Children of Destiny
Morning Stars of Eternity III
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6180 SC
Morning Stars 31
Morning Stars 32
Morning Stars 33
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A Fine Suvrael Manor House
of the State
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Morning Stars 140 (Morning Stars: Rachel)
Morning Stars 31
Zadennuel examined the executive toilet key. Devuel had rocked up to his disc, flung it on his desk, and said 'Enjoy'. And the tomfoolery of Devuel the Seraphim, overseer of Eternity, had come to an end. Now it was Zadennuel's turn.
was sitting in a park, on the southern side of Golden lake, late
in the evening, in the twilight hour. It was semi-dark, and he was
alone, and it was quiet, though the steady hum of Zaphona city
'Sing a song of sixpence, sing a song quite softly. Sing it of heaven, and sing it of life. Sing a song of sixpence, sing it quite loftily, of the glories of eternity and living in the dream,' sang Zadennuel to himself. The song was from a book he had written many years ago called 'Sixpence for the Wise'. He'd had a movie done, at his own expense, of the movie, and it was considered an old classic, and now he was overseer, and it was being fussed over somewhat. He'd starred in the movie, as the main character, and in his hand he held the six pences used in the movie. His lucky six pennies. They were old english pennies, and he'd had them forever. They were icons of his eternity in many ways, as that movie had steady sales throughout the growing realm, one of his main avenues of income now, and it had been a lot of suffering, the original work, as he wasn't naturally an author – it had been labour – a labour of love, and he'd spent three centuries thinking carefully and writing out plot ideas, and doing the best job with each line of syntax he worked through in the ultimate writing of the project, which took over a thousand years to complete all up. And while it was usually called a 'Competent' work, it was always said it had heart in the redemption of the main character at the end of the novel, and that was in vogue at the moment. That idea of redemption.
'These six pennies bought me eternal life in many ways, didn't they Eve?' he said out loud to his mother Destiny. 'Something which will support me forever, despite my other endeavours and attempts at glory.'
The theopany was suddenly in his presence.
'I read your book the other day,' said the old wolf. 'It was touching. It's improved with age. Like you my son.'
'I wanted to strike hard when I first wrote that,' replied the Seraphim. 'It had been ambition which had built up from my youth. It didn't then. Funny how life takes its time about things.'
'And now you have the glory,' smiled the Theophany.
'Now I have the glory,' smiled Zadennuel in response. 'God has been good to me,' said Zadennuel.
'Indeed he has,' smiled the Theophany of God. 'Indeed he has.'
* * * * *
He ate his kebab, and looked at the screen. Cindradel sat there, opposite him, quietly waiting for him to speak. Finally he spoke.
'We'll review the office code of conduct. Nothing else,' he said, eating his kebab, looking through some policy documents of past overseers.
'That's all?' she asked.
Zadennuel flicked through a number of the documents, and finally nodded. 'Yep. I think that's about it. Maybe an overseer one day can do a bit more of an overhaul, but things are fine for now. Not my focus as overseer.'
'And what will be your focus as overseer?' asked Cindradel. 'People are anxious to know.'
'Steady life continuity. Not too many surprises from Zadennuel at this stage. Later on in eternity I'll get around to a focus on something, but its not how I want my overseer responsibility to be thought about. No fuss, Cindy. Just quiet continuity. I might come up with an idea or two, but mostly just continuity. Let people get on with their own lives I think. Been contemplating this the last 20,000 years, and I see no change necessary to my basic philosophy. I'll just let it be. You know, as the Beatles sing, let it be. That's Zadennuel. Let it be. There will be an answer if people really need it, but I'd rather just let it be.'
'Very well,' replied Cindradel. 'A suggestion is just to learn the job well, then. An overseer needs to set an example regardless. And if you don't want to be a visionary, just work according to tradition well. That is something of a buildup of expectation in the job. But its your call boss.'
'No, that will be fine. I agree. Oh, there might be a bit of a fuss over Morrocco Movies. Nothing major, but I want the Casablanca Film Festival strongly promoted at this time. But not too much fuss.'
'Thank you,' said Cindradel. 'That will give us something to focus on.'
Zadennuel bit into his kebab, and looked at her. 'So the overseer usually makes his mark on something, huh?'
'Usually there is an agenda,' replied Cindradel.
He continued munching on his kebab. 'Ok. We'll make it just the film festival. A major promo of Casablanca Films. That will do me. We'll just have a good time, promoting stars, films and the culture in general.'
'That will do just fine,' replied Cindradel. 'I'll start by doing some basic research, and give you some lists of institutions and bodies and things, and you can start planning what you might want to achieve with them.'
'Sweet,' replied Zadennuel. 'Anyway, I'm off to play golf. See you babe.'
And Zadennuel stood, finished his kebab, and took off for the Zaphona City golf course. And at that moment Cindradel had a sneaking suspicion of just what she was going to get from the current and new overseer of eternity.
* * * * *
'I guess I've improved,' said Zadennuel to Cindradel.
'I read 'Sixpence for the Wise' a long time ago Zaddie. 'I always thought it had merit, but this sequel, from the first chapter, shows genuine growth.'
'I have three chapters written so far. Arthur is on an odyssey to find the original owner of the six pennies. It's the main plot for the sequel.'
'Don't spoil it now,' said Cindradel. 'But I'l read the chapters as you produce them.'
'Cool,' replied Zadennuel. 'Now, todays work?'
She indicated a pile of documents in his inbox. 'Should keep you busy,' she replied. 'I've added some notes.'
He looked at the pile of work, and was tempted to say stuff it and take the day off, but he knuckled down, picked up the first document, and got on with his day. Around lunch time, whe he had cleared about half of the documents, Cindradel came in and plunked another load on his desk.
'And these are urgent?' he asked her.
'Just important,' she said. 'You need to sign off on all of them. Your work, Zaddie.'
He sighed. 'Ok. I'll get to them after lunch.'
'The first day of the week is usually the busiest,' she said. 'Past overseers often pace themselves. You don't really need to get all this done today. Tomorrow there will usually be a load a little less, and by Thursday there's not much. Friday is usually quiet,' said the secretary.
'Right,' nodded Zadennuel. 'Well I'm off for lunch then. Going upstairs to the bar. Be back soon enough.'
'Yes boss,' replied Cindradel.
Zadennuel leafed through the new documents, just checking what he had in store, and grabbed his coat, heading upstairs. Life was busy at the moment, but that was his reality. His sequel was coming along, and he'd given some consideration to the plot that morning while working, and, generally, things were pretty good at the moment for Zadennuel the overseer. And, happy enough that the workload would diminish by Friday he made a mental note to hit the golf course that day, and have a good time, after a long hard week.
* * * * *
'Hey sweetie,' said Zadennuel to his twin Suzandriel.
'Hotshot at number one,' she replied. ''Sixpence for the fool'. Yu think you are the best I'd bet. Critically acclaimed, cast o the first movie reuniting for the sequel. He's got it all worked out. How do you do it Zadennuel?'
'Talent,' he replied.
'You must have finally gotten a brain,' she replied sarcastically, sitting down opposite him in the Zaphon cafeteria. 'You certainly never had one before.'
'Hey. That hurt,' he replied.
'The book was actually well written this time. I was actually quite alarmed. Zadennuel the Seraphim never progresses. He just goes through the motions, plays golf, tried to get the ladies, and think's he's the coolest Muslim in Morocco. Give me a break. The integrity in the sequel was beyond you buster. Who's your shadow writer?'
Zadennuel nodded, taking the slurs. 'Hey, I'm a star in the making,' he replied.
'No,' she said, looking at him. 'I think, as much as I hate to admit it, you've matured. Actually learned some life lessons, taken them to heart, and grown. Spiritually and intellectually by the looks of it.'
'You liked the book, huh?'
'It was readable this time. And logical. A good title, and continued the first plot with an exciting development. In truth I really couldn't put it down. Still remembered the basic details from the first one, and enjoyed the culmination in the sequel. From competent to classic. Amazing development really.'
'A star is born,' he said dramatically.
'Hardly. But if you have any decent knowledge left in that head of yours, write again. One day. Maybe someday soon. But one day.'
'I'll take notes in my journal,' he replied. 'One day something will come.'
'So that's how you did it?' she queried, sipping on her bottle of water.
He nodded. 'Information, which I arranged to be copyrighted, was recorded and contemplated for many years. Then took many of the ideas and applied them to the sequel. I still have data to use as well.'
'Interesting,' she replied. 'Well, how have you been? New girlfriend for the amazing overseer of Zaphon?'
'Not at the moment,' he replied. 'Too busy with the job.'
'Right,' she said, looking at him. 'We never worked. I know that.........' she said, trailing off.
'But,' he replied.
'But nothing. But,' she paused. 'If you show yourself a man in this time of life, when the spotlight is on you...'
'You'll still be loving me,' he replied.
'Maybe,' she said softly.
He took her hands, which she tried to withdraw from, but he held them steadily. 'I'm always going to be your twin, Suzi. Whatever else, I'm always going to be that.'
She nodded, and took her hands away, and looked at him.
'I'll be going,' she said. 'But I'll drop around next week some time. To the apartment. See what it looks like.'
'See you then sis,' he replied. And she was gone, leaving Zadennuel with a slight flutter in his heart. But he dismissed that, and ordered lunch, thinking about the success of his new book, and other impending happenings.
* * * * *
'So how's the job junior?' asked Devuel, sitting down at the overseers desk opposite Zadennuel.
Zadennuel lay back in his chair, stretching out his arms and resting them on his head. 'The former lord of chaos has returned,' said Zadennuel. 'What brings you here?'
'Come to check up on my work, and see the office ladies,' he replied. 'I still have some knickers to return to two of them.'
'Always the ladies man,' said Zadennuel. 'You need a religion Devuel.'
'Freedom all the way, baby,' replied Devuel. 'But you know me.'
'From the beginning I'v known you. Saruviel's lackey.'
'Hey. I resent that statement,' replied Devuel. 'He is an inspired visionary I got ideas from. Nothing else.'
'You rebelled just as much,' said Zadennuel. 'And you've barely gotten over that.'
'I've made progress,' replied Devuel. 'Anyway, I hear you like the golf course. It's a growing hobby of mine, and I could mentor you in the job for a bit. I learned more than how to turn on that old thing in my time,' he said, indicating the ancient PC the overseers used.
'Funny,' he replied. 'Cindradel said you were actually competent enough. Signed all the forms in the end, despite the endless party.'
'What's life without a party,' replied Devuel. 'Come on dude. I hear it's Friday you hit Zaphon City Golf course. I'll come along with my clubs. We'll hang out, chat, and hit the clubs later on.'
'Don't know about the club scene. I won't drink alcohol, but maybe some dancing.'
'And the ladies,' said Devuel.
'Yeh. The ladies,' replied Zadennuel. 'Look, sure. Why not. Drop around here Friday after work, around 5, and we'll go together. Could be fun.'
'See you then, bloke,' said Devuel, and pinched a lolly from jar of them on the overseers desk, before heading off, first chatting to an office lady, who played with her hair all the while Devuel sweet talked her.
Morning Stars 32
'Yaramiel,' began Jamenuel. 'Has the IQ of a Viking Bastard.'
'Aye, he's intelligent,' replied Trent, son of Yaramiel the Seraphim, at the feasting table of High King Jamenuel, overseer of Jamenuphora, the 32nd disc of the Realm of Eternity.
'I'll suffer you that comment of grave stupidity this time,' replied Yaramiel. 'But care not to repeat it.'
Trent nodded to himself. Typical Jamenuel. Was sounding him out. And was enjoying himself. Father had taught Trent about Jamenuel. Old, cunning warrior. Smart angel. Didn't give much of a shit about ruling the world, but took care of his own people and his own culture, and claimed that in growing an empire, why bother, unless you had something people wanted. And then he winked at Trent, and started boasting about another accomplishment.
'I have the key,' said Trent. 'Zadennuel passed it to me last week. He asked me to not give it to you for a few days, so there could be a bit of a rest in between things. Wanted that. A calming down period.'
'Sensible,' commented Jamenuel, feasting on the turkey leg. The Seraphim looked at Yaramiel's son. 'Want to show it?'
Trent looked at him, then pulled the executive toilet key of the Zaphon overseer's office out of his pocket.
'It's a symbol of authority,' said Trent.
'It's a symbol of the shit the overseer has to deal with,' replied Jamenuel, laughing, which brought chuckles from those gathered at the feasting table.
'You are well trained to deal with such things, I would think,' said Trent.
'Aye lad,' replied Jamenuel. 'I'm old and wise in my own way. Experienced. I will run a smooth realm for a million years. Nothing foolish, nor grand really. But a happy time, of feasting, women and song.'
'Yes, king of the Vikings,' replied Trent.
'Aye lad,' said the redheaded warrior.
'A Morning Star makes a mark,' said Trent. 'They usually intend that. One way or the other.'
'A full character, full of life and vitality. I don't need pillars of pride to make anything remembered in the hearts of the people. Nothing more than a good king, who was a tad of fun, lad.'
'And be forgotten,' replied Trent.
'That's the thing, lad. I'm not going anywhere. It will be back home here when my tenure is finished, and while eternity is inexplicable in its plans for us all, I'll keep the faith, and walk the walk, and cash in my pennies some other time, lad. Not this day, son of Yaramiel.'
'You have knowledge? Ideas? Information?' asked Trent.
'Be direct then. Yes, I have lore. Much of it. We wrote many things in the early years of the Realm, and that is a mark I'll make in my own time in my own way. But I'm a king anyway, and I'm happy lad. The glory is not for a day to come. It's the glory of today. This moment. And I work to make sure I'm happy each day, and that suffices me,' said Yaramiel.
'Interesting wisdom,' replied Trent.
Jamenuel looked at the lad, and then bit into his turkey leg. 'It's your nature, I guess. Some are like that. Need to prove themselves. It never seems to change, the differing lights I see in differing people. They want what they want and do what they want to do, and while they might consider it other's ways, I see a lot of passion wasted on dreams which never advent. Why, you ask? Because they can't get over it, and get to the end of eternity, where they have God, Family and Friends, and not much else matters for much.'
'Right,' said Trent, but he didn't really agree.
'You'll get there lad,' said Jamenuel. 'One day you'll work it all out.'
'So you say,' replied Yaramiel's son.
'You know, lad,' began Jamenuel. 'The wisdom of Jamenuel is well known. To my disc. MY disc. I'm overseer here, you see. And this is where the life, the truth and the way is born. Here in Jamenuphora. I've imported you from that idiot brother of mine, as his disc needs some proper learnin.'
'And you are the one to do it, I take it?' queried Trent, eyeing his host.
'Aye lad. I'll teach you the lesson for today. About life. Life is what you make it. But everyone knows that. But guess what? It's also what God makes of it for you. And what your mother and your father make of it for you. And what your wife, or husband and your children make of it for you. What everyone, everything and all and sundry of true and divers manners make for you. You think you are alone, the pinnacle of pride in this universe, where it revolves around you. But you are not some disconnected entity of self-sovereignty, even if you have pridefully deceived your heart into thinking so. You're part of a holistic system, made by a Creator, who knows the end from the beginning. And in this life you are making for yourself, and your own glory, you are affected by others. But more. You affect others. It's all in the interaction you see. You create your thoughts in your spirit and your sub-conscious, and those thoughts come from the will of your heart. But the information for that heart was birthed in Adam's loins, and in the wisdom of the Angelfire also. Yes, I know of that strange doctrine. So that plan I know you possess of being the glory, well, dream on. Because you are not in control. Only somewhat. It's what others allow for you, and what others think you worthy of. And what others respect you for. And if you think you have all the answers, think again, because many have tried, and many more have failed. And that is when, having learned that, you start to notice that if others deny your rightful glory, what the hell gives them that right in your thinking. But then, when you step back from ego central, and consider the small possibility that possibly, just possibly, they want a slice of the pie also. And that they have good hearts, and good souls, and want to do good things for the world, you'll hear that voice of God say 'So who are you kidding sonny jim? And if you must go off and live in the world of what really works for glory in the marketplace, well, welcome to the jungle sun. And there are plenty of vultures also. So what I am saying is that life is not all about you. And these things are the stuff of life. But, as I said, we have the truth. And these things are truths. And I build on truth. And you'd be wise to do so. And that's our way, in Jamenuphora, or a small kernel of it, lad.'
Trent glared at his host. 'Ambriel makes more sense. Gives me a focus and a mission and an idea. You disturb me with self-abasement.'
'Then the wisdom of my brother is what will make a man of you. Love bug.'
'Shut up,' replied Trent, but looked at his fellow Scandinavian. 'I'm Viking true and proud,' he said, but only tentatively.
'Then drop the love bug, and learn from our common fellowship. Now get ye hence to Cosadriel, and learn from him. I've imparted more than I perhaps wanted to, but better to cut a long story short, son of Yaramiel.'
Trent looked at his host, shrugged, and said 'Sure, whatever. Cosadriel it is.'
'Aye, lad. Cosadriel it is.'
* * * * *
'Let there be light.'
'Very dramatic, Cosadriel,' replied Trent, as Cosadriel turned on the light to the basement.
'For fuck's sake. Dim the bloody lights,' said a grouchy voice.
'Jammy?' queried Cosadriel. 'What are you doing here?'
'Keeping an eye on my pupil. I snuck in last night, and it's damn cold down here,' replied Jamenuel.
'Why the fuss?' asked Cosadriel.
'He is my protege,' replied Jamenuel. 'I sense a destiny in him. He listened not to sound stability, but seeks a higher calling. I felt I may as well give a damn at the impulse.'
Cosadriel looked at Trent. 'Are you a true Scandinavian?' Cosadriel asked Trent.
Trent looked at Cosadriel, and looked at Jamenuel, who was sitting on a large couch with a blanket over him. 'Puppet, am I?' asked Trent. 'For fowl Seraphim agendas.'
'If you want to be,' replied Cosadriel.
'Your the one who pretends as such,' said Jamenuel. 'We have agendas, naturally, yes. But we want a tad of the glory in the long term, also true. I am the current overseer of the Realm of Eternity, these last few years, and I have been thinking things over, and was content with a steady reign. But heaven has sent me Trent Bin Yaramiel, and I feel destiny has suggestions now in my heart.'
'In YOUR heart? Shouldn't I be graced with the plans for my own glory?' queried Trent.
'Dream on,' replied Cosadriel. 'Life chooses mentors who have the plan for the unwise ones.'
'Unwise he may be,' said Jamenuel. 'But Yaramiel is not that daft in the end. I've noticed his grooming. The brute Vandal Savage intellect. The cunning. The observation skills. He'll know what to do and how to accomplish?'
'What agenda?' asked Trent.
'It slumbers usually. Till Zionistya is well born, and the Jewish problem is resolved, as he gives them a lot of breaks,' said Jamenuel.
'This knowledge is not readily available,' replied Cosadriel. 'Few know of it. Destiny and prophecy and future happenings. Zionistya is a realm below, and it shan't be for aeons, but then, as we have been told, the Abrahamic ones shall descend, and be most separate from us. Too much ultimate conflict in attempting universal harmony with us all ultimately. They need their own space, and affect our plans far less.'
'We're vikings. We compete,' replied Trent.
'Grace, again,' said Jamenuel. 'He gives the Jews a lot of breaks. They serve for it. Makes problems for the rest of us who serve at a far more sedate pace.'
'Aye,' replied Jamenuel, standing, and coming over to look at Trent. 'It's the Seraphim Daniel and the Seraphim Valandriel we worry mostly of. They'll claim an eternal reward if we do nothing ever. So we have a plan, now, for this Arc of Space and Time. And you are our key in claiming some little bit of divine reward.'
'Fascinating,' replied Trent. 'And what is this glory?'
'No new agenda. That is old news. Already taken care of. It's an accomplishment of differing sort. A standard cultural impact. Not musical, or artistic either. It's a very simple thing, not considered by many, but wins many when they don't even realize it. We studied,' said Jamenuel. 'How the Brits did it. Shakespeare was our conclusion. It was the power of the Word which motivated them. Seraphim Daniel uses such Empire from which that came forth. So we have a catalogue. 100 books exactly, no more, no less, of Viking Culture. They are to be placed, promoted, advertised, given out, and taught and educated thereupon.Very simply a Scandinavian Cultural promotional agenda. When in the hearts of men, the power and the reward gradually becomes apparent.'
'I see,' replied Jamenuel. 'And how do I figure in?'
'You'll champion the cause,' said Cosadriel. 'Our ultimate Viking. Schooled well in the knowledge, and living it's lifestyle.'
'And what will this do?' asked Trent.
'The power and the glory,' replied Jamenuel. 'For which we suffer and serve slowly, but surely. This Arc is a time for Scandinavia. And we won't be too obvious, but we'll be obvious.'
'We'll be obvious,' replied Cosadriel.
Trent looked at them both. 'Why don't you throw in Thor, and we'll have a hell of a party.'
Jamenuel smiled. 'That's the spirit, lad. Take the bull by the horns.'
'Wonderful,' replied Trent.
'He'll serve us well,' said Jamenuel.
'By Odin's beard, I think he'll do just fine,' said Cosadriel.
Trent just glared at the two Seraphim, a concerned look on his face.
Morning Stars 33
The faith, the fire, the force, the desire, the power, the love, the glory, the dove.
'Allah be praised,' said Belshazriel.
'Angela is pleased with you,' said Rophiel, the prophet Mohammed, to Belshazriel, 33rd of the male Seraphim of Eternity.
'Our noble queen is my heart and my song,' replied Belshazriel. 'The Realm of Paradise is eternally blessed with her sovereignty.'
'It is as you say,' replied Seraphim Rophiel. 'Now present to me your qualifications resume.'
Belshazriel passed the booklet to Rophiel. 'Over 15,000 certificates, diplomas and degrees,' he said. 'Our work of becoming educated in Babylon proceeds. I hope Angela will be pleased with my progress.'
'Sit,' said Rophiel. 'I will examine.'
Belshazriel sat, and Rophiel started reading through the categorized titles of Belshazriel's qualifications. Time passed, and as they sat in Zaphon cafeteria Belshazriel ordered some melit water. He drank, watching Rophiel's face for reactions. Finally Rophiel looked up.
'Are you pleased dear brother?' asked Belshazriel.
'You have neglected an area of science. No, let me rephrase. There is an area of science I feel you could benefit from. Botany. You have no degree in Botany, only certificates. The plant life of creation is a central part of Allah's design. It is of import, also, older brother, that we have this qualification to better understand creation and function more smoothly and in harmony in it, with the correct attitude of respect for God's living beautieis.'
'I shall endeavour to apply at the most suitable occasion,' replied Belshazriel.
Rophiel nodded, and continued examining the qualifications. 'All is good,' he finally said. 'Remember, you are Seraphim. And you are of Islam. At the level of authority in the faith in which you stand, well. Well you can afford to be second to none in standing. See to it that the education continues at reasonable pace, and please address the area of Botany as requested.'
'It shall be as you say,' replied Belshazriel.
Rophiel stood. 'Farewell older brother. And I wish you luck in the tenure of overseersmanship to be impressed upon you shortly. It is opportunity to speak our faith and show our devotions to God. Peace be with you.'
'Peace be with you,' replied Belshazriel, and Rophiel left.
Belshazriel sat back down, sipped on his melit water, and was silently pleased. Rophiel had assented his progress. His faith was guiding him along, and he was doing the works father God would be pleased with. All was well.
* * * * *
The TV cameras zeroed in on Belshazriel, as he stood on a dais next to Zaphon keep.
'These,' said Belshazriel. 'Are the sins of the realm of eternity.' Belshazriel held high a scroll. 'The scroll has 300 of the main sins that have been committed by citizens of the Realm of Eternity.' He held the scroll high for all to see, then tossed it into the burning cauldron. He continued. 'In my time as overseer, the faith will be enforced. Not the faith of Islam, and not the faith of Torah. But the faith of God and decent behaviour. We will be relentless in improving the quality of life of citizens of the realm. Sins will be rooted out. But mark my words – only sins will be rooted out. We will have discussion about what the realm considers genuine sins, and what measures we are all comfortable with in dealing with these sins. We all want a good world, a safe world. We abhor terror and persecutions. So this zeal will be godly zeal, and it will be the will of the people, through referendum and other social vehicles of communication. It shall be a time when the fire of God falls from heaven, consuming all our wicked ways. When justice is restored, and the rule of God's love is no longer hindered by our own selfish desires.' Belshazriel stood there, in front of the burning cauldron. Finally he stepped down, and the speeches began.
This was part of Belshazriel's agenda. The purification of the realm of eternity. He wanted a witness for Islam – a proper witness. That they would deal with sin and bring in peace, but abide by the will of society in how they went about this mission. It will not be a mission of terror – it would be a mission where the citizens would voice their own concerns on law and justice, and the hierarchy would get off its arse and deal with the issues. In all truth, in Belshazriel's own opinion, not that much needed to be done. The realm was lawful enough. But a purging was natural, to deal with built up misdeeds, and he sensed that the populace from initial responses did not seem to mind the new program. So he would pursue it sensitively, carefully, but also with the zeal of God for a new begnning, a renewed world to be part of.
The days ceremony of cleansing continued, and International TV covered the event, and ratings were strong. It was a day which Belshazriel always had in his memories, looking back, a day when justice was accomplished, and rule of law confirmed for all eternity. A day to be proud of.
Morning Stars 34
Talutiel likes cheese. But he's a pretty cheesy angel.
'You know, Talutiel. You could almost be funny. If you weren't so dimwitted,' said Daniel the Seraphim to his older Seraphim brother.
'And you could almost be funny. If you weren't so crazy,' replied Talutiel.
'You smell bad,' said Daniel.
'You smell worse,' replied Talutiel.
'You have poor hygiene,' said Daniel.
'You have no hygiene,' said Talutiel.
'Your only a millionairre at best,' said Daniel. 'You always spend friviously.'
Talutiel stoppped and thought on that. 'Ok, you've got me. Daly Foundation – nothing richer. But I enjoy my life and have luxuries constantly. It's the way I like it. Besides, my shareholdings are decent enough, and growing, and while I spend liberally, it is my way in life. It is the Romanian way to not worry too much about money.'
'I wouldn't know,' replied Daniel. 'I don't concern myself too much with the figures. We work hard for the cashola, but its about what we do in life, and making a positive impact in the world. And entertaining it. The diehard collecting gives me something to do, and later on in eternity, when all decent creative products and print runs or model runs thereof are settled down, well I have archives full of goods to enjoy for all eternity. It is the whole point.'
'That is what motivates you? The ultimate payoff? Why bother working so hard for the print runs of significance? Goods will always be around.'
'And have a watered down copy of something the glory of which is long past? I don't think so dear brother.'
'I'll keep that in mind,' replied the Prince of Romania in Terraphora. 'Anyway, today I took possession of the executive toilet key, and would like to have you assist me for a while in the job. And I intend to impart some wisdom to you likewise, as your turn is coming up soon enough.'
'It's not a problem,' replied Daniel. 'First of all, ensure there is a good legal code. Review the laws of the Realm, and update. Keep it up to date. Major principle. Things easily go stale because the law is not current and valid enough. Eventually things will settle down when the culture is finalized at the end of peoples life explorations, but for now new legislation still encroaches upon society, so KEEP IT UP TO DATE, KEMOSABE.'
'Will do,' replied Talutiel. 'Now drink your melit water, and we shall have a good chat.'
And Daniel drank his melit water, and chatted away the afternoon with the new overseer, and things were good.
* * * * *
'The Controversy of the Scandal' was a top rating Romanian film. Talutiel had watched it many times, and he was sitting at his desk at lunch time, watching the movie again. It was a quiet day, and most days had been quiet in recent months. Not much going on. He had been taking Daniel's advice, reviewing various legislations of the realm, querying a Zaphona legal institution on suggestions of areas to examine. They had provided a list of several Acts which they felt should, at the least, be reviewed. Talutiel had started on one relating to automobile laws in the realm, and seatbelts in particular. There were the traditional libertarians who argued they should be exempt from using such things, for the same old libertarian argumentation. Common sense dictated that seat belts were a necessity, for various reasons, but Talutiel was thinking over the logic in the idea. Libertarian theology was not always without a point. There were issues of life were greater personal freedom was simply an inherent part of being alive, a living being, who made choices. Thinking on Saruviel he realized the dangers of too much freedom, but still it was choices they all made each day which determined their destiny, and it was the angels who made their own choices for what they did every day. The law would curb the rights of making choices deleterious to others, and to society as a whole. Protection from harm was the underlying sense of law in relation to this. But when it was your life, and your choices, did you have greater freedom? And in relation to a seatbelt in particular, when it was mainly the individual who would suffer should an accident occur, well, if they wanted to take such risks to enjoy their freedom, how could it be argued they did not have such a right. Talutiel was considering an increase in International health care taxes, with a levy put into income earners who made a choice not to wear a seatbelt. It would fit into the official citizen registership of Tax rights, accessed online, where you chose, to a degree, how much tax you paid, depending on what rights to social institutions and other benefits of society that you were prepared to relinquish. Even denial of public library membership could be chosen, where you were not taxed for the small amount of tax which paid for such institutions. It seemed perhaps reasonable that an exemption of wearing a seatbelt could be allowed, but a corresponding formulated increase in health costs for the hospital cover from accidents were a seatbelt was not worn could be chosen as an option. He decided he would debate it at council, and seek whether such law should be introduced, or an amendment to realm acts on the issue. He would discuss it at length with various legal institutions, for it had to be the correct decision in the end, and he would think about consulting some medical institutions for opinions of doctors, whose hypocratical oath was about preserving life, and not endangering it so easily. That was the current issue on his mind, but he was watching one of his favourite movies, and oblivious to Cindradel who plunked a pile of forms on his desk for his afternoon's examination.
* * * * *
'Shelandragh May. You are my witch queen,' said Talutiel.
'Listen, buster. I'm nobody's witch queen. And what is this all about?' queried Shelandragh May, witch of New Terra and various other locales, well known confidente of the popular Lucy Smith.
'Review of Realm of Eternity law regarding witchcraft and associated practices,' said Talutiel. 'I chose you because you are a very old witch, and I wanted to chat with someone who had vast experience on the issues at hand.'
'Oh. Ok,' replied Shelandrag. 'Gosh, you are a little fellow aren't you. You're practically a gnome, smaller than a dwarf.'
'The Theophany of God sometimes appears as a Dwarf,' said Talutiel. 'And he plays chess with me and we visit little people society's. I have a photo of the two of us. I'm the tiny Seraphim, ok. That is what they traditioinally call me.'
'Cute,' replied Shelandragh.
'Don't mistake my size for lacking character and knowledge,' replied Talutiel. 'Tiny Talutiel packs a punch, sweetheart.'
'I'm sure you do,' replied Shelandragh. 'How tall is your twin?'
Talutiel smiled. 'She's the shortest of the Seraphim females, but she's just over dwarf height I guess. A little over 4 foot tall. Not much though. We are usually suited to each other for company. I can manage to kiss her well enough.'
'Well, good,' said Shelandragh. 'I see the God of creation is not a total idiot then.'
'That he is not,' replied Talutiel. 'Now can I rely on you to spend some time in Zaphora and act as a consultant for me. I will see you have a good paypacket for the work involved.'
'Fine, fine,' said Shelandragh. 'But there is no charge. I am glad to help. This is important to me also.'
'Well, thank you. I'll arrange a donation to a charity of your choice. So, if you have no objections, I'll have you booked into Senersphon hotel by the lake. Cherubim Blondariel should take good care of you. He is overseer of Senersphon keep.'
'That will be fine,' said Shelandragh.
'Naturally we'll cover all costs of your stay,' said the Serpahim.
'Well, thank you. Oh, well. The idea seems fine to consult on. I am a busy enough lady, but this could prove an interesting experience.'
'Let us hope both of us will learn a lot,' replied Talutiel.
* * * * *
And so the Arc of the 34th overseer of eternity got under way. No grand vision had been presented, not initially anyway, and people sensed no great surprises from 'Tiny Talutiel' and got on with their lives. Talutiel settled down int the work, pursuing his legal update agenda, but one afternoon, sitting at his desk, he felt it was now time to make his mark.
'Relationships,' said Talutiel. 'I plan on doing several degrres on sociology, romance and personal relationship principles. I've thought it over and one of the things the new overseer often does is bring their own passions and life to the realm. As a little guy I've often had trouble building lasting relationships, becase sometime people just don't want to hang with the short guy, and sometimes they just find us too awkward. So I felt, in attempting to voice my concerns, I would introduce motifs and themes into the Realm, especially on talk shows, but discussions in general, about how we should not neglect people and other members of society, and have an attitude of concern, as the Almighty does, for interacting with everyone in society, and having strong and lasting relationships.'
'Sounds good,' said Cindradel. 'We can definitely make something of that. You know, I hate to say it, but Daniel and Valandriel are who you are looking for for task room special service. They've been in there before, and they have incredible vision and talent and dedication to getting programs up and running. I think they would make excellent associates for this endeavour.'
'Make it so,' said Talutiel, and Cindradel nodded, taking down her notes, returning to her desk.
Talutiel sat there, satisfied. The relationships agenda would be a great idea, but he knew as well that he wanted the social team, Loquiel, Raphael and Ambriel in on it as well, and of course Yasminael. He would form a team, focus them on this isse, and get on with it. But, in the end, he didn't want to belabour the point, and needed a second agenda for his time in the job. Something else. That would come in time, likely occupying the second half of his tenure, and he tentatively had some ideas with faerie folk and Shelandragh May, and getting involved with a project he called 'The Magical Fantasy of the Heavenlies.' He would be Tiny Talutiel, jumping around playgrounds, restoring innocence to the realm. It was not set in stone yet, but unless something else intervened, that was the plan. So, taking a Tiny Talutiel can of soft drink from his soft drink company, he sat there, sipping away, somewhat pleased with himself.
* * * * *
Father Scotland sat opposite Talutiel. 'Libertarians are idiotically liberal. All is destiny and destiny is all, but there is a factor of choice, and they make silly ones. Presbyterians are not about silly choices.'
'That makes sense,' replied Talutiel. 'I believe in planned predestination as life comes along from our mother Destiny, and can fight it, but God works things into our lives in his mysterious ways. One way or another Destiny will have her say. But then we are our own people, with our own mind, in the Image of God, and we can decide things. And in this idea libertarianism pleads for its freedoms. But where is the balance? Where do we say that's ok and that's too much. What are the principles of life for judging this crucial issue.'
'Practical reality usually rules in the end,' replied Father Scotland. 'Just the decision of what works best, from issue to issue. People, in the end, make basic decisions for what works best for them in life, and while you can cry morality of heart till the cows come home, the people are just going to do what the people are just going to do.'
Talutiel sat there, thinking that over, nodding to himself. 'We must discuss this further, but I will think on those things. I need a firm understanding on principles of this issue before any serious amendments on seatbelt law will take place and, for that matter, other related issues of law which could be affected in my review.'
'Then I'll remain at Senersphon Keep for a while,' said Father Scotland. 'I have plenty of savings.'
'We can cover that for you if you like, and we're happy to pay a consulting fee.'
'Fine. That will be fine,' replied the Presbyterian. 'Glad to be of help,' he said as he stood, and shook Talutiel's hand, and departed.
Talutiel made some notes of the meeting in his journal on the PC, and sat there, thinking things over. The issue would be properly examined to be worked out as best he could, and he might end up publishing an article in a journal of law about his philosophy ultimately derived on this issue. It was interesting study, and he felt he was getting somewhere with it. And, of course, conversations with Shelandragh May on the related issue of Witchcraft laws continued as well, and he had much to do at this time in his job, the relationships agenda gradually being formed.
* * * * *
Hazel examined the rug. 'We'll take it. Arabic designs are always so compelling.'
The carpet salesman nodded, and said, 'We can deliver it for a small charge.'
'That will be fine,' replied Hazel. 'Talutiel. The card,' she said.
Talutiel handed over his debit card, and the man swiped it and, when it was approved, smiled at them and said the carpet would be delivered to Zaphon Tower in a week. They left the store and continued on.
'Lunch?' inquired Hazel.
'Fine,' yawned Talutiel. He was tired from his long week in the job, and rug hunting with his twin was not exaclty how he wanted to spend the Saturday. 'It's Migladon today isn't it? Not Jucaladon. I have something planned for Jucaladon.'
'You haven't even been keeping record of the day of the month,' sighed Hazel, Talutiel's twin. 'You must be busy.'
'Extremely. The job is starting to come along, and I have some plans to get things going on my own contribution to the job. And why do we need a rug for the overseers department? The one there is fine.'
'Time for a change,' replied Hazel. 'Out with the old, in with the new. I'll have that rug placed into storage. And as I said I want a makeover of the rooms. I want to change things to styles more suitable for us.'
'Whatever,' replied Talutiel and yawned again.
As they sat in a Zaphona City cafe, Talutiel had practically fallen asleep, and Hazel munched on her salad roll, looking at her twin. They were not always together, but she had agreed to spend the time while he was overseer with him, to support him, and she noticed that he had been putting a lot into his work. She supposed this was his time to shine, as they were in wont of saying, but there were always practical realities to be observed. You had to get your rest, even the overseer of the Realm of Eternity needed his rest, and she made a mental note to make it her responsibility on this issue to see that Talutiel got enough sleep time. She looked at him, and brushed one of his locks of golden hair from his eyes, then continued with her salad roll, looking out the window of the cafe at the passing traffic as the day passed.
* * * * *
'The genius of lateral thinking is that it's not predictable,' said Valandriel, in the special task force room in the overseers executive office in Zaphon Keep.
'And he's completely predictable,' said Daniel to Talutiel.
'Very funny guys,' said Talutiel.
'When we do a project we look for original and unpredictable niches to fill,' continued Valandriel.
'Well, I mainly just want good ideas,' said Talutiel. 'Not looking to reinvent the wheel.'
'Life has a hum. Keep it fresh and exciting and they take to it more,' replied Valandriel. 'So some angle on relationship's should be taken, in all that you get done on this matter. You might want to consider a figurehead. I don't know. Maybe 'Candy the Lovebear,' or something like that.
'Candy the Lovebear?' queried Daniel. 'Sounds like a prostitute I know.'
'Why does that not surprise me,' replied Valandriel.
'Yeh, good ole Candy. Give it to me baby, she said to me once. She was something else. Long ago, of course, but those were the days. Yep, sounds like a top name for relationships.'
'Candy the Lovebear will do,' said Talutiel. 'I'll get a graphic artist onto the project.'
'Lovehearts,' said Valandriel. 'Lots of lovehearts. And she might carry a box of chocolates or flowers or something.'
'Sounds good,' said Talutiel, writing that information down on a pad.
'She'll make a good icon of the agenda,' said Daniel. 'Something people will find innocent enough, and will receive the messages a bit better because of it. Should work well. Make sure she's not a prostitute though. That could be problematic.'
'I'll remember,' replied Talutiel. 'Good to see with have our first thoughts. Now I want addressed, like I said, the core ideas of how to establish good relationships in the realm.'
'Charm works well,' said Daniel. 'But some people go for the serious type instead. Lots of different approaches impress different sorts of people. So if you have a goal of improved interpersonal conduct, keep it broad enough to have universal enough appeal.'
'I have a suggestion. Use your authority to recommend a work from a religiously neutral individual,' said Valandriel.
'How about Dr Phil's 'Relationships' paperback,' said Daniel.
Talutiel looked at Daniel. 'I have that book in my collection.'
'Yeh, good suggestion,' said Valandriel. 'Very neutral and impartial fellow. Follows no particular angle in how he relates with people. Has a sense for society as a whole.'
'He could be photographed with Candy the Lovebear, and, heck, he has his own talkshow anyway, out on New Terra. We ring him in, and use him as the chief spokesman for the campaign.'
'I like,' said Talutiel, writing down the points on his notepad. 'I think this is going to work just fine, fellas,' said Talutiel.
'As long as the pay is good,' said Daniel.
'And we're not cheap,' added Valandriel.
Talutiel chuckled.. Daniel and Valandriel. Comics till the end.
* * * * *
'He is indeed a fairy prince,' replied Aquariel to Hazel's comment about her twin.
'It's jus the first even of many planned. But not till the secon half of his overseersmanship,' said Hazel. 'He wants to give this 'Little People' faire a good going, and see if it will work for a major thing in the Realm. Wants to build upon his planned relationships message, and do the job of communicating his own special interest group to the realm, and let them know shorter people are just like the rest of society. Various Little People organisations from the realm are planned on being involved.'
'And he likes the Witches and Warlocks setting also, I take it,' replied Aquariel, watching Talutiel lead some children around a playground, dressed as a little fairy prince.'
'Likes your original novel. Has a first printing,' said Hazel. 'Wants it to be adapted, the roleplaying game version, for use with his plans for the faireys.'
'That's what he said,' replied Aquariel. 'I'm all for it. Wonderful to see Witches and Warlocks in the limelight.'
'He's dear to me at the moment. Perhaps more than ever,' said Hazel. 'We're not always close, but we are at the moment. He's such a dear fellow.'
Aquariel smiled. Tiny Talutiel. The bravest heart in his own way among the Seraphim of God.
Talutiel finished up with the children, and came over, taking a can of Tiny Talutiel soda from the cooler, and opened on it, sipping on it.
'How did it go?' he asked his sisters.
'Predictably well,' said Hazel.
'You were marvellous,' said Aquariel. 'The children never stopped laughing and running about.'
'It's going to work. That seems apparent,' replied Talutiel.
'So you have it all figured out,' said Hazel. ' Good for you'
'Let's just hope it all runs to plan,' replied Talutiel, sipping on his cola, and looking at the kids as they ran around the playground, tiny little terrors also, a delight to his heart.
* * * * *
Talutiel was looking at the overseer office PC. It was an ancient PC, from the early days of computing. But it was made of Eternya and did its job regardless of its antiquity. It was hooked into the LAN for the office as a whole, with the rest of the staff. It had on it, which you could access through windows explorer, the cardinal folders for each prior overseer. Michael's top folder structures were 'Michael – Private', 'Michael – Overseers access only', which only the overseers and Cindradel could access, as she knew the password from memory. 'Michael – Zaphon Office' which everyone on the office then and still could access, and finally 'Mchael – Public' which the general public could access. Each overseer subsequently had followed the same pattern of folder structures, and Talutiel had proved no exception. He'd spent a while now looking at the overseers only folders, privvy now to all sorts of secrets and ideas he had known no idea about, many of them quite eye-opening. There were a lot of policy judgements for what an overseer should do in the overseers only folder, and Talutiel had found it illuminating the differing perspectives each felt the job should be about. Cindradel had a lot of knowledge on these folders, and had been involved with a huge amount of discussions regarding them. It was her job after all. And Talutiel had found her an invaluable aid because of it, helping him sort out his job and his responsibilities. Today, apart from his general research into his job, was quiet enough, but there were some meetings after lunch, and a busy enough week on the slate. He continued studying a document he was reading, one of Bantriel's, then closed it, sipped on his cola, and took off to the executive toilet to enjoy the legendary experience so many had told a million jokes, literally, about.
* * * * *
'It's a task,' said father.
'What sort of task?' asked Talutiel.
'A fairy prince angel job. Very brief one, but important. There's a human on earth who needs to know if angels are real. It's one of your duties to aid mankind, as you've known from ancient days. So you will appear to Miguel Santos, and let him know you are an angel.'
'Very well,' replied Talutiel. 'Busy as a beaver, but I know my responsibilties.'
God explained what Talutiel was to do, and in fact he was to leave right then. So he stood, followed God, and they left for a portal not far from Zaphon tower, and God ushered him through.
He found himself in a field, full of pumpkins, in the hot Mexico heat. And right away he spotted Miguel, picking up pumpkins. He came over to him, in his angelic spirit, and touched his shoulder. 'Hello Miguel' he said in an angelic voice he found perplexing, almost as if it was all the strength of his spiritual experiences, and Miguel turned to look at him.
'Mary mother of God!' exclaimed Miguel. 'What are you?'
'Angel,' said Talutiel. 'We're real. Be good, remember. What you were taught. Be good.'
Miguel looked at the angel, and made the sign of the cross, and Talutiel smiled warmly at him, feeling like the Sun of Love, before turning, walking away, and re-entering a haze, soon back in the realm, leaving a stunned Miguel Santos finally acknowledging the truth of God.
'That was an experience,' said Talutiel to himself, and the father, seated on a bench just near the garden, smiled at him and nodded. Then he returned to Zaphon tower, climbed up to the office, sat down at his desk, and sipped on his cola. A strange day indeed, but these were the things an angel had to do after all.
* * * * *
'I'm not sure if the rug suits the décor,' said Talutiel. 'The apartment is a haphazard collection of styles. How about a consistent theme?' suggested Talutiel.
'Uniformity is the bane of freedom,' said Hazel. 'Wild and free,' she said. 'The environment needs to be wild and free.'
'And why exactly?' asked Talutiel.
'So you can offer freh thinking to your job each day, inspired by such diverse surroundings.'
'The pigs head painting is certainly diverse,' said Talutiel. 'So are the lava lamps. But painting each wall of each room in a different colour makes me think I'm living in a crazy infants school. It's all just a bit too much for me. I'm a classical angel, Hazel. This much is just too much. At least get rid of the rug now. It clashes horribly.'
'You really don't like?' she asked him.
'Sorry, dear sister. But its horrible. I'm not inspired – I'm dismayed by it all.'
'That's disappointing,' replied his twin. 'I was enjoying the variety. Still, its your apartment at the moment, so as you wish. I'll go for a more consistent approach this time. I won't disappoing. I'll consult some traditional interior decorators.'
'You do that,' replied Talutiel. 'This – as it stands – yuck.'
'Ok, ok. I read you loud and clear dear twin. I'll see to it being changed as soon as possible.'
'Thank you,' replied Talutiel. Talutiel was always up for variety in life, but the chaotic ensemble of just plain hell which Hazel had done up, well. It was not to his liking, enough said. Grateful that she would amend the issue, he smiled at her, and retired to the den, to study some things, and find quiet solitude from the wild lfie of the overseers apartment.
* * * * *
'Dr Phil is an interesting choice, but Messiah Ministries has some suitable works. I'll do thr job,' said Ambriel.
'And they say I push an agenda,' said Daniel.
'I don't think Ambriel is pushing his agenda,' said Loquiel. 'He has genuine motivations.'
'Yeh right,' replied Daniel.
'Dr Phill was chosen because he's neutral enough and impartial on such issues,' said Valandriel.
'What do you think?' Talutiel asked Raphael.
'Dr Phill should be fine,' said the thirdborn of the Seraphim.
'I agree,' said Yasminael. 'Dr Phil is, as you say Valandriel, an unbiased enough voice. Clearly there could be suspicion of a morality agenda behind this idea. Certainly obvious in our little gathering.'
'Hey, we came up with the neutral voice idea,' said Valandriel. 'Ambriel's the guy who pushed his own name right away.'
'I was only trying to help,' said Ambriel. 'Messiah Ministries have detailed work on these issues.'
'Then let ANM works on similar ideas be promoted, and we work, AS A TEAM, pushing an overall agenda of a united front on love, life, and relationships,' said Valandriel.
'That is not a bad idea,' commented Raphael.
'It might work,' said Yasminael. They all looked at Talutiel.
'Really, guys. I'm mainly just thankful for the help. If you want to push your own agendas to a degree, well, the realm is used to each of your own styles well enough now anyway. Frankly, you guys probably should be involved to some degree anyway.'
'Sounds reasonable,' said Loquiel.
'Work as a team?' Raphael queried Valandriel.
'We don't want to let Tiny Talutiel down. It's his glory and time as overseer, and we don't want personal glories interfering with who deserves the honour. He's waited a long time for this opportunity. We unite and come to agreement on the issues, and have to approve others ideas, to make it impartial enough for society.'
'Fine,' said Ambriel. 'That's not a problem.'
'Good suggestion, kemosabe,' said Daniel.
'Then that is what we will do,' finished Talutiel, glad they had come to a common agreement. And so the task force team grew, and the agenda was proceeding.
* * * * *
So the first decade of Talutiel's time as overseer came and went and the agenda had been set. Talutiel had begun settling into the job, with its obvious challenges, and especially in reading through the pas overseers policy recommendations for future overseers he came to have an isight into the work and its importance for the realm of eternity. Setting the agenda, making a mark, influencing the world for the better, maintaining law and order, and continuity of life. They were the essentials of the ideas he knew the overseer represented. And, at times, shaking things up a bit, if and when necessary. It was tough work, and a lot of the public eye was on you while in the job. But the fame and reputation were reward in an of itself, despite the paypacket which was, admittedly, quite handsome. Talutiel was happy, really. With his work, with his life, and with things in general. He had started the ball rolling for the 34th Arc of Eternity, and he would do his best to see it to completion, and intended to leave the job accomplishing what he set out to do. Life was alive at the moment for Talutiel. Oh, of course there had been so much he had already lived through. He was ancient, like all the Seraphim. But in this time, like no other in his destiny, he was particularly focused and desiring to make a difference and leave a legacy for countless generations. And, by public opinion so far, he seemed to be doing just that. So, sipping on his Tiny Talutiel lemonade one day after work he reminded himself that it was only 2 days of weekend, and that soon enough he would be back into it, getting on with things, and accomplishing the things he had set out to do. And, as it was said, life rolled on in the disc of Zaphora, in the Realm of Eternity, a realm of God's favour and particular delight.
Morning Stars 35
'It was a good overseersmanship of Talutiel,' said Belshazriel to Rophiel.
'He was very polite in giving me the key,' replied Rophiel. 'He bowed and said 'Dear Younger brother. I trust and hope you enjoy your term as overseer, and bring the world peace.''
'Wise words. The heart of Islam,' replied Belshazriel.
Rophiel nodded. 'And that shall be what my time in overseersmanship shall be based on. Peace. The heart of Islam. We will ensure there will be peace in the Realm. Infidels will be struck down, and suffer due legal process, and peace shall be given to hearts hurting from family and social abuse. We will ensure roughnecks comply, and the rule of Realm Law will be honoured by all.'
'And Islam?' asked Belshazriel.
'It shall not be a focus,' replied Rophiel. 'It would be personal gain, and abuse of my position of authority. Besides, there is no converting other people of the book and other people of the faith. That has never been the point. Law and order and the Kingdom of God is our priority. And that is what I shall pursue.'
'Then good luck, younger brother,' said Belshazriel.
Rophiel prayed to God in the throneroom of Zaphon. Then he took the elevator up to his office, and walked in, smiling at Cindradel, before placing an apple on his desk. He ate an apple for morning tea every day. As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. He sat down at the desk, picked up the manilla folder he was working with the prior day, and began the days work. At morning tea he ate his apple, and listened as Cindradel chatted about this and that.
'There is a request. From a christian congregation in Shadlaphon district. For a stone pillar of your work in Islamic art design, to be placed in the 'Meeting Place'. The pavillion of stone where people traditionally gather to discuss ideas. There is no specific Islamic monument there, and they claim there probably should be.'
'I will get to work at it next week,' replied Rophiel. 'I'll order the stone, and sharpen my tools.'
'Also, people want some decent public exposure for the new overseer. I've arranged some TV interviews, on various International talk shows, and guest star appearances on some variety shows. It will be good exposure, and get the realm familiar with you.'
'Good,' nodded Rophiel, eating his apple.
'Apart from that business as usual. And we're having an office party next week to celebrate your recent taking up of the position. Small affair with cake and beverages. Nothing major. Friday at Morning Tea.'
'There was no need,' replied Rophiel.
'Just our way,' replied Cindradel.
Rophiel nodded, smiled, and finished off his apple.
Morning Stars 36
Quadel is as Quadel does. Always been one of the Fuzz.
'Listen, Flint Hardwood. That is not how we do business in the Realm of Eternity. But you should bloody know that,' said Quadel.
'The scumbag has killed 7 people. I suspect Samaen, and I want us to track him down. It's all his signs.'
'We don't make spurious accusations against Saruvim of Infinity,' said Quadel. 'Besides, his alibis check out. You never liked Samaen. Ever since the grand congregational meeting of the Angels, you've had a grudge against him for his slurs against you. Remember, I was there buddy. I saw the reaction on your face when he insulted your angelicdom.'
'It's not a frikking grudge. And alibis can be manufactured,' replied Flint Hardwood, the Cherubim angel Satael.
'Look, I don't have time for this,' said Quadel. 'I'm overseer in a week, and I've only been appointed temporary head of this case. Best to just keep your info in your head, and take it up with the next guy.'
'Fine,' replied Flint. 'But I know its Samaen. I can sense it. I can smell it.'
Quadel shook his head, and asked Flint to bugger off so he could get some work done. Flint left, and the Zaphona City International Police Department Chief looked at his computer, flicked it off, and signed off for the day. He took a trip to the local tavern, and drank, and sighed. A serial killer at loose in the Realm. And it could not have come at a worse time. Still, no matter. He would be overseer soon, and might be able to give it some personal attention anyway. He sat there, sipping his beer, and put on his headphones, some Polish heavy metal flooding his eardrums, and he was off, in his own world, forgetting about his worries, letting the rock music sooth his soul and calm him down after another busy day.
Morning Stars 37
Of all the terribly boring jobs the Realm of Eternity had to offer, Phindwel surmised that Bakery as a living could, potentially, be the bottom of the ladder. But then, in reflection, boring was not that bad compared to a garbo and the shite he had to deal with, or a plumber and the literal shite he also had to deal with – or worse yet – a gay male prostitute, and the real shite he had to potentially deal with. But Phindwel, whose Torah principle was ‘A Boring Life is often the Opposite’, had still yet to find the truth in the idea that amongst all the bland predictability which his life had offered him for the most part upon his return to the heavenlies, after a hell of a rocky ride on earth as the lead singer for the band ‘Jesus Jones’, there was anything at all exciting about a boring life. Still, someone had to bake bread and, while he was extremely happy to say the least that his tenure as overseer was just about there, ending a divinely appointed term as official baker for the realm, a request made by the Theophany of he who was, stipulating he completely cease from all extra-bakery activities until the term of his overseersmanship, upon which he could resume the fullness of the life he so desired, he could not help but commiserate with himself that the fulfilment of God’s prophetical Torah had to indeed fall upon the unwelcoming, but acquiescing heart of Mike Edwards – Seraphim Phindwel of the Realm of Eternity. But such was life, in the end – you took the good with the bad.
Phindwel was Prince of Kent. His disc of Overseersmanship – Phindwephora – was a disc primarily modelled on the country landscape of the county of Kent in the nation of England from both the District of Terraphora on the second Disc of the Realm of Eternity, which was also called Terraphora, as well as also modelled on the county of Kent itself from the nation England on planet earth. But, of course, Terraphora saw real life equivalents in most respects in the way Earth had been long ago planned.
Yet, while the glories of Phindwephora were indeed honourable, it had been seconded long ago to a Cherubim representative in his stead to run the overseers position, leaving Phindwel to remain in Zaphon tower, official baker to the current overseer at the time, forever perfecting his culinary art. To say the least, he had had his fill of bread.
Yet, whatever life had thrown at him so far, in all its predictable blandness, as much as bread did not rise without yeast, the yeast in Phindwel’s own life had finally arrived, having been ordered millions of years ago, but now confidently expressing its pickup slot right in Zaphon tower itself, not far from his own deluxe office, in the possession of a certain Quadel the Seraphim, current overseer, who had duly announced via email that his million years was effectively up, and that the executive toilet key was beckoning its new owner. In Quadel’s own words, it literally screamed to him in his dreams that it had dealt with enough of Quadel’s shit and desired a new landlord. Lucky for Phindwel, that was him.
Yes, life had been boring, but he had certainly lived enough of it and, as trite as it may indeed sound, one of the fundamental truths about the wisdom of God’s torah – that they were indeed true proverbs – was that philosophically, in his long pondering of his principle, he had found that in the long life he had, albeit boringly served, he had developed that rarest of commodities called patience and, in a strange way, he was excited in the stability of heart and stability of soul which now occupied the life of the person of Phindwel the Seraphim. He seemed Supremely – well, adequate – in his abilities to cope with it all. But, deep down, there was one true word which Christians always went on about, so it seemed to him – Contentment – which ruled the deepest heart of Phindwel, and despite all the terribly similar functions he endlessly went through, the stability brought him intellectual peace and happiness, and he only savoured ever the more the rich opportunities which awaited him in his future. Perhaps, the icing on a basic sponge cake was finally to be added.
Phindwel was a single man for the most part, but currently was dating a Seraphim offspring angel named ‘Jezanderael’. She was a pretty young angel, not terribly old, but he fancied her, and she liked him well enough. Yet, in truth, it was his twin that usually occupied his thinking in more recent Arcs of life, unlike the earlier years when it was no great concern. Now, seeing the stability in the relationship between Michael and Elenniel he had some grasp of the potential bedrock that a twin – in a proper relationship – could have in your life. Solid rock on which to ground your life and face the eternal future before you.His twin, the counsellor Yasminael, would not be easy to win, and never had been, even though they had married previously a number of times. Yet she was something of a free spirit, not always tied down to just one person, as she saw the inner heart, in Raphael’s own words about her, and took a fancy too many a fellow who, supposedly, had worked it all out in life and was grounded on love in the way Yasminael herself epitomized the virtue in her thoughts and in her heart. Phindwel’s stability, in that sense, was admirable and worthy of praise, but the truth was simply the truth – boring life, while often the opposite, was indeed boring at times as well, and such had been the bane which the enormous love and grace of his twin sister that she had been unable to conquer. And perhaps even unwilling in Phindwel’s thoughts.
No matter, he loved her true, and in the up and coming glory he hopefully expected, long needed remediation of the life of Phindwel was at hand, and a new joy to be conceived – a new bloody job. And about time too.
* * * * *
Phindwel sat with Aclarius the Cherubim, 998th in birth rank of the male Cherubim of Eternity, his chief Baker under his own responsibility in the Realm of Eternity, and the next in line to take over from himself once Phindwel had taken up his role as overseer. They had been chatting about this and that, mostly about the protocols usually involved with the direct one on ones to the Overseer himself.
‘Naturally, the first time around it’s gonna be me, so you won’t have to worry so much. You and I get along well enough after all, but our Maori brother Remriddel is next in line to overseersmanship after me and, all things being equal, I will be choosing him to replace me, and, as you know he can be a sensitive fellow, so remember the noble art of the chief baker is defined by his hospitality to his Lord. Higher standards than usual you need to set for yourself. If you want the top job in the Realm, you have to be worthy of it, which I already know you are. But we are the Realm of Eternity – we are practically the highest positions of honour under the 7 heavens – and we have a high level of decorum and excellence to maintain. Never forget that Aclarius – excellence. It is what needs to define us and our roles in eternity. They can always replace us if we are not up to scratch, after all. But I know you – I know your work. You won’t let me down. But it is a big policy job as well – don’t forget that – a lot of diplomacy, and watching over the chief ovens for the big official receptions here in Zaphon tower. But you know all this,’ he said, just a little anxious to impart his experience and his wisdom.’
‘You worry too much, Phindwel. Of all the angels you should worry least. You are in the most stable job in the entire realm, after all. The world record of long service to one job.’
Phindwel nodded. He knew he had the record. After nearly 37 million years at the same position he bloody well should hope so. ‘But records were made to be broken, Aclarius, which is were you come in. As bizarre as it sounds, if we go on to the ladies after the men, when we reach Arc 141 of this home of ours dear Semyaza is supposedly the next in line. But way down at the 998th slot on that list, well. Well that’s you. So if you are the kind of idiot like myself who can hack the same job practically forever, then you could be doing it a fair while if that is what you want.’
Aclarius nodded. In truth, at this present stage, having served under Phindwel for so long now anyway, such a challenge, with such a prestigious name it could bring, was certain an idea worthy of consideration.
‘I am sure your record will never be challenged,’ said Aclarius to his senior with proper humility.
‘Perhaps. But they inevitably fall, dear brother. In an eternal life, believe me, such things are simply that – inevitable.’
They chatted on for quite a while that day, going over some of Phindwel’s own requirements of Aclarius for when he himself would be overseer, and later that day, retired to the upper dining room, funnily enough eating a meal Aclarius had prepared for himself, Phindwel was glad with the way things seemed, for now, to be going smoothly – all working towards a smooth transition to the ultimate glory he had so dedicatedly and patiently waited for.
* * * * *
Jezanderael was doing the washing, in her unit she shared with Phindwel, going about life, not thinking any particularly deep thoughts, but happy enough in a world of her own. She was the 12,025th Cherubim Female angel of the Realm of Eternity, Had a twin by the name of Marckonyel, and was a happy enough angel of God, satisfied with the usual blessing which life had in store for her, and grateful for the opportunity, apparently, that dating Phindwel would soon bring.
And then the knock came to her front door.
‘It’s me,’ he said, looking the same as usual, but with a flower – a rose – in his right hand.
‘Who’s that for Marcy Marcy?’ she asked him, using Marckonyel’s nickname she had given him a long time ago when the realm was young.
‘Who else sweetcheeks,’ he responded. ‘Is the dude around? Can I come in?’
‘Sure,’ she responded, and Marckonyel entered the room, looking at the stuff. ‘A lot of shit, by the looks of it,’ he stated.
‘He collects a lot of things,’ she responded. ‘Likes to have stuff around. To look at – to talk about – to enjoy. One of the reason’s we get along well, you know. Something to talk about.’
He nodded, and took out his packet of cigarettes. ‘You don’t mind, do you?’ he asked her innocently.
‘I don’t think you would care anyway,’ she responded, and returned to her washing.
He looked around at the room while she was in the laundry. There were all sorts of Phindwel at various presentations, with photos of him with many of the Seraphim overseers, being congratulated at various official functions. And then there was one, prominently displayed on the mantle-piece, with him and Jezanderael. Marckonyel picked it up, looked at it, and wandered into the laundry.
‘Do you love him, then?’ he asked her, suddenly sincerely, which was not the usual practice of Marckonyel, ever the elusive heart to win, usually in bed with some prostitute rather than committing to a proper relationship – the kind his twin needed, apparently.
She finished loading the washing, and turned to look at him. ‘Well, yes. I guess so. I mean, we get along and all. He is stable, ok. That is what he has going for him. Stability.’
‘Right, he said, looking at the photo. ‘So, he’s the one then?’
She stood, brushed past him and said, ‘Well, you sure as hell never were.’
‘No,’ he said to himself in the laundry, staring at the picture. He came out shortly, put it back on the mantelpiece, and she had put the kettle on.
‘Coffee?’ she asked him.
‘Well, do you want your rose?’ he said over the table, offering it to her.
She looked at it honestly, tilted her head, and stood, went over to the kitchen, turned on the tap briefly, and returned with the flower in a vase of water. She placed it on the table as the kettle started whistling. Shortly it went off.
‘Nice,’ she said. ‘A Flower. The sum of your devotions to your twin.’
He said nothing, but nodded.
‘S’pose,’ he said. ‘I mean, come on. What were you ever really looking for in Marky Mark anyway? A hero? A legend? Elvis? King Kong?’
She laughed a little at the last title.
He lightened up a bit, sensing the cheer. ‘Yeh, we had good times, sweetcheeks. All sorts. We never clicked, back then, you know. I don’t know, it wasn’t our time, or something like that. The theophany showed up once, and he said to me something simple. ‘As it says in Torah, there is a time to everything under the sun. Sometimes, though, those times of blessing are lifetimes away. Sometimes you have to be patient, Marckonyel.’
‘Quite deep, I should think,’ she responded. ‘Not exactly simple.’
‘I s’pose. But, recently, well. Well I guess I should be honest. Phindwel, as we all know, is due. His time is about here, and you’re his current squeeze.’
‘So you are here to cash in,’ she asked suspiciously.
‘It’s not like that. Fucking hell, it’s the opposite sweetie. Believe me.’
She softened. ‘How so.’
‘Fuck. Well, like I was just saying, some times it takes forever. Some times things need to stew away until they are ready to cook. And that is what it has been between you and I. It hadn’t been right, yet. It hadn’t been the time. You had your life to live, God knows I had mine. But times change, sis. Some times, as bizarre as it sounds, people grow up. And recently I have done a lot of that.’
She stood, went away to fix their coffee, and returned.
‘Ok, Marcy. If you are indeed serious. If you really are ready to be a real man, I will give you a chance. I have never, in the end, been adverse to getting it on with my twin. Deep down it has been on my mind from time to time. And listening to what you have just said, it does seem you have worked a lot of it out.’
‘So you’ll take the rose?’ he asked her.
She looked at him, and softened. She came to sit next to him, put her hand in his, and said ‘I’ll give you a chance. But DON’T stuff it up. Or I am gone quicker than shit.’
She stood, went to her room, and returned with a writing pad.
‘What you doing?’ he asked her.
‘I have some personal possessions which I will need to take, but then can fit in a bag. I don’t need to see him before I leave. It has never been deep enough to justify that. But I will leave him a letter. Why don’t you watch some TV and give me 20 minutes.’
‘Kapiche,’ he responded.
She sat there, writing, pouring out her heart and her love, but she finished by saying that, in the end, dear Phindy, I think you know why I have gone off with him. I think you know. And she left it at that.
A little later, her bag packed, she gave the place one last look over, looked at the photo on the mantelpiece, and she was off. Off with Marckonyel, off to her new life which she, perhaps, had been waiting an eternity for to begin, and a new destiny for the Cherubim Angel Jezanderael.
* * * * *
Phindwel, a little bit of a tear in his eye, looked at the last line. ‘……I think you know why I have gone off with him. I think you know.’
He looked at the letter, looked at the window, out into eternity, and did nothing for a little while, the news sinking in. At last he stood, picked up the letter from the table, went to his private den, reached up on top of a bookcase, pulled down a leather satchel, opened it and pulled out a box, and opened it. There were letters in there, some of them ancient, having been preserved in ‘Eternya’ archival solution sprays, and mementos of days long gone by. He put the letter inside, reminded himself to also get this one sprayed with some Eternya, closed the box, put it back inside the satchel, and returned the satchel to the top of the bookcase.
He went back to the living room and into the kitchen and, as he started preparing the nightly meal, a meal albeit for one, he still had that tear in his eye, but, reminded of the last point of her letter, acknowledged the truth. He sighed, in his heart he sighed, but then that last point reminded him of someone – his twin – and, perhaps, a motivating spark lit in the back of his mind, one perhaps too long delayed, and one which, if he followed through, could bring the stability he saw in Michael and Elenniel to his own life, a stability favoured, a stability worth pursuing. And those thoughts at the back of his mind, he ate his alfredo pasta and sipped his wine, perhaps a little happier, perhaps a little cheerier, albeit a single man once more.
* * * * *
Aclarius lifted the lid off of the jar of treacle, and got to work with his new recipe. It was not, really, new, as he had done coffee surprise treacle cake many times before, but this was a traditional recipe of Phindwel’s – his favourite – which he had never, from memory, actually tackled. And, tomorrow being the big celebration, it was time to prepare the cake.
That morning Aclarius had been in Phindwel’s company, in the kitchens of Zaphon tower, when Quadel had wondered in, smiled at him, tossed a key in the air which Phindwel had caught but almost dropped, smiled at him and said ‘Enjoy you bugger,’ and had disappeared, off to his retirement. And Phindwel had looked at it, realized it was the executive toilet key, and gone quickly to the office to look it over, checked the toilet, had a quiet word with Cindradel over a few things, and then returned to Aclarius within 20 minutes. And then, lunchtime having arrived, Cindradel had explained to them in the kitchens, Aclarius overhearing, that Quadel had organized the ‘Congratulatory’ party for tomorrow, and now Aclarius was preparing Phindwel’s favourite cake for his soon to be superior’s enjoyment.
Phindwel had disappeared after lunch time, hadn’t come back, and Aclarius had assumed he was with friends and family, celebrating. It was good times – happy times – and Aclarius concentrated on his work, wanting to, in a true Phindwelian spirit, bring that level of excellence he was well known for and which was obviously and certainly expected of him.
* * * * *
Yasminael, angel of Eternity, one of the counsellors of Raphael at Mitraphon keep in Terraphora disc, were Raphael often resided in the ancient traditional ways of his first appointment, looked at the news item. Just announced – Phindwel to be officially ratified tomorrow as overseer of the realm of eternity, with Quadel’s retirement. Phindwel – her twin.
Phindwel – angel Phindwel – him. Her twin. That was, almost, funny to Yasminael. Oh, sure, she had been with him a few times in marriage, but all the Seraphim, she thought, had done that – occasionally married their twins. It was, as if, it was sort of almost expected. As if you had to do it – as if it was taken for granted that such things would naturally, it seemed, originate in life. But, in the end, to Yasminael’s way of thinking, this did not necessitate the truth of your twin being the ideal match. In fact, from several well known viewpoints, the twin was supposedly the last on the list. But Phindwel – overseer of eternity. Some things eventually happen, she supposed to herself, even for Phinny.
Phindwel, despite a number of common assumptions out there in the realm of eternity, mostly inspired by the seraphim torah’s principle in relation to himself, was NOT a boring angel. Yet, he was not exactly the pinnacle of splendour either. He was plain in very many ways, but did have a spark. There was, right down in the heart of her twin, a spark.
Yet, for the most part, he was plain old Phindwel. A Baker – a simple guy. Sure, he had the record of the world’s longest suffering servant to just one particular job, and she was almost somewhat proud of him because of it. But, while he himself was not particularly uninteresting, his life was perhaps indeed that, as Torah sort of did in fact teach. His life was boring – nothing much happened in it – which was why she never stayed too long.
What was it? Was God trying to fulfil his word in Phindwel by insisting on his long service to just one role. Perhaps, in truth, that was indeed what it was. But poor Phindwel to suffer such a fulfilment, she thought to herself. Yet, she thought again on the principle. A boring life is often the opposite. What did that mean? Was there something to come? Was the glory of Phindwel one day to be known? Was it, funnily enough, about to be known right now?
She laughed, again, thinking that in all his long suffering he must have learned a few things or to, and glanced to the Menorah candlestick on her shelf, thought on God and his Torah, and silently prayed a quick prayer that Phindwel would finally receive the reward he had so long toiled for.
* * * * *
‘What does the mind of Daniel the Seraphim contemplate?’
Nadiel gazed up at the figure of Daniel, dusting the upper shelves of the ‘Library of Antiquities’, which was located nearby the palace for the overseer of the disc, on the 45th disc of the Realm, known as Danielphora. The Library of Antiquities was not just a library for books, bur rather a housing place for Daniel’s collection of various things which he desired stored safely away for eternity – including his celebrated comic collection of several trillion comics, all stored away, coated in Eternya, housed in mylareternya sleeves, in the catacombs of the Library. Daniel was fanatical in this sense, apart from his personal collection of things at Danielphon in Zaphora, and a number of other storage centres in places, so it seemed, known only to Daniel himself, though the library of antiquities was of common knowledge.
Daniel came down the ladder, placed his duster on a library shelf, came and sat down on a chair, and gazed at Nadiel, his current love interest, who was lying on a beanie cushion in the centre of this current room. ‘What does the mind of Daniel the Seraphim contemplate? Why sex with Nadiel the cherubim, of course. And as much as possible.’
‘You devil,’ she smiled.
‘It takes oneth to knoweth oneth,’ he responded in a posh accent.
‘Make love to me Daniel. You know you want to.’
‘Now how can I resist such a temptation as that,’ he said, lying down next to her.
They were heavily petting for a while, when Daniel suddenly noticed a person was standing there. It was Ariel, of all people.
‘Fuck,’ he swore, and Nadiel started putting her shirt back on.
‘Uh, hi Ariel,’ she said. She looked at Daniel, who motioned that she make herself scarce, and Nadiel nodded, disappearing off to another part of the library.
‘Having fun, Danny boy?’ she asked him.
‘What’s it to you?’ he asked, righting his buttons on his shirt.
‘Nothing. I suppose. I guess. Nothing at all. Humph.’
But that was Ariel, Daniel thought to himself. Jealous, as ever.
‘Look, sweetcheeks. You welcomed the divorce as much as I did. You can’t expect me to stay faithful to a woman who doesn’t want to be with me.’
She softened. ‘No, I suppose not.’
He looked her over. She was dressed very well, very comely, in a proper suit which embellished her wings quite well, which she allowed to be shown and seen at certain times. Usually the wings were hidden away, dematerialized in spirit form, which was the usual custom of the Angels of God these days, but they could come out if the angels willed it and yes, they could be used for flight, which was no longer that common an occurrence, but Raphael was well known for it.
‘So, what brings the visit? And how did you find me?’ he asked, sobering up.
‘I made inquiries. You have been overseer at Danielphora for a while, which has been common knowledge.’
‘Yep, babe. Current plans with me and Valandriel require some serious stuff for a while. We have – objectives – which are approaching fruition.’
‘The long aspired glory days of Daniel the Seraphim,’ she remarked flatly, taking one of the seats.
‘You guessed it. But you know a lot of that shit, don’t you? I have remarked a number of times.’
‘Shit might be the word for it,’ she said softly, with just the faintest hint of sarcasm.
‘Oh, ha har,’ he responded. ‘Anyway, what do you want? You would hardly travel all the way to Danielphon unless you had something on your mind.’
She looked at him, and decided, thinking she may as well, put it bluntly to him.
‘Nadiel. How serious is it? I know she has fancied you forever.’
‘Oh. Its as serious as we both like it, I think. But, no, I don’t have a hold on her. My Cherubim namesake, the prophet of Israel, loves her far to much to let her get too attached to another. We have an – an understanding, shall we put it, that I never get too serious in my time with her, and that works for both of us. She loves me, you know – deeply. But she is obedient to Daniel and says he is her heart in the end, and will be his main woman forever. She has already committed in that sense. But he gives her a free leash a lot of the time, and she comes out and finds me a lot.’
‘Doesn’t Nimorel do that, though? Come find you a lot? And Luladiel, come to think of it. And a few others, not to mention the eternal love between you and Meludiel.’
‘There are a few others,’ he said softly, looking the other way. She heard him, but didn’t comment.
‘Still, you are here now, aren’t you? That’s why, isn’t it? I mean, it has been a bloody long while, so I guess you must be lonely and need a bit of your man again.’
She said nothing, but gazed at him with Arielesque superiority. But she softened, looked down, and said, in the voice of a defeated soul, ‘Yes.’
He looked at her, and suddenly he was beaming in his smile, and she looked up gently.
‘Come on, sweetie. I know a place, not far from here. If you need vows, and I suppose you might, I am happy enough again. But when you leave next time don’t come bloody winging about me and my other woman. I DON’T cheat when we are together, so no winging.’
She smiled very warmly at him, came next to him and put her hand in his, and said ‘I won’t Danny dearest. I won’t.’
He smiled, looked at her, and turned his head to the beanies. ‘We could, you know? I mean, I have been aroused.’
She hit him on the cheek, softly, and said ‘You bastard.’
‘Oh well,’ smiled Daniel the Seraphim. You can’t blame a guy for trying, after all. I mean, I’m only human.’
‘Don’t I know it,’ responded Ariel the Seraphim, and Daniel grinned.
* * * * *
Phindwel slumped into the chair. It had been a busy day – a hectic day – but the celebration was over, and life would sort of get back to normal now, but then again, not really. Tomorrow was his first day of work, and apparently he already had a decades worth of a full calendar for starting points. Cindradel, the most efficient secretary in the universe, as a plaque which stated as such on the wall near her desk testified to, a plaque in stone, which had engraved on it every name of the overseers of Eternity, ensured his constant work would be a hallmark of his early days, and had arranged for all the necessary council members, charity and business CEO’s, presidents and other heads, as well as a whole host of public servants and so on, to see him in his early years, to ground him on the running of the overseer’s responsibilities, and to get him up and running. And she had spoken to him for a while on protocols in relationship to the Theophany, who often took an interest and chatted with the overseer a fair bit, as well as the traditional way of relating to the Seraphim elders from the position of the Overseer, as the overseer stood in Michael’s shoes and had to be the oldest for a while, to be a father to the community, and be that role model for them. She explained to him various things Michael could not explain, simply because he was Michael and it was not fitting, and also from another perspective not appreciated by the eldest of the seraphim, and Phindwel got a firmer idea of what was in store for him. Michael preached philosophy – attitude – life principles. Cindradel, though, was explaining to him what he would actually have to do, which naturally she would – the real power who knew exactly what went on in the Realm of Eternity.
But he was home, now, ready for some sleep, but had with him a frozen lasagne which Aclarius had made for his evening meal, which he would do every night if Phindwel requested it, and ready for some sleep. There was an attachment of bodyguards at the entrance to his unit, and he knew he would sleep safely with them there, unbothered by any potential fanatics who wanted to steal some time with the new overseer.
He was lonely. Jezanderael was gone. But he was happy, nonetheless. It would be an exciting and busy few months, few years really, and he knew he would learn much. But still, there was a feeling of something missing. A feeling he identified as a need to share his glory with another – and that being a woman. And so, sitting there, not bothering with the lasagne, he went to his room, pulled out his satchel and his box, took out the photos, found the one he was looking for and spent half an hour looking at a picture of him with Yasminael. Yasminael the angel – twin to Seraphim Phindwel, overseer of eternity. Just how, so it seemed, would he win the heart of Yasminael the angel? Just how would he win the love of a twin he desired, now, so deeply. Just how.
Morning Stars 41
The Seraphim Kalenuel, 41st male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity, was busy. Doing movies. Dean Cain, long term actor of 'Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman', had spent an eternity doing this and that project in film and TV. It was his living, he was good at it, and apart from his own work running his own Disc of Eternity, it was how he spent his time. Soon, very soon, he would be overseer of the entire realm. And there had been a lot of talk on Superman, and a number of specials which had been put aside a long time ago for him to do when it was his turn. Today he was with an Hollywood producer, chatting about a script for Lois and Clark.
'Here it is,' said Charles Marley, Hollywood mogul. TV Movie for the show. 'A selection from the one we want to run with. It's set later on in the canon, when Lex has rebelled and gained power as a supervillain. It's a variant of the Superman Returns movie with Brandon Routh, and we're revisiting that film with ideas for the TV show.' Charles handed Kalenuel the plot, and he began Reading:
'Superman and the Chaos Crystal'
Insert Here -
'Hey, its cosmic,' said Kalenuel. 'Great variation on the idea. Should do well. It's punchy and dramatic. Stuff like this is hard to get these days. How long has it been in the closet?'
'Aeons,' replied Charles. 'We've got a tonne of old stuff you arranged for putting off till you were overseer, as it would be a real time of fame, and they could hit so much bigger then. There's a lot of so so stuff, some spectacular, but this seemed a perfect starting point. So I can take it we are going to run with the project?'
Kalenuel nodded. 'You'll have to talk with Helaniel now. Teri will need to give the thumbs up also.'
'As usual,' replied Charles. 'Anyway, when you get into town come by the studio, and we'll discuss the rest of the plot. These are good times, Deano. Good times.'
Kalenuel smiled, and Charles left his abode, leaving a pile of Superman comics which needed his signature for the studio. That was life. Endless piles of things he'd autographed over the years, but there was money in it, and it was work which kept you going. But it would be great to get into a new project which had as much energy as the script looked like it contained. Good times indeed.
'Morning Stars 45’
‘Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. What on earth are we ever going to do with dear old lovely Daniel.’
Saruviel sat on the park bench, looking at the tiny park in Cooma North, not far from the old Catholic Infants school, just across the road, and up a street a little.
Daniel looked at Saruviel. ‘What do you want to do with me?’
‘Nothing, Danny. I like you the way you are.’
‘That’s good,’ responded Daniel the Seraphim.
Daniel and Saruviel were on earth, of all places to be, having manifested for a project. The project set the both of them by God the Almighty of learning about what life, really, was all about anyway. And the time set them was one million years, the full allotment of Daniel’s term as overseer, for God had granted him 3 weeks in the job, shown up, and said directly to him ‘And that is all you get, Danny boy. 21 days. 21 days. 21 days. Now don’t complain – I have OTHER plans for you.’
‘I have a poem for you, Saruviel.’
‘Speak on, Danny boy.’
‘The Shadows of our life – By Daniel Daly’
On and on, on and on
We travel down this road
Many years we live this life
From youth until we’re old
Times of love, they fill some hearts
Many know the ways of peace
Yet some of us seem quite forgotten
Not the greatest, but the least
Not the glory, were they stand
It is a heavy place
Were peace and love do rarely go
Just tears upon a face
This tension is the darkness
Which pervades our soul with strife
It eats away our happiness
In the shadows of our life
Some hearts they pay a toll
Full of life’s miseries
And burdens of the soul
Life on the edge, it seems to me
Is how it’s often spent
The dark ones from the underworld
Would tear our souls a’rent
Yet what I know, as he doth teach
Through all this pain in me
God himself he promised us
The gift eternity
A purpose suffering it does serve
A point to all this strife
Eternal life he’s granted us
Through the shadows of our life’
Saruviel clapped his hands. It was an excellent poem.
‘And why the ways of the darkness to provide redemptive realization?’ asked Saruviel.
‘The Dark Pathways of True Salvation are all that the soul can live on, in the end, dear brother. Only through the dark side is redemption salvation gained – for only in the servants sufferings is the joy and appreciation of life, love and other mysteries truly and eternally appreciated. Or something like that.’
‘So you say,’ responded Saruviel.
‘So I say,’ responded Daniel softly.
Saruviel picked up his hamburger, and started eating it. It tasted good. He particularly liked the hamburgers the Alpine café produced. They were the best he had eaten – perhaps ever.
‘What shall we do tomorrow, Daniel?’ asked Saruviel.
‘Something a bit different, I surmise,’ responded the 45th Seraphim of Understanding. ‘Something a bit different.’
* * *
Saruviel and Daniel slept soundly at 6 Bradley street in Cooma that night, and each dreamed dreams. Saruviel dreamed of a black sheep, with the faintest hints of grey around its neck, but otherwise a miserable looking sheep in most regards. The sheep had all the power in the universe, apparently, at its disposal. It was grand, magnificent, indomitable, invincible. None, truly, could oppose it. It ruled the other sheep, not so much out of fear, but out of absolute authority. It was unmatchable. Unmatchable. Or so it seemed.
And then, another sheep appeared. This one of total darkness, with no grey around the neckline. But this darkness was comforting, soft, gentle, ready to yield and be submissive, and protective. The comfort of the dark Knight was in the soul and heart of this sheep, and the former champion came to it, kneeled in front of it, and payed homage to this sheep, for he had been bested. Bested by absolut purity.
* * *
They walked down to Centennial park, and sat on the benches for a while. A young couple, could be no older than 15 or so each, were kissing, and Saruviel and Daniel looked at them.
‘They seem happy,’ said Saruviel.
‘To be young and in love,’ responded Daniel.
‘Yes,’ responded Saruviel. ‘I guess so.’
‘Was it not like that for you and Jenny, Alexander?’
‘Somewhat. I guess. She was, sometimes, daunted, so she told me. I was quite formidable, then. All in black. Dressed in black.’
‘The stuff of me teen and twenty years,’ responded Daniel.
Saruviel looked at him. ‘All in black?’
‘Nothing but. I even tried to dye the hair black, once. But it failed. Still, the garb was pure darkness, the socks, and so on. Perhaps the underwear had colour.’
‘Truly the Dark Knight,’ responded Saruviel.
‘So it betook me,’ responded Daniel.
As they watched the young man stuck his tongue further down her throat, and they pashed, quite openly, up against the large tree, not hiding their young lusts.
‘Were you ever so open?’ Daniel asked Saruviel.
‘Not really. It was not my way.’
They sat there, and Daniel stood after a while, and indicated for Saruviel to follow. ‘Let’s get some yummy burgers from the café just up here a little.’
As they ate their lunches, Saruviel asked Daniel a question. ‘Were you much of a fornicator?’
‘Fornication?’ Daniel queried in response, looking at his brother. ‘Not really. Not till my mid 20s, and then only prostitutes. I was not exactly a bad boy, but I had little luck with the fairer sex. But that was my nature – no point in being what you were not.’
‘I suppose,’ responded Saruviel, biting into his yummy burger.
They watched the traffic of Sharp street come and go, the regular life of a summer day in Cooma, a town of gentle heart and quiet spirit, but full of animistic brilliance in Daniel’s own words. For he had lived here, once, a long while ago. And it had been his home and sanctuary.
‘I dreamed last night,’ said Daniel.
‘Yes,’ responded Saruviel.
‘I dreamed of realms of glory, one following another, 7 in a row. And then the final realm, the 8th, which was the unification of all the realms, and the final resting place of God’s glory.’
Saruviel looked at him. That was interesting information.
Daniel continued. ‘There was a war, in the 8th realm, towards the end of things, as it was called by God in the dream. A war of powers – a war of worlds – a war of realms – a war of ultimate reckoning, of good versus evil. For the angels of light fought the angels of dark, and the costs were bloody indeed.’
‘Satan?’ queried Saruviel.
‘The angels won,’ said Daniel, matter of factly, and said nothing more.
* * *
Saruviel looked up at the grey clouds, hanging in the skyline, sitting there dismally, threatening rain, but currently quite content to continue their mission of absorbing moisture from the earth – but the downpour was inevitable. It always was. After all, what went up, must come down – mustn’t it?
It was a grey day and Saruviel was in a grey mood. He had moped around all morning at home, while Daniel was out, collecting Ariel from the airport, who had been visiting friends in Europe. But she was home now, which would make good conversation. God had relented, in the end, of just the two of them – they needed someone to cook for them after all, and Ariel was a decent food technician, in her own words. Having her back would do wonders for the belly.
Yet, until she arrived, he was not so bored, as bored out – to bored to even be bored. Just grey. Just apathetic. Just Saruviel – sort of.
He went inside, into the front bedroom on the right, from the perspective of out the front, which was his room. Daniel told him it had been his once, with his brother, a long time ago. He sat on the bed, stared at the fantasy posters on the wall, and looked around the room. He had nothing, really, to do. Perhaps the computer – do some email – surf the net. And then, noticing the old Gameboy sitting there, he picked it up, turned it on, found Tetris was the cartridge, and not having anything better to do, started playing. It kept him busy for a while.
Half an hour later, having been absorbed with the game, he suddenly had some thoughts. Some of Daniel’s thoughts. Recent thoughts from their pool trip. Life is a circle. When you got to the end you pretty much repeated it anyway, in an endless loop, a lot of variations for the first few trillion times or so, but eventually you knew what you got. The secret, according to Daniel, in mastering life, was to choose and do those things which gave you the most happiness. Which enlivened and enheartened the soul to a degree of sufficiency that made you the happiest – the most content. How could Saruviel argue with logic like that?
He sat down at the PC, opened up his email hotmail account, typed in the subject ‘Finding a routine’, added a dozen or so close friends from his friends list which he felt might appreciate his ideas, and started typing away. It was a core of Daniel’s truths, but Saruviel wanted to expand on the idea somewhat – to put it in his own words – his own way of life. And, as he sat there, the boredom, or if not that the apathy, seemed to disappear, and he was in a little world of his own, suddenly happy with the typing he was doing, suddenly pleased, and he did not notice the holy spirit creeping up on him, settling upon his heart, and comforting him. And he was a busy little beaver until Ariel and Daniel got home that night and he blabbed on for ages about his newfound wisdom. They were both, suitably, impressed.
* * *
‘I hereby utter a proclamation, throughout all the land, that Arch-Duke Daniel the Magnificent of the Nation of Cherlobyia has been promoted to level of Kaiser.’ Ariel, as officiator in the game of ‘International Risk World Domination Special Edition’, made by Daniel, smiled as Daniel gleamed a little, grinning at Saruviel in the game they were engaged in.
‘I am now Kaiser,’ said Daniel, confidently to Saruviel. ‘Of course, I can attack any time I want, now, as you know. Best ready your defenses.’
Senator Darvanius, the member from Washington, smiled back – he was more ready than Daniel knew.
Saruviel played his standard turn, picked a ‘Bonus Card’ and smiled. Artillery again. He had 7 of those now – bingo. He could respond if Daniel attacked.
‘Declaration of War,’ said Ariel, when Daniel showed his card to her.
Saruviel responded instantly. ‘Nuclear Defense.’
Daniel swore under his breath.
Saruviel showed 7 Artillery cards and the ‘Nuclear Defense Card – 1 of the 1000 cards in the Bonus Deck’ – he had been VERY lucky to get it.
The war lasted that round. 95% of Daniel’s forces were destroyed, and his nation was in chaos.
‘Do you want to surrender?’ Saruviel asked Daniel.
‘We shall fight them on the beaches. We shall fight them in the city and in the country. We shall never surrender,’ he responded in his best Winston Churchill accent. And then he added. ‘Seig Heil. Dah, ve shall surrender. Senator Darvanius has proved his might.’
Later on, when Ariel served Saruviel an extra special dinner, as the victor, he chuckled all throughout the meal, and when they had retired to the loungeroom for the evening, the ancient TV set showing MacGyver, the three of them drinking port as the wild wind howled outside, they were content. Well and truly content.
* * *
The three of them were west of Cooma, out bush, on a farmstead of a friend of Daniel’s, camping. It was dark, and the wild wind was again howling, and rain was not far off. Daniel smiled, put the torch to his face, and started telling a scary story.
‘The old devil was a viscious old soul. Really, quite bloody viscious. He stalked the moors of Yorkshire for many a year, hunting down folk which had gone astray, not heeding warnings of the wolves of the moors, sure to devour your flesh and blood, your very soul if they could. And the devil stalked amongst them, assuming wolf form, ever ready to devour a stray sheep, a lamb if possible. Young David was wondering one afternoon, with his father not far off, and he walked into the moors a little, and then a little more, and then looking at this and that just that little bit more. And then he was lost. He found a bush, hugged himself in the cold, and waited. When you were lost, don’t move – they would find you. That evening it was a wild, wild wind which howled through the moors, and David had not heard the yelling of his name, but the Devil had heard, and he had come a hunting. He found David and said ‘What can you exchange for your soul, boy, for I am about to devour you’. But David was not dense. ‘Devil, I will trade you this gold coin for my soul’, he said, showing a magnificent looking gold coin. The devil agreed to the wager, and David said, faintly, in parting, ‘but beware its curse.’ The devil disappeared, and times came and went, and he spent his coin in hell, and then, as time happens upon all of the angels and demons, he became a man, and was lost in the moors. And then, the devil separated from his father, lost in the moors, was beset by a demon from hell. And the Devil said to the demon, ‘I fear I have nothing to trade for my soul. I don’t really know – it is as if I had a prize, once, but I traded it for grog.’ ‘Then you are mine’, responded the demon, and promptly devoured the devil. Now, the moral to this story is this, don’t go out on the moors on a wild and windy soul, unless you verily have a gold coin to trade for your life.’ And the other two smiled at Daniel’s story.
But later, as Saruviel could not sleep, tossing and turning, he almost heard a howl, he was sure, but dismissed it. But he couldn’t help but feeling that out there, somewhere, an ancient old devil was roaming the wilderness, ever ready to devour a lamb such as himself. Such a sweet and innocent lamb as the dark lord, Saruviel.
* * *
‘That makes you larger than life.’
‘Shut up Mr Paradise,’ responded Saruviel to Daniel’ singing the song which the Backstreet Boys and Daniel and Callodyn’s own band, Paradise, had covered.
‘It features on Hit Machine 27. Track 7,’ said Daniel to Saruviel.
‘So what?’ said Saruviel.
‘Azrael’s favourite CD in that series. Your number.’
‘I think I know that, Danny boy.’
‘Did they ever make a ‘45’ in that series.’
Daniel said nothing. He wasn’t actually sure. ‘Oh, that doesn’t matter, Saruviel. I wanted to bring up Cosadriel and Azrael’s war. On the Old New Testament as Cosadriel calls it and the New New Testament.’
‘Yes. Ironic titles, I think,’ responded Saruviel.
Daniel walked over to the bookcase and picked off the shelf a copy of the Icelandic Reform Lutheran church’s official New Testament of 26 books. ‘Here it is,’ said Daniel, showing it to Saruviel.
‘So you are into it, are you?’ Saruviel asked Daniel.
‘No. I’m a Karaite Noahide. Like Callodyn. But it is the book I accept as the canon of the New Testament for reading purposes.’
‘You don’t like the Revelation?’
‘Revelation is lunacy. The whore Babylon spirit infects it every time you pick it up and seriously read it. It makes you drunk spiritually – you get high on pentecostal spirit which is addicted to the book.’
Saruviel nodded. He’d thought through similar ideas himself in his studies of the work.
‘I always wondered, in the end, if the book was part of the plan of God and had an ultimate fulfilment. These days I feel it was just some vain Christian’s imagination. Perhaps John’s, as it claims, but he never answers those questions. They never do. They keep mum – totally silent on all such queries. The Theophany is neither very illuminating.’
‘Part of the mystery of God,’ responded Daniel.
‘I guess so,’ said Saruviel.
Daniel opened the book and turned to Jude, the 26th book of the New Testament in this version. ‘Of course, God in English numerology also equals 26. Like the 26 books.’
‘Is that why you favour it?’ Saruviel asked him.
‘One of the reasons, yes. Definitely. I also think, honestly, they made up Revelation through their knowledge of the Tanakh. Nothing more than that. I doubt any divine inspiration. I left the book alone a long time ago and feel a lot better because of it. These days I talk with Cosadriel about some ideas in Christian faith, but find excuses to ignore the fundamentalists on the 27 books version. Bloody hate that version, now. It still gives me nightmares. But things are better with the 26 books. It is far more tolerable.’
‘What about the Devil? Apparently the 27 books keep him in check.’
‘Couldn’t care less. I’m a Karaite anyway. I don’t rely on any Christian books when it comes to Satan. But he doesn’t bother me that much anymore anyway. Mainly pestering Adam and Eve. An age long grudge there.’
Saruviel nodded. He was well aware of Satan’s preoccupation with the first man and woman – the source of much humiliation to him personally.
‘So do you read that version much?’ Saruviel asked Daniel about the book in his hand.
‘I keep one on hand. For reference purposes. Ariel is still a Christian for the most part, and we occasionally study this book together to keep the peace between us. She sort of agrees that the ‘26’ version is a bit more tolerable, although she studies the King James version a lot still.’
‘I see,’ said Saruviel. ‘The KJV was the book of my youth. It was my official bible. I never really got used to any other. But that is the Torah – I don’t fuss too much on Torah any more. Other concerns, really.’
‘Which is why you are here with me,’ said Daniel. ‘To get your mind off such things. Cooma, here, on earth, is normal. It is placid, pleasant, away from the Glories of the Seraphim of Eternity. A place to escape, to think normal thoughts, to get down to earth.’
‘You make it sound as if it was all your own idea. Apparently it was God who arranged this, or were you forgetting?’
‘Uh, no. But I am just trying to put your mind at rest, brother, about your other preoccupations. This time together will be good for us. A time to be just ourselves – normal – nothing special. Not even caring about that.’
‘And your overseersmanship.’
‘In the end, I traded that for Arch-Regency. I don’t regret it. Technically, I AM overseer at the moment, but God has sworn me to a million years on earth before he lets me return, so I won’t get much of a crack at it at the end.’
‘I feel for you brother. That could be disappointing.’
‘I shouldn’t really complain in the end,’ responded Daniel. ‘Pride does come before the fall, after all, as they do say.’
‘Too true,’ responded Saruviel under his breath.
Ariel walked into the lounge room, handed both of her brothers hot mugs of coffee from the tray they were on, and put the tray down on the central table of the living room, with the marshmallows on it, and said to them, ‘Come on. Enough with the chat. We have a movie to watch.’
The boys laid down on their couches, while Ariel popped one of the more recent Star Trek movies into the player and, for a while at least, Daniel and Saruviel escaped away with Captain Kirk, fighting aliens, lasers blasting, and having an altogether good time.
* * *
‘It was there, on the dark side of the power, that Lucas Skyhighwalker made his fateful decision. He would return to the light, to choose the ways of the good side, to serve the power of the light, and repent his darkened heart of all the ways of temptation which his father, Anakonda, had led him into.’
Daniel was almost laughing as Saruviel’s tale continued.
‘Yet Anakonda showed up,’ continued Saruviel. Ariel gasped. Daniel feigned surprise.
‘And Anakonda said ‘But you do not know the power of the dark side fully, my son, for you are bet a young apprentice in our conquests of the universe.’
‘But Lucas said ‘I shall serve the Medical Lawrians of universal Justice and Harmony. My degree shall surely vanquish the likes of you, you old fart. And Anakonda did verily draw his power saber and Lucas dreweth his, and they fought. Long and hard did they fight, and Lucas cutteth offeth the armeth of his father Anakonda, and stood over him and says ‘I know there is still good in you.’ And Anakonda sayeth ‘Shoveth it up your arseth.’
Ariel burst out laughing, and Daniel grinned madly, while Saruviel revelled in the telling of his humorous tale, the three of them gathered around the kitchen table on a rainy night, drinking port, and telling funny stories.
Ariel had a tale. ‘There was a little white rabbit. It was the cutest white rabbit in the world, and Alice said to it. ‘Where are you from, little white rabbit? And the rabbit said ‘From Wonderland, Alice. And where is Wonderland? Asked Alice. And the Rabbit pulled out A Times Atlas, referred her to map B12, advised her that there was a concession available for underagers and students, and asked her to say hello to the mad hatter who ran the roller coaster. And Alice thanked him, caught the next bus, and spent the afternoon being chatted up by the 10 of Spades in the Queen of Hearts Court.’
A little later, when they’d had there fill of tales, Daniel had departed for bed, and Ariel was putting some milk with honey into the microwave for Saruviel.
‘Are you happy?’ she asked him.
‘Content,’ he replied soberly. ‘Life here with you and Daniel – it has a, a, a – a pace to it. A far more sedate pace to it. It is like letting go of all my worries and concerns – the drive of Saruviel – and just beingmyself.’
‘As Daniel suggested,’ she said.
‘As Daniel suggested,’ he responded.
They sat around the table into the wee hours, Saruviel sharing some of his lifes stories with her and when they finally retired for the night Saruviel was once again pleased and happy with the quiet peace of consolation which had come to him from his time with his younger brother and sister.
* * * * *
‘Its Deacon Charles. His ordination is tonight at Yarralumla in Canberra.’
‘Oh,’ said Saruviel, wondering what all the fuss was about Daniel and Ariel readying there finest clothes. Deacon Charles was a popular deacon in the Yarralumla Catholic Church, were Daniel and Ariel had visited upon invitation a few times in the last few years. Deacon Charles had met Daniel at the Bridge club in Canberra were Daniel played occasionally, and they had become friends somewhat, discussing theological concepts, and Daniel speaking about the heavenlies in hushed tones, as it was still disputed by some that, despite the long life which the 3 people of 6 Bradley street were enjoying, it was no grand proof that they were angels. The old stories, the stories of the millennium, were still believed as fable by so many people, despite the videos which were still available, things which were often called CGI inventions and conspiracies by various people. Yet God maintained his witness, and the current residency of the 3 Angels of Eternity on Earth was part of his continued plan for mankind.
‘Do you want me to come?’ Saruviel asked them.
Daniel looked at him. ‘I would love it, you know. But I didn’t want to pressure you, or anything. I know you still have concerns over Christian faith, so I didn’t want to put you off in any way. But you are entirely welcome.’
‘I’ll get my suit out,’ responded Saruviel, who headed for his room.
‘In reiteration, my proclamation of my dedication to the restoration of Christian Absolution for Salvation is truly my sound realization of the truth of this, my ordination.’
The church audience burst out in laughter at, the now Father Charles, witty wordplay. It was quite funny. He had spoken for several minutes of his convictions of restoring the sanctity of the Eucharist and the role it played in the Mass of the Catholic faithful, in the pathway of cleansing the body from impurities by making it one with Christ. The theology of the priest was that each component of the mass, coupled with observance of catholic sacrament, ritual and way of life was all linked in the purposes of sanctification for the redemption of the soul, forgiveness of the old life through a committed life of absolution in the churches love for Christ, going from darkness of sin to restoration and forgiveness in the new life, through the whole sacrament of catholic life in general. Yet not just forgiveness from one sin to the next, so he stressed, which was hopping along from one confessional to the next, but a total commitment of the heart for complete forgiveness – for complete absolution – by a complete dedication of ones whole soul, mind, body and spirit to catholic life. Saruviel grasped the ideas immediately.
Later on, the priest was talking with the three of them, and asking questions on Torah, which Saruviel answered well, but not wholeheartedly. He was still sensitive over strong Christian discussion – it still got to him.
‘You claim to be from above,’ said the priest flatly.
‘Our ages should prove interesting ideas of such claims to many. We have been here for a while as people know,’ said Daniel carefully.
‘We try not to interfere,’ said Ariel. ‘It’s not our way. People need to find their own pathway to the eternal. Having it spoon-fed doesn’t really build much faith. Live the life, you know. Living pastors convictions is interesting, but it doesn’t make for the kind of spiritual strength needed with the hurly-burly life throws at you.’
‘A true protestant doctrine,’ smiled the priest.
‘Quite probably,’ remarked Daniel softly, yet the priest noticed the comment.
‘Father. We would love you to visit us some time in the future. For a dinner. Your choosing a time would be fine by us. You could let us know via email.’
The priest was momentarily distracted by the bishop who was summoning him, and then turned to Ariel.
‘Ariel. It has been wonderful. We must meet again.’
Saruviel nodded at the priest and Daniel smiled, as the two of them dragged Ariel away, back to the car, and suggested KFC.
‘You didn’t like him, did you?’ she asked Saruviel.
‘He’s young,’ responded the angel. ‘He’ll learn.’
‘They inevitably do,’ said Daniel, his eyes on the road ahead.
She looked at them both, and referred her mind to some ancient Lady Seraphim teaching on male pride.
‘Of course, infallible doctrine is the gift of only those most gifted of the male angels, is it not dear Saruviel.’ Her toffee nosed accent brought a little grin to the corner of Saruviel’s mouth.
‘Ah, give the devil a break,’ said Daniel. ‘He is, after all, the dark lord Saruviel,’ he said somewhat menacingly.
Ariel softened. ‘Dark lord indeed,’ she said with soft humour. Both male angels chuckled.
* * * * *
Ariel was in the kitchen, cooking gingerbread men.
‘The good thing about gingerbread men,’ began Saruviel, licking the spoon of the leftover gingerbread pastry, ‘Is that they not only taste good, but have a practical use as well.’
Daniel, who was whipping the cream, looked at his brother. ‘Go on then, what use?’
‘Firstly, made in the image of man, they are the rulers of all other food products. For example, they command the cupcakes, they give orders to the chocolate cakes, and direct the lemonade on all their divine responsibilities.’
‘Mmm. And what are those responsibilities?’ queried Ariel.
‘Why, successful digestion by all the child party guests,’ responded Saruviel.
‘Do they make any other rules?’ asked Daniel.
‘Oh yes,’ responded Saruviel. ‘They order angels such as Daniel not to indulge in all the cream before his dread brother Saruviel gets an opportunity.’
Ariel looked into the oven. ‘Is that right dear gingerbread men? Daniel shouldn’t steal all the cream?’
The gingerbread men stared back at her, and she nodded going ‘Mmm, mmm.’
She turned to her brothers. ‘They made mention that if Saruviel wasn’t so lazy he would whip his own cream, as the early bird always catches the worm.’
Daniel smiled, put his finger into the cream, took out a big dollop, swallowed it all, and just grinned at his older brother.
The look on Saruviel’s face summed it all up.
Daniel was in his Den. The Lion’s Den as he liked to call it. He was looking at some pictures of Saruviel and Ariel and himself from recent years. They’d had some good times. Some good adventures. Of course, they had a fair while yet to remain on earth, the full million years God requiring of them to learn some lessons on life which he would put upon their minds and hearts to work through, so Daniel had a note pad and was writing down some old issues of his which, perhaps, had never really been properly resolved, and sitting there, listening to Mozart play softly, he disappeared into old memories, old encounters, old wars of the soul and spirit, and contemplated things which should perhaps, now, in the glory finally achieved as Arch Regent of the Realm of Eternity, be considered.
He sat there, content and happy, going through his allotted tasks of the soul, and the wind blew outside the house of 6 Bradley street in Cooma, another hazy day passing on and by, another hazy day of life, pretty much, in general.
* * * * *
A quiet afternoon, at 6 Bradley Street, remembering. Him and Callodyn lived here, together, for a while. Him and his brother. They had been a family, once, with Mary and Cyril and himself and Callodyn, the 4 of them living together at home, in the post judgement day world. They had not been there forever. For, while the world had long accepted the realities of heaven, as the escapades of Judgement Day made all these truths quite apparent, newborns inevitably came forth, who did not have that knowledge, and doubted those truths and, as mankind reached for the stars, God eventually withdrew, in his traditional way, in his ancient way, from the heart of man, to leave him once more searching for the divine, once more questioning wether all of those tales were nothing more than fantasies of a deluded mind. Just the way God liked it - for he sought faith from his children.
But he had lived at 6 Bradley street for quite some time, visited often by his brother David. David, his brother Ambriel, the two of them so close, so affectionate with each other for so long. How could he ever live without Amby Wamby?
He sat there, in the back yard, which had been recrafted to its original state, when the Theophany waltzed in. 'Daniel. I'll tell you this now. You won't remember when I am gone, but it will be in your spirit, for a reason.'
Daniel nodded, and as God sat down next to him on the outdoor seats, sipped on some lemonade, and looked at the back yard, memories from his spirit going through his mind, memories of the Daly family from the 1980s, and a young Callodyn's adventures with his brothers and sisters, God picked a bible out of his knapsack and handed it to Daniel. It was an old Good News Bible from the 1990s of the Christian calendar, the one with the Deuterocanonicals as well as the extra books, such as 2 Esdras.
'It was a popular bible, son. Many people believed in the extra books, in innocence, as scripture. Most of them were educated on that later on in life, but there were many believers, innocent ones who didn't know much, who accepted ideas from those extra books for a while.'
Daniel nodded. 'Yes. I could imagine they would.'
'Its my word because of it,' said the Theophany, sipping on his lemonade, looking at the back yard.'
'Right,' said Daniel, picking up the bible and flicking to 2 Esdras chapter 7. '400 years of his reign, huh, and then Judgement Day. So who is this fellow?'
'Well, its not King David himself. Its not Jesus of Nazareth. And its not David Rothchild. Its someone else. His name appears more than once in the Tanakh. See if you can work it out.'
A revelation hit Daniel's mind. 'Zerubbabel, right? Callodyn mentioned him once. Said he was the proper fulfilment of Isaiah 11.'
God smiled. 'The prophecy is to be fulfilled in the latter days. Towards the end of mankind and the earths service. Towards the time when I bring the blessings of the 'World to Come' to those who have chosen salvation.'
'Isn't that all fulfilled?' Daniel asked.
'Not in the way I want it. Not with my own justification of my elect and rejection of those who have disdained my ways. It is not until all the prophecies and all the time, times and half a times are fulfilled, and sevenfold blessings and sevenfold cursings, and the word complete - until all is done, and the word, again, purified seven times over, that I will fulfill these things.'
'Was that Psalm 12 you were quoting?' asked the knowledgeable Daniel.
God smiled again. 'So do your research son, and don't be so quick to assume things in the future. Now this conversation never happened, but your spirit will act upon my words naturally. Good luck.'
'Uh, thanks,' responded the Seraphim. And as soon as God had been there, he was gone, gone off to his adventures, gone off to the life of the most high.
* * *
Saruviel studied Torah. Of all the things that Alexander Darvanius II was famous for, the 7th Archangel of the Realm of Eternity had become famous for his knowledge of Torah - both human and divine. Yet, from other perspectives, it was a Torah he was intimate with in terms of knowledge. He knew it. He did not, however, always obey it. That was the sticking point with the Theophany of God. Saruviel knew it all. He did not always, though, act accordingly.
Daniel, one morning at 6 Bradley street, a covering of snow on the ground outside, which happened once or twice a year on average in this region of the monaro, not far from the alpine country, having just returned from one of the coffee shops on sharp street, loaded with a dozen lattes of various kinds, freshly made cinnamon donuts, and a whole assortment of the finest sandwiches the delis made, sat down with Ariel and Saruviel in the back yard, the sunlight gradually warming the day, and turned to Saruvie, who was enjoying his vanillalatte, and said. 'Do you know the word of God?' It was a question just recently imparted into his spirit, from a source he would not remember, but which knew him all too well.
'Of course I do, you idiot,' said Alexander mockingly, and sipped again on his latte.
'The question is, do you know it as well as you claim?' asked Ariel.
Daniel said nothing.
They ate their donuts, and enjoyed the morning, when Daniel spoke again. 'The Seraphim Torah. That is the word of God. It has - principles - within its teaching.'
'I do know,' responded Alexander, enjoying his donut.
'Principles which require a code of behaviour,' finished Daniel.
'Very funny,' said Saruviel, having an idea were this conversation might be heading.
'Do you always comply?' asked Ariel, in Saruviel's defense.
'No,' said Daniel. 'My theology, in God's mercy, is that we don't always have to be absolutely perfect. We need the grease to oil the machine.'
'Exactly,' said Saruviel, feeling somewhat justified about his liberal use of grease.
'Yet, not too much grease, or the machine becomes clogged.'
'Fair point,' said Ariel, looking at Saruviel's reaction.
'Ok, ok, I bloody admit it. I'm older now, Danny. I care a hell of a lot more about the feelings of my brethren, for I have indeed learned empathy, and I know about comfort zones and about matters of the heart and sensitivities and so on. God has sent me many a moral lesson in life examples over the millions that I get the point ok. I probably pushed it just a little too much to start with.'
'Probably?' queried Daniel smiling.
Saruviel just grinned.
'To be fair, in Alexanders defense, we are NOT born with a lifetimes wisdom, a lifetimes ACCUMULATED experiences. We need to learn, dear twin brother of mine.'
'Yet, perhaps, sensitivity to our elders, those appointed to watch over us, could guide us on making wiser decisions in our tempestuous youths.'
'Michael is a dingbat,' said Saruviel, munching down his donut.
'Who cares for you greatly,' responded Ariel, continuing Daniel's thread.
'Yes. Yes, I know firstborn has a big heart. He has no - no - adventure. No daring. He is so bloody formal.'
'Which is necessary for his position of responsibility. I mean, if we had you in charge....' she left off, which brought wry smiles from both Daniel and Saruviel.
'World War III I think,' said Daniel, munching down a donut.
'Shaddup,' said Saruviel embarassed.
The three of them laughed.
'So the Word of God is to be obeyed, I take it,' responded Saruviel. 'That is the philosophy of the 45th of the Archangels?'
'Ooh, an Archangel,' said Ariel. 'You don't get called one of those very much.'
'No,' said Daniel, looking at her. He turned to Saruviel. 'The word of God makes its own claims about the purposes it serves. There is both obedience and liberty principles contained within its teaching as a whole - justice and mercy. We need both, and the grease makes it easier to get by in life, but too much of that and we get way too fat. Kapiche?'
'Kapiche,' responded Saruviel, munching down, guiltily, one last donut.
They sat there, that morning, enjoying the sun on a winters day, and when they eventually got to their days activities, Daniel working on a jigsaw all afternoon, he thought on Saruviel, and his struggles in life, and prayed a short prayer to God that, in the end, as time continued on in their eternal existences, his older brother would indeed not indulge in too much grease, to put it bluntly, and become the angel and child of God, in all the glory of such a role, that he was meant to have.
* * *
Daniel kissed Ariel, put on his sunglasses, and started down the slope. He was up high on the ski slopes at Perisher, gliding down the mount, and came to a stop, took off his glasses, and looked at the sun rising in the east. They were up early that morning, the three of them, on their long weekend getaway. Saruviel had suggested the idea, and they had come up, the first time in decades, and had been having a wonderful time. Looking at the sun in the distance, the cold air making him still shiver a bit, despite his warm clothing, he felt - alive. Like a jolt of youth reinjected into his blood, streaming through his veins, reminding him of early years in Australia, when you were not so cautious about everything - not so 'safe' - more willing to live a little and see were the mood took you. The colours were brilliant in the sky, gold and scarlett intermixed, so a stormy day was perhaps in the offering. Ariel passed him, then Saruviel, but he stayed there, enjoying the thrill of the chill, enjoying his youth.
Thoughts came to him: a reflection from the gold sky, the golden parts of life, the glowing and joy-filled loving parts, when the mood was high and the endorphins flowed, and you felt a million bucks. Life had been hard in youth. Like his brother Callodyn he'd been in dark moods in his tweens, but never the full-fledged depression like Call. As he had gotten older, decade by decade, things improved, but the golden moments were rare. Very rare. He looked there, at the golden skies, and prayed, from his heart, that God would show him that gold, that he would find in his own spirit the joy and peace he still knew he needed. That he eternally needed.
And then thunder exploded in a bang, the rains started, and as he met the other two, they came into the centre, sat down at the cafe, ordered croissants and hot chocolate, and chatted away the morning, spirits high despite the rain, and Daniel, not knowing it, felt snug inside, secure and content. And the chocolate croissants were yummy.
* * *
'And the dark shadow stood in front of lord glorious and uttered those immortal words 'I'll see you in hell, kemosabe', and jumped out of the rear of the plane, plummeting to his certain death.'
Daniel and Ariel laughed heartily, and Saruviel flicked the torch, which had been illuminating his face in the ghostly tellings of his dark tales to the two angels in the front room of 6 Bradley street.
'Tell us another one,' asked Ariel.
'Another dark shadow tale,' requested Daniel.
So, as the evening passed, the stormy days since returning from Perisher continuing, Saruviel unleashed more of his fertile creativity, keeping the pair entertained well into the wee hours.
In the morning Daniel was in a good mood, and when Alexander got home, sitting in the back verandah, the rain still pouring, munching down their donuts and sipping their lattes, Daniel spoke up. 'Your a lot like the Dark Shadow, Alexander.'
'Very funny', said Saruviel.
'No, seriously. Go with me on this,'
They both looked at him.
'Firstly, your fates are ironically similar.'
'True,' agreed Saruviel.
'Secondly, you both have the same very bad sense of humour.'
'Guilty as charged,' responded Alexander.
'And, finally, lord glorious always comes out on top.'
'Don't I know it,' responded Saruviel.
'But you don't drive a secondhand Batmobile,' said Ariel.
'Nor wear tights,' said Daniel.
'Not yet anyway,' said Saruviel smartly, which brought forth laughter from the other two.
'Yet Alexander, I think,' said Ariel, reaching out and playing with a loop of his hair, 'does have his redeeming qualities.'
'Unlike the dark shadow?' queried Saruviel.
'Just his one liners,' said Daniel, picking up a caramel iced donut.
'And his ever so dramatic personality,' smiled Ariel.
'I'll be sure to tell him that,' replied Saruviel, and they each grinned happily.
* * *
'Mmm,' said Saruviel. 'I think I know a few.'
'Out with them then.'
'Maybe,' said Daniel.
'Right. Reiteration. Proclamation. Dedication. Harmonization. Restoration. Completion. Purification and Purgation?'
'Purgation?' asked Daniel, eyebrow raised.
'Going on,' responded Saruviel, taking the proposed word for granted. 'Absolution, Salvation, Trepidation. Fornication. Damnation. Vacation. Termination. Vindication. Recreation. Instruction. Cogitation.Eradication. Globalization. Supernation.'
'Supernation?' gasped Ariel. 'That's a new one.'
'USA,' responded Saruviel. 'Its one hell of a supernation.'
'Go on,' said Daniel, half a mind to consult the dictionary on the last offering.
'Right. Recreation. Libation. Ablution. Solution. Realization. Reincarnation. Mediation. Ordination and, finally, finalization.'
'Very funny,' said Daniel.
'I'll offer some,' said Ariel.
'Go ahead,' said Daniel.
'Ok. Centralization. Operation. Syndication. Variation and, my favourite, masturbation.'
'One of the essentials,' commented Saruviel, and Daniel raised his eyebrow again.
'Introduction. Education & Navigation, and, well, that's all.'
'I'll finish it up to 45,' said Daniel.
'You would,' said Saruviel.
'Here goes. Orientation. Indication. Uh,'
'Oooh, he stutters' said Saruviel. 'And the time is ticking.
'Yeh, you know what you need,,' said Daniel.
'What?' defied Saruviel.
'Taxation,' said Daniel smartly,' and Saruviel grinned.
'So, finishing off. We have, uh, Penultimation.'
'Can he get the last one?' queried Saruviel rhetorically.'
'Of course I can. It will be a marvellous culmination to our little escapade.'
The group laughed as they completed a host of 'tion' suffixed words Daniel had challenged Saruviel to produce. A happy escape for the afternoon, as they continued on their long Cooma holidays.'
* * *
'What was Moses Hebrew name?'
'That's not a question,' said Ariel earnestly. 'I have played this game millions of times.'
'Heh, heh. 'Do you know, then. The questions are too easy now.'
'Mmm. Amram or Kohath, probably. I think I might have heard it mentioned once vaguely.'
'He has a Hebrew name?' queried Saruviel.
'I think so,' said Daniel. 'I might have asked him once, but the answer was vague. I think he said something about one of his grandfather's name might have been used on him, but he was smiling sarcastically at the time. He might have been humouring me. I really don't know for sure.'
'Oh, right. That's right. He was with his mother a little bit before Pharoahs daughter. I suppose they may have named him.'
'I assume they did,' said Daniel.
'Initially, I was just thinking it was like asking what Jesus' surname is. Sort of a stupid question in many ways.'
'Not really. Bar Yosef,' said Daniel smiling.
'Very funny,' said Alexander. 'But seriously, its not the kind of question you would normally ask. His name is 'Moses.''
'Which is egyptian for 'drawn from water.'
'So it is,' said Saruviel.
They continued on playing the bible game of trivial pursuit they had purchased recently, Ariel eventually triumphing, and later that afternoon, working on yet another jigsaw he had purchased, Daniel wondered just what Moses real name, if he had one, actually was. 'Probably Levi, really. Or maybe even Jacob. Who knows. Maybe Abraham. The father of the law surely had some great impressive hebrewmoniker. Yet if it was Amram or Kohath or some other name, then that is what it was. Yet, in reality, he supposed, he was always known as Moses, so that is probably what he always would be known as. Or Moshe, in their own language.
* * *
'The Dark Pathways of True Salvation'
By Alexander Darvanius II
"The Dark. It has an allure to it, doesn't it. Its temptation its its strength. Its power to grant you those carnal wishes you want, without any consequences. Apparently. I am the angel 'Radlokiel'. I have a story to tell you. About a life - my life - caught betwixt heaven and hell, one lost soul, for which a wager between heaven and hell took place, my salvation the glory of the result. It is all about the Dark Pathways of True Salvation, and it begins - NOW:'"
Daniel left off reading. 'It sounds intense. What's it about.'
'The title says it all,' says Saruviel. 'Redemption of a fallen angel. The HARD way.'
'A way so many of us have to learn firsthand, huh.'
Saruviel nodded grimly in agreement.
Saruviel didn't normally write a great deal, but he had a brain, and a life, with copyright knowledge reserved to him by God in his plans with his children from the dawn of creation, the earliest children granted such luxuries. Saruviel had used little of his copyrighted information so far, slowly pacing himself, quite apparently. Slowly taking his time to produce his masterworks.
'Is there a Radlokiel?' queried Ariel, looking up from her knitting.
Saruviel remained silent, for once.
Daniel looked at his brother. 'Yes, Ariel. There is a Radlokiel. Its quite a story, really. And much about the dark pathways of true salvation in its own right. He is one of the Cherubim. He had encounters with Saruviel once, in the old days. At the beginning.'
'Oh,' she said, surprised. 'But I can't remember half their names, anyway. There are so many of them.'
'One million four hundred thousand cherubim to be precise,' said Saruviel. Seven hundred thousand males and females each.'
'That's right,' said Daniel. 'And a heck of a lot of offspring now.'
'So what's so special about Radlokiel?' queried Ariel.
Daniel looked at Saruviel. 'I think, Ariel, while this story appears to be fiction, there is a great deal of knowledge and experience about the real Radlokiel which just might appear in this text. Am I right, Alexander?'
'Tell me about Radlokiel,' said Ariel.
Saruviel began. 'I tempted, I suppose, Radlokiel to the dark. Oh, there never was any arrangement for his salvation, which is just all story telling, but our brother, in his human destiny, some time after the judgement day, was quite a world power in his own right. He was Hungarian, some Rothchild in him as well, through a 'Papp' family, an Hungarian family. He was a president, or something like that, of Hungary for a while, and he sought world rulership for Hungary through cunning deceits and trickeries. Oh, nothing spectactularly evil as such, but very much on the dark side of ethics, if you will, and very improper. He would manipulate others to contracts and deals for Hungaries glory, and brag constantly about his nations successes, and the active promotion of Hungarian language schemes through classing Hungarian novels was a major focuse, as well as the movies, especially vampire ones, that he really believed Hungarian would take over from the dominant English if he persisted. It never happened, of course.
Anyway, he took the ideas of freedom and sovereignty - chasing your own destiny - to the extreme. To rule, rather than be ruled. He really did receive quite a pasting from the Theophany when he got home. I was there to witness the judgement, as Father wanted me to know what I had sowed from my reaping.'
'And your novel?' she queried.
'Radlokiel's redemption,' replied Saruviel. 'God will get some first printings, and so wil Radlokiel. Of course, I'll let you guys have some as well.'
'Sounds awesome,' said Daniel.
'Thank you,' replied Ariel.
'Think nothing of it,' returned Saruviel, who looked at the screen on his laptop, thinking about how he would develop the next few chapters.
* * * * *
'Well, its time for the Realm of Eternity and Overseersmanship son,' said Wolfgang.
'I'm depressed,' said Daniel. 'Get Valandriel to do it.'
'Quitting are we?' inquired God.
'I'll be there next week,' replied Daniel instantly.
'No pinching Meludiel's bottom,' said God.
'I'll keep it to a minimum,' replied Daniel.
'No scheming,' said God.
'Plans will be downplayed 45% replied Daniel.
'And no teasing Michael about past misfortunes,' said God. Daniel only chuckled on that one.
Soon enough Daniel the Seraphim, with Saruviel seated on one side, and Ariel on the other, were on a flight to Zaphora. 'The big smoke,' said Daniel. 'I wonder what its like?'
'Your an idiot,' said Ariel.
'I concur,' replied Saruviel.
'Do you think it has skyscrapers? I've heard lots about them,' said Daniel.
'We've created an imbecile,' said Saruviel.
'No, not really. God did a good enough job of that already.'
'I hope they have McDonalds there,' said Daniel. 'I could use a burger.'
'You are a burger,' said Saruviel.
'I concur,' replied Ariel.
'Mmm, burgers,' said Daniel.
He looked at the executive toilet key. 'Time for a shit I guess,' said Daniel.
Coming out when he was finished. 'Well that was an experience. Like defacating on the throne of God. Quite a memory.'
Valandriel looked at his buddy as he came back. 'Mmm. Did you enjoy your first royal crap?'
'It was memorable,' said Daniel. 'But seeing your face brings it all back.'
Valandriel actually chuckled on that one.
'Now, business time,' said Valandriel. 'I'm in charge, ok. Your official mentor in this position. Karanasius can have a holiday. We have business to occupy ourselves with, and fame for the taking. Great opportunities to pursue our ultimate ambitions.'
'Yes Prime Minister,' replied Daniel sarcastically.
'Now listen, your highness,' replied Valandriel. 'My rep is solid. They still talk about my tenure as reliable, honest and stable. Just what we needed. But I'm the straight guy and you are comic relief, so no fucking up on our consistency. Remember the rule – it is all fun and games till somebody loses an eye. We push it – sometimes to the edge – but we don't jump off, and we keep it all under control, tidy up the mess when we're finished, and make sure people write up the occasion in their heart as one of those days to never forget. You get the picture. We've been doing this shit long enough.'
'Yes kemosabe,' replied Daniel.
'So the Jehovah Document Part two will be now utilized, and we'll get to our plans. Like our heavenly father teaches us, make plans, stick with them, and you'll get your glory in the end.'
'Yes kemosabe,' said Daniel, as he clicked onto a porn website.
'For fuck's sake,' said Valandriel, looking at the screen. It was going to be one of those days.
* * * * *
Ariel was at rest. Daniel her twin was overseer? Could she imagine anything worse? Probably not. But even the Devil finally had his day, as every dog does. She was in Danielphon, lying on a Divan in the back lounge, at the end of Danielphon, which had a small bookcase in it, filled with extreme rarities. Printings, usually firsts, which were print runs of nothing over 1000. And very old. Some of the most valuable collections in creation. But Daniel was like that, wasn't he. He collected things. Lots and lots and lots of things. Got it, most likely, from cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, who she suspected to be his physical grandfather from Earth days but nothing was ever proven, and she kept that hypothesis to herself. That was the three Daniel Daly's. Collectors. They all liked DC Comics. Raved on about Blue Beetle all three of them, and had a thing for Australian 5 cent pieces and $200 coins. The extremities. Movies? They owned a trillion of them on DVD. Books? Her twin had libraries and archived hidden around the traps everywhere. Plush toys also, and coins and stamps in general. Oodles of such things. But artwork? The finer things in life? Not on your life. They were media junkies, modern culture, and didn't really care for traditional posher antique stylings. It just wasn't their scene. 20th Century late, and beyond, except for things like books and coins and stamps, which could be older. But true antiques, genuinely desirable things, they didn't give a damn about. It really wasn't them. This didn't bother Ariel that much in the end. She'd gotten used to it. She was something of a modern collector also, but appreciated the finer things in life. But would Daniel ever take her to the theatre? He would rather do MacDonalds, and hang around an arcade parlour. No real culture in the lad. Still, that was the way he was, and she'd accepted him despite thinking she really should know better. But he did like classical music, and that was a passion they shared. It had been nice in Cooma all those years, but they were back home now, and she was settling in, and Daniel said he'd likely need her soon enough for things involving his overseersmanship of the Realm. Desdrael had been called up again, for higher duties in the famed 'Team Yellow' and they were going to focus on 'Gettin' the Glory' as they sometimes put it. Typical of them. Schemers. She laughed, as did Meludiel, on their constant antics, but she would admit in the end it only endeared her to him. She loved the devil despite herself. Yes, these would be crazy times, and she anticipated him coming through the door any moment, covered in shit, and saying he had a job for her to do. She laughed at that thought, and stretched out on the divan, picked up her book, and continued reading about the adventures of a robot who was looking for a human heart.
* * * * *
'So,' began Desdrael. 'What's the plan for Team Yellow?'
'To shoot you,' replied Valandriel sarcastically.
'And bury you were nobody will find you,' smiled Daniel.
'Very funny schmucks,' replied the Seraphim Prince of Luxembourg.
'Schmucks!' said Valandriel. 'He thinks he's in the big league now.'
'You guys give me no respect,' replied Desdrael.
'Ok. Fine,' said Daniel. He clicked his mouse a few times, brought up a document, hit print, and soon a 4 page document showed up on the printer. He handed it to Desdrael. 'Read it and sign it.'
Desdrael looked at it. 'The DanValDes Protocols. Oh. How long have you had this?'
'Aeons,' replied Daniel. 'So read it, sign it, and we'll talk business tonight at dinner.'
Valandriel looked at his younger brother. 'You've probably matured enough now. It's taken a while for you. But remember. Team Yellow only comes out on special occasions. We keep you as a reserve.'
'Fine,' said Desdrael, flicking through the document.
'Oh, and get a nice suit. And a range of decent ties. Your selection is an abomination bro,' said Daniel.
'Well, here we are,' said Valandriel. 'The overseer of Zaphon. The Jehovah Document has been re-read, and we have had our thinking time. Ideas?'
'No Cola Wars 2. No Chocolat Wars 2,' said Daniel. 'The Trilogy needs to be completed though.'
'Fascinating,' replied Valandriel. 'And what is the subject of our economic agenda?'
'Tea,' said Daniel.
'Tea?' queried Desdrael. 'That could have possibilities.'
'Universally popular,' said Daniel. 'And there are many brews to choose from, and blends we can work out.
'The Tea wars it is,' said Valandriel.
'I've emailed Cheri Keaggy,' said Daniel. 'Susan Ashton is the appointed judge at this time.'
'Susan,' said Valandriel. 'That could prove interesting. We'll have to mind ourselves. She's not as domineering, but the mockery from her maturity could get intense.'
'True,' replied Daniel. 'So we'll study the lady somewhat, and try to get on her good side.'
'Where will the competition come from?' asked Desdrael.
'Probably Gandel's cronies this time. What do you expect from India after all? But I think Sosteriel and Co might be major players also. Mikes dykes probably don't care at this stage, but we can't rule them out either. We'll keep our eye on all the players though.'
'I like tea,' said Desdrael. 'Especially the herbal types. Ginseng and so on.'
Valandriel looked at Daniel, who looked at Desdrael. 'Herbal? Health stuff?'
'All sorts of teas. But you knew that of course.'
'Yes. But, well, well I suppose that is tea. I was concentrating on the traditional tea leaves, but expansion to similar products is probably ok. Good idea actually. Gives us more room to work with,' said Daniel. He looked at his brother. 'You read that, dress up, and meet us at Luigis downtown at 9. We'll discuss initial ideas. And this time, IT'S WAR!' said Daniel.
'Don't we know it,' replied Desdrael, and looked at the DanValDes document, put it in his briefcase, and excused himself, heading home to shower and change, ready for a new night with Team Yellow, and a happy time of love, war and all things chaotic.
Daniel and Valandriel were havin a chat.
'So,' began Daniel. 'Paedophilia. How do we define it?'
Valandriel continued staring at the '13 Year Old Hotties' porn magazine, and looked up at his brother. 'As liberally as possible motherfucker.'
'Very funny,' replied Daniel. 'I suggest the age of puberty, as long established in ANM tradition and law remain the case. How doth thou answer, mind of incredible shallowness and insignificant understanding.'
'You bedazzle me with your superficial attempt at cognitively based conversation, being of miniscule charm and sophistication,' replied Valandriel.
'I should Ostracize you from the DanVal agenda,' replied Daniel. 'You have become to base in your carnal fixations as of late. Our reputation has been lowered in the esteem of the Christian establishment. It has been suggested that the police force monitor our activities. We are apparently paedophiles, and this issue needs to be addressed.'
'We're legal,' replied Valandriel. 'There is no fixed law in the Rainbow Torah to judge us either way. The ANM has given its judgment, we abide by that principle. They have nothing on us. They can argue any legal code of any nation they want, and we do our best to abide by civic law to get along, but we are a legally registered religion of the Realm of Eternity with our own legal rights which conform to the core laws and rules and Torah of the Realm. Tell them to fuck themselves and burn in hell. Unnatural abominations of so called superior holiness. They all suck.'
'I guess I concur,' agreed Daniel. 'We don't have any right to interfere with God's defined natural code of human behaviour for mating processes. The female body is capable of bearing children after her first period. There is no reasonable argument which can deny a female human this right. Protective fathers, fussy mothers, deeply offended grandparents, etcetera etcetera etcetera, do not really matter when it comes to a woman's legal right to have a child at this age and thus her legal and moral right to get married at this age if she so chooses. And for males, puberty also, when the phallus starts growing and gets to the point when it can physically engage in sexual intercourse with a woman, that is the biological, natural and moral age a male can have mairtal relations and practice sexual intercourse. These are facts of nature.'
'And we defend that, and maintain it eternally for those biological rules are immutable laws of God's creation, as is the rainbow an immutable sign of God's holy covenant with mankind,' replied Valandriel.
'You have a quota of imbecility points,' replied Daniel. 'And you spend them regularly. A collective of morons or idiots from the deep recesses of pentecostal fundamentalism, of which there abounds plethoras beyond reckoning, would have a difficult time in spending as many points in their ludicrous shenanigan's as yourself but, I do declare, on this rarest of occasions you have displayed that quality and characteristic so lacking in your name, that of a thought of intelligence, that I must congratulate you for your fine display of eloquative and illuminating discourse.'
Valandriel held up the centrespread of a 13 year old redhead bearing her glory to the world.
'You are crude,' stated Daniel. Valandriel did not disagree.
* * * * *
'Next subject,' said Daniel. 'Technically there is no clear rule or law in the Rainbow Torah forbidding theft. Does that mean we can take stuff from others and use it. If we have no rule of ownership then we can take whatever we want from the world by simply taking it. Is there some sort of natural right of ownership in the world?'
'I remember a video on the subject by Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly,' replied Valandriel. 'Adam and Eve were clothed by God after they found they were naked. It appeared that those clothes were given to Adam and Eve. It seems they definitely have moral rights from God to use those clothes. If ownership has no specific mandate in the Rainbow Torah there is definitely a right of usage for items given to you.'
'Yes. Yes, that much is acceptable,' replied Daniel. 'I would put forward that if a person has a genuine affection, use and desire for an object, and if it has been given to them, they have a moral right to retain use of that item on an enduring basis. If they need the item or like the item or like having it in their life, then they certainly have moral rights to use that item and have it in their personal possession.'
'I think so,' agreed Valandriel. 'People can buy things at the marketplace. There are numerous copies of various products which have proved popular available for sale. There is also the capability in production for further copies of this product to be manufactured. People have the ability through legal purchase to obtain goods they desire. Well, wouldn't we agree that gives them natural rights of possession and ownership of the items they acquire through legal purchase, as other copies of these goods are available for other people to purchase legally. And further manufactured copies of these products can be made at any time.'
'Yes. Yes, those are facts. Thus we have a legal and moral right to eternally retain ownership of products we have purchased legally. We don't really have to share these items at all because any human can legally purchase their own copies of these goods. Thus, in this logic, we have the right to have our goods protected from being stolen. That appears to be moral and normal judgement. There is a basis in the Rainbow Torah for the foundation of the idea. We will stick with that,' said Daniel.
'What of rare items which are first printings?' asked Valandriel.
'Well all I really can think is that the early bird catches the worm, and tough titties, mate. Pay for a first printing at the auction house, or settle for a second or third or whatever the case may be,' replied Daniel.
'What of rare variant covers, which DC don't make anymore?' asked Valandriel. 'Wonder Woman comics for example with a 1 to 100 ratio supply. Or is that for every 100 issues of the standard issue they make 1 of the special issue.'
'Something like that,' replied Daniel. 'Look, DC's rights of ownership on the art remain the case till public domain time on the work. Tough titties till then, unless DC do second prints on the cover. They are not legally required to do so, so such is life. Your a collector, you want the issue with the variant cover, go searching online or at conventions, look for a website where offers can be made, make an offer for the issue, and if you can't get it, tough shit. You still have no reasonable rights to nick the comic at all, because the owner has purchased it first legally, and they have the firstborn rights to retain ownership of the item.'
'Yep. They have made their claim on the item first of all. And if they have bought it legally from someone else they have the current rights of ownership on the item. So its tough, you'll have to satisfy yourself with a regular issue, or enjoy the trade paperbacks if you need the story and the regular issue is sold out. The art is available online anyway, so such is life,' finished Valandriel.
'I concur, buster,' replied Daniel, and that was the issues resolved for the moment.
* * * * *
‘It is more of an issue that they fear sarcasm,’ replied Daniel. ‘They fear humility. They fear facing the wrath of the elite in being called uncool The elite in the classroom use words like ‘dork’ and ‘nerd’ and ‘wimp’ to put people in the place they like to put them. And the classification of humorous people as something not to be desired is based on a motivation to gain ultimate control of groups with differing doctrine, which they intend to control and manipulate for their own purposes and self justifications,’ said Daniel.
‘Exactly,’ replied Valandriel.
‘They have made assumptions. That we want to accept their spirit of ‘Love’ and that we want to get along. We do want to get along but NOT by accepting their viewpoints. It is a battle of wills and spirit, and the ValDan agenda is comfortable with its own conception of coolness and life, and the spirit which attempts to belittle us can fuck itself. I don’t need its justification. I don’t want its justification. I don’t want its approval. I don’t care about what it has to say. It can fuck its mother some more. It can keep its own version of stability and a steady life, which is just bland and boring to me in the end, with no spiritual vibrancy or genuine excitement of heart. The actual action they delight in is a good murder, as my mum once put it. They celebrate violence as the solution to their problems. Bullying, intimidation, oppression. And then they tell you to grow up because they are the toughest cop on the block or the last man standing. It is a game of rivalries and braggins, started by Abram, and it never works out, and I don’t want it, no thanks, no way, fuck off Jew, fuck off Christian, fuck off muslim, fuck off Bahai. Don’t want your religions. Don’t want your fruit. Don’t want your spirit. You suck. No thanks.’
‘Amen,’ replied Valandriel, and the issue was settled.
* * * * *
Daniel was sitting with Ariel, his twin, in Zaphon cafeteria, eating langwah for lunch with vegetables and melit water.
‘My, a rather traditional meal today,’ commented Ariel, flicking through an issue of Vogue magazine.
‘I’m a rather traditional guy,’ replied Daniel. ‘Master of wisdom, lord of adaptability, prince of eternal truth.’
‘Prince of eternal truth?’ queried Ariel. ‘What valiant truths do you represent then?’
‘My own contributions alongside Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly in the Rainbow Bibles and the Chronicles of the Children of Destiny will surely stand the test of eternity. A body of divine truth which is timeless, eternal, and indeed wise,’ said Daniel.
‘And indeed humble,’ replied Ariel.
‘Its greatest quality,’ replied Daniel, with great sincerity.
‘Doth thou earneth a good income from the said masterpieces?’ queried Ariel, looking through her magazine.
‘There are pies for sale in India. And there is tea for sale in China. And the price of that tea in China has always been a concern,’ replied Daniel.
‘What’s that got to do with it?’ asked Ariel, slightly confused.
Daniel smiled, but refrained from commenting any further. ‘Myself and Valandriel will be doing work in the Overseers office for the next few weeks. A visit from Ariel with a picnic basket would be nice,’ said Daniel.
‘I’ll think about it,’ replied Ariel.
Daniel continued on with his meal. The luncheon period came to an end. He kissed Ariel on the cheek, and got back to his work. Life went on.
* * * * *
‘Is your prayer diligent?’ cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly asked Seraphim Daniel.
‘Diligent enough,’ replied Daniel. ‘I live in the real world were you have to strive and work hard to compete, and prayer aint gonna always get you there.’
‘It is all that will get you there,’ said the cherubim resolutely. Daniel didn’t argue.
‘Have you read scripture this decade? You have lapsed I have heard,’ queried Cherubim Daniel.
Daniel sighed. ‘I’ll get to it. I’m having a good time. Don’t want to have to slave to that book forever.’
‘So you don’t want to live forever then?’ queried cherubim Daniel.
Daniel looked at him, concerned. ‘So you have to actually commit to eternal study, then? You really have to go through the slog forever?’
‘It’s the work we commit to in our contract with God for eternal life. We have to do the work, and the effort. Inevitably we have to return to the word, and get on with things. God agrees at a certain point in our foundational works to help us do this once we have made the efforts and commitments he requires. It is a matter of ultimately yielding yourself to the authority of God and allowing to work in you when necessary to get done what he needs done on your salvation. The more choices you make of yielding to God, the more he can work salvation in you. All that he really asks of a Noahide is that you just continue to study the rainbow torah and align yourself with its ideas and the yielding will not become too problematic after time,’ stated Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. ‘As well as the Seraphim Torah for yourself.’
At home in Danielphon that night Daniel the Seraphim looked through Genesis chapter 6. It was clear God didn’t like violent behavior. Daniel liked being a bit cheeky, but everything is funny till someone loses an eye. He couldn’t let the humour get out of hand. One day he might. He feared that. And some poor soul or beast may face his chutzpah because of it. But, if that happened, he would repent, and work it out once more. And dig into deeper levels of faith and commitment. He would work this salvation thing out. He would work it out.
* * * * *
Valandriel had a set of new pens. They were the disposable kind, naturally, not any intention with them being processed for Eternya, and he was looking at each of them. They were the 6 colours of the rainbow, both the colour of the pen casing, and the ink itself. They were an official product of Noahide Books, Daniel's company, and they were neat, cool and hip. Valandriel had bought the set once a long time ago, but now had a new copy of them and was looking at them. They had pictures of unicorns and chameleons and thylacines on them, and were rather cute. Not quite masculine but not quite feminine either. Mostly gender neutral items.
'You like the pens,' said Daniel, looking Valandriel from across the task force desk in the overseer's office.
'They're fab,' replied Valandriel.
'Why not do some art, then, kemosabe,' suggested Daniel.
Valandriel took a sheet of paper from the printer, and started designing. Half an hour later he had done a picture of Noah's ark with a rainbow, and it looked quite good.
'Not bad,' said Daniel. 'I like the penguins. Blue and yellow penguins. Very novel.'
'I'll have it framed,' said Valandriel. 'Put it up at home for a while.'
'Would you auction it eventually? A masterpiece from Valandriel the Seraphim?' asked Daniel.
'Maybe,' replied the twelfthborn of the Seraphim males of Eternity. 'But it will give me memories for a while of this time. I might put it into the archives I have. Maybe a permanent item.'
'Yes. You have archives as well, don't you?' queried Daniel, eyebrow raised.
'Had them for a while, little brother,' replied Valandriel. 'From all my observations I certainly don't go at it as gung ho as yourself, but I do put the occasional item away. I concentrate on personal items a lot, though. Keepsakes and memories of life. Not so worried about the asset acquisition of every collectable item under the sun.'
'Fascinating,' replied Daniel.
'Right,' nodded Valandriel, and returned to his regular work.
Daniel continued on with what he had been doing, but after a moment stopped and looked at his brother. Personal things. That was interesting. He did a bit of that with his archives, personal items. Naturally that was part of the deal. He certainly did concentrate on getting regular things, all sorts of stuff, which the market provided. But personal item? A greater concentration on personal items? He'd think it over. Maybe make a plan. Yes, he'd do that. Make a plan, and stick with it. But for the time being on with their work, and life as the overseer of the Realm of Eternity.
* * * * *
Daniel was sitting in Danielphon, in the kitchen, at the small white laminated table, in the morning. It was breakfast time. He had weet bix in a bowl, with milk, and had added in the sugar, and he was slowly eating it, looking out the window occasionally at the back of Danielphon, and the neighbours fence line. He’d had neighbours forever. Danielphon was an old established keep of the Realm, but it was not huge in its actual allotment of land, mainly the size of a standard block of land of a bungalow in any western world home. He’d had an opportunity to claim more land at the beginning, when Danielphon was claimed, but he didn’t bother. It didn’t seem necessary at the time, and still didn’t, as he had plenty of other room at other places for the actual works of glory, for want of a better word, that he had planned. No, Danielphon was more of a practical everyday living experience, almost mundane, down to earth, regular humdrum of life stuff. It was home, when it came right down to it. It was home. Ariel was the official matriarch of the establishment, and she was not required ever to be the official consort of Daniel in this duty. Simply her right as his twin, which she had accepted, and had an official room because of it. And she kept some of her personal things there permanently, which Daniel, when Ariel was absent, occasionally went in and handled, looking at softly, thinking of his twin and his love for her and realizing he didn’t need to bed her to love her, because she wasn’t going anywhere, and he was happy enough with that in the end. Love came were love came from, and that was good enough for him in the end. Now he was overseer, but he wanted to spend some time back in the real world to make sure he stayed grounded. He and Valandriel had ideas for his time as overseer, and he wanted to ensure they didn’t get too out of hand, as his reputation often bespoke. So he planned some time in Danielphon, and was eating very ordinary fare like Weet Bix, and staying humble, and getting on with life. And it didn’t really bother him at all.
* * * * *
‘Come and talk to me,’ said Daniel.
Ariel ignored him, and sipped on her can of coke.
‘Look, Keri. Babe. Samael has had his fill of you for the time being. Mr Callodyn Bradlock is apparently back with his Rachel babe, and he doesn’t want to know you from a bar of soap. So come and talk to me, babe. I’ll do. You are looking for Mr Right at the moment, and your man Mike is busy with various babes more suitable to him. You are too much to handle, apparently. Too much of a feminist. He can’t cope with your left wing pc bullshit,’ said Daniel.
Ariel looked squarely at him. ‘Don’t call me Keri. Keri Noble does not acknowledge your existence, worm.’
‘Worm? Fuck. You are proud today aren’t you Ms Noble,’ replied Daniel. ‘What, album sales are up or something? Going on tour to Japan again soon? They have you on a TV spot with Oprah?’
Ariel glared at him and sipped on her cola. Daniel tried again. ‘Come here, babe. Bartender will listen to your blues.’
Ariel shrugged, thought may as well, and sat down at the other seat of the small table, and looked at her twin.
‘You are stubborn. You have talent in life, to get along, and be friendly with people, and you don’t use it. You are stubborn,’ she said.
‘All more the charm,’ he replied.
She stood, dusted off her T-Shirt, and looked at him. ‘I’ll stay a few more days, because I love you and am your twin. But listen up. Drop the act, buster. Be more of a people person.’
‘I’ll try,’ he replied, and smiled at her. When she had left the room he immediately forgot her rebuke, and looked at his plans for the week. But he wouldn’t have the last laugh.
* * * * *
‘Hey Ronnie,’ said Ariel, to Ronnie James Dio, who nodded at her. Cheryl Cole smiled, and Ariel, as her human identity, singer Keri Noble, took to the light shining on her in the upper Zaphon Tower nightclub. Traditional nightclub, though. Bluesy, Jazzy, Soul old Rock and Roll sort of stuff. Dio played his hard rock with a traditional bent to it, with a lot of piano, and a lot of soul. It had been going on like that for a long time, and he was the usual act at the club, along with Cheryl Cole. They’d invited in Keri Noble for a season, and Daniel was at the back of the room, watching. It had gotten to him, that afternoon. He’d realized something. He couldn’t be a dickhead all the time. Part of his charm was a little bit dicky, which was always considered, but he would have to run with it to achieve his ultimate objective. But not tonight. Tonight he would join the regular part of society, and be charming in a very normal way. Kind, thoughtful, polite. No show on display.
Keri opened with ‘Emily’ followed by ‘Bartender’ and then closed with ‘Japan’. That was his favourite track of his twin, in the end, Japan. It was Keri at her somber best. A soul, alive with the reality of a life which just isn’t working, and doing its best to find any solution which will work. Desperately trying to find her place in the world. He always sought to comfort that yearning in Ariel, whenever he could. By loving her and putting on a show. A show of distraction. To keep her mind off her own concerns. To worry about Daniel and his idiotic ways.
‘Blackbirds flying overhead,’ said Ariel.
The song ended, and the clapping was sedate, but devoted. Daniel spied the theophany at the back, at the end of the bar, and smiled
He wandered over to Ariel.
‘You were good,’ he said. ‘I was proud of my twin singing so well.’
Ariel looked at him, and shrugged. ‘Whatever,’ she said.
Daniel wouldn’t push it. ‘Hope to see you sing here again,’ he said softly, and waved at her, again softly, with his hand.
Ariel nodded, and as Daniel retreated to the back bar to talk with an old man by the looks of it, she glanced at him. ‘Fair enough Danny Boy,’ she said. But she glanced his way that evening more than once.
* * * * *
‘And what are the military defenses of Zaphona?’ asked the interviewer.
Daniel stopped, and looked at the lady. ‘Uh, military? Military defenses of Zaphona?’
‘We do have a military don’t we?’ asked the Cherubim lady.
Daniel thought for a second, and then his head clicked into gear. ‘We don’t have actual war in the heavenly realms. It doesn’t really occur. We have occasional low level crime, but rarely anything serious. With age usually comes grace, and the agro factor, for want of a better word, is preened out by God regularly. It is one of the main functions that the ANM undertakes, the Noahide movement I am involved with.’
‘Yes. Fascinating. But what military do we have, just in case?’ she persisted.
‘Just in case,’ replied Daniel, mimicking her words.
‘You can’t answer?’ she replied.
‘Of course I can answer. Just give me a second. Look, we have a standard police force. It’s not worked too heavily, as there is very little crime in the Realm of Eternity, but they handle anything at all approaching an uprising.’
‘Right. The police handle it,’ she said, clarifying.
‘Technically we do have a military. And there are some hardcore weapons. I remember from Overseer Essentials.’
‘Overseer Essentials?’ she queried.
‘Uh, every overseer has an introductory course which we take. After a few years in the job. Spells out technical requirements and knowledge for the job. Cindradel handles a lot of the training.’
‘Right,’ replied the reporter. ‘So we have a military.’
‘Technically I’m commander in chief,’ said Daniel, a grin on his face.
‘That’s reassuring,’ replied the reporter sarcastically.
‘Uh, we have departments which monitor things. Don’t worry too much about it. What, expecting a war or something?’ replied Daniel.
‘No. Of course not. There have just been some inquiries as of late,’ she replied.
‘Well, rest assured that everything is under control. If there ever was anything approaching armed conflict the situation would be handled promptly and efficiently,’ said Daniel.
‘Good to know,’ said the reporter, and moved on to her next question.
Later on Daniel was chatting with Cindradel about the Realm’s various defense departments and organisations. He learned things he didn’t know and, occasionally, things she suggested he don’t pry too much into, which were handled by previous overseers still, so those things he let rest. ‘It was in hand,’ was all that Cindradel would say, so Daniel let the issue be.
* * * * *
Daniel sat in Danielphon Keep. There were Jehovah's Witnesses at the door, talking to Ariel. He was not impressed. She came in after a while and sat down on the couch.
'What did they want?' he asked.
'They were from Shadlaphon District,' replied Ariel. 'There is a small congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses there. Shadlaphon has a bunch of protestant christian movements in the area.'
'Yes. I know,' replied Daniel.
'They gave me a copy of the Watchtower and said the eldership had approved of the Independent Watchtower of Macarthur having this particular issue which has an article on the Noahide faith. Here. It's for you,' she said, and gave him the magazine. Daniel took it and started reading.
'The confuse us with the Talmudic Noahide movement a bit. It assumes we keep the seven laws of Noah in Karaite Noahide faith somewhat,' said Daniel half an hour later.
'Don't you?' queried Ariel. 'In the Torah of Noah those issues are addressed.'
'We don't specifically keep them as 7 cardinal laws. They intimate that we follow the7 laws in some ways. They are not greatly informed,' replied Daniel.
'Is that a problem?' asked Ariel.
Daniel looked at her, and stood and went to his PC. He started typing out a letter, and when he was finished printed it off, put it in an envelope, and put a stamp on it. He looked at the magazine, put the address for the Watchtower on it, and said 'I'll be back in 20 minutes. Just going down to the shops to mail this.'
'Rihty O,' replied Ariel.
When Daniel was back he sat at the PC, and looked at his letter for a while, before saving it to a folder. Then he turned off the PC, took the magazine, and went to his room, to read the remaining articles.
4 weeks later he had a letter from the local Shadlaphon Watchtower.
'They apologized for the misunderstanding and said they would address Karaite Noahide faith more accurately in a future issue,' Daniel said to Ariel.
'You got your result then,' replied Ariel.
'I also queried on permission to use the other articles information for the Independent Watchtower of Macarthur. They simply said I had that information perfectly normally as part of the magazine.'
'So you'll add those articles to your official doctrine for the IWM?' asked Ariel.
He sat there, thinking. 'We don't add doctrine much anymore. IWM is very settled.'
'You don't get new information anymore though. From Christianity or Judaism. No longer any legal rights with their faith to use their doctrine.'
'Only when ANM was new and that Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly had been Christian faith for a while. His christian books were acquired both legally and morally at that time. His faith had been true to Christianity for a while. But its not moral to get new things unless you are part of the faith. He tells me he bought some stuff in life, later on as a Noahide, but it dwindled, and he mainly aded to established Christian music artists collections he had collected in his Christian days. Pretty much left christian stuff alone at a certain age.'
'Right,' replied Ariel. 'Why you guys only know so much about the church'
'Not our business,' replied Daniel. 'Lucky to get that issue of the Watchtower. Yes, I'll be definitely making sure the new doctrine goes in. There are a few interesting points as well.'
'Then there you go,' replied Ariel.
* * * * *
Daniel and Valandriel were in the Overseers office in the special task force room. The task force room was adjacent to the overseer's personal office space, with a glass wall at the front of the room where the door was. People could see into the office, and people inside it could see out. It was transparent.
'You know Daniel. Your pretty much like this task force room,' said Valandriel.
'How so?' asked Daniel.
'Transparent,' replied Valandriel.
Daniel looked at Valandriel. 'Get back to work kemosabe. You spend too much time thinking.'
Valandriel nodded, and returned to his work. But after a moment he looked up again. 'I mean, think about it. People can see right through you.'
'You're an asshole,' replied Daniel. Valandriel chuckled at that and said 'Only kidding dude.'
'So. How comes the project?' asked Daniel.
Valandriel showed him his work of technical drawing expertis. '4 degrees in architecture paved way for this brilliance,' said Valandriel.
Daniel looked at it. 'It's a pond. It's a frikking pond.'
'It's more than that,' said Valandriel. 'It's our ticket to glory. I've been doing research on artificial lakes and general rights on public domain lake structures. There are a host of natural designs from the old world which are available to use in creation for commercial purposes, without having to payout on right fees.'
'Oh,' replied Daniel.
'This one fits the schema,' said Valandriel. 'But its intermixed with some of the rights of design of the ValDan corporation. We can't be copied on it, although it does contain public domain elements.'
'What is your point?' asked Daniel.
'Well, look at it,' replied Valandriel.
Daniel took the drawing and looked at the pond. 'Mmm. The concrete edging of the pond is cool. The patterns look good,' he said, leafing through the 3 pages of drawings.
'They are part of an overall plan,' replied Valandriel.
Daniel looked at his mate. 'What overall plan?'
Valandriel reached into his satchel and brought out a manilla folder. 'COMPLEX VILLAGE' was written on the cover of the folder. Daniel looked inside. It was full of drawings of miniature housing and people and all sorts of things from a village. He looked at Valandriel. 'Cockington Green' variant?' he asked.
Daniel continued looking at the pictures. 'If we overdo it, it will not be popular. They'll have to be few and far between. Run with a cafe, like Cockington green, and maybe a bed and breakfast hostel on the second level, it shoul be a reasonable money earner.'
'I have a niche idea,' replied Valandriel.
'Shoot,' said Daniel.
'They are involved with complexities of life. The figures are engaged in activities which are not so regular or normal. Weird occurences, which do occur in life, but are infrequent.'
'Examples?' asked Daniel.
Valandriel supplied a list, which Daniel surveyed. 'I see you have taken into account realistic positioning of the miniatures and that the situations would probably be understandable to those watching. I particularly like the idea of using a kettle to pour hot water on an iced up windscreen, though that is common enough. Would be a rarity to see for a setting of this type, though. A slightly comedic element all through these ideas.'
'Exactly,' replied Valandriel. 'I suggest purchasing properties located next to our chain of hotels. We've always wanted to keep our businesses near each other. The hotel is where people on holiday often stay, and this is the kind of site for holidaymakers.'
'Make it so,' replied Daniel. 'I'll leave it with you.'
'Yes boss,' replied Valandriel, and returned to his work.
Daniel was in the kitchen of Danielphon. Ariel was with him, eating her breakfast. She was on a diet again. Toast with coffee with light milk.
'How can you stomach de-everythingised water like that?' asked Daniel. 'All the goodness has been taken out of it. Distilled water has more nutrients.'
'Very funny,'replied Ariel.
'I mean A2 milk, with lowered fat content, and reduced in various chemicals which are sometimes incompatible with allergies of various kinds. It's also homogenized, pasteurized and fuckerized,' said Daniel.
Ariel looked at the container, alarmed. 'It's not fuckerized!' she exclaimed.
'No, but you will be if keep on drinking that shit. Jesus!' said Daniel, and stood, going off to the other room. He sat down and turned the TV on watching the X-Men cartoon. Soon Ariel came and joined him.
'You've been lazified,' she said. 'Very little work comes from you dear twin.'
'Guilty as charged,' he replied.
'You were born stupified,' she said.
'Hey,' he replied.
'And being moronphied is a natural talent,' said Ariel, smiling.
'Well you've been immortalized,' he said.
'Thank you,' she replied.
'As a Pesiticide, which all have agreed to and testified, saying you should be mummified, because you're a bitchicide, who sucksaside.'
'Go to hellacide,' she replied, and stormed out the room.
'Peaceaside at last,' said Daniel, watching his cartoon
Later on, 'Leave my milk alone. I don't judge what you eat, Daniel.'
'Hypocrite. You complain constantly about my food.'
'Well you only eat junk,' she objected.
'See. Hypocrite!' he replied.
'I have a right to complain. It's in the woman's handbook,' she said.
'Never read it,' he said. 'And shut up. The A Team is on.'
Ariel looked at the action, and persevered. 'We have sovereign rights over men, as well. We just don't tell you that.'
'Smells like bullshit,' replied Daniel.
'We know how to twist you around our little fingers,' said Ariel.
'Go to hell,' he replied.
'So leave my milk alone – or you'll get it,' she said. And left the room.
'Right,' said Daniel. 'So that's how she wants it.'
The following morning Ariel opened the fridge to get her milk. When she did she was dismayed. There were 17 other cartons of various types of milk in there. It looked very, very confusing. Daniel came in. 'Don't pinch my milk,' he said.
'I won't,' she replied defensively. And so she spent several minutes checking each carton of milk, not sure which was hers, till she finally settled on a choice. And then she poured it on cereal. Daniel sat opposite her.
'Thief, that's my milk,' he said. 'I drank some earlier.'
'Where's mine?' she asked.
'I had to make room for my own. It's my fridge after all. It was such special milk I put it in the pantry.'
Ariel went and got the milk. 'It will be all warm,' she said. 'It will be horrible on cereal now.'
'I guess you'll have to use your female sovereignty to solve the problem,' he said in a mocking tone.
'Fair enough,' she said softly. But he ignored her all that day, and gave her the silent treatment. She knew she was suffering for her words of pride.
'Arcturus. She's a beautiful sun, isn't she,' said Dak Bluddhook.
'She certainly shines brightly,' replied Jan Kolby, the illustrious Rimwalker.
'In our primary religion Arcturus is the gateway for the soul,' said Dak.
'Fascinating. Baptism by fire, is it?'
'Oh, there is a lot of things it represents. Our culture is ancient on it,' replied Dak.
Jan, Chance and Dak were on Arcturia, the planetary body which had life, which circled around the sun Arcturus.
'Leatherhead over there,' said Jan. 'Segment head. Like folds of skin all over his head. The paleface with a tinge of reddy grey I guess. He's another native Arcturian isn't he?'
'We have a number of intelligent races on our planet,' replied Chance. 'Arcturus is a truly multicultural planet.'
'We have a lot of legendary doctrine on Arcturus in humanity also,' said Chance. 'What's weird, is that it is accurate.'
'That's no surprise,' said Chance, looking at Dak.
'That's life buddy,' said Dak.
'Yeh. That's life,' Jan said suspiciously. 'Well, are we going to this dive or not?'
'It's just around the corner,' said Dak. 'We'll be there shortly.'
They continued driving, in a corner of Arcturus Jan had never been to, and soon they got to the eating establishment.
'The meat is similar to bacon,' said Dak. 'It's from an animal which is native to this region, and they cook it the best.'
'Good to know,' replied Jan.
'You'll probably fart a lot, though, afterwards,' said Chance. 'Human's usually do.'
'Wonderful,' replied Jan dryly. 'Any other surprises?'
'You might have severe acne for the following weeks,' said Dak.
Jan glared at Dak.
'Only kidding, buddy,' grinned Dak Bluddhook.
'Bastard,' swore Jan under his breath, as they entered the restaurant, and continued on with the holiday on Arcturus they had planned for quite a while.
'You know,' said Dak. 'I've got to admit something. It's been interesting being friends with Jan Kolby. He's not such a bad guy when you get to know him.'
'He's a rogue,' said Chance.
'Yes, your imperial majesty,' sad Jan to Chance.
'We've been buddies these many millions of years now, and the world has turned around a few times from what I've seen, but you've been loyal. And you're only human,' said Dak.
Jan nodded. 'How's business, then? Still with the guild of piracy?'
'Very funny,' replied Dak. 'The survivors from that organisation became legit a long time ago. Not much crime in these heavenly worlds. Very little, really. Reputations, things like that, all that seems to matter.'
'Yep. What we were supposed to learn in life in the real world,' replied Jan.
'We were supposed to learn that?' asked Chance. 'Gosh, I missed every opportunity,' she said sarcastically, which brought a grin from the other two. 'Anyway, let's eat,' said Chance. And they ordered their bacon equivalent meal, known as Sard, and Jan admitted it tasted like bacon, but the tinge of purple in the meat was weird to say the least.
The Golden Grillplate?' queried Dak. 'You want me to steal the frikking Golden Grillplate?'
'It is – esteemed,' replied the leatherhead. 'It was established long ago by the Lord Boodavegger that in partaking of our food, we must follow correct and proper eating ritual. There was established the Holy Temple of Culinary Delight, not far to the south from here, and while it lay in ruins for centuries, through neglect and persecution of our people in the race wars, we have re-established much of it now, and are in the process of tracking down ancient relics still rumoured to exist which were part of the original Temple. We are moral in our claim, and fair. This is not theft. This is reasonable and fair reacquirement,' stated the leatherhead.
'Stone of Destiny reclaiming, huh?' queried Dak, lighting a ciggie.
The leatherhead looked at him, puzzled for a moment, then replied, 'Oh. Scottish thing on Earth. Human culture legend. I recall vaguely the details of the thing. Yes, something similar to that. I insist Dak, we have moral claims and fair claims on the item, and the heart of our society is with us. Those who now own the Golden Grillplate only keep it privately for the most part. It is known who owns it, but they are far from bold in being public in their display of the item. We have fair and reasonable rights of redemption in our service to the One, and if it must be stolen, we are reasonable in doing as such. Legally, it could be complicated. Society will honour possession as nine tenths of the law if we can claim it back.'
'The Fee – is 3.5 million Galagas,' said Dak, confidently.
The alien glared at him, sighed, and nodded. 'Fine. It is high, but worth it. We will pay you 100,000 galagas as a down payment and to cover expenses, and the rest you will have on the items return to us.'
'You have a deal,' said Dak, and spat in his hand and offered it to the fellow Arcturian.
'Charming,' replied the leatherhead, shaking the spittle covered palm. He wiped his hand then on his cloak, and looked squarely at Dak. 'Don't bring trouble on us with any crude reclamation tactics. Keep it civilized. Be decent about this theft. They will have no legal recourse then.'
'Fine,' said Dak. 'Will do buddy.'
Dak received the money into his bank account that afternoon, spent some on a fine night with fair Arcturian maidens he knew well, and spent the following morning drawing up plans. Back in business again. Some things never really changed that much.
A Fine Suvrael Manor House
Things were happening on Arcturus in the spiritual universe. Yet, in the physical universe there was action taking place on planet Majipoor. Ashamon, a child of destiny, had manifested there, and was living out his life, a rogue, a businessman, a lover, and a destiny was calling on him. Leading him to a role in the galaxy he might not have otherwise expected.
'You dream too much, Ashamon,' said Elene.
'The King of Dreams likes me,' replied Ashamon. He sat on his chair, and looked at the room. It was hot, as usual, and he was sweating. 'Suvrael is hotter than I expected. Zimroel should be considered as a place of redux, Elene.'
'Not on your blessed life, Ashamon. Many gold pieces of valued inheritance from father established our trade routes around Suvrael, and I'll not allow our fledgling business to suffer at the hand of Azkabar the rogue. We are here for the forseeable future, and you will enjoy this manor house, and not forget the house you have joined.'
'Elene Celeborn. Noble heart, but merchant family,' replied Ashamon the former rogue turned rich through crafty trade. 'I'm not sure you have the rights to judge my soul. Valantine Pontifex, him I respect. He was met in innocence of his lost self, and we got along well for that while.'
'He turned you off a wrong path into my loving arms,' said Elene. 'And for that I eternally respect his wisdom and tact.'
'Let us take a walk around the grounds,' said Ashamon.
The servant followed them, and the hot sun of Suvrael beat down on them.
'I'll let you know,' said Elene. That I am dedicated to building our social estate in this place. We need wise contacts to continue our economic development as a trade route institution. We can make new franchises here on Suvrael, I am sure of it, and you will need all the wisdom your rogue heart can muster up, and draw on those ideas from the King of Dreams, if he indeed takes an interest in your sorry person.'
'He does. I can tell,' replied Ashamon. They surved the manor garden a while, and bid the servant bring them lemonade. 'Suvrael is a place to be in many ways,' said Ashamon. 'But I know my destiny lies elswhere.'
'Bold enough to glorify himself with a destiny,' mocked Elene. 'You sound like Azkabar and his vision of bedding all the whores of Majipoor.'
'It's his race. They are full of whoring. Grim families,' replied Ashamon. 'Now enough of business.' The servant had returned with the lemonade, and they drank, in the heat, enjoying their new establishment, and the fortunes of life they, through struggles, had achieved.
Affairs of the State
'They are Zonkars,' said Azkabar to Ashamon. '12 planetary bodies of life in their system, and 300 mining planets. And not too distant either.'
'I remember them in my studies,' replied Ashamon, sitting top of his brown stallion, next to Azkabar's black filly, surveying the space cruiser which had landed in the outer grounds of the King of Dream's palace.
'The rumour throughout the city is that they are looking for Majipoor to establish an official post on the planet of the Lord of Trade. There is – increased interest – in Majipooran culture in the federations out there, and they desire much of our product. Zonkars are looking for an official liaison to do business.'
'What we do well,' replied Ashamon. 'Anyway, let us return to the shop. I have work to do and a meeting with that scumlord, Janak Tar.'
'He does not like you, I think,' replied Azkabar, Ashamon's right hand man for many things. 'He trusts you, but he is of Alhanroel breeding, and finds your Zimroel heritage beneath him. You were but from a rogue of a family.'
'I notice that in his reactions at times to what I say,' replied Ashamon. 'As if I am a more primitive thought in words and deeds. Not of his breeding.'
'Still, he makes good deals, and is a man of honour,' said Azkabar.
'And we profit from the connection,' said Ashamon, as they rode through the city, heading for their merchant house.
Azkabar rode in silence for a while, then spoke up. 'I wonder, perhaps I should inquire into this Lord of Trade they seek. I am well experienced.'
Ashamon nodded, but did not respond.
'I feel in the blood of Azkabar is the legacy of many ancient wisdoms. I should perhaps seek an audience with the King of Dreams to consult him on this issue. My name has a degree of influence. I am sure he will speak with me.'
'They will likely choose a noble of Alhanroel when all is said and done,' said Ashamon.
'Yet they come to Suvrael,' said Azkabar.
'Indeed they do,' replied Ashamon.
They continued on, and soon came to their merchant headquarters, unmounting and venturing inside. Elene was in the upper room, and kissed him on the cheek. He sipped on a glass of water, and looked at some papers, but his head turned, and he looked towards the direction of the palace of the King of Dreams, wondering about the proposed Lord of Trade and the ambitions of his colleague Azkabar to the role.
Morning Stars 49
was alive with activity. Usual activity. Pendrael didn't
'You know, Galadriel,' said Pendrael to his twin. 'Life has a mystery to it.'
Galadriel looked up from her tea at her twin. 'A mystery, you say.'
'The beauty of a woman, for example. Take yourself. How nature could have been so kind to us all in crafting such delicate, feminine and glorious beauty. It is beyond my fathoming.'
'Thank you. Kind sir,' she replied.
'And then there is the mystery of Azrael. Life's most complicated beast. Scots reasoning, based on stupidity, ignoring wisdom, refusing to pay for his own mother's moving expenses. Again, beyond me.'
'Now now. Best not to judge too harshly,' replied Galadriel.
'Or the reasoning of an Icelander. Go to sea for fourteen months with a fishing rod and a bucket of bait and say 'It will all be cool.' And lo and behold, two years later they find him, a beard down to his cock, and ranting on about how there are demons in his testicles.'
Galadriel chuckled on that one.
'But worse of all. Yorkshiremen. Take Daniel. A fine lad. Borrows five hundred fine welsh horses for a military display of prowess, and they come back neutered, hair shaven, and tattoos of skulls all over them. Not all limbs intact either.'
'It was apparently a wager he lost with Valandriel.'
'Mad dogs and Yorkshiremen is all I can say,' replied Pendrael. 'But I must, again, speak of the nobler qualities one finds in God's good creation. And I think he blessed all of us with you when he fashioned your own kind and noble heart.'
'What do you want?' she asked at last.
'I have not enough cash on me for the meal, and I don't have any cards with me,' he replied, embarrassed.
She smiled at him. 'You could have just said.'
'Forgive me,' he replied. And so she paid for the meal, and they drove home in silence, him promising to repay her as soon as they arrived home.
'The loss of limbs were the result of the strenuous activities we put them through,' replied Daniel.
'And the tattoos?' asked Meludiel.
'They can be removed these days. You don't even need skin grafts. And the medical knowledge of limb replenishment has advanced to the degree, I am sure you know, that those limbs will grow back within a few centuries. I have forked over the money for each equines veterinary hospice treatment. They'll live the good life for a while. I mean, come on. What is life if you can't live a little sweetie.'
Meludiel, arms folded, continued staring at him. 'Hardly satisfactory Daniel Daly. Not a good example buster.'
'I'm only Angel,' he replied. 'Not perfect yet. Cut me some slack. I'm a man of my word. Valandriel's requirements were met.'
'And the poor horsies had to suffer because of it. There are many SPCA organisations considering legal activity. Your long standing good name has been respected so far, but I wouldn't push it too much buster.'
'No maam,' replied Daniel.
Later on Daniel took a flight to Pendrael's estate in Wales in Terraphora, chatted with Pendrael, and went out to the stables to see the horses. There was an obvious tension in the air from each horse, and they were not pleased to see Daniel. But Daniel stroked them all one by one, apologized, and fed them some oats. When he had addressed each horse one by one he put on a Taylor Swift CD, and sat there, letting the music play, relaxing. The album played out in full and, upon completion, the horses tension seemed to have diminished somewhat.
'Will be back in a few years to feed you again and play another CD,' he said to the horses as he left the stables. The horses all seemed relieved.
* * * * *
Morning Stars 54
‘You have the fire, you have the power, to conquer death, with love devour.’
‘If only you would,’ responded Alindrel, to her brother Berakiel’s noble statement.
‘Oh, you know I love you, don’t you?’ asked Berakiel to his sister. ‘God knows, I say it often enough.’
‘Perhaps,’ she said. ‘I tell you what, I really will love you if you get off your arse and get me something better than this bloody pie and sausage. I think that is the limit of your imagination, you know. Pie and Sausage – the wisdom of a true son of Cottingham.’
‘Isn’t that were Daniel and Sariel have asked you to ultimately place your princedom? I mean, over near Hull. That IS the place, isn’t it?’
‘I haven’t decided yet,’ he responded flatly. ‘I still like South America a lot. No firm decision yet.’
‘How long has it been? 70 million bloody years, and still no firm decision. Doesn’t the new overseer have to declare that? You’ll have to make up your mind, eventually. Your disc has suffered from an official capital long enough.’
‘Oh, leave it alone, Alindy. I’ll make up my mind when I am good and ready on that issue. Truth to tell, although I shouldn’t say really, but the Theophany said I will know in the fullness of time when I have to make that decision. And that it is quite an important decision as a pivot of destiny hangs on it in a real sense.’
‘Sheesh. Don’t get too deep,’ responded Alindrel. ‘Next you’ll be writing theology books like Daniel or David or Michael. They never get sick of that stuff.’
‘Theology. Hardly,’ responded Berakiel. ‘I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like God well enough, but religion is not my cup of tea.’
‘And what is your cup of tea, exactly,’ Alindrel asked him.
He got cute. ‘Why, you are sweetie, if you will ever say yes.’
‘Ha. Marry you. That’s a good one,’ responded Alindrel, and picked up her pie, looking at is philosophically. ‘You know, life is like a pie,’ she said.
Berakiel stared at her. ‘How so?’
‘Oh, it’s all crusty on the outside, cause it goes through a lot of hands, and it needs to be able to cope with the rougher things in life. But inside it is all yummy and tasty, and makes the chore of the crust all the more worth it. And taken together they can be really nice.’
‘So what sort of pie am I?’ he asked her.
She looked at him thoughtfully, and turned to her meat pie. ‘You are,’ she paused. ‘You are a pumpkin pie,’ she finished.
He looked dejected. ‘Not exactly something to rave home about, sis.’
‘Tell me about it,’ she responded. ‘But no, seriously. Pumpkins are good for your health, tasty at times, if only a little bit boring.’
‘You saying I’m boring?’ he asked her, suddenly a little bit miffed.
‘A slug has more personality, I think,’ she responded dryly.
‘Oh, hah hah,’ he said, feeling a little upset.
‘Oh, cheer up grizzle guts. You should be happy, after all. Especially now.’
‘And why is that?’ he asked.
‘Wendel. His time is almost up. He is sure to choose you. They have never failed on that.’
Berakiel exercised some caution. ‘Obtaining the executive toilet key is not as easy as it seems,’ he stated honestly. ‘Michael inevitably gets around to each and every one of us, and lays down some heavy words in the preceding years to our turn. He makes it very clear the kind of character and conduct the job requires, and that we better conform to the higher standards if we really expect the tradition to continue. He always reminds us of the run of Kings in Israel – they went bankrupt after a while. Of course, we have taken that now, and everyone is saying that 70 successive male Seraphim overseers for the Realm of Eternity in rank order, for the most part, will be a hell of an achievement. I don’t want to put any mockers on it, sis, but we have to exercise humility.’
‘You’re a shoe in,’ she said, exhibiting some confidence for her brother.’
‘Hope so,’ he said.
‘You just need to be like the pie,’ she said looking at it.
‘How so?’ he asked.
‘Make sure people want to eat you up. So dress bloody nicely, put on a good performance with your public appearances, and say all the right words. And then your fame will live forever.’
He said nothing. Hopefully she spoke truly. Hopefully.
* * * * *
Berakiel was out fishing, on the far most southern tip of Golden Lake, in a small reserve put aside for the firstborn Seraphim and Cherubim, glancing at the crowd of people on the waters on the rest of the lake, something which was an everyday occurrence, apart from the 7th day rest. He hadn’t caught anything yet, but rumour was that finding fish in Golden Lake was a rare occurrence anyway – it happened infrequently.
He was at peace. If anything else, he was at peace. Berakiel, 54th angel of the Seraphim of the Eternal Realm, born in time of antiquity, was approaching his glory. True glory – overseer of the Realm. Each of his older brothers had served in their turn, and now it looked as if he was about to be picked. Of course, he was not fishing today with no particular reason – apart from the actual fishing itself which was merely symbolic of the reality about to occur. Wendel had rung him, chatted about this and that, and asked him to meet him in the reserved section of the lake, and suggested he do a bit of fishing earlier in the day. And so here he was, Alindrel on the shore doing a crossword puzzle, Ambriel with his camera, as Ambriel always took photos of the handover of the executive key when he had been informed, and had a collection of them, and a spirit of peace hovering over Berakiel. He was ready.
The wind blew, and he looked skywards. It was bluey aquamariney in colour – an unusual shade, but the wind had a warmth in it – a peace about it. It was goodness – good times for the realm of eternity that it spoke to his heart. A time for quiet and peaceful gatherings, full of good humour, pleasant charm, and all shenanigan’s kept to a minimum as possible – with the advance notice of ‘Watch Daniel’ having been firmly advised by Michael. He always showed at the beginning of a new term, often a fabulous prophecy in hand, or some such other trickery of device, ready to take your glory should you feel free to do the unexpected and abdicate. So far, thankfully, he had been disappointed. But he had to feel for Daniel in some ways – for nearly the entire Arc of his glory he had served on earth, with Ariel and Saruviel, away from the limelight, away from the glory he had served for, for so long. But, of course, so what, is what they all said anyway. Just prior he had achieved his objective of permanent Arch-Regent of the entire Realm of Eternity, something which he currently functioned in, and glory requires sacrifices in the Theophanies own words. He had yet to truly complain as well. But, be that as it may, it usually did not prevent him from his fun and games with his long term partner in crime, the fabulous Valandriel, scheming some or other plan to gain the glories of fame and fortune they were all to well known for seeking. It did give life some lighter moments, Berakiel often thought to himself, so why complain that much in the end anyway.
‘Berry!’ yelled Alindrel. He looked up. Wendel was chatting with Ambriel, glancing at him occasionally, and he seemed to be expecting Berakiel to come up from his body language. Berakiel let loose with one last throw of his rod, reeled in the line with no fish as usual, and looked at the sky. ‘Dear God,’ he began in his prayer. ‘I know so many have done this job previously, and you have a good name with us because of it, for they have kept the faith, and the Realm has prospered. I ask you to guide me, to lead me, to teach me, to be my father, and for the Realm to enjoy your will and your blessing in this time ahead. I love you, deeply, heavenly father, and ask for your guidance.’
The wind seemed to, just then, blow a little warmer, and a gull flew by, and spread its wings just above him, and Berakiel seemed touched by that, as if the Most High had acknowledged him. He looked at the sky, prepared his heart for the sudden change about to come, and turned, making his way out of the water, up to the expecting Wendel and crew, and a brand new beginning for the Seraphim Berakiel, 54th Seraphim male angel of the Realm of Eternity.
* * * * *
It was indeed glory for a while. Glory for Berakiel – the glory of Life, the glory of Love and the glory of Other Mysteries. And, at times, it was surreal – as if he was experiencing another type of life, another type of existence, a life, while he was definitely living it, was reserved for the elite of eternal life, of which humble Berakiel amazingly found himself one of. But all good things come to an end and, when the honeymoon was other, duty reared its ugly head and Michael the Seraphim, showing up, reminded him ‘Its work, bro. Mainly just that. They’ll all tell you that. Glory costs hard work, and carefully judged decisions. And your name is attached to the eventual product of your tenure – your eternal name, for these are foundational times. So keep the faith purely and you will prosper.’
Those words echoed through Berakiel’s mind in the early years of his term, and gradually, settling down to a committed spirit of excellence for his tenure, Berakiel made sure every day his work was as good as it could possibly be, and he wasn’t letting the team down. And then there was Alindrel who, finally, seemed impressed with her twin. Finally found him comely. Finally found him irreplaceable.
* * * * *
‘Well, this is a bit better,’ said Alindrel.
‘Mmm,’ queried Berakiel, not looking up from some of his work papers, but still listening to what his twin was saying.
‘This grub. Top stuff.’
‘It should be,’ responded Berakiel. ‘Aclarius has been doing a tremendous job since having taken over from Phindwel. He works hard on a spirit of excellence, as he puts it.’
‘And he does a splendifferous job, dear brother,’ she responded, finishing off the luxury hamburger, of all things, she had asked for that lunchtime. She burped, and Berakiel laughed to himself.
‘Excuse me,’ she said after a moment, and then burped again which brought another chuckle.
She finished her burger, drank some of her juice, and, finishing off that, sat there, quietly for a while, before looking at him for some moments.
Eventually he succumbed. ‘What?’
She didn’t reply, so he returned to his papers. But she continued sitting there, staring at him, while he went about his professional overseer’s job, not to worried at the moment about the concerns of the Seraphim Angel Alindrel.
Eventually he budged, as she had sat there for about 5 minutes, staring at him, twiddling her fingers through her hair.
‘What is it Alindrel?’ he asked, looking directly at her.
She responded at last. ‘I’m bored.’
He almost swore, and put down his papers. ‘Alindrel, you have company with the current overseer of the realm of eternity, you are his twin for heaven’s sake. You have a world of luxury at your disposal, and you are telling me you are bored? Is there no pleasing you?’
‘Oh, you take all the fun out of life, Berry boy. Lighten up.’
‘Grief,’ he said, picking up his papers again. But she continued twiddling her hair with her fingers, playing with her juice, sitting there, apparently bored despite the world being at her fingertips.
He finally caved again. ‘Why are you so bored, dear sister?’
‘Because it is nothing bur work, work, work. Sure, to start with it was a blast, but you don’t have to be so damn serious about every last detail. Sheesh. Surely you can learn the fine art of delegation.’ He said nothing, but returned to his papers.
‘I mean, every overseer needs to know how to delegate,’ continued Alindrel unperturbed, as Berakiel did his best effort to appear to be ignoring her. ‘Delegation is the key word to men in power. After all, as TORAH SAYS,’ she said, in a very serious deep, slightly mocking, tone, perhaps trying to sound like God or Michael on a heavy day, ‘Wisdom lies in a multitude of counsellors.’
‘True,’ he responded, still not looking up. ‘So use your bloody advisors, delegate, and we can go off and have some fun. You’ve worked this new job for a while. Every one needs a holiday. Even serious old Berakiel.’
He said nothing, but was listening.
‘I mean,’ she continued, ‘we could go off to New Terra. Or one of the other planets. Do some holidaying. You could call it a diplomatic mission, or something like that. Like the Kings and Queens of England do all the time these days – neverending diplomatic missions. Mainly an excuse for a getaway, I think, but who am I to judge.’
He nodded to himself on a point of the document he was reading, or trying to read, and had tried to stop listening to Alindrel, but he was still listening as he reread the last paragraph.
‘Or we could go up to heaven, or the Realm of Infinity. Or anywhere. Even one of the newer discs way outwards. Somewhere new, at least. Something different. Not predictable Zaphon were things never really change much anymore.’
‘Nor should they,’ he retorted under his breath, but kept on listening.
‘I mean, as I said, you have been so bloody serious since getting this job. Berakiel needs to rediscover Berakiel. Needs to realize that you being you is what the realm of eternity really wants from you. We had Michael. We don’t need him twice. Kapiche?’
He said nothing, but as she was finished he continued rereading the paragraph, grateful that she had finally fallen silent.
She looked at him for a while, realized that was all he was going to do in reading his paper, threw her hands in the air and said ‘Why even bother,’ and stormed off.
He sat there for a while, finished the page, and then put down the document. He was thinking, not on the document, but on Alindrel’s words. People wanted Berakiel as Berakiel. Not another Michael. Not another Michael.
He stood, walked over to the window, and looked out on Zaphona city. It was a strange thing for her to say in some ways to his thoughts, for he had expected for a long time that the overseersmanship was a time for responsible Berakiel to show up, but perhaps not. Perhaps Berakiel – as he was in the everyday life – perhaps that is what they did actually want from him. His own natural charms. His own natural self. He looked out at the city, thinking these thoughts, wondering at the wisdom of his sister Alindrel, and perhaps thinking there was a time for such things. A time for listening to his sister, and doing it a bit differently.
He gazed at the city for a few moments, before returning to the table, picking up his papers, and resuming his reading. But Alindrel’s words were on his mind. They were definitely on his mind.
Morning Stars 60
Well now, thought God to himself. What follows 59? Why holy, pure and as hard as you like. Ambriel. Blessed Ambriel. Time for this story of travels and fortune.
Ambriel looked at the final notes in his notebook. 'Right,' he said to Meludiel. 'I'm overseer. So I'm in charge.'
'As you say,' replied Meludiel, sitting opposite him in the overseer's office.
'Ok. I'm delegating Gabriel the Cherubim to my job for a long while. I'm off on a vacation.'
'You've been in the job 4 hours,' said Meludiel. 'And you've been keeping notes forever to prepare you. Are you SURE a vacation is a good idea. The mockery of Daniel will be unceasing.'
Ambriel winked at his twin. 'Let Gab know would you. You work him into it. I'll be back towards the end of term. 1 million years. So,' he said, standing up, 'I'll see you babe.' And he grabbed a last piece of the celebratory caramel mudcake Cindradel had brought in, winked one last wink at Meludiel, and was gone – like the wind.
* * * * *
'Yes. I am Alcazar the reprobate. Scourge of Egyptian trade,' replied Alcazar.
'You sound like an honest man,' said Ambriel. 'Could you look after these camels and water them. I'll be back from Al Jabradar in a month.'
Alcazar surveyed the camels, already computing the cash he could get for them at the markets. 'Yes, of course master. You can trust Alcazar the reprobate. With your life you can trust Alcazar the reprobate.'
'I'm sure I can,' replied Ambriel, offloading the camels, returning through the city to his party.
'Did you get rid of those stinky camels,' said his wife, Jemimah.
'I asked for the most dishonest trader in town. We won't have to worry about them anymore,' replied Ambriel. He surveyed the camel and mule train before him. 17 wives – so far anyway – and 3 millennia into his term as overseer, handled competently by Gabriel the Cherubim, from reports he'd heard. But no matter. He was having the time of his life.
'Alright sons and daughters of Israel. Mount up,' yelled Ambriel to all his wives and children. 'We've watered and fed the camels, so its on to our next destination. We have much more to discover, and over a thousand storage camels still to carry rare findings. So mount up, we're on our way.'
Ambriel had been doing just that, since embarking on his adventure. He'd taken a moderate amount of cash with him, flown to the 25 disc of the Realm, Hendraphora, watched over by Surafel the Seraphim, and largely covered by Egyptian landscape and scenery. He'd landed in Henphon, the capital city of Hendraphora, and hired a locker, were he stored his immediate valuables, and with just some cash on him, found a hotel, stayed the night, and started looking for work incognito, wearing a short beard, and with a head-dress on. He was passing himself as an Arab – the best idea to fit in. He didn't want to be noticed. He'd found work soon enough, and saved his cash for many years, before meeting a lovely looking lady, who he married, had 2 children to, a boy and a girl, and then bought a large camel train with his savings, headed for the desert, and had been travelling like that ever since, gradually growing his train, acquiring wives here and there, and children coming along, with a goal of acquiring rare Egyptian artefacts and collectibles, as well as quite an ensemble of family. He was living an adventure. He'd already decided on his route. From Hendraphon he'd make it eventually to the 40th disc of Roshaphora, and spend a long time in the Himalayas, before heading for home, back to Zaphon at the end of his tenureship. It was all planned out in his head, and he was having the time of his life. Groans and moans responded to his command, but soon enough the large caravan was up, ready, and on its way to Al Jabradar.
Morning Stars 62
a commie, aint ya.'
Dario Radlic remained silent, looked at the American man in his counterfeit uniform, and said nothing. What could you say, really. He tried to walk on, to not offend the American, but the man would have none of it.
'Hey guys,' he yelled. 'We got a commie.'
Soon 3 other American youths showed up, each in their late teens or early twenties, each with a crew cut, each not looking at all friendly to Dario.
'I am an American Citizen,' he said with thickly accented Czechoslovakian English. 'I work a proper job. I pay my dues.'
The other american youths mocked him somewhat, but the first guy, the older one who had started the fiasco, looked at this commie wannabe.
'Yeh. Well were do you work?'
'At Hill's Garden Maintenance.'
The youth looked at him, and wanted to sum him up, but this was no longer dad's era, somewhat. It was the late 70s and, somewhat, times had changed. He still remembered the segregation of the blacks from his youth, and Little Rock had been etched into his mind. But while dad retained some degree of American pride, Robert was not naive. He saw the future - in literally black and white terms - and believed, in his lifetime, there would even be a black president. It was the mood of the people - the new mood - that the old ways were departing, and a new way was coming over his America. And, while in so many ways he had been raised to be a person of one particular way of life, just like his daddy, there was a spirit with Bob which saw differently, despite the outward appearance he made sure he was known for.
The other three youths went back to the basketball court, while Bob Andrews stayed looking at the timid Dario, who daren't raise his eyes, and softened. 'What's your name,' he said in a more friendly tone.
'Dario. Dariod Radlic.'
'Mmm,' said Bob. 'Well, America is a working man's nation. If your here to work. To work, mind you, and not shirk, America is a home of immigrants. We were taught that in school. Heck, white man is an immigrant here, in truth. I can't complain if you work hard.'
'I work very hard,' said Dario, braving to look up a little at the youth.
'Good. America needs hard workers.' He stared at the foreigner for a while, the man not moving, and spoke again. 'Look. Do you want to come over. For dinner tonight. Dad is a bit much, but he respects those who pay tax dollars. Even foreigners, if they pay tax dollars.'
Dario did not know what to say. This much wasn't expected.
'Uh, well. Ok.'
'I'm Bob. Bob Andrews.'
'Yes. Good to meet you, Bob Andrews.'
'Good to meet you to, Dario Radlic.'
* * * * *
Theophany sat with his bestie. Dario Radlic - the angel Penoniel
- and Dario's husband, Bob Andrews. It was there big night.
Dario was about to receive the executive key, and become overseer,
and Bob, Dario's long time lover, had never been happier.
Here they were, together, after all these centuries. About to rule the Realm of Eternity. And, while it was still something of an issue in the inner discs, technically, in terms of law, it simply, in the end, had not been possible to overlook the 62nd of the Male Seraphim's glory. Simply because he was - gay.
The theophany never really commented. Said out in the outer discs, the 30th and beyond, things were different. He knew that well. But, as Dario and Bob had long ago moved outwards, never part of inner life, the issue had never been an issue. And now, married for quite some time, there was no way around the curly issue. They would have to be accepted as the ruling powers of the Realm of Eternity because even a Sodomite, if that Sodomite remained lawful, had rights with God Most High.
And the theophany, who had been with Dario for the last few centuries, and developed a close friendship with him, had not yet suggested anything to the contrary.
And then there was Peladiel, Penoniel's twin, who saw things very, very, very, differently.
* * * * *
was Gabriel who ultimately approved of pro-gay-tolerance for the 30th
Disc and beyond,' said Penoniel. 'Saziel had been quite opposed to
it. Not on your life, he had wanted, for the Seraphim discs, but
mercy had prevailed. And since that time things have not changed that
The LGBTI conference was in full swing, and Penoniel was speaking.
'The Council copped a lot of flack in those days, especially from fundamentalism. It was drawing far to close to the heart of God, in Zaphon, as far as they were concerned, to allow it as close as the 30th disc. But the Theophany has never formally protested, so that is they way it became and that is the way it has remained. We live in a world, now, which mostly accepts us. There are issues – there have always been issues. You don't choose or become drawn to our lifestyle choices and not expect everyone to be happy about it. But with the crosses we bear for our orientation, despite the opposition, things get better in time. People come to understand us, and our heart choices, even if they don't quite see things that way. Even if they can't really accept, they often say they do understand. And they don't always call us sinner at the end of the discussions as well. Pro-gay-tolerance. It's saved our butts, literally, more times than I care to remember.'
The conference went on, and Penoniel returned to his seat with his husband Bob Andrews.
'So. You read the letter then,' said Bob.
'She's just having a bitch,' said Penoniel. 'Peladiel is practically a Torah fundamentalist these days. Can't really see it any other way. She expects me to be straight, and that is just the way it is with her.'
'Her 'God Hates Gay' movement is drawing more and more followers out there all the time,' said Bob. Most Cherubim discs have large communities of religious who accept that now. God hates gays. She's not exactly good news for you hubbie.'
'She'll get over it,' said Penoniel.
'She is concerned for her reputation I think,' said Bob, and opened a can of beer. 'She wants to be seen as kosher and proper and correct. It's what that one has always represented.'
'Don't I know it,' said Penoniel. 'She'll get the point eventually. It's my life, and I'll do as I want. And damn the consequences.'
'Well said,' said Bob.
The night passed on, and as Bob drove them home through the city night lights, Penoniel thought on his twin. She was starting to become a problem. And he would probably start having to respond to her, once and for all, in a far more dramatic way. A far more dramatic one.
Morning Stars 71
'Elenniel. May I have words with you?'
Elenniel turned to the voice. 'Yes, Mistrel.'
'Pellersphon. I have the blueprints. They are ancient, as you know. Now is the time, is it not?'
Elenniel smiled. She reached into her pocket and removed the executive toilet key handed to her by Davriel. 'Yes, it is Mistrel. It will be my first task. We shall examine the blueprints tonight, and begin work immediately. The old site near Kazraphon will do just fine. It has laid dormant aeons, so the work can at last begin.'
'You are an angel, Celestial Elenniel,' said Mistrel. 'A true angel.'
'It takes one to know one,' replied Elenniel, a smile on her face.
Mistrel grinned excitedly.
That evening, as the two of them examined the blueprints in the overseers office, Cindradel came in, with a tired look on her face.
'It's the middle of the night, Elenniel. Do you mind if I go home?'
Elenniel shooed her away, and Mistrel looked at her. 'Song. We glorify God with song. This is the most important thing I will ever be involved with, and Meludiel must be consulted for divine melodiel perfection. Do you agree?'
'I shall sing,' said Elenniel.
'Visions? Will you get the band together for the performance?'
Elenniel shook her head. 'Talia and Amy are very busy. I will do it alone.'
'As you wish,' said Mistrel.
They continued on with their focus on the blueprints, and it wasn't until early light was dawning that Elenniel yawned.
'Gosh. It's day,' she said. Mistrel looked bleary eyed.
'So much excitement,' he said. 'Fortunately its sabbath, so I shall rest, and will see you next week first thing.'
When Elenniel got upstairs, into bed in the overseers executive suite, she smiled. A busy first week. Pelnaphon, forming at last, a plan of the ages. Good to see. But it was her twin who was on her mind. He was downstairs, in the Zaphora council offices, doing his work as overseer of the first disc of the Realm of Eternity. And he'd asked her if she wanted him with her, but she had shaken her head. It was her responsibility, and she would be a professional woman and work with her own strengths and talents. But she did think on Michael, and the world of life he was involved with. She did think upon her twin as she rolled over and got some much needed sleep.
Morning Stars 72
'Aquariel. Calling Aquariel.'
Aquariel came from the office and sat down next to Cindradel.
'I'm smart,' she said.
'But blonde,' replied Cindradel. She handed her the executive toilet key. 'There are notes from Gabriel in the drawer. I dragged them out of archives. There were instructions to do so when your turn came.'
Aquariel wandered in and sat at the overseers desk. She took out the notes.
'Dear Aquariel. New Agendas are terribly frustrating. You like to reinvent things. It is your nature. But try as you might to reinvent the world in your image, it will be mostly settled by the time your turn comes. Try to realize this truth.'
Aquariel looked through the notes, and filed them back away.
'Cindradel,' she yelled. Cindradel came in.
'I want to start a new agenda,' she said.
'A new religion?' queried Cindradel.
'Not a religion. A new agenda for the Realm of Eternity. Man has ruled long enough, and Elenniel mainly followed through with what was established. We need a new voice, as our time has come, and I want those schmucks Daniel and Valandriel in here, as I intend some legislation to redress my concerns on equity in the Realm of Eternity.'
'It's a man's world,' said Cindradel.
'That will change,' replied Aquariel. 'When I'm finished, women will have a better voice in the Realm, archaic laws will be made redundant, and fairer inclusiveness and equitable treatment for all people will be initiated. It will be a progressive and reformist era, where true justice will finally have a say. I want to be a force for change and a better world, where the Patriarchy learns a thing or two more about the power of a woman. Ariel won't be the only one to impact the Realm of Eternity. I will get the ball rolling myself.'
'As you wish,' said Cindradel. 'Expect a backlash, though. They settled a lot of issues over the years with each new overseer having a say. It's quite settled now a lot of it. And, besides, a lot of your concerns are already addressed in the legislation.'
'I'll make sure it's perfect,' replied Aquariel. 'Now I want a man in the office, just outside of you, who is my whipping boy. They'll learn a thing or two about who is in charge when I am finished with them.'
'As you wish,' replied Cindradel.
'One other thing. Call my sister. Sister's will now be doing it for themselves.'
'Joy of joys,' replied Cindradel and left.
Aquariel sat there. She was a woman on the move.
Morning Stars 74
'Karel. What are we to do with Ariel the Seraphim. She's become quite obnoxious this last week since you have become overseer.'
Karel looked up from the overseers desk at Barbonel the female Seraphim. 'What has been wrong with Ariel?'
'She has the Prophecies of Ariel the Seraphim. It's an ancient document, apparently. It's so frikking obvious her agenda. Like we were frikking born yesterday. Daniel's frikking twin to the frikking hilt. Know what I frikking mean.'
'I frikking think so,' replied Karel. 'What are the contents of this frikking document then?'
Barbonel gave Karel one of those looks, then resumed. 'Disastrous, by the looks of it. It starts with a dialogue that these prophecies were, of ancient times, sealed in the throneroom of Zaphon by the Authority of God Almighty, and that they carry the will, Authority and power of Almighty God.'
'And then dear Barbonel?'
'It claims that there shall be three beasts of ferocious femininity, then shall rise the Asian bitch. I kid you not, it says the Asian bitch. And this bitch shall verily, and it says verily, this bitch shall verily be uppeth her arse, and shall be graciously and kindly demoted, for the sakes of the citizens of the Realm, by the most glorious and majestic Ariel the goddess Celestial Angel of Eternal and Divine Glory,' said Barbonel, with one of those, can you believe that expressions on her face.
Karel looked at her sister, and quietly returned to her PC screen. 'Don't sweat it, sis. She's a punk. Bitch punk of Daniel the idiot. She'll accomplish jackshit.'
'I don't know,' said Barbonel. 'Old prayer can be nasty stuff. You never know what she has planned.'
'She'll be hot gas, and nothing more,' said Karel. 'She has not the bite in her like her twin. All talk, no action.'
'If you say so,' replied Barbonel. 'Your funeral sis.'
When Barbonel left Karel continued studying the screen, but after a while looked out over Zaphona City splayed before her. 'Ariel? Pulling a Daniel? Not predictable, actually. Wasn't quite Ariel's style. Very unusual for a usually levelheaded sister of hers. Probably just an old grudge, or a joke. So, she dismissed it as a trivial thing, and got on with her day. But it gnawed at the back of her mind, and she wondered just what the next little while might bring from her most prophetical Seraphic sister.
Morning Stars 78
It was a shiny morning in the Realm of Eternity. Up above bluebirds were flying overhead. Gloryel looked up at them and smiled, and continued walking, coming up the steps of Zaphon keep. She found the elevator, and entered, waited as she travelled upwards quickly, exited, went through the offices of the overseer, and sat down in the oveseers desk. Cindradel came in.
'Krystabel left you some notes on the screen. Click the 'Click Me Dear' Icon.'
Gloryel nodded, turned on the PC, which booted quickly, and read the notes. 'Simple enough,' she thought to herself. Day one of glory. She opened her handbag, and got out the executive key which Krystabel had mailed to her, and went and tried the executive toilet. As she exited she smiled. That room had seen a lot of creative thinking, she noticed. It's spirit was quite intense. She returned to her desk, looked at the screen, and sighed. 'Glory for the Realm of Eternity. Whatever would she do?'
Around lunchtime Sariel wandered in. 'Hey babe,' he said.
'Sariel,' she responded politely.
'Has the Spice Girl of Glory gotten a handle on things then?'
'You know me. Girl power,' replied Gloryel.
She nodded, and flicked off the PC, and went to the cafeteria with him. They sat eating ham and salad rolls, and Sariel looked right at her.
'Well. Do you want me up there in the overseers suite with you? You have not said anything yet, but I'm available should you want some support.'
'Ok,' replied Gloryel. 'You'll do.'
'You had someone else in mind?'
'Oh, a few. But your first in, so you'll do.'
'Charmed,' he responded.
'There is an issue. With old sewerage pipes beneath Zaphona city. There is a smell pervading the city at the moment, and it is coming from everyones plumbing. It needs attention.'
'So you are already dealing with the shit,' he remarked.
'They say there lives down there the 'Batman'. And he fights crime.'
Sariel looked at his twin. 'Who says that?'
'Rumours,' said Gloryel. 'Cindradel shared them with me. There is quite an extensive labyrinth of pipes beneath Zaphon installed long ago, and the 'Batman' lives down there, and comes out at night fighting crime, were a batcape.'
'Any ideas who it is?' asked Sariel.
'They say he leaves a card which says 'I am not Bruce Wayne', but that's about it. Just another vigilante by the looks of it.'
'Then you have your work cut out for you,' said Sariel.
'I'll assign you to unmasking the Batman then,' replied Gloryel. 'Your first job as my support.'
'Fine,' said Sariel. 'I'll look into it.'
'And take care of the smell,' she said.
'I'm your man,' he replied.
'And get a hair cut,' she said grinning.
Sariel ran his hands through his hair. 'Two inches long at most. You are fussy.'
'This is the army, Sariel the Seraphim. And I run a tight ship.'
Sariel bit into his roll, and looked at her. 'You look very impressive, yes. Nice suit. Hair pinned back. The makeup done professionally.'
'It took two hours this morning from Zaphona City's finest,' she replied.
'Dressed to impress,' commented Sariel.
'Indeed,' replied Gloryel, and gave him a wink.
* * * * *
'Listen Batman. I'm Ratman and I've been fighting crime in Zaphona City a lot longer than you,' said Ratman, deep down in the sewers of Zaphona City.
'I know Rattie. But I have brought fame to the job. They are well aware I am a genuine Batman, and not a DC superhero cosplayer gone mad,' replied Batman.
'You look a bit like the Batman,' said Ratman thoughtfully.
'I am not attempting to emulate the superhero. I thought that much was obvious. Obviously a Batman would have a cape, and it would be obviously black. The mask is to ensure my identity remains secret. I am NOT Bruce Wayne and this is NOT Gotham City,' replied Batman.
'So is it Batman and Ratman, the Dynamic Duo then?' asked Ratman.
'If you insist,' replied Batman, and scowled at Ratman.
'What crimefighting shall we do tonight?' asked Ratman.
'The project is still underway. Soon enough Callaghan will send someone down to his sewers and open up the metal grid to access it. If we just wait I am sure they won't reseal the thing, then we have access,' said Batman.
'It's a longshot,' replied Ratman. 'Why not be the daring superhero you claim to be and bust in from the streets,' said Ratman.
'Too heavily guarded,' replied Batman. 'And I don't have the skills of Bruce Wayne.'
'Agreed,' replied the Ratman. 'Well, Maccas for dinner again?'
'Sounds good,' said Batman. 'Oh, and bring me a sundae as well. Caramel this time.'
'Will do Bats,' replied Ratman, and headed off to get their dinner.
Batman sat there, on the old couch, the kerosene lamp burning brightly in the hollowed out Batcave they had dug out to make their headquarters. Callaghan was a crook. He knew it with all his heart. And if they did open up the grid blocking the way into his basement, he would enter, find the evidence he needed, and get the thug who had killed his brother. There were security locks on the grid, which would have to be dismantled, so he couldn't take the chance on doing it himself. He didn't really have the knowhow. But when the 12 tonnes of dung beneath Callaghan's manor became too much for the seedy brothel chain owner, he would take any opportunity then to sneak in, find the evidence he needed, and bring justice for the name of his brother Rodrigo Fabiez. Or he was not the Batman of Zaphona City.
* * * * *
David Callaghan was scum. Not your everyday sort of neighbour who borrows your lawnmower and forgets to return it scum. Nor was he your sorry mate about sleeping with your daughter kind of scum. He wasn't even it's a shame the brotherhood wrecked your front lawn kind of scum. No, he was worse. He was, oops, you got retrenched, beat up by a gang and found a horses head in your bed kind of scum. The worst sort. But he had his charms also. Those charms were necessar, as, for the last 7 days the most God awful smell had been wafting through Callaghan Manor, as he called it, and liked it to be called, and he'd had enough. Daff and Biff were sent down to the sewers beneath to find the root cause of the problem. They keyed in the control locks which stopped the security grid from alarming, but, naturally, it had to be cut open as it was sealed in place by concrete, and after a welding torch had cut through they climbed down beneath and found the offending problem. Tonnes of dung. Callaghan swore instant vengeance, and had Daff and Biff, his henchmen, address the problem. Soon enough the dung was gone and the smell had alleviated.
'It's Bozzato,' said Callaghan. 'I'm damn sure its Bozzato.'
'He's on vacation, with most of his men,' said Daff.
'Dappolous then,' replied Callaghan.
'Not his style,' said Biff. 'Prefers the direct approach.'
'Not too many grudges apart from that at the moment,' said Callaghan stroking his chin thoughtfully. 'I'll have to think it over.'
'Yes boss,' said the henchmen in unison.
So David Callaghan gave the dung thought for an afternoon, but returned to his regular life of debauchery and questionable activities, unaware of the Batman and Ratman of Zaphona City who had snuck up around midnight, ready to make intrusion into his private domicile to find any evidence linking him to the murder of Batman's brother, Rodrigo Fabiez.
Morning Stars 80
Quiet. It was quiet in Mitraphora. Shemrael was in a forest, in a shack, in the middle of winter, alone. She was warm, though. In sheepskins. The shack was strong and secure, though spartan and basic. It had a larder, which was well stocked, and a large bed and a bookcase with various things, and an eating table and two chairs. The hunter returned.
'Here it is,' he said. 'Rabbit. There was scant in the traps. But we'll have rabbit stew and potatoes and carrot,' he said.
'Fine,' said Shemrael. Shemrael skinned the rabbit, gutted it, cut the meat off the bones, and sliced them up, putting them into the cooking pot, then adding the cut up carrots and potatoes. 2 hours later they ate, and she went outside to do her toileting, and washed herself briefly in the water tub. She came back inside and he was on the bed, naked, looking at her.
'You look hot tonight, baby. Still won't fuck me?'
'We are not married,' said Shemrael. 'The contract involved an occasional pash, but not illicit sexual behaviour.'
'Losing a bet guaranteeing me a bit of fun surely had more connotations then you were prepared to admit in the legal office, babe,' said the Japanese Ashigaru.
'Not as I understood it,' replied Shemrael.
'How about jerking me off,' he asked her.
'I'll strip for you, and you may masturbate, but I shall not involve sexually.'
'Fine,' he said. She performed, he wanked, she cleaned it up, and got in next to him naked. In the morning his hand was on her breast, but she left it there. He had some rights in the wager. 3 months passed, and winter ended and spring came. She still had the first month of spring to endure the contract, then she would be free of this wager debt.
'Do you love me?' he asked her one day.
'Somewhat,' she replied. 'But I have no commitment to you. You are handsome and well spoken like my twin, but I will not be marrying you.'
'I don't ask that,' he replied. 'I have a wife in the planetary bodies, and seek no other. But the love of Shemrael is worth risking to see if it exists.'
'I won't forget you,' she replied.
The spent the month, and it came to an end, and she reluctantly jerked him off on the final day to ensure she had a reputation for honouring her agreement reasonably enough for the other parties concern. And the he bowed to her in his formal garb, and got on his motorcycle, and left. She stayed a few days longer, and then readied herself, and locked Cimbrel's cabin, and walked to the town seventy miles away, which took her a few days, but she had enough food and drink. And then she was back in Zaphora soon enough, and there were 3 weeks left in Ashayziel's service. Ashayziel gave her key on the final day, and she sat in the desk of the overseer, and looked at her email acount. The warrior had sent her an email. She looked at it for several moments, but did not open it. Then she filed it in a personal folder, and got on with her day. But he was on her mind. He never left it, in fact, all that month. Not for one moment.
* * * * *
'You sure you should dress like that Karel?' asked Shemrael to her Seraphim sister.
'Cherubim Daniel Daly is coming around,' replied Karel.
'You knew him. On earth, didn't you?' asked Shemrael.
Karel nodded. 'We studied in Canberra together for a while. He wrote me letters when I went back home to Hong Kong. He was very shy and polite.'
'A crush?' asked Shemrael.
Karel shook her head. 'A very dear friend. That is all.'
Shemrael nodded, and looked at her laptop.
When dinner started, Daniel was noticing Karel's silk green top and alluring skirt. Shemrael smiled to herself.
'Noahide glory still being pursued?' asked Karel, sipping on her soup.
Daniel just looked at her. Karel tilted her head.
'Oh, uh. Yeh sure,' said Daniel. '7DF and all that.' Karel nodded. Shemrael couldn't help but smile to herself. The girl was showing off to the highest heaven. All polished and chinese looking.'
'You are finely dressed tonight,' Karel said to Daniel politely.
'You look – amazing,' replied Daniel.
Shemrael took a spoon of her soup, and looked at them both.
'I can give you two the apartment for the night if you want?' said Shemrael. She was very deliberate in saying this. She wanted to see the result.
Daniel, with a slightly shocked look on his face, looked at Shemrael, who in turn noticed the grin on Karel's face, her face looking downwards at the table.
'Um, ah, um,' stuttered Daniel. He looked at Karel, who smiled warmly in response.
'I'll finish my soup,' said Shemrael.
Later on she was in a bar in Zaphon, listening to Ronnie James Dio sing. Shenanigan's were going on in her apartment. She was oh, so sure of that. Shenanigan's.
Morning Stars 100
The storm had broken. Luladiel danced along the seashore, looking at shells. She looked up. The dark clouds were disappearing, but a rainbow was shining.
'You are stupid,' said a voice behind her. Luladiel turned. 'Lucy Potter? What are you doing on this beach? It's private? I own it. Santron's finest real estate, and I shan't share it with a witch like you.'
'You are still stupid. You should have checked your lease contract more carefully. An owner has a right to a site inspection if they judge it necessary.'
'YOU own Frostfire?' asked Luladiel.
'What do you expect with a name like Frostfire?' asked Lucy. 'It's my oldest woven spell. I created it aeons ago under the guidance of Shelandragh May.'
'Fascinating,' replied Luladiel. 'What do you want?'
'Young Daniel Daly has a keen interest in you,' said Lucy.
'Which one?' asked Luladiel. 'All three have expressed interests at times.'
'You know which one,' said Lucy. 'Hand's off bitch. I shan't let my lover lurk into the likes of you any more, for I know your history with him. You eat him up and spit him out.'
'I barely know him. A few brief encounters aeons ago,' replied Luladiel. 'He is hardly a concern of mine.'
'This email suggests you want to begin a new liaison with him,' said Lucy, waving a piece of A4 paper in the air.
Luladiel shrugged. 'Just some fun times with an old brother.'
'The Children of Heaven are not to be trifled with,' said Lucy. 'Callodyn the Cherubim is wise in many ways, but you are wiser in your Seraphim duplicity.'
'Oh, Callodyn then,' said Luladiel. 'All three of those ones like me. I never remember which is after me.'
'Leave Cally alone. Kayella will tear you apart. They are steady in their friendship these days. Leave him be. Do not stir my wrath. I like my lover stable, and not disturbed by Devuel's wench.'
'I barely remember his face,' said Luladiel. 'It's been so long.'
'So keep it that way bitch,' replied Lucy. 'Or I'll frikking evict you.'
Luladiel softened. 'I'll keep my distance.'
Lucy almost glared at her, then turned and left.
'Right,' said Luladiel to herself. 'Old Callodyn. Time to look him up,' she said to herself, as she turned, looked out at the ocean, and soon enough resumed her merry search for seashells.
* * * * *
'New Barcelona is certainly cosmopolitan,' said Callodyn.
'Indeed,' replied Luldaiel. 'Now, I have not seen you in many an aeon, dear young brother. How has your life been?'
'Well,' replied Callodyn, looking at the Seraphim who had invited him for a holiday on Santron, the main Spanish planetary body of humanity in the spiritual universe. 'I still have a little bit of a crush on you, you know.'
'I do recall. You tried to kiss me at a cinema about 5 million years ago. You did not get lucky,' said Luladiel.
'I don't quite recall. Memory still processing a lot of the time,' said Callodyn. 'All sorts of memories come in and go out and get forgotten, but sometimes a word here or there recalls something. I'm old. Kayella tells me that.'
'How is Kelly?' asked Luladiel. 'Haven't seen her in a while.'
'Much the same. We're not actually together these days. She is with Mr Blackstock a lot of the time now.'
'The way it goes,' replied Luladiel. 'Devuel continues to hang around also. Russell is that pain in the neck which never seems to go away.'
'Life with our twins. What it's all about,' said Callodyn.
'Your religion. Are the Daly's still valiantly pursuing Noah's glory?'
'Our Noahide faith remains the same,' said Callodyn. 'It grows steadily. Father is in control of that.'
'Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, right?' queried Luladiel.
Callodyn did not respond, but after a while said, 'Him? My father?'
'Remain the mystery you three have always been then,' said Luladiel. 'We'll figure it out eventually.' Callodyn grinned in response.
Luladiel sipped on her coffee. 'I want to know,' said Luladiel. 'Seeing as you like me, shall we extend this holiday for a few months, and have a bit of fun together?'
Callodyn shook his head. 'Only 3 more days, I'm afraid sis. I have pressing matters. Don't you as well? It's nearly the end our beloved overseer's reign, and I do recall who the 30th female Seraphim is.'
'She's given me no indication,' said Luladiel.
'I doubt she'll change the tradition,' said Callodyn.
'Daniel did,' said Luladiel.
'Just his crazy ways,' replied Callodyn. 'No, I can't stay much longer. A lot of thing's I need to get to.'
'Then we'll wine dine and 69' said Katy, smiling at him, and put her tongue on the side of her lip.
Callodyn got an erection.
Later that night they were naked. 'You lie down,' she said. He did. She put her crotch in his face, and took his manhood. The meal Luladiel had eaten that night had been good. This one was even better.
* * * * *
'The opinion of the fool, you say? I would agree that Michael has indeed been foolish on more than one occasion,' replied Luladiel.
'Bah,' replied Azrael. 'He is getting high and mighty again. Another Jewish pogrom against alcohol. Always attacking me on the issue.'
'You do like the grog,' said Luladiel, as she searched for seashells.
'It's his nature,' said Callodyn. 'He's a Scot. They like to live the high life.'
'I've been puzzling,' said Luladiel. 'It's been an awfully long three days.' Callodyn shrugged in response.
'I don't have an alcohol problem,' said Azrael resolutely.
'Nor I,' replied Luladiel. 'But I do like a drink.'
Azrael bent over and picked up a shiny oyster shell. 'This any good?' he asked Luladiel.
'Oooh, lucky find,' replied Luladiel. 'I'm collecting oyster shells to decorate the well in the back yard one day. That's another one.'
Azrael put it in the bucket, and they continued wandering around the rocks at the end of the beach.
'Michael some times takes his job as Prince of Israel too seriously,' said Callodyn. 'We're not juveniles any more. We have enough experience on the proper use of substances of concern.'
'Your a substance of concern,' said Azrael to Callodyn, grinning.
'Moi? I'm as tame as a baby's bottom,' replied Callodyn.
'Aye, the dung beetle does have rather a tame bottom,' replied Azrael.
'If Haggis was an animal, I'd have a retort,' said Callodyn, looking for shells.
Katy picked up a shell, and stretched her back. 'I think we have enough for this afternoon. We'll go home and eat.'
They wandered back along the beach of Frostfire, and came to the main beach house, and Katy took the shells and dumped them in a pile for sorting into their kinds. She kept different piles of them, which were to be ultimately used for decorative purposes around the beach house.
'Shall we honour Michael, then?' asked Katy, coming inside, watching the two lads warring on an X-Box.
'How so?' asked Callodyn.
'I'll get a nice fruit juice for dinner, instead of wine,' said Katy.
'If you must,' said Azrael. 'Get me a pack of smokes as well, would you.'
Katy nodded, and grabbed her purse and keys and headed for her vehicle. Azrael had arrived a few days prior, and the three of them were keeping fellowship. Callodyn had politely refused any more encounters, but she was very happy with the company. The three of them had lively conversation. On another subject she was thinking of the letter she had left on the front hall table. It was from the overseer of the Realm of Eternity. It could say all sorts of things. She knew she had to read it. She knew she must read it. And, having made a decision, she knew she would leave it there for a few months, and then she'd say what it said. And make any necessary decision about her future then. But for now the good life with some good brothers, and fruit juice and cigarettes to get from the local store. It was good being alive.
Morning Stars 124
a Dog is a Dog and a Cat is a Cat, what is a Horse and What is
‘Are you calling me a Rat?’ Berakiel asked Alindrel suspiciously. Alindrel, noble of heart, said nothing. She smiled at her twin, gave him a face, called him an idiot underneath her breath, and then came and sat next to him, put her hand in his and said ‘You are not a Rat, dearest Berakiel.’
‘That’s a relief,’ he responded.
‘No. A Rat has manners,’ she responded instantly, taking her hand out of his, and smiling that cute smile right at him which Alindrel was all to famous for.
‘Manners? I have the best of all manners.’
‘Compared to a slug, perhaps,’ she said, starting to toy with her chips and sausage. ‘And why did you bloody get me sausage? Too cheap to get me some hash browns or calamari rings, or something else nice.’
He almost grumbled, but got up, went to the cafeteria, forked over his debit card, and soon returned with a plate filled with battered fish, scallops, calamari rings, onion rings, spring rolls, and a number of assorted fast food specials.
‘Happy,’ he asked.
She picked up a spring roll, bit into it, and smiled. ‘Much better, Berry Boy. You have outdone yourself.’
‘You know, in a very short time you are likely to be overseer of the Realm of Eternity. Have you ever considered, you know, forking out for your own bloody food for once. Instead of eternally bludging off your ever so devoted twin. I mean, you won’t marry me, but you sure as hell will spend my cash.’
She looked up at him, hooking into her spring roll, smiled a little, but said nothing.
‘Grief,’ he said, sitting down, and picked up a chiko roll and started munching.
She finished off her mouthful and smiled at him. ‘Oh, lighten up Berry Boy. You know I love you. I just don’t know if you are the bloody marrying kind,’ she finished with a drawl any southern American gal would be proud of.
‘Not the marrying kind? Bloody hell. You know, sweetheart, I ran this realm once. Not that long ago. Well, ok, it was a fair while.’
’70 million years or something like that, wasn’t it,’ she said, jibing him.
‘Yeh, but I had my turn. Your not guaranteed, you know. Despite the tradition. They could overlook you. Especially Alindrel. Long has the Realm of Eternity feared the wisdom of Alindrel the Angel. Daughter of God, extreme in her devotions to the Most High, but mainly concerned with her belly.’
‘Shut up,’ she said instantly, but he continued.
‘And, I mean, what a belly,’ he said, starting to grin. ‘I do remember, now that I come to think of it, there was this time. Now, let me say, a whale probably weighed less at this time in history than the fabulous Alindrel the Seraphim.’
She kicked him underneath the table, but he continued on unperturbed.
‘And it would have been no lean whale for that matter.’
She made a face at him, suggesting he’d said enough, and he smiled and left it at that.
They continued eating there meal, in an upper cafeteria of Zaphon Tower, in the heart of the Realm of Eternity, and Alindrel was smiling at her twin after a while. She seemed like she was suddenly in a good mood.
‘Wassup?’ he asked her. ‘Why the happy face?’
‘Overseersmanship,’ she said. ‘No, Overseerswomanship. It’ll be mine, soon. And you know it. It’s gonna be great, bro. It’s gonna be wonderful.’
‘Apparently that is a typical way for a dictator to address his concerned citizens. ‘It will be wonderful. A new beginning for everyone.’ She kicked him again under the table. ‘But inevitably they fall flat on their face,’ he finished.
‘No, seriously. It’s gonna be a wonderful time. Beg me, and I will even give you some glory. You can be my right hand man. Do Cindradel’s job.’
‘Uh, not a chance. Michael was very sensitive about that. Cindradel has worked there practically forever. Its taken for granted. Almost the real power which runs the Realm. Knows the ins and outs of it all, now.’
‘Point taken,’ said Alindrel. ‘Anyway, it’s a gonna be a wonderful. You’ll see.’
‘Before the crash comes,’ he responded, taking a sip of his orange juice. She kicked him under the table again.
'Berakiel. I know you support me, and that this will be a time of great challenge for you. The ego of Berakiel, in all honesty, is usually humble enough. It is what a Baker is usually made of. But you will ensure that continues, for I am big bosswoman now, or soon enough, and the humbling of the male Seraphim of Eternity must continue in its stately grace as it has done so many a mega of recent times.'
'I understand,' replied Berakiel. 'Big bosswoman shall find a twin to support her crusade.'
'Tis no crusade,' she replied. 'It is glory unabated.'
'You have planned this long and carefully I take it?' queried Berakiel.
'Long and carefully,' replied Alindrel. 'But I shan't speak of my plans. They shall rest in my heart. But you will support me, and that I need of you. Live with me in the overseer's suite then.'
'If you insist,' he replied.
She smiled, and picked up a spring roll. 'It shall be glory unabated,' she said smiling.
'Undoubtedly,' replied Berakiel the Serpahim, hooking into his chiko roll, his eye on his counterpart and her affirmations of definite glory.
* * * * *
Alindrel sat on the chair, next to Phindwel.
'So we repent at that point,' said the speaker.
'What if we don't repent?' asked an angel.
'With millions of years of life, your way isn't going to change at all. You are steady. But when the spirit points out that tiny little preference of God for perhaps, if you think it's ok, doing this thing this way, instead of that way, consider God's wisdom. He probably knows. So we repent, of a bit of our pride which had built up over aeons of practicing a thing in a way which could always have been done better if we'd just given it a little thought.'
After the speech Alindrel and Phindwel were drinking juice and chatting.
'Expensive ministry,' said Alindrel. 'But I think this is probably worth it.'
'He's a pretty good speaker,' said Phindwel. 'Detailed on issues we take for granted, but which we could do better.'
'Felt like I needed something like this before starting the big job, said Alindrel, sipping on her juice.
'So, have you considered my offer?' asked Phindwel.
'It shouldn't be a problem,' replied Alindrel. 'I'll let Cindradel monitor your work in the office. If its work experience in the chief overseers office of Zaphon you want, then its work experience you will have.'
'You're a gem,' replied Phindwel. 'I think we're getting back to the lecture though.'
As they resumed their seats, Alindrel reminded herself to concentrate on what she was learning. She wanted to be a professional overseer above all else. Sure, she wanted to bring her own flair and style to the job, but she didn't want to be considered average either. She wanted a good reputation. A lasting reputation. And sitting there, listening to the speaker continue, she took out her notepad and pen, and would make notes. Time for Alindrel to measure up and make the grade. And look out Realm of Eternity. Coming was a Seraphim they'd never forget. Not if she had any say on the issue.
Morning Stars 140
(Morning Stars: Rachel)
'You know, Rachel. You are attractive,' said Davriel.
'Mr Taheb. You know, it is not beyond you and your sex drive to compliment me. But it is rare,' replied Rachel, sipping on Lady Grey Tea.
'Jews get fussy,' replied Davriel.
'I do know,' she replied. 'But you are a Samaritan.'
'Samaritans get fussy,' he said with a grin.
'True,' she replied. 'Now, how goes it with the book of Joshua Mr Hexateuch.'
'It's a debate. That is true. The community is thinking over the addition to Torah. Nobody has seriously challenged the notion yet that a prophet has arisen which Moshe preached of which is indicated by myself. I do not qualify. They are sure the Taheb is a latter development in the community, and that Joshua appears to be what Moshe is indicating. He seems to state that in roundabout ways also.'
'So the book of Joshua is the basis of our faith. The Hexateuch,' said Rachel. 'The matter is resolved.'
'It's never that simple,' replied Davriel. 'Change takes time. Some old souls feel it should not really be changed, regardless. The basis of the faith. Long have we followed the 5 books, and no other additions seem needed. We worry about Karaism. They glare at us on the streets of Israel. The 'We should know better' glare.'
'I am used to that well,' replied Rachel.
'So progress is slow, and bastions of faith do not change much,' replied Davriel.
'Drink your tea,' said Rachel. 'It is getting cold.'
'Yes dear,' replied Davriel.
* * * * *
Rachel inspected the melons. The watermelons at the back of her abode in Israel in Terraphora. Somewhere in Samaria. They seemed ripe enough, but maybe a few more days. Davriel, her twin, enjoyed watermelon and apple juice. It was his favourite drink. She would make it herself, and do the gardening, because she was taken to do that for her twin. It was regular work, and she did it happily enough, as it gave her something to show her concerns upon, and the fresh stuff was always just that bit more appetizing than the bottled variety. And Davriel always showed his appreciation.
'Sister. You are smart, aren't you?'
'The smartest of the Seraphim, Gloryel,' replied Rachel.
'If 4x = 4y does y = x? I can't remember my algebra?'
Rachael stood there. 'Sort of I think. But if X equals 1 and Y equels 3 minus 2, in brackets, it gives the same results, so yes and no. Sort of. I think.'
'Sounds about right,' sighed Gloryel. 'I hate professor Sariel and his smart arse challenges.'
'Men are like that,' agreed Rachel, rising up from the dirt, where she had been checking the watermelons. 'They like to be clever. Not all of them, but many. It seems to be how Yah created them.'
'And how did he create us?' asked Gloryel.
'I wonder, some times, if its more nature and its more nurture, and if you put Elenniel in Englad whether she comes out the same. I don't really know.'
'Mmm,' replied Gloryel. 'Anyway, would you like to come to dinner next week. At Dalnaphon. Sariel has invited me and asked me to invite 2 or 3 others. Just for a dinner, and a bit of chat. Nothing heavy.'
'Sounds acceptable,' replied Rachel, looking over the garden. She looked at Gloryel. 'Sure. No problems.'
'Good,' said Gloryel, looking at the watermelon's. 'The things we do for love,' she said.
'I suppose so,' replied Rachael.
'Anyway, will see you there. The 37th day of the month. At Twilight.'
'No worries,' replied Rachel.
Gloryel wandered off, and Rachel put her hands on her hips and looked at the apple trees. 'Well,' she said. 'Let us see how you guys are faring.' And on went her day.
* * * * *
'So you'll take the job?' Sariel asked Rachel.
'A million years. A full Arc. It's a long time,' said Rachel.
'We. We have a tradition,' said Sariel.
'It's not really broken. This tradition. There are some aberrations, but it's generally mostly under control,' said Gloryel. 'We can't really afford this not to go through. A million years. A solid enough million years. Mostly quiet as well. We don't really need to go out with a bang.'
'Not really I suppose,' said Rachel. 'Generally, at this stage, I've placed the executive toilet key in a glass and put it on the windosill. It will be there a few weeks and I'll look at it. To let you know, I'm tentative, but generally will run with it, as I know it's expected. I think I probably want the work as well. Some things to say. This and that. But mostly steady life in the Realm. I do agree with what you are saying.'
'That's a relief,' said Michael. 'I was hoping for that from you this evening.'
'It's not definite firstborn. But likely,' replied Rachel.
Sariel sipped on his wine. 'There are files in the office. On the computer. Overseer files. We usually had in some protocols. We usually read them, each overseer. See what is suggested practice.'
'I understand,' replied Rachel. 'If I take the job I'll look them over.'
'Then let us see what will come,' replied Gloryel.
It didn't take long. The following week Rachel was in the job, chatting with Cindradel, getting on with things. They'd moved into the Overseer's apartment, and had decided on a steady approach to life. Nothing to eventful. There was a feeling that at the end of days, when the time was complete, Rachel had a decision. Semyaza could be that decision. But time would tell. But, initially, she sat in the chair, let Cindradel pass her things to sign, and just went gently along, learning the ropes. And, after a few weeks, she opened up those overseer files, started reading, and settled in to work it all out. Just what would Rachel the Seraphim make of the overseers job in what appeared to be a million years of glory? Just what indeed.