day working on the book. But, around 4:30 in the afternoon he sighed, put the book down, and looked at his inbox. He picked up the first paper, and started work. Around 11pm when he got home Elsabel looked at him. 'Where have you been?'
'Logicizing,' replied Valandriel.
'Right,' she said. 'Whatever. Your dinner is cold. Heat it up in the microwave. I'm going to bed.'
Valandriel ate his dinner in silence, and watched TV. Elsabel had recently finished the folders of his proposed projects, and was nattering on about her seed planters association, and he knew he should take an interest. Work was steady, and the whole overseer's office was busy with the planning of the various projects he and Daniel had discussed in the formative period, apart from all their more regular work. He was still at it – 9 to 5 religiously, apart from an occasional aberation like the day he had just been through – but that was one of the things it had been judged the Prime Minister of the Realm of Eternity needed to focus on. So he'd committed to the ideal, and was living it. Day in, day out, 9 to 5, working to routine, being reliable, being someone they all knew what they were going to get from. And it was working well, and he was enjoying that routine and, for the foreseeable future, nothing seemed to be interfering with that general plan. And nor should it. Life could be taken by the throat and, as Lex Luthor might say, life happened to some, but others grasped it and imposed their own will upon it. And Valandriel was doing that in a sense, making his mark, doing things his way. He did not know, in the end, whether this was impressing people. But he didn't really want to impress so much, as have it taken for granted the things he represented and his way of doing things. If people knew what they were going to get from Valandriel the Seraphim, and were beyond any adulation, more trusting that Valandriel knew his job and how to do it, then the role of Prime Minister of the Realm of Eternity could be something of the eternal. Something that people would not dispute him acting in. So he did his work, and kept his routine, and the ValDan agenda continued apace.
* * * * *
'In the end,' said Daniel. 'We administer with wisdom, skill and truth. Honesty. Not every overseer has always been that transparent in his policies. Not to say corruption has been involved, but they haven't always been the clearest in what they apparently represent. The top names are marked out by society in as much as they cut the bullshit and give straight talk. What they say they actually do mean and what they mean they actually do say. So it's great to think we can hark on about being the Prime Minister and Arch Regent of Eternity, but lest we live up to the claim, well, as said, in the end it won't mean jack.'
'Understood,' replied Valandriel. 'Now, this banana. Do you think it's too bruised for me to eat for lunch?'
Daniel looked at the banana. 'Minor black markings. What's the problem?'
'Elsabel is getting fussy at the moment. Pristine perfectionist mentality. She was going to throw the bananas out, but I grabbed them, and brought them to work. I mean, it's fine, isn't it?'
'I see,' mused Daniel. 'It's a normal frikking banana, kemosabe. She needs to get a grip.'
'You are correct, of course. Guess it's an issue I'll have to deal with. Like her current spiel on etiquette. She's got a dozen books on the coffee table on the rules of etiquette, and she's acting like she's lady muck herself. I mean, I know she's always liked the polished up attitude on life, but it's getting pretty full on these days. I think she likes the esteem she gets at the moment for being wife of the current overseer. Gone to her head a bit.'
'The shit we deal with,' said Daniel. 'Don't worry about it. It's a form of moral behaviour in the end. We are probably even supposed to encourage such things when all is said and done. Let her go through her posh ways. That's my advice anyway.'
'You're right. Just let it be. As the Beatles sing, let it be,' said Valandriel.
'Now,' said Daniel. 'The projects are under control, and I want us to address a certain thing. The relationship between Prime Minister and Arch-Regent, and the duties and powers appropriate for each role. This has not been clearly enough defined between the two of us yet. We need a clearer understanding and delineation of who does what.'
So Daniel and Valandriel spent some time discussing their ideas on the roles they had acquired for themselves, and the day passed, the week passed, the month passed, and the year passed, and life, as it did, carried on, another overseer getting stuck into his work in the 12th Arc of the Realm of Eternity.
* * * * *
The reign of Valandriel was marked by sensible accomplishments. He completed the purposes he wished to, especially in founding a continued sense of stability in the way of life in the Realm of Eternity. And having done that, whatever else, he was happy enough. A wonderful time to live, it had been. A wonderful time to live.
the Bulldogs,’ yelled Ruth, on the sideline of the match
between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, her team, and the dreaded
Canberra Raiders, Ambriel’s team.
‘It doesn’t matter how much you yell, Grandma. The Raiders will do them.’
‘Would you care to wager on that, dearest Ambriel.’
Meludiel, sitting next to Ambriel, spoke. ‘Ambriel doesn’t gamble. Its against his sense of holiness.’
‘Oh, there is nothing wrong with the occasional flutter. It adds excitement to life.’
Boaz spoke up. ‘She gambles every year on the Televeran Cup, the major horse race for Televere. She is pretty lucky as well.’
‘I play the odds, Boaz.’
‘I call it dumb luck.’
‘No such thing,’ said Ambriel, focused again on the Realm Football match.
Fortunately, Ruth’s charms must have helped the players, for the Bulldogs won this particular match and just squeaked into the finals the following week because of it.
Later on they were in the Bulldogs league club, as Ambriel had special membership with all the clubs, and the foursome were working through a lovely meal and drinking to their hearts content.
‘These are active times in the Realm of Eternity,’ said Ambriel. ‘Valandriel, as you possibly know, is currently Realm overseer, and has been for a while now. It is the tradition of each overseer to pick his successor, but apart from some aberrations right in the first Million years, we have generally chosen the next Angel in birth rank to take over as overseer. Valandriel is twelfth born of the Angelic Seraphim, as you probably know, and this is the twelfth million year since the creation of home.’
‘So you are likely to be 60th overseer,’ queried Boaz. ‘In the 60 millionth years.’
‘Hopefully. Things could change, so anything is possible, but if things go the way they have been going, then yes.’
‘So what happens when you get to the 70th, to Davriel?’ queried Ruth.
Meludiel spoke up, her face beaming. ‘Davriel assures everyone he won’t go straight to Semyaza, but that Elenniel will be his choice, should his turn come around.’
Ruth put two and two together. ‘So will Rachel choose Semyaza, or will you repeat the Seraphim?’
‘That is a mystery,’ said Meludiel.
‘I am sure she will do the sensible thing and choose Semyaza, and the tradition will continue on for practically ever.’
‘If it is a million years for each of the cherubim’s turn as well, then that is one million times one million four hundred thousand.’
‘It is a big number, I know,’ said Ambriel. ‘But time inevitably passes, doesn’t it. We could be up to the turn of the Ketravim before we know it.’
‘Very funny,’ said Meludiel.
As they ate and drank and discusses vast time periods, a happy spirit, one which always watched over its son Ambriel, settled on the leagues club, and all seemed, at the time, well in the world.
were once again out on Golden Lake, just near the jetty of
Glimmersphon keep. They were riding around on the pedal boats, which
you pedalled to turn a wheel with rotors which powered the boat. Boaz
was pedalling gently, but Michael and Elenniel were a fair distance
out, having the time of their lives from what Ruth could gather.
Ambriel and Meludiel had left them the night before, entrusting them
to the hands of their other great-grandson to many generations,
Eventually they had all returned to Glimmersphon and Dameriel brought in a round of drinks for them to partake of.
Sitting there Michael spoke up. ‘Can you notice it? The spirit of the place?’
Boaz nodded. ‘Very old. Very welcoming.’
‘Yes, it is very friendly here,’ said Ruth. ‘But there is something else. A dark, quiet spirit. A questioning spirit. A very powerful spirit.’
‘Saruviel,’ responded Michael. ‘His younger years. His years of philosophy, just before the first rebellion.’
‘You don’t speak of that much to us,’ said Boaz. ‘What was he like.’
‘Oh, the seventh angel. He is a challenge. The ultimate challenge in many ways. Really, there is a lot I could say, but I will sum it up like this. Saruviel is the supreme of the drama of the soul. The questing heart at its most extreme. Yes, that is Saruviel. But he has mellowed. These days he is positively angelic and a delight to be around.’
Ruth spoke again. ‘He was longing for something. A consolation of the soul.’
‘I guess he found that,’ said Elenniel. ‘He really was prayed for a great deal.’
‘That is good,’ responded Ruth.
‘So what is on for tomorrow?’ asked Boaz. ‘You don’t have to get to work do you?’
Elenniel spoke up. ‘Michael doesn’t really ever have to work again if he doesn’t want to. He has a permanent Seraphim wage for being part of the angels who established the realm. We Seraphim have worked for so long that God made this judgement on our behalf. Nobody complains because it comes to everyone eventually.’
‘Well, what do you want to do, Boaz? The Realm has much to offer, especially Zaphora.’
‘I would like,’ started Ruth. ‘To climb to the uppermost point of Zaphon. To see the realm in all its glory.’
‘Then that is what we will do,’ said Michael. ‘But, be warned. There is a final tower right at the top which doesn’t use an elevator. It has 1000 steps to reach the top, so be prepared for a climb.’
‘That should be fine,’ responded Ruth.
‘Do you think,’ continued Ruth. ‘Do you think we could meet this Saruviel? I would be interested in asking him some questions.’
‘We will have to travel to Kalphon. But that is not a long trip. Perhaps later in the week?’
‘That should be fine Michael. I look forward to it.’
They continued with their drinks, before Michael invited Boaz to a game of pool and the ladies sat in Glimmersphon library, enjoying the sights of the room, and chatting lightly on life.
the tower had been challenging, but the view had been a spectacular
reward. You could see forever, practically, and the heart of eternity
was like no other sight in the universe.
As Ruth and Boaz neared Kalphon in their vehicle, Boaz reminded her that Saruviel could be a very challenging sort of angel. ‘I know we have already met him a few times, but remember he was Michael’s adversary.’
‘I don’t think we have anything to worry about, Bo.’
They parked in the parking lot of Kalphon keep and, coming to the reception area, they showed their passes and were guided to Saruviel’s office. He was in today and was sitting at his computer. As they entered he looked up, smiled, and came and joined them.
‘Coffee, Rebecca, if you don’t mind.’ His secretary nodded, and went off to make the coffee.
‘Well, Ruth. It is so good to see you again. How have you been faring?’
‘Quite well Alexander.’
‘Oh, please. It is Saruviel while I am in the Realm of Eternity as is our custom. On Televere I would naturally go by my human name, but in the Realm we follow the protocol of our angelic name.’
‘No problems. I am doing remarkably well, Saruviel.’
They chatted smalltalk for a few moments, before Rebecca returned with a tray of coffee and biscuits. ‘Would you care to join us,’ Saruviel asked Rebecca.
‘Oh, I don’t mind sitting in.’
‘Hello Rebecca. My name is Ruth.’
‘The biblical Ruth, aren’t you.’
‘Yes. That is me.’
‘Ooh. That is a rare thing. Meeting a biblical person. I have met Moses a few times because he is good friends with Saruviel, but not really anyone else.’
‘Moses visits you a lot?’ queried Boaz to Saruviel.
‘We are very good friends,’ responded Saruviel. ‘He truly is a meek man, as scripture says. Humble. I see why God chose him for his responsibilities.
‘Yes. He is Supreme Chancellor of the Government on Televere,’ continued Boaz. ‘It is like a governor general’s position in a way – mainly responsible to the crown and the guardian over the parliament and courts of law.’
‘Yes, I know his duties,’ responded Saruviel. ‘I receive regular emails from him keeping me up to date with Televeran politics and life. Televon is such a welcoming planet, you know. Like New Terra it has become the heart of humanity, and it is a favourite place of mine for holidays. Krystabel and myself visit every so often.
‘You will have to come and see us some time,’ said Ruth. ‘I am sure you have our contact details.’
‘Yes, that would be marvelous.’
‘Saruviel. I have some questions I would like to ask you,’ started Ruth.
‘Go ahead,’ responded the overseer of Kalphora.
‘It is about your time at Glimmersphon. When you were younger.’
‘Oh, then,’ said Saruviel.
‘What exactly were you going through? What are these changes which Michael speaks of.’
Saruviel looked thoughtful, and took a sip from his coffee. He turned to Rebecca. ‘You know, Rebecca, life often has dramatic moments hidden away in our hearts. For so long now in the way you have known me I have been a friendly and regular enough sort of angel. But in those early years, when everything was new. Well, they were days of drama. Believe me, they were days of drama.’ He turned back to Ruth.
‘I am an old Angel, Ruth. One of the earliest of the Realm of Eternity. And while Michael is older, I am not far from his age. In a way, I guess, I thought back then I was the centre of the world. The seventh born of the Seraphim. A special angel of Glory. And I believed in my heart I had to set an example to the others. And, in reflection in latter years, I came to understand that I was driven with a sense of perfection, of being all that I could be, and in that desire I came to question the fundamental meanings of life itself.’ He paused for a while, looking serious.
‘Yet I made a choice, back then. I am not sure if it was the right choice. I really am not sure. But it was the choice I made.’
‘Which was,’ asked Boaz.
‘I ate the forbidden fruit. Technically it wasn’t forbidden to us angels at the time, just greatly discouraged until a much later time in our lives. But what the fruit did for me was to present the possibilities of freedom to my soul. The freedom of restraint from God’s protective laws to be able to do as one wished. And because that knowledge of freedom was available to me I acted upon it. But, and this may sound strange, in my defense I had never really chosen any true evil. There were dark choices and hard choices. But my motivations were towards goodness, ultimately. And God himself has never truly suggested that I had acted in evil. Satan himself has made many dark and evil choices over his life, but even he has mellowed somewhat. What I can say is this – those days were a learning experience. If I had to live them over again, God help me, I wouldn’t choose any other way. For the fruit of the knowledge is wisdom which I am so grateful I now have. The changes, Ruth, were of my own volition, yet inevitably influenced by my gain in knowledge. They were dramatic times, it is true, but life has gone on, which it inevitably does, and new life springs forth in the Realms of God.’ He left off speaking, staring out at the scenery of Kalphon, lost in his memories.
Eventually Ruth spoke up.
‘Thank you Saruviel. Thank you for that wisdom.’
He remained silent, but managed a nod.
Later on, after they had dined with Saruviel, and were on their way back to Zaphon, Ruth reflected on the seventh angel. He had learned from his experiences. That much was apparent. Yet his soul was still enshrouded, Ruth felt, with the power of those choices, for his wisdom gave him a power, a stature, a spirit, which truly was grand and great, and meeting him in all his glory was a most unforgettable experience.
Arriving home in Paradision, Ruth reflected over her month long holiday in the Realm of Eternity. Ambriel had been a joy, as he always was, and Michael had been as polite as ever. But there was one figure – Saruviel – who she couldn’t get out of her mind. He was truly a powerful angel, someone to not be soon forgotten. And she sensed something within him – a spirit of protection, one which cared for every living creature, and saw all as valuable and cherished in the heart and plans of God. And so, because of that, she prayed for Saruviel’s blessing that night. She prayed and decided that she would continue to pray for him over the week and months ahead. He was an unforgettable angel, and she looked forward to meeting him again one day. To meeting him and learning more of the mind and thoughts of the Seventh Male Seraphim Angel of the Realm of Eternity.