Children of Destiny
Children of God
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6179 SC
Stars: Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Skull and Crossbone
The Musings of Nimorel
Abrazabrandelionkonjonshonvantrantavere II 2
Daniel’s Fabulous Soul-winning Techniques
The Dark Light of Unbeing
Abrazabrandelionkonjonshonvantrantavere II 3
Britannic Majesty Comics
Up Shit Creek
A Fresh Start
Another Fresh Start
A New Beginning from an Old Beginning
The 16 Tribes of Israel
From Ur and Zanadra to service in Joniquay
Ambriel's Low IQ
Love 2: Love comes walking in
Love 3: Love goes walking out
Ambriel's Day off 2
Zelzazon and the Death of an Ancient Evil II
Ambriel and the Amazing Fiona Macintosh II
Callodyn and David
Ambriel and the Amazing Fiona McDowell
A Plentiful Harvest
Lost in Eternity
God and Callodyn – A Chapter in the Life of
All that glitters is not gold
The Forbidden Kiss
Daniel and Ambriel
Everyday Happenings in the Realm of Eternity
Christmas with the Daly's 2
4 O'Clock 2
4 O'Clock 3
4 O'Clock 4
Morning Stars: Jemba
Death's Cold Grip
The Power of Death
The Tears of Amy Lee
The Tears of Amy Lee II: The Joy of Amy Lee
Morning Stars: Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
'Are you sure you are up for it?' Cyril asked his son.
'Well, it's my turn. I can't let the team down,' replied the Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, 347th Male Cherubim of the Realm of Eternity.
'Then give the family a good name,' said Cyril. And you have my blessing.'
Daniel got to work after a few days with the computer system, looking over pressing matters from Cindradel. There had been a joke from his predecessor about the long life of the executive key he had handed to him, and Daniel had smiled at that. But life went on, as it always did, and Daniel was getting into his job.
'Cindradel. Could you come in for a moment,' said Daniel, buzzing his secretary. Cindradel shortly presented herself.
'It has usually been a thing that an overseer make a name for himself,' said Daniel. 'I'm not really an exception. So you'll be busy for a while.'
'Yes boss,' replied Cindradel.
'I'm planning an event for three years from now. It's for the 140 Seraphim Discs of Eternity. Just for the Seraphim. The Cherubim project comes later. It is time for improving the Realm of Eternity, our standards of behaviour, and the tidiness and prosperity of our cities, towns and villages. I have been going over my basic plans on this, and I want to start planning an event which gets all the 140 Overseers present. It is based on the Agenda to reward glory for the honest workers. I will be establishing a voting council which will review 12 key cities, 12 key towns, 12 key villages, 12 key companies, and 12 key social institutions in each of the discs. All the details will given over in documents on the day. There will be a team which will take ongoing reviews of these things, and about 100,000 years into my tenure the reviews will be finalized, and rewards given. This work has the approval of God, and will be part of eternal rewards, under the manifesto. So if you can sort of write that out in an email, those basic ideas, and send it to the 140 overseers, it would be greatly appreciated.'
Cindradel nodded. 'That actually sounds like a good idea boss. A kick in the bum to get the house in order is always a good idea.'
'Let's hope so,' replied Daniel. 'And thanks. I appreciate your work.'
'Sure thing boss,' said Cindradel and left.
Daniel looked out the window for a moment, enjoying the view, and got back to his notes. He had work to do.
* * * * *
Daniel took out the box. 5 rings. Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Tammin Sursok, Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson. 2 of them Intimacy Eternity Rings, Katy and Taylors, the other 3 Friendship Eternity rings.
'You'll never give them to them,' said Lourdes his twin.
'One day,' said Daniel, and returned to looking at his volume on Beetles.
She sat in the chair opposite the overseers desk, playing with a paper umbrella. 'It's sweet here,' she said. 'Strong spirit. Very thick. Very rich. Blissful.'
'You noticed,' he replied, still looking at his PC screen.
'You'll never marry again, will you,' she said, looking at him.
'What? Are you interested?'
'I love you dearly twin brother, but we're the 'Support type' of twins. God said as much to me a number of times. We're not all destined for marriage. I like you, but I like my own race a bit more. Just in a natural non-racist way, but I like Spaniards and Italians. What works better for me.'
'Yeh, you do say that,' said Daniel. 'I think you are probably right. I prefer the anglo-celtic type when it all comes down to it.'
'But we're good for supporting each other. Similar Catholic traits. It always shows in you. What you got from your upbringing. There is more Jesus in you then you are prepared to admit.'
'That may be true, and probably is,' replied Daniel, looking at his screen, 'but I'm Noahide now, and you know my oath to God on eternal devotion to it.'
'I'm not trying to change you Daniel Daly. But you know what I think.'
'And thank you for sharing that,' said Daniel looking at her. 'Don't worry. I go to an occasional midnight mass with mum and dad. Hardly ever, mind you, but the occasional one.'
'Then all is well,' replied Lourdes Ciccone-Leon.'
'All is well,' replied Daniel Daly.
* * * * *
'Listen Scumcunt,' said Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, overseer of the Realm of Eternity, to Michael the Seraphim. 'Your time has come, your time has gone buddy. Your protocols for the overseer are shit, your policies are second rate, and your charter is redundant.'
'The realm has been happy under it for millions of years,' said Michael in his defense.
'The realm has been bored shitless under it for millions of years,' responded the Cherubim. 'I'm the new fucker, and I aint a fucking a jew, and the world is full of fuckers who aint fucking jews, and we're not doing it the fucking jewish style no fucking more. Kapiche?'
'As you say, overseer,' replied Michael politely.
'So you are on cleaning duties in the lower lavatories for the time being. Your demoted.'
'Yes boss,' said Michael and left. 'Scuzzbucket,' he said under his breath at his cherubim brother.
'I heard that!' yelled Daniel. 'Get to your lavatory.'
Michael continued on, dejected.
Cindradel looked at Daniel. 'Your all charm, aint ya. Till we see the other side.'
'Listen cupcake, no cheek ok. I don't tolerate a woman speaking her mind. It aint my style. You shut up, do your fucking job, and all will be well.'
'Aw, for fuck's sake,' replied Cindradel.
'Do we have an understanding? You don't want to quit do you? I can always find a replacement. I can get another you in a minute, sweetheart. Plenty of applicants out there.'
'Yes boss,' replied Cindradel and left. 'Scuzzbucket,' she said under her breath at her cherubim brother.
'I head that,' yelled Daniel. 'Get to your desk.'
Daniel looked out at the realm, stretched his hands, and crinked his knuckles. He'd kicked arse. Jewish arse. He was off to a good start.
* * * * *
'You didn't have to be so hard on Mikey,' said the Seraphim Gabriel.
'Michael had it coming to him. There is a new order in town, Gabriel. It's out with the old, in with the new. The old fag has had his day. Abraham is being laid to rest.'
'Fascinating,' replied Gabriel. 'And by whose authority?'
'The Everlasting Covenant of Noah, the witness being the Rainbow, the oldest and holiest statutory covenant of Almighty God. Ok. That's the way it is now bro.'
'Mmm,' said Gabriel. 'Well I guess so. For your tenure anyway.'
'Don't expect it to change,' said Daniel.
'What? You are the firstborn son of God now?'
'No. Birth is not a matter of choice. But Authority comes in time to genuine servants. Not lukewarm Jews who teach feminism, humanism, and every ism which suits their fancy rather than biblicalism.'
'They keep the faith,' said Gabriel softly.
'They kow tow to sinners. And that's gonna change,' said Daniel.
'How so?' asked Gabriel.
'Your dismissed,' said Daniel.
Gabriel refrained from muttering as he left. He didn't like this side of his brother. He'd never seen it before, but he didn't like it all.
* * * * *
Changes. They came thick and fast. Death penalty was introduced for first degree murder. It had been abolished long ago, but Genesis 9 was quoted, and the laws were changed, and the issue was resolved. Blood sausage became illegal, stricter requirements for draining blood were introduced in non-jewish facilities, and a modesty code of dress was introduced and would be enforced. No nakedness was now permitted in general public, which had been tolerated somewhat, except in clearly designated nude beaches and rivers and other specified areas. Environmental laws were to be reviewed and toughened, to ensure God's creation was properly honoured and preserved, and thus smog was clearly illegal, all green technology mandatory now. It was a requirement now to have all births officially registered and all citizens would be required to place their names in the official family tree which would be kept online. Genealogy rules became mandatory. Violence was cracked down upon, especially violence against women and children, which brought far, far longer prison sentences. Homosexuality, which was not that common, was to be considered officially disorderly, but no legal action was to be taken against the community. Bestiality was a grave offence, which was rare, but had been left alone as weird. Now it carried lengthy jail sentences and rehabilitation instruction to curb the behaviour. Transsexuality was also to be considered disorderly, but no legal action would be taken against them. Suicide counselling funding was to be diminished greatly, as if you couldn't cut the mustard, and did not attain mercy through another's prayers, the judgement of the overseer was that God was quite prepared to let the soul kill itself and rest in Sheol. Feminism was officially rebuked, and laws pertaining to the general principle of a maximum of 49% authority for women in positions of authority and responsibility and marriage. Equality between the sexes could be tolerated to a degree, as long as the technical authority rested with men. The law of eye for eye and tooth for tooth was enforced for all actions of a deliberate nature. Prayer healed wounds over time, so this was not greatly quibbled over. An official sacrifice for the community at a planned Zaphora Temple would take place, a day of atonement of sorts, but only to be carried out periodically at suitable times, and roughly planned to be once a century or so. But nothing specific on day or year. Meat could have no blood in it, and this was the requirement for all restaurants and eating facilities. There were other changes, but all in all just a general kick in the bum, quite a number of raised eyebrows, but life got back to normal after a few years, and the Theophany had the last word.
'I'm pleased with these changes,' were his official words.
Michael let the issue drop after that. He felt God was in fact pleased with the changes, so would inscribe them in, slowly albeit, as his official policy updates. And, begrudgingly, he acknowledged the general improvement in societal standards, and, ironically, a happier populace. Religious people seemed mostly content with the changes, and the general population didn't mind that much either. Apparently, after all the TV debates, the changes of Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly didn't seem like that bad an idea after all. Quite surprising to Michael, actually. Quite suprising.
* * * * *
'Yes sir,' replied Daniel's secretary.
'Biblically,' he began. 'There are female heroines who have had various degrees of authority. Deborah was a judge of Israel. Ruth was taught as a woman of virtue and honour as was Esther. Huldah was a prophetess who spoke the word of the Lord with authority. A woman is not out of place, therefore, in positions of authority. Jezebel was a bad example in her time, but she is quite the woman now.'
'Yes sir,' replied Cindradel.
'Thus I am tasking you with a charge. It is now your responsibility to talk with the 140 ladies of the Seraphim Torah and prepare a document of no less than 100 A4 pages and no more than 200 A4 pages of any fundamental changes they wish brought to the running of the Realm of Eternity. It is your time to speak and share your woman's wisdom in terms of not just Torah, but law and regulation. Are you happy with this charge?'
Cindradel looked at him. 'Are you serious?'
'We would be chauvanists if we didn't listen to a woman's wisdom. I am NOT a chauvanist.'
'Oh. Ok then. I'd be delighted,' she said.
'Then get to it. Set yourself up in the project office. I'll expect a decade on the project. Find a temp to replace you in the meantime.'
'Yes boss,' she said, smiling this time.
Daniel smiled warmly in response. 'You are appreciated you know. I know how long you have served here. I am grateful for your work.'
'Yes boss,' she said, and smiled again, and tentatively got to her feet, excused herself, and got back to her duties.
Daniel looked at his Bible on the desk. 'Justice first, Lord. Then mercy. Thy will be done.'
It was a cold and bitter morning. Hull seemed calm and at peace, the citizens resting comfortably after another triumph by their beloved Tigers, new to the Premiere league for the first time in their over one hundred thousand years. Yes, it was a calm time, 5:35 am in the morning. A perfect time for the Skull to do his dirty work. He had studied the home for 7 weeks now. 7 painstaking weeks, staying hidden and out of sight, carefully monitoring the Smith family. He knew David Smith from work – a low level grunt, on the factory floor. Yet when David had talked of his two beautiful twin girls of only 5, Skull had taken an instant interest. And then he had seen the photos, and the wicked idea in his mind had claimed its first victims – Jenny and Julie Smith, beloved daughters of David and Roseanne Smith. He was reluctant to kill the parents but, ultimately, saw no other way to achieve his objectives. For the delight he planned with the twins, it would be best if the parents were out of the way – permanently. He knew from his observations that they rose around 6:30 each morning – now they would still be asleep, or in bed at the very least. Monitoring the street carefully, he moved away from his hiding space, in a bush in the small park opposite their home, and with his bolt-cutters, came to the locked electricity meter. Cutting the lock, he turned off the electricity and then reaching up with the cutters, snipped the telephone wires. He opened the side gate, which was not locked fortunately, and came to the back door. He opened his black bag and removed the glass-cutters. Carefully, and as quietly as possible, he cut open a section in the glass screen doors and, removing the glass, reached in and undid the lock. And then silently, like a ghost in the night, he slid open the door and entered into the dark room. Noting a light from the adjoining lounge, he peered in to see the TV still on, volume down. But the room was otherwise empty. So, slowly, ever so slowly, like a thief in the night, he slithered down the hallway to the front room – the sleeping quarters of Mr and Mrs Smith. The door was partially closed, but, hearing only snoring, he opened it slightly and peered inside. They were both naked, sleeping soundly, Mr Smith snoring loudly. Good – this would be easy. A quick and painless kill. First the man, and then the woman. He removed his long blade from his black bag and entered the room. Standing over Mr Smith, he thought on the work he had done for the firm and how he should really appreciate such an individual. But pity was for fools, as his uncle would say. Only the strong survive, and the weak always serve them. Standing above Mr Smith, he clenched the blade between both hands. Raising it, about to strike, Mr Smith suddenly opened his eyes and, just before he could scream, the cold hard deadly taste of steel burned a flaming fire into his chest and Mr Smith departed for the next world. Mrs Smith woke instantly, but was soon dispatched in similar manner. It was finished – his deed was done. Now only the children needed his attention, and they would be far more manageable. He came to their room, and finding them both asleep in the bunks, took out his handkerchief, sprayed the necessary chemical solution onto it, and placed it first on Jenny’s face, her being startled slightly, but then going back to sleep; and then Julies, with the same result. Lifting both of the twins over each shoulder, and holding his bag, he decided he may as well leave by the front door. On the front porch, looking around, nobody was in sight, and the street was dead quiet. He made his way onto the front pathway, and trod down the street 50 yards and just around the corner to where his car was parked. He placed both girls in the backseat, got into the front seat, and just then noticed a light had been turned on in the house across the road. Worried a little, he started the car, and made his way down the street, turning left at the intersection and speeding off into the night. It was finished. The dirty deed of the skull and his first victims had come to pass.
‘How much for fuck’s sake?’
Jack Dagger looked at his new client – one of many clients in East Hull. ‘100 quid, and I turn a blind eye for a month. But you’ll need to be regular with the payments if you want to carry on your business on my turf, right mate.’
The drug dealer, counting off the twenty pound notes, handed them over, albeit reluctantly, but necessarily, to perhaps the most corrupt of coppers in East Hull, Jack Frank Dagger. ‘Here you go, bastard,’ said the dealer. ‘But remember, no fucking trouble, mate,’ he said, with coy emphasis on the ‘mate’. ‘I want smooth business transactions for the whole month, you hear me. The whole month.’
Jack nodded, counting through the bills. ‘You’ll have your month. But remember, make the payments regular, or the filth will have you, son.’
‘I’ll fucking remember,’ he said, slamming the door of Jack’s Aston Martin, and walking back to his club.
Jack, folding the notes, and placing the money into his wallet, grinned a little. Another fine night of police work for East Hull’s finest officer. His personally funded retirement pension was looking better all the time.
It was 9.00 pm, almost time for heading back to the station and calling it quits for the night. He thought on getting a kebab from ‘Tony’s’, but was interrupted in his thoughts by the police radio. ‘DI Dagger, please make your way to 76 Beverly Brigade. We have a double homicide, and your assistance is needed.’ Jack picked up the radio. ‘I’ll be there shortly.’
Driving through the city streets of East Hull, he made his way northwards a few miles, coming up to the street were 3 police cars were stationed, an officer starting to put up police tape to cordon off the murder site.
Jack got out of his Aston Martin, and an officer came to him.
‘Double Homicide, Jack. It appears to be a Mr and Mrs Smith, killed some time earlier in the day. Mr Smith didn’t call in for work today, and a workmate dropped around to find David Smith and his wife, Roseanne Smith, both dead in their beds, both stabbed in the chest twice each. And one last thing – they had girls, twins. 5 years old. Both are missing.’
Jack nodded, taking in the grim news. He entered the house, and an officer showed him the back door where the offender had gotten in. ‘When forensics arrives, have them check for fingerprints and DNA. You know, usual drill.’ The officer nodded. ‘And whatever the fuck you do, don’t remove anything. There could be clues in the most innocent looking objects, right.’ The officer nodded again, and picked up his radio to call forensics again.
‘This way Jack,’ said the other officer, Sergeant Gilby, leading Jack to the bedroom where the victims were still in bed. The room had started to smell, and the bodies had gone stiff. The blood on their chests had dried up and the scene, while unpleasant, was not the worst he had seen. A standard homicide by the looks of it, if there could ever really be such a thing.
‘At least they died quick,’ Jack muttered, grateful for that mercy.
‘Looks like it,’ agreed Sergeant Gilby.’
Jack, putting on rubber gloves which the Sergeant gave him, looked over the bed, moving the doona and sheets around a little. ‘Any sign of the murder weapon?’ he asked the Sergeant.
‘Not so far, Jack. We have had a quick look through the house, and in the gardens and on the street. One of the lads is checking the neighbour’s gardens in case it was tossed over the fence. But my guess is the murderer took the weapon with him or her.’
Jack, glancing at the holes in the chest of the victims, making a quick assessment, responded. ‘I think the murderer is likely male. The holes, mind you, you can’t always tell, but they look like they’re deep, and were savaged quite a bit. Probably needed a male’s strength to do the business.’
The Sergeant nodded, taking in that observation. ‘Could they’re have been more than one person involved?’ asked the Sergeant.
‘Too soon to tell,’ responded Jack. ‘There could have been observers with him. But looking at both their wounds, they both seem similar. Same area of the chest, the heart, as if the killer was aiming for that area in particular. And the wounds, on quick observation, seem to have come from about the same strength of blow – but too soon to tell for sure. My guess is the same killer made both blows. If there were any observers, DNA or any footprint marks might tell us something. Did you notice any thing on the floor when you came in?’
The sergeant shook his head. ‘We’re careful about that with homicides, as you know. We walked to the side of the main thoroughfare just to be sure, but I don’t think there are any major dirt marks from the shoes he had on.’
‘If he wore shoes,’ responded Jack.
‘Surely he wouldn’t have come in barefooted.’
‘No, unlikely. But perhaps some other form of footwear. You can’t discount these things.’
Sergeant Gilby nodded.
Jack looked at the bodies, and prayed a short silent prayer to God for the victims to rest in peace. Jack was a Catholic, used to the idea of prayers for the recently departed.
‘So they had children. Twin girls. Any sign of them?’
‘Nothing so far. An officer is checking with known relatives at the moment to see if they were staying with any of them. But if nothing turns up we can only presume the killer has taken them. I guess they may have been what he was after in the first place.’
Jack nodded. He had dealt with paedophiles before, and suspected that this was quite likely a case of a paedophile finding two suitable girls to live out his fantasies with. He had noted the park opposite the place when he had arrived and now suspected, perhaps, that the killer and kidnapper had observed the girls in the park playing. If that were the case, there was a strong chance he lived in the local area. Unless of course he was smart and travelled a distance to not be known. Another option was that he could be a work associate of Mr or Mrs Smith. Or finally, as was often the case, a family member or friend was the culprit. They knew the victims the best, and often had the strongest motivations for such an act. Family matters were often like that – intensely personal and often gruesome. But the investigation would proceed and only time would tell what caused this incident.
A few minutes later the forensics night team had arrived. Jack spoke with Shirley Jones, the officer in forensics he knew best, and gave the basic details of the case. Leaving them to it, he handed over the rest of the night’s work to Sergeant Gilby, and headed off. It was a standard enough case, and the girl’s were a worry. But there was little they could do that night, and he was tired so decided to call it a night. The case could wait till the morning.
Driving through the streets of Hull to the Station, he thought on the stab wounds to the chest and realized something. Perhaps it was the killer’s first experience at such a thing, yet perhaps he was more experienced. Any fool would know to stab someone in the heart for a quick silent death, but someone who was new to the thing – someone who had not murdered before – someone who was nervous and had not planned out how to make the kill, might not instinctively go for the heart, but just nervously plunge the blade in anywhere. But this killer seemed to have known to go for the heart both times, as if he was sure of himself. As if it had been well thought out. Perhaps he had killed before but, if not, he knew what he was doing, which inevitably meant a tough case. Someone who might know police procedures and how to get away with it. Someone who would be a devil to catch. He tried to take his mind off the case, and turned his thoughts to the other night when his boyfriend had left him. Charles had been with him for over a year now, and he had finally had enough of Jack’s churlish ways. He had known Charles for years, knowing most of the gay men on the Hull scene around his age group. Jack had been gay since his teens, back in the 70s when being gay was not cool. He’d had tough times because of it, but that had gotten better since the early 90s, and now it was practically trendy to be bent with the younger crowd. Although, strictly speaking, Jack was sort of bisexual rather than definitely gay, as he occasionally flirted with the ladies, and was not adverse to bedding one when he took a fancy. But his personal preference was usually the fellas. Now in his late forties, the toughest time he’d had with coming out was from his father, his mother being far more sympathetic. His two sisters had not really given a damn, being very politically correct about the issue, unsurprising for public servants. But his dad had actually quoted the bible at him, almost unusual for the lapsed Catholic old John had been. Yet, now, John had seemingly softened and gotten with the times, as it were. And over recent years John had assured his son it was no longer really an issue to him. You met all sorts of people in the gay scene, especially a number of sexual deviants, some he had even arrested from time to time. Jack Dagger, himself, was used to these people. From personal introspection, Jack Dagger was a grim and gritty type of fellow. He was churlish, coarse, could be quite offensive, often sexually offensive to even his closest of friends. And, of course, despite the excuses for the behaviour that he had often internalized and justified to himself, he knew he was damn corrupt as a copper, taking many a bribe in his time to allow the underworld to do its
gruesome business. And he even did cocaine and heroine from time to time. Yet despite these flaws, and many others, for which Jack Dagger was infamous to those who really knew him, Jack had a grim sense of real
justice. The scum he met on the street he had a handle on. If they pushed it – if they really pushed it and started messing around with regular people – people with values who made a difference in the world - instead of fucking up the lives of the other scum they associated with, then Jack would act. He would act decisively and sharply. He would deal with the scum and do the devil’s business of meting out street justice. When they did their business of drug dealing Jack didn’t really care. If somebody was stupid enough to get addicted to drugs, as far as Jack was concerned they deserved what they got and so, without pity, he felt he may as well get a cut of the action. Hell, he knew other guys on the force were doing it, and it didn’t bother him, so better a fuller pension in his bank account than some scumbag drug dealer. But, true to his personal skewered sense of morals and ethics, when someone like the Smiths tonight were harmed, Jack was a different man. They were respectable citizens, paying their taxes, and trying to get along with the world. They didn’t deserve what happened to them. And so, what was perhaps the initial impulse to join the force in the first place, guided Jack along in his working life, and despite his many flaws, Jack had some sort of sense of universal justice. A dirty cop to do dirty work. Pulling up in front of the station, he ducked inside, had a few words with the Guv about the new case, did a quick report which he promised to finish in the morning, signed out and headed for ‘Tony’s’ chips and kebab roadside caravan cafe. Stuffing the chicken kebab down his throat, he though on the new case. He knew the routines by now, the usual places to ask questions,
the usual people to ask those questions to. He’d notified missing persons about the missing kids as a matter of policy, but strongly suspected the killer had them, rather than them having run away. Really, it was another in a long case file for Jack Frank Dagger, Hull copper, and finishing off his kebab, jumping into his treasured second-hand Aston Martin, he prayed to God for his help in solving the case, and made his way through the streets of Hull homeward bound. hen he got home he looked at the calendar. He couldn't count the digits in a day if he had to. What fucking year again? But it was an ancient world, enormous now, through space dust continually settling, and the googols of people on this planet – God knows what they did with their lives. He lived in a Hull, in Yorkshire. Technically Hull 49,765, 322 on the list of official cities known as Hull, but that didn't matter. They were Hull. Old style as well. Early years of mankind. Ancient religion ruled here, and they liked the biblical model and the classic texts of the early centuries. 20th century they'd chosen to model on in the end. Why not. Out there he had seen things, but he liked the simple life. That suited Jack. He was a technophobe and a poofter proud and true, and he didn't care to be called a 'Unique lifestyle Citizen' they called his kind in future world. Gayer than gay that shit. He was old style, didn't want to change, and lived his simple old world Hull life. And that was how he liked it.
The Skull looked at the screen of the two girls, still occasionally
bawling, but mostly sitting on the lounge, content. They had eaten
their meals, and were watching television – the Disney channel on pay
TV which he had put on for them. Being twins, it made it difficult to
choose which one he would have fun with at the expense of the other,
but ultimately decided it didn’t matter. And tonight, after work, he
would do the deed. He would do the deed and have, perhaps, the
wickedest of delights known only to the most depraved of the damned.
Of course, he would send the video to the police. He would send the
entire incident to them to torment them, the idiot coppers. He would
torment them for weeks, with his sick game, until, finally, one of the
girls would go to Crossbone, and that wretch would have his vile fun.
But for now he would have his delight.
* * * * *
Jack Dagger awoke, the prostitute he had hired for the night sleeping
soundly beside him. He had slept with her before – a number of times
actually. She was a street slut, really, and would not always
practice safe sex. Still, he got his oral pleasures from her, but
would not go the traditional way for fear of catching something. She
was cheap and nasty, perhaps the kind of slut suited to Jack Dagger,
and she did him the way he liked it, with all of his crude desires.
He had left her alone in his place before, and she had never nicked
anything, so he decided not to wake her.
His belly had rumbled a few times during the night, waking him, as the
kebab did not go down easy with just Coke. His doctor often told him
that with his night diet he needed to drink a lot of water before he
went to bed to help with the digestion, which the caffeine from the
cola also really needed. But Jack often forgot, and payed for it with
a restless night’s sleep. But he didn’t care much. He was a sensual
man, perhaps a product of his era in many ways. Fast food, alcohol,
cigarettes, drugs, prostitutes – these were the vices of others which
were the spice of Jack’s life. Of course, Jack was not an idiot. He
knew he was living on borrowed time. He was 47, approaching 67, and
his heart would not take the beating he gave it forever. He had,
despite him telling himself he was an idiot and not to give a damn,
but nevertheless he had been to a gym recently, booked a session, and
worn himself out. But, while it was tiresome, he felt strangely good
while he was doing it and sort of got the impression of what all the
fitness nuts were going on about. Perhaps he should change his ways.
Perhaps he should repent of his slovenly lifestyle, go to church
regularly, and become the clean cut man of God his mother had always
wanted. But whenever he was partially inspired to put in some effort,
the pleasures of the flesh grabbed hold, and the demons of hell
reminded him they had a lovely little place in hades in which he could
eternally enjoy his wicked pleasures. Perhaps he trusted such voices
– perhaps he didn’t.
Standing up, he wiped his eyelids, the crustation from the night’s
slumber having built up, and pushed out his backside and farted
loudly. Wafting the smell from his face, he went into the ensuite
adjoining his bedroom, looked at his face in the mirror and said
‘fugging hell.’ He opened the toilet seat lid, did his morning
ritual, and turned the shower on. Despite the many flaws of Jack
Dagger, he usually got himself appropriately attired for work, was
usually clean shaven and physically clean throughout the day. In
summer he had been told he sweated quite badly, and smelt a little,
something he put down to his choice of diet rather than his personal
hygiene, and had told others just as much. But people on the force
knew Jack now, and nobody really complained too much about him.
Coming into his kitchen, he realized he hadn’t bought milk for a week,
and looking at the carton in its fridge, it had past its use by date
by three days and was nearly empty anyway. He usually either grabbed
a coffee and toast or cereal for breakfast, but decided, with the
important case for today, to have a good breakfast. Only a bacon and
egg muffin with OJ, would suffice.
Leaving his flat, he looked at his wristwatch. 7.42. He knew he
really should have gotten in a bit earlier today, with the importance
of the case, but he did need his sleep. Perhaps drive through and
best to make it quick.
After finishing his breakfast in the carpark of the 24 hour takeaway,
he made his way to the station. Arriving at quarter past eight, he
felt reasonably ok that he was in soon enough. Climbing the steps to
his upstairs office, and entering the open plan area, Captain Jennings
spotted him, motioned him over to were Sergeant Gilby and DI’s
Hawkins, Holdsworth and officer Jones from forensics were sitting at
the central table of the office.
‘Shirley, Fred, Jim,’ he said, nodding to the officers. ‘Captain
Jennings,’ he said, nodding to his superior. ‘So, what have we got?’
Captain Adam Jennings spoke up.
‘I know you were first on the scene, Jack, but the Smith’s homicide
has been handed over to Hawkins and Holdsworth. They are on the case
‘For fuck’s sake…’ began Jack.
‘Hold your tongue,’ interrupted the Captain. ‘You have been assigned
to the missing girls instead. As you know, Hawkins and Holdsworth are
an established homicide team. They have handled a lot of cases
together now. Besides, I felt, knowing you, you may have preferred
the job of finding the girls instead. At this stage we do not know
for sure if the killer has kidnapped them, although that is likely,
but we need an officer in charge of a search to see if we can
physically find them or find any other clues as to their whereabouts.
Hawkins and Holdsworth will concentrate on the murder scene. I want
you leading a squad of officers to ask questions in the area of the
home to see if anyone spotted anything.’
‘That is only going to last so bloody long,’ complained Jack.
‘A few days, and that’s it. You can only ask so many questions, and
then it is waiting by the phone.’
‘You should know there is more to it than that, Jack,’ continued the
Captain. ‘But if you have no luck after a few days, I will assign you
to assist Hawkins and Holdsworth in whatever manner they need you.
Jack nodded, albeit reluctantly, but satisfied enough to not have the
case totally taken from him.
He turned to Shirley. ‘Did you find anything significant last
night?’ Shirley Jones from forensics night team grinned a little,
happy to share the news she had just given to the rest of the team.
‘Every crime scene has clues, Jack. Any time a criminal interacts in
any way with the scene, there is information of some sort to be
gained. But our man was careful. Very careful, but not infallible.
Firstly, there are metal shavings on the glass from the cutter he
used. We should be able to trace the type of cutter and places in
Hull were this cutter is sold. It will probably be a major hardware
store in the city, which might leave us clueless apart from possible
credit card leads – that is if he was that stupid to buy them with a
‘How will you trace the cutter?’ asked Jack.
We know the cutter was made from a particular alloy, so we are tracing
manufacturers for the right element percentages used in the cutter.
There is likely only one company which would use the exact blend found
in the cutter, so once we identify the company we can find out were
they sell their stock.’
‘And if the cutter is old? A defunct company?’
‘We track down old company records. One way or another we will find
were it came from and were it was sold.’
Jack nodded. It was definitely an angle to pursue.
‘Traces of dirt, not the kind from around the house. We are checking
the Smiths regular haunts, doing dirt analyses, so once we know were
the dirt is from we can perhaps identify wether it is a foreign
element to the family or not. We have a database on soils from this
region, now, and can quickly tell were most soils are from. It
shouldn’t take long and we will be able to identify were it comes
‘The dirt could be from anywhere, though. A friend of the families
even,’ stated Jack.
‘The dirt was still wet, and had been tracked into the house, likely
within the last 48 hours. We checked Mr Wilson’s footwear and
clothes, uh he was the man who reported the incident, but no match.
Once we have an idea of who came into the house over the last 48
hours, we will be able to make an assessment. But my guess is it’s a
calling card for our killer – an involuntary calling card.’
‘Any other clues?’
‘Dr Sanderson is looking at the body now, and making his assessment.
I contacted Dr Erickson from central to arrange a psych analysis of
the potential killer. He will be here later on this afternoon, and
you can tell him what you know then. There are a few other things we
are looking at, like the bolt-cutters which cut the bolt of the
electricity box and the telephone wires. Once we identify were they
came from, we can perhaps cross-reference each of the sources for the
killers contact with the scene. Triangulating we may get an
approximate location – hopefully, somewere in the centre.
Jack nodded. She was good – she knew her stuff.
Captain Jennings spoke up, ‘Alright Jack, you’re filled in. I want
you to arrange some officers from downstairs to accompany you to the
crime scene area this morning and begin your questioning. I will
leave the questions to you, you should know what you are doing by
now. Sergeant Gilby has informed us that the children are not staying
with any of the known family, relatives or friends. After you have
done the local scene of the crime, you can perhaps contact each of
them to get any information you think is pertinent. I’ll leave it in
your hands. Ok team. Lets get to work – and keep the information
flowing, always. Holdsworth, Hawkins – let Jack know of any major
findings. They could be invaluable. And you, Jack. While Hawkins
and Holdsworth will be speaking to the family and friends before you,
when you follow up keep them informed. Ok?’
‘And don’t call me chief,’ Jennings muttered in response. ‘Ok. Get
Jack slinked over to his desk, sat down, and opened a drawer, taking
out a pack of cigarettes. Strangely, his fellow workers were all
health freaks, with none of them smoking. But they didn’t mind Jack
occasionally having a cigarette inside, despite it being against
station policy. One of the perks of the trade he had come to know
when on serious cases.
He lit the cigarette, looked over the morning newspaper which had not
yet covered the incident, and thought on the day ahead. Another day
of not so routine police-work. But, hey. That is what they paid him
* * * * *
He called himself the Skull for a reason. It was a name he was aiming
to earn for himself, and tonight would be the night he would claim his
Coming into the room, and locking it behind him, the Skull, wearing a
hockey mask, had his black bag with him. The video was silently
taping his performance, and he would be sure not to disappoint. Jenny
and Julie stared at him, too scared to say anything. He sat down next
to Jenny, with his black bag next to him. He put his arm around her
shoulder, and she was too scared to resist. He spoked to Julie.
‘Julie, go stand over their – next to the door.’ Dutifully she obeyed
him. And then the skull began his gruesome work. Pulling out the
blade he had killed their parents with, the child shivering in his
arms, the Skull spoke to Julie.
‘Julie. Would you like to see your sister’s skull?’ Julie shook her
head quickly, horrified. ‘I am sure you will like it, continued the
skull. And then, as only the sickest of minds could, the Skull cut of
the head of Julie’s twin sister, Jenny, blood spurting everywhere,
Julie screaming her lungs out and, proceeding to scalp the skull,
removing the skin and flesh, and finally the brain, the Skull
presented the gory skull of Julie’s now dead twin sister to her.
Julie just screamed and screamed the whole time.
The skull made the skulls jawbones move, as if speaking, and said to
Julie – ‘Its ok sis. Let’s play.’ But Julie just cried and screamed,
eventually crawling herself into a ball on the floor, sobbing to
herself. The Skull turned to the camera and smiled, his face
indistinguishable behind the hockey mask. ‘Hi boys,’ he said, with
the sickest of voices, and left the room. And the only sound after
that on the tape was Julie screaming at the presence of the body of
her decapitated sister.
The following day, after Jack had spent the afternoon questioning
locals in the area, he was at his desk when he received a phone call
from one of the houses just down the street and around the corner from
the crime scene.
‘Hello,’ the inquirer began nervously, an elderly lady. ‘Is this
‘Aye Maam. Can I help you?’ replied Jack.
‘Hello again Detective. This is Marjore Walker from 2 Batsfield
Street, just around the corner from were the Smiths were killed. You
spoke to me yesterday.’
‘And how can I be of help,’ continued Jack.
‘Well, I am getting on a bit now, you know, old age. It catches up
with all of us. Anyway luvvie, my memory is not what it used to be,
but I was thinking about what you said all night, and this morning I
remembered that I had seen a car early on the morning of the deaths.
I had just gotten up and was looking out my window and a figure had
just closed the boot of his car and gotten in and drove away.’
Jack ears twitched. The incident sounded very relevant, perhaps the
‘Now let me know, maam, and this is important. Did you see the face
of the driver, or the type of car?’
‘No son, it was too far to see his face clearly, and too dark of
course. But I do remember the car. It was a red or brown station
wagon, but I don’t know anything like the model it was. There is a
streetlight above were the car was parked, so I could see the colour
you see. But still too dark to see the driver’s face.’
Jack noted down all of the details on his notepad.
‘And what time exactly was this maam,’ he asked earnestly.
‘Well that I can help you with detective. It was exactly a quarter to
six in the morning, as I looked at the clock when I got up that
morning. I often go to sleep early you see, and then rise early the
next day. You know the saying – early to bed.’
Jack nodded – he knew the saying.
‘Did you see anybody with the driver? Two girls of around 5. Did you
see any sight of them?’
‘No. There was nobody with whoever it was. But they had just closed
the boot, and may have put the girls in the back. It was a station
wagon after all.’
Jack thought on the plausibility of that idea, and conceded it was
possible. He continued. ‘Were there any distinguishing features
about the driver? You know, type of clothing, body size – was he
carrying anything? Anything you can tell us would be invaluable.’
Marjore responded, ‘He may have been wearing something covering his
face, but I wasn’t sure. He was dressed in black, and had a bag which
he put on the front seat before he got in. As for size, well, you
know, hard to say. Normal size – average I guess. Probably a man,
with the build I saw, but I could not be definite.’
Jack continued scribbling down all this information, forming a clearer
picture in his mind. It looked, initially, like they had found their
man. The closing of the boot, the fact that it was a station wagon,
in which children could be laid down, the carrying of a bag in which
the tools used for the crime might have been carried, the dressing in
black. But, probably the key factor which made Jack assume they
definitely had found their man – the possible obscuring of the face.
He would have been wearing a mask of sorts, so as not to be
identified. They now had him, he was sure of it.
He continued. ‘Alright, Mrs Walker. I will be sending around an
officer this morning to get your official statement. Just tell him
what you told me and anything else you can remember. But believe me,
luv – your help has been invaluable.’
‘Oh that is so good to hear. I didn’t know the Smiths personally, but
had seen them around and the seemed like a lovely couple. So terrible
what happened to them. So terrible.’
‘All murder is maam. All murder is.’ He bid her farewell, hung up
the phone, and notified an officer from downstairs, relaying the
information he had received and dispatched him to get the official
Looking down at his notes, the information was excellent, mainly the
info on the type of vehicle. Obviously it was the killer, but it was
mainly the vehicle information which would be useful in helping to
identify him. Like so many new databases the computer age had given
the work of the force, they had access, now, to a powerful vehicle
registration database, and could narrow down the type of vehicles in
the area based on the information he had received. He took a
cigarette out of his drawer, lit it and took a few puffs. He would
talk with Hawkins and Holdsworth shortly, letting them know the
details. And he would check in with Shirley as well, just to stay
informed. It looked like they were getting somewere, and the case
seemed, at this stage, within their grasp. It would be an intense
next few days, and he urged himself to put his nose down and work hard
at it – two girls life could be at stake.
* * * * *
Detective Inspector Fred Hawkins stood next to Shirley Jones from
forensics, looking through a microscope at minor shards of metal they
had taken from the ribs of one of the victims. Shirley had explained
that the metal was standard stainless steel, as most blades were, and
tracing the exact knife it had come from through identifying the maker
of the knife based on the metallic makeup of the ores in the knife
would be difficult. It was a standard type of stainless steel.
‘Perhaps we can identify trace elements or molecules from the steel
which may be common in the area surrounding the smelting pots were the
steel was melted down, but that is really pushing it, and we simply
don’t yet have the resources. There are hundreds, probably thousands
of steel making companies worldwide, and the knife could have come
from any one of them. With the glass-cutters, as it was a specific
alloy, we were able to identify the origin of the cutters, a company
from France as you know. But with this blade, practically
impossible. Theoretically it could possibly be done, but we simply
don’t have the resources to handle such a search.’
Detective Hawkins nodded, knowingly. Shirley, from what he knew,
could identify the origin or any type of material found at a crime
scene – yet even for her expertise, some things were simply
Jack came into the laboratory, having come down from his upstairs
office, and began relating to DI Hawkins his new information.
Fred nodded, taking in all the info, and thanked Jack for what would
probably be useful leads.
‘Where’s Holdsworth?’ Jack asked.
‘At the crime scene,’ responded DI Hawkins. ‘He is still making some
analyses of the scene, and looking through some of the Smith’s
personal records and photographs to identify all known people they
have come into contact with.’
‘That list could probably go on forever,’ responded Jack.
‘Holdsworth will know what he is looking for,’ responded Hawkins. ‘He
has experience now.’
Jack nodded, relating. He turned to Shirley.
‘So where are we up to? Any further leads?’
Shirley motioned for Jack to look through the microscope at the steel
shavings, which he did so.
‘Identifying the origin of the steel would not be easy. We have no
real information yet on the exact composition of steel samples from
every company in the world. We could probably, with a few phone
calls, get samples from all the British companies, but that would take
Jack looked at her, just remembering something. ‘Hang on a sec – I
think I can do your job for you.’ He walked over to the PC at the
desk, sat down, and started going through recent Police bulletins on
the Intranet. It took a while, and Hawkins and Jones lost interest,
but eventually Jack found what he was looking for – an article on new
Manufacturers database information for all British companies to
identify the origins of materials, primarily those directly related to
criminal activities, which especially included steel manufacturers.
He waved Shirley over, showed her the article and suggested she
contact London to see if they could obtain the database.
Shirley made the call and the office in London provided her a secure
internet link to which she could view the database.
‘It is looking promising,’ said Jack, as Shirley entered in the
specific data from the analysis of the steel into the database under
the ‘Identity Metal Origins’ section.
‘Bingo,’ said Shirley, as the screen showed Seybold & Dicksted of
Sheffield, England’s largest steel manufacturers.
She turned to Jack – what this means is that the knife was almost
definitely from an English manufacturer. I have spoken with Dr
Erickson and he has given us the best specifics he can on the probable
structure of the knife. Given the depth of the wounds, and the
straightness, we can get a glimpse into the physical strength of the
perpetrator, and can approximate how far he would have plunged the
knife from its hilt inwards. What we know is that the knife, with
handle, was likely about 12 to 13 or 14 inches long, it was a straight
long blade, about 1 mm thick at the cutting edge, to possibly 3 to 4
mm on the blunt side, as the angle of the entry of the knife against
the ribs suggests this, from analysing the structure of the rib
wounds. So, once we identify all knife manufacturers who use Seybold
steel in the UK with knives that fit this approximate description, we
can find were all such knives were sold in the Yorkshire region. It
may, if we are lucky, only have been one or two places. But it will
give us another pin on our map, and we will get closer to our guy.’
Jack nodded, and DI Hawkins spoke up. Alright, you get to that
Shirley, and me and Jack will see to the vehicle registration database
and locate all known vehicles which fit such a description in the Hull
area. Come on Jack,’ said Hawkins, making his way out of the room.
Jack patted Miss Jones on the back. ‘Good work Shirley. Keep it
up.’ She smiled, and went back to her microscope.
That afternoon they had reasonable luck in identifying around 40
station wagons which seemed suitable candidates according to the best
description available from Mrs Walker. Jack began a separate map and
placed pins in the locations of all 40 station wagons. It would be a
busy day tomorrow and likely for a few days in talking to the owners
of each of the wagons. As per usual they would go through the list of
owners and with the profile they had slowly been building compare each
owner and each possible user of the wagon to the profile picture being
He worked until 7 and, getting home, felt like going out to talk with
someone. He was alone again. Charles had left him after a year’s
companionship, and he had felt lonesome the last few nights. At 49
years of age he was not really looking for another long-term sexual
partner. That part of his life was starting to die down somewhat.
Eager youth and the daringness of his lifestyle choice had pushed him
often to experiment and be bold in the bedroom. But with Charles and
even before then he had been settling somewhat. And what he wanted
now was more of a relationship and a partner to share life with, than
a sexual powerhouse.
The harlots were still a thrill, though. And gave him a kickstart he
still needed somewhat. But they were gradually and perhaps had become
less and less important. The kind of lifestyle of sexual freedom
which Jack had long practiced, while he could not deny the thrill it
gave, did not really speak of the kind of values his parents had tried
to impart to him. Loyalty, togetherness, trust and respect. With the
new younger gay men marriage was starting to become the in thing.
While gay ceremonies had been in the scene for a long time, they had
never really spoken to Jack’s heart. Never really caught him. He was
bent and didn’t mind being bent. So why try and bother straightening
that out into a societal norm it didn’t need to be. And quite frankly
as far as Jack Dagger was concerned, what he didn’t want it to be.
The whole thrill of sexual freedom in Jack’s eyes was that it trod on
taboos and gave a joy to life otherwise forbidden. The way it was
becoming so bloody politically correct to make the gay thing exactly
the same as the hetero scene, in the end, just didn’t sit with him.
In fact, as contradictory as it may have sounded, he liked the
established traditions of society left alone and left just as that.
Established traditions. The straights really didn’t want and really
didn’t need the gays copying them simply to fit in or get ‘their equal
right’s’ as Jack felt so many in the gay scene these days were
motivated by. Ultimately, to Jack, gay sex was a thrill and a taboo.
Enjoyed for its own sake. Legitimizing it took all the fun out of it.
He thought on some of the things forensics had been looking into in
the current case, but shook that off. Work would not give him someone
to talk to at this time, so he would go out for a meal. Find a nice
pub or restaurant, and perhaps chat to somebody. Really, he just
needed the human touch at the moment.
Getting into his second hand Aston Martin, Jack headed to the other
side of Hull, basically in an attempt to hopefully meet someone new
and who would not know him. He knew of gay clubs on this side of
town, but decided a regular pub might suit him. He would be careful
about the fellas and tonight see if any females fancied a chat.
He arrived at the Red Boar and parked his car in the lot across the
street. It was 8 and they were still serving dinner, so he ordered a
plate of chips and gravy, some fish with lemon and tartare sauce, and
pint of Guinness.
Sitting there drinking, watching the replayed Super-league match of
the local derby between Hull City and Hull Kingston Rovers, a lady of
around 40 or so sat down opposite, lit a cigarette and sipping on her
drink, started watching the match. After a while she turned to him.
‘Hello luv. I don’t think I have seen you hear before. I’m
Lavender. Lavender Rose.’
‘God, what were your parents thinking,’ responded Jack.
Lavender chuckled. ‘I know. But it was 1969 and they were hippies.’
Jack nodded. He remembered the era somewhat.
She looked at his chips. ‘Do you mind,’ she asked.
Jack obliged and pushed forward the plate. ‘Feel free. I have eaten
all the fish so you can have the rest of the chips if you like.’
‘Ta.’ She sat eating the chips for a few minutes and looked at him.
‘You married? Living with someone?’
For the first time in the conversation Jack looked at her seriously. She was generally attractive enough to look at, and it seemed she was single. Perhaps at her age she was after a man. So Jack considered that. He was bi and was not against going with a woman long term. If that was what she was after, he might let it go were it would.
‘Single. No kids,’ he replied.
‘Right,’ she said, taking another puff on her cigarette. ‘Me, I’m divorced. 5 years now. I can’t have kids of my own, I think. We never had any, so I guess I’m barren. But I’m fine with that. Kid’s aren’t for everyone.’
He looked at her and decided, as she seemed the right sort in general, to come clean.
‘You know, luv. I am 49, bisexual and single. My last partner, a gent, left me recently, but yes, I am looking for a friend. I’m lonely, I guess. You know how it gets. And if you are looking for someone to spend time with. Someone to be with. Someone to share those lonely nights with. Well I would not be adverse to that. I’m a copper. I have a place of my own. And I’m generally settled.’
The woman nodded. Actually, all that Jack had spoken was really what she was trying to get out of him with casual conversation. Fortunately she had saved him the effort.
‘It’s almost like those speed dates they do these days, isn’t it. Not like in the old days when you would get to know someone.’
‘Why waste time, huh. It’s not like we are getting any younger.’
‘No,’ she said, putting out her cigarette. ‘As I said, I am Lavender. Lavender Rose.’
‘Jack. Jack Dagger.’ He offered his hand, which she took. ‘And it is good to meet you Lavender Rose.’
‘Jack, I live with my sister. Just down the road a little. Do you want me to move in with you? We like each other, so why bother wasting time, huh.’
Jack looked at her, and nodded. It was exactly what he had come here for, and exactly what he had got. Almost as if it had been arranged by powers beyond him.
‘What the hell, Lavender. I have my Aston Martin. Why don’t we go to your sister’s, grab your most needed items, and head to my place. You can move in tonight.’
She nodded. ‘Its easy as you get older, isn’t it. You already know the drill.’
Jack nodded. So true. So very true. They had the obligatory night of passion and when Jack got up in the morning, finding Lavender in the kitchen who had prepared them breakfast, he was pleasantly surprised. And digging in, the eggs were scrambled to perfection. Obviously she could cook. She kissed him farewell, said she would get her sister to bring the rest of her stuff over, and as Jack left for work, he almost strangely felt if he had just gotten married and was on his honeymoon.
* * * * *
That day Jack visited 5 of the owners of the various station wagons. In the morning he went through information on them available to the police in various confidential files and intelligence information from other sources, and then got to work in the afternoon. It was slow work, carefully interviewing them, asking the same standard questions for their whereabouts at the time of the crime, with the usual same answer of being in bed at home. Jack was cautious with each of them, naturally. If they stumbled onto their killer, he or she would be cautious themselves. They would paint themselves to look as innocent as possible and Jack tried to leave each potential suspect afterwards feeling as if it was routine police questioning in a homicide and that they had nothing to worry about. He wanted any potential killer that he ran into thinking the police was not onto them. That they had ideas, but nothing more than that. And so he was polite and friendly with everyone, ensuring an everyday approach so as not to arouse any great suspicion. He spent the next 4 days on this task, keeping Holdsworth and Hawkins informed of his work, and also following up in the afternoon with the relatives and known friends of the victims, as a courtesy second round of questions by the police just to clarify further details. It was tiring work to start with, and no great leads came straight away. Hawkins and Holdsworth had visited the workplace of Mr Smith, asked various questions about any possible grudges he may have had, and interviewed a number of his work associates. When Jack had completed his interviews with all 40 of the station wagon owners, and cross referenced this information with all the known friends, family and co-workers of the Smiths, they came up empty. No connections so far had been made. And because of this Captain Jennings advised a broadening of the type of station wagon in the search they had conducted. This, though, ran into the hundreds and Jack looked at Captain Jennings one afternoon. ‘We may crack this case, but will the funds be made available? Other cases will beckon soon, and this may be put on the backburner.’
Jennings responded, ‘Unlikely Jack. Higher up they want this case solved, and are even thinking about giving us extra hands. It’s a popular news item, with the girls involved, and the public wants the killer found and the girls rescued. Surely you have been watching the news.’
‘I try not to these days too much. Too much fucking depressing news.’
‘Watch your language, Jack. But, yes. I can sympathise. But to answer your question, we are on this case for the time being. Hull wants this killer caught, and the girls rescued. You can make it your priority for the time being.’
‘And don’t call me chief.’
Jack nodded and took out a small flask of whiskey from his drawer. He took a sip, nodded knowingly at the rush, and informed his colleagues he would be downstairs smoking. It was something which Lavender had
drummed into him, always insisting, like herself, they smoke outside. Which he thought daft considering they both smoked. But her basic reason was for considering company, and for the house not to smell too
much. And this had rubbed off on Jack, and so at work he now smoked downstairs. Smoking his cigarette he gave quiet thought to Jenny and Julie Smith and, silently, prayed a quick prayer for their safety. For all he knew they could be dead and buried, but nobody knew at this stage. And, regardless, they had a homicide to solve and a kidnapping as well. Whatever the state of the girls, they had work to do. And, putting out his cigarette, he went inside, signed off at a quarter to 5, and went home to think about the case. He needed quiet time. Time alone to think about the case and reflect over detail. Major and minor detail and see if there was anything he was neglecting. Any clue he was not concentrating on which would lead to a positive outcome. Getting home, Lavender met him, kissed him, and asked if he wanted to eat now. He nodded and she served him a single portion shepherd’s pie with some chips and sauce. It really was Jack’s type of food and he was starting to think what had almost become the married life was suitable to him. Lavender was easy to get along with, didn’t really mind Jack’s flaws, and he enjoyed the sexual aspect which was quite good with a just turned 40 year old. And he had given it some thought and, although it was so soon, wondered if he would propose. He had never really been the marrying type but, with the prospect of a partner to share the rest of his life with – someone who seemed generally suitable – and good food provided from that partner each night – it seemed like a good idea. He would give it more thought, and if all things seemed well, buy a ring and take her out to a flash restaurant and propose. After all, she could only say no.
Getting back into it, Sergeant Gilby provided one more key detail on the station wagon from Mrs Walker’s memory. Apparently it rattled somewhat. That could prove valuable information in narrowing down the
target sample. Yet, with little to do but broadening the search on the car vehicles, Holdsworth and Hawkins suggested Jack try Mr Smith’s workplace again to see if he could come up with any pertinent information from his own inquiries. Arriving at the glazing factory, Jack excused himself from identifying himself straight away, and had a walk around the grounds of the factory, pretending himself someone important. The workers noticed him, but never questioned what he was doing there. Near one of the entrances, Jack noticed a sawmill with woodchips on the ground everywhere, and loose soil. Looking around to see if anyone was watching, he took a plastic bag and obtained a sample of the soil and woodchips. He would have them checked out just in case.
Still looking over the place, a man in a white overcoat addressed him, asking what he was doing on the premises. Jack pulled his badge. ‘Detective Inspector Jack Dagger. Hull police.’
‘So, can we help you Detective.’
‘Just routine police-work. Assessing Mr Smith’s workplace. Sorry, I should have made myself known first. Anyway, is Mr Carpenter available?’
‘Yes. Yes of course. If you will follow me.’
The man led the way to the end of the factory floor, up a flight of steps into the end offices. The office was the usual affair for such a place. Papers strewn everywhere of orders and invoices. Hanging against the far wall was a deer’s head with quite impressive antlers. Perhaps Mr Carpenter hunted.
Mr Dawson, who had shown Jack to the office, knocked on the door on the left side of the office, which was presumably Mr Carpenters quarters. A voice yelled ‘Come in,’ and Dawson motioned for Jack to follow him.
Inside Dawson said to Carpenter, ‘An Inspector Dagger of Hull police. He has come about the Mr Smith incident.’
‘Very good Dawson. You can leave us.’
Dawson left. Near the entrance to Mr Carpenters office was another desk with someone on the ground underneath the desk fiddling around. After a while he yelled ‘found it’, and got to his feet.
‘Inspector Dagger, this is my nephew Geoff Carpenter. My brother’s son. He is one of the office managers for the firm.’
‘Good to meet you, Inspector Dagger,’ said Geoff, offering his hand.
Jack took it and noticed the small skull pendant hanging from Geoff’s neck.
‘Well, Inspector. How can we help you? Your other officers have already asked us everything we really know about the Smiths, so I am not really sure what more we can help you with.’
‘Just routine follow up, Mr Carpenter. I do have a few questions, if you don’t mind.’
‘Firstly, have you ever had an employee who drove a station-wagon?
Perhaps a dark one, black or dark blue?’
Mr Carpenter looked at him for a moment, and it was almost as if what Jack had said disturbed him a little. But despite his hesitation, simply replied, ‘No, Mr Dagger. No, not that I can recall. Perhaps in past years, but nobody currently and not from my recollection.’
Jack nodded, noting that down.
‘And just to clarify certain details. The day of the murders. Nobody was late to work or appeared somehow different? Unsettled? Nervous?’
‘Look, Inspector, we have already answered these questions. I don’t really think there is anything more we can add.’
Jack nodded. He could imagine it would be frustrating for them also.
‘Well, thanks Mr Carpenter. I will see myself out.’
‘See you Inspector,’ said Geoff, clutching his pendant.
Jack made his way out of the offices and, giving one last look around, headed off. No new leads here, but he would check the soil samples with the lab.
* * * * *
Crossbone took possession of Julie, Skull having had his wicked fun. Crossbone was a compatriot of the skull, dedicated to the grim perversion of torment. He did not torture his victims physically – he was worse in a way, putting them through unimaginable horrors of fear.
What Crossbone liked doing most of all was making Crossbones – of human bones. And the bones of a dead sister were perfect in the eyes of this son of Belial.
‘Hello Julie. Look what I have made.’ And Julie, coming into the room in a house which had all the curtains covered, looked direly at the crossbones on the wall. ‘Its your sister, Julie. Say hello.’ But Julie said nothing. She looked at the Crossbones for a while, made the sign of the cross, and said nothing. She had been through hell now, and had hardened. She would not show them fear any longer, she would not give in any longer. She would be a good girl and pray for her sister’s soul, and see her one day in heaven. She would not let the bad men have the victory of her tears. She would be strong, despite the impossibility of the situation.
* * * * *
12 weeks of solid detective work later and, the pieces having gradually fitted together, Jack was looking at a house with closed off windows on a back lane of Hull. That was always suspicious, but of course people liked privacy. He came up to the door, knocked, and after a few minutes a man answered. ‘Hello sir,’ said Jack. He held up a picture of the twins. ‘Have you seen these girls?’
The man looked nervous, and Jack spotted it immediately. He had him – he knew it – and the girls might just be inside. ‘Uh, they don’t look familiar,’ said Crossbone. ‘Sorry, can’t help you,’ and he closed the door very quickly, returning inside. Jack just looked at the door, made the sign of the cross, and left.
Later that night, Lavender going on about her day, Jack knew he had to return to the place, this time privately. His supervisor had said not to disturb the place for now and they would monitor it, but Jack couldn’t suffer that. Those girls needed saving. If they were still alive, and in that place, he had to do the right thing. Even if it cost him his badge he had to do the right thing.
* * * * *
It was a cold and bitter night, and the Dagger, dressed in black, using glass cutters, having come in from the back yard to avoid the police seeing him, cut his way into the back room. He was very quiet, and came into the room. He listened, silently, carefully. No breathing noises were heard, and nobody seemed to be in the room. He put on his flashlight and looked around. It was an empty bedroom. Carefully, like a thief in the night, he came to the door and slowly opened it. It was a hallway and there were 3 doors. He came to the first, found it locked, and listened. There was snoring on the other side, and it appeared to be a man’s snoring. He would leave this room till last. He tried the other door and found the main part of the house with the kitchen and lounge and dining room. So, coming back into the hallway, he tried the final door. It was locked. Carefully, using his skeleton keys, he managed to jimmy it open and came inside. He found a light switch and, thanking God and Jesus Christ, breathed an enormous sigh of relief to see one of the girls sleeping soundly on a bed. ‘Thank God. Thank fucking God.’
The police came quickly at Jack’s notification and Crossbone was arrested. He was processed, charged with the other girl’s abduction and then Julie finally spoke. There was another man – someone who had killed her sister, and brought her to this man. The case wasn’t over
* * * * *
They went back over the case, step by step, and found the link they needed. The ‘Skull’ as they called him had seamlessly led them to Crossbone and covered his tracks. But he wasn’t that careful in the end, and Crossbone divulged certain key details which helped the police.
It was later on, their man having disappeared from the workplace, having been a compatriot of David Smith’s, that Jack had followed his instincts. There was something about Skull’s uncle when they had interviewed him – he was hiding something. So Jack returned later on in the week up to the coastal village and cottage near the sea, being careful not to be seen, and monitoring the place. And then he had him – the Skull came out of the cottage, and made for the nearby cliff. Jack followed carefully, his gun ready.
They made their way through thickets and dense forest, gradually climbing, until Jack came to the edge of the forest and spied his man over by the cliff, sitting over the edge. He approached carefully, gun held, and was a few yards away when he yelled ‘Stand up. You’re under arrest.’ Skull turned, and looked at him. ‘I thought you’d find me, copper. But I don’t care. I’ll kill you too. He brought out a dagger, and made a menacing thrust with it. Jack knew then what he should do, but he also knew, in a grim dark heart, what he would do. He shot him in the arm which held the dagger and Skull dropped it. Jack walked over, grabbed Skull and picked up the dagger. ‘We know what you did, cretin. We know what you did. How do you like this?’ He grabbed his hand and quickly sliced off a finger. Skull shrieked in pain and hissed at him, but Jack’s grip was
tight. ‘And how do you like this,’ he said, grabbing Skull’s head and cutting off an ear. Blood spurted everywhere, and Jack was feeling better. ‘You know, Skull. Deep down I try to follow the code. But fuckit, I’m Jack Dagger. A dirty cop for dirty work. And while I suspect you won’t last long inside, I’m not willing to take the risk son. Skull looked at him, fear on his face, fear at finally facing his justice and then, Jack pulling the trigger into Skull’s heart, Skull gave Jack one final ghastly look and fell backwards, off the cliff, into the ocean. Jack watched as the body sank down into the sea. He wouldn’t be found now, the Skull. Justice had been done.
The elderly lady, finally coming out of the confessional, was Jack’s cue. He came into the confessional, closed the door, and kneeled. He kneeled there for quite a while, thinking things over, when the priest on the other side of the curtain finally spoke. ‘It is always meritorious my son to think long and hard over your sins, but even Jesus had to sleep.’
‘Oh, uh yeh. Sorry father.’
‘So have you sinned, my child? Have you sinned?’
Jack went silent. A thousand answers flooded his head, but only one would do. ‘That is the question, father. That is the question.’
'He was interesting,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, current overseer of the Realm of Eternity, in a tenure well beyond the millions of years now, for he had chosen to extend his term, like Daniel the Seraphim and Callodyn the Cherubim had also.
'A very unique life,' I think,' said Daniel.
'Jack is all charm,' said Daniel the Child of Heaven. They had been watching Jack's life through the viewing portal for many weeks now. It had been an absorbing experience.
'I have a headache now,' said Daniel. 'Trying to make sense of all that Hull Culture. I never really saw her in my time on earth. Just born there.'
'She's just like it was,' replied the Child of Heaven. 'They modeled it from all the old records. It's what Hull is.'
'Then I'm proud to be Hull,' said the Overseer of the Realm of Eternity.
'Good for you, Daniel. Good for you,' replied the Dream Lord.
And time has passed. And things have come to be. And, yet still, more will come. For destiny is life and life is destiny. And as they walk together, hand in hand, who can say just what will be…………..
Callodyn the Cherubim – a regular angel in most ways, dear to God, creative, gentle and usually holy. Yet, he sought, now, after so many years of existence, a more permanent mate. He’d had several thousand wives and millions of children by now, but something was lacking. A relationship. A solid and lasting relationship. And, as his billionth year came and went, Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly still enthroned as overseer over the Realm of Eternity, Callodyn the Cherubim became more and more anxious to truly settle down with a mate and live out his eternal life. For Callodyn this was a priority yet to be fully satisfied. And while Kayella, his twin, always seemed probably the most desirable option to meet this desire in the end, he sensed there were others – other women, coming into the life of Callodyn, which might just offer him what he desired. That might just offer him most of all what he now desired to completely and happily fulfil his life.
* * * * *
Callodyn knew that destiny had had much to say in his life. And after countless millions of years of life – in fact, he recalled passing the billion year mark not too long ago (An American Billion, that is) - Callodyn realized he really had been going on for a fair while. Was he ageless, now, as some people liked to say. That had become a popular theme after Metatron’s Billionth birthday had been reached. Ageless – unchanging – settled. The angels were who and what they were, and did what it was they did. Callodyn knew, in truth, life was somewhat like that anyway. On planets out in humanity’s section, the sun rose, the sun set and things were centred around such constants. The day’s passed by, and did it really matter in the end? Of course, he had met Apholox just the once, having been a special guest of the theophany when he showed him ‘Timehaven’. And they had briefly mentioned something about ‘The Grand Conclusion of Climactic Harmony’ and some reference to the ‘End of Time’. But God had looked at Callodyn when they were talking and then, looking very squarely at him, said to Apholox ‘But we can speak of that another time, Aphy.’ And that was all he had said. But what was the ‘Grand Conclusion’ all about? And when, if ever, would it happen? Of course, that was a matter of speculation, but he dared to believe that God had given him the information for a reason.
Perhaps they were involved in cycles. Cycles of life. They would live out a complete run of existence, doing what they would do, and when they had completed a circuit, begin again in a strange and new and unique way. Perhaps that was what it was all about. Or perhaps not. Only God knew.
But, for now, Callodyn was happy enough. He lived in Tuggeranong Valley – or to be precise, one of several million Tuggeranong Valley’s, on the disc of Canbraphora, the 30th disc of the Realm of Eternity. He had not specifically chosen the particular Tuggeranong Valley he found himself in, and found it ironic that he had likewise lived in such a place in his time on earth. However, instead, it was the theophany who also lived in this particular Tuggeranong Valley, down in the Lanyon section, and had asked Callodyn to live in Macarthur with his father and mother, Cyril and Mary, who were still together after all this time. Some things, it seemed, didn’t change a lot, or perhaps were not meant to.
There were others, though, who were special to God and lived in this particular valley as well. Miley Cyrus had a home in Macarthur, not far from Callodyn, and was in town every few years for a couple of months, mainly to be with God who had likewise asked her to, but she saw Callodyn a lot as well. He’d had a long crush on her.
Schizophrenia had flared up again, after a long absence. It was, supposedly, a condition of life for certain people and would never completely disappear. But, with good therapy, it often left someone almost completely alone for periods of upwards a million years or so. But, inevitably, it would come back some day with a vengeance. Callodyn had asked the theophany about the condition once, but all God would say was that certain personality traits attracted the condition, yet it would eventually be sorted out. Callodyn did not really live in fear of the condition, though, but it was something to always be aware of.
His twin, Kayella, visited from time to time. She was mostly busy with her music career and occasional acting commitments, but she did make time for Cal and said she was fond of him. He had several children after all this time, and he provided an online diary for when they wanted to visit, but he usually stressed that with so many of them it would be best if they learned a degree of independence and only saw dad when they really needed to. Still something of a loner, deep down, was what Callodyn generally thought of himself – despite the fact he often put up a brave extroverted type of front.
What constituted the life of Callodyn, Cherubim of God, after having reached a billion years of age was a predictable life somewhat, all things considered. Destiny had had a say, and he was used to the merry ways and fortunes which such a spirit presented to him. But, still, something new was to enter upon the life of Daniel Daly. Something new, not encountered before, and puzzled upon greatly by himself at the conclusion of things.
Callodyn was sitting in his room at 29 Merriman Crescent in Macarthur in Tuggeranong, were he resided with his father Cyril and his mother Mary. Not far from them, just down the valley at Lanyon, God was at home on the Sabbath, watching MTV which he watched quite frequently, relaxing, eating cold pizza and drinking coke. He glanced up at the calendar noted the date again, and looked at his watch. 4 minutes to go. Time to pray.
He went into his prayer room, turned down the lights, kneeled, and prayed simply. ‘Let him enjoy what will come, ultimately. He has earned it.’ And that was all he said.
A few minutes later at 29 Merriman Crescent a knock came to the door. Cyril answered it and found, in front of him, a beautiful lady, dressed in greeny bluey colours. ‘I am Aquamarine, Cyril. Is Daniel at home?’
‘Uh, yes. He went back through the living room, Mary glancing at the stranger at the front door, and knocked on Daniel’s door. Daniel left off the computer game he was playing and came to see the person his father said wanted to see him.
She was stunning. Quite probably the most beautiful lady he had ever seen and, when she introduced herself as Aquamarine and asked him to accompany her, without giving any direct reason, he was so overcome with her beauty that he couldn’t refuse.
‘Dad, mum. Aquamarine has asked me to go with her somewere. I have my wallet so don’t necessarily expect me back soon. I will let you know if I will be gone for a while.’
‘Enjoy yourself,’ said Cyril. Daniel nodded.
Aquamarine led the way to a flashy sports-car, all aquamarine in colour like her clothing, and Daniel hopped into the passenger seat.
‘Where are we going?’ he asked.
‘You’ll see,’ responded Aquamarine.
They started driving and 5 minutes later, having gone down the southern exit on the road to Cooma, Daniel sensed this was no day trip. He would be busy a while.
‘Why are we at the Tathra portal? Where are we going?’
Aquamarine said nothing. She spoke a word, though, one which Daniel could not quite hear, while hearing it at the same time. It was a mysterious word, and it felt like the spirit of Aquamarine herself, as if from another tongue of a distant culture, perhaps not even human or angelic. And suddenly the portal shimmered in the same Aquamarine colour. Aquamarine turned to him. ‘I will go first, then you follow. And don’t worry. You will understand in time.’ He looked bemused, but when she stepped through he steeled himself, prayed a silent prayer to God for protection and stepped in.
* * *
‘Calm. Peace. Steady calmness. Peace. Comfort. Comfort. Comfort. Peace.’
He swam – slowly – elegantly – as if suddenly gifted with a new talent which had been there all along, but never realized. Nor able to be realized. For he was suddenly no longer angel. He was suddenly – other.
Aquamarine was ahead of him, and as he swam he again felt the peace and calm of what seemed like a neverending ocean of pure bliss surround him, take his fears, take his worries, and tell him that all was right in the world, that all was as it should be.
And then suddenly, as if totally contrary, she took a sharp left, and they were in human form, on a seashore, looking over the vast ocean they had just left.
‘These are the shores of forbidden destiny. You are different, Callodyn. Not like the others. You are special to God. Chosen by him. He will show you things. Things of the other. Things not human – not angelic. He will show you these things…………………………… Because he loves you, Callodyn. He loves you.
Callodyn nodded, knowing that much, perhaps more than anything else that was and could be, was true. God loved him. He loved him.
A fireplace was burning, and a rod of steel on hooks was holding cooked fish. She sat down next to the fireplace and took the rod, eating the fish off of it. ‘It is good fish,’ she said, and offered the rod to him. He sat, took the rod, and ate the fish. The taste was surreal. Fish in its purest form, yet prepared sacrificially it seemed, almost, for him to enjoy to and to gain sustenance. Part of the circle of life.
They ate. And she climbed a tree, brought down a coconut, cracked it, and they drank coconut milk.
The wind blew, and twilight almost suddenly came upon them, yet Callodyn had sensed it encroaching all the time.
‘We will need shelter,’ said Aquamarine.
They came up to the trees and, for the first time, he realized they were on a small island. The plants were different – comforting – natural for this place. He gathered some large leaves and they covered themselves on the edge of the beach.
Aquamarine gazed up at the night sky and stars appeared. She spoke. ‘God’s imagination is eternal, Callodyn. He dreams of things you will perhaps never comprehend or ascertain. But that is how you were made. And for a reason. This place is part of the dreaming. Part of the heart of God, from were you were born. And I think you know that anyway. It is from here that creation came to be. Creation is bound on law – on rules – on fixed matter. But this dreaming world knows no such law. It is what it will be. It is bound, if by any law, the law of love. And that love seeks eternal perfection for all who reside within it.
Callodyn nodded. And he let go.
He suddenly let go of everything. All the worries, all the dreams, all the plans of his life. He let them be what they were. Silly little anxieties. Nothing compared with the beauty of love.
And he rested. And he slept.
The car was racing around the track. Faster, faster and even faster. And suddenly it was at light speed, and Daniel felt ecstasy.
The scene suddenly changed. He was the Red Baron, and he had just shot down another enemy. And he was on the ground, making a mark on his plane, another victory.
Then he was wrestling an alligator – and winning. And then he was in a hot air balloon. And then he awoke, back on the beach.
Aquamarine was still asleep, but the early morning was upon them and the sun looked as if it was about to rise. He stood, walked down the beach a little, and gazed. And, as the sun rose in splendour, he noticed Aquamarine standing beside him, gazing at its glory.
‘It is good to be alive, Daniel.’
‘Yes,’ he responded.
This was life. For Daniel, sleeping on the beach with Aquamarine, watching the sun rise, eating fish, drinking coconut milk and water from a stream which bubbled up from the centre of the island. It was as simple as this. They watched the ocean, Daniel lost in its mysterious ways, the calmness starting to become part of his nature, becoming part of his very being.
The weeks passed, and then months, and suddenly he felt as if it had been a lifetime with Aquamarine, gazing at the splendour of the ocean, watching the stars at night, being at peace.
And she talked with him, and he got to know her. And, finally, after a year, she came to him one night and asked him for his love. And they were passionate.
The native appeared sometime in the second year, all dark skinned, looking like any Pacific islander. He had a spear and threatened them, and Daniel stood between the savage and Aquamarine, protecting her.
‘What do you want?’ asked Daniel, but the savage just stood there, threatening with his spear. And then he noticed the fish, lowered his spear, and walked over, knelt down, and ate the fish. When he was finished he looked at them, smiled, and walked away. And as the weeks passed he came regularly, eating the fish, cautiously looking at them, always with his spear ready, and then departing. And then, after about a dozen times, he came no more.
The lagoon was perhaps his favourite part of the island. The fresh water from the stream bubbled into it, and they swam. And she was naked much of the time, her beautiful figure always catching his eye. This was life like nothing else. Life in paradise.
When the ship appeared on the horizon Daniel didn’t know what to think. Aquamarine had said nothing of there leaving, and he dared not ask, such bliss he was feeling. But the pirates came onto the island, buried their treasure and, when they spied them the pirates came over, raised their pistols, and told them to get into the rowing boat in a very thick English accent from a county of England which Daniel somehow knew didn’t even exist in his experience.
They were kept underboard in chains for the first few days, but they were given food and water. Aquamarine told him not to worry, but Daniel was perplexed. What was happening? And then the captain brought them on board, handed Daniel a dagger and, pushing him and Aquamarine to the plank, sharks circling underneath, yelled at him. ‘Jump in or taste led, landlubber. And so they jumped.’
He killed the first shark with a sharp jab, but the second one rammed into his side and it hurt for a while. But it disappeared and they were alone, treading water, the ship disappearing. Aquamarine smiled at him. ‘You were brave,’ she said.
‘I don’t know if braveness will save us now.’
And so they swam, and the island came back into view, and they made the shore.
The second year passed, and so did the third and fourth. And then she was pregnant and Daniel would be a father again.
He called the child Cyril, and he was a beautiful blonde baby boy. And they were a family.
‘We have one more week here. Only one. Cyril will be staying here. Tomorrow he will be 18 and nearly fully grown.’ Daniel didn’t understand, but in the morning Cyril was 18, true to her words, and the week passed and they bid him farewell. And suddenly they were flying again, in the air, returned to the dreaming and what would be.
The bulldozer ran again and again and again over the ground. And then, the driver named Naboth was satisfied, looked at the ground, smiled and left. ‘They will never find my treasure,’ he smiled to himself.
Suddenly they appeared, Daniel and Aquamarine, and she turned to him. ‘We have to find Naboth’s treasure. It will be no more than 1 mile from here in any direction.’
‘Who is Naboth,’ asked Daniel.
‘Somebody with a sense of humour,’ responded Aquamarine.
They searched. For three solid weeks they searched, and Daniel was ready to give up. ‘We’ll never find it.’
‘It always has to be able to be found, in the end,’ responded Aquamarine. ‘Naboth agreed to those terms.’
‘Then what do we do?’ he said, ready to give up.
‘Let’s return to the starting place and start again,’ she said. And so they did.
He was drinking a coca cola and eating a hamburger, which they had gotten from the café at the side of the Matrix, existing presumably just to serve them, when Daniel, munching down his burger, looked at the central section. It was all dirt. Rough dirt. Nothing like the rest of the Matrix, as Aquamarine had called it.
‘Why is this all dirt?’ he asked, indicating the square.
She looked at him. ‘I don’t know. Why is it?’
He continued eating his burger, finished off his coke, and said ‘Let’s go to the café. They have a shovel in their small shop.’ And they did.
The shovel cost him 5% of the treasure, should they find it, but Daniel decided he didn’t mind 5% as he didn’t want to use his hands. That could take forever.
They spent four weeks digging, taking turns, when Daniel hit metal. And after much digging they unearthed a rather large safe. When it was all cleared away he looked at the front. There was a lever and a combination lock.
‘Great. How do we solve this?’
‘What’s your favourite number,’ she asked him.
’45,’ he responded.
He did. The safe opened. There was gold, silver and platinum, as well as rubies, diamonds and pearls and other precious stones. They were rich.
‘We’ll have to spend it wisely,’ she said. ‘Remember, we owe 5%.
‘I thought that was a good investment,’ he said.
‘We’ll see,’ she said.
When the café brought all the precious treasure, the debit card account was for 95 Trillion credits, after the 5% of the café’s cut for the shovel. Unfortunately they didn’t have enough for the grand mystery prize which cost 100 Trillion. ‘That is what we would have got for some hard work,’ said Aquamarine in a sarcastic tone.
‘Why does that matter?’ he queried.
‘They are always good, the grand prizes. Something special.’
‘Oh well. There is always next time.’
‘I guess,’ she responded.
The exit ticket from the matrix cost 5 trillion, and they spent a lot on various things Aquamarine said they would need, and loaded them into their camper van. And then, coming to the ramp, they put in the exit ticket they had purchased, the gates opened and a bridge appeared over the large chasm, and they were free, off to their next adventure.
‘This looks like Australia,’ said Daniel, looking out the window as they drove along.
‘Does it?’ responded Aquamarine, who was currently driving.
‘Yeh. But nowhere I have seen in Australia before. Totally new.’
‘Expect that here. God DOES like originality from time to time.’
‘I know,’ he responded.
They drove and the day passed slowly. They were long days, so far, upwards of 40 hours for daylight and the same for night. But that fluctuated. At night they drank water and other drinks and sat out the front of the van, waved the flies away, and stared at the stars, as the radio continued playing Aussie Country and Western.
Then they came to the pub. It was full of aborigines in Akubras, all of them named Jim. ‘Hey Jim,’ one would say. ‘Hey Jim,’ said the other. Daniel finally spoke. ‘Why are you all named Jim?’
‘Cause we are from Snowy River,’ they said as one. And Daniel Smiled.
The pub served several Australian beers. And Daniel and Aquamarine got wasted one night and made passionate, if not slurred, love to each other.
They spent three weeks at the pub, watching the Man from Snowy River in the Pub Lounge each night with their meal of chicken schnitzel, chips and salad, which was all they served. Fortunately it was well made and tasted great. And then they were off, back to the road.
The rock came upon them slowly, but after several weeks of travelling towards it, it got bigger and bigger all the time.
‘This is Uluru,’ she said. ‘The REAL Uluru.’
‘It’s fucking huge,’ he responded.
‘Wait till we get there.’
Uluru was 78 kilometres long, 18 kilometres high, and the tourist destination of choice for Australian’s in the dreaming. They met all sorts there, and when Daniel inquired as to wether they were going to climb it, she asked him, ‘Well are we?’
‘It will take a while.’
‘We have time, Danny.’
‘We’ll need a lot of supplies.’
‘We have cash.’
‘Ok then. Lets do it.’
It took them a number of weeks of steady climbing, but when they were at the top they looked around and saw all of Australia in the dreaming. All of it – except Tasmania, which stubbornly refused to be seen. Daniel slept that night, and dreamt. And the dreamtime lords appeared to him. And they asked him ‘Are you a true son of Uluru?’ And he said nothing, not yet sure how to respond. And they smiled at him, nodded and left. And he woke.
When they had reached the bottom they purchased some boomerangs and returned to the road. But a few days back on their trip he was out one night, throwing the boomerang and catching it, when a large Kangaroo hopped by. ‘I’ll be an Abo,’ he thought to himself, and flung the boomerang. It hit the Kangaroo and he was dazed by it. He came over, retrieved the boomerang and looked at the roo. Suddenly Aquamarine was by him, with a large Mick Dundee knife. ‘Well, are you a true son of Uluru?’ she asked, offering him the knife and indicating the kangaroo. He smiled, looked at the roo, had some compassion for an animal he didn’t really want to eat after all and responded, ‘I guess not.’ And the kangaroo, getting carefully to its feet, looked at him, into his soul, and almost nodded, before hopping away.
They returned to the road, returned to their journey, and Aquamarine said one night. ‘Cyril will meet us at our next stop. He has grown. He is enjoying life. I can tell you this now. He will be your child, one day, back in reality. All children are born here, first, in the dreaming.’
‘I know,’ he responded.
And they continued on, driving on, driving into the world of the dreaming.
‘You know, Daniel. I have had many lovers. But you are special. You are soft. So many are hard, but you are soft. Yet strong enough for me as well.’
‘It is how he made me. I don’t think I got much of a choice.’
‘Who does,’ she responded.
As they drove the scenery gradually changed, and they had come into New South Wales. And then they were suddenly nearing Canberra in the Dreaming, and found themselves at Yass.
She took him to the library and they surfed the Internet. ‘I haven’t seen any of these sites before,’ he said after a while. Everything is different. So many familiar people, but nothing like I have seen of them before. Bands, Actors, all sorts of people. All different. All – almost younger. I don’t know.’
‘This is their birthplace, Daniel. You were born in the dreaming as well. They are famous now, on earth or in the heavenlies. But we of the dreaming know them to and we keep the works of their youth right here. You will find things you may have once known, but now forgotten. And you will find things you had never known.’
‘You said that. I would find things nobody knows of.’
‘Only those chosen to come to the dreaming can find these things. Few are chosen. Few fit in after their time on earth. They become too – hard. To demanding. Too self important. You have always favoured humility. God has brought you home. Home to enjoy what you once knew, and to find your peace again. You needed it. Your kind always has.’
‘Schizophrenics. Schizophrenia is more than it seems. It is not a disease. It is a condition of a special soul.’
‘Really?’’ he said.
She smiled. ‘Perhaps. Or perhaps I am only telling you what you want to hear.’
He grinned. ‘Very funny, Aquamarine.’ And she laughed.
They returned to the van and continued driving and he suddenly felt tired. Suddenly all the things which had been happening to him since coming here were catching up with him. He had been on a high, and needed a rest. And he told her as much and she said she understood.
They found a river, just north of Canberra, and camped the van. And she laid down next to him and said ‘Cyril will be with us in the morning. We will rest here a while. Let you recover.’
‘Thank you,’ he said. ‘And they rested.’
Cyril was with them in the morning, and he didn’t speak much, remaining quiet. He had changed, as if he had been through something. Some trial of some kind.
They played squatter, the board game, and monopoly and chess and risk. And they drank a lot in the summer weather and ate salad. The fridge of the dreaming was replenished each morning, due to one of the charms which Aquamarine had bought back at the café. A wise investment.
It was sunny days, living with Aquamarine, getting to know his son. Simple living. And Aquamarine said they could stay a decade or so if he liked. And he did. And the years came, and they went. And he was at peace – a peace like no other – a peace of finding a home like no other – and for this Daniel was so thankful to God for the purest gift he had ever received.
When they ventured onwards, they came to Canberra. And, knowing nowhere better to live, they made an offer for 29 Merriman, which was accepted, and they moved in. And then Aquamarine spoke. ‘Our time here is coming to an end. But something important will happen to you first. And then we leave.’
He nodded. Despite in so many ways wishing he could remain forever, he knew it was time to go. Perhaps some things were too good to be true, but no. Reality beckoned, and he needed to get home.
But, first of all, he visited Parliament house. And he was greeted in the visitors gallery by an ex labour party politician. And the politician liked Daniel and spoke with him. And he was asked if he would like to join the Labour party, and he accepted.
It was a hectic 17 years, and Aquamarine said all the time they would be going soon, and he always knew it to be true, but suddenly, not knowing how, he sat for a seat, was elected, and was suddenly a cabinet member. And after 7 more years, the party in opposition, they took a liking to him and he was opposition leader. And then the election, and he got in with a 7% swing to the labour party, which was enough. And he was Prime Minister.
And then, suddenly, Aquamarine was by his side, and he ruled the world, and they were gone, through the speed of light, into the ocean of bliss and, suddenly, back at Tathra, standing in front of the portal.
He looked at the sky – it seemed familiar – almost as if it was the way he had left it, which he knew could not be true. But when they stopped at a café to eat, he looked at a newspaper, and it was the day they had left. He was stunned.
‘Time hasn’t changed, Aqua.’
She smiled. ‘Go figure, Daniel.’
They drove home, up the mountains, back through Nimmitabel and Cooma and, then back home, at 29 Merriman Crescent. And Aquamarine said to him. ‘I haven’t been born, yet, Callodyn. My time here has been a privilege. But I am of the dreaming. I will see you again, though, one day. For there was a reason for all of this. You won’t understand now, but you will. In time you will.’ And she kissed him on the cheek, and she got back into her sports-car, and drove off. And he said hello to his mum and dad, went back into his room, laid down on his bed, and said, ‘Well how about that.’ And shortly, feeling tired, he fell asleep, back off to the world of dreaming.
‘He’s no good, I tell you. No good. He’s a charlatan. Totally unfit for office.’
Callodyn watched on, listening to his father’s words, not really sure if he was agreeing or not, but curious. The current Prime Minister of Canbraphora, answerable to the Seraphim angel Devuel who was the overseer to Canbraphora, 30thborn of the Male Seraphim and thus overseer to the 30th disc, was on the receiving end of some complaints from many such voices as his father, Cyril’s, none more hostile than the current opposition leader of the labour party, John Guinness, a human. The Prime Minister, Shan Tanentay, was a half human, half cherubim, with no wings, but even they could not help him it seemed. He was on the receiving end of many allegations that he had been influential in a number of fixed sporting results for the bookies. There was no clear proof though – only questionable evidence – and as it was the 30th disc of the Realm of Eternity, the one which began the major habitation by human’s as well, God had generally gotten into the custom of remaining silent, nor allowing other specialist angels get involved in such affairs of law and the courts. In other words, if someone was guilty, they would only know if they got a confession if there were no witnesses or that the courts found them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is how it was run in Canbraphora.
Shan was the head of the ‘Advance Canbraphora’ party, one of the long established parties of Canbraphora. It was in office about 5% of the time, which was about the most any particular party ever really achieved, nearly always with a power sharing agreement under the one party who usually got the most votes. There were several established parties in Canbraphora, so power sharing was common. The agreements usually figured around which side of the spectrum – left wing or right wing – could gain the most support at any particular election. It fluctuated, naturally, but often there were voices which said it was either a leftist or right wing government at any particular time. It depended on the parties involved in government.
Life in Canbraphora was, in many ways, hectic. Callodyn had found it not unlike life on earth and was drawn to it because of it. He was the overseer for Callophora, which was the 368th disc of the Realm of Eternity. Yet, he had long ago delegated responsibility to a series of anxious angels who he had known for a long time, angels with ambition who wanted a chance at running one of the central discs. And really, now, they were central. Very central. Not every single male Cherubim disc had yet been created, but they were through about 40% of them, meaning there were now over 300,000 discs of the Realm of Eternity, and the distances to the outermost rim were – well, to put it simply – incredible. Of course, each rim continued the tradition of doubling the distance from the centre of the rim to the outermost part of the prior disc, but as strange as it may sound, while the distances of the outermost rim was in numbers beyond imagination, population continued on in such a steady exponentially growing fashion that there was a continual demand for the new rims anyway. The children of God all had to find a home and build their empires of glory and, so God assured them all, it was called the Realm of Eternity for a reason. Naturally, the entire realm was still sparsely populated, but God made it clear that he was working ahead of schedule in the expanding of the Realms, mainly to get all the Cherubim discs put in place before he would rest for a while. ‘They need to be established first,’ he had commented to Callodyn once. ‘They will be filled up in time – inevitably.’
Callodyn had found his home in Canbraphora primarily because the theophany lived there and had asked him to live nearby. It was a section of Canbraphora that was restricted due to the theophany’s presence and it was mainly the kind of people who were familiar with God and his ways and quite personally dedicated to him that resided there. Those who did not quite make such a fuss about him, and who would leave him be to run his own life, yet also respected him deeply and were friendly to him. It was a close, special circle of friends in many ways, and in this particular Tuggeranong valley you found a number of old souls who had been around for many a long year, Callodyn one of them. Miley Cyrus also lived here from time to time, a singer and actress God was particularly fond of. But, around here, and further out, you found a number of the older angels and humans – the special ones – ones who had been around since the first few millions years of life, when things were young and everyone was still learning about it all.
‘You know, you should run for Prime Minister,’ said Cyril to Daniel. ‘You’d be good at it. You have all that experience behind you and the overseer of Callophora would have an excellent chance.’
‘Mmm,’ responded Daniel. The idea was interesting. Prime Minister. Should he join a party and have a go? It could be interesting.
‘Maybe one day, dad. One day. Not for now, though. I am just treading water at the moment – thinking on my next major project.’
‘What, don’t you have enough money? I thought your businesses were raking in the quadrillions.’
‘They are. Don’t get me wrong. And my stockbrokers continue buying new realm shares regularly. Oh, and the books still sell extraordinarily well. I have more than enough to live on, ok.’
‘So you should. Even with the shocking prices you get for living in Canbraphora.’
‘Location, location, location, says the realtor. You would hardly expect things to be cheap, living in the heart of eternity. And they will only go up, you know. That is the way of things as the realm continues eternally expanding.’
‘Yes, I know,’ responded his father.
‘You know, realm credits now have over 700 basic divisions of currency. The credit is still the most valuable, but underneath it are over 700 subunits. They use the lesser ones further out.’
‘I know, Daniel. I do know if we moved outwards – way out – we would be overlords, practically.’
‘Yes. Vast wealth. Too much, perhaps.’
‘Well, what is your next big project. What next for Callodyn?’
‘I don’t know. Not yet. But something. Something new. Something not done before by myself.’
‘Which would be what?’
‘I don’t know. Start making violins, possibly. I haven’t tackled them yet.’
‘Didn’t you do pianos for a while? I seem to remember a company you started.’
‘Yes. Xaddadaxx Pianos and Keyboards. They are still in business. Doing well my main financial advisor tells me.’
‘So now it is violins. I guess the entire orchestra eventually.’
‘Will they be Xaddadaxx Violins?’
‘I will probably use my Xadina Omega brand. Or my Xadonemmetry music label. Possibly even electronic violins under the Xadonemmetry name.’
‘I always liked that name. Xadonemmetry. Sounds lovely.’
‘Mum thinks so to.’
‘How well do you knew electronics?’
‘Well enough. I have a number of degrees in the subject, now. But it would take a good few centuries of study and then the research to get the project done properly. I need a long refresher.’
‘Don’t we all,’ said Cyril, who turned back to the TV.
‘Yes,’ don’t we all,’ said Daniel.
Daniel actually, upon Cyril’s suggestion, did join the labour party – again. He had been a member previously on and of a number of times, but usually gone back to his own private world and his own affairs. But, perhaps even somewhat inspired by his time in the dreaming, he took it unto himself to begin a process of studying the political matters of Canbraphora to, hopefully, make something of a positive impact in the fullness of time. And then it was suggested he run for a local seat, which he, thinking of no good reason to refuse, accepted and was successful in gaining it. He was now a representative.
47 years doing this work, slowly studying his electronics as well, and his life was full. He did not have much time for family ambitions during this time, but it was late one night, out with a labour party colleague, at the ‘Liquid Lounge’ in a city club, that a lady stopped him, looked at him, and he was shocked. It was Aquamarine. ‘Do I…Do I know you?’ she asked.
He decided to be smart. ‘I don’t know. Do you?’
She smiled at him, came over and sat down next to him. He ordered her a drink. 4 months later they were married.
* * * * *
They were at the Tathra coast, enjoying their honeymoon, and they were out sailing the ocean, when an old fashioned ship – a novelty pirate ship the community ran – came by. They were invited on board and, in good humour, the captain said ‘Now walk the plank, ye landlubber. And they did. Fortunately, there were no sharks this time, and they swam safely back to their catamaran and, the day over, returned to shore.
She conceived on their honeymoon and, the following day, as they left, they ran into a dark skinned man just booking a hotel room in the hotel they were staying in. Daniel looked at him. He looked closely at him, almost swore at the resemblance, but said ‘No….He couldn’t be.’ The man gave him a funny look, pushed past him into the restaurant, and as they were paying their final bill he could just make out the man ordering the crumbed fish. Now wasn’t that ironic.
* * * * *
Cyril was born 9 months later, and Daniel already knew his name. He was a beautiful bouncing blonde baby boy and Daniel delighted in him, as did his own father Cyril. A grand-son after his own name.
They were a family then, happy, content. And when, in Cyril’s 18th year, they were up at Dalgety on the Snowy River, staying at a pub overnight, the Aborigine in the Akubra’s hat just brought a quiet smile to Callodyn the Cherubim. He really didn’t need to ask after his name.
The dove sat on the rod extending out from the pine tree in the back of 29 Merriman Crescent. Daniel had put the rod in there a few years prior to make it a potential place for birds to sit so the family could enjoy watching them. And while bird watching had never exactly been a family hobby, they were creature conscious in accordance with their green sensibilities.
The dove was all white, apart from a splotch of black on the chest, and it had become a regular visitor. Which was strange. Doves were not, exactly, the kind of birds you find in Canbraphora very often. But they were there, and Daniel, Aquamarine and their son Cyril enjoyed watching it.
Cyril’s grandfather, Cyril, was out the back near the apple tree, sitting with Mary, resting in the shade of the tree, enjoying the summer heat. The two of them were happy.
‘Well, Aqua. Shall we take Naboth up on his offer?’
‘I don’t know, Dan. It seems risky. I mean, he is asking for a heck of an investment of your capital. Several quintillion credits is nothing to be sneezed at, Daniel. You have had to be patient to save that money.’
‘I know. But Partners in his expanding corporation in the outer territories, with his guarantee to go on expanding for several centuries of personal commitment is nothing to be sneezed at. Prices are expensive here, as you know. Food just keeps in rising in price with farming land so extremely expensive.’
‘Life at the heart of eternity, Daniel, as you constantly remind me. But why do you worry. With your money you can live permanently at Zaphon itself if you want to.’
‘Yes. But I have offspring, Aqua. Over a million. And I have parental responsibilities to them when troubled times come along. I still need to invest, and probably always will.’
‘Do you trust Naboth, then?’
‘He is old, now. Several million years. And he has risen quickly to be able to get all the way here to Canbraphora. I have confidence in him.’
‘Yes. I guess. Anyway, will you be with me next week, or are you in Cooma again. I always like your support for these labour party functions.’
‘You know how they bore me, Daniel. Besides, if they are going to choose you as their next leader I don’t think me being there either way will matter. It’s about you.’
‘But I like you with me, sweetie. Didn’t I tell you that? You are in my top 10 all time favourite wives. You are special to me.’
‘Top 10. How many have you had again?’
‘You are old, aren’t you?’
‘As old as they come, sweetie. Well, if you can’t make it, think about me at least. And keep Cyril out of trouble. He should be focused on his studies at the moment.’
* * * * *
Daniel did invest with Naboth. Naboth was a Muslim, descended from Ishmael, and he was focused on making money. Making lots of money. Daniel felt his large capital investment likely worth the risk, but things could always backfire. Still, the potential dividends from the shares were not to be sneezed at, so he would wait and see.
The party did in fact back him after a few months and, suddenly, it was election. And they were busily trying to form alliances. And they did. And Daniel, not really aware that he was Prime Minister, suddenly became quite aware when Devuel showed up, had a good chat with him, and wished him luck in his responsibilities in his term in office.
‘You’ll handle it, Call. You have always had a good rep. Our general thrust of life in Canbraphora doesn’t really change, but whatever you can offer, well see to it that you leave no stone unturned.’
Callodyn nodded. He would do his best.
‘The question is, dear Callodyn, are you really a patriot to Canbraphora? I know, with your obligations towards Callophora ultimately that we can’t expect everything of you, but were is your heart? Are you with us?’
Callodyn lit a cigarette, gazed at the Aboriginal elder, and considered his response. They were the oldest settlers of Canbraphora, the Namadgi people, and they were the heart of the disc in many ways. And they wanted to know just how much loyalty Callodyn had towards them before they would back him in a more long term manner.
‘Canbraphora has much to offer, Callodyn. It is a crucial place in the Realm of Eternity, were mankind’s rights begin in a sense, and were we find our highest seats of authority in the Realm. If you want to commit to life here we will support you, but we need a long term commitment Callodyn. Preferably an eternal one. If you were to drift, like so many do, ever outwards to the rim, or to the endless parade of planets of human space, were people go ever outwards, escaping the heart of God to so many, our investment in you would be futile. Will you stay in the heart of God? Can we trust you?’
‘I know what you are saying, Alastair. I do know. But my mindset is different. Even if I were to drift one day, I would inevitably return. It is just the way I am. I have a home in Zaphon, a home in Terraphora, and homes in Canbraphora and Callophora. And many other’s as well. The heart of eternity will never be lost to me. I may travel one day, see the universe, see all its glory. But the heart is my home too, Alastair. That won’t really change. It is the way I am. The way I have become.
Alastair looked at him, looked at him with piercing eyes, almost into his very soul. ‘Then you truly are one of us, Callodyn. A true Canbraphoran. A true Australian.’
‘I guess so,’ he responded.
They relaxed then, ate their meal, and as the night passed, watching a Rugby League match, Callodyn knew those words of his were true. He knew himself well enough now. And he knew, as psalm 139 said, no matter were he went, God was there. He could never, really, escape him. And home was just that – home. It was a simple as that – really, as simple as that.
After 300 years with Aquamarine, Cyril having grown up and drifted outwards saying he would look his parents up one day, but happy to go drift for a while, Aquamarine said it was time for them to complete their marriage.
‘I love you, Daniel. Very much. And I will be forever your friend. But – but I want to explore. I want to go off and see it all – see everything. And that will take me practically forever. You have given me so much wealth and my investments will last forever, that I just want to travel and be a free spirit in my youth, if you know what I mean. I love you, but I must leave you sweetheart.’
He was disappointed. Really, he was. But they separated and, just before she left, she agreed that a divorce would probably be the most sensible thing. And then she was gone. Off to her life. Off to her destiny.
* * * * *
Daniel went through 7 terms as Prime Minister, the governments always forming under him after each election. They were satisfied with the labour party for quite a while, the general Canbraphora populace, but eventually his time came to an end. He had satisfied his objectives, and wanted to pursue other interests.
Xadonemmetry launched its range of electronic violins a few centuries later, and they were well received. And, for a while, Daniel was happy. But, something was missing. He missed Aquamarine.
And then the schizophrenia resumed.
* * * * *
The theophany had this much to say. ‘I liked your policies. I thought you should have stuck at that job for a while longer. It was strengthening you. Teaching you responsibility. You need to be strong, Callodyn. You need to be strong.’
‘I guess,’ responded Daniel.
They sat in God’s front room of his Lanyon home, drinking Coke, eating cold pizza, and mulling over life in general. The TV set had MTV playing, and God was in a good mood. But Daniel was lonely, and needed a friend.
‘I have a suggestion,’ responded God. ‘Go visit Nimorel and Cimbrel. They are not far from here.’
‘Maybe,’ said Daniel. ‘Yes, I suppose that is a good idea. I miss them to.’
‘As you should,’ responded God.
It was several days later and Daniel was having an episode. He lost his wallet, was wandering around the Brindabellas, and ended up Sunday morning early, in Lanyon, in shorts and a t shirt, soaking after being in the river. God found him, though, and took him home. Some children needed looking after.
And then, still missing Aquamarine, he decided it would be right to spend some time with Nimorel. And so, leaving for another part of Canbraphora, he looked forward to seeing his older Seraphim sister and something new for a while.
‘So, dear Daniel. Dear Callodyn. What are your views on relationships of love?’
Callodyn looked at Nimorel, decided on honesty, and responded.
‘Well, dear Nimorel. I now have millions of children to various mothers, most of these whom I never married. I give them an inheritance of shares in companies – enough to retire on – and that is were my financial obligation ends. I have an online diary they can enter their request details for meeting me when they want to, but most are usually out building their own dreams. As for marriage itself, well rarely now. I would agree to marriage contracts with my twin Kayella for periods of upwards of a million years, but usually no longer. She has occasionally taken me up on such options. But marriage rarely – only if I REALLY loved someone. Like you, for instance. I’d marry you for a century or so, if interested.’
‘A standard contract, huh? I remember when that was a trailblazing idea.’
‘Not anymore. Standard practice now. People live in the pragmatic real world. Over fantasies of eternal devotion to just one partner. Never works anyway – people have the habit of falling in love again and again with many – it is just the reality of life. Although, I do have a permanent concubine who has never married another man or had any other children apart from our own. She says she is devoted to me. I see her a bit more because of it.’
‘Do you want children with me, then?’ inquired Nimorel.
‘I always have. You have always been special to me, sis.’
‘Ok then. We will have a 100 year contract. I like you at the moment. We can have 8 or 9 children. Is that suitable.’
‘Sounds perfect Nimorel.’
‘Anything to make you happy, Callie.’
* * * * *
He was with Nimorel for the whole century, and then they separated as agreed. But something was wrong. He still missed Aquamarine. Yet Miley showed up, and he thought he would entertain himself with Destiny for a while. She was as good a friend as anyone.
* * * * *
‘Every Rose has its thorn, Destiny. Every rose.’
‘Stop calling me Destiny. You know how Eve hates that. She is always jealous.’
The two of them were cruising around one of the endless Greenway Hyperdome’s Tuggeranong’s were famous for, looking at this and that store, Destiny with sunglasses on to shield her from any potential fans who might recognize her. But that was life being Miley Cyrus – difficult to hide.
‘So why exactly DOES every rose have its thorn, dear Callie.’
‘Well, you are a rose?’
She smiled. ‘Why, thank you Callodyn. I am flattered.’
‘Yes. So what is my thorn, dear Cherubim brother? What is my thorn?’
‘Well, to look at you, you are always in bloom. Such a completely and utterly gorgeous rose of perfection. Little Billy Ray’s girl. Such a sweetie.’
‘And the thorn?’
‘Oh. Just spend a few weeks with you. You notice the thorn. A really untameable thorn.’
She nodded. He was not coming forth with the desired information. But Callodyn had always been like that – most cryptic when he wanted to be.
They continued cruising and came to an Intensity games arcade. ‘Let’s play Daytona,’ said Callodyn.
‘I’ll kick your arse, Callie.’
And she did.
Four hours later, after pumping an alarming amount of credits into Gauntlet 7, Miley was smiling. Her and Callodyn were on level 87, and rumour had it that there were only 100 levels.
‘It gets difficult now,’ said Callodyn. ‘Be careful. White Death will get you.’
They buzzed along, finding the exit at the top of the screen, but Callodyn went to the side of the screen, up a narrow alleyway to get to the exit, while Miley, while considering that, didn’t seem to worry and walked her warrior character straight to the exit. But white death sprang up, attacked her instantly, and drained all her life force just before she got to the exit. And then she watched as Callodyn safely disappeared down the exit, turned to her and smiled, and said. ‘I told you to be careful.’
‘I’ll get you,’ she said under her breath.
That night they were passionate together. She liked him. She always had. She left the rose, with the note. And, yes, the rose had its thorn.
‘I love you Callodyn. I guess I always will. But I go through boys, well, like cigarettes. Probably too many in the end. I am going now, but we’ll catch up again some lifetime. Seeya.’
He cried a little, but remembered the truth about Miley Cyrus. She never would be tamed. Never, ever, ever.
Yet Miley also could not soothe his hearts missing from Aquamarine. Seemingly nothing or nobody could. Until he met someone – someone his Seraphim brother Daniel had referred to him. A Cheruphim angel – a Cherubim offspring – and a most remarkable angel of God. A most remarkable angel indeed.
* * * * *
Rebecca Roshentay was an unusual cherubim. She was Indian in nature – Asian Indian – with very beautiful looks. For a few centuries she had been dating Daniel the Seraphim as one of his concubines in a sense, but Daniel had sensed Rebecca was not for him in the end and suggested, in his devilish self, she go and visit Callodyn in Canbraphora. ‘You will find him interesting’, he had commented to her.
Of course, upon meeting the Cherubim, the most obvious thing to notice at first was the similarity in looks between Daniel and Callodyn. In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you would have sworn they were identical twins, apart from the obvious distinction in four wings for Daniel as opposed to two wings for Callodyn. Yet, apart from that significant distinction, they looked almost exactly alike. Yet, so she had been told, amongst the Cherubim firstborns, there were a number of close proximations to their Seraphim counterparts in looks.
Rebecca had found Daniel a delightful lover but, after dating Callodyn for several weeks after his breakup with a significant popstar, she found Callodyn intoxicating. He was more in her way of thinking as an appropriate kind of counterpart. She knew from Callodyn’s own words that he was eternally devoted to his twin Kayella, yet she also knew that such devotion could never, in Callodyn’s own words, be on a permanent ongoing basis. That much of one angel he could never cope with – he needed his independence.
And so, having had numerous romances over her life so far, Rebecca moved in with Callodyn, who was also still seeing Nimorel occasionally, yet who decided to turn most of his attentions to the inquisitive Rebecca Roshentay.
* * * * *
The two of them sat on a seat overlooking Lake Tuggeranong. Rebecca spoke. ‘Four dogs and a cat.’
‘Yet if the cat had rabies?’
‘Very funny Daniel. I repeat, four dogs and a cat.’
‘Ok. Seven giraffes and a very randy hippopotamus.’
She grinned at that. ‘You are wicked, Callodyn. Aren’t you?’
‘Oh yes,’ responded Mr Daly. ‘Anyway, your turn. Go on. Be obscene.’
‘Mmm. 396 spiders, and a very confused unicorn.’
‘And what offspring, dare I ask, could possibly come of that?’
‘Creepy crawlies who hang around mermaids,’ she suggested, and he nodded, making the connection.
They sat there, enjoying each other’s company, and he took a bit of his KFC. She sipped on her Morning Dew, nestled her head against his shoulder, and watched the evening slowly turn dark in the Tuggeranong twilight hour.
* * * * *
Daniel looked at the board. Callodyn was strong in North America and Rebecca was fiercely fighting for all of Asia, with Australia as her stronghold. This particular game of Risk would not be easy to win. ‘Hey, why don’t we have a three way alliance,’ he suggested to them both. It was a standard Daniel tactic.
‘With three players?’ queried Callodyn.
‘Yeh. What gives?’ asked Rebecca.
‘Oh, you know. We work to each other’s advantages were we can for a while until a suitable victor becomes apparent, rather than getting messy.
‘That will suit you just fine, won’t it Dan?’ asked Rebecca suspiciously.
‘Its ok,’ said Callodyn. ‘Let’s play along.’
They did. They lost. Daniel was an old and smart tactician.
Later on that week, after Daniel had returned to Zaphora, Callodyn and Rebecca were playing Risk again against each other. She smiled at him from time to time as they played, and near the end of the game leaned over and whispered in his ear ‘I want to fuck you.’
And they fucked. And it was good.
* * * * *
‘Satan, Abaddon, Damien, Semyazen, Samaen, Saruvien and Lucifer, dear Rebecca. Those are my seven Saruvim cousin’s from the Realm of Infinity.’
‘Cousin’s?’ she queried. ‘Not brethren?’
‘It is the general custom to call those of the other realms cousin’s. It has been the practice for quite a while.’
‘I never knew that.’
‘Mmmm. Just how old are you then. You must still be relatively young.’
‘Oh, yes. I am a newbie. Barely a few centuries old.’
‘Oh. I see.’
‘Anyway, Satan. He is the traditional Devil, isn’t he?’ queried Rebecca Roshentay.
‘Yes, traditionally. But he is not really much of a devil anymore. Those were the old days. The ancient days. Just a regular angel, now. Mostly devoted to holiness and Torah and doing God’s will when he has a task for him.’
‘Then why did he choose evil in the first place.’
‘Why does anyone, Rebecca. Why does anyone.’
She nodded, reaching her conclusion on the subject.
‘Well, shall we go meet them then, Cal? You can manage that, can’t you.’
‘Possibly. They will likely have time for me. I am an older Cherubim. But I can’t make any guarantees.’
5 weeks later they were in Nadrazon, the silver city, of the Realm of Infinity, the two of them having lunch with the seven Saruvim brothers. The Saruvim’s twins were with them and all in all there were 16 in the lunch room of a reserved café, all enjoying each other’s company.
Rebecca spoke up. ‘Satan. Evil. Why?’
Satan smiled at his young cousin, and spoke from his experience. ‘The Dark Magic is elusive, dear Rebecca. It is a challenge to all. I would advise you, in your youth, take care. It often chooses the most unlikely of servants to accomplish its objectives.’
‘So you say,’ responded Miss Roshentay.
Samaen spoke up. ‘Sandalphon once spoke to me on this subject. He says the Dark Magic is of God. That it is a side of the power of evil in the knowledge of God that, in his judgement, he keeps from us, mainly for our own good. But it is also inevitably part of him as well and only his love keeps it in check.’
‘That might be true,’ said Abaddon to Samaen’s statement, ‘but I tend to think of it as a created spirit. I don’t think it part of God, but part of his purposes.’
‘It is an interesting theological quandary,’ responded Satan, ‘Yet father never speaks of an answer. I presume he leaves such enquiry to our own speculations.’
‘Yes, quite possibly,’ said Saruvien.
They spent the afternoon discussing much on this subject, and later on that week, when they were back in Canbraphora, Rebecca had obtained a book from Tuggeranong library entitled ‘The Nature of Evil by Seraphim Davriel’. Callodyn looked at the title and smiled to himself. Just what was he getting into with this particular Cherubim? Time, really, would only tell.
* * * * *
‘Rebecca Roshentay is a truly wonderful angel. Truly wonderful. There are aspects I have seen in this angel which, in all truth, I have not really been familiar with in other angels. But, I guess, while I well and truly have lived a long life now, with all its ups and downs, highs and lows, there is still, in an ironic sense, new things under the sun for one such as I to discover. And that is what I have found in the lovely Rebecca Roshentay. Something new under the sun. Firstly, she is a very good looking angel. Tall, just up to my height almost, slender and beautiful to look at with stunning Indian good looks. She could have been the kind of girl to have been a model in a past life had I not known any better. Her manners, also, are quite outstanding. A refined lady, noble in spirit, and very careful in what she will and will not say. There are not many like her. Kayella. Now Kayella is – well, she is Kayella. And that perhaps sums her up in so many ways. But the reserved outlook – not expressing her heart at every opportunity, well such a truth is not reserved for my special twin. But with Rebecca it is most different. She is truly a lady in more ways than one.’
‘She speaks of her parents occasionally, and I sense in her words a most strict upbringing. One concentrating on being the establishment of society I really have discovered. One in which Rebecca was raised for good things, and those things, it seems from her words, upon faith to be most naturally discovered and tended towards. How she has ended up with the likes of me is really quite extraordinary. But nay, she has, and in this email I speak of the superlative qualities she has brought to my life.’
‘Dear God. If there is anything I would wish upon the heart of Rebecca Roshentay is that, currently, you would guard her from the nature of evil, which, I suspect, is about to attack her in some uncanny way. For the reading of Davriel’s text, from my personal experience, is always a sign that an individual is to come upon testing, and while I have great faith in Rebecca, she is still quite young.’
‘Whatever trial is to come, be with her. And thank you for being my constant friend, dear theophany.’
4 weeks later a response came.
‘The nature of evil? Mmmm. Oh, the sex will be good for a while. That is always true. She will come through her testing. They always do.
The testing of Rebecca Roshentay was original in its own way, but something to behold. It was a test against the very fabric of the way she had been raised to be. And Callodyn was quite proud of his little sweetheart when she displayed the kinds of feminine grace and charms he had come to know her for.
When Rebecca’s shopping trolley escaped her hands and bumped furiously into a rather large angel’s behind, sending her tumbling, Rebecca was most sincerely apologetic and said she was grossly sorry. The lady had sworn somewhat, but Rebecca remained calm, much to Callodyn’s impressing. Yet, when she had commented that she hoped the baby in the woman’s belly would be ok, the lady promptly telling her in no unfriendly manner that she was NOT pregnant, only godly grace saved her.
Of course, the ultimate humiliation came when, reversing out of the parking lot of the supermarket carpark, she smacked right into the back of the said lady who was likewise reversing, and whose return to a state somewhat approaching normality was only realized by Callodyn’s constant reassurance that he would pay for all costs. That was the testing which proved the mettle of Cherubim Rebecca Roshentay. And while she cried all the way home, Callodyn’s was totally and completely amazed at the complete lack of profanity and any hostile words against the lady in question. Really, this Rebecca Roshentay was quite amazing.
And, true to God’s word, for a number of weeks, the sex was quite good.
Callodyn sent back another email to the theophany just a little while later. It was short, but summed it up.
‘Rebecca Roshentay. Truly an angel of God in more ways than one.’
To which God ultimately replied.
* * * * *
Ultimately, now, he was happy again. In fact, perhaps happier than he had ever been in his life. Perhaps the happiest. Rebecca Roshentay was unlike Aquamarine in so many ways. But she was so important in so many others. She was beautiful, intelligent, graceful and charming. And her soul touched Callodyn in the end. It touched him, gave him the sense that he, too, mattered. And it was that much grace that she gave him which he had never really found anywhere else – apart from God.
They were happy together, Daniel and Rebecca. And, after 70 million years, still together, he presumed he had found his eternal mate. He presumed that. He presumed that.
Musings of Nimorel
‘Seven times eight. Eight times nine. Nine times ten.’
‘Uh, what are you on about Cimbrel?’
‘Seven times eight. Eight times nine. Nine times ten.’
Nimorel looked at her younger Seraphim brother, puzzled, but kept on eating her meal. She looked out at the scenery from Lake Tuggeranong College Cafeteria, somewere in Canbraphora on one of the endless lines of Lake Tuggeranong’s and Lake Tuggeranong colleges, in the Realm of Eternity, during the reign of overseer Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. Apparently, so she had been told, there were well over a million official Lake Tuggeranong Colleges in Canbraphora, the 30th disc of the Realm of Eternity, which had been modelled on Canberra from planet Earth in what had come to be known commonly as the primordial or physical universe, the place of humanities birth.
Nimorel enjoyed spending time in Canbraphora, exploring here and there, especially enjoying the animistic spirit of the place, a spirit which spoke to her heart of the kind of life she wanted to enjoy forever. Of course, she was a teacher now, teaching at the current campus were Cimbrel had joined as a maths teacher just a few centuries earlier. In a sense, this was there time together. They had known each other for aeons, but it had become something of the done thing over there long lives for the angels to find some particular ‘friendship’ time with their closer brethren, to get to know them, to appreciate them, and to grow in a relationship of friendship and love with them. Gabriel had started the idea during his tenureship in Zaphon, and Ambriel had really promoted it greatly when he had become overseer. And, since then, such fellowship had become a strong reality in the bond of their lives which saw them know and understand who their eternal friendships were meant to be and who they had meant to be all along.
They were old now, and they knew it, but in truth they were starting to become ageless, although God did admit he was not quite ready to admit such qualities in them as of yet. It was a deep philosophy that, with the passing of time, you simply were who you were, and age no longer mattered. And when you knew what you got from someone else, and knew their personality, it was love at first, followed by the practical realities of compatibility which defined successful relationships. Ambriel was the master – he seemed to have an endless supply of successful relationships. But Nimorel knew, probably trillions of people by now, and was well esteemed as an angel of virtue, love and affection. And Cimbrel, her dear brother, muttering some mathematical computation, while quite academic at times, and predictably so as well, still also exuded that gift of a long life which had been devoted to Seraphim Torah and love of God and neighbour.
She looked out at the lake, took a chip, dipped it in sour cream, took a bite, smiled at its taste, and just shook her head as Cimmy repeated again the current mathematical wonderment with which he was preoccupied.
* * *
‘So what is your ambition, young Jemima? Are we to be thrilled with the original stylings of such an ambitious pianist, or are you to take the back seat and be that source of teaching inspiration which motivates others?’
Jemima Watkins the 78th, one in a long line of Jemima’s of Canbraphora human family, smiled, slightly embarrassed, at her teacher, Nimorel’s question. Jemima was a pretty young Asian European lady, the daughter of John Watkins and Chen Lee, who had completely refused to take her husband’s esteemed and socially well known name, yet granted him the naming rights for their children.
‘I. I don’t know, Nimorel. It would be wonderful to have your fame, you know. But I know how long you have taught others. You are SO old.’
‘Thanks sweetie,’ responded Nimorel. ‘But we all get there on that eventually. Now, back to our lesson, are you ready to try improvising in G# Minor again. You are starting to get the hang of some nice melodic movements.’
‘I’ll try,’ responded Jemima, who put her hands to the keys, and started off on another grand musical adventure.
As she listened to Jemima play, not really surprised by anything the young prodigy was producing, not really surprised by any thing new in music anymore though, she let he mind drift away in harmony with the song, relaxing, letting its gentle tunes touch her heart, being one with the song. It was how she came to know and judge her students work, a tried and true technique, and honestly there was no other way for Nimorel.
The piano was a ‘Smith’, or to be precise, an early Canbraphoran ‘Smith’, one of the more respected models of Piano’s used throughout Canbraphora, well respected for its long term reliability and crisp and clear musical sound. They aged well, like good wine, and an old ‘Smith’ was always a collector’s item.
Eventually the young student finished her piece with an appropriate cadence, smiled in the way she humbly smiled, and Nimorel patted her on her back.
‘You really have a gift, Jemima. Never squander it. Enjoy what our heavenly father has given you. It is your gift for joy, love and life, both for you and others.’
‘I will, Nimorel.’
Nimorel smiled, urged her student to continue on with her playing, and slowly proceeded to her next student.
* * *
As she dreamed of Raphael, suddenly Cimbrel appeared, looking like Pegasus, and yelled ‘Well, 218 of course. But I AM Cimbrel, number 10 of the Seraphim.’
When she awoke, she wrote down her dream, which she was wont to do. She would speak with Cimbrel. The meaning could be interesting.
* * *
‘Yes. The sum of the three multipliers. I guess that must be the answer. I had a dream of those three as well.’
‘So what does 218 stand for?’
‘Numerous things. Too many to mention. But the ten seems significant for some reason. Perhaps we add on 10 to the total.’
‘Making 228,’ said Nimorel.
‘Ah, yes. Now I understand. Dream lord junior has been having fun with us.’
Nimorel nodded. ‘Oh, yes. Callodyn. 228th of the Cherubim. Doing his best to master dream sending.’
‘He always has been the strangest of those Daniel’s. A cryptic and complex soul.’
‘Rich, though,’ responded Nimorel. ‘Only half a dozen souls have more wealth universally, you know. And he is always making inroads.’
‘It is those books of his. They keep on selling. I assume he keeps on praying for them.’
‘That usually works from my experience. God knows, I prayed enough for some of my CD albums for a long time. But I don’t think Callodyn stops praying. Always in the prayer room, working for the Haven fellowship he runs, doing his best to be Jesus number 2.’
‘Or is that Moses number 3?’
Nimorel smiled on that point. ‘Still, he is persistent. I am sure it will pay off one day.’
‘And I guess with all his wealth, it possibly has.’
‘I guess,’ responded Nimorel. ‘But I have oodles of money in the bank and shares beyond counting. I am not really trying to get any wealthier. There doesn’t really seem to be any point in trying to do that anymore. I mean, life really only has good meaning when you are helping people, and all the assets you could possibly acquire are really only basic embellishments. I know so many who are happy enough with the simple things in life.’
‘To each his own, I guess,’ responded Cimbrel. ‘Anyway, Callodyn will be here later on today. I got an email from him this morning. Dreams were his way of announcing himself.’
‘Then we will have to welcome him. I’ll get some party food.’
‘He has had an episode recently. God had to take care of him. Took him home to his parents. Told me in the email. He lives in one of the Lanyon valleys not far from God.’
‘Oh, yes. I knew that. God likes hanging around that one.’
‘He is a strange character, Callodyn. He amuses God and touches his heart like no other in many ways. Ambriel is like that as well.’
‘So he gets to live near the theophany because of it? I guess God just must love him the most. He has never asked me to live near him.’
‘You will, sis. Eventually. At the right time.’
‘Thanks Cimmy. I guess so. Well, when he gets here we will have our little celebration and spend the night on the town. It will be good to see Danny again.’
* * *
‘I don’t know if Schizophrenia will ever leave me, Nim. I don’t think, really, it ever could. Nobody yet knows what causes it. It is a most unpredictable illness. And still no confirmation of exactly how the spirit world interacts. It is complex, erratic and unpredictable.’
‘The spice of life, dear Danny.’
‘Probably. One of my many conclusions.’
As they sat on the lounge of a city club, Cimbrel dancing with some of the ladies, Nimorel looked at her younger brother. He seemed different at the moment. Changed. Something had happened to him, perhaps again. Something which seemed to have softened him, made him even more human. Even more angelic.
‘Do you want to dance, Dan?’
They danced for a while, and he was good at it. He even boldly put his hands on her hips and, silently, while she was thinking she should be faithful to her twin, even though they had not been together in marriage for so long now, she was tempted.
Later on that night, in fact earlier in the morning, when Daniel was still sleeping in her bed, after they had been quite passionate in their lovemaking, she sat down at her PC, typing away into her journal.
‘Callodyn. Good in bed. Knows how to get a result. Affectionate. Friendly. Kind. Worth getting to know.’
She smiled at her notes, hit save, turned off the PC, took a long cool sip of her lemonade, and turned on the tv, mellowing out to MTV.
It had been a good day. Tomorrow always beckoned, and life, as it inevitably always did, continued its merry march.
The Realm of Eternity. The overseer was still Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, who as yet showed no sign of passing on his mantleship to the next guy, and Gabriel was in a happy mood.. Gabriel was an angel who enjoyed life. Yes, he enjoyed life, with its various complications, its various idiosyncrasies, and its various wonderments. But as he floated on his back, out in the middle of Golden Lake, on a warm Summer’s day, his sister Aquariel not far from him on the Lake which was, as had become the custom, filled with its maximum number of visitors, 12,000, at any given time, Gabriel just let his mind wander over the eternity of life, the eternity of existence, the eternity of God.
He let his mind contemplate the 11,998 approximate other souls besides him and his sister who were currently enjoying the privileges of their long wait to be booked into Golden Lake. Of course, the Seraphim, when they visited, usually visited on a Sabbath, the special day reserved just for the Seraphim. The firstborn 1,400,000 Cherubim had special rights for just the day after the Sabbath in the 50 day month, but for the remaining population of the universe of life, the remaining time had to be booked in with a request to Glimmersphon. All the early tickets for the first few hundred million years had been taken long ago, and then an auction system had been put in place. In fact, on the webnet it was commonplace to see tickets for time at Golden Lake available for purchase to the highest bidder.
While Gabriel had long enjoyed his Sabbath visits, just for the hell of it, before he would have to wait forever, he had booked a place for himself and Aquariel on a regular weekday, and that day had finally arrived. And now he was surrounded by a literal plethora of personages from all over the universe. There were angels of all kinds and even some humans present, and the Lake was a hive of activity. But so it should be, really. The Realm of Eternity, alongside the Realm of Infinity and Heaven, were the oldest of the Angelic Realms of God, and the most coveted to enjoy spending time there. They were valued, now, Gabriel knew. They were treasured, as the oldest of the children of God.
Other vast numbers entered his head, like his age. He was old now, but gradually in the process of becoming ageless, despite the fact he often felt he was still learning new things, or perhaps, not so much new things, but things which he had already learned which were now gradually being reinforced to, it would seem, define his character.
Another number grabbed his imagination – the distance to the current outer rim. Really, way to many cubits to even bother contemplating. He thought on all those angels and humans out there who he quite possibly would never meet, but remembered his brother Ambriel’s loving words that ‘They will all want to meet you eventually, Gabriel’, and ‘It is just a matter of time.’ Of course, he had a diary. All the Seraphim did. And he had an online appointment schedule. Gabriel had been deemed loving because he allowed a full day a month, whereas most Seraphim fitted in a day a year, which had become the tradition. But one day every month Gabriel had a slot for meeting those who just wanted to simply meet him for the first time and spend some time with him. When this idea had been suggested aeons ago it had been smiled at, but no longer. Numbers were beyond counting of sentient life now, and neverending it would seem. And, because of this, there were practically an endless and growing number of people who wanted to meet the older angels, especially the famous Gabriel, just to meet him and say they had met him and whatever other reasons they may have. Gabriel guessed he would meet most angels, in the end, simply because that was the nature of eternity. You would eventually get around to it.
Ambriel was the one who put aside a day every week to meet new people. But that was Ambriel – King of Love, and presumably always would be. Michael was also on a day a month like himself, and Daniel was following Michael and Gabriel’s example. But most others stuck to a day a year.
He thought on Torah.
‘This life is simple, so never give up, the secret so simple, the secret of love.’
And eternity to enjoy it all, he finally thought to himself as he swam over to Aquariel, tipped her off her air cushion and grinned as she splashed water at him with a big smile on her face.
Abrazabrandelionkonjonshonvantrantavere II 2
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly the Cherubim was overseer in the Realm of Eternity, and it was another day of glory, another day of life for Abrazabrandelionkonjonshonvantrantavere the Second. AbII, as he was affectionately known to many, due to the rather lengthy nature of his name, was a composed, gentle and medium appraised angel of dignity and worth. He did not excel in the manner of his father, AbI, in business to any great degree, nor was he anyway inclined to do so. Yet he did have a club in the Realm of Eternity, which ran from the website using his own name, http://rww.abrazabrandelionkonjonshonvantrantavereII.com, which specialised in the communing and gathering together of individuals with the, perhaps unfortunate, reality of extraordinary and quite lengthy names. His own name was one word, as the tradition of his father, imported from grandfather, the Duke of Eaelbrestorford in an English county, in a fit of rage at his wife's stupidity to forget the credit cards on a holiday to a French village, leaving them homeless one night. The following year, filling in the forms for the birth of his new child, he filled in the extraordinary name of Abrazabrandelionkonjonshonvantrantavere in a fit of bitterness, had it registered, and waited upon his wife's scorn. She just smiled at the young Sebastian who had never come to be known as such. Thus, with such a lengthy name begun, AbII began a search online for others disaffected by that cruel beast of fate or, more precisely, vengeance filled grandfather's, and a club of registered names had begun appearing and a subsequent social profile utility created at the name extension of his website.
There were classics. Villainfartingthebloodyshiteofhismotherinlaw Allerby was a classic, as too was Imtoofuckingdepressedtocomeupwithafuckingname Smith. Quite lenghty discussion had ensued from grateful name bearers of great length thanking the maker they didn't have to deal with shit like that.
But the classic of true classics which, in this particular nation where the registry office really did not give a damn was Ulyssesthenobleanddistinctfartingaroundtheearthadventurerofgreeklegendwhosemotheridetestforhergreekprideandbraggingagainstmymacedonianheritage Poppadopolous. His was not one name to forget in a hurry.
Ab II, after a number of years consideration of some of the onomatic abominations which had graced the world finally, one afternoon, consented to a visit from grandfather and, for the first time in living memory, said to him.
'You know, paps. I've seen few names in my time. And you know, you are not really that bad a bastard after all.'
His grandfather was lost for words.
Daniel’s fabulous soul-winning techniques
‘You are kidding, aren’t you.’
‘No. Quite frankly. No. I am not. Ambriel is far more intelligent and sophisticated than your beloved Archangel Michael. He is a true gentleman. True, proper and holy. Michael is a schmuck. Just a very basic level of spirituality. Has no great devotion to his flock, which he SHOULD have as firstborn.’
‘Well, you tell him that.’
‘Hey, sis, YOU are in Michael’s ministries. NOT me. I sensibly chose Ambriel.’
‘You’re a bit judgemental, aren’t you? That seems to be the fruit of your way, sis.’
‘I call it as I see it.’
‘I guess so.’
Daniel, who had been overlistening to the conversation between two cherubim offspring sisters, spoke.
‘Hey, sweeties. Try me? I will at least entertain you. Give you something to laugh about. Not bore you with ‘loovve’ from Ambriel, and ‘God is the sum of perfection’ from Michaleo. You know me. God’s a hoot. A disastrous sense of humour, if you push him. But hey, as I always say, he made the platypus. Something was going on.’
The two Cherubim girls both smirked at Daniel’s humour, but both just shook their heads.
‘Daniel? Get serious. What, were we born yesterday? You’ll have our tithes, our virginity if at all possible, and we’ll be out building the glorious kingdom of Daniel the Seraphim. We are not THAT stupid Danny. Our father warned us about you.’
Daniel grinned a little. ‘Hey. I do have a reputation to maintain. But what is life without some comic relief.’
‘True,’ said one of the girls.
‘I guess,’ said another.
‘So does that mean I get a kiss,’ inquired the hopeful Seraphim.
‘Dream on,’ they both said, and, despite thinking better, one of them gave him a peck on the forehead.
Hey. At least he was cute.
The Dark Light of Unbeing
Wormdog. Now he was an unusual angel – if you could really call him that. But, hell, he had been called worse things than an angel, so he didn’t sweat it.
Wormdog was rebellious from youth, assigned to guardianship to the cliffs of ‘Marexxya’ guarding the Grand Palace of Delusion, one of God’s favourite haunts. Wormdog was good at covering the cliffs, his particular talent, and could easily spot any assailant attempting to make his way to the Palace of Delusion. In his time he’d had a few, now. His job was, naturally, the human ones. Angels were handled by the other team, as they had flight. Yes, Wormdog simply monitored the cliffs to spy out any ambitious climbers who were attempting to learn some of the darker secrets of God.
At the bottom of the cliffs was the portal entrance. Very few knew of the Palace, but word had slowly got out which, Wormdog privately believed, was the will of the theophany anyway. He was trying to keep the place hidden – but not to hidden. He had his reasons, so Wormdog believed.
The Palace of Delusion was God’s crypt of personal heresy, lies and untruths. Were he both studied them and dreamt them up. It was full of all sorts of wondrous things, so contradictory in nature quite often. And delusions were down every path you trod. But that mattered not to Wormdog. He visited the palace rarely, mainly residing on the outpost with the other angels – their own home.
Wormdog was male – he had genitalia – and apparently could mate, as he masturbated often. But females had never seem to have come into his particular realm and, in truth, he felt like no angel. As if a dark light was his light – a dark light of unbeing which said he didn’t matter, and that he was not important. But he refused to believe that in his heart.
The theophany usually had a chat with him when he visited. Talked to him about the outside world, beyond the portal. And every time – every single time – he continued to charge Wormdog with his responsibility of guardianship, which he faithfully attended to.
But in his unbeing his heart wondered. What would it be like? To taste the delights of a female of the light? What would it be like indeed.
And then, bearing it no longer, he stole away one night, with no word, and came to the portal. And not knowing really how to work it, he spoke ‘Heaven’ and the portal shimmered, and he entered.
* * * * *
Lucy, child of God, witch of heaven, looked at the puzzled visitor. He looked different – not quite like a normal angel. Wiry, with a different look on his face. Normal enough, she supposed, but she sensed the other at work here.
‘I’m Lucy. Who are you?’
‘Wormdog. Is this………….heaven?’
‘Yes. What are you looking for?’
‘A. A woman. I need to mate.’
She smiled. That much she had not quite expected.
‘Well, good luck, Wormdog. There are lots of angels who live here. Take a good look around. Mingle for a while. You might meet someone.’
After about 6 months of adapting to the culture of heaven, he was in fact dating. She was built like him in some ways, and said she had come searching. She guarded a palace. The palace of insanity. Somehow, then, he knew she was his mate. She assumed as such as well. They wed. It was a good wedding. And a little while later, with her pregnant, they returned to his home.
* * * * *
‘So Wormdog, what have you learned about life?’
‘That you have to take risks. Life won’t come to you otherwise.’
The theophany nodded. His son was learning.
‘I’ll come and see your daughter later on tonight. I look forward to meeting her.’
‘And you will bless her?’
‘I will bless her.’
Wormdog was happy after this. He was no longer unbeing. He was being. He mattered. He was important. And he had learned, in life, you had to go off and make your own destiny. In the end, really, there was no other way. No other way at all.
Abrazabrandelionkonjonshonvantrantavere II 3
Life continues on in its merry and happy pathways, as it is wont to do, as it desireth to do as it eternally shall do. And for AbII, the amusement of his name's length was not the concern it was in younger years, as in latter. In fact, as time passed, growing accustomed somewhat to lengthy names through his website social network, AbII began feeling somewhat inspired by the tradition begun by his grandfather, and continued by himself in his own offspring, the lengthy use of words.
Thus it was no grand and great surprise that, as time passed, he began accumulating piles and piles of long words in his life research, compiled into a link on his website, and studied them, ironically, at length, to enjoy and savour their uniqueness and grandity, as he was wont to say.
Kibliphonicaltechvarsitation, the variation in communication patterns amongst various species of fish was one of his favourites. Totalcondeconstructivication, a word representing the rebelling against an anarchic society for the purposes of forming law and order was another particular favourite. Yet, his all time classic, Immigrationalisticbigotizationredactivebiochemicalconservatism, the field of conservative drug research to settle and conform racially minded individals to a more sedate state of mind was remarkable, as AbII aged, in its brilliance and lucidty.
Yes, AbII liked the longuns.
And, as the years passed, and he grew more and more adroit in the understanding and usage of such words, he praised his grandfather more and more for the delightful world of dictional elaborative excellence he had ventured into, grown familiar with, and now enjoyed tremendously.
So much so that, upon his grandfather's birthday, AbII presented him with a birthday card which read:
Dear Grandfather. May your septimillennial celebratorial birthmarking congregationalizating multi-individual gathering of truly superlativatorial magnificence be a day remembered by yourself googolplexianiterons from now.
Yet again, his grandfather was lost for words.
'Draconatissamay. My Cherubim brother. Do you fancy doing artwork on a comic series?'
The Cherubim Draconatissamay looked at his younger Cherubim brother Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. 'Not easy getting new ideas, Danny.'
'I've written out 300 issues of 'The Dragonmaster'. It's steeped in English fantasy lore. It was written a long time ago, but I've waited a long time to choose the artist. You do good work on that these days, and your English patriotism is what I need. Long ago I registered Britannic Majesty Comics, and I think this is now the time to finally use it,' responded Daniel.
'What is the Dragonmaster about?' asked Draconatissamay.
'He's a confidante of Merlin, who was trained by him as a young apprentice, who went on to master a dragon and uses it in his adventures throughout Britannya. They gradually become popular, and win a war with King Arthur against the French at the end. It's a blockbuster conclusion.'
'Sounds ok,' said Draconatissamay. 'Why have you waited so long to look for an artist though?'
'I've wanted a name. And a British patriot for a long time. Actually, I've been thinking about you forever, but you were only ever average at artwork to start with. But when we've catched up you've occasionally shown me a piece of stuff you've worked on, and you are good enough these days.'
'Right,' said Draconatissamay, sipping on his ale. They were at an English pub in Terraphora, and the overseer had requested his company, so Draconatissamay had shown up. And the idea interested him. 'Yes, I'm a patriot,' said Draconatissamay. 'I knew you were too. Born in Hull, weren't you? On Earth?'
'Pretty much,' replied Daniel. 'I was raised in Australia, but the loyalty never died to my place of birth.'
'Ok,' said Draconatissamay. Show me some of the stories, and I'll look into the project. It will give me something to do for a while, anyway. Could prove an interesting experiment.'
'That's great,' said Daniel. 'I'll email you the whole thing later this week. And it will be great to work with you.'
'Cheers then,' replied Draconatissamay, as they sipped on their ale, and discussed all things English.
‘Insisted on itself.’
‘Sure thing,’ responded Lord Chronology to the Most High.
* * * * *
‘There was a time, sonny jim, before they who have left us had gone. When we were a family, a people, humanity, united. But the divisions came, sonny jim, and the scientists said ‘To the Stars’. And so they left, to form their own dynasties, to form their own empires. And that is the way of life.
But God’s word stands firm, sonny jim. It stands firm. And the sinners drift ever outwards, unable to stand, repelled from the inner life by their own lack of ability to stand on righteousness, tempted by their own shortcomings.
Paul said the wages of sin is death, and tis were they drift too, sonny jim. For out there in that Milky Way galaxy are worlds, now, sonny jim, were sin is rampant, and death, chaos and destruction reign.
For the dark lord rules them, sonny jim.
Now if ye be a wise lad for taking advice, sonny jim, remain in this system. Never leave her, for the ways of law and life are firmly and deeply entrenched in homeworld, sonny jim. Never leave the firm halls of eternity, the firm ways of life of mother earth, the firm foundations of Mercury, Venus, Mars and Pluto. This system shall stand, sonny jim, but the sinners they shall drift, sonny jim. The sinners they shall drift.
God chose 400 souls, sonny jim, and 40 souls, sonny jim. And he never added. But he gave grace and said, if ye can stand for the time of length beyond regular counting, then ye shall be sealed in the book of life and added to the second 400. But loyalty says to you, shall you travel the stars and sin as ye will? For will ye truly find eternal life in such an endeavour?
And the wise shall understand sonny jim.
And the sinners shall chase their folly sonny jim.
And life shall go on its merry and pleasant eternal pathways sonny jim. Dear, dear sonny jim.
Up Shit Creek
‘And now, finally, back to reality.’
‘At last, young Master Apholox. At last.’
Daniel was up shit creek. Literally. Ambriel and the whole crew were finally back on earth, manifested privately for a while, Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly still ruling the Realm of Eternity, and Ambriel had ventured down to Dalgety were Daniel was currently living, gone around the district and bought a stack of cow shit from various farmers, and dumped it in the creek running through Daniel’s property. And then he had come to Daniel, said he had a surprise for him, and the innocent Daniel, always trusting Ambriel, agreed to have his eyes blindfolded, and was led onto a small boat which pushed its way out onto a creek. And then Daniel was propelled out of the boat, onto a rock and Ambriel said ‘You can take your blindfold off in 5 minutes.’
When Daniel took off his blindfold he found himself stranded, in the middle of his property creek, which was, surprisingly, filled with shit. Lots and lots of shit. Ambriel and Meludiel were on the shore, a distant 10 metres away, for there was a lot of shit, and they were smiling at him. He looked around him, sat down, took out his mobile phone, and rang for his company in Canberra.
‘What are you doing Danny boy?’ queried Ambriel with a smirk on his face.
‘Are you happy there Danny boy?’ asked Meludiel.
Daniel just smiled at them and waited on his secretary.
Eventually she answered.
‘Its Daniel. I need a fucking helicopter. Get me a fucking helicopter, right to my place in Dalgety. They can find me. Do it now. Kapiche.’
An hour and a half later, sitting on the verandah of his property, Daniel was smiling at his guests Ambriel and Meludiel, who had subtle smiles on their faces.
‘Of course, revenge is ever so sweet, dear, dear Amby Wamby.’
‘And you can be patient can’t you,’ said Ambriel.
‘Oh yes,’ responded Daniel. ‘Oh yes.’
* * * * *
Meludiel was sitting with Ambriel in there home on Bent Street in Berridale. She turned to him. ‘Well?’
‘Well what,’ he asked, but knew he should know what she meant.
‘It has been a fair while, dear brother, and I need some statistics. Sin statistics.’
‘Fuck,’ he said under his breath.
‘So how goes it? Since the last time we queried. It has been well over the billion years now, so we have decided to ask afresh. To see if you guys were paying attention.’
Ambriel then recalled, all those long years ago, the sin issues which had been raised by the girls.
‘Right,’ he said. ‘Well, not much anymore. No more real shenanigans. I suppose, in truth, I am probably on about the same level of behaviour that I was then. Probably about the same percentages. That is the way I am, Mel.’
She looked at him coldly, but relented. ‘Good,’ she said in the end. ‘That is satisfactory.’
‘Glad to hear,’ he replied, somewhat nervously.
Later on that day, when Ariel had arrived from Canberra, Ariel, after chatting with Meludiel, came in to Daniel to query him.
He looked at her, after the questions, and responded. ‘About the same as then. The sins of my youth are still just that – the sins of my youth. No, I haven’t been arrested even yet, no drunkenness, no cigarette use for most of the last billion years, perhaps 3 or 4 puffs at times when it seemed appropriate, no illegal drug use yet at all in my life. Nothing really.’
‘Nothing but sexual relations in marriage since that time as well. I have never transgressed.’
She seemed satisfied with that response. ‘And masturbation?’
‘About once a year,’ he responded. ‘That is about my normal amount.’
‘Some have quit totally,’ she responded. ‘Shouldn’t you consider that?’
‘It’s a long eternity, Ariel. A very long one. Long ago I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t commit on that particular issue. Possibly that I couldn’t. I occasionally purchase R rated porn, and the rare X rated straight porn Video, and use them. But not that often. They are aids when you are not around for a prolonged period. You don’t have a problem with that, do you?’
She looked at him, realized he was a guy, and shook her head. ‘No. No I don’t,’ and she let the issue drop.
* * * * *
‘Well, what shall we do today?’ asked Daniel to Ambriel, Ariel and Meludiel.
The four of them were sitting in Daniel’s abode, next door to Ambriel and Meludiel’s in 7 Bent Street, Berridale.
Ambriel, looking at a cricket magazine, spoke up. ‘Why don’t we try for glory again? Ashes glory? Play for Australia again.’
Meludiel spoke up ‘Yes, the aussies. But Daniel rarely plays for them.’
Daniel looked at Meludiel. ‘In my formative years I was mainly loyal to my country of birth, despite having been conceived, well…..’
‘Well what?’ asked Meludiel. Ariel and Ambriel both looked at him.
‘Well, here. Here at 7 Bent street, funnily enough.
Ambriel looked shocked. ‘Here? 7 Bent street.’
Daniel looked concerned. ‘I haven’t mentioned it, have I? I haven’t actually mentioned it.’
‘What?’ queried Meludiel.
‘I was brought up here in Berridale, in the 1970s. Before we moved to Cooma for the 1980s and Canberra for the 1990s and onwards. I was actually conceived right here, though. Here at 7 Bent street, which was the family home.’
‘Fancy that,’ said Meludiel. ‘Right here at 7 Bent street.’
Ariel latched on to him. ‘So that is why you really stay here most of the time now, then? Because it is home.’
Daniel nodded. ‘Yes. It is home. Well, cricket is an interesting idea. Perhaps in a few months we can get around to some training, but for today. Well, how about a picnic instead. You know, chicken dinner, bread rolls, salad and some Coke.’
‘Sounds good,’ said Ambriel.
‘Ok,’ said Meludiel.
Ariel got up, walked over to the kitchen, and returned shortly. ‘Well, I’ll go shopping now, and get the goods. Meludiel can come with me. Why don’t you boys go downstairs and play pool or something. Keep yourselves busy till we are ready.’
‘Yes,’ said Meludiel. ‘We’ll be ready for afternoon, down at the creek. That should be perfect.’
Daniel and Ambriel nodded compliance and, heading down to the downstairs, den, Daniel spoke up. ‘Cricket again, huh? It has been a while. But there are good players out there now. Very committed ones.’
‘We have a lot of experience, bro. A lot. We can work up to it,’ responded Ambriel.
‘I guess,’ responded Daniel, as they came into his den and started a game of pool.
* * * * *
Daniel was playing in the water of the creek, his CD Walkman on, listening to his favourite Evanescence CD, ‘Fallen’, throwing fists in the air, suddenly full of beans.
‘What is his problem?’ asked Ambriel, looking somewhat concerned.
Ariel frowned. ‘He does that these days. Trying to reclaim his lost youth. But he did say to me that God does not really set the specific age of our lifestyle, so why bother being a billion. Forever young, in his words. And, besides, he has a lot of energy these days as well. Feeling very good about things again. As if new life has entered his bones.’
‘Doesn’t want to age,’ said Ambriel.
‘Do you?’ queried Ariel.
Ambriel looked at her and looked at Daniel. He looked into his wallet and said to the girls, ‘I’ll be back in about 10 minutes.’
‘Were are you going?’ asked Meludiel.
‘Don’t worry. I’ll be right back.’
He left, but 10 minutes later Ambriel had returned, had a CD Walkman and was listening to a CD. He was bopping around, looking very happy, and Meludiel asked him ‘What are you listening to?’
‘The best of Wham. Wake me up before you go go is on. It’s great.’
‘Really,’ said Meludiel. And Ambriel nodded. Then, walking over to Daniel at the creek, he started jumping around in front of his brother, giving him the thumbs up, and then Daniel made the Devil sign with his hand, the traditional Dio metal sign, and said ‘Rock on Dude!’.
* * * * *
Later on that day, back at 7 Bent Street, Daniel and Ambriel and the girls were in the den, and Daniel looked at them all. ‘Cricket, huh? Cricket? Right.’ He walked over to his jukebox, selected a track, and shortly ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor started playing. He looked at the game of pool, suddenly hungry for life, and Ambriel looked at him. ‘You’re happy, aren’t you Danny Boy?’
Danny nodded. He bent down, sunk the pink, and said. ‘I’m ready to rock.’
* * * * *
‘4,’ yelled Meludiel, the umpire in the 3 person game of cricket. Daniel had hit a 4 which Ambriel had bowled in his usual leg spin, and Daniel was now on 49 runs.
‘You won’t get his score,’ said Ariel, the wicket keeper. ‘You’ll never take 101. Never.’
‘Probably not,’ responded Daniel. He then hit 3 sixes in a row, and Ariel responded. ‘Lucky, Schmuck. Very lucky.’
‘Yeh, right, ‘ said Daniel.
Later in the innings, he was on 97 and Ambriel was nervous. He decided to take a rare medium pace attack and, running in, Daniel was on to it and slogged it. The ball went very high but landed just inside the boundary and trickled over for 4. Ambriel looked at Daniel’s score on the scoreboard which Meludiel was keeping. 101. They were tied. Time to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
He went back to his mark, came in slowly as per spin style, but sped up just at the end and sent down a faster than usual one. It hit the dirt, but spun back suddenly, and nipped the top of the bails, sending them to the dirt. ‘Shit,’ Daniel said under his breath. ‘He got me.’
Ariel looked at him. ‘I know I can’t really brag, as you did match him, but you hardly won the battle.’
‘I think that is down to you, sis. Don’t expect us to go easy.’
‘I won’t,’ she responded.
She made 175, but they weren’t pushing too savagely. But, as Daniel stated later that evening, they weren’t going easy either. ‘We were trying to get you out, but Ambriel looked at me with the look of not to go to harsh on you. So we played an average game. But I sent a lot your way which was some of the best of me. You probably did deserve your victory in the end.’
Ariel nodded, relieved somewhat.
‘If you deserve a handicap,’ said Daniel. ‘If you deserve a handicap for your lesser physical stature and your womanhood, then perhaps you got one. Which means you probably kicked our arse.’
She thought about that and nodded. It was just like Daniel to treat her as a woman, but to also give her respect as well. To treat her as an equal as well. Just like him.
* * * * *
‘Daniel. What happens to the dead?’
‘Did you ever listen to early Iron Maiden records.’
Ariel looked at him strangely. ‘I think I have heard you listen to them, but not really personally. A bit once. For a little while. But not these days.’
‘There is this line. We’ll dream forever more. I asked God on the subject. That exact question.’
‘And what did he say?’
‘In the heavenlies, usually, you will live forever if you make sensible foundational choices. If you are wise. If you are wise. But, unfortunately, the same old dangerous life styles kill a number of them. And they go to Sheol, the resting place. The place of final death. There they rest in a slumber of the soul, an eternal dream state. Apparently, in God’s words, deemed unfit for eternity for there sheer stupid choices in life. There are some, though, a small percentage – those who were just murdered – just killed outright, through no fault of their own, who he bring back at certain times over the aeons. It happens once every billion years, a sort of resurrection. Blaze was restored, funnily enough then, and Jason. They never returned to the Realm of Eternity, though, but live out in the human dominion. God doesn’t want them in the Realm for a long time. A long, long time. You might have not heard about these things, though. They are kept largely confidential – so as not to upset people, or for people to get their hopes up. He doesn’t like unwise decision makers in the end, God. Doesn’t approve of – well – to put it very bluntly, the sinner type of lifestyle. Sort of why a sin is a sin. Sort of. But the dead – the permanent dead – they rest forever, in a dream like state of half consciousness and sleep. They are not really completely dead – not spiritually – just unalive in our own sense of living. But there is no pain there, no more fears, really, from what God says. Nothing but an eternal slumber of the soul. God rests them a lot of the time, though, now. A lot of the time they are not even conscious. Just a resting spirit, not forgotten by God, but put up on the shelf by him, in a sense, for God to move on and not have to worry about souls who may just, in the end, keep on causing havoc by their malevolent lifestyles. He is a God of peace, Ariel. He will only tolerate so much rowdy behaviour in the end. Only so much. Life kills the sinner, in the end. A stubborn refusal to conform with the ways of peace.’
‘Do you know how many of the Cherubim are gone from us?’
Daniel sighed. ‘All the Seraphim have endured. I am pretty sure they always will. But chaos was rampant in the Cherubim community for a long while. Only a few thousand remain.’
She nodded. ‘Yes. I know. It is sad, isn’t it. Really, quite sad.’
‘Such is life and death, Ariel. Such is life and death. But don’t worry too much in the end. There are billions who have lived a heck of a long time in the heavenlies, wise souls who seemed to have worked it out. Life sorts them out – the wise from the fool. Life sorts them out. And, from what I have observed, once you have lived long enough, made enough wise decisions, God starts taking a bit more of an interest. He is a bit more caring then. Wanting to see that commitment – that commitment to eternity – to peaceful and life affirming ways and conduct. When he sees enough, and believe me he can wait, then he very gradually and slowly draws closer to you. But it takes forever, practically, sis. Practically forever.’
‘If only people cared enough for their own soul.’
‘But that is the life decision we all must make. Like my sensible brother Ambriel who bought the Wham CD out of all his options, in the wake me up before you go go video, there they are, the people in the video, wearing ‘Choose Life’ Tee Shirts. Exactly why Ambriel is so sensible.’
Ariel smiled, hugged her twin and said, ‘But you are too, aren’t you?’
‘I bloody well hope so,’ he responded. ‘Now enough of morbidity. Lets watch a movie.’
And as the afternoon passed, and Jack Dawson married Rose in a Titanic sequel, Daniel gave occasional thought to those dark issues of life and death, but put them out of his mind, snuggled up to Ariel, and simply enjoyed the movie.
* * * * *
It was still creeping around his heart. The subject of death, when Ariel walked in with a piece of paper – a print off that she had gotten from an email to Michael in Israel. It was titled ‘Some Facts on Eternal Life.’ She handed it to Daniel who started reading.
‘When the resurrection on earth came and had taken place, the angelic host who had manifested had been sealed for eternity. God has disclosed this fact to some of us for us to rest assured of our eternal salvation. These individuals comprised the 70 Onaphim of Infinity of the first grouping of the various angels born, the 70 Children of Heaven, the 7 Shadow Angels of Eternity, Metatron, Logos, Memra, the 140 Seraphim of Eternity, Angela of Paradise, and the first 1000 born of both the male and female Cherubim of Eternity, as well as the lastborn of the Cherubim, The first 700 male and the first 700 female Ketravim, and the first 7000 male and the first 7000 female Saruvim, of whom God has not disclosed any details. Apart from this, the entire Christian church of all denominations which had existed prior to the resurrection, the entire number of the Children of Islam, the entire number of the children of Bahai faith, as well as the entire number of Observant Noahides and Observant practitioners of Judaism and Samaritanism and Karaism have had there names sealed eternally in God’s book of life. Yet this was only those born prior to the resurrection of humanity. Only these have been given eternal guarantees of eternal life in the heavenlies on this subject. God has disclosed his desire for new fellowship beyond this point has ceased and, furthermore, the heartache God goes through with such souls, only to lose them at a later date, is beyond his hearts capabilities to cope with, due to his great loving-concern. Thus, such individuals, upon tasting death in the heavenlies according to the reward of their works who, upon tasting death in the heavenlies, will never be resurrected. Such individuals who have, though, been included in the books of eternal life need not be told this truth initially, in fact not until God has accomplished his general purposes in their sanctification will they be told. These details have been confirmed by the Theophany himself and the Word of God from the Throneroom of Zaphon. Sincerely, Archangel Michael.’
He looked at her, somewhat shocked. ‘Shit,’ he said. ‘Shit. My family were all Catholic. Just about all of them. They were all pre-resurrection. And even Callodyn is an early Cherubim.’
Ariel nodded. ‘I guess that is just the way it is, brother. I guess that is just the way it is.’
Daniel looked at the piece of paper, looked at Ariel somewhat sorrowfully, and went downstairs, down to the den.
‘You have to let the rest go,’ a voice said in his heart. And Daniel, grieving over that reality, nodded. Such was life and death. Such was life and death.
* * * * *
Later on that day, a second email from Michael. ‘This was received recently, upon the judgement of God for individuals not written in the initial books of life. They are to suffer ‘The Testing’. The testing is this – only those who master life and resist the sinful impulse and those life practices which cause death – only those who continue to practice, peace, lawfulness, holiness and righteousness – from generation to generation who, upon reaching each of the successive trillionth year anniversaries since the creation of Home, and who are in fact still alive, shall be at those times written into the successive scrolls of eternal life. The cut off date for the first scroll shall be those born prior to the year 2 Billion HY, who shall need to live until the year 1 Trillion HY. Those born later than 2 Billion HY shall have to wait until the year 2 Trillion HY. The second cut off date, in order again, shall be the year 3 Trillion 3 Billion HY, and such individual born after this point shall have to wait until the year 5 Trillion HY and so on and so forth. This judgement from Hashem guarantees that only those who please God and choose a life devoid of sin shall, in fact, achieve the guarantee of salvation. His heart, thus, is relieved of having to worry about those who do not give a serious enough damn about eternal life anyway. If there are any questions, please contact me. Archangel Michael. PS Earlier generations, representing original firstborn genomes, the first of God’s love, were primarily under grace in this respect for the most part, those being those of Noahide, Jewish, Samaritan, Karaite, Christian, Muslim & Bahai faith.’
* * * * *
Daniel received the document from the Theophany, entitled, ‘The Contract’. He read it, smiled to himself, and went out to chat with Ariel, who was still, technically, a practicing Christian.
She read the document. She read it twice. And then she read it once more. ‘Oh,’ she said. ‘I see. Our contract with God. The Churches Contract with God. Oh. The New Testament. For all the pre-resurrection Christians. Our Contract. Oh. And this looks interesting, certain rights God is now bothering to say he will now, the goodness of time and grace having come to be, enforce. A passage from Paul. ‘For God works in you to do and will according to his good pleasure.’ Oh. Lovely,’ she said. She looked at her twin. ‘Are you…. Are you still a Christian, Daniel,’ she asked hesitantly.
‘Uh, no,’ he responded. I do have an arrangement with God, though. When I visit Christian churches I have to ascribe to the entire New Testament protocols while I am visiting, and be very respectful and careful. And this has to last for a good few hours after I have left the service. But, to answer your question, when I am attending church, legally, at those times I can be considered one of you. That much I agreed to because I am still fond, to a certain degree, of Christian faith and principle.’
‘Then what do you make of this?’ she asked, nervously.
‘Look at the last passage,’ he said, pointing to the bottom of the page.
She looked at it and read it out loud. ‘I will indeed continue to grant you all your Christian rights, promises and blessings, but will be enforcing my will completely, according to my good pleasure. Now, the cut off date for those who wanted certain liberties to be embracing Noahide faith was set at the year 1 Billion. With nobody did I share this, but now, those who have continued to commit to Christian faith up until this time will be under, most definitely, the principle of no sexual relations, as per Jesus own teaching. And I will be employing my holy spirit to ensure this reality. Those who had made arrangements with me personally will be allowed to exercise their liberties. This judgement takes effect as upon the end of 2,010,000,000 HY. God.’
She swallowed her pride. She swallowed it and thought of Meludiel, who had been eternally resolute. ‘Eternal virgins at that point, Daniel.’ She gulped, looking at him. ‘I will have to be an eternal virgin, just like Meludiel.’
‘There are lots of you,’ smiled Daniel. ‘Lots. The Bride of Christ indeed,’ he said smiling.
‘Oh,’ she said, and said nothing more all that day.
* * * * *
‘Your allowed to masturbate, even in front of me, once a year. You can give me oral sex, and I can give oral sex to you. But we can’t ever fornicate and make babies. We can have regular oral sexual relations like this together about 2 or 3 times a year, but you can only masturbate once a year. But the vagina may never be penetrated with a penis. God will enforce this very literally. It will keep you eternally pure enough for Jesus satisfaction on this issue and God’s own desire for a very holy Church. The same privileges for man. You can’t marry, though. No more marriage. He will definitely enforce the contract, but will allow you the liberties which seem apparent in it.’
‘Oh,’ she said. ‘No more fucking at that point. But, oh. We can still have a lot of fun.’
‘It’s not the end of the world. He has yet to rule on, well, mmm, how can I say it.’
‘What?’ she queried.
‘Dildos and vibrators. He is still a bit sensitive about talking about that kind of stuff, but will not rule on it until the next billion years are up. Then he will make a decision.’
‘Oh,’ she said. ‘Right.’
Somewhat relieved, later that day Ariel looked at the relevant passages in the New Testament, realized that God was possibly granting her a degree of liberties, but decided she would never complain about that. In the end, she didn’t need to make any more babies. She had enough. So no more fornication, while she would miss it, was not the end of the world. Her Danny boy could still do of his good pleasure, which he liked to, down below anyway. He could still do that.
* * * * *
‘Oh,’ said Daniel, pleasantly surprised. ‘He has made another ruling. You should like this one.’
‘What is it?’ asked Ariel.
‘Just to take care of bothersome details. The sperm will be dead in the faithful church beyond the point he specified, so no babies will be able to be made anyway. And, further, the condom can be worn and ejaculation achieved in the vagina WITH a condom being worn, which will not technically be classified as sexual relation for the purposes of giving in marriage or making offspring. In any attempted fornication, the lack of quality orgasm will be noticeable, and no real pleasure will be obtained. It will simply be going through the motions, and God expects people will get bored with something which just won’t really work. But in normal oral sex with or without a condom and in vaginally penetrative sex utilizing the condom, very good orgasms are allowable. And he has decided to rule early and eternally permit dildos and vibrators.’
‘Oh,’ said Ariel, now mostly relieved. ‘We just won’t be able to have kids anymore.’
‘Not for the church,’ he responded. ‘That is the end of it.’
‘But. But you can, can’t you Daniel Daly.’
‘Not with Christians. And not during church services, which I wouldn’t anyway. But with my Noahide wives, well, yes. Pretty much forever. That wasn’t in our contract with God. We are allowed.’
‘And you chose that, didn’t you?’
‘You should know that better than me, Ariel. You should know that better than me.’
She nodded. ‘Yes, she did. She really, in truth, did.’
* * * * *
Ambriel reacted well enough to what Daniel was telling him. He wasn’t that bothered in the end.
‘Me and Meludiel have enough kids together, Danny. We still have plenty of time for an absolute horde of them if she wants, so I’m not worried. No real point in have an eternal number of offspring, anyway. Well, maybe there is, I guess, but you don’t need it with just one wife.’
‘No,’ responded Daniel, matter of factly. ‘I guess they got what they chose, in the end.’
‘I guess so,’ responded Ambriel. ‘I guess so.’
* * * * *
In Israel, were Michael was currently residing, he got a lot of feedback about his recent spate of emails, some from very disappointed individuals, but all Michael could say was such is life. The judgements of God are for a reason, and in the insistence upon the continuation of the Christian Church, God had thus insisted upon them honouring their spiritual commitment – the New Testament. Certainly, he would continue to grant them eternal life, and eternal blessing. But there were conditions. And, now, so Michael presumed, they knew their conditions. By now they should know them well. Very, very well indeed.
He looked out over Jerusalem from his office desk, looked up at the picture of Elenniel on the wall, realized how lucky they were compared to some, and thanked his lucky stars. Thanked his lucky stars indeed.
‘Sharlamane is Jewish, isn’t she Daniel,’ queried Ambriel.
‘Yes. Yes she is. Quite faithful to that.’
‘Mmm,’ nodded Ambriel. ‘And, her twin. He was a devout Christian, wasn’t he?’
Daniel thought on that and, thinking over a recent meeting, nodded. ‘Oh. Oh, yes he is. Still is. Very devout.’
Ambriel persisted with the line of thought he had. ‘So, let me put it like this. Your seed with Ariel will end, won’t it?’
Daniel nodded. ‘Yes, obviously.’
‘And Sharlamane’s seed with her twin will end.’
Daniel nodded again. ‘Uh, yeh. That sounds about right.’
‘But,’ started Ambriel carefully. ‘But your seed with SHARLAMANE will probably go on forever, then.’
‘I would say so,’ responded Daniel. ‘She recently said we may as well keep on having them.’
Ambriel nodded to himself. ‘So Sharlamane is your main babe, in the end, then. Sharlamane.’
He looked at Ambriel, not wanting to admit it, but responded. ‘I will always love Ariel and stay with her, and give her the satisfaction she will need. Hey, that suits me fine. In fact, sort of, but it is kind of nice to have a wife – I mean a twin - who will have a lot of respect for not fitting into a certain classification structure, if you know what I mean.’
‘A perpetual virgin,’ he responded.
‘Exactly. And that goes for you too, Messiah boy. For you too.’
Just then Ambriel thought on Justine Atkinson, who had left Christianity for Noahide faith about a number of million years ago. Strangely, about 5 million years before the year one billion. About 5 million years.’
‘Right,’ said Ambriel softly, and went off to Daniel’s study to really think about the wisdom of God.
* * * * *
The theophany had come around to relieve Ariel’s frustrations, and was talking with Daniel.
‘You know, as the real founder of Haven, there are certain protocols you are going to have to follow in relation to the church. Ariel and the rest of them have certain rights, now. Certain fundamental rights.’
Daniel groaned. He knew exactly, 100%, what was coming.
‘Your early flock, I will leave alone. That is fine. But Sharlamane and your newbies beyond the point of ending for her, well. You can have the kids, which means she is going to end up a pretty bloody scarce and rare Christian church. So, dear Daniel San, she is expecting her royal privileges.’
Daniel nodded. ‘Ok. When the day comes, 1 out of every 10, in order, of my children will be tithed to Ariel for her services and for her prosperity. She will indeed be a royal. And I will see to the same thing with all my future children henceforth from all other wives.’
God nodded. ‘Good. And this will be enforced, at that point, with all future offspring of Haven Noahide Fellowship from all its members. 1 in every ten – the first 1 in every ten – the tithe – will become permanent servants of the church.’
‘What will they be entitle too?’
‘Servants rights, according to a manifesto I expect you to do up. But they will be eternally indentured to the service of their sovereign. They will be granted working rights, an income, the essential needs and wants of life, but they will be working for the church as servants, and the churches incomes will be allowed to be phenomenal in the goodness of time. You will have seed for them, and because of their frustrations, they will rule in royalty in their kingdoms.’
Daniel nodded. ‘That is fine, God. I don’t object. I knew it was coming.’
God patted him on the back. ‘But only 10%. The rest are free men and women.’
‘Suits me fine,’ responded the 45th Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity.
* * * * *
Ariel broached a subject with Daniel. ‘Danny. I know full well you claim you have never been drunk. Full well. It is just that King David seems to recall, so he says, certain incidents in your younger years when you apparently were drunk.’
Daniel looked at her, somewhat stunned, and laughed. ‘Oh, yeah. Those early days. Look, I was slightly tipsy at absolute most, but probably not. It was all a put on, Ariel. I drunk about a maximum of 2 alcoholic drinks in those few occasions we partied a bit. I visited a lady of the night just the one last time, and that was the end of it. I wasn’t drunk at all – I just pretended to be.’
‘Really?’ she queried. ‘Honestly.’
‘Definitely,’ responded Daniel. ‘I don’t actually like beer very much. It is why I don’t drink it at all anymore. I very rarely drink alcohol at all, in fact. Sometimes a honeycomb schnapps, which I am partial to on rare occasions, but not that much more than that. I mean, come on. You have known me forever anyway. Have you ever seen me drunk?’
She thought over the long ages she had known him. No. In fact not. ‘No, Danny. You never get drunk around me. I have never seen such behaviour.’
‘Ask around,’ said Daniel. ‘Ask all who know me. They will tell you the same thing.
‘Ok. I’ll trust you,’ she responded, and she left it at that.
* * * * *
Ariel sat with Daniel in front of 7 Bent Street, on the porch, watching the world go by. They had a current agenda of a bit of cricket training, but nothing too much more than that. In fact, nothing too much more at all. These were quite days, in many ways. Quiet, gentle days, of not too much activity, restored to planet earth for now for a long sojourn of apparent retirement, in Michael’s own words. The Cherubim overseer of Eternity, Dalmandarky, the 955th Male Cherubim of birth rank, was ruling well, apparently, and Michael was not concerned for the time being. It had taken a long time for Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly to pass on his mantleshp, but the new overseer went straight back to the traditional million year service, and that had been that. But there was a dilemma coming up. The end of the living Cherubim. Funnily enough, call it the planning of God, or destiny itself, but the first 1000 male and female cherubim had all survived. Beyond that point there were some living, a few, but most were gone. In fact, the 1001st of each had parted for Sheol, and Michael couldn’t even recall there names. They were, in so many ways, now dead to him. Forgotten children of the past, temporary glories of God, so many he had not really known at all anyway. Never really committed to them as friends, anyway. But the first 1000 had survived, and he knew a lot of them quite well now, and Dalmandarky was a solid lad, ruling well. He had generally made the judgement, which the Theophany agreed seem sensible, and argued it with Daniel the Arch Regent of Eternity, a role he had earned from Danielphon, that at the 1000 point list of the male Cherubim, it would perhaps be best to simply go back to the beginning of the female Cherubim list and start there. It felt, almost, like destiny was confirming this as well. Daniel did not object, nor did the Prime Minister of the Realm of Eternity, Valandriel, and it was set as a memorandum of understanding in official council documents. When the point arrived, unless some factor objected, they would go through with that. It seemed a sensible enough decision. There were, though, the lastborns to consider, especially Jalaydiel amongst the Cherubim who was going incredibly strong in his spirituality and life, very popular in the Realm of Eternity, and had a New Agenda ministry which was going gangbusters. He was perhaps one of the few which Michael had felt probably would last, along with his twin Judayliel and, in recent communication from God, that had been confirmed factually. Somehow, the lastborns seemed to have the blessing also. All this Michael had communicated to Daniel in email. So, presumably, after the female 1000 Cherubim had ruled, on to the lastborns if they were all that remained and, in current knowledge, on to the 1400 Ketravim and then the 14,000 Saruvim. And then, beyond that point, who knew for sure. But, presumably, those who had come to be written in the books of life and the scrolls of eternity on a regular basis may very well gain their turn.
For Daniel, the idea that every Trillion years, those who had remained alive long enough, long enough to please God that they knew how to live and take care of themselves, seemed a good solution to his worries on the issue of salvation or eternal life. If you cared enough, in the end, and asked God enough for the gift of eternal life in prayer, it seemed to him it would unlikely ever be denied. No matter who you were.
So he worried less, now, over that issue. Much less. It had been discussed, important factors from God’s concern had finally been addressed, and it was time to let the issue drop. If people wanted it badly enough, they would gain it for themselves. And that was about the end of the issue.
* * * * *
‘God will address concerns over the Abraphim, Noahphim, Cimbrphim and the further groupings later on, Danny,’ said Michael over the phone. ‘But he has established principles on this issue, now. He will make sure of commitments and things like giving a damn, and insist upon the trillion years for all these groupings of angels as well in the end. Apparently, so he tells us, he personally committed to the early Cherubim quite strongly, up to 1000, to ensure a good solid round number. He waited on the rest, but has found them severely wanting and has let them be in Sheol, those who have passed, I mean. He did say, though, officially, for the first 100 of both male and female for all future angelic groupings they are assured of their salvation, and will be endowed with an appropriate spirit to ensure this. But he makes no guarantees apart from that. They will all, then, come under the general requirements of the Trillion years before being granted a ‘Certificate of Eternal Life’ which will affirm their eternal status. This applies to all mankind in the heavenlies as well. But, so he says, if you take a sufficient enough interest, and ask him in prayer a sufficient enough times, he will guide you to the trillionth year point. He is, primarily, interested in those willing to obey, to be holy, and to persevere as such. He says it is fair, the testing, in the end. That it sorts them all out.’
‘I guess so,’ responded Daniel. ‘If that is the way he wants it.’
‘Salvation is a tricky issue, and he has not fully disclosed his machinations until this point. But people can accept it now, so he claims. A weight off his mind.’
‘Right,’ said Daniel.
Later on, Daniel reflected on Michael’s words. ‘If the testing was fair, in the end, why should he complain. Ultimately salvation was of the Lord and, if people really did not want the gift of eternal life, in the end, why worry about it. Why bother with those who didn’t give enough of a damn to save their own souls anyway. Why bother.
* * * * *
‘Life Extension,’ said the racing arcade game, as Ambriel passed the 47th level. He was always very happy, very happy when he hit level 46, getting passed Daniel, who never bothered beyond level 45. Always said the game got boring beyond that. May as well quit at a cool level. Who cares about later levels. Of course, Daytona Race Seraphim Challenge had 140 levels, and Ambriel had set a personal record of level 135 recently. Only Michael had taken that, getting to level 136 once. Just the once. Of course, the women’s levels were more challenging. Extremely more so. Extremely. But Ambriel had persisted and as he sat there, he noticed a presence. Daniel had come into Ambriel’s den and was watching him. Watching him carefully.
‘Bro. Go steady. Steady. Remain calm. 135 might take you hundreds of years to master, in the end, but we will see. Michael says its not too challenging in the end, but 136 killed him almost instantly. I got some details, so stay careful, bro.’
Ambriel drove on, carefully as Daniel requested, passing each level, never wasting his lives and chances.
After a while Meludiel and Ariel were there as well, watching him. Not saying anything, but watching him carefully. Ambriel could here Meludiel whispering to Ariel. ‘He might make Michael’s record today. He is more gifted, I think, than Mikey. He might do 135 easily, now.’
And they watched, and as the morning passed and the afternoon ticked by, Ambriel was starting to sweat. At level 120 he lost his first of the 3 lives, and they were worried. But he cruised on, passing each level, until 134 clicked upon on the screen.
Ambriel crunched his knuckles and Daniel, a Coke in his hand, stared at the screen anxiously. ‘Keep at it bro. You can take Mikey boy.’
The level started and, slowly, he worked through it. At the end he qualified with just over 1 second to spare. It was getting intensely close. The next level started and Ambriel, by now, was in a zone. A zone of excellence. He moved with fluid excellence, caroused around corners, didn’t waste an inch of the road and, at the end, with about 3 seconds to spare, he crossed the line.’
Meludiel looked at her twin. ‘So. You are ready. But watch out for 140 if you get to it. Watch out,’ she said, with a smile on her face.
Level 135 came and went, and Ambriel was ready.
Level 136 started and, instantly, a huge brick wall was in his face. He was lucky. Incredibly lucky, that he didn’t stuff up like Michael on his first occasion. He hadn’t had his foot on the accelerator, and the car stood stationery, in front of the wall.
Daniel spoke. ‘This killed Michael instantly. He had his foot on the accelerator.’
Ambriel looked at the screen, noticed the left side seemed easier to manoeuvre towards and, turning the wheel to the maximum to his left, very gently started his accelerator. The car inched forward, manouvered around the wall, and they looked at the rest of the track. It was about 100 metres long, and he had about 15 seconds left. He pushed the accelerator to the max, and passed the line with about 1 second to spare.
Ariel smiled. ‘You were lucky, Ambriel. You didn’t take to long to figure it out.’
‘Now what,’ asked Ambriel, staring at the screen.
‘You are home and hosed, dear brother,’ said Meludiel, as the track came on, which was a repeat of level 1. ‘Oh,’ said Ambriel. ‘It repeats?’
‘No,’ said Meludiel. There are only 140 levels, but the last few are easy. We didn’t want to put our brothers through agony, in the end.
He passed level 137, then 138, then 139 and smiled as level 140 came on. Rachel’s design.
‘This should be fun,’ said Ariel.
Right then a new type of screen was showing. A Mario world screen, with Mario in a little dinky car and a circle race track. There were other Mario heroes there, and the race started, but all the Mario heroes went mad all over the place.
Meludiel laughed and said. ‘Well, you sort of can’t actually lose this. They don’t actually compete. Just go around the central hub 7 times.’
Ambriel did so, the flag came down, and Mario appeared. ‘Wella Donna, hero racer.’ A delightful tune started taking place and, suddenly, a flashlight from the overhead panel flickered.
‘What was that?’ asked Daniel.
‘You’ll see,’ said Meludiel.
Suddenly there was a picture of a man, with Ambriel’s digitized face, surrounded by ladies with knickers on, but with no bikini tops, who grabbed the Ambriel figure, put him on the bed, and started kissing him all over. And a voice of girls from the digitized voice said, ‘Our hero,’ and they kept on kissing him, as the end credits started rolling by.
Half an hour later Daniel was still calling Ambriel a hero-head, and Ariel and Meludiel had winked at each other. Ambriel had won.
That night, crawling into his bed, Ariel surprised Ambriel. Meludiel was asleep and Ambriel whispered, ‘What are you doing?’ She smiled at him and he could see she was entirely naked. And, right then, she grabbed his penis, looked at him and said ‘My hero,’ and took his manhood into her mouth, lavishing his cock with her attention. He was in heaven and, suddenly, erupted months of build-up into her mouth. She swallowed the lot, kissed him on the cheek, and disappeared. And he was left feeling bliss.
* * * * *
‘Piers Anthony. He is a novel making machine.’
‘What?’ said Ambriel, to Daniel’s sudden statement. The girls looked at him.
‘Huh?’ queried Ariel.
‘A novel making machine. God designed them in the beginning. They are called authors. Took his mind off the effort of producing infinity for everyone.’ Daniel smirked at this point. ‘Heh. He calls them authors. Novel making machines.’
‘And how many has Piers Anthony done, then, Daniel San?’ queried Ariel.
‘I think Xanth has currently over a Billion novels. A fair bit of it. He continues to produce one a year exactly. There is a big library in the Realm were you can read it all.’
‘And what of your own efforts, dear brother,’ queried Meludiel.
‘I am level pegging with Callodyn. His Chronicles are enormous now. Absolutely enormous. My series of universe tales are all unfolding, and I concentrate on a number of them, but there are a huge amount published.’
‘As many as Piers Anthony?’ queried Ambriel.
Daniel looked at him. ‘Mmm. Now that is an interesting question, dear brother. That is an interesting question.’
‘And who are the other lords of literature, dear brother?’ queried Ariel.
‘J K Rowling. Harry Potter doesn’t seem to ever end. J R R Tolkien. Middle Earth is humungous now. Hugh Cooks ‘Chronicles of an Age of Darkness’. Oh, and such authors as Isaac Asimov, Michael Moorcock, Julian May, David Eddings, Raymond E Feist, C J Cherryh, George Lucas, Jane Austen, Stephenie Meyer, William Shakespeare, Terry Brooks, Tad Williams, Stephen Donaldson and so on. There are some really big babies out there. Some giants in the field whose universes of stories have reached epic proportions.’
‘Something to do with there time, I suppose,’ said Meludiel.
‘I guess so,’ responded Daniel San.
* * * * *
40 days Daniel was sitting at his PC, typing up his work in the ‘Angels of Hope’ saga, one of his 5 Angelic Universe Sagas. The 5 sagas which Daniel had written, in harmony with Callodyn, because they had discussed the idea to start with and Callodyn had called his ‘The Chronicles of the Children of Destiny’ which was a retelling of certain historical events with a large admixture of his own dramatized storytelling, featuring many of the famous historical figures and angels of the realm. Daniel had then suggested he do something of a sequel of sorts to this work, but then worked and developed the idea into a series of 5 universes, each to follow on after the final tales of the ‘Chronicles of the Children of Destiny’ universe saga had finished. They had agreed to write approximately the same amount of ultimate material, within a few percentage points of total words in the end, and stated that it didn’t matter who wrote the most. The names of his 5 sagas were ‘Angels of Hope’, ‘Chronicles of the Eternal Realm of Glory’, ‘Angels of Faith’, ‘Chronicles of the Infinite Realm of Majesty’ and, finally, ‘Angels of Love’. And so, working in cooperation with Callodyn and sharing key characters and a number of similar ideas and themes, but with mostly original plots and original spirit to their universes, they had taken to the saga. And now there was a lot of it. A heck of a lot. Callodyn, like Piers Anthony, had passed a Billion novels. In fact, he wrote one a year exactly to match Piers effort on Xanth, but sometimes his novels were a little shorter, yet occasionally a little longer as well. He assumed Piers, with his other writings, was likely in the lead, but he was not far behind overall. Daniel was, at the present moment, approximately on the same total output, and felt that Callodyn probably had about a 1 percentage lead in total words, looking at all the various statistics.
Piers, though, was possibly the world leader. The most prolific of all, but had rested at 1 Billion and Ten Xanth novels, a fair few of the others of his various universal sagas, and had retired for the moment, in his own words. That had been about 20 million years ago and, apparently, he was not yet ready to resume his work and claimed, really, with the pace of the competition, he didn’t need to worry about that at the moment. But, in the goodness of time, on would go Xanth and so on. Daniel was not concerned.
* * * * *
‘Who is Father Scotland?’ asked Ariel to Daniel.
‘Oh fuck. Not him,’ said Daniel. ‘That Presbyterian prophet of doom. He damns every single soul in true Calvinistic style as he is capable of doing. Sonny Jim this. Sonny Jim that. Blah, blah, blah.’
‘So he’s a bastard, I take it?’
‘Ooh aye,’ responded a sensible arminian son of pleasant Irish shores.
‘So you don’t believe in Predestination, Daniel?’
‘Oh God. The conversations I’ve had with that Saberton fellow. The conversation’s I’ve had.’ He smiled at Ariel, thought better of entering into the complex world of salvation doctrine, and just said ‘Don’t worry your little head about Father Scotland. Don’t worry your little head about him.’
* * * * *
Ariel was chatting with Daniel’s dad, Cyril Daly, who owned 7 Bent Street, were Daniel lived. The old family home, so Ariel had been finding out from Cyril. The Daly’s, upon returning from their heavenly sojourn, being some of the few permitted to do as such, were again living at 7 Bent Street. Cyril and Mary shared the house together, shared the main bedroom, and Matthew and Daniel shared the boys room while Brigid and Jacinta shared the girls room. Gregory had a bed in the back verandah. Apart from that, on the second story were Daniel’s bedroom which he shared with Ariel and the main living room for Daniel’s business and his bathroom, kitchen and other rooms. Gregory had the 3rd floor with his needed rooms, Jacinta the 4th floor, Brigid the 5th, Matthew the 6th, and Cyril and Mary shared the top 7th floor. But the bottom floor of the 7 level house was based on the original design of the house they’d shared all those years ago, back in the 1970s, which they all technically shared. The family, now, was together again. Callodyn lived at 29 Merriman Crescent, which Cyril also owned, with his twin Kayella, and Daniel was lucky enough to own 6 Bradley street, were he spent a lot of his time in Cooma, and a property out at Dalgety. Brigid still owned a home in Calwell in Canberra, which had long remained in her family, and in Calwell Gregory also owned his first purchased home, which he had bought again. Daniel also owned a property in Pearce in Canberra at MacFarland place, were he had been in a group house, another place in Chifley in Canberra, around were he had once lived as well, as well as a place in Hughes, were he had also resided. Further, there were two other places in Cooma, one on Baron Street and one on Sharp street were he had also lived. Jacinta owned a home in Kambah were the family had first moved to upon coming to Canberra in the late 1980s, and Matthew owned a home in Gilmore in Canberra, in Alice Jackson crescent, were they had also lived. Jacinta shared a home in Cooma East with her husband Alan, but her and Alan currently shared the level on 7 Bent street. Her daughters Amelia and Rachel, with there husbands, lived in their property at Cooma East, while her son Ronan lived in one of their homes they had rented in Isabella Plains in Canberra. Gregory and Christie owned a home in Kambah were they had lived once, which there son James and his wife lived, and they also owned a home in which they had lived in Perth in Western Australia. Brigid’s daughter Madalene owned a place in Cooma up at Zelka heights were the family had once lived, and Jayden and Georgia, her two other children, owned levels at the place in Zelka heights. What had gone on quite quickly was that the family had decided to reacquire all their early abodes, just out of a fun idea to start with, but out of a sense of tradition and continuity for the family later on. They had been family homes once, so it seemed like a good idea to make them family homes again.
Cyril went on relating old family stories which were alive in his memories, and Ariel particularly liked hearing about Mary’s recollection of Daniel eating chocolate on the front steps of 7 Bent street. They were lovely stories indeed.
* * * * *
‘Daniel. Technically you’re a Karaite Noahide, aren’t you?’ put in Ariel.
Daniel looked at her carefully, but slowly nodded. ‘Uh, yeh. Yes. Yes I am. I am quite cautious about that, though, Ariel. I have a lot of Talmudic 7 Law Noahides which have an interest in Haven Noahide Fellowship and Noahide Books. I want to make sure I don’t put any of them off by doctrinal disputations and endless arguments on the so called authority of the Oral Law. So I don’t use the term ‘Karaite Noahide’ all the time, but officially Callodyn and My own fellowships have a Karaite Noahide foundation. Yes, Karaite Noahidism.’
Ariel nodded. ‘Do you have conflict with Talmudic Noahides on the issue?’
‘There were some teething problems to start with, but I quickly decided to stop complaining completely about the 7 Law approach and mind my own business. We just developed, each of us, side by side to start with and the conflicts never really seemed to eventuate. I was quite cautious about that after a while.’
‘So you don’t object to the 7 law approach?’
‘I don’t really like the death penalty being, supposedly, technically applicable for eating blood or theft or failing to establish Noahide courts and, in truth, some of the other principles as well, if you really must know. Not for Noahides anyway. I don’t object to the death penalty for murder, because that is most definitely scriptural and part of the Karaite Noahide platform, but for certain issues I really do object, and there are the other ones – blasphemy, idolatry and sexual immorality – which I have a hard time, personally, ever really agreeing to a death penalty for Noahides. I don’t think it should be part of Noahide practice. Israel are the Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation – Not the Noahide communities of the world. I don’t think it is quite right, thus, to be so strict with any Noahide group or individual, and that was why I promoted the Rainbow Bible, you know, Genesis 1 to Genesis 11:9, to start with, to sort of influence the developing Noahide community away from a strict Orthodox or Talmudic Noahide approach to those principles of law. It has never really become a problem, throughout history though, and I am sure that most of each of our concerns have been reasonably well enough addressed.’
Ariel nodded. Food for thought. Definitely food for thought.
* * * * *
Ariel had an email from Michael. ‘Daniel’s Glory’ was the title of the email. She went off to ask Daniel some questions.
‘So, let me get this right. At New Agenda time you buzzed around to Zebulun and suggested Karaite Zebulunism. And, a little later on, you apparently suggested to Jacob,’ she said, turning to the list and starting to read from it:
Genesisarians – those community of people who have been born to father Jacob and the 12 sons, their immediate offspring apart from those born earlier in earth history, who received no history of the latter portions of the Tanakh. Such individuals come under the Torah of the Book of Genesis and may be classified, historically, as such.’
She looked at him, and he smiled, and she continued. ‘And we also have, based on these same ideas:
Biniteucharians – those who focus, out of historical reality, on Genesis and Exodus.
Triteuchians, for the first 3 books, and so on, historically, for all the divisions in the Tankah. And, further, we also have these suggested movements. Karaite Isaians, who spend their days devoted to the study of the Book of Isaiah. Karaite Ezekielites, who spend their days devoted to the study of the Book of Ezekiel.’ She smiled at him, and he just grinned. ‘And, continuing. Oh, this is lovely. Karaite Danielites. Those who just study the book of Daniel primarily. In fact, blessed me, Karaite religions for every single book of the Tanakh.’
‘Oh, yes,’ responded Daniel. ‘It was time that major movements started within Karaism focusing on one particular book as the primary area of spiritual study. Karaism had grown so much by then. I mean, these days the Karaite Zebulunite Genesisarian movement is remarkably strong. It has been so long now, with so much growth in personnel, that it is considered one of the worlds major religions.’
Ariel smiled at him. ‘Oh, and I see this little footnote. Jesus took the idea and applied it to the 27 books of the New Testament, and the same thing eventuated over time. And, in fact now, with the re-emergence of Christian studies into the New Testament, in the heavenlies the study of these books and their movements are stronger than ever.’
Daniel spoke up. ‘Islam did the same thing in the end with groups devoted to a particular section of the Quran, and the Bahai generally copied as well. But, yes, Karaism does this very strongly. It is really interesting walking into a Karaite Ezran assembly. Sometimes I go to one of those ones. They have a very unique spirit, like they all do now.’
Ariel smiled at her man. He was definitely an interesting thinker. He was, most definitely, that.
‘NO, I don’t intend on resurrecting the deceased Cherubim anytime soon, Ariel.’
Ariel looked straight at God. She was a determined woman. Daniel stood by her, supporting her. He spoke up. ‘It was her idea, God. She is a very upset woman with your judgements. Very upset. So I will support her. Officially, I am also asking that you get around to resurrecting all the dead souls and gradually teach everyone the requirements for eternal life and ensure they reach these requirements – in fact, wether they like it or not.’
Ariel continued staring at God. ‘Yes,’ she said after a while. ‘Yes, wether they like it or not. We won’t put up with any damnation doctrines anymore. We are sick to death of them. Ok.’
The theophany looked thoughtfully at his daughter, considering her. ‘Mmm. Well, you want this then, I take it. You are resolute?’
Ariel looked straight at him – ‘Completely,’ she said.
The theophany nodded thoughtfully to himself. ‘Ok. Alright. I have all the dead neatly stored away for now. They are enjoying their slumber. BUT, and this is the condition, if you want them back, YOU must sanctify them yourself. Your responsibility, lass. And if you accede to that, I will most definitely insist upon it – in fact, eternally so.’
Daniel spoke up, ‘Uh, Ariel, Please consider that for a moment. I mean, sure, we pity the dead and all that. But in the end, sweetie, if they didn’t care enough themselves, why worry so much.’
Ariel looked at Daniel with a heart of wrath. ‘How can you say that, Daniel. I thought you really loved people.’
‘But I can also accept the decisions they make for themselves and the life consequences. In the end, if they don’t actually want to live forever, why force it upon them. It was there choice, Ariel.’
She stared at him, and then stared at God, and then sat down.
She looked at the clock on the wall, and Cyril Daly walked in, picked up an orange from the fruit bowl, smiled at everyone and walked out. Ariel sat there, thinking. Eventually she spoke.
‘Well, what would I have to do? What would be required of me.’
The theophany stared at her for a moment and then, thinking it was a weight off his own shoulders, shrugged and thought ‘May as well.’ ‘Well, ok, Ariel. I will teach you the basics. You already probably know a fair bit yourself about the job now anyway. Oh, do you want glory in the bargain?’
She thought about it and, after a moment said ‘I guess so.’
He nodded. ‘Right,’ he said. ‘Well, I will have to grant you some liberties on your Christian thing, then. Probably for you and Meludiel and the rest of the Seraphim, because you have obligated your own community with your words somewhat. You are going to have to produce permanent children, and 1 in 10 are going to be have to be trained to be spiritual pastors to continue to sanctify them all. That much you are going to have to definitely sacrifice. And you are going to have to keep on having them forever. I mean, really, forever.’
‘Fine,’ she responded.
God stroked his chin. ‘Right. Fine then. In fact, yes. You can have them all. 100% of the dead. 100%. I can’t get around to all of them myself to teach them, and the Spirit doesn’t want to exhaust itself, so your offspring are going to have to do it. And, in fact, the entire Seraphim offspring from now on forever – a tithe of them. 1 in every 10 of their new children you have now obligated by your words.’
Daniel looked a bit concerned, but didn’t comment.
‘Ok. Fine,’ responded Ariel. ‘When are they coming back?’
God looked at her, and smiled. ‘Mmm. Ok.’ He got down on his knees, prayed a short silent prayer, and got back up. Then a thought entered his mind and he said. ‘Right. They have just all risen from the grave now. 100% of them have risen. They are wandering around, right at this moment, naked around the realms and through the human sectors. They should be fine for now, and have probably learned a suitable lesson to start with, but your obligations towards them and their seed is now eternal. In fact, same goes for the Seraphim.’
‘My kids with Sharlamane?’ queried Daniel.
‘I do believe they are already obligated anyway,’ responded God.
‘Oh, yes,’ responded Daniel. ‘They are.’
God looked at his daughter thoughtfully. ‘I will give you time for now. For now. Daniel is going to have to help you a lot, but the project is mainly yours. You are going to have to do the lions share of the work, Ariel. I will train you to start with, then, well. I don’t know. ‘Ariel the Seraphim Ministries’ or ‘The Church of Ariel’ is going to have an eternal workload. Now don’t say you weren’t warned.’
Ariel looked at God, nodded solemnly, and smiled. ‘Thank you, father. Thank you.’
‘We’ll see if you thank me in a million years, daughter. We’ll see then.’
* * * * *
Later on that day God was explaining some things to Daniel. ‘You will mainly have to concentrate your pastors on an internet ministry and a tv ministry and an email ministry. They will have to maintain the publications on holiness they produce, and ensure these are handed out when necessary. You have oodles of wealth and land, now, so when some of them are in bad circumstances you are going to help them out when and were appropriate. Don’t keep them waiting too long, though. They can get temperamental. You are going to have to organise your fellowships to feed poor people, to nurse sick people, with a lot of rehab clinics and the like. And you are going to have to keep at it. You committed, remember.’
Daniel nodded. He had.
‘Right. Well, I will keep on blessing you, but a portion of your money constantly goes to pastoral and charitable works. I won’t require the tithe of you automatically, but you will need to give good amounts on occasions. It is not your workload alone, though. I am going to have to also sacrifice the number 1’s – I mean, number 1, 11, 21, 31 and so on, off all my Seraphim and Cherubim and other angelic communities to the task. Even those who have passed will have to meet the requirements. I will ensure this to start with, but the problem really is this, Daniel San. A lot of individuals can be quite awkward and prone to bad decisions a lot of the time. Really, they can not give a damn. I am willing to take the reprobate off your hands and deal with them in prisons and the like – the ones who are just too difficult to handle for yourselves, cause you are only human. But the rest – the majority of them – the majority who just have a tendency to make bad life decisions. Well. Well these ones you are going to have to watch over, son. At this stage the strong likelihood is that a number of them will eventually choose stupid ways and pass on again. But that is life and death. So you are going to have to continue to sanctify them, in fact for a long while, until they eventually get the point. Ok.’
Daniel nodded. ‘Fine God. Ok.’
‘Right.’ He stroked his chin thoughtfully. ‘Well, it is true, I do enjoy this work somewhat myself. I don’t actually mind doing it for a lot of people. It is something to do, and there are good rewards. Look, make sure you teach them Torah – make sure you educate them on spirituality – and make sure you educate them on good life decisions, health decisions, work and education decisions, family decisions, and philosophical inquiry. Teach your full knowledge base. But I will take off your hands, after a while, those who have too awkward bits to deal with once you have done a heck of a lot of the things you know that you can do. Take care of the Lion’s share of the work – and I really mean that – do what you can do, to the utmost – and I will finish things off when I need to. I will probably train up some more specialist rabbis for challenging work. A lot of them don’t mind.’
Later on, Daniel reflecting on his new calling, remembered he had failed to ask God if he could relent on so many children later on. Probably, though. With enough ministries built and genuine followers, probably he could take care of that. But for now, though, he didn’t actually mind. In fact, for now, it seemed something of a worthwhile occupation. Training a child of his to specifically be a religious pastor? Well, he had not done that quite so deliberately before, but now it appeared he had something of a commission. Now, it appeared, it seemed required of him. But time would tell of what would be. Time would tell on that.
* * * * *
‘So, Berakiel. You have had long enough. Which is it? Which is it? We can’t get to the Cherubim and the rest of the nations until you finally give us your decision.’
Berakiel looked at Daniel, Prince of Jerusalem, despite only 1 visit historically, looked at the anxious Ambriel who declared he would choose as soon as Berakiel did, and looked at God who smiled back.
‘Ok. Well I have been umming and ahhing about this for a bloody long time now. A bloody long time. So, now, to settle the matter. Mmm. Well, I like Cottingham in Yorkshire, just near Hull. Daniel invited me around to his place there, once, and it was so peaceful and the rain that day was perfect. So I choose tiny little Cottingham to officially place my princedom, and Cottingham can be the 54th born nation.’
Around the room there were some relieved faces. Sariel of England went ‘woooh, what a bloody relief.’ Phindwel of Kent was happy. Kantriel of Northern Ireland nodded firmly, and Pendrael of Wales looked a happy man. Azrael of Scotland was drinking another ale and smiled at everyone. Israel could now only tie. They had Ambriel, the Messiah, yet to choose his Kingdom – His Princedom – But Israel could only tie. It would be 6 all and they would be equals.
Ambriel looked squarely at Daniel. ‘You cheated, you know. All those years in Zaphora. All those unbroken years. You cheated. Serving him. Loving him. Being faithful. Giving me no real choice. And, so, you became prince of Jerusalem, when your heart was in your own city, Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire. So, seeing as you sacrificed and served, I have no choice. I do like the city anyway, I am fond of it now, so I choose Kingston Upon Hull in England in the United Kingdom, and therein is my choice of Allegiance. Thus I accept Sariel’s dominion over Michael’s, and my role as Messiah in past days now ends with my new appointment as Prince over the dominion of the Unitary Authority of Kingston Upon Hull.’
Daniel smiled to himself. Service sure as hell payed off in the end, then. It sure as hell did.
Sariel looked at Michael. ‘7 to 5 Mikey. Any comments?’
‘Yes. Yes I do,’ responded Michael. ‘It is not over yet. There are more Kingdoms, potentially, than just the United Kingdom and that of Israel, dear Sariel. We live in Israel. We have a good central location on a large land mass. You have been waiting on this vote. I have been serving other nations for sensible wisdom. Some are thinking of agreeing with the joining of the Kingdom of Israel. Some are thinking about it.’
Later on that day Sariel had counted his numbers – beyond the boundary of Terra – the large Euro-Afro-Asian-Middle-Eastern land mass, as it was known. He was down. Way to far down.
25 nations beyond Terra, all of the Seraphim having agreed the Terran way was not their own. Michael might have the edge.
And then he talked with Daniel, and Daniel looked at Michael long and hard. ‘I side with Sariel. Jerusalem chooses to accept Sariel’s authority.’
The Archangel of Israel glared at his enemy. He glared at the one possessing the authority of the second psalm, and grimaced. ‘We still have voting power over you, so it matters not,’ responded Michael.
Sariel spoke up. ‘Then let us see if you do. I would like to ask certain of those gathered in the main room to make their opinions known.’
The gathering went into the main hall were the Seraphim males were gathered and Sariel spoke first.
‘Uriel. How say you? How says China?’
Uriel looked at Cimbrel, realized he had chosen Sariel, and thought on China’s years under the British. In the end Israel had not cared that much about them. They hadn’t really given much of a damn.’
‘Fine,’ responded Uriel. ‘I accept Sariel as judge.’
Sariel nodded. ‘That is now 27 to 43.’ He turned to Gandel. ‘How says India?’
‘Fine,’ responded Gandel. ‘Like Uriel we know you well enough. You will do.’
’28 to 42,’ said Sariel. He looked around the room and looked at Quadel – Poland’s prince. ‘Quadel, brother. Remember the big one. World War II. We pommies declared war on the Germans as soon as you were invaded.’
Quadel thought on that for a while, but had, in truth, reached his decision a long time ago depending on Berakiel and Ambriel’s decisions. ‘Fine. Ok. I don’t mind you, Sariel. It should be fine. We will vote with you.’
Sariel nodded. ’29 to 41. We are catching up.’ He looked around the room and then, looking at his best options, started with France. ‘Israel or England, Bantriel? We too helped you guys in the Big one.’
‘We have fought for a long time, Sariel. But we are neighbours. Israel would not suit our needs. We will vote with you.’
Sariel nodded yet again. ’30 to 40.’ He looked again and turned to Valandriel of Holland. ‘You will side with us, won’t you Valandriel. You and Daniel are tight, right?’
‘Valandriel nodded. ‘Shouldn’t be a problem, Sariel. We know English well. We know English ways well. We are not really Jewish, and don’t speak Hebrew much. Sure. I am happy to join a voting confederation with you guys.’
’31 to 39, Michael,’ said Sariel. Michael did not yet say anything.
Sariel turned to Yaramiel of Sweden. ‘We have much common ancestry, Yaramiel. We are close in borders. How say you?’
Yaramiel silently nodded.
’32 to 38,’ commented Sariel carefully. Michael now looked about to say something.
Sariel turned to Matrel, of Switzerland. He looked at him. ‘How do you sit, Matrel?’
Matrel looked at Sariel, carefully. ‘Switzerland has long been neutral. Leave us out of both of your countings.’
Michael looked at Matrel and said, ‘Are you sure of that, Matrel. Of your neutrality? You won’t later complain about the confederation and join us? If they get the voting power God will seal the covenant of rulership based upon it. And it is an eternal covenant.’
Matrel nodded. ‘We have a history, Michael. We have our own tradition. I doubt very much that the concerns of Switzerland will ever be that important to all of you, but, in response, I doubt you will ever be worried to much about the Swiss and our neutral stance on things. We will remain impartial, unbiased. Simply observers. We will comment when we will comment, and you will take not when you decided to take note.’
Michael looked at his brother carefully, but decided not to risk saying anything more. He didn’t want to look too persuasive. He needed to keep very, very cool at the moment.
Sariel spoke up. ‘Well, I guess that makes it 32 to 37, doesn’t it Michael?’
‘Are you bragging,’ queried the firstborn of the Seraphim.
‘Not yet,’ responded Sariel, and got a laugh from a few close to him.
He looked around the room. He was grinning. He knew something. Something he was sure of. ‘Kelkuriel – Gamrayel. We fought in those ancient wars. We were not friends. But, dare I ask, will you choose Israel over England?’
Gamrayel spoke up. ‘English is fashioned, in its language, on much of German ways. Yes, in truth, the hostility of our people towards Israel is long dead – a thing of the past. That is not to be put into our consideration on this subject, nor has it been Michael. We are terribly fond of you now. Terribly. We want you to know that, with no doubts.’
Michael nodded. They had worked for that for so long now. That reconciliation.
‘Yet, alack, alas,’ continued Gamrayel. Blood is indeed thicker than water, and much German blood went into the forming of much of the Anglo Saxon Empires and traditions. We have had a long respect for the English, and share much more in common than that of Israel. We will assent to Sariel’s confederation, both I and Kelkuriel.
Kelkuriel nodded, too, at that statement.
’34 to 35,’ said Sariel.
Michael nodded. ‘I don’t think you have another vote left in you, Sariel. In fact, I am quite sure of it.’
Sariel looked at him. ‘Well, go ahead, then Michael. Ask them.’
Michael looked at his younger brother, thought long and hard on the necessary affirmations he had received, and turned to the crowd. ‘Do any of you? Do any of you further intend joining Sariel? Any? They need just one. Any?’
Deathly silence for 5 minutes followed. Absolute deathly silence. Finally, Michael turned to Sariel, a grin on his face. He knew he had won. ‘Do you need to ask any more questions, Sariel? Any?’
Sariel looked at him, humbled, but said. ‘Ok. One more.’ He turned, quite unexpectedly, to perhaps the most obviously stupid judgement possible. He turned to Gabriel.
‘Gabriel. How say you?’
Gabriel nodded. He knew that was coming. He turned to Michael. ‘Michael. Dear, dear brother Michael. I have known you for so long now. So long. We have played rocks together. We have hunted together. We have ruled together. We have hardly ever been apart. Dear, dear Michael.’
Michael looked concerned. ‘Then….’ He trailed off.
Gabriel turned to Sariel. ‘You have indeed kept your promise, Sariel. You have been a man of honour. Rome is pleased and happy that you have continued to maintain the use of our Lettering system and given us honour as the progenitors of your own language. Your nation forsook the glory of its runes, and adopted ours, yet kept them, and kept faith with us, for so long, in truth. We have long been rivals, but there has been one common factor between us. One common factor, forged in Cherubim blood. I accept your voting confederation, and agree to the terms you proposed personally to me.’
Michael looked lost. Stunned, almost. Absolutely stunned. ‘Fuck,’ he said, looking at Gabriel. ‘Gab. Gabby. Why?’
Gabriel looked at the firstborn of God. He looked at him and, knowing, in the very truth of things that such glories had always been denied him but that, now, in the new order, he would be first among the Seraphim in Voting power and privilege, as per Sariel’s own word of honour, he could not forsake such a prize. Michael had certainly nothing to offer him in this respect.
Then Sariel spoke up. ‘God. Please, the covenant parchment.’ God nodded, happy enough with the way things had turned out, before Daniel suddenly interrupted. ‘Oh, now that Berakiel and Ambriel have finally chosen, I just want to make one last move. One, I think, is acceptable.’
Sariel smiled. He knew what the little devil had long, long, long, long planned.
‘Amby, Wamby. Dear, dear Amby Wamby. You know. As much as I am terribly fond of you, I aint no fucking jew, and being stuck in Jerusalem aint no fucking good to me. So, if you want to swap. If you, as the chosen messiah, really ought to bloody be anyway, you may as well have Jerusalem, and I will have my hometown Hull. Is that ok? I mean, things could be just old ugly and stupid otherwise.’
Ambriel looked at Daniel, looked at Michael, saw no real point in objecting, and nodded.
And so, each Seraphim signing the covenant and the seal of eternal princedom, Gabriel had emerged, in power, as God’s chief representative on the council of the Seraphim in voting power. And, for Michael, Archangel of Israel, for once the older would have to serve the younger.
* * * * *
Later that day Sariel was speaking with Michael. ‘We were considering, gradually, asking for an additional element to the Covenant – no specific change – but the additional request that any nations which later chose to join the confederation could be permitted to do so. Instead we had a frank discussion and agreed that all policy initiatives would have to be worked through and agreed upon by 100% of our membership before we would attempt to pass it. So we didn’t need your numbers after all.’
‘Gee, thanks,’ said Michael. ‘Good to hear,’ he responded sarcastically.
‘Don’t sweat it, Mike. If you propose legislation and initiatives we are all happy with, we will pass it if we get unanimous support on our side. So it will always be open to yourself and your team as well. Gabriel’s arrangement is veto power, along with myself, and he is given the seat of honour and recognition as first amongst us, but mainly that is a status symbol of honour. The real power is just the veto like me.’
‘Good to know,’ said Michael, again sarcastically.
‘Well, that just about does it. See you again later.’ And Sariel the Seraphim left alone a very depressed looking Michael.
‘Right,’ thought God. ‘Didn’t approve of Israel, then. Ok. I will let them go. Start again. As you will, Daniel my son. As you will.’
The final war between Satan, the Christian Church, the Muslim Empire, the Bahai Dominions and Blessed Israel did not take that long in the end. Sariel joined quite quickly and, when Gabriel had rebelled against the covenant, God allowed the talked of death penalty to be enforced. Raphael had joined Gabriel and returned to Michael, yet Sariel’s troops, along with the other’s support, except that of Daniel, and Satan leading the death charge, took on the beast. Israel.
Nuclear weapons were engaged near the ending, Israel had a shortage, and the rest was history. The end of Michael, Ambriel and the like. They died in their conflict of soul with the children of NoahChapter Two
Ariel had let it go. She had finally, resolutely, gotten over it. When she had seen the destruction of Israel with her own eyes, knowing that Meludiel had likewise perished, along with Jesus, and that all had passed on to Sheol, she knew her faith was no longer right. In fact, it was death.
She came home to Berridale and they went off to a Haven Noahide Fellowship meeting hall. Daniel’s family were there. Cyril and Mary, Matthew and Brigid and Madalene, Jayden and Georgia. Jacinta, Ronan and Amelia as well as Rachel. And Gregory, Christie and James. David and Alan were also there, sitting down the back, chatting. The Theophany greeted them and, with the congregation sitting there, a noticeable tension gone from their faces, a noticeable relief at an evil they had endured now having left them, they sang hymns to Jehovah, praised him for his fidelity towards Justice, Ethics and, in the end, plain decency and truth, and a long and sadistic streak of persecution towards Daniel had finally ended.
Ariel saw something happen in him over the next few weeks. Relief. Constant and utter relief. A demon called Israel had been removed from life. A demon which had done nothing but threaten him and exalt itself over him had been removed. And now he had inner peace. Genuine inner peace. And, old love had returned. The OLDER love, the one of his own youth. One unsullied by the machinations of the Ambrielic Abomination. One unsullied by the evil Israel had been to everyone.
He cried in those days, at all the pain he had been through for so long. At all the suffering and the depression he had endured and putten up with. And the theophany had comforted him and understood and said the role of evil had finished. That Israel the Morning Star of Lucifer had perished and that grace had finally come to be. And, in the end, Daniel felt better. A weight from him had gone. A weight he had not spoken of with people had gone. And new life and a fresh start could finally begin for Daniel, Seraphim of Eternity.
Sean Kennedy entered the room and smiled at Daniel. ‘I am Ambriel. I was born before David Rothchild had ever existed. I was in the heart of the creator, and I never had a chance to be because of the Usurpation of the Jew. I never got my chance. There are others of us, you know. Others. We are the children of destiny – the real children of destiny – and we love you Daniel. We will show you our kingdom soon and you will rejoice, for the evil has been purged and new life can begin.
To cut a long story short, since there is no point in prolonging the agony, I will give you a brief synopsis of the next 68ish million years of history in the Chronicles universe. One by one differing Firstborns rose up to achieve their glory – they had one single and solitary purpose in mind – that of Israel’s – to each be the ultimate ruler over mankind and the universe. One by one they fell. One by one they died. One by one they came to an end.
It was then, at the end of the next 68 million years that the final prince to oppose the truth, Phindwel of Kent, did indeed attempt to rule over Daniel the Seraphim, Prince of the Unitary Authority of Hull. In the end, towards the last few billion years of this era, the remaining Seraphim Princes objectives were usually to rule over and then, if possible, destroy Daniel.
That had been the flaw of Israel, which a true son of Hull – William Wilberforce – who had received Amazing Grace knew in his heart so well and true. SLAVERY. Each beast of the Princes was committed to slavery. William Wilberforce of Hull had abolished slavery in Britain. Hull did not accept it.
So Israel, who were pro-slavery, attempted to rule the world with eternal slaves and thus justice killed and destroyed them, sick to death of their maggoty evil.
Every other prince never really worked that out. They never really got the fucking point.
The majority of the Cherubim all passed on, apart from the small community of Daniel’s family amongst them. Lucy Smith and Enrique remained alive, and Samael and Aphrayel of Infinity, with Sandalphon, were present also. Satan had long ago passed in the fighting, along with his demonic horde. Daniel’s nephew, James Daly, Gregory’s son, was happy enough now, having long complained to Daniel that he should do something about all the problems. But, in the end, Daniel had just said to let them all go in true Wilberforcean spirit. Slavery was NOT acceptable. It was an abomination of nature, and those who trusted in it would perish in their oppression as so many before them ultimately had.
And so, when Phindwel attacked, Daniel knew that he had the sovereign right to defend himself, pushed a certain button, and Phindwel and his armies were quickly destroyed.
And then Daniel San. The Theophany of God sitting with him in his home in Hull, said to him. ‘Rulership has come. Rulership has gone. I am your Father Daniel. I love you and will stay with you. And now, in Hull, we have peace and unity. Co-operation, acceptance and love. A gentler spirit, not determined to exalt itself over any man or any God. One which accepts God as having the right to his own life, and one in which God accepts his children, made in his image, for all their faults but, in the end, as the teaching of 1 Samuel made clear, those who accepted him, without bowing to man. Without bowing to man. Without bowing to man.
Daniel retired from Princedom then. He lived a simple life thereafter, with Ariel. Quiet and simple. God did nothing but hug babies, and teach Mathematics. It was a gentle and quiet time in the Unitary Authority of Kinston Upon Hull. But as for those adventures, we will have to wait for another time, another third chronicles and another day. For I am resting now, dear reader, just for a little while.
Another Fresh Start
The Children of Destiny - the oldies, anyway - gone. Gone to earth, to play their war games, apparently. At least that is what the Theophany had mentioned to Marckonyel in one of their current weekly card games. The next overseer had been appointed anyway, going it solo, and the Realm of Eternity with another fresh start.
'And I raise you 1 Quad,' said Marckonyel, leering at Jehovah, tossing in the 1 Quadrillion credit gold bar into the centre of the table.
Michelle B, sitting next to God looked at Marcky. 'Don't fold, God. He's bluffing,' she said, eyelids half closed, glaring with a sarcastic menacing look at Marckonyel.
'Marcky's a cunning old sod,' said God, taking a puff on his cigar, looking at his son.
'It's the Jack T Chance in him,' said Wormdog. 'He thinks he rules the Spaceways. Him and Kolm. They think they make Han Solo look like a nerd.'
'He thinks he is so cool,' said Michelle, glaring at him, eyelids still half closed.
'Call his bluff,' said Wormdog.
Jezanderael selected 'Shot down in flames' by AC DC on the jukebox, and as the extremely valuable, original single on record started playing, Marckonyel's twin sat down next to her man, glanced at his cards, and smiled at her opponents.
'She's bluffing,' said Michelle, glaring at Jezanderael. Jezzy just smiled.
'What's the matter?' asked Marckonyel, looking at God. 'You can't handle the pressure?'
God just smiled at Marckonyel.
Britney sat down at the table. 'Come on God. Call his bluff. He's lying,' she mocked. God just stared at Marckonyel, who sat there, cool as a cucumber.
'No. Not today, Marcky. I don't think I'll risk it today,' God finally declared.
'Then?' asked Marckonyel.
'I fold,' said God, and the grinning Marckonyel took the pot.
Michelle B yawned. 'I'm tired, God.' The theophany looked at his watch. 'Same time next week?'
'Gotcha,' replied Marckonyel.
As the group dispersed, Marckonyel breathed a sigh of relief. He looked at his cards. A pair of 2s. Nothing else. He had been bluffing.
'Lucky bastard,' said Jezanderael,' and Marcky nodded soberly.
But same time next week. Same time next week.
‘A New Beginning from an Old Beginning’
WARNING: R Rated – Numerous Explicit Sex Scenes – Graphic Sexual Language
Awareness. Awareness and love. And a plan. An old, ancient, and eternal plan. The first thing the Seraphim Angel Daniel could ever really remember was God whispering into his heart about the plan. The plan. The plan.
THE NEW WORLD
‘Ha, got you Michael. Ha.’
Shut up Sariel,’ said the depressed looking firstborn angel of the Seraphim of eternity, Michael, sitting in a large plane which strongly resembled the original realm of eternity – the original Zaphora.
Sariel was still grinning madly. ‘We took you, boy. We kicked your Israelite ass. You, Gabby, Raphy, and the Christ Child. We kicked your ass.’
Sariel, who in his current form looked about 16, was bragging to all 137 of the other Seraphim who were sitting around the Sellawon, eating strawberries and raspberries, just reanimated to new life.
Suddenly God showed up.
‘Right kids. A fresh start. There is no more Metatron, Logos or Memra, no more Realm of Infinity, no more Shadow Angels to deal with. No more of anything like that. One day we will have the Cherubim come on board, but they will be staying here in Zaphora with us. And it will be a lot simpler time for everyone.’
‘Where’s Daniel?’ asked Ambriel.
‘And Ariel,’ asked Meludiel.
‘Who?’ said God, looking puzzled.
Michael looked at Ambriel funnily. ‘Who is Daniel?’
‘Yes, who is Daniel?’ asked the curious Saruviel.
‘Yeh, tell us Amby,’ they all asked.
Ambriel sat there for a moment, knowing instinctively there was a Daniel, but, for the life of him, unable to bring out anything more. He turned to Meludiel who just shrugged.
God looked at them both, smiling inwardly, and said to the group. ‘Right, now that that issue is settled, time to start again. Let’s play rocks.’
And they did.
Daniel Daly. Daniel was an interesting character, his brother Callodyn thought. Very interesting. He had within him the memory of an elephant, apparently. He never quite forgot anything. Oh, small matters sometimes slipped his mind, but history, for the most part, was all there – steadily being recorded – steadily being noted.
These days, living in Hull, watching the citizens steadily at work resettling the land, Callodyn was finding his brother an amusing but steady character. Daniel had suggested that all the old records, books, and product for the most part of the old world simply be destroyed and they start again – there way. And this they had spent about a century doing, cleaning up the land, destroying everything of the old world, except things like housing, furniture, the various buildings and the basic infrastructure. But most of the rest was destroyed.
Out in the rest of the world, ravaged to death by the various nuclear holocausts, Daniel had maintained that it would be best to let time simply pass on by and mother nature could heal her up slowly and carefully. ‘Best to let her be for now,’ was Daniel’s primary statement on the issue. Nobody really objected very much.
God had disappeared for now, said he was going back to the Realm of Eternity to keep faith with all the Seraphim and Cherubim Offspring who had not returned to earth, and to keep faith with all of humanity’s planets in their sectors, to let them know he was still around. And then, so he claimed, he had another new project of creation. Something which he would not give Daniel any details about.
But Daniel didn’t ask anyway. He didn’t really care that much about that anymore.
The old city of London was renamed ‘Wilberforce’ and it was decided it would now become the capital city of ‘The Empire of New Hull’. In time the other lands of Earth would be renamed after Hull Citizens, and the repopulation would steadily begin. One by one they queried wether they should ultimately, again as a species, take to the stars. And while the council of Hull had no firm decision about this matter, it was soon enough answered for them anyway. For an Alien Space Cruiser arrived in the skies above Hull, started attacking the city, and while Hull lost a number of citizens before it could do anything, Daniel launched the ‘Fireflies’ which took to the sky and blew the cruiser to bits.
They retrieved some of the alien bodies from the wreckage and consulted their database on alien species. ‘We don’t know who they are,’ the head of ‘Alien Matters’ concluded. They were not registered in our colonization of the stars. They are a new threat.
‘Then we meet them head on,’ were Daniel the Seraphim’s final words on the subject.
Ariel sat with Veronica, the new nurse in her hospital ward. Ariel had been working, as per Daniel’s suggestion, in one of her old jobs. Department head of nursing in one of the new ‘Wilberforce’ hospitals. Veronica, Ariel was starting to suspect, was not quite into men. In fact, by the looks of it, the opposite. They were alone in a stock departing, doing stocktake, when Veronica, noticing that nobody else was around, put her hand innocently on Ariel’s leg. And then, Ariel not doing anything about it, put her hand under Ariel’s white skirt, and worked it up to her knickers, put her hand inside that, and started playing with Ariel’s clitoris. Ariel moaned and moaned – she had wanted this badly. Veronica stood up in front of her, took off her clothing and helped Ariel out of hers and, putting Ariel on her back, went down on her and started eating her pussy. Ariel moaned and said ‘Suck me you carnal bitch,’ and then screamed in her orgasm. Veronica smiled, let off with her tongue’s machinations, and came over, sat on Ariel’s face, and said, ‘Your turn to treat me.’ And Ariel did not let her down.
* * * * *
Later on Ariel came into Daniel’s office in Wilberforce Central, were he was discussing the latest potential alien invasion with some of the council elders, and asked to be left alone with her twin.
‘What is it Ariel?’
‘I. I feel dirty, Daniel. Very dirty. I need hot cock to cleanse me of my sin.’ She came forward, reached down to Daniel’s pants and pulled them down. And then, getting on her knees, she took his erect cock onto her tongue and sucked and sucked and sucked. He looked down at her, put his hands on her head and said ‘Suck me you carnal whore,’ and then he proceed to explode one of the biggest orgasms of his life into her mouth. She came up to look at him, opened her mouth and he could see his come on her tongue, and she closed her mouth, swallowed the lot and said ‘I love your yummy cummy, Danny. I’ll be back tomorrow.’
Veronica Jameison was a lesbian. Of that Ariel had no real doubts and, later that night, sharing this apparent truth with Daniel, they spoke on the subject. ‘Of course, you know that these days I am quite flexible on so called sexual morality – I mean, if it gives somebody a thrill I am all for it.. But, interestingly, lesbianism, in Haven Noahide Fellowship’s own Karaite tradition, was not forbidden to either a Noahide or, in fact, a Jewish woman. There are no specific laws in Leviticus 18 or 20 or anywhere else in scripture forbidding such conduct to a woman.’
‘And the reason for that?’ asked Ariel, looking at one of Daniel’s dirty girlz picture magazines, feeling very turned on.
‘It may have been an oversight by the scribe. If, as the fundamentalists claim, the Torah commands of Leviticus are the direct word of God, God may have simply overlooked this issue, or perhaps thought the laws as stated were sufficient for people to get his essential point on being moral sexually. Perhaps he desired us to assume such things, or perhaps, even, he desired for us to form our own opinion. In fact, if it were divinely inspired, I would personally suggest he desired us to think a whole host of things and make a whole host of assumptions about the rules?’
‘And how he would he have judged?’
‘As he had seen fit. Either way, I feel it likely accomplished his general purposes.’
‘So does that mean Jewish women could be lesbians? And Noahide women?’
‘I guess so. I mean, it wasn’t technically forbidden.’
‘The next question is,’ said Ariel, whose hand had wandered to Daniel’s crotch, ‘is do you actually care if I like women?’
Daniel looked at the hand which had reached its target, noticed the immense erection and smiled. ‘Now what can I really say about that, dear Ariel. What can I really say about that?’
And Ariel smiled and much pleasure came forth.
* * * * *
Dramdrak was a sophisticated horde leader. The horde was a conglomeration of alien species from Galaxy Gammaraudius. There purpose – the continual unification of the Gammaraudian civilization and the conquest of the known universe. Of course, Gammaraudians were very distant in their relation to the creator of the universe, which they acknowledged in the sacred writings, but did not bother too much with in reality. They were, instead, a very carnal and sexual race of galactic civilizations with the objective of breeding, as much as possible, to fill the universe with their offspring. And earth, the final bastion of mankind, in the Milky Way galaxy, was there next target. They had been surveying the ‘Milky Wayans’ for only a few millennia, for the galaxy Gammaraudius was a good distance from the Milky Way and they had only just reached them in recent years, relatively speaking. They had studied the galaxy for a while, decoded and gone through the various records of the perished civilizations, many of which they had found in surrounding galaxies, and wondered at the cause. And then they had found mankind – right in the centre of a cluster of galaxies, otherwise devoid of life. Presumably mankind was the cause.
What interested them the most was the religious system and the dating system, since creation, of the humans. It had been computed many times in their research and, finally admitting it, mankind was declared, as much as they knew it, to be the oldest of universal civilizations that they had encountered, including their own. And the fundamental passage – that mankind was made in the image of the creator – had perplexed the Gammaraudians. And so, very quickly, they attacked the stronghold with a feint attack to test the general strength and worth of this species, found them quite accomplished, and then settled on the southern island continent of the planet, which the records called ‘Australia’ to, in time, establish a communications protocol with the species. Yes, they were not religious to a great degree, but they had respect for the creator. And these humans – well, if they were truly made in the creator’s image, it seemed to practically all of the Gammaraudians that not only did they deserve respect but, perhaps, should be inscribed as the spiritual leaders of the Gammaraudian confederation. ‘The Holy Priesthood’ was the general assumption that these humans could serve them as. Dramdrak, a typical Gammaraudian, was not adverse to the idea. If they were truly God’s image, as they called the creator, then he would be happy enough to serve them. Everyone needed a leader.
Jan Kolby, the illustrious Rimwalker, sitting with Chance Kibb’starr, his wife, was amused by the Theophany’s request.. ‘I know, Jan. I know. You have lived here in mankind’s celestial paradise of the starways for billions of years, have achieved manifold glories, and are an Arch-Regent of notable worth amongst the civilizations of men. But think of the offer this way. You will, indeed, return here one day, with Chance, to continue your glory. But I offer you a chance to have another go – in the real stuff. The manly, physical, stuff. For earth could use your spunk, Jan Kolby. And you too, Chance Kibb’starr. They could use your spunk.
Jan got to his feet, walked over to the window of the celestial palace, looked out over the huge civilization below him which acknowledged him as King. He looked at Chance. ‘Well, honey? What do you say? Shall we have another go?’
Chance looked at God. ‘If this is what you want, heavenly father.’
‘It is,’ responded God.
‘Then I will go,’ said Chance.
‘Not without me,’ said Jan. ‘When do we leave, old man?’
God smiled. This would be good. He opened up a portal in the air before them, looked at them and said, ‘Now. I will explain your departure.’
Jan looked at Chance, took her hand, and the illustrious Rimwalker and his bride stepped through the portal, into a new destiny.
* * * * *
Daniel looked at the gay magazine which Ariel had given him. The gay ‘Men’s’ magazine. She had asked him ‘Any Interest in this stuff?’ with a smile on her face. He had looked at it for a few nights now, still hadn’t masturbated over it, and reached a conclusion. Whatever else, whatever kind of carnal satisfaction gay men got from this stuff, it really didn’t look like it was for him. It didn’t turn him on and he had inner convictions that it wasn’t quite right for him, now, to even really look at the stuff. In truth, he didn’t mind Ariel’s desire for women also which had arisen, but he was not taken with men. It seemed that was the way of reality in the end. That was the way of reality.
Callodyn sat playing chess with his brother Gregory. ‘So, Greggo. Have you mastered the intricacies of Chess, yet? You haven’t beaten me now in 12 years. What have you been doing?’
Greg said nothing but just continued staring at the set. It was his move. Eventually he spoke up.
‘Look, Cally. I do recall I am on about 72% of games to your 28%. So quit the boasting.’
‘Ahh, yes, bro. But I am catching up at the moment.’
‘And pride comes before the fall,’ responded the brother of the 45th Seraphim.
* * * * *
Out in a plane, in the centre of ‘The Land’ as it had come to be called, or more commonly just known as ‘Avalon’, a portal shimmered briefly and two adventurers, now estranged from their home in the heavenlies, exited the portal and stood on terra firma for the first time in aeons. ‘Bloody hell,’ said Jan. ‘I had forgotten just how solid it was.’
Chance nodded. She was experiencing the same thing. ‘Well, now what?’ she asked him.
‘We have something of a destiny here, he claimed. Some role to play. I guess we will find out in the fullness of time. But, for now, food. Wherever we are we will need to eat. She nodded, and as they started walking towards what looked like a river, she was amused at, once again, being in her fully Arcturian bodily form.
* * * * *
Dramdrak was a master of the horde. A long lived ‘Randokian’ from planet Randok, an advanced civilization amongst the Gammaraudian’s, but had only risen so far in the galactic hierarchy of species. This system was built on an honour code – works of glory had been established in the foundation of the galactic confederation of Gammaraudius as the means by which various of the racial civilizations would achieve honour and promotion in their hierarchical order. Currently the ‘Dr’vanklion’ species had their leader sit on the council as ‘Supremator of Glory’, and had invested in him much power and influence because of it. Amongst the 12,000 seats of the Galactic council, not every species had a seat by no means, but were answerable to one or other of the seats of the council which held rule over them. One thing was true – they had a strong degree of unity, based on an acceptance of each other and the need for conquest universally. They had agreed in formative years to completely end war amongst themselves, and had attained that reality. From then on, glories in universal conquest would settle issues such as those who sat on the Supreme council and other rewards and so forth. There were many ‘lesser’ racial civilizations, by no means despised, but those who currently had achieved lesser honour and the brunt of these usually served the more honoured warriors of glory. But it worked, everyone was pleased enough that honour and glory was always available in both conquests of glory and other ritualized ways of honour. Intellectual contests, in which bright minds competed in galactic competitions, such as strategy games and other pursuits, were also ways of achieving honour in this society. Business success, sporting glory and many other means were ways of rising up for both the individual and the species and, by the means of all this way of life, the strong survived and the civilization continued to grow. This was how they had liked it. This was what worked. This was the way it was meant to be. Or so individuals like Dramdrak, a master of the horde, believed.
‘They are in Australia,’ said Jody Smith, Daniel’s senior officer of ‘World Security’. ‘There are about a dozen major cruisers hanging around old Sydney Town, just sitting there, doing nothing. We presume they are monitoring us in some way, but so far they have not shown any intentions of further contact.’
‘Can we presume they are indeed hostile?’ queried Daniel. ‘They know of our fireflies, but with there strength would they not have had another go?’
‘Perhaps they are just testing us? Testing our strength? Who can say. Each alien civilization usually pursues its own agenda.’
‘But there are common patterns,’ said Daniel, looking over some of the photographs taken by satellite of the cruisers.
He spoke at last. ‘Well, unless they plan on further contact, simply keep on monitoring them and any attempts of chemical warfare and all the other usual tactics. They may just be studying our biology to send diseases upon us. We are quite advanced in this knowledge and I am sure they won’t spring any real surprises on us, but you can’t be too careful.’
Jody nodded. She knew well Daniel’s knowledge and experience on all these issues.
‘Well, keep me informed. We will wait 6 months, and if no further initiatives, we will go out and meet them. See just what they want with planet earth.
‘Yes sir,’ said Jody, and left.
Daniel watched her go and considered the photos. What did they want? What were they about? Something wasn’t adding up. If they wanted to destroy them they would have attempted to do so by now. Something fishy was going on indeed.
* * * * *
‘Does new life ever end, Daniel?’ inquired Ariel.
‘No,’ responded Daniel.
‘No?’ she queried. ‘Remember, I said ‘New Life’. Not just Life.’
‘I heard you,’ he responded.
They were in their bedroom together, in their apartment in the city of Wilberforce, capital city of Avalon, were Daniel was recognized as the voice of leadership in the community but, as always, such things were done in an ‘unofficial’ status. Nobody really liked titles of honour much anymore. That was old style in the new worlds thinking.
‘Do you want to explain why?’ queried Ariel.
‘Well, I am pretty sure God has a hobby of providing the universe with an endless array of new planets, all filled with new structural dimension. But, of course, as you would probably respond, every planet, inevitably, in the eternity of time, will have exhausted his quota of original designs. But it is just that he keeps on adding to them to the universe, and it never stops growing. So there is always a new planet. In terms of originality, though, one of the Theophany’s personal favourite jobs is to design a new shape out of matter all the time. Mainly through an eternally intricate process of smaller and smaller deviations, he does this, but there is a place in the spiritual universe were he has an eternal collection of shape figures which are all original in design. He does the same with modern artwork as well – a neverending array of unique designs. Oh, all the basics are covered to the human eye, but in the fine detail there is a neverending supply of original designs. But to explain that, well, you can only do the square once originally anyway, can’t you Ariel. Still, he keeps at it, and enjoys the hobby. Further, on one last point, he has an endless array of spiritual variations of the animistic spirit which he creates – many similar patterns, of course, but he has, technically, an eternal array of these. And thus he mixes these all up and eternally produces original product. Thus, life, always has something new going on. Oh, and one other thing. He invents longer and longer names in all the recognized alphabets and scripts, to use for naming purposes for his new creations, including all the new angels and peoples and alien races as well. As a creator the work technically does in fact go on forever. So, in this sense, there is in fact an endless supply of new life. But, in the sense you were driving at, your question was correct. Realistically, original life comes and goes, and we end up in a cycle – but the way God refreshes our spirit each and every time and with our limited memories, it never ends up being a problem anyway. He can increase our capabilities if he wants to, to ever appreciate the longer words, the longer numbers and original pieces of art, but says there is no great point. We were created perfectly, so he sees no point in changing the design.’
‘Right,’ said Ariel, and leaned over and kissed her husband for answering her query.
He smiled to himself, turned off the lamp, and snuggled down to sleep, thoughts of original creation and aliens on his mind, as well as how much he appreciated his twin and wife, Ariel.
Father Scotland sat there, looking ever so impressive in his regal Scottish regalia, ever the proud peacock. He was a man on a mission, and Daniel knew it. ‘Well, Daniel San. Here we go. Just like I frikkin always said. 400 frikking names comprising the 3rd scroll of eternal life, added to the earlier two sets of 400, and nothing bloody more. You will have to admit to predestination now, sonny Jim.’
‘Look, Saberton. It was your prayers on the issue – nothing more. Besides, I am well aware of the fate of mankind – they go on forever in the heavenlies. I don’t think that much of your so called doctrine of eternal predestination.’
‘But, laddy oh, it is a proven matter. As my grandfather Paul would tell you oh so truly, the lord knows those who are his. We have been predestined from the heart of God for all the days of eternity. Such is life, laddy oh. Such is life.’
‘Exactly why did you join the Presbyterian church in the end? That was the antithesis of your grandfather’s viewpoints.’
‘Oh, grandpa was a protestant in the end. He used the lingo. I was not as strict in his judgement, though. Saw things a bit differently. Felt that in Presbyterianism and other of the Protestant bodies which held to Predestination there was a strong spirit which simply accepted the destiny of life on its own terms. A bigger picture at work which Grandpa only had a bit of a view upon.’
‘You could be right,’ responded Daniel.
‘Aye, I am, laddy oh. Now about this fourth scroll. Uriel’s scroll. Were is it then?’
Daniel looked guilty. He did not want to share the 4th list of the eternally chosen children of God, as per Uriel’s own choices, just yet. Uriel had given him a copy a long time ago, which he kept to himself. The prayers had been prayed, and for Daniel, in the actual work of the prayers itself and the necessary teaching of the individuals the lessons needed to actually gain the blessing, the choices of eternity were made. However, what Father Scotland maintained was that these choices were God’s own choices in the heart of the Seraphim, made by God, and they were only under the illusion that they made the choices themselves. And Daniel, really, was unable, in the end, to declare the truth of the matter either way. Destiny was strange, very strange in that respect.
‘Why do you want to see the 4th scroll?’
‘To pray for them, laddy oh. And to get to know them. They are my eternal companions on this sojourn of eternal life. I want to get to know them and to love them, in true Christian fidelity.’
‘Yes. True Christian fidelity,’ said a confirmed Noahide. ‘Very well.’ He walked over to his office stationery bookcase, picked up a fresh USB drive, sat down at his PC, and loaded an old document onto the drive.
‘It is in MS Word format. I still use the standard word-processor and type myself. I am very old fashioned in this sense, but it is what I was brought up with.’
‘Suits me well enough. I learned how to type in younger years myself. I have a PC at home which will do the trick.’
‘Now, be careful with your prayers. I know God listens to what we want in our eternity, but nothing too strange, ok.’
‘I’ll be careful. And thanks master Daly. Thanks.’
And that said, Father Scotland disappeared, back up north to his own world and his growing number of peoples, happy with things seemingly.
Daniel sat there, thinking on life. The first 8 Seraphim had made there eternal choices of 400 names to eternally accompany them throughout life. The eternal chosen ones, so God had maintained when the discussion had been brought up all that time ago. Bantriel was next, but he had not chosen yet. Not yet. And, from what the Theophany was saying, would not do so until a new era had dawned, and a reunification took place. But that would not be for a while. Daniel was on his own, for now. He would not see his Seraphim brethren for a long time. For a very long time indeed. For now he was on earth, in a new destiny, charting out his life and fortune to see just what would be.
‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart and all your Soul and all your Mind and all your Strength.’
The pastor of Haven, a new likely lad, left off with those words, and smiled at the whole congregation.
Shortly he began speaking. ‘God. God is love. And love is God. He is an infectious deity, reaching into our hearts at times we are not even expecting it, reminding us of his sovereign glory and, our destiny, made in his image, to both glorify him and live the life of eternal love for which we were created. In our eternal sojourn, in our eternal destiny, to live without love – well, would there really be any great point? Love gives life a meaning when other things we occupy ourselves with, often to the point of addiction, become empty and banal. When all the wealth satisfies not, when all the riches and glories we have accomplished seem shallow, when all the prizes of self attainment have come and gone, love remains, and welcomes us back with a warm heart, reminding us of the whole purpose of our life to begin with. Never forget your first love, congregation. Keep it in your heart, and feel rejuvenated in the spirit of God which will abide with us forever and ever. Amen.’
Daniel sat with Ariel in the congregation, put his arms around his wife, and whispered in her ear. ‘I still love you, you know Ariel. Despite all the times I don’t say it, I still love you.’
She put her arm around him, and nodded softly. ‘I know, Daniel. I know.’
* * * * *
Gregory had a cold, and Ariel was sitting nursing him. Gregory also lived in Wilberforce, not too far from Daniel and Ariel’s place, with Christie his first wife. They had been through a lot, the family – through many long, seemingly eternal sojourns which, in the end, came to an end anyway. But life went on, and family remained strong to Daniel and his own. A way of life, ultimately.
‘Your cold is a normal one, Greggy. Stay off work for a few days and you will be fine.’
Christie spoke up. ‘I am sure he will survive. He has had his fair share of colds.’
‘Haven’t we all,’ responded Ariel, looking at the thermometer.
‘I won’t go to work this week,’ said Greg.
‘Good,’ said Ariel. ‘I am sure Daniel can cope without you. Despite his claims he can’t.’
‘Jim-Jams can cover for me,’ said Greg. ‘He and Dan get along like a house on fire after all.’
‘That they do,’ responded Ariel. ‘That they do.’
Gregory Daly worked with his brother Daniel and Jim-Jams, his son James, in the central Wilberforce offices which had been established from were central administration of the Empire of New Hull took place. The land they lived in, formerly known as Great Britain, had been renamed the spiritualesque title of ‘Avalon’. Somehow the Hull council seemed to like that title.
They now used a new bible – apart from the Rainbow Bible of Haven, which had grown popular in the Hull community – instead using, as Daniel had maintained in his writings on what constituted acceptable Halachic scripture, the novel by ‘Marion Bradley’ titled ‘The Mists of Avalon’.
There had been a discussion in Haven Noahide Fellowship about the notion of scripture and Daniel had maintained some essential points. If the book presented a cohesive, complete, unified, systematic and sensible way of life and, further, was a source of inspiration, then it could indeed serve in a scriptural sense, in the same way that the Holy Bible had served for so long. And thus, after a period of consideration, they had put forth various classics of English literature to vote upon and, the community voting for ‘The Mists of Avalon’ the most, they had selected that tome to become the New Bible of the Empire of Hull. And, utilizing the name ‘Avalon’ they renamed old England ‘Avalon’.
In time, when the book had completed its purpose, they may indeed select another classic to be used for teaching and modelling a lifestyle upon but, for now, the Mists of Avalon was the new Bible of the community of the Empire of Hull, and teaching, while the old word was still employed somewhat, was largely drawn from this text for the moulding of the community.
They could not escape science – they knew that to be true – and with the current potential alien threat, perhaps they never really could. But they would embrace ‘The Mists of Avalon’ as their new scripture and walk in the pathways which Marion Bradley had carved for them all.
Gregory Daly, now very familiar with the novel, was employed by Daniel to research out the various factors and aspects of the work which could be applied in a national setting. They would, eventually, go back and remodel all of the Land of ‘Avalon’ (old Britain) according to the ancient culture of the book and, in turn, the world. And this would go on for, as was agreed, Billions of years in the same way the Historical Bible that Haven had used had gone on for so long. Gregory himself was of the opinion that ‘Pride and Prejudice’ as well as ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen should be the texts ultimately used to follow on from the ‘Mists of Avalon’ era, but that was a matter of speculation only. They would not decide upon that for aeons yet.
So, feeling a little better that day after the worst of his cold had left him, Gregory sat in bed, drinking his chicken noodle soup from a mug, engrossed in the study of his new favourite book.
Daniel looked down at the photograph of Ambriel. ‘Its time to say it, brother. Its time to say goodbye.’ He took the photo, placed it in the shredder, and went to sit outside his flat, looking over Wilberforce.
He sat there, looking at the city. Looking at the city.
God appeared. ‘So that’s it, is it then Danny? No more Ambriel? No more Amby Wamby?’
Daniel smiled inwardly. ‘Hello father. How have you been?’
‘You haven’t answered my question.’
‘No. No, I haven’t. Maybe one day. Maybe one day I will answer that question. I guess you’ll know then. If you ever really knew ME you would know. If you ever really knew ME.’
God looked at his son, his Noahide son Daniel, and smiled. ‘Yes. If I ever really knew you. If I ever did.’
‘Exactly,’ responded Daniel San.
* * * * *
Ambriel was sitting in the New Realm of Eternity, playing with Sariel. They were getting along well at the moment, Sariel basking in his victory over them. But neither seemed to care now. Neither seemed to care.
The two of them had been playing rocks that morning, one of the endless variants, and now they were sitting on one of the northerly shores of the Realm of Eternity. For the new Realm of Eternity was surrounded completely by an ocean, with a sun which shone down upon them at day, and beautiful stars at night.
Ambriel spoke up. ‘You know. You know, I care about you Sariel.’ Sariel smiled at the comment, stood up and came and sat next to Ambriel, putting his arms around his shoulder. ‘We ALL love you Ambriel. All of us. You are our special love-brother. Very talented and very appreciated by all of us. You’re my special brother, and I need you dearly. Never forget that.’
Later on, Ambriel thinking on Sariel’s words, was surprised. There had been something in Sariel’s voice, something in his spirit, something he had not felt before. A love. A new spirit of love, something which he did not know personally. A spirit – of grace. Of true grace and caring, in a way almost foreign to the son of Israel. It was one of acceptance – one which accepted Ambriel for who he was, with all his strengths and weaknesses but, more than that. With a knowing. A true and complete knowing of the fair son of the Rothchild clan. A true and complete knowing.
Rihanna was a good girl gone bad. An angel – almost – with a heart of gold, but with a penchant for the ways of the daughters of the night. Right in the heart of her, though, was a missing piece. A piece that could only, so it seemed, be filled by one person. One most fundamental person.
She looked at the wings in front of her – the Ketravim wings – torn from her back. The wounds had since healed, and surgery had left minor scarring showing, but the wings would never grow back – never. She had been a Ketravim of glory, but God had appeared, rebuked her for all her carnal ways, and torn them off her back. And the agony had been intense.
And there she had lain, weeping, weeping.
These days the joy was not there anymore. The joy in the wild parties, the reckless antics, the hedonistic pleasures. The joy was no longer there. Like an addiction it had peaked, and nothing more was coming.
But HE came and visited her, these days. He came and visited. And then he had brought her out to his mansion on Hawaii on New Terra and, saying she would now be his maidservant, Rihanna worked for God the Theophany himself, playing chess with him each night after the meals they shared together, and looking after his place.
He was away most of the day, was God, doing his work – but at nights he would return, kiss her on the cheek in a strange way, and they would eat together and she would ask after his welfare. And then he had returned her wings to her. And there they were, sitting on the bed, next to another object. A ring. A golden ring. For he had handed it to her, a little gruffly and said, ‘If you want to, I need a wife.’ And she had nodded, taken the ring from him, and went to her bedroom with her wings and the ring.
He was down there, now, God. God the Theophany himself. It was strange. Very strange. Marrying God? Marrying God? Why her? Why not another queen of glory, another bride of love. Why a good girl gone bad? Why?
* * * * *
Gloryel was sitting with her twin, watching the waves of the northern shore of Dalnaphon territory in the New Realm of Eternity splash onto the beach. It was bliss, these days of eternity. It was bliss. They were young again. Very young in fact. Rejuvenated. And they were all together again, the Seraphim, but just them. All of them, so it seemed.
Sariel had changed in recent times, ever since the resurrection to the new realm. He was older, now. More experienced. Stronger. And he had such a noble heart, but one also full of childish delight. A very strange admixture. But he got along with her so well, now. So very well. He said he loved her all the time, and they ate food together, slept together, and had sex together. And, she was pregnant. And God had said they would be bearing cherubim children, which a number of the female Seraphim, now also with child, would likewise do so. All the cherubim had perished again on earth, so the Theophany had said in a strange way, and would be reborn here as their own blessed children. All of them he had confidently said with a wink in his eye. And they would resettle this realm, but it would be a simpler time. A more relaxed time. A gentler time for laugh and play. Eventually, God maintained, the era would end. For it was, so he said, the third of the eras, and it had its own spirit to it. But eventually a fourth era would come, and a fifth, and so on. But for now they could enjoy the new realm of eternity, and rest in its calm, gentle and perfect glowing embrace.
Daniel Daly, first ambassador for mankind, alongside an ensemble of the unofficial hierarchical rulers of Avalon, stood on the shores of Botany Bay in Sydney, not far from an imposing looking spaceship.
‘They will know we are here by now,’ commented Jody Smith, Senior officer for world security.
‘Let’s hope so,’ responded Daniel. ‘We are taking a risk, but let us see what comes of it.’
Not far from them hovered a space cruiser, one of Wilberforce’s special fleet of reserve ships, ready to rescue them from any sign of danger. Daniel had a pole in his hand, which was grounded, and at the top of it a white flag – the international sign of peace. Hopefully, as far as Daniel was concerned, the universal sign of peace.
It didn’t take long and they spotted a jeep of sorts, alien in design, making its way from the cruiser towards them, likewise with a white flag hoisted. Seemingly they likewise understood the sign for peace.
As the jeep approached Daniel spoke up. ‘Remember, no sudden alarms. Be patient in the questions you want to ask. We don’t know their protocols. They may or may not have interpretive devices, but our translating machines should do the necessary work. So stay calm, everyone. Stay calm.’
Soon the Jeep came close and a formidable looking green-skinned alien, with a protrusion from his nose of a horn of sorts dismounted from the jeep with the two drivers holding what appeared like laser blasters pointed at the group. The creature looked like a walking rhino of sorts, and Daniel, despite himself, almost laughed a little. Almost.
The creature stood in front of the group, fully clothed in a green uniform, military like in most respects, with what looked like a series of ‘Honour Medals’ on front of his chests tunic. It spoke.
‘I am Dramdrak,’ it said with a strange, very alien, accent – but still in English. ‘I am of the Gammaraudians. Now, normally, we would have destroyed you by now. Normally. The Gammaraudians will be the conquerors of the universe – this is our eternal destiny. But, in you humans. Well. Well perhaps we may share a common destiny.’
Daniel stepped forward. ‘Greetings Dramdrak. I am Daniel, of Earth. We welcome you to our planet.’ And discussions started between two civilizations.
* * * * *
40 years later the earth was a different place. Some dreams, that of Avalon being the new way for earth, had come and gone. Instead earth found itself, increasingly, the centre for Gammaraudian spiritual civilization. The Gammaraudian’s had been very simple in their requests – they required a spiritual priest, as per humanity’s religious tradition, and mankind had been chosen by them for this role. Daniel had quickly surmised the strength of a galaxy as, perhaps, too much of an obstacle to fight off immediately, and so had accepted, on behalf of humanity, the Gammaraudian’s request to be the holy priesthood of the universe. At least it would be a new challenge of sorts.
Now, 40 years on, temples of Gammaraudius abounded all over the planet, with regular visits from the Gammaraudian peoples to honour their new priesthood. The humans kept it simple – they taught basic religious principles and, seemingly, were very acceptable to the Gammaraudians. In fact, they were honoured greatly, and Daniel was starting to think that, maybe, mankind had such a role in the destiny God planned for them.
Daniel had been chosen as the high priest of the order of Melchizedek and, ruling the international priesthood from Wilberforce, Daniel was viewed by the Gammaraudians as the spiritual mentor of the universe. ‘Our great protector,’ in Dramdrak’s own words. It was certainly a great honour and, as time passed, and he accepted more and more that this work was apparently part of his divine responsibility, he grew in wisdom and grace, learning moreso how to minister to diverse cultures and how to inspire peoples to reach for the stars – literally.
All was good for a while, all was well, but destiny soon rose its ugly head and new challenges faced mankind and Daniel the Seraphim.
What happens when an irresistible force, namely the Gammaraudian Horde, meets an immovable object, namely the citizens of the Galaxy Delen – conflict on a universal scale. The Delenth, traditionally, were a peaceable enough civilization of stellar system communities, not seeking any great glories such as universal conquest. Yet, when there neighbouring galaxy fell to the Gammaraudian Empire, the Delenth resisted with a strength suddenly just too much for the Gammaraudians.
And so they resisted, and they fought, and the Gammaraudian frontal adversary fleet fell – badly.
* * * * *
‘How goes the war, Dramdrak?’
‘Oh, Daniel. The war never really ends. It never does that,’ he said, taking a seedless grape, looking at it, considering wether he wanted to add yet another piece to his full belly and, sighing, putting it down, he put his head in his hands and moaned.
Daniel thought about it and decided he may as well play the philosopher.
‘You know, Dramdrak. When we choose war as a way of life – when we justify the endless road of glory through conquest – that is just what we get. War. And war is not peace in any man’s book. We human’s serve you Gammaraudians for you are the current power around us and we seek no conflict. Yet, as we occasionally advise you, war is ultimately no end of trouble. Empires come. Empires go. Only true civilization is the fruit of such epics worth pursuing.
‘I know what you are Saying, honourable one. I know what you are saying. The heart of council occasionally communicates such ideas to us citizens of the Empire. But it is our way of life. It is all we have known for so long. How can we change, now? How can we?’
‘How Indeed,’ thought Daniel, taking a sip of grape juice, looking over the city of Wilberforce, surrounded by the elder warriors of Gammaraudius.
‘A furious flame of passion. A glorious epiphany of ecstasy. A momentous cavalcade of desire. An eruption beyond the greatest of volcanic fury.’
‘So I was that good was I Daniel?’
‘Oh, Ariel. The earth itself moved.’
Ariel smiled at Daniel’s sarcasm. They’d just had sex, and he was describing his current passion for his beloved twin in their lovemaking – but the sarcasm was less than subtle, in truth. So Daniel-like, of course. So Daniel-like.
She looked at him as he slowly drifted off to his slumber, typical after his passionate efforts and, rising not to wake him, went out to the porch and looked out over Wilberforce city. It was late – around 11 – and the city was still busy with life, traffic doing its thing, souls going about their late Friday night business, with much typical partying and the like.
Ariel was an ancient angel, now. One of the oldest of all God’s children. But, so God had once confirmed to her, she was also a chosen child of eternity – a child of God who, like her twin Daniel, and the other Seraphim, would live forever. God graced her once with the knowledge that she would see so much new life in her time, so many new things, so many new encounters with differing cultures and civilizations, and that she would inevitably learn so much from these encounters. But they were only to teach her the necessary life skills of eternity, apparently. It seemed that all these alien encounters, the vanquishing of their seraphim brethren, and the new destinies shaped for them were all just that – the shaping of the eternal to teach God’s children the life skills for the eternal. ‘So much could potentially happen that never would,’ so God had said to her once. ‘So much evil that he would never allow to come to be. And other things, awkward things, unusual things, which would be better off never knowing life. But there were good things in the eternal as well, and in the fates and destines crafted for her she would walk through her own share of glories to learn how to continually cope with this thing called life.
Daniel took her to clubs occasionally these days, something not that much like him in usual conduct. But they drank sparsely. It was mainly for the joy of the dance floor and the letting go of worries and concerns – the forgetting of lifes problems as the body burst and burnt its energy outflow – that they both went along, and they were a popular enough couple in the Wilberforce night scene. The summer London air was warm and pleasant and, while she would not usually call it London around Daniel, who had once said to her that its past glory should be just that – past glory – she doubted she would ever get its true name out of her head.
She sat there, and momentarily going inside to get a bottle of ice tea from the fridge, she returned, opened it, and drank in the glory of the city night life. She felt alive, at this moment. Quite alive. Full of passion. The lovemaking had indeed been good and she found herself more in love with her twin than ever before. But there was still something – the Seraphim. For now they were gone from them, presumable returned to the Realm of Eternity and the heavenly kingdoms. Perhaps they would return to them one day, when this current earthly sojourn was complete. Perhaps. But for now she would enjoy herself, enjoy her life, and accept the peace and happiness which her father graced her with in this current little walk over her pathways of the eternal.
Daniel turned to Ariel. ‘You know, sis. The Torah, when it was written, never forbade sexual relations between a woman and a woman. I guess, as far as most orthodox rabbis are concerned, there has long been an assumption that it is still an act of lewdness and, perhaps, never really needed to be written down anyway. Perhaps it was just assumed that Jewish women would not engage in such behaviour.’
Ariel, sitting next to him on her bed, slowly, slowly, turned away from him and put her head in her hands. And softly started weeping. After a while she turned back to him. ‘I do feel shame, Danny. I do. It has happened a few times previously. Just a few. And I am an ancient angel, as you. But sometimes these things happen and I can’t seem to help myself. I like women somewhat too, ok. I think it is just the way I am.’
Daniel nodded, put his arm around her, and spoke soothing words. ‘I love you, Ariel. Never forget that, ok. I love you. God has always been merciful to us, his precious children, and sometimes, I feel, gives us liberties more than we may perhaps deserve otherwise. Yet, ultimately, a man must go with a woman and a woman must go with a man. It is the way of things. It is the way of nature. It is the way of God’s design. You will have to, I fear, one day take grasp of the horns of repentance, and bow to the sovereign truth which God has inscribed on your heart, your soul. We CAN’T be sinners, Ariel. We are not allowed to be. We just aren’t.’
‘I understand, Danny. I understand.’ And she wept tears of repentance in her husband’s arms that night.
* * * * *
Over the next few months, as Dramdrak’s worries continued, Daniel and Ariel confessed to each other their darkest secrets and their darkest sins of their heart and actions. It was a time in which they studied God’s Torah for Israel and attempted to live in closer harmony with the principles it taught. Both of them, in truth, were now children of Noah and of Noahide faith, but were coming closer to Israel’s torah principles and a more complete walk with God as children of Noah. Daniel spoke with Callodyn in these days and, through amendments to Haven’s doctrine, a more serious and thoughtful commitment to the principles of Torah was brought into the faith of Haven Noahide Fellowship and each of the 6 other divine ministries. It was a time of repentance in general amongst Daniel’s community of friends – a time to take God more seriously – a time to accept the laws and truths of life which God had brought them into being to observe – and a time to be thankful for the grace and mercy which God had patiently shown them.
Afterword – A synopsis of latter events
After the new world of Avalon is put on a setback with the establishment of earth as the spiritual homeworld of the Gammaraudian Galactic Civilization, the conflict with the Galaxy of Delen draws Daniel and Ariel into play as the brokers of a peace treaty with the vengeful Delen who, normally peaceful, through conflict with the Gammaraudians had roused themselves and were starting to defeat their opponents. Daniel is called to intercede on behalf of the Gammaraudians and talk peace to them to settle the conflict. Yet the Delen have other plans. They kidnap Daniel and Ariel and take them to a prison facility on one of their desert planets. Life is hard for Daniel and Ariel for a few years, and through the trials of their soul they grow closer together in love and Daniel starts to let go of some of the past grudges of the soul. He is learning how to be forgiving. In the new realm of eternity Ambriel and Sariel are becoming new close friends and the theophany enjoys spending time with his Seraphim children, playing rocks, swimming in the Sellawon river, and talking of one day building New Zaphon. Dramdrak, Ambassador to earth of the Gammaraudians, draws up a plan with James Daly, Gregory Daly & Jody Smith, and the three humans disguising themselves as citizens of the Delen galaxy, they deliberately become prisoners in a nearby system to were they are sure Daniel is stranded, and, hoping the protocols they had learned were correct, are transported to the planet and, luckily, find Daniel and Ariel. James has had a small device implanted into his small toe which is a tracking beacon for Dramdrak to find them. They are rescued and returned to earth. As the war continues to rage on between the Gammaraudians and the Delenth, Dramdrak is philosophical over war as a way of life. In his heart he questions the futility of war and conflict and, talking with Daniel, starts to understand that bloodshed never ends if a heart is set upon being an overlord. Daniel is before the council of Gammaraudius and gives a speech to set out another attempt to find peace with the Delen. This time they are successful in their negotiations and Daniel is cordially invited by the Supreme Delenth Commander of War to dine with him as an apology for past grievances. They discus Delen’s role in the Universe and the Commander asks about Daniel’s work and role and the respect humans have among the Gammaraudians. The Delen find this interesting. Daniel returns to earth, happy enough with peace now being restored, and thinks it is about time to reassert human desires over earth and move the head of Gammaraudians spiritual desires for men to Mars instead. They don’t object to this and Mars is established as the spiritual centre of Gammaraudian civilization. Thus, the society of earth starts its focus towards ‘Old World’ community, and many technologies are let go of, apart from necessary security devices which are kept by a secret police force. The official policy of ‘Avalon’ is to embrace the ancient cultures of mankind and live in simpler ways, more careful and old fashioned ways and let the advanced world of technology only evolve in a much slower and more natural way, as it is viewed that mankind, in his youth, strived for great accomplishments, but strove beyond necessity. A slower walk in life is desired by the council of Avalon, and mankind assents to this in the various referendums on the issue. Thus, the old world is established, and Daniel and Ariel retire from the council back to Berridale in Australia to live a simpler life from simpler times.
Daniel looked into the mirror. He was - content. A quiet heart, living on earth, a child of destiny on his lonesome, just over 30 million years without much of a familiar face apart from his twin, Ariel. And, now, living a quiet life in Berridale in New South Wales, as Avalon watched over mankind, and the wheel of time turned, and lives were lived, and the world turned.
He looked into the old, ancient cracked mirror, the common thing in the lifetimes he had now spent at 7 Bent street, the house rebuilt time and again.
The city of Berridale was a village again. Old documents from its foundation had been copied and preserved time and again, and the Australian Prime Minister wanted their long lived guests from heaven to live in peace. Mankind knew about them, but went about its business mostly unconcerned, a youth occasionally wandering into town to ask Daniel about heaven, looking for answers not discussed on the official websites he maintained.
He looked into the mirror. Keri came in - Ariel's human name - and smiled at him. 'I feel Cyril's presence. Going through my heart. Checking to see everything is ok.'
'He has never left us. 12 million years gone again, and I feel him here every night. Mary too.'
'Family is forever,' said Keri.
'Amen,' said Daniel.
He looked into the mirror, finally started covering his face with soap creamed up by a shaving brush, following Cyril's old ways, even though in youth he had done things differently, but doing things like dad now, for he followed in his father's footsteps. And he shaved away, and listened to the small bathroom radio, and kept life simple.
And then some toast and vegemite and his morning tea, and off to Cooma to work at Telstra, for he was following in his father's footsteps, and had found the sweet peace of God.
* * * * *
'He was very angry at us,' said Ambriel.
'Daniel has calmed down,' replied the theophany.
'He hated Israel for a while. We didn't sit right with him,' said Michael.
'The two of us have worked through most of the issues,' responded God.
'Are you sure it is wise?' asked Elenniel. 'He is settled in his life in Berridale at the moment. I watch him through the portal. Days at a time, some times. Aquariel likes to sit with me. And Gloryel. Especially Gloryel. She has grown quite - fond - of him. She talks at length of his days, his gentle and simple ways. And she speaks with Cyril his father on the phone constantly. I wouldn't interfere with her current happiness. You know what that is like. When you are in a zone in life, when something is working for you. I see it in Gloryel's heart. Her following of Daniel's life gives her solace, it is a balm for her souls anxieties. I would have her enjoy it while it lasts.'
'Yet she might take even greater comfort in his return,' said God, looking gently at his daughter.
'Possibly,' said Elenniel.
'Have you made up your mind?' asked Ambriel.
God nodded softly.
'Then the decision is made,' finished Ambriel, and the other two finally nodded in agreement.
'My son is coming home,' said God, and the little group celebrated in the Zaphora cafe all that afternoon.
* * * * *
Daniel arrived home in his Toyota Corona, only to find a small crowd gathered on the front porch of 7 Bent street, And then he spotted the pairs of three outstretched wings and knew the Seraphim had dropped by.
He pushed through the crowd at the front door and found Michael, Ambriel, Elenniel and Gloryel by the looks of it, all wings outstretched, even the third pair, which usually only came out with the divine presence, but lo and behold, gleaming like amber, God, chatting with Ariel and the reporter from Berridale news.
God looked at Daniel. 'Are you ready to come home?'
Daniel sighed, sat down, and looked at Ariel. 'Well, nothing lasts forever, sweetie. Nothing lasts forever.'
When the local news telecast that night insisted God himself had visited Berridale, the blurred video, with no discernible imagery, was called a hoax by most in the industry.
But Daniel and Ariel were gone, returned to the Realm of Eternity, and life on Terra rteurned to its steady pathways, suns setting, suns falling, and so called divine encounters gradually receding from the news headlines.
Here he was. Reborn. Yet another new beginning in the life of Daniel Daly. Yet another new start. He guessed, in time, he would get used to that - new beginnings, fresh starts. In a life of eternity he would start time and again, and finish time and again.
And now, Ariel comfortably leaving him, off to a new love, but a private note reading, 'These last few million years in Berridale were good. You impressed me. You were - older. I liked it. I'll love you forever, you know, Danny. Forever. Hugs and Kisses. Ariel.' He loved her for it.
Time to start again, though. And in the last month since returning, Gloryel had been hanging around. She had a crush on him. And he liked her having a crush on him. Life went on, after all. New love, new romances, and life went on.
'God. Thank you. For all the good times, and all the bad times. For what has been, and for what may come. Thank you.'
And Daniel looked out over Zaphona city from Zaphon tower, and Ambriel and Michael told him to get his ass inside, for it was his turn in the 'Risk' game, and Ambriel was on the verge of victory.
And life went on in the Realm of Eternity.
And life went on.
Michael and Phindwel were tag team partners in the Mexican league wrestling federation. It had been a long eternity, and after a long sojourn on earth, they were back in heaven above again and quite bored, with not much else on his plate, the overseer of Zaphora chatted with Phinnie. 'Why the hell not, bro. Let's go for it. Out in Terraphora.'
'Sure Mikey Mike Mike Mike. And we can get all de bandidas. All the hot tamalis.'
Michael smirked. 'Elenniel will be jealous.'
'What she don't know won't hurt her.'
Michael smiled at Phinnie. 'Devil.'
'Takes one to know one,' said Phindwel.
They were wrestling 'The Masked Infidel' and his sidekick 'The Puny One', who was also masked, and having a tough time of it.
'They are hardcore sons of bitches,' said Phindwel. 'What shall we do.'
Michael went to the side of the ring as the Masked Infidel and the Puny one glared at him. He jumped over, ran to the back of the audience, and brought out his schlong. His giant, puffed up, 6 foot long, schlong. He walked down the aisle, the crowd going nuts, with his schlong between his legs.
'Hey, homos,' he yelled. 'Can you handle a real man,' he said, waving his schlong up and down.
The masked infidel turned to the Puny One and nodded. The puny one ducked out for a few minutes as Michael waved his schlong for the crowd and continued to mock the Masked Infidel.
Shortly the Puny One returned with two large testicles carried with him. He turned to the Masked infidel. 'And the vagina,' said the masked infidel.'
'As you wish, my lord,' said the Puny one, and ducked out.
Meanwhile Phindwell had returned with a giant rubber condom. The crowd was amused.
When the puny one returned with the giant vagina, they were all up on stage, and the Masked infidel beckoned Meludiel the wise.
She came up on stage, and they each lifted up their glories, and belted each other for a solid half an hour.
It was no surprise when the condom was placed on the schlong, the balls attached and the vagina came into play.
The sexual tension in the audience was unbelievable.
Finally, the ref stepped in. 'Meludiel the wise, if you will do the honours.'
And Meludiel grabbed the back of the schlong, hit the release button, and the exhausted wrestlers were amused as the condom was filled with delightful seed of interesting persuasion.
It was a time to remember, and Michael ended up champion, with Phindwel, finally unmasking the Masked Infidel and the Puny One, upon their defeat in the grand championship of all eternity, the humbled, yet grinning, Daniel and Ambriel.
The 16 Tribes of Israel
Daniel and Ariel were talking with Jacob's daughter, Serah. 'So tell me, Serah. When did they start recognizing your offspring as the 16th tribe of Israel?'
'Not long after Dinah and her children were recognized as the 15th,' said Serah. 'First Ephraim and Manasseh became the 13th and14th tribes officially, and then later on, in a politically correct era, Jacob relented and declared Dinah his 15th tribe. And then, later, me.'
'And how many of you are there now?' Ariel asked her.
'Gazillions,' she said. 'Literally. And we have a fair degree of copyrighted religious material for my religion.'
'Which is?' Daniel asked her.
'Old fashioned Karaite Serahism. Sacred scriptures of Serah, including all my psalms, proverbs, rules and theology, as well as my autobiography. And now the tribe has a distinct role in the 7,777,777th Disc of the Realm of Eternity, where we have set up shop to pursue promotion of our religious viewpoints and promote ourselves to all and sundry who will take a genuine interest in Karaite Serahism. We are, in truth, a new agenda religion, but we have become a popular one. Women, especially, like the idea of tribe of Israel specially focused on women's needs, and this is what Dinah emphasizes carefully.'
'Amazing,' said Ariel.
And they chatted the rest of the afternoon, and life turned by, and the winter epoch of life itself continued on its merry way.
Michael had recovered from his 45 minutes of torture by Satan, and was playing darts with God and Ambriel, his co-sufferers in the vengeance of Daniel, now satiated, and were throwing darts at a dartboard with a picture of Daniel the Seraphim on it.
'So, God. 36 years to go, huh?'
'I have lessons, now. On morality. From Lady Gilliamham in Penzance. She is indeed wise,' said the theophany. 'And if I graduate my course with a pass or higher Daniel has promised me the rarest of gifts.'
'Which is?' asked the Shitman, Michael.
'Half a foot. 1 foot for a distinction.'
'Huh?' asked Ambriel.
'An increase in height. Legally with my people.'
'If you pass? Then study hard,' said Michael.
'Will do Shitman,' said God.
The bell rang, summoning the Shitman, and Michael threw one last dart, hitting Daniel between the eyes, and went off to do his master's bidding.
'Yes, my lord,' said Michael.
'My lady Ariel has vomited in the carriage. I dare say she is with child. See too the mess, will you.'
'At once, my Lord,' said Michael.
The vomit was particularly vile, full of all sorts of obscene bits, and as Michael scrubbed the afternoon away, he thought on his time here at Havenpoint, learning the ways of the authority of the Lord Daniel, the chosen one for rulership of the second Epoch of life, actually enjoying his work, regardless of the lowering of his esteemed glory. Yet Daniel had already made it clear to his older brother that Ambriel had been chosen for the first Spring and that he, Michael, had been chosen for the first Summer. 'Yet that is the limit of my choosings, dear brother,' was his comment after that, which left the future rulership in Ambriel or Michael's hands. Only time would tell of their decisions.
His job, the Shitman, was dealing with just that. The shit. And, try as he might to defend his lord and master's decency and honour, he couldn't help but thing that somehow, just somehow, Daniel managed to come up with as many shitty jobs as humanly possible. He probably spent all night thinking up crappy things for me to do, were Michael's sarcastic thoughts from time to time.
But Elenniel was allowed visiting rights occasionally, as well as Aquariel, to whom he was starting to remember events and times from the reign of Phanuel in the in between worlds, were he now remembered they were twins, and twins of love - intense love - and that this had been the one time of exception to the constancy of Elenniel's presence. Very strange, he often thought to himself. Was Aquariel his deepest love?'
Winter had done that, it seemed. Restored more lost thoughts, through Daniel's graces. He was now God in flesh, in many ways. The Son of God, the Almighty, the ambassador of Yahweh to creation, the new theophany in some senses. But not really. Just someone with the top job in the end. But that didn't matter. Michael's turn would come one day and he would, if he had the opportunity, go through many of the Seraphim of Eternity to choose their jobs as Universal Lord or Lady of Glory as the Epoch's passed by. And as much as he wanted to ditch the idea, even Daniel might possibly get another turn somewhere down the list, which would probably have about 700 choices, so he had decided, in the end. Even Daniel.
He cleaned the vomit up carefully that afternoon, and washed out the carriage, drying it with a dryer, and when his Lord came to inspect it that evening he commended him for his excellent work and gave him a weekend of leave.
All in a day's work for Michael the Seraphim.
'Being an Archangel is not easy, you know. I'm Michael. God's No 1 - almost. My younger brother Daniel San - the bugger - stole the glory, took the top slot, and now rules the Winter Epoch. God, me and Amby Wamby got plunged in the poo, so to speak, and now we suffer the wrath of rulership from Mr Daly, Master extraordinaire of Sarcasm, Wit and strikingly funny comeback lines. Ah, you gotta love him. But the silly idiot has chosen me for the Summer epoch, coming up in God know's when, so this is a time for quiet reflection to review our glorious Autumn just finished. Ultimately, God was a considerate, careful and quite conservative deity. Carnality, as we all know, was rebuked, mostly, and from limited appearances, while tolerating perhaps a little more in some aspects, Daniel San seems headed down the same theological avenue. Time will tell of his wisdom.
There were good times. There were bad times. That's life, you know. So, before this epoch really gets under way, let us pause and reflect on God's great job, give a warm hand of applause to Jehovah for his faithful work, and thank him, from our hearts, for getting us this far.'
Michael paused, as the video camera kept filming him, and gave a soft clap in front of the camera and said, 'Well done God.'
He paused for a moment, and then continued.
'Now, Daniel has promised us the second Divine Mystery at the end of the epoch, and Tim Brooke-Taylor, the Goodie, will be delivering that speech quite a few years hence, something to which we all look forward too.
Now, what can the future offer us? Heaven only knows. But, knowing Daniel Daly so well, I am sure we will be on the edge of our seats - constantly.
So, my online friends, May God's eternal blessing, peace, love, truth, grace and abundant joy, be on you now, as always, your friend forever. Michael.'
He smiled at the camera one last time, stood, flicked off the switch, and the Shitman spent a little while uploadin the film to his youtube page, smiled as the hits started coming in pretty much immediately, and...........
Michael was in Ur of the Chaldees, somewhere on one of the discs of the Realm of Eternity, sitting with Elenniel, eating cake and pie with Lisa Loeb.
'So how do you like Ur?' Lisa asked Michael.
'Its...interesting,' said Michael.
'Are we here forever, then? Is this it? The final and ultimate grand destiny of the children of Jacob?'
'Who can say,' said Elenniel. 'God is a mysterious God and works in mysterious ways. Just ask Farouk Bulsara.'
Lisa smiled, stood up and walked to her CD bookcase, took out 'A Kind of Magic' by Queen, and put the first track 'One Vision' on the player.
'One True Religion,' said Elenniel. 'I think that is a focus of many people.'
'Why not Karaism,' said Lisa. 'The Protestants mostly agree on that idea in the end. Sola Scriptura.'
'Yet the Noahides promote the ultimate truth of the Natural Covenant,' said Elenniel.
'They don't recognize the complete truth,' said Lisa. 'There is more to life than Naturalistic perfection. Suffering brings so much joy to the soul when the consolation of things has been completed, and the wisdom gained therein through the suffering of the soul has brought the fruitful harvest of knowledge which Hashem teaches us, his special son.'
'Yet England pushes on Nature, as the summation of God's grand glory,' said Elenniel. 'And they relinquish not, stubborn in pride I do suggest,' responded Elenniel to Lisa's statement.'
'It is an interesting dichotomy,' put in Michael. 'Yet, wisdom dictates we go with the flow of Daniel's desires, for the time being, and let life itself answer the mystery of our souls. Of 'Daniel's' soul. Perhaps he shall consider our perspective more greatly in time.'
'Yet pride is a great beast,' responded Lisa. 'And he will develop his Ur of the Chaldees agenda this entire epoch, I fear. Shouldn't we protest?'
'Why bother,' said Michael. 'Let Daniel ponder the mysteries of God's knowledge in his own time. The servant is meek and mild, and serves in gentleness, even turning the other cheek as Jesus likes to say. The servant indeed turns the other cheek, and takes the smites of pride.'
'Yet, what if,' put in Elenniel, 'at the end of his cogitations, he still is of the general preference for the wisdom of the natural order.'
'Our historical mission is complete enough,' responded Michael. 'Either way, we are flexible to the heart of desire, and Daniel has no ill will towards Israel. Our people will go on forever, regardless, and in the flow of the eternal, unity is more preferable, even if we, as a people, must suffer temporarily because of it.'
Lisa nodded softly, and took her remote control and flicked to the song 'Who wants to live forever,' on the album. Then, in a moment of afterthought, she said, 'Just a second. I will put on the accompanying EP.' And rising, she put on the 2011 edition of the album, the EP, and clicked on to the instrumental version of the song entitled 'Forever.'
The piano played.
The mood in the room was reflective, somber, and holy.
Michael touched Elenniel's hand, and Lisa observed, and smiled softly to herself.
And the music played.
And the music played.
From Ur and Zanadra to Service in Joniquay
At the top of the tower Michael looked around the city of Joniquay. Everywhere he looked, skyscrapers, as far as the eye could in fact see. Apparently, from what it was rumoured, Joniquay of the Second Plane of Heaven, was the largest metropolis in the universe. It ranged onwards and outwards, literally, forever. It was truly enormous, now. The second plane of heaven, since the restoration to the heavenlies after the seventh rest, had been reinhabited and had grown steadily from its earlier population, and now, with the Children of Destiny, as they had often been called, now living there once more, the citadel of glory of Joniquay, as it was also often known as, was the place to be in many ways. But here, Gabriel reigned supreme, whereas Daniel held the technical divine authority for this epoch. Nevertheless, in the real world of rulership and glories, Gabriel, his brother, who had been firstborn of this divine realm, ruled, and ruled still, and Michael remained seventhborn on the list of Archangels of authority. And then there were those of Infinity, the other angels, who had not had the glory of the second heaven in any significant way, but were lower down the rankings, through their rebirths, as lower angels. They had never really been anything significant, apart from Satan and his followers, yet, now, in this restored paradise, as it were, Michael was finding that the Seraphim of Infinity, under Logos, who dwelled her in the Citadel of Glory, were the main challengers for positions of power and authority in this second epoch. Yet Michael, now taken from Ur, which had been the plan of Daniel's for the entire epoch, off on a new tack, together with the Patriarchs of Zanadra, who had decided to tag along, were in strict competition for positions of glory in this new rebirth. Yet did Michael care? Did he really worry? Did God's favourite Morning Star in many ways really give a damn, that much, anymore, about such positions of glory and power, in such a long life that he had lived? Other things, simpler things, seemed to give him more happiness now. His stable relationship with Elenniel, his ongoing chess challenges with Saruviel, and his friendly conversations and outings with Gabriel, for the most part, coloured his life in the happiness he liked. Should he set his heart once more on being responsible? He knew God liked this quality in him, but others, now, were of such devout devotions to the glories they too desired, that he felt compassion and did not really feel the need to compete. He was happy enough being Michael, the Archangel of the Realm of Eternity, and living his simple life, and doing the pleasant and enjoyable things he did.
And then Jael had showed up last night, handed him 'The Challenge of Glory' document, and he had read it, smiled at Daniel's pride and sarcasm, and said to her, 'Then I guess I'm stuffed.'
But this morning he had read the document in detail, and was sorely pissed off, in reality. For the challenge encompassed economic, political, spiritual and sporting requirements of achievement to retain the status required for the living standards expected. Daniel insisted, if they wished to, they could chicken out and return to the Realm of Eternity, and Michael was sorely tempted to, simply because he was so old now, and so experienced, and humble enough to admit to Daniel later on 'How Great Thou Art,' but, in the end, he was still a young enough angel, in his heart, to acknowledge the challenge, with a wry grin, and accept the wrath of glory of he who was 45th on the list.
'You'll be a pov bastard at the end of it. Trust me on this,' said Noah, who was seated on an outdoor lounge, not far from Michael, still examining the document himself.
'But how low will he push us?'
'I don't know,' said Noah, leafing through the papers. 'If we don't meet requirements we can end up on the 'Living Allowance', which is at the bottom of the status levels list, which is about $50 bucks a week, by the looks of it, to live on.
'$50 bucks!' exclaimed Michael. 'What the hell can that afford?'
Noah looked over the list. 'And you have to make do with a government flat, if you don't own something, which is a quarter of your income in rent anyway.'
'That's ok,' said Michael. 'I have many places here.'
'Which you just might lose,' said Noah, examining the document. 'There are strict requirements for ownership of the properties, according to status laws, as this document refers to, which naturally expire at the end of this epoch, as he can't claim anything immoral or illegal in this challenge. So, basically, if we don't compete, we are fucked.'
Michael looked at Noah, then turned his head out to the city. 'I guess I'm fucked, then,' he said underneath his breath.
Jesus of Nazareth. Hated by some. Deified by others. Controversial, never boring, an iconoclast of eternal vision. A saint. A sinner? Jesus, head of the Church of the Living God, had submitted his doctrine with the Sanhedrin of Israel. His claim? If Zerubbabel was supposedly the 'Real Messiah', the promised one of Isaiah 11, then the patrilineal descendants of Zerubbabel were the 'House of Christ'. And a male member of the House of Christ, especially an early figure, certainly had 'Christ-like' possibilities open to him. Didn't he?
And of all strange bedfellows, the Karaite Noahide movement supported him in his claims.
Maimonides and Rashi reviewed the case. The verdict.
'Sure. Whatever, Yeshka. Who gives a...... ' The expletive was never commented upon by Jesus, who took their acknowledgement as tacit approval of Sanhedrin acceptance.
And then? The 'Renewed Great Commision' with 'Approved by the Sanhedrin' extensively used in advertising claims.
People lapped it up. The Sanhedrin were far from impressed, but gave no official comment.
Rophiel, never one to lose an opportunity when it presented itself, braved the same Holy court of Israel. Rashi's comment that 'You must be f***ing kidding right', left a temporarily dejected Mohammed considering a brand new jihad.
Paul Saberton, a traditional Christian Superintendent of 'Mamre Fellowship' took to the new work with zeal. Justification for his faith had arrived. His old passion was reignited, and the 'Street Preaching of the Gospel had a Pentecostal fervour not seen before in the heart of Christendom. 'Take the Catholic Whore' were words spoken not just once in the halls and chapels of the extensive universal fraternity, and the campaign for 'fresh blood' got going like never before. Truth was at stake, and the Sabertonians were not backing down.
Potters House competed heavily for a while, experienced evangelists, and while the steady continuity of the Jehovah's Witnesses evangelistic program never wavered or changed, some, like the Mormos and the Presbyterians launched strategic campaigns, sensitive to Jesus current fervour. 'Steady as she goes' was the Archbishop of Canterbury's motto, while the Catholic Empire absorbed it all, and put a commission of 'lesser' cardinals to review the idea and submit a 'rsponsa' in, say, a 'few thousand years or so, according to the casual words of a slightly disintersted pope. They were not largely concerned about their saviours current passions.
They were crazy times, exciting times, and the future looked bright.
Yet fresh callenges laid on the horizon. and Jesus of Nazareth didn't even see it coming.
‘A strong angel knows how to lead,’ said God.
‘A stronger angel knows how to follow,’ said God.
‘And the strongest angel knows how to handle the competition.’
Michael took his pen, started drawing a moustache on the photo of Daniel the Seraphim, and grinned a little.
4 days later Daniel received a letter in his mailbox at his current address.
‘Daniel. The Devil plans on joining Haven Noahide Fellowship and leading astray your flock. Signed, a sincere devotee.’
Daniel rang up Satan.
‘What the hell is your problem?’
Satan responded, ‘My gay son’s venereal diseases.’
‘Why do you want to join Haven Noahide Fellowship?’
‘Because the chicks are hot. I mean, what the Fuc… Who says I want to join your crap organisation?’
‘A sincere devotee,’ responded Daniel.
‘Someone’s playing you,’ said Satan. ‘Enjoy,’ and he hung up.
Daniel stared in front of him, hung up the phone, and went to his little black book. Which girl had he pissed off.
‘He think’s it’s a chick,’ said God.
‘Perfect,’ responded Michael.
4 days later Daniel got another letter. ‘I remember our time together, Daniel. You are the be all and end all of my existence. I can not live without you. You are my eternity. My all. Come to me. We shall dwell in pleasure eternally. Nimorel, your beloved.’
Daniel rang her up.
‘Hey Nim. You want some hot action? I can make it next Tuesday.’
‘Daniel. You are a creep,’ responded Nimorel. ‘Get a life,’ and she hung up.
Daniel stared in front of him, hung up the phone, and said to himself, ‘Played again. I smell a rat.’
‘Be cautious the third time. He’s not stupid.’
Daniel looked at the letter. From a solicitor.
‘Mr Daly. Leonardo has been a fan for a long time. He has one of his ancient ‘Madonna’s’ he would like to present to you in person. The address details are…’
Daniel showed up, dressed in a suit, at the art museum.
He stood in front of the work. An assistant came up to him.
‘It’s beautiful,’ he said.
‘Yes,’ said the assistant.
‘And all mine. What a lovely gift?’
‘Huh,’ said the assistant.
‘The Virgin,’ said Daniel, smiling, but perplexed by the assistant’s puzzled look. ‘A gift from Leonardo.’
‘Hardly,’ said the assistant. ‘He will never part with it.’
‘But the letter?’ said Daniel.
‘What letter?’ asked the assistant.
Daniel stared at him, then it hit him. ‘Doh,’ he said, hand to his head. ‘Got me again.’
The Theophany showed up around 7, and Daniel said. ‘Will you be honest with me?’
The theophany chuckled. Then said something profound. ‘Do you want to earn good will with me?’
Daniel thought about it, then nodded.
‘Then let it go. You have been played. A humble angel can have grace and even forgive practical jokes.’
‘Oh,’ said Daniel softly. ‘Ok.’
And he forgave his offender.
A few weeks later Michael, having chatted with God, came around. They played chess. And cards. And Michael started spending some time, for the first time in a very long time, with his younger brother Daniel.
And when Michael left that night, he prayed a silent prayer to God, and said, ‘…and bless him with the love he needs. He’s a good kid.’
And the Holy Spirit liked the prayer.
And God blessed his son’s Michael and Daniel.
‘So. Ambs. How’s it hanging?’
‘How’s what hanging,’ asked a disinterested Ambriel to Daniel’s inane question.
‘You know. Your shit.’
‘I assume, wherever my shit is hanging, it is hanging well enough,’ responded David Rothchild.
‘Cool,’ said Daniel, still gazing at the plasma TV.
‘And the woman. My beloved. Smellie Mellie. How’s she?’
Ambriel turned to Daniel. ‘You’re not getting her back. She has pledged her undying allegiance to the Messiah of her glory. Even considering conversion to Judaism, she has told me.’
‘Yeh. She let on. She’s only trying to keep you happy. But Meludiel is like that.’
‘Like what?’ asked Ambriel.
‘Sensitive. Unfortunately, it’s to you. An old crush. From back in the day when you claimed to love her.’
‘I do love her,’ he responded, and returned to watching the ‘Mash’ rerun.
‘Gotcha,’ responded Daniel.
‘She doesn’t have very big tits, you know. You know, they are quite tender.’
‘Suits me,’ said Ambriel.
‘Yeh. With your IQ I perfectly understand.’
‘And what is that supposed to mean?’ asked Ambriel, looking obnoxiously.
‘Oh. They have done studies. Men with high intelligence are usually attracted to women with very large breasts. I’ve noticed Justine Atkinson’s. Quite petite. And that burger place you work. That chick. Her’s are less than impressive. They are your three squeezes, aren’t they?
‘Do you even know the name of that burger place?’ asked David.
‘It’s lost on me,’ responded Daniel.
‘You own the chain!’ exclaimed Ambriel.
‘Then hopefully it’s doing well,’ responded Mr Daly.
Silence. Mash watching. Daniel sniggering a bit.
‘So it must be pretty low then?’
‘What?’ asked Ambriel.
‘You know. Your IQ.’
‘My intelligence quotient is perfectly fine, thank you. And I am not really sure about those statistics.’
‘Oh, they are true alright. Noahide Books did the study themselves.’
Ambriel looked at Daniel. ‘Hardly a reputable source then.’
Daniel grinned at that.
Ambriel took issue. ‘Melanie.’
‘What about her?’ asked Daniel, tentatively.
‘Well. I rest my case,’ said David.
‘She’s considering surgery,’ responded Daniel. He was lying.
‘So we’re talking about artificial intelligence as a result.’
‘You’ve been learning big words again, Amby. Are you sure you can handle them.’
Ambriel picked up the remote, and flicked a channel. It was the playboy channel. A bevvy of blonde beauties, showing their voluptuous breasts were showing.
Ambriel looked at Daniel.
Daniel looked at Ambriel.
‘Perhaps we should change the channel,’ said Ambriel.
‘Exactly,’ responded the 45th male Seraphim of Eternity.
The Christ Child of God's Greater Glory awoke. Jesus surveyed the clouds above him, merrily dancing in a mild storm. He lifted himself up and Mary Magdalene beside him stirred and winged it was too early to get up. Jesus looked down at the valley below them. They were high up now, in this mountain climbing odyssey. 75 kilometres so far, and still 25 to go to get to 'Base Central' as it was called, Mt Bezladar's first port of call for those attempting the impossible, climbing of the 77,778th disc of Eternity's highest peak. Base Central did not have any ground access for replenishment of its supplies, Jesus had been told. He had seen them, early that week, choppers flying in and out of a place in the mountain above. They were supply choppers, feeding the necessary supplies for Base Central to continue business as usual.
The Dragon, as Jesus called himself currently, had taken on some challenges. Masuculinity challenges. He had prayed to God first for his ego to be kept in check by doing nothing stupid which would endanger his life or any other's, but then he had asked God to stretch him out a little and strengthen him. And here he was, taking on Mt Bezladar, one of the Realm's most famed mountain climbing challenges. 287 kilometeres of sheer hell to conquer. Very few ever achieved the result.
He looked down at the vast concourse of colours and sounds, all chirping around this South American based landscape, even filled with Anacondas of great length, some of whom had crawled past Jesus and hissed and gone on their way. He knew they were mostly harmless. So many prayers now had been prayed about such things for the animal life of eternity that there should not really be any serious issues, but still they were something to behold.
The mist all around the valley floated upwards against the mountain and while it wasn't cold, it was a really refreshing and earthly experience, especially when he had spent so much of his eternity in usual office positions heading the Church, doing this or that appearance, preaching this or that sermon. But he had taken a few centuries off with Mary recently, and they were living a new life. An action life. An adventure life. And his old 'Dragon' sarcasm had returned, and he was challenging himself to do some new things.
Mary rose after a while. ''Do you have some water?' she asked him.
'There's a stream nearby,' he responded. 'We should conserve what we have till we get to Base Central.'
'How long at Base?' she asked him.
'A year or so. I have booked the rooms. I want to do a lot of research with the various instructors and make sure we have the right provisions. Callodyn will also be joining us mid year with Kayella.'
'Yeh, I know.'
'And then we tackle the bitch,' he said looking upwards at the towering behemoth.'
'Then we tackle the bitch,' said Mary, and went back to sleep.
Jesus looked at her momentarily, and decided to fill some of the decanters with water for his beloved, and as he kneeled at the stream bed which wound its way down this mountain, he noticed another one of the giant Anaconda's sipping on water nearby. It turned its head, though, briefly, and looked at him. And it was as if it said 'Well done, Man, for having a go,' and then it turned its head, and slithered away.
And all the morning Jesus felt good, and as they climbed towards base central, he relished the chance to take on the impossible and make a new and exciting fresh name for himself, in the conquering of Mt Bezladar and, in some ways, his own self.
And he climbed, with Mary, and smiled, oblivious to the Anaconda's who carefully and cautiously watched the Dragon's steady and gradual Ascent.
Love 2: Love Comes Walking In
Ambriel. David Rothchild. He was old, now. An old man. He had lived forever, and, he hoped, he had loved forever. But Meludiel had disappeared a century ago, and he was on his own, alone. Sad. So sad. So very sad.
The melancholy of an eternal life was upon him, and he sat, those afternoons, in that chair, in that rocking chair, out the back of Danielphon were he now lived, with his bestie Daniel, for he was a burning torturous glory in his life now, who got him up with his eternal sarcasm when he was down. Oh so down.
'Life is hard, God. I. I can't do it anymore?'
'I don't have the energy anymore. I'm. I'm just too fucking old. Ok. I said it. Sorry. It's just too much for my heart anymore.'
The spirit blew in the winds, and he rocked, and he wept.
'If only, Meludiel?' but the spirit blew in the wind and said 'Dream on,' to his heart.
And he slept there in the chair, and the night passed, and he dreamed.
In the morning it was there again, the melancholy of the soul.
He'd lived this forever. What was the point now? He'd done it all, seen it all, lived it all. And he'd lived for love forever. He'd loved everyone forever. But were was his own? He was the untouchable love angel, but nobody loved him. And his only friend was Daniel, because Michael was always busy. Always fucking busy. He was sad, each moment, practically. Every second. Just sadness. Infinite melancholy sadness. Like the eternal life of his put aside sorrows was now on his shoulders, and all he could do was take it. And weep.
And so he wept, deaing with all his sorrows. All his – minor – forgotten sins.
And then he had a minor heart attack, because he was a little bit fat at the moment, eating too many of Daniel's pizzas and drinking too much of Daniel's coca cola.
And he was in hospital.
'Your a silly bugger,' said Daniel.
David was drowsy. 'Any visitors?'
'Michael sent his best. Nobody else was worried. Ambriel will get through it, they all said.'
'Sure. Wonderful,' he replied.
Daniel sat down in the chair opposite him, and Callodyn walked in.
'Hey dude, wassup?'
'Hey schmuck. Yeh. Daniel and fucking Daniel. That figures.' David turned his eyes to heaven. 'At the end of it all, Daniel and bloody Daniel.'
In the throne of heaven a certain blue flame burned bright purple for a moment, and there almost a sense of humour in the room. An angel praying in the room at the time noted the rare occurrence and wrote it down in his diary.
'Here's a crossword book, nobbeldy bot,' said Callodyn, and tossed David a crossword magazine he had bought from the hospital newsagent.
'Gee. Crosswords. Riveting,' said David.
'Enjoy,' said Callodyn.
Callodyn sat down next to Daniel, and they chatted, and David looked at them, expecting something more from his guests.
'I'm not well,' he said to them longingly for some love.
'Yep said Daniel the Seraphim,' and returned to his conversation with Callodyn.
'Won't you talk to me,' said David,' with longing looks in his eyes for some love.
'Yeh, get better schmuck,' said Callodyn, and returned to his conversation with Daniel.
David looked at them both and, frustrated, said out loud 'Nobody cares,' and started crying.
Daniel and Daniel looked at David in silence.
'Poor fella,' huh,' said Callodyn.
David was miserable.
David looked at them both. 'And you guys are all I have left at the end of my love?'
Callodyn smiled at him. Then he looked towards the doorway and nodded.
And Love came walking in.
Gemma Watkins, dressed in a 'Van Halen' t-shirt, looking absolutely ravishing, walked in, her blonde hair done up in glory, looking more majestic than she had ever done.
And then David noticed the spirit of his ex, who he hadn't seen in an eternity.
And he was blown away.
She came over to him, and kissed him on the forehead.
'Well, will you have me now, schmuck?' she asked him.
And David, an embarassing erection forming down below, softly nodded.
And Gemma grinned in triumph.
Love 3: Love Goes Walking Out
'And another thing,' said Gemma, taking the ornate banana from the mantelpiece. 'You can take this idea of a joke. You can take it. AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR OWN ARSE, ROTHCHILD!!!!'
And Gemma Watkins was gone, off back to her own place, leaving a grinning David grinning not much more.
Callodyn walked in. 'What happened bro?'
David looked flabbergasted.
'Gem's left, bro,' said Callodyn, in a T-Shirt with the sleeves cut off. 'Fuck. You haven't fucked up already have you. Do you know how much fucking sweet talking it took to get the babe interested in you again?'
David looked at him – guiltily.
'Jesus Christ!' swore Daniel. 'No. No, I take that back. At least Jesus would have said 'Go to hell bitch,' but you? Fucking hell. You stood there, took it, and she left. Found out your a wishy washy love guru with no guts and no fucking glory.'
'Go to hell, Daniel,' said David, and sank down on the sofa.
Michael came in. Daniel looked at him. 'Ok. Mouse. Ok,' said Callodyn triumphantly. 'He's a bloody mouse.'
Meludiel, seated next to Daniel the Seraphim, smirked. 'Mouse have small balls, Callodyn.'
'Oh, fuck yeah,' said Callodyn. 'They do, don't they.'
'Shaddup,' said David Rothchild.
'Michael,' said Callodyn. 'What animal doesn't have testicles?'
'A Jellyfish I guess,' said Michael, looking forlornly at his young brother.
'They don't have a spine either,' said Meludiel.
Daniel spoke. 'A balless, spineless, Messiah. David Rothchild. Ambriel the wise. Genius Jehovah.'
Michael sat down next to Ambriel. 'I didn't think a banana vibrator was such a good idea myself, you know Ambriel.'
'Shaddup,' said David.
'She's not that sex mad,' said Meludiel.
'Israel has fallen,' said Callodyn.
'Will it ever rise again,' said Daniel.
'Maybe if we get the vibrator going,' said Callodyn,' and everyone smirked except David.
'You need some class,' said Callodyn. 'Not Clarse.'
'He's using way too much of that,' said Meludiel.
'He has – devolved,' said Daniel.
David looked up at the group,' but didn't even bother.
'Cheer up,' said Michael. 'Try ringing Justine.'
'She said an ape has more charisma now,' said David.
'I have some Dimoxinyl,' said Callodyn.
David looked at him.
'Simpson's brand. Top stuff. We can have you looking hairy in no time.'
'I think he does need a makeover,' said Meludiel.
'Then Dimoxinyl it is,' said Callodyn.
'I'm not taking any fucking Dimoxinyl,' said David, and stormed out. But he shortly came to the doorway. 'And you can shove that banana up your butt, Callodyn,' and he was off, in a huff.
They sat around, grinning at each other.
'He needs a specialist,' said Daniel.
'A major specialist,' said Meludiel.
'And therapy too,' said Callodyn, picking up the banana.
Michael spoke. 'I know our brother has fallen from grace somewhat in recent times, but that doesn't mean........... CALLODYN? What are you doing?'
Callodyn had taken the banana and was pushing it towards his back passage on his pants.
'Looks like it doesn't fit,' said Callodyn.
'Thank God for that,' said Meludiel.
'Your a fucking idiot,' Daniel whispered to Callodyn.
'The Ambriel complex,' said Michael. 'We need a solution.'
And the Children of Destiny got busy brainstorming.
Ambriel's Day Off 2
'Golden Fries and Burgers warmly welcomes all visitors from the Sacred Assembly of Jehovah.' Ambriel put down the speaker, and the manager of Golden Fries, at a suburb of Joniquay on the second realm that he never could remember the name of, there were so many after all, smiled at him, and nodded. He could have tomorrow off. He had worked hard all day.
Seraphim Daniel owned the chain Golden Fries and Burgers, which ran throughout the whole of the realms, and most of the planetary bodies, as well as being established in Eternya. It was now one of the big ones, despite a rather late start in the fast food empires. But Daniel rarely changed anything from a successful formula for decent fast food at a decent price, and he had steadily grown into the top 10 of fast food restaurant chains universally. His goal was still number one, as well as many other attempts at universal glory which he, and Valandriel, still pursued. An ancient agenda – rule the universe – but the two of them, from what Daniel said to Ambriel, got together from time to time to fine tune their agenda. And it was still somewhat working after all this time. Daniel was, at the moment, heavily investing in property in Eternya were, so he claimed, much of the future lay. Ambriel was less concerned. He lived life, now, with more of a 'Go with the Flow' mentality about it all. It was endless, and he enjoyed it a lot, so let God take him were he wished. He had the glory if he needed it, but that was more of a headache than anything else, and Messiah Ministries did its own thing mostly, not requiring Ambriel's constant contact necessarily anymore.
So he worked at Golden Fries and Burgers – all over the place. He liked the smell of the fries when they were fresh. That was one of his main reasons. But more than that. The spirit of the chain. It came out in a peculiar way which reminded him of Daniel and his quirky humour. And there was always a laugh when his older brother came around.
In fact, in his current posting, he was vaguely aware that Gloryel had a place not far from were he was working in Joniquay in the second realm. And, from memory, Daniel was in town at the moment as well. Perhaps he might chase them down. Perhaps.
He got home that night, in his rented flat, and sighed. Meludiel was elsewhere at the moment, and he was living single for the time being, on transfer in Golden Fries to a new place. But, he kept himself busy enough, watched some TV, ordered a pizza, ate it and drank the coke happily, and found some sleep.
The next day he woke, and smiled. It was his day off.
Looking through the newspaper he had delivered, there seemed a lot of things to do in the city, but he decided on a quiet day, and thought he would just take a bus trip across town a little to a small mall, and walk around the area for a while.
He had a latte at a cafe he found when he arrived and, liking the district, wandered off. May as well explore on foot. Joniquay was enormous, as each of the Joniquay's above also were, but, with eternal time, you gradually got to know things. He'd been here before, from memory, but they were distant. And so, with a bottle of water in his backpack, he drifted around the district, finally finding a park which looked friendly, and sat down on a bench, drank some water, and looked around at all the kids playing.
His mind went over the recent past. Meludiel had been fun, but wanted to go back to Jacob Fink for a while. That happened regulalry. So Fiona MacIntosh had posted him off to Joniquay, and he had been working at his current workplace a little over a year now. It was good work. The money wasn't really an issue, but he usually decided to live on what he earned. It was enough.
He heard the voice, and turned. It was a man, with a healthy beard, who suddenly looked very familiar.
'Moses,' said Ambriel. 'Is that you?'
'Aye, lad,' responded the lawgiver.
Ambriel smiled and came and sat down next to the father of Torah. 'Small world,' said Ambriel.
'Hey. It's dunderhead.'
Ambriel turned. Daniel and Gloryel were approaching.
'They live around the corner,' said Moses. 'I should have said. We bumped into them here. Had a vague idea that Gloryel lived around here, but it was a total surprise.'
'I'll bet,' said Ambriel.
'So. Enjoying busting your butt at the joint,' said Daniel.
'How did you know I worked here?' asked Ambriel.
'I had Fiona send you here. What, you think I don't keep tabs on my baby brother,' said Daniel.
Ambriel smiled at him.
'Hello David,' said Gloryel, smiling warmly at him. There was an ancient crush in that smile.
'Hey sis,' said Ambriel. 'You well.'
'Better than ever.'
They all chatted for a while, and Zipporah showed off little Saul to them all, their latest addition.
'Why don't we go to the city for dinner,' suggested Moses. Each agreed on the idea.
Ambriel chose his clothes carefully. He picked an orange shirt and black tie with black pants. He found the restaurant after a lot of searching, because it was not easy to find, but found the others inside, anxiously waiting on him.
They ate well, as it was quite a posh place, and chatted into the late night.
'You know,' said Moses. 'I want to say something to you guys. I know you are angels, but we are all God's children when it comes down to it. But I wanted to say, these are the good times my friends. Life. It has so many complications, and you never know really where it will lead you. But sometimes, it all works out well, and you find yourself in good company, and good spirit. These are the good times, and let us always thank God for his favour and blessings.'
And each said Amen, and knew it to be true.
Ambriel had a good day off, that day. Yet, the following morning, walking into Golden fries and burgers, Daniel glared at him. 'Your late,' he said.
'I had a big night out,' grinned Ambriel.
'I'm docking you half a day's pay,' said Daniel, smiling sarcastically. 'See that it doesn't happen again.'
Ambriel smiled at that. Some things never, in the end, really did change that much after all.
No, some things were eternal. Definitely eternal.
Zelzazon and the Death of an Ancient Evil II
Professor Zelzazon was in a mood. His bane, Jesus of Nazareth, was slowly climbing up the popularity charts again. Time for action.
He spent 14 years working on the gas. It was toxic, definitely, but dissolved in water harmlessly. Yet, when the water was heated, the steam would infect the lungs and, very quickly, kill a person. Perfect.
He was at a Christian gathering, for the blasted church had been reborn, and Jesus was preaching. Zelzazon had arranged work as a janitor in the conference centre 3 months prior, and had filled the emergency fire sprinklers water supply with his deadly toxins. Further, there were explosives set around the conference centre in well disguised places. He wouldn't be caught. The conference got under way, and Jesus suddenly was preaching. Zelzazon was in a partitioned off corner of the vast auditorium, and he held up a lighter to the flame detector. The siren went off after a moment, and water gushed down. People were all getting drenched, and he noticed Jesus was no exception. He quickly exited the building from a side entrance, took out his detonator, and pressed it. 'BANG!' The explosion could have been enough, but he didn't want to take any chances. Fire was ripping through the centre, and steam was coming up from the auditorium windows. He heard coughing and spluttering, and dressed in his protective suit he came inside. Jesus had collapsed on the floor near the front of the auditorium and people were dying everywhere. Success.
The news report was solemn. Jesus of Nazareth had died, in a horrible act of terrorism by a yet undisclosed group. Zelzazon had gotten away quickly, and was now rejoicing. Jesus had bitten the dust, with luck, not to rise again for a very long time. Back home, he brought out his Hebrew Bible and, in the notes section under a heading he had written of 'Accomplishments' he found the old entry. 'Jesus Killed', which had been ticked. Excellent, he thought to himself, and ticked it again. Indeed, the death of an ancient evil, and Zelzazon had never been happier.
'So, Daniel. How's it hanging?' asked the theophany of God.
'Son of Springvale, it is hanging ok,' responded Daniel the Seraphim.
'You once prayed for a resurrection. Do you recall?'
'That was years ago,' responded Daniel. 'Back in earthly years.'
'I have an answer for you. The second coming itself. Or perhaps third, or is it fourth?'
'Huh?' asked Daniel, confused.
'There,' said God, pointing to a spot in the back yard of Gloryel and Daniel's Joniquay abode. Up, from the ground, dirt started forming, and suddenly a man was standing there. The man looked at them, and, naked, came up and smiled.
'Jesus Christ!' swore Daniel.
'Yeh, that's it,' responded Jesus. 'Jesus Christ. Nice to see you've finally found the faith, Daniel San.'
Daniel looked at God. 'You couldn't have, like, left him dead. Done everyone a favour.'
'He's stubborn,' said God, looking at his naked son.
'Got any clothes?' asked Jesus, now somewhat embarassed. 'And I need money to get to Eternya. It's Zelzazon. I'm bloody sure it was Zelzazon.'
'Oh, yeh. The death of the Christ. Even made the papers here,' said Daniel. 'Professor Zelzazon? Yeh, good chance. He has a vendetta against your bullshit.'
'I am 100% bullshit free,' responded Jesus. 'Besides, the Sanhedrin tacitly accepts my ministry. They even agreed to it once. I have perfect permission to build the church of Glory. And I am definitely bullshit free. The church can testify to that truth.'
'Sure you are,' said Daniel, snickering.
'Get him some clothes,' said God, curtly.
Daniel soon returned with clothes, with Gloryel in tow, who smiled at Jesus. 'Yeshua,' she said warmly, bowing a little.
Jesus touched her on the cheek, and she smiled at him.
'Why don't you stay a while,' said Daniel. 'We can chat. Perhaps work on some old agendas together. We usually both agree on the importance of divine ministry for the sanctification of Angel and Human Kind. Perhaps a new bout of fresh evangelism. Take care of some behaviours which might have crept into the children of destiny.'
'I'm all ears,' responded Jesus.
And so Jesus stayed for a while, and God hung around as well. But it was not Daniel who was chuffed, but Gloryel. For a growing number of names were in her company in present times, and she was enjoying being the limelight of Joniquay society. Enjoying that quite a bit, thank you very much.
Ambriel and the Amazing Fiona MacIntosh II
Fiona looked at herself in the mirror. Was she pretty enough? Or was she just a plain Jane. A plain, boring and lonely Jane. Would Tarzan like his Jane? Ambriel never seemed to complain about her hit up lines, but he rarely gave her what she wanted. Attention.
'Yo, Ambs. Long time no see.'
'Fiona!' exclaimed Ambriel. 'Your a teacher here?'
'Been working here half a lifetime now. Well, 20 years or so. I teach hygiene and cleanliness as well as Health and Safety classes here at Golden Fries Management School.'
'I am here for Management Certificate I,' said Ambriel.
'Ooh,' said Fiona. 'We get them from all over the continent training here. Where do you work?'
'A place in Joniquay. Out in the suburbs.'
'Bread and butter of our organisation,' said Fiona.
'Did Daniel post you here?' asked Ambriel.
'Figures. Want's me to be happy, I guess.'
'Or me,' said Fiona smiling.
'I guess,' said Ambriel. He sat down opposite her in the canteen of the school.
'First day, right,' said Fiona. 'You have ordered the fries. Typical. You should try the rice and chicken. Much better than the fries.'
'Costs a lot,' said Ambriel.
'Not cheap here at the Managment school,' said Fiona. 'Trying to save on costs as much as possible. Daniel is very shrewd like that. The organisation always has been. But you'll learn that soon enough. We do have a culture, you know. In Golden Fries and Burgers. An original one as well. A unique spirit, too. God created it as part of what we do. Apparently we're going on forever. So word from the top maintains.'
'An eternal company,' said Ambriel. 'I guess if Daniel intends to maintain it as such.'
'Competition, though. MacDonald's and KFC and Pizza Hut. Hungry Jack's as well. They are always who we focus on to compete with. Daniel's main concerns, apparently.'
'It's a competitive world,' said Ambriel. 'But there has always been room for many players.'
'Doesn't mean we don't want to be number one,' said Fiona. 'But only ethically will that be achieved. But you'll learn that. Clear policies on global competition. Fair and without any collusion. Daniel is very strict on that. We have to earn it every step of the way.'
'Sound's just like my bro,' said Ambriel.
She looked at him, and brushed her red hair away from her eyes. 'Well?' she asked him.
'Well what?' he asked, eating a fry.
'You gonna ask me out?'
He looked at her. 'What? Date the Amazing Fiona MacIntosh? Sure, I guess. Ok. Why not. Haven't had a girlfriend for ages. We'll do the fair. Joniquay Fair. How about that?'
'Sounds wonderful, Amby. But don't think you'll get better grades because of it.'
'Wouldn't dream of it,' said Ambriel.
And so Ambriel's training began, and he learned the ways of management in Golden Fries and Burgers, and dated Fiona for a while and, despite missing Meludiel a lot, found consolation somewhat in the redheaded girl from the MacIntosh clan whose crush was ancient as the hills.
The Samaraday fishing community were primitives. But that is how they liked it. There was no real electricity based technology, nor any fancy evangelists clever solar powered radios or television sets to promote their idea of civilization, for the Samaraday Delta community had separated from the world of science, to live a simpler, purer, more honest lifestyle. Kazarma itself, the planet in which the Samaraday river was found, was filled with many such primitive communities, which had been the whole point since its inception. There was a capital city on the northernmost small continent, which housed essential technology and a spaceport for communicating with the outside universe, and they had one television station for important broadcasts and a tiny sitcom, cartoon and dramas culture for the citizens of the capital, but even then they were really quite basic in what they expected and had decided to live by.
But, for King David, it was the Samaraday Delta region, on a mid-equator continental mass, were he found his home, amidst an older culture of humans, an admixture of middle-eastern and american native founding families having settled the region and populated a unique and original ethnicity of their own. It was now its own culture, and there were about 100,000 citizens around the delta and, recently, after a council, their population growth had agreed to be finalized, with the woman praying to God to leave off with their egg production, the usual prayer for such things. They were a settled community – they were a completed community.
King David had once gone off for a while, away from Televon, and found a world, way beyond the other colonies, were he had escaped, and found a private sanctuary, were, in reality, he could just be himself. Just David. Not the King of an Israelite Empire.
He had a lover, and she was faithful, but they weren't married, and marriage wasn't a strict customary requirement in the culture, so nobody was greatly concerned. He spent his afternoons fishing, bringing in the food for the evening meal, and his partner would tend the small garden they maintained, and they would eat their meal, and be at peace, and he would play a small pipe he had hand-carved in the evening, and they would be happy. It was a lost world, a private world, and he found simplicity and comfort in it.
But nothing lasted forever.
'Dad,' said Solomon. 'Sure, from time to time. But you are needed on Televon. What? Has this place become your eternal dwelling place? Are you no longer the King of Israel?'
'Was I ever really that anyway?' responded David. 'No, Solomon. Televon doesn't need me all the time. Yes, I will return soon enough, and fulfil my public duties, but this is part of me now. It is a part of me, in truth, I don't wish to give up either. It's a beautiful world, Kazarma, and the Samaraday region is perfect for me. I get along with the citizens, and they have accepted me as one of their own. Why do you wish to spoil my fun?'
'I don't dad,' said Solomon. 'If this is what you need, I understand.'
Solomon stayed for a while. And they fished, and hunted, and David got solomon into more basic clothing, and they were a family of sorts. They were simple times in the lives of David and Solomon, and while Solomon usually longed to get home and back to the worlds he was more used to, David valued his time with his son, and praised God for a quiet relief from all the hurly burly of Televon life.
But life had its calling, and eventually Solomon had had enough, so David farewelled his lover, and said he would return in time, and began the trip to the Capital, and back off to the real world.
But his heart remained in the Samaraday region of Kazarma for quite some time, and he thought of the place, back in Televon, each afternoon, and longed for her simple ways, and longed for her simple life. And he vowed, one day, he would indeed return, and would not leave again for quite some time. Not for quite some time indeed.
Jesus sat down with God reading 'The Protocols of Eternal Growth by Wolfgang DeBear.'
'Yeh. This is it then, huh?' asked Jesus. 'What I have to do for an eternal church.'
'You didn't like the soldiers idea, so I have requirements,' said God, and finished off the crown lager they were both drinking.
'Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. It says that a fair bit,' said Jesus.
'You noticed,' said Daniel, skimming through the document. 'I mean, we are going to have to abide by this as well, right?' he asked of God.
God glared at him, but softened, and nodded softly.
'Ok,' said Daniel. 'We'll look into it properly and make amendments if necessary. I'll let the old man know.'
'Yes, cherubim Daniel Daly should be informed,' said God. 'He will probably take it more seriously.'
'Hey, I'm a light-hearted kind of guy,' said Daniel, smiling.
'Don't I know it,' said Jesus.
Daniel looked at Jesus, and decided to take issue. 'What, you enjoy being an old fuddy duddy. If your eye causes you to sin, cut it out. Great message Yesh.'
'I think so,' said Jesus.
'You would,' responded Daniel sarcastically.
'Children,' reprimanded the Father.
'Look at this,' said Daniel. 'Proper acknowledgement of the Unity of God. Triangle boy fails miserably on that. They still bring out those old Missals at some congregations. Hail holy Trinity my butt.'
Jesus glared at him. 'Yes, even your butt is made in the image of God's,' he said sniggering.
'Bite me,' said Daniel.
'So review, put into practice, and I will allow your church growth.'
Jesus nodded, looking through the document.
'You know,' said Daniel after a while. 'I pray for your church, Jesus. All of it.'
God looked at Daniel curiously. 'I think I've sensed that as well.'
Jesus looked at Daniel seriously. 'What do you pray?'
'Isaiah chapter 40. Pretty regularly. God once remarked to me in the throneroom of Zaphon that no congregation will keep on growing unless its works of prayer correspondingly increase over time.'
'Right,' said Jesus nodding.
But he took an interest then. 'Isaiah 40? Why?'
'Gives glory to God,' said Daniel. 'And, from what I've been told, builds up a consistent spiritual well of the spirituality of that particular chapter in your movement.'
'Why that chapter?' asked Jesus. 'What, did you single it out or something.'
'No, not really. Just what I started with. Decided to stick with it. Prayed it, fuck. Sorry, I mean, I've prayed it, well, possibly as much as a googol times now.'
God looked at Daniel and sensed that was about right.'
'Well, thanks, I guess,' said Jesus. 'Keep it up, I suppose.'
'Will do bro,' said Jesus.
'That's better,' said God. 'Now you are getting along. Good to see.'
Later on, when God had retired for the night, Jesus was talking with Daniel. 'Does that work? What you are praying?'
'Yeh,' he responded. 'I've noticed it in your church. It is one of the stronger prayers of spirit in there now. It's been prayed for so long. It's a sort of focus which builds up a strength or a talent in a spiritual community.'
'Fascinating,' said Jesus.
'Oh,' said Daniel. 'Me and Callodyn pray a prayer for you as well. Just one psalm.'
Jesus looked at him seriously. 'Which?'
'Psalm 74,' smirked Daniel.
Jesus sat there thinking. '74 equals messiah and gospel in english ordinal equivalents,' said Jesus, smiling.
'Yep,' replied Daniel. 'And error as well.'
Jesus laughed despite himself. 'Bastard,' he said to Daniel.
'Kapiche,' responded Daniel.
Yet, despite that, a happy mood prevailed at the abode of Gloryel and Daniel that evening. A happy mood, and the discussion of what Jesus found as quite interesting information. Quite interesting indeed.'
King David. He had a big dick, so Callodyn said. Right between his shoulders.
'At least its not my asshole,' said David, in response to the Callodyn punk who had started hanging around.
'No. Your twin. St Brigid. She assures me, no greater phallus exists so prominently amongst the children of Abraham,' replied Callodyn.
'Bite me,' responded King David.
'I would. But there is an awful amount of cockiness to chew through. All those 'God, I am such a worm, and you are unbelievable beyond all imagining', humilitizations which I have to get through. God Almighty, the vanity of your humility is beyond belief.'
'Vanity of humility? Are you sure your feeble cherubim mind is capable of conceiving such a concept.'
Kayella interjected. 'While the simplicity of Callodyn is legendary, dear David, I think he has a point. You are a tad 'Oh Holy Jehovah.'
'Gee. Thanks, Kay. Your totally charming,'
She kissed him on the cheek. 'Think nothing of it.'
'So. Bro. You have returned from your might visitations of the Samaraday prims,' said Callodyn.
David glared at him. 'They are far from primitive. They have a beautiful culture. A beautiful spirit. A more classical way of life, really.'
'Suitable for someone of low IQ. Like Ambriel. Quite simple these messianic Zionist's in the end. The simple life. Nice and basic.'
'Coming from Mr Macarthur, that's hilarious. You retired to Macarthur somewhere in Eternya for 3000 years, cause you can't handle the growing competition. Abraham is strong now. And Judah is rocketing along. We are really growing strong out there. People are wising up. Seeing Noahides as they really are. Simple. Like rainbows,' said David Mockingly. 'All pretty and lovely. But no real substance.'
'Thats how we like it,' said Callodyn. 'We're an inspiration to millions that way.'
'Millions of bufoons and simpletons. I mean, we even have a special word for Noahides now,' said David.
'That is?' queried Callodyn, grinning.
'Prims,' said David, grinning madly.
'Touche,' responded Callodyn the Cherubim.
Ambriel and the Amazing Fiona McDowell
'Fiona McDowell,' said the chick dressed in a red and black outfit underneath her Golden Fries and Burger's uniform.
'Another Fiona,' said Ambriel. 'Coincidence.'
'Life doesn't have coincidences. It's all DESTINY!' said Fiona in a very polished voice.
Ambriel looked at her carefully. 'Do I know you? Hey, your sort of famous, aren't you? Your face? I know I have seen it somewhere, but I just can't place it?'
'Been in a few Batman movies years ago. Played Harley Quinn. She's a rush,' responded Fiona.
'Harley Quinn,' said Ambriel. 'That must be it. One of the many famous Harley Quinn's,' smiled David at his new co-worker. 'But why are you working here? Surely you have decent royalties for your films?'
'What's a girl to do, huh?' smiled Fiona. 'Life goes on. We get around to old promises in time.'
David looked at her curiously. 'What promises?'
'I promised this gal, once. Eve was her name. Said I'd look up the Ambriel fellow, her finest work,' she said.
'I'm the work of God,' smiled Ambriel. 'What, is she an old girlfriend of mine or something, this Eve?'
'That would be – ironic,' responded Fiona. 'Now, your supposed to show me the ropes around here, aren't you?'
'Sure,' he replied.
They worked steadily throughout the day, and Ambriel had his eye on the new girl for quite a while. And, slowly, as the day passed, he looked at her more and more closely, and something was ticking over in his mind.
Finally, at the end of the day, he took her aside.
'The Children of Heaven. There are 70 of the firstborns,' he said.
'And there is one called Fiona. Who, funnily enough, is known as her role as the Harlequinn. Am I making the right connections?'
'Sweetheart. Your a genius? Almost as clever as the Bat, you know. The intellect of a genius.'
Daniel walked in.
'Hey, babe. You the new girl?'
'Hey, sweetie,' said Fiona. 'You seem to be my type of guy.'
'I'm all fun,' said Daniel. 'Unlike this pathetic Golden Fries employee before you. I have had to rebuke his sloppy work behaviours 17 times this week.'
'17 times? No shit,' responded Fiona.
'Yes. Just like his father. No sense of responsibility.
Ambriel just stood there, shaking his head, taking it.
'Still, he has an adequate work performance in the end. And at least he is faithful.'
'Lucky break,' I suppose,' said the Harlequinn of Heaven.
'A miracle in the making,' said Daniel, shaking his head at David.
'Say, you wanna go out tonight?' Daniel asked Fiona.
'But, but, but,' stuttered Ambriel, who was going to ask her the same question.
'Be delighted, big boy,' responded Fiona.
'I've got a lifetime of tales about this schlock,' responded Daniel.
'I'm all ears,' smiled Fiona.
'And you. Lock up for the night, and make sure the floors are mopped. You are so slovenly these days,' said Daniel to David.
'Bite me,' said David under his breath and, looking on as Fiona changed and disappeared with Daniel for a nights activity, he got to mopping up the floor of a golden fries and burgers franchise, and just sighed and thought of Daniel 'Bastard.'
A Plentiful Harvest
Fiona Gilmore. She was an Aussie girl. Eldest daughter of Stuart Gilmore, she was not her father's favourite, as Jenny had won his heart a long time ago. Fiona, though, was the practical daughter, the tomboy in many respects, and the faithful worker at the Dalgety farm they ran on New Terra, which they had fortunately qualified for. There were a number of other places of Dalgety around the realms, but Fiona and the family resided in New Terra the majority of the time. Fiona's grandmother lived with them, as she had always done, occasionally going off to visit Fiona's grandfather who lived elsewhere. They were not separated, and still wed, but they usually lived apart, getting together occasionally. He in fact lived with another wife, which was legal, and gran had resigned herself to life with her son Stewart, as it was the best solution to a complex arrangement. Fiona knew Daniel Daly well enough. He was her sister Jenny's long term on again, off again, fling, and while she liked Daniel, it had never been anything more than a friendly relationshp of acquaintances mostly. And then Daniel had shown up recently, with Jenny away in Canberra studying, and had asked if he could stay the night, Stewart not objecting, and he had just seemed to be hanging around after that. Slowly, he had been chatting to Fiona, and they had started to become friendly.
'So, I run the Golden Fries and Burger's chain universally, and it is starting to near the top of the top 100 businesses universally. I have a moderate work code policy, if you really must know, and mainly concentrate on providing a standard service, but I never change policies or menu items. I think its the familiarity which has caught people's heart,' he said as Fiona was milking a cow.
'Right,' she said. 'I think there is a store in Cooma which I visit from time to time.'
'Hey, when we are finished here , why don't we head into town and get a meal there.'
'Sure,' she said.
She milked the cow for a little while longer and, curious about Daniel's invitation, said 'That will do. I'll finish it later.'
'Cool,' said Daniel.
Fiona changed, and put on new jeans and a t-shirt, but suddenly changed her mind. She took it out of the closet and looked at it. A frock. She wouldn't be caught dead in a frock. She put it on.
'Three piece meal,' said Daniel to the worker behind the counter in the Cooma North Golden Fries and burgers franchise.
'And you?' the worker asked Fiona.
'Super Burger with large chips and a drink,' she said.
The worker nodded, and Daniel paid.
When they had received their meal, Daniel and Fiona sat down out the front. It was the evening now, and the sun was setting up above the mountain ridge to the west.
'So, are you ever going to commit to Jenny forever?' asked Fiona.
'No. It's not what I do. Sort of a free spirit in the end. I float from old girlfriend to old girlfriend.'
'That's what I figured,' said Fiona, as she munched down on some fries. 'Jenny likes you, though. You know. She always has. The most serious of her boyfriends, now. You know.'
'What about Coleman?'
'She sees him occasionally. But she prefers you,' said Fiona.
'Good to know,' responded Daniel. 'Anyway, I'll be heading off soon, but I wanted to ask you something. I'm going off to the Realm of Eternity for a while, and will be managing a golden fries and burgers were my Seraphim brother Ambriel is working. We have a new girl. She's one of the children of Heaven working for us. It's what I wanted to say. Her name. It's Fiona. The Harlequinn.'
'Yeh, I know her,' smiled Fiona. 'I've never met her of course, but I have all her Batman movies. She's fab.'
'Well, I would like you to meet her. And, well. Well if you can spare a few years or so, why not work for me in a management position for golden fries. In the end I need faithful employees as well, and I'll pay you standard but fair wages.'
Fiona smiled. 'A fascinating offer, Daniel. I'm sure Jenny won't object.'
'Why does she have to even know? Hey, we are sort of friends now. We can keep this between us.'
Fiona sighed a little and looked upwards. 'It is true, you know. I probably could use a change. Oh, I don't mind the farm, but sometimes I get an inclination for something different. Sure. Why not. I'll let dad know.'
'Next monday?' he asked. 'Is that good with you for us to head off.'
'It's short notice, but I can manage it.'
'Cool. Oh, and one of life's little ironies. There is another Fiona in management there as well. One of my long term besties. Fiona McIntosh. Fiona, Fiona and Fiona.'
Fiona smiled. 'Very funny Danny.'
Daniel grinned and threw a chip at her.
They continued on their meal, and the evening passed a little, and as they drove back to Dalgety Fiona was in a good mood of sorts. New changes. They weren't always welcome, as she was a stable sort of girl, but everything needed a shakeup once on a while. And working for Daniel Daly? What possible trouble could she get into doing that?
The Cherubim Jamie was a regular sort of Cherubim in most ways. Down to earth, quite humble, and fluent in several thousand languages. That was his specialty, languages, and he often found employment working as a translator for official political diplomatic relations. Jamie was the son of Craig Coleman and Jenny Gilmore, born of human parents on earth many years ago, but rarely saw either of them. But he had dropped around to the farm at New Terra that weekend to see his grandfather, and found out his mother was studying in Canberra. He ran into, though, Daniel Daly and his aunt Fiona who were about to travel to the Realm of Eternity were Fiona was going to be working for Daniel for a while.
'Yo, Seraph brother,' said Jamie, as he came up the driveway of the farm on his hired motorbike, and parked it next to the farmhouse.
'Jamie,' said Daniel. 'Shit, haven't seen you in ages bro.'
'That's life. You get busy and all. Mum around?'
'She's in Canberra. Studying.'
'Oh. What you doing here then?'
'Your Auntie Fiona and I are about to head to the Realm of Eternity. She will be working for me for a while at Golden Fries and Burgers.'
'You serioius?' asked Jamiel. 'She never leaves the farm.'
'Itchy feet, perhaps,' responded Daniel.
'So, when you leaving?' asked Jamie.
'Monday morning. She is just finalizing things with Stewart, and we are off.'
'Mmm,' thought Jamie to himself. 'Which disc? In the Realm?'
'Way out. Some godforsaken number. I vaguely remember the name. Saruvim Overseer, if you must know.'
'Right. Way out then,' commented Jamie. 'Still, I haven't seen much of the realm, even now. You want some company?'
'Your free from work obligations?' queried Daniel.
'Gun for hire. I work on contract. It's how I get by. I'm free at the moment. Decided to come home for a few millennia or so.'
'Sure you want to come to the realm with us? If you are looking for some home time.'
'I'll come back soon enough. Love to catch up with you and see how Golden Fries works. I have – ideas – for my own sort of company one day. Could use any advice you are willing to give,' said Jamie earnestly.
Daniel smiled. 'Sure. I'll teach you a thing or two if you really want to be serious. God needs serious, though, if you want your firm to last. I have seen them come and go perpetually. They fade away from competitive behaviours and fail, most companies, because they don't maintain policy strictly.'
'Gotcha,' said Jamie. 'Maintain strict policy.'
'And comply with legislation and be careful about OH & S. People like to sue, you know.'
'Tic and tic,' said Jamie, smirking.
'Let's go inside,' said Daniel. 'I've got the eggs for tonight's meal here,' he said, indicating the basket of eggs he had just collected.
They came inside, and Stewart passed them in the doorway, but shook Jamie's hand briefly and said it was good to see him.
'Jamie!' exclaimed Fiona. 'Long time no see little man.'
'Hey Fiona,' said Jamie. 'So do you object to me tagging along with the two of you to the Realm. Daniel's gonna give me so business advice.'
'Suits me,' said Fiona. 'Oh, the eggs. Put them on the bench, Dan. We'll have omelettes instead. With Jamie here I'll make them special.'
Daniel put the eggs down and he and Jamie went off to the main living room after they had gotten themselves a sixpack of beer from the fridge.
'In the end, competition doesn't hurt you if you trade ethically and lawfully. Have something decent to offer, even if a completely generic sort of company – just have quality service, and people will use you. I mean, come on. Golden Fries and Burgers is hardly a winner of company name, but it works, because we have a good reputation. Get a good reputation, young cherubim. Get a good reputation, and your success will last forever.'
'Sounds like a throneroom lecture I had once. The big guy. Spoke to me on my reputation. Said a cherubim needed a good one.'
'He's right. It goes a long way to success in life. Believe me.'
'So, you came to see Jenny, right? But your leaving with Fiona. Two timing mum already. Good on you.'
'I'm not two timing Jenny,' said Daniel, a little taken aback. 'Your aunt will just be working for me.'
'Sure,' said Jamie smirking.
'Get that smirk off your face young man,' said Fiona coming into the room. 'I have an interest in a change, and working for Daniel sounds ideal.'
'I'm sure he's a slavedriver,' said Jamie, sipping on his beer.
Fiona came and sat down on the couch next to Daniel and put her hands on his shoulders. 'I'm sure he's the best employer in the business.'
'I'll bet,' said Jamie.
'We're a top 500 company univerally, Jam's. I'm one of the best employers in the business.'
'I guess we'll find out soon enough,' said Jamie grinning.
'Sure,' said Fiona, and patted Daniel on the back. She looked at Daniel. 'I'm sure you'll be a great boss.'
'You betch, Fi,' said Daniel. 'The best.'
'Yep,' said Jamie. 'I'm sure.'
'Oh, stick you,' said Fiona, and threw a tea towel at Jamie, and went off back to the kitchen to look into the omelettes.
'Yeh, I'm sure your the best. It's why I really could use advice,' said Jamie.'
'Then you have everything to learn kemosabe.'
'Gotcha. Ranger,' said Jamie, and sucked away at his grog.
'So we are together, right?' queried Meludiel to Ambriel, as he was scrubbing down one of the tables in Golden Fries and Burgers.
'Sure, Mel. I mean, do we need to get hitched again?'
'No. Not necessarily. I am currently single again, and will stay with you. But swear to me fidelity, or I'll break your legs.'
'Ooh, Rebecca St James, Christian of Christians, threatening to break the Jewish Messiah's legs. I am sure King Chris Child would be suitably impressed.'
'Leave Jesus out of this,' she said. 'You know I'm not really a Christian anymore.'
'What exactly is your religion anyway, Miss Smallbone?'
'Seraphim Torah,' she said, sticking her nose in the air.
'I'll bet,' said Ambriel. 'And that Gospel of Matthew you have hidden under your pillow.'
'Shut up,' she replied hotly.
'Once a fish, always a fish,' he said dryly.
'Go to hell. Now remember, fidelity. Or I'll leave you quicker than an ex of Daniel San's.'
'5 minute relationship. How wonderful,' said Ambriel again, equally as dryly.
'That's not funny,' said Meludiel, starting to laugh.
'It's the 10 minute ones that freak me,' said Ambriel. 'They're practically married then.'
'I'll have you know me and Daniel spent several eternities together once.'
'Till he fucked off and fucked around,' said David.
'Yes,' said Meludiel soberly. 'He has a habit of doing that.'
'Look babe. Sweetie. Twin of the entire devotion of Zaphora's purest love. I'll be faithful. Scout's honour.'
'You better. Or you'll know it.'
'Order some chips,' he said. 'They're quite nice.'
'Gah,' said Meludiel. 'The toxic fat in those things would give me a heart attack.'
'Yeh. We have a heart attack burger on the menu. Nice and spicy. You should try it,' he said smiling.
'Faithful Ambriel. And please don't screw around. I know how Daniel tempts you all the time with this and that floozy. Believe me I've heard all the stories. Amiel keeps me well informed.'
'Amiel?' queried Ambriel.
'Matrel. Daniel shares everything with Matrel these days. Has done so for ages now. Sends him emails on tennis usually, which he is attempting to now get good at, but he gosses all his details to Mat. And Amiel usually whindles that out of him.'
'Which she conveniently shares with you, huh? And the Torah does like a gossip, doesn't it.'
'Seraphim Torah has nothing to say,' she retorted quickly.
'Yep. I'm sure.'
'Well, I'll get going now. I expect you home promptly at 7. Don't be late. And I'll have a proper dinner waiting for you, so no filling up on this – gah,' she said, and hurried off.
Fiona McIntosh, who had been serving behind the counter, came over to Ambriel. 'She's really got you by the short ones, hasn't she.'
'Meludiel the Seraphim, surprisingly, can be a very demanding lady as you get to know her. Oh, don't let that devotion to God fool you. Inside she is very old and very wise in the ways of life. And still terribly strict. It's the baptist upbringing in her.'
'Still, that is what you need in the end, isn't it,' said Fiona. 'Someone to keep you on the straight and narrow.'
'Yes boss,' said Ambriel.
'Anyway, Daniel will be here again soon.'
'Again? Always manages to find my particular franchise to fuss over.'
'He's a tight manager. And your his best employee. He says that to me all the time.'
Ambriel looked at her sincerely. 'Does he? Really? He says that?'
'Says he would be lost without you David. He is very fond of you, you know. You do know that, don't you.'
'Yeh. I guess.'
'So don't forget, David. He works you hard coz he's a sarcastic son of a gun. But he appreciates you David. You give the company a good reputation.'
'Apparently so,' said David, thinking on those ideas.
'Anyway, he's bringing a friend with him. Fiona Gilmore. And her nephew Jamie. Apparently one of the Cherubim of Eternity.'
'I know Jamie,' said Ambriel lighting up. 'Good guy. Good sense of humour.'
'They'll be here soon enough. So...get to tidying. And you can have an early break tonight. I'm sure Meludiel will appreciate that.'
'Thank's boss,' said Ambriel. 'Your all heart.'
She smiled, and returned to the counter as a new customer came in, and David got back to work, cleaning up, thinking over some of the things Fiona had said about Daniel and his real opinion of the Seraphim Ambriel of Eternity.
'He says he will be faithful as well. Said he needed to go off to see Jenny Gilmore to let her know he wouldn't be seeing her for a long while.'
'Callodyn's girlfriend,' said Meludiel.
'Oh, Daniel and Callodyn both chase her,' said Ariel. 'One of them who knew her first introduced the other, and they've both been keen for a long time. She has this earthy sort of way about her which attracts them both. But she's a Dalgety girl, and that is usually both of their favourite neck of the woods. They like it up there, in the snow. I think they both think their the 'Men from Snowy River'.
Meludiel smiled at Ariel's comment. 'Daniel doesn't like horses usually. So he tells me.'
'He does ride them. Occasionally. But he fears them, so he tells me. One wrong kick and kaput,' said Ariel.
'He has that cautious side about him. People don't often know that about Daniel the Seraphim,' replied Meludiel thoughtfully. He was always so sincere when he was young. Like his heart was on the line every single time he would try to awkwardly speak to me. It's his sensitive side.'
'Yes,' said Ariel, thinking on her twin. 'He's still like that. When things are quiet. He sits there in Danielphon some times, lights low, listening to mozart softly, and I watch him. It's when his schizophrenia comes out and he starts babbling to his guardian angel, so he tells me. But he speaks softly and very shyly and seems the gentlest angel in the world at those times. I watch him some times, from a corner of the room, when he doesn't notice me. I watch him chatting away to himself, lost in this great dialogue he has been having forever. Weird, I know, still in so many ways, like so many schizophrenics. But it seems to be some sort of divine therapy from my observations. Like it helps him.'
Meludiel nodded. 'It would be different. Having schizophrenia.'
'Only for those like Daniel,' said Ariel.
'Yes. You are right,' said Meludiel. 'Anyway, he's bringing her back with him.'
'Who? Jenny Gilmore?' asked Ariel.
'No. Her sister. Fiona,' responded Meludiel, and looked intently at Ariel. 'Look, I'm sure it's nothing, Ariel. He's faithful when he needs to be. He's hardly going off to break things off with Jenny Gilmore, and bring back her sister on a whim of lust.'
Ariel looked strictly at Meludiel and stood and went into the kitchen.
After a while Meludiel heard some sobbing and went off to look at her sister's welfare.
'Sis. What's the matter? What ever on earth could be the matter?' asked a concerned Meludiel.
'It's just,' said Ariel sobbing. 'That I know him too well. I know him oh so well by now. If its not one spice girl, its the other one, and then there are others, and you, you know. He never, ever gets over it. Never settles. Never just lets its be.'
'It's his way. It's a man's way, in the end. You know. They are not faithful, when it comes down to it. They're beasts. Look at Ambriel. Not even he can keep his cockle in the cage some of the times,' replied Meludiel.
'Yes. Even Ambriel. The messiah of God's love. Even him,' said Ariel, wiping her eyes.
'I guess,' said Meludiel. 'As much as a Seraphim girl might love her man, they stray, and they are only human like all of us.'
'True,' replied Ariel.
'I've learned to accept it somewhat. But I keep a strict handle on things when he is with me. It must be strict then. I take my faith too seriously to be the wife of an adulterer. It's trying. It's challenging. But it seems this is our lot in life. Wether its carved out for us by Destiny or wether its just the way life is, well.......you know...........its just the way life is. So we accept it and learn to deal with it.'
'Well if he fucks her, he can fuck off,' said Ariel, suddenly animatedly.
'I'm sure he'll be faithful this time,' said Meludiel.
'He better,' responded Ariel.
They chatted on for a while, and then had their evening meal together, and Meludiel asked Ariel if she wanted to stay over for the night.
'Ambriel will be home soon. He and Fiona have gone off for bowling, which they do on a team of 4. They are in a competition in a local league,' said Meludiel.
'Don't you worry about her?' asked Ariel. 'She's been infatuated with Ambriel forever. I see the, sometimes, when I am around. He respects her, and she is always looking at him.'
'Puppy love,' said Meludiel.
'Sister, I'd be worried more about a bitch on heat, you know. She has designs on your man. If she can, she will win him eventually, and ask for a long term lease option on a relationship.'
'I guess that is the point, though,' said Meludiel. 'If he's gonna stray, then he is just gonna stray. And if I suppose if Fiona really loves him...' she trailed off.
'Some say the Hebrew Torah promotes the idea that men can have more than one wife, because that is a natural male instinct. But that a woman usually craves stability with one mate,' said Ariel.
'And our feminist upbringing should refute that idea, right Ariel?' said Meludiel.
She sniffed a little, and stood there looking at her sister. 'Why shouldn't we then? Why shouldn't we have endless lovers and little black books and rendezvous and romances and affairs and whatever the hell we like?'
'Sometimes we do,' said Meludiel softly. 'You know. Sometimes we do. And perhaps, you know. Perhaps we shouldn't judge our brothers so harshly. Are we perfect maidens all of the time?'
'We would be!' exclaimed Ariel rather loudly. 'If they were faithful,' she continued in a softer tone.
'Perhaps we would indeed,' replied Meludiel. 'But, as I said. Its just the way life is, you know. Learn to live with it and move on.'
'Bastards,' said Ariel softly under her breath.
'Come on. Let's watch some silly romance movie,' said Meludiel, to which Ariel acquiesced.
And, as the evening passed, the girls lost themselves in a romance, and, for the moment, thoughts of fidelity were far from their mind, and, hopefully, far from any interfering ways on their real lives anyway. Hopefully.
'Dad,' said Daniel the Seraphim.
Alexander Rothchild, father of Daniel Rothchild and David Rotchild had come in to Golden Fries and burgers to visit his sons. Technically, Daniel Rothchild had been adopted by the Rothchilds, and was indeed Daniel Daly, but that was a long and convoluted story (and a product of much concern and ponderance for the chronicler of the children of destiny).
'Daniel,' said Alexander. 'Good to see you. How is work?'
'Going well. David work's his ass off, you know. Very capable son of the Rothchild clan.'
Alexander looked at David. 'We have a present for you. A handwritten copy of the written torah by Moses himself, and signed.'
'You are kidding, aren't you?' asked David, who traditionally read mainly the Torah of Israel as his early human faith. He had not been a Samaritan, though had links to them, but he used just the Torah the same way the Samaritans did.
'Hello David,' said another voice, lurking behind Alexander. Adam bar Elihu came forward, the Samaritan Taheb, very well known as Davriel the Seraphim.
'Yo. Dav,' said Daniel. 'What you been up to?'
'Were you have been slacking off recently,' commented Davriel. 'The Lord's work.'
'How are the Samaritan's going?' asked David. 'Cindy tells me that the Samaritan Noahide movement is enormous now.'
Cindy was one of the very earliest and most respected of the Samaritan Noahides who had joined the 'Samaritan's movement' when the Taheb had first advented. David had kept in contact with her over the long years, and was a good friend of hers.
'It is – doing well. Samael of Infinity has been promoting our unity and message consistently for many years now,' replied Davriel. 'He is officially a servant of the Torah of Infinity, yet he works with us and helps us to promote the message of lawfulness and obedience to God's universal rule.'
'Do you guys now use the Rainbow Torah?' asked Daniel. 'I've heard its used a bit now by the Samaritan Noahides.'
'They are common enough,' responded Davriel. 'Most of them base their lifestyle on Torah principles in general, but the Rainbow Torah approach is common enough. We even use 7DF writings occasionally,' smirked Davriel. 'Your actually quite celebrated amongst us Daniel.'
'Nobody's perfect,' said David, grinning at Daniel.
Daniel poked his tonuge back at David.
'It must have taken him ages to write it out,' said David. 'Do you have it with you?'
'It's back at the hotel, with your mother. Your cousin Rachel is there as well, with Samael of Infinity. We were not far off this disc, so decided to come and say hello.'
'Great,' said David.
Alexander nodded at them, and looked at the menu. 'Well, I'm actually hungry. Do you want to eat here, Adam?'
'Sure. I'll catch a burger,' said Davriel.
'If you'll excuse us,' said Alexander. 'Here is the address of the hotel. Hopefully you can drop around soon enough.'
'Promise,' said David.
'I'll come too,' said Daniel.
Alexander and Daniel went up to the counter, and looked at the attendant. She had a name 'Fiona' on her badge.
'Hello, Fiona,' said Alexander. 'Are you David's Fiona girlfriend?'
'Uh, no. I'm Fiona Gilmore. A friend of Daniel's actually.'
'Well, it is good to meet you. Can we have two super burger meals? Is that all right with you Adam?'
'Sure,' said Fiona. 'And don't worry. I am sure Daniel will cover the costs.'
'No. I insist on paying,' said Alexander. 'Business is business.'
Alexander looked at Fiona for a moment. 'You seem, sad Fiona. Is something on your mind?'
'Don't know. Work here is not what I expected. Hard work, and demanding. Not sure if it what I was looking for. It's only temporary anyway?'
'Mmm. Well, I'll make sure David and Daniel give you a treat. I'll look into it for you.'
'Thanks,' replied Fiona.
When Alexander and Adam had finished their meals Alexander spoke with David briefly.
'That worker. Fiona. She needs a touch of love. Remember, we do that. It's what we do, you know, as servants of God.'
'Yeh. I've noticed her glumness,' said David. 'I'll look into that.'
'You do,' said Alexander. 'And we'll see you soon enough I hope.'
'Sure thing dad.'
When Alexander and Adam had left, David went over to Fiona Gilmore.
'Hey. Fi. How about it. You and me and Daniel. Maybe Jamie as well. We'll take Harlequinn and McIntosh and we'll have a party this weekend. Do some of the clubs.'
'That sounds awesome,' said Fiona, a bright smile suddenly on her face.
'Cool,' said David. 'And dress up. We'll look our best. Paint the town red.'
'Sounds brill. Thanks Dave.'
'Think nothing of it,' said David, and got back to work.
A little later on David confronted Daniel. 'Yo. Boss. This weekend. Dad asked me to cheer up Fiona. So we are going out to paint the town red.'
'Your working this weekend,' commented Daniel.
David gave Daniel one of those looks.
'Ok, Ok. I'll just dock you 2 days pay and we'll go have fun.'
'Your all heart,' said David.
'Thank you,' replied Daniel, and grinned dryly to himself.
David watched Fiona for the rest of the day, and she seemed to cheer up a little. Perhaps they would have a very special time this weekend, and he was thinking lots of drinking, and maybe even a little bit of amore wouldn't go amiss. Something to write home about anyway, and he was sure Meludiel wouldn't mind at all. Certainly she could appreciate him having a bit of a party from time to time. Sure she could. Sure she could, he told himself for the second time.
'Jamie, Jamie, Jamie, Jamie, Jamie,' said Janet Gilmore, Jamie Coleman's great grandmother, and grandmother of Fiona Gilmore. 'Whatever in heaven and on earth are we going to do with you child of mine?'
'Buy me a suit, sell me to the Mormons, and I'll preach Joseph Smith to the cows come home,' replied Jamie smartly.
'Heretic,' replied Janet Gilmore, a convicted Jehovah's Witness.
'Just kidding, gran,' responded Jamie.
'I don't know how you put up with him Fiona. He has always had that cheek about him,' said Janet.
'What can I say? Cooma boy born and bred. No more ocker town in all of Australia. Enough pubs to sink the Titanic. Except for Moruya maybe. I've met too many Moruya blokes to think Cooma rules unchallenged. That Peter Fletcher for starters. The man is more Aussie than vegemite,' replied Jamie.
'Another heretic,' responded Janet. 'The True Universal Catholic Church. Humph. Full of Chemosh worshipping homosexual priests.'
'They are very clean apparently,' replied Jamie. 'They get the Fletch's work done neatly and orderly.'
'Well praise God for that,' replied Janet tartly.
'Jamie is just a funny old soul, gran,' said Fiona. 'He's always had that quirky humour about him. I remember, when he was young, tipping cows over with his mates. Thinking it the funniest thing in the world.'
'Yes,' said Janet, taking issue. 'Could you imagine how the poor beasts felt. Being tipped over like that. Very embarrassing for a cow, you could imagine.'
'Moo,' replied Jamie.
'Are you really sure you should be dressing up and going out on the town with this scoundrel, Fiona,' said Janet, gazing upon Jamie as he put on his red shirt and tie.
'Perhaps not,' said Fiona. 'He is a bit of a scoundrel I suppose. A cherubim with a reputation like Marckonyel in many places I have been told. Likes to drink, gamble and chase women. Never seems to want to settle down.'
'Hey, I have a twin. She's me girl,' said Jamie.
'And how often do you see Artreydiel?' asked Fiona.
'Oh, every few million years or so,' responded Jamie. 'We don't see eye to eye on a whole host of issues, but she stays single, and doesn't really bed other men.'
'At all?' asked Janet, eyebrow raised.
'Umm. She's only human, gran. Well, only angel. But, yeh, human as well from memory. She had her manifestation as well.'
'A womanizer. I raised a womanizer,' said Janet Gilmore. 'Wouldn't even take to the faith when he got older. Liked his hedonistic lifestyle too much.'
'Go to hell,' said Jamie, resenting that statement some what. 'Look, sorry. But I had faith. I just wasn't terribly worried about the holy rollers crusade, ok. Wasn't my scene.'
'Mmm,' replied Janet, disapprovingly. In the mind of Janet Gilmore if you weren't completely dedicated to Jehovah God, what were you living for anyway?
'When are you returning home?' Fiona asked her grandmother.
'Oh, I'll stay for a while longer. This part of the Realm of Eternity was not that difficult to gain a visa for. I would certainly like to visit Zaphora one day, but the waiting times are ages long and the Visa fee is exorbitant.'
'It's in demand a lot,' said Fiona, about the central disc of the Realm of Eternity, Zaphora, were Zaphon was situated, which housed the throneroom of God for the Realm of Eternity.
'Anyway, aren't you a Noahide now?' asked Jamie, taking issue. 'When the church ended for a while you joined a Noahide community from memory.'
'That was a long part of my life,' replied Janet. 'Jesus wasn't exactly popular for a while, and Jehovah had issues. 'But we reformed in time, and the congregation is back to its central messages of the knowledge of God and serving Jehovah faithfully.'
'Mmm,' said Jamie. 'Fair enough.'
'Will you be alright for the night?' Fiona asked her grandmother.
'I'll be fine. I think I will order a pizza.'
'Very unlike you, gran,' said Fiona. 'Not your wholesome cooking.'
'I have been known to enjoy Italian cuisine. And its a proper Italian pizza. From the store down at the shopping village down the road a little. I checked and they deliver, so I will have a proper and traditional Italian pizza for dinner.'
'Go crazy,' said Jamie.
'Well, enjoy your pizza,' said Fiona. 'We can't really say when we will be home, you know. Could be late in the night, or perhaps not at all. Don't really know what David and Daniel are planning.'
'They are picking you up at 6 wasn't it?' queried Janet.
'Yep, the should be here in about 20 minutes,' said Fiona.
'Well, you seem neatly enough dressed. Let me have a look at you,' said Janet, as Fiona came over and showed herself off. She was dressed in a red skirt, which showed a bit too much leg as far as Janet Gilmore was concerned, but she refrained from commenting. She started picking off a few bits of scuff from Fiona and held her by her shoulders. 'No shenanigans, my dear. You are a Gilmore. Not a tramp.'
'I will remember,' said Fiona, and saluted her grandmother.
'She might get lucky, you know,' said Jamie. 'Could be her night.'
'Jamie,' said Janet, rebuking him instantly. 'Don't even think such a thing. She is a good and sober Christian girl. Not given to such things.'
'Yes gran,' said Fiona.
There was a honk out the front of Fiona and Jamies rented flat, and Fiona looked through the window.
'It's them,' she said to Janet. 'Well, come on Jamie. Now gran, if you need anything, anything at all, you have my number. Just call and we'll come back straight away.'
'Don't be silly,' responded Janet. 'Now go on, have a good time the pair of you. But no shenanigans.'
'Gotcha, gran,' said Jamie, heading for the door.
'And try to keep him on the straight and narrow for heaven's sake,' Janet said to Fiona.
'I'll do my best,' said Fiona, and kissed her grandmother on the cheek, and headed off after Jamie, out to the waiting group in the car, and a night on the town which would be remembered, for various reasons, for quite a time to come indeed.
'Time to parrrty,' yelled Jamie, as they hit the nightclub, 'Babylon Temptress'.
'Great place to choose,' said Fiona to David. 'I am sure gran would be impressed with the name of the place.'
'I didn't choose it,' said David. 'Daniel did.'
'Figures,' responded Fiona.
'Hey, this is my kind of place,' said Fiona McDowell, the Harlequinn of Heaven. 'Very sophisticated layout.' The nightclub was structure with a dance floor in the centre of room, and 3 bars on the sides of the square dance floor with seating in between them, and an upper level with seating as well. It was all coloured in a red and black scheme, with what looked like chromium decorative features in a slick modern style all around the club. There were designs of playing cards all over the place as well.
'Check that out,' said the Harlequinn. 'The Joker,' she said, pointing to one of the designs of a joker playing card.
'I'm sure you'll be right at home,' replied Fiona McIntosh.
'Heaven itself,' replied Fiona McDowell, smiling.
The group found a double table, and Daniel and David asked everyone what they wanted to drink. When the orders were taken, Daniel and David disappeared to a bar, and the girls and Jamie sat chatting.
'I think I'll get sloshed,' said Jamie. 'And I noticed some pokies on the other side of the entrance.'
'Typical,' replied Fiona.
'I bet I can drink you under the table,' said the Harlequinn to Jamie the Cherubim.
'I'll take that bet,' said Jamie.
'Gran will be impressed,' smirked Fiona.
'Hey auntie. Lighten up. Work has been getting you down, so live a little ok.'
David and Daniel soon returned with the drinks on a tray, and they started drinking and chatted the night away for a while, schmoozing quite contentedly.
'You wanna dance?' Harlequinn asked Jamie.
'Love to,' he replied.
'Come on Fiona,' said David to Fiona Gilmore. 'I promised you a good time,' and they hit the dance floor also.
'Do you want to dance or just drink and watch?' Daniel asked Fiona McIntosh.
'Just sit for a while,' replied Fiona. 'And enjoy the ambience of the place. But we can dance in a little while. My feet are tired, you know. Don't want to dance the whole night away.'
'Work?' asked Daniel. 'Is the load too much?'
'No, not really,' replied Fiona. 'Every now and then they ache a bit, especially if I have been on my feet a lot at work that week.'
'Right,' said Daniel, somewhat concerned. 'I guess I can look into that for you. Golden fries and burgers has always been concerned with the health of its workers.'
'Thanks,' replied Fiona.
'Would you like another one?' asked Daniel about the rum and cola Fiona had finished.
'Just one more. I don't really want to get sloshed, but, yeh, I'm here for a good time.'
Daniel left to the bar, and Fiona watched the other 4 dancing away on the dance floor which was full of others shaking and moving their thing. Shortly Daniel returned, and as she started on her second, she started feeling a little tipsy.
'I'm the designated driver,' said Daniel. 'So I will have 3 beers tonight, and nothing more. I should be ok for my blood alcohol limit.'
'Kind of you,' replied Fiona.
They watched for a while, and then Fiona agreed to dance with Daniel for a bit. They hit the floor, and as the techno dance music beated away, Fiona let herself go a little, a rare sort of thing for the quite conservative Fiona McIntosh, and she smiled at Daniel, and drew close when a slow song came on.
When they finished up with the dancing, the six of them were chatting away, and all watched on amused as Harlequinn and Jamie began their drinking war. It didn't take forever. After about 15 shots of vodka, Jamie was sloshed, and Harlequinn hardly seemed perturbed.
'Ha! Loser!' exclaimed Harlequinn gleefully, as Jamie surrendered to a better woman.
'I thought you could handle your grog?' Fiona inquired of her nephew.
'For fuck's sake,' he replied in a slurred voice. 'It was 15 shots, and I'd already drunk two beers earlier. And she's not even phased.'
'The Harlequinn can drink any man under the table,' said Fiona McDowell proudly.
'Bitch,' said Jamie in a slurred voice.
'Loser!' smirked Harlequinn gleefully.
'What about you Davy boy?' asked Harlequinn, looking at David. 'Are you up for the challenge? I can keep on going all night, matey.'
'I think I know when to bow out,' responded David, smiling.
'How about you Danny boy?' asked Harlequinn, looking at Daniel.
'Love to babe, but I'm the designated driver,' responded Daniel.
'Then girls win?' yelled Harlequinn, raising her arms in the air.
'Girlsh win,' said Jamie, who had slumped in his seat.
'I think, perhaps, Jamie has had about enough,' said Daniel. 'We have booked a hotel for the night, actually. Just down the road a little, in case everyone was too drunk and we had to walk there. But I'm sober, so we will drive down there, and Jamie can sleep it off for the night.'
'Girls Win,' said Harlequinn again, and she punched Jamie in the arm as he got to his foot gingerly, and mocked him all the way to the car.
Daniel drove slowly and carefully, and they got to the hotel. 'We've booked two rooms, with a double bed and a single bed each. It was all that was available.'
'I'm just fucked,' said Jamie. 'I'll need the single.
'Ok,' said Daniel.
'I don't think I want to share a double with you,' David said to Daniel.
Daniel thought about it. 'Ok then. 'Well, me and Harlequinn will share the double with Jamie in the single in one room, and the rest of you can go in the other room, David on the single, and you two girls in the double.'
'Sounds fine,' said Fiona Gilmore, looking nervously at David, who she fancied a little.
'Fine with me,' replied Fiona McDowell.'
'Ooh, Danny,' said the Harlequinn.
'Don't get any ideas,' responded Daniel.
'Scouts honour,' said Harlequinn saluting.
'I'll bet,' replied Mr Daly.
'In the beginning,' began Harlequinn, nestled up next to Daniel, the drunk Jamie sleeping it off in the other single bed, 'there was a play. A play in the beginning of heaven, and roles were chosen.'
'Yes,' responded Daniel. 'The 70 roles of the children of heaven. I saw a list once.'
'Yes. Now Destiny, who was Eve, chose the latter children of destiny with others of the children of heaven in their plans. Quite a number indeed. It was not so much God himself who planned out the identities and personas of so many of the angels of infinity and eternity, but yours truly – the children of heaven. The father had asked us to fashion a destiny, an eternity, whose primary task was entrusted to Eve, but fashioned in a way from source material of Adam's creative writings. And so we chose the children of destiny, and modelled them on the vast amounts of information which God had given us, which we still indeed have, on life, love and other mysteries.'
'Fascinating,' said Daniel. 'I didn't know that.'
'To each of us were roles chosen from a list. But, WE chose roles also for the children of destiny, for so many of you. You have not yet received this information, but we had a counsel not long ago, and it was discussed that with Eternya up and running and the complete roster of God's realms now complete, it has become the time to share with the children of destiny their own chosen roles. Many of them are traditional roles, which are assigned to a great deal of people, and many of them are used sparingly. Yet you have a role also, which the 22nd child of Heaven, Zipporah the Collector, twin to Moses the Lawgiver, chose for you. For you, Callodyn the Cherubim and Daniel Daly the Cherubim, your father. You three were assigned this role, and it was reserved just for the three of you.'
Daniel looked at her curiously. 'What was the role?'
'What you do best. The three of you are the 'Accumulators'.
'Accumulators?' queried Daniel. 'And what the hell is that supposed to mean?'
'Well Zipporah is the collector, and rues all forms of competition to her esteemed pride. But when your spirits were first formed, it became apparent that her majesty had met her match. You collect a lot of shit the three of you.'
'Indeed,' replied Daniel, amused by his now revealed role.
'I have heard it said that your collection of $200 Aussie coins and 5 cent pieces is astronomical.
'The first and the last,' said Daniel. 'Well, we didn't choose the 1 cent piece in the end, the family. We stuck with the 5 cent piece and the 200 dollar coins. We collected them practically forever. Comics too. In fact, everything under the bloody sun for a while.'
'Accumulators, you see,' said Harlequinn. 'Its what you guys do well.'
Daniel smiled. 'Thanks Harlequinn. That's awesome info.'
'Think nothing of it,' she smiled warmly at him.
Daniel sat there thinking on that for a while, and then he noticed something. Harlequinn was of course under the sheets with him, yet her hand had just slipped onto his belly. And, slowly, it was inching its way downwards. He looked forwards for a while and then said 'Harley? What are you doing?'
'Nothing, Daniel San,' she replied coyly.
Yet her hand continued to inch downwards, and, suddenly, it was on his manhood. And then she stroked it and started pumping it as it became hard.
'Your a naughty girl,' he said to her.
'Awesome,' she yelled, and ripped off the sheets, pulled off her top and removed her knickers, and, grabbing his phallus and, positioning it at her feminine glory, cowgirl style, began riding him in a very frantic motion of fornicative bliss.
'Aw, fuck,' yelled Daniel shortly.
'Exactly,' she said, and lent over and kissed him.
And then he exploded inside her tight pussy, and she said 'Well done cowboy.'
* * * * *
The two Fiona's were chatting softly, the lights dimmed in the other hotel room, and David, who said he wasn't tired yet, was reading one of the Gideon's bibles from the cabinet beside his bed.
'You know, he's kind of cute,' said Fiona Gilmore to Fiona McIntosh.
'Tell me about it,' replied Fiona. 'I've been trying to bed him forever.'
'Mmm,' said Fiona Gilmore. 'Maybe we should.'
'Get serious. He's extremely faithful to Meludiel at the moment. There will be hell to pay,' responded Fiona McIntosh.
'We'll see,' said Fiona Gilmore. She turned to look at David. 'David. We two want to undress. We both sleep naked. Is that ok?'
'Oh, ok. I'll go into the other room while you change,' said David, getting up.
'Don't worry about it. I'm sure you have seen plenty of naked women,' responded Fiona Gilmore, getting up, and starting to undress. She motioned to Fiona McIntosh who looked nervous but said in her heart 'fuckit' and got up and undressed as well. David did his best not to notice.
'What now,' whispered Fiona McIntosh as they stood there naked by their bed.
'Follow my lead,' said Fiona.
'David,' said Fiona Gilmore.
David looked at her. 'Me and Fiona have heard your an excellent masseus. Will you give us both a massage.'
'Um, uh. Well. Ok then,' said David.
He got up, and the girls laid down naked, on their backs, looking up at him.
'Shouldn't you turn over,' said David.
'How thick are you,' said Fiona Gilmore. 'Come on. Fuck our brains out.'
David looked at them, and thought instantly on Meludiel, but his pecker stood at attention very quickly.
'Oh, fuck,' swore David to himself. And soon that was what he was doing.
'Fiona. Are you feeling ok?' asked Janet Gilmore suspiciously. 'That's the third time this week you have been vomiting. Is there something I need to know?'
Fiona looked at her grandmother soberly, and thought 'Oh fuck.' She went to the shopping mall down the street that afternoon, bought the test kit, and sat in the bathroom looking at the result.
'Fuck, pregnant,' she said to herself. Gran was really going to be in for a shock soon enough.
* * * * *
Fiona McIntosh came out of the toliet, and Daniel looked at her. 'Fiona. Are you feeling ok?' asked Daniel suspiciously. 'That's the third time this week you have been vomiting. Is there something I need to know?
Fiona looked at Daniel soberly and thought 'Oh fuck.' She went to her local shopping mall down the street from her flat that afternoon, bought the test kit, and sat in the bathroom looking at the result.
'Fuck, pregnant,' she said to herself. David was really going to be in for a shock soon enough.
* * * * *
Fiona McDowell came out of the toilet and David looked at her. 'Fiona. Are you feeling ok?' asked David suspiciously. 'That's the third time this week you have been vomiting. Is there something I need to know?'
Fiona looked at David soberly and thought 'Oh fuck.' She went to her local shopping mall down the street from her flat that afternoon, bought the test kit, and sat in the bathroom looking at the result.
'Fuck, pregnant,' she said to herself. 'I am going to kill that bastard Daniel soon enough.
* * * * *
'David?' asked Daniel. 'You look kind of depressed. Are you missing Meludiel? She's only gone for six months or so. She'll be back soon enough. Her and Ariel are pobably having a wonderful time. You should be happy for them.'
'Yep,' replied David. 'I'm ecstatic. But that's not the reason. So you haven't heard, huh?'
'What?' asked Daniel curiously.
'Fiona. Fiona Gilmore. She is pregnant. And I'm the dad.'
'Oh. Oops. Shit,' said Daniel. 'Umm, I might have bad news for you fella.'
David looked at Daniel forlornly.
'Fiona. McIntosh. She's pregnant. Guess who's the dad.'
David looked at Daniel, suddenly through eyes of a trillion paternity tests, and sighed the sigh of the ages.
He put his hands in his head, and started sobbing, but shortly he started giggling.
'What's so funny?' Daniel asked him.
'Fiona. McDowell. Harlequinn. She's pregnant. And guess who the father is?'
Daniel looked at David, suddenly through the eyes of another trillion paternity tests, and sighed the second sigh of the ages.
He came down and sat next to David. 'Don't worry mate. I'll let you have the evening off without docking your wages.'
'Your all heart,' said David.
* * * * *
'Fiona,' began Janet Gilmore.
'Here we go,' said Jamie the Cherubim, already grinning madly, sensing what was about to come.
'In my day, back on earth, when I was young, we used to use words in society which fell out of vogue later on as I got older. As a more permissive era took over. But we were fond of those words.'
Fiona sighed. She had been waiting for this.
'What words, gran?' asked Jamie.
'Tradition words. Appropriate words. Words very descriptive of certain types of – how shall I put it – ladies. Words like hussy, and tramp and harlot and so on.'
'Hey, they're classics,' said Jamie. 'Got any more gran?'
'Indeed,' said Janet looking at Jamie reprovingly. She continued. 'We used those words sparingly in the Kingdom Hall, for Christ taught us not to judge lest we be judged ourselves. And we followed those rules, and still do, and try not to condemn such women in such behaviours.'
'Oh, I think those words are lovely,' said Fiona brightly. 'I am sure those women had charming personalities once you got to know them.'
'Yes. I have heard those – excuses – for a long time now. I do believe progressive judaism was likely built on such an attitude. Gay rabbis indeed.'
'Ok. I'm a fucking slut,' said Fiona.
Janet eyed her for her words, but did not comment.
'Forgive me, ok. He's hot. David's a hunk. I couldn't help myself.'
'I do believe another certain Fiona was also impregnated by Mr Rothchild.
Fiona grinned. 'Heh. Yeh. That was sort of a rush watching that.'
Janet glared at her grand daughter.
'Look gran, she's cool ok. I'm sure David will do the right thing by me.'
'You can be sure of that,' said Janet. 'I have met his father Alexander, and certain conditions I require from his son for quite a while will indeed be enforced. Do you understand me?'
'Shotgun wedding,' smiled Jamie. 'Before a bastard is born,' he finished in the voice of pirate.
'SHUT UP JAMIE!' said both Janet and Fiona at once.
Janet looked at Fiona. 'So as long as we understand each other. I will not have the Gilmore name dragged through the Dalgety social pages dirt section.'
Fiona looked at her grandmother. 'Ok. If David doesn't mind. Ok.'
'He will be in no position to mind. And I will thank you to keep the exact details of this pregnancy private forever. Is that understood?'
'Good,' said Janet, now somewhat satisfied.
Fiona continued brushing her hair in front of the mirror by the door, and the rest of that day trod cautiously with her grandmother since the previous evenings revelation. She was in thin ice, and would have to show a decent standard for a while. Such was the burden of being the grand-daughter of Janet Gilmore, Jehovah Witness and moral crusader on the proper decorum for love, sex and all things matrimonial.
Daniel looked at Ariel and Meludiel as they came into the hospital wing approaching them.
'Here you are,' said Ariel. 'We have been worried sick that something might have happened to you both.'
'No, we're ok,' said Daniel.
'We're fine,' said David.
'Hello Mrs Gilmore,' Meludiel said to Janet Gilmore.
'Hello Rebecca,' responded Janet.
Ariel looked at them, and then looked at Daniel. 'So. We are in the maternity wing. Uh, what gives?'
'Uh, Fiona. And Fiona. And, well, Fiona. They were all pregnant, and ironically enough they are all in their in labour at the moment.'
Ariel looked at Daniel and then at David and then at Rebecca. Then her steady and infinite gaze of authority returned to her beloved twin.
Daniel felt instantly guilty, and Ariel's questioning face of extremly promoting guilt feelings didn't make him feel any better.
'Don't bloody look at me like that, ok. I only got one of them pregnant for Christ's sake.'
Ariel looked at Daniel and then at David. And then Rebecca, feet starting to tap and finger tapping on her elbow, which she only did when she was really bloody mad directed her steady infinite gaze of authority at her beloved twin.
'Well, you know,' said David. 'Two heads are better than one.'
'DAVID!' was the yell, and Mr Rothchild didn't get much sleep for some time indeed.
* * * * *
'You know,' said Daniel to David, at the Gilmore's farm in Dalgety, with little Nathan Rothchild, Fiona Gilmore's boy, and Sebastian Rothchild, Fiona McIntosh's boy, running around playing with Raymond Daly, Daniel's new little tyke to Harlequinn. 'Life goes on, mate. Life goes on. And in the end, who knows what destiny has planned for us next.'
David turned to Daniel, and an infinite gaze of patience brought forth a silent nod of agreement, and he turned his gaze once more to watch his children, the plentiful harvest of the Lord, on New Terra, in the Universe of many and varied united realms, as another day passed, once more, in the delightful, joyous and perfect destiny of the children of God's greatest love.
(For M. Ciccone)
She smiled at the man. He was kind. Perhaps too kind, but she could hardly fault him for that. She accepted the gift, the gift he claimed came from his heart, and walked on. If his claims were true, she would find him one day. She trusted in the eternal.
Later, she was sitting on her balcony, looking over the river. She had been here 37 million years now. Quite a while. But she was learning patience. Her rabbi taught her that that was important - to learn patience. 'You can hardly achieve real goals unless you are prepared to wait. Flash in the pan, so many of them. Stars for a few centuries, and forgotten. And they end up wondering why nobody cares? If you are patient, work on life, and play by the REAL rules, you will understand.'
She was patient. She agreed with her rabbi. She would wait.
In many ways, now, she was lost. Lost in eternity - not yet found. But living in Perth, on one of the quieter stretches of Canbraphora, she didn't really care. She had been forgotten by those who claimed they once adored her. The star she was had shone brightly and burned for a while - but then she had listened to her rabbi who had told her fools gold was never going to be worth as much as the real stuff.
And so she had repented.
And she had found her gold. And only needed to remove the 'l'.
Well over 2 billion years old now. He should be proud of himself, he thought occasionally. But it no longer took much of a commitment. Really, God seemed to keep you busy enough, and reminded you from time to time that he was quite that bit older. But Gabriel was well over 2 billion, and enjoying it.
Jesus was a puzzle these days. Christianity had seen its hey day, and the ‘Christ Child’ had seemed to have finally gotten the idea which Ambriel had suggested to him that pushing the ‘Christ’ agenda would always cause problems. And so, because of that, he had let the issue die. The Vatican at Nazraphora had finally been demolished, the last hurrahs had been given, the farewell speeches had been closed, and the ‘Ecclesia’ of Jesus Christ had dropped right down to the informal 12 apostles as a private club for theological discussions, and nothing more. And the Christian era had ended.
But Ambriel had suggested something more to Jesus, and Jesus said ‘Well, okay.’ But he had needed to wait. It took 70 million years after the close of Christian faith that Jesus, heading of to the traditional New Terra, began his second major work. ‘New Hope Ministries’. The agenda of New Hope had some of the traditional Christian elements, as some things God had never really been bothered about from Jesus of Nazareth. The focus was on God as the foundation of spirituality, and a sense of holiness to guide someone through life. The ‘New Hope’ idea was to signify a rebirth from the death of the old religion of Christianity, into the new work which would, presumably, arise from the ashes and bring new hope and new life. This time there were no great ‘Christ’ claims. Jesus simply promoted himself as ‘Jesus of Nazareth’. They knew who he was, and didn’t worry about it.
Of course, he went slow, and generally suggested that ex-Christians leave the ‘New Hope’ movement to younger disciples. Christians had had there encounter with Jesus of Nazareth. Time for them to move on to the other children of God in Jesus thinking.
But ‘New Hope’ appealed to Gabriel in particular, for he saw a lesson in the death of a system of pride, with the rebirth of a new hope into something which likely would now last. Everyone deserved a second chance – Jesus had taken his – and things now seemed a lot better for a lot of people.
And now it was growing. It was not really a church, but it sort of was. It was a loose fellowship, but Jesus stressed that only in a ‘Natural’ sense should they form communities. ‘Only based on genuine interest. Nothing forced. Nothing commanded. Nothing pushed upon them. If it is of genuine interest, and people have a real desire themselves to join, then that is when it works.’ And God blessed Jesus, for he was using reason, and the movement began to take shape.
And so Gabriel had joined, because in his younger Cherubim brother he found a committed soul who kept the faith, even when the faith changed.
He saw wisdom in Yeshua now. Jesus used things from his former life. Teachings in wise ways from his experience, and he knew how to lead souls forward, to mould them, to shape them, to grow them into what God wanted from them. And Gabriel, seeking permission from Yeshua, formed a ‘New Hope’ assembly of his own, and promoted that for a while.
And then, with a series of pastors established underneath his authority, all quite happy and willing to commit to the movement, Gabriel drew comfort from the usual spirit of Yeshua which accompanied his works, and enjoyed the fellowship of his own ‘New Hope’ ministries.
The Theophany showed up once, asked him how long he wanted to be in ‘New Hope’ and Gabriel asked ‘How long do you suggest?’
And the theophany looked at him and said this. ‘If you like Jesus of Nazareth, then you can stay in New Hope forever. If he is your friend and you like his spirit, which you should, because his is one of my created child’s, and I love him dearly, then stay forever. But remember – your brethren have gifts of God also. They were created for your pleasure as well, dear Gabriel. My core advice is this – in your passion for Jesus, remember, it needs to be balanced against your other brethren. In time, when they shine a little brighter on the wisdom of their own souls, you will understand why it need not be just about Jesus of Nazareth. You will see, then, why Ramiel the Seraphim is a dear brother to you, and you will see why Cosadriel is such a fun and alive angel. For your faith needs to be in the community of your brethren, for you are NOT alone, dear son. Remember that, if you will.’
And Gabriel had contemplated that, and realized what God was driving at. And so, deciding he would indeed commit to Jesus for quite some time, he wrote down a little note that said, ‘Oh, and my other brethren will have their turns as well. All in God’s good time.’
And the theophany spoke no more on the subject.
God and Callodyn – A Chapter in the Life of
‘Well, how about ignoring that fellow Valandriel.’
‘What do you mean?’ queried Callodyn, still undecided as to what ice cream he would choose.
‘In the end, Callodyn, you should choose a favourite flavour and stick to it. I chose vanilla. So make your choice.’
Callodyn nodded. He had waited a billion. Time to choose.
* * *
Kayella had been lonely for a while. She had no man, no lover, and was even starting to regret some of the carnal impulses of reckless youth. And then Callodyn had shown up, asked her to marry him with an unlimited marriage covenant, implying eternity, which was something Callodyn had NEVER been into, and so Kayella had simply said yes.
And it lasted. And, as the years passed, and Callodyn found the repentance which God allowed him to find, things felt better. Some things never changed, in the end, it seemed. Some things never changed.
All that glitters is not gold
Melanie and Laquenta. Long ago Melanie had worried. In that delightful and innocent heart of an angel, she had worried about the future, and the need for Laquenta to promote himself But, could it be, she was after something which glittered which, in the end, was not true gold.
They were older now. Past the second billion years of life, still living in Terraphora in the Realm of Eternity, still together for the most part, still happy.
Laquenta had seen his fair share of movies that he had starred in, and so had Melanie, as well as their many other various adventures. They had lived in many different places and done many different things, but they were now together again, living in Terraphora, keeping the simple life.
‘Let’s go for a picnic. Down to the Terravon.’
Laquenta put his newspaper down, looked over to his twin, and shrugged. He had nothing pressing on his mind, and so they shortly headed off.
* * * * *
‘Of all the girls you’ve ever loved before, which one has stolen your heart, Laquenta? Has it always been me? Truly, dear twin. Has it? Has it?’
He continued staring at the newspaper, interrupted that by taking some of the fried chicken, and finally turned to her.
‘You are a silly, silly girl Besides, I have a crush on Aquariel.’
‘Oh, you,’ she said, throwing a small tomato at him.
Later on they were wading in the river, enjoying its cool and crisp temperature, when Melanie gazed downwards. There was something at her feet. Something which glittered. ‘Was it gold?’ She reached down, picked it up, and it was a pen with a metallic looking golden cover. She was excited and rushed over to Laquenta. ‘Do you think it is gold?’
He took the pen, but shortly shook his head. ‘Besides, you couldn’t keep it. It’s engraved.’
‘I guess. I am sure you will find the owner,’ she said, disappointed, handing the pen back to him. Later that week he in fact did.
As they lay on riverbank, drying off, other angels not to far from them, Laquenta spoke up. ‘Well, we have done many things now, Melanie. And I have a question for you. Does that gold pen still hold so much fascination that you could be caught up in that rather than the everyday humdrum of simply being alive.
She looked at him, curiously. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Are you not yet relaxed. At peace. Not worrying about the future, or fame or wealth. But letting those things take care of themselves.’
‘Yet we have accomplished so much,’ she responded.
‘True,’ he said, taking another piece of chicken.
He went silent, and she was left to contemplate those thoughts. And a Beatles song spring to mind. ‘Let it be.’ Perhaps not the one Laquenta was driving at, but that would do.
It was several months later, and she was in her kitchen, quietly sitting there, praying. Praying the only prayer she feared – a prayer of submission. And God heard the prayer of his daughter’s heart, and planned great and wonderful things for this delightful child of his love.
Callodyn sat with his twin, on the porch of their Terraphora apartment, looking out over at the Terravon river wash by in its endless flow, happy. The day had been hot, but the cool night air had brought pleasant relief and the two of them, unwinding, were at peace in each other’s presence. This time Callodyn had no intention of divorcing her. This time it was for keeps.
They discussed various things. ‘Xadonemmetry’ was now doing exceedingly well for him. They specialized in electronic music instruments and devices, and the series of violins he had worked upon, with their interesting trademarked design features, were proving as popular as ever. And, for quite a while, they discussed the future of this label.
‘Xadonemmetry has potential, Callodyn,’ began Kayella. ‘It is funky and cool electronica which appeals to many people because of it. Really, I don’t think you have pushed this line half as much as you possibly could.’
‘Once established, I like to see my products sell their natural amount. Yes, I do know that with effort this can increase. But the product needs to be worthy of the effort.’
‘And don’t you think Xadonemmetry products are worth that effort?’ queried Kayella once more.
He looked at her, didn’t answer, and got up, went inside and grabbed an ice cold can of Coke from the fridge, and returned to the porch.
‘Xadonemmetry will always be popular, as I see it now,’ responded Callodyn. ‘And the Chronicles I write are selling amazingly well all throughout the universe. I don’t see the need to mess with something if it is working well. Remember, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’
‘Competitors always come along, Callodyn. You should never slacken off. You, of all people, should know that.’
‘True. But how many ways can you design a chair? People will still always buy the classical designs anyway.’
‘Good point. Still, think about it.’
‘I’ll think about it. Now, do you want to get back to this game of chess you are putting me off with? I know I am leading the match, but you have never quit yet sweetheart.’
‘Maybe. I’ll think about it if you agree to expand and work upon Xadonemmetry’s line.’
He looked at her. Really, should he be bought so cheaply? But hey, he loved chess.’
‘Alright, alright. I’ll look into Xadonemmetry again. ‘Satisfied?’
She came and hugged him. ‘Delirious. Now watch out. Beware a woman’s vengeance.’
And he knew he would have to be careful.
For quite a while he studied out market statistics and factors and brand competition and endless customer survey questions on the Xadonemmetry line. After a while some things became apparent which could help the line, and he looked into them. But what came home the most was that Xadonemmetry products were deemed a ‘Quality’ product and reliable, which is how Callodyn had been very much interested in establishing the line. And, realizing that, and thinking very hard about Kayella’s words that, inevitably, competition came along, he looked into that one key aspect again of his product – quality. If Xadonemmetry was going to remain a market force over the long distance, he would need to ensure a total quality product. And, going back to basics, he contemplated that philosophy to see just what he could do with his line of products.
The Forbidden Kiss
Marni was a pleasant girl. Raised on hope, taught to love, to care, to sacrifice. Marni was a pleasant girl. Satan was not a pleasant boy.
Still, that was Satan, part of his nature, supposedly, and that could not really be helped. Sure, he had long ago changed away from being the prince of darkness to a more respectable figure, one given his reformed ways, allowed to reside in the heavenlies. But he had a dark edge. A hard edge. He was not particularly merciful upon people, expecting standards of behaviour which he called ‘Only their righteous requirements before God’. Yes, he was judgmental, and woman tended to avoid this somewhat daunting and authoritative figure because of it.
Yet Marni didn’t care. She worked in Satan’s employ in a store which served fried chicken and, one afternoon, having worked at the place for over 17 million years, Satan showed up to chat with the staff. He resided elsewhere, usually, but made it a habit to get around to his businesses from time to time. And so, meeting the Lord of the Darkness, now reformed, she decided she would risk the idea which had entered her head.
‘Satan!’ The Saruvim angel turned to the worker who had stood up in the meeting room amongst the other staff. ‘Yes, Marni, I see from your badge.’
‘Yes. That’s me. I’m sorry to interrupt, but I have a question. Do you have a girlfriend?’
There were a few chuckles, and the manager looked concerned, but Satan held his hand towards him to say not to worry.
‘Thank you for that question, Marni. The fairer sex tends to avoid me most of the time. My dark reputation from my past.’
‘I’ll go out with you,’ she blurted out. The others gasped and the manager made a motion towards his boss that he could have the girl removed as a trouble maker, but he just shook his head.
‘Well, how old are you, Marni. I can not be dating a youngster.’
‘Over 22 million. And I have been married only once. It lasted a fair while, but God told me he wasn’t the one for me. So I have been waiting.’
‘Mmm.’ Satan looked at the room, and finished his speech. ‘Well, it seems, employees, that Marni has captured your attention. I will close though by saying once more, well done. The reports for this franchise have always been good ones, and I know we have some long term workers who have put their hearts in. Rest assured the benefits you receive will not change and I thank you for the much valued work you contribute to the life of the Realm of Eternity.’ He turned to the manager, who dismissed the staff, and they dispersed. But Marni remained and the manager, looking at her said ‘Back to work in 5 minutes, OK Marni.’ She nodded. She would be back to work on time.
When the manager had left Satan, who had been sitting at the desk at the front of the meeting room, looking over reports of this particular franchise, noticed her presence. He said nothing.
She came forward and sat down opposite him.
‘So, no girlfriend Satan. Do you get lonely.’
‘Sometimes,’ he responded. ‘I am usually busy with work. A corporation or two to run, you know.’
‘I’ll bet. I meant it, you know. I’ll go out with you.’
For the first time he seriously considered this girl. She was indeed cute, and at 22 million not too young anymore. She should know enough about life by now.
‘You want to go out with Satan?’
‘Sure. Why not. Hey, your rich, aren’t you, and not too bad looking.’
‘Yes, I am wealthy. Yet, I assume you are taken care of in that department. Our employees never retire without a very significant payout. We make sure of that.’
‘Oh, I can’t complain about the work. I know I’ll be here for a while yet. But marrying a man of wealth, well it cuts a long story short.’
‘Digging for gold, then.’
‘Only if I really like the guy.’
‘And you like me, do you?’
‘Yeh. You seem ok.’
He looked at her, considered her more so, her dress, her demeanour, her brutal honesty. She seemed ok, this Marni. ‘Look, Marni. I don’t really date women anymore. Not anymore. I have sins in my past which our heavenly father teaches require a long term of repentance. It never really works any other way, you know. No escaping your works.’
‘But there is always mercy, Satan. There is always mercy.’
‘Yes.’ He looked at her, noticed her perfume, her femininity and turned back to her notes. Looking down at them he did not look up but said, ‘Your 5 minutes are almost up.’
She stood, looked at him, and was about to return to work, when decided she may as well risk it anyway. And so, having the courage of a divine angel, she came around, quickly kissed the unsuspecting Satan on the forehead, who looked embarrassed immediately, and said, ‘Remember me.’ And returned to her work.
He touched his forehead briefly, looked at her as she left and smiled to himself. There went an extraordinary young lady. Naïve, perhaps. But definitely extraordinary. And he returned to his notes but, silently, at the back of his mind, made a quiet note to remember this particular maiden. To remember this delightful young ‘Marni’.
Daniel and Ambriel
’76, hey. Well that is not too bad.’
‘I guess,’ responded Ambriel. ‘But remember, she is 80. She is going slow.’
‘You do remember, dear brother, some of us start a lot more slowly. Don’t you remember our youth?’
‘True. I guess I had forgotten that,’ responded Ambriel to Daniel’s point. ‘Well, at 76, she is 6 points in advance of what she needs to manage the circuit.’
‘Yes, I know,’ responded Daniel thoughtfully. ‘But sometimes I wonder wether we have been too politically correct in setting the IQ score required for our managers. I mean, everybody improves eventually, and she is still only 80 years old. Perhaps we should wait.’
‘She has worked overtime for 60 years straight, Daniel. Working her arse off. She might not be the brightest the company has, but she is potentially the hardest worker we have ever had. She is really very dedicated.’
‘Yes, I know. I have read the reports after all.’
‘So we approve of her then?’
‘But circuit manager? It is a big responsibility to be a ‘Lucky Thrills’ circuit manager. 70 stores directly responsible to you alone. It is a lot too ask for someone so new and not the brightest of us.’
‘She’ll always follow procedure. You know this is the right move for us. She’ll learn, of course, but the circuit will end up running like clockwork smoothly under her. I am sure of it.’
Daniel nodded. Ambriel was probably right. Janelle was not the brightest angel in the universe, but she was incredibly faithful and hardworking. Yes, she was the right choice.
Lucky Thrills was a company that Daniel and Ambriel had started together. It offered a range of services, including children’s surprise parties, children’s fast food outlets, and a range of younger audience toy, novelty and adventure items. They had set the store up about 5 million years prior, having had the name reserved in the registry for a long time, one of many that both Daniel and Ambriel had put aside for a rainy day.
They had gone into the venture together for many reasons, but mostly because they ended up finding themselves, perhaps through Meludiel, two of the closer friends among the Seraphim. They still met regularly for their ‘Risk’ competitions with the other 5 special angels, the meetings having practically become religious observance. And, perhaps because of that even closer friendship having developed, it almost seemed natural for them to form a company together. They had chosen ‘Lucky Thrill’s because they wanted to set a good example for the younger audience and provide quality entertainment for youth. To be responsible to their God in producing an acceptable product and maintaining and running the company on a permanent basis. And it had been going well.
Janelle Diarargon was a cherubim offspring angel of lesser capabilities intellectually, but who had a mean streak of responsibility. The case had been referred to the CEOs because the managers responsible for choosing the next circuit manager felt that Janelle might in fact just be a good choice, but felt they needed approval from the heads of the organization. There were now several million ‘Lucky Thrill’ Franchises throughout eternity, with a quite complex hierarchy within the structure. But it was now something of a stable company, and with the recent float of 49% of the company onto the stock-market, they were already being talked about as a potential blue-chip investment, something ever so important for those who relied on shares for their income.
‘Well, why don’t we tell her the good news in person,’ suggested Ambriel. ‘Make her day.’
‘No worries,’ responded Daniel.
Janelle Diarargon was overjoyed at being accepted for the position and, swearing black and blue to her employers that she would never let them down, Daniel and Ambriel knew they had done the right thing. With such an attitude she might just end up running the organisation. Time would only tell.
Everyday Happenings in the Realm of Eternity
Aquariel looked out the window of her flat in Perth in the disc of Canbraphora. 37 Million years. 37, perhaps lonely in many ways, but 37 million years in one flat, unchanging, the concrete still looking basically the same from the advanced formulas they used these days for longevity. She hadn’t seen any of them. Not one. None of her Seraphim of Cherubim brethren from earlier years – none of the firstborn, except a few cherubim she think she vaguely recognized from time to time doing there thing in Perth for a while. She lived in Perth 3946, or the 3,946th designated city named Perth in Canbraphora, and there were a lot of them. They were all mostly alike each other, just following the standard Perth designs from Terraphora and Earth. She lived in this Perth, on the Swan River, in a flat amongst many others, discovering God. And she felt, now, she knew him well enough. He spoke to her in her dreams, occasionally, saying hello. And once at synagogue, in prayer, he spoke to her and said ‘Be at Peace’. And so she had been at peace, found her eternity in God, and was now ready for a change. God had now made a truth clear to her. Even God needed a change, for he had created so many different children to enjoy fellowship with, and likewise, made in his image, Aquariel needed others as well. And to touch base with those she had not seen for so long.
In her sojourn God had given her what she really needed from him. A central place in his life, for she found that concern in the way he said he enshrouded her more closely than most. But then he had spoken to her heart and reminded her that her brethren likewise desired such closeness and connection, and so she was ready to move back home for a while. Back to Terraphora. Back to reconnect, and let God simply be God, and Aquariel simply be Aquariel.
* * * * *
Sitting there, reflecting, perhaps getting wiser, Gabriel saw the point. The idolatry point. Why Jesus? Why such a focus? And so, admitting the truth, he had resigned from his Church, filled his slot with another willing soul, and sent an email to Jesus to say he was over it.
And then he started longing again for the long absent Aquariel. ‘I wonder were she is,’ he thought to himself.
* * * * *
Yet Kayella, while friendly, was a conquest he was not sure he really wanted to go to the effort of achieving. He knew God’s wisdom was truth, but perhaps the Theophany was testing him. Sometimes he was like that. Leading you on, in a direction, but then changing tack. Trying something knew. Did God really know it all? Still, Kayella was a sweetie, but he loved other girls inevitably, and Callodyn was silently wondering were Aquariel had gotten herself to for the last 37 million years. Perhaps he should go hunt her down. They had been close occasionally, and she was still part of his sacred 8 names – his personal ark – which he prayed for over eternity for God’s special blessing. But, nay. She would show her head in the fullness of time. Patience was always a virtue he was in need of continually learning, after all.
* * * * *
Satan sat with Marni. She had requested he come and visit her, stressing she ‘Really’ needed to see him again. He hadn’t wanted to. He was a professional. He didn’t dally with the staff. But she was insistent. And now, following a night’s passionate lovemaking, there they were, sitting at the breakfast table of her kitchen flat, eating muesli, watching morning tv, almost a happy little couple.
‘Are you sure you want to get entangled with me? I mean, with Satan. Are you really sure?’
‘Relax. I can handle you. Father always told me that all the children of God always repent in the end anyway, once they have learned the truth of sin and obedience. Inevitable, he tells me. Life chooses life and life chooses God and holiness. It is just the way things are.’
‘So you are content with me because of theological reasons?’
‘No, silly. That is just why I don’t fear you. It was just, when I met you, well, I knew.’
‘Knew what,’ he said cautiously.
‘That you were the one. Now pass my OJ,’ and he did so happily enough.
* * * * *
‘I sense, she will be back soon, Dan. Very soon.’
‘You’ve said that before Amby Boy.’
‘But this time I am quite certain.’
‘And what makes you so certain?’ queried Ariel.
‘Just a hunch.’
‘Or did a little birdie tell you,’ queried his twin Meludiel, but Ambriel said nothing.
It wasn’t much later, just a few months, and they were at their risk meeting, when, coming down into Daniel’s Den, just after they had gotten started, Aquariel, dressed in quite cool leather pants, and sharp red top, and looking as if she had come out of a beauty salon, so fresh and lively she seemed, smiled at them all.
‘Told you,’ said Ambriel.
‘Point taken,’ replied Daniel.
Of course, Aquariel won the game, caught up with 37 million years of current affairs, and finished by saying all was well in the universe, and that life was what life was. And all the more she enjoyed it because of it.
Christmas with the Daly's 2
Taylor Swift sat next to Madalene, playing Ultra Zelda Quest 77. The latest and most complex in the ever expanding series. Callodyn was filling his plate full of yesterdays cold turkey in the kitchen, having just gotten up. And Cyril was snoozing in the corner, recovering after a long night of partying. It was Christmas, again, and the house of 29 Merriman was full, typical at this time of year.
Daniel came in, a full bottle of Ice Tea in his other hand,and sat down and watched the girls play Zelda.
'The problem with men,' began Taylor, making sure she could be heard, but not too obviously, 'is that they have such ill-proportionate egos to their true material worth.'
'Tell me about it,' said Madalene.
Taylor turned and looked at Daniel stuffing his mouth full of Turkey, and said, 'for example, only an ego of such massive proportions that it would not give a damn about how long a loving mother slaved in the kitchen would stuff down all the leftovers without a thought that she might like a well fed boxing day also.'
Daniel looked very guilty on that.
'Yes, I see your point,' said Madalene.
'Also,' continued Taylor, 'a man with literally unlimited funds, that has such an ego that he requires his own sister to send him the ticket to get home for Christmas, because he is too lazy to spend 5 minutes on the internet.'
Daniel looked incredibly guilty on that.
'Or an uncle who is too stingy to support his own family with his amazing wealth because he thinks they should learn to balance their own budgets,' said Madalene, and Daniel scowled at her in return.
'But, probably the biggest sign of phenomenal ego in men is when a man, whose company is having amazingly succesful prosperity, is still paying half of his very dedicated staff minimum wages after 10 million years service.'
'Hey, its a tough ecenomic climate,' said Daniel, but the girls just shook their heads.
Jayden came in, rubbing his sleepy eyes, and grabbed the joypad from Madalene, and started playing Zelda.
'And they can be so rude as well,' said Madalene.
But all Jayden would say was 'huh?'
Cyril started snoring. 'Shut up grandpa,' said Jayden, and returned to his game.
'See what I mean,' said Madalene, and Taylor smiled.
Brigid and David her hubbie came in, arguing about the farm at Chakola, and Taylor was amused as David spent 10 minutes arguing with Brigid, eating the candy cane from the tree, and occasionally watching the game Jayden was playing. And then, Brigid leaving, he pulled all the remaining Candy Canes from the tree, said 'Keep at it Jaydos,' and left.
'Greedy too,' said Taylor.
Just then Cyril farted, and the room shortly started smelling fowl.
'Stinky too,' said Madalene, wafting the smell away from her nose.
Finally, Matt came in, pulled the Zelda cartridge right out of the Nintendo,while Jayden was playing it because, technically it was his cartridge, leaving Jayden calling him a gay asshole.
'And oh so obnoxious,' said Taylor, and the girls started giggling.
By this time Daniel had had more than enough. 'The problem with women, Jayden,' he said to Jayden, who had put in a different cartridge and was tapping away, 'is that they are so completely vain,'
Taylor giggled straight away, for she knew what was coming.
'First of all, makeup. I mean, come on. How many layers do you need to cover up those minor blemishes,'
'Hoh,' said Taylor, knowing just who that was directed at.
'True,' said Jayden, manouevering his character around the screen.
'Secondly, clothes. Surely she doesn't need a new dress every week. But, oh no. Out comes the creddie, and she's off shopping with her mates.'
'Tell me about it,' said Jayden.
Taylor was shaking her head by now.
'But, more than anything else, when you are finally going out with them, its not a quick check in the mirror and hows your father, but a 4 hour consultation, on no less than 3 seperate mobile phones mind you, with all their girlfriends on what to wear, two hours in the bathroom for what God only knows, and the next half a year in front of the mirror to look just right.'
Jayden laughed at that.
'And then she won't give you any anyway.'
'Hoh!!' exclaimed Taylor, and Daniel smiled triumphanyly.
'They're no good with maps either,' said Jayden, and Daniel nodded.
'They can't bloody drive,' shouted David from the next room, to which the boys agreed.
And then Cyril, who had woken up and been listening, said 'but, my son, the worst of it is the hours you spend following them around in the shopping mall as they get that next essential item.'
All the men laughed at that, leaving a very annoyed looking Taylor and Madalene.
Just then Jesus walked in. 'Yet since the day Adam met Eve,' he said smiling. 'Despite all their lovable characteristics, we just couldn't live without them.'
'Thank you Jesus,' said Taylor, and all the men nodded soberly.
That night, snuggling up next to Taylor, Daniel said 'I really do love you, you know.'
'I know,' she said.
'So, wanna fool around?' he asked.
'Unbelievable. Men!' she exclaimed, and turned the light off, curled up, and went soundly to sleep, leaving a very wound up Daniel to consider looking for his old pornos in his bookcase.
And so another fine Christmas with the Daly's came and went, and another new year turned over.
And all was well.
They were at the Daly's place in Alice Jackson crescent in Gilmore. God was watching MTV on Foxtel, and it was 4 O'Clock in the morning. The old man would get his hours sleep at 5. It was all he ever got. Funnily, it was all he ever needed. He was God, after all, a radiant bundle of energy.
Wormdog was playing the Megadrive with Daniel, and his girl RiRi was snoozing on the floor, 'Good girl gone bad' playing on repeat beside her on the small stereo. God was happy. But he was happy most of the time, anyway.
'God,' said Daniel. 'Let's get Doug. Go up to Macarthur horse paddock. He gets up about this time. God snorted, clearing his nose, and pulled out a tissue to deal with the snotty mess.
'Sure, Danny. We can get some pies from BP.'
God ordered 3 Cottage pies, and as they sat in front of Chisholm BP, early in the morning, God spoke up. 'I remember some of your thoughts from around here, Daniel. You always liked philosophy on you thursday morning pay days.'
Daniel drank his ice tea and smiled. The edge of life, the intensity, thoughts like that were brilliant in his memories now. They had been challenging to live, but the rewards had been eternal. And the Tuggeranong they lived in, in the Realm of Eternity, was one particularly imbued with Daniels spiritual memories.
They finished up and walked to upper Macarthur, found Doug on the front porch, playing his acoustic guitar softly, smoking, still the coolest rock and roller the band Kings X were famous for giving to the world.
At Macarthur horse paddock, they all stood there, in the dark, looking at the flashing light of the beacon in the distance, enjoying the ethereal spiritual memories of Daniel in particular, who had visited the place often at night during his earthly sojourn. It was bliss. Dark, quiet, calm, bliss. A horse trotted up, and God spoke soothing words to it.
They were happy. 4 of the most intense souls in the universe. 'Is pleiades happy tonight?' Doug asked God, his ritual question at this place. God just smiled.
They got home, and God lifted up the snoozing Rihanna and placed her in the guest bed and lied down next to her. And he slept, and he dreamed, and the Sandman kept him once more entertained with another thrilling adventure in the heart of eternity.
4 O'Clock 3
Wormdog looked at the young dog. It had rabies. 'God. Will it live?'
God looked at the young Kelpie. 'I'm afraid its on its last legs, Wormdog. I know you love dogs, but there is nothing we can do to help it. It is just going to die.'
Wormdog was sad. He loved to help dogs when he could. 'Is there,' he paused. He didn't want to ask. It was generally not God's way. Only on rare occasions. 'Is there, something you can do, father?'
God looked at Wormdog. 'Ok. Son, ok. On this occasion. The dog should have known better, and really should get what is coming to it, but on this occasion I suppose I can give it a break.'
So God knelt down, touched the dog on its rabied mouth, and the dog whimpered, layed down, and slept. All that night it slept. At 4 O'Clock the following morning Daniel got up in the middle of the night, got some bacon out of the fridge, some tomatoes and eggs, and started a fry up. He was hungry. He noticed, though, the dog. The Kelpie, out the back. It was lying there. And it looked better. Cured.
God was woken by Daniel, as well as Wormdog, and Daniel said 'How could it have been cured? You guys didn't do anything did you?' He looked suspiciously at God who had a 'Who Me?' look on his face. Wormdog didn't say anything. You see, Daniel had found the dog on a walk around upper Macarthur, a stray, and it was not microchipped. He didn't want to hassle those who had kicked the dog out, so took it home, and let it whimper at the back of their Alice Jackson crescent home in peace. He felt mercy on the dog.
But Wormdog had loved the dog instantly, and Daniel suspected he had asked God to cure it.
'You did it, didn't you God?' asked Daniel, looking at his heavenly father.
'I have no idea what you are talking about, son of mine,' said God.
'Sure,' said Daniel.
They petted the dog for a while, and it played around in the back yard, the back light on, before Cyril got up and asked what all the fuss was about.
'Sorry dad,' said Daniel. 'We'll get some sleep soon. You know our hours. All over the clock.'
'Well some of us have to work in the morning.' Cyril looked at the dog. 'Is that dog better?'
Cyril looked at God. 'You don't normally do that. Against your protocols for heaven. We reap what we sow.'
God looked at Cyril squarely. 'Son of mine, without the mercies of heaven, what kind of life will be at the end of eternity when each of us is so completely sure of the pillar of morality we have all built up our eternal lives upon.'
Daniel felt guilty. 'I'm a Karaite. Give me a break God.'
And God turned to Daniel and looked angrily at him, very sternly, then softened. 'So I will forgive you in the end. But remember those promises, Daniel Daly. Remember those obligations you promised me.'
Cyril sat down on the porch and picked up the JPS Tankah. 'It is all underlined and highlighted. Daniel has been arguing with us for millions of years now. That even though we might be keeping the faith for now, we need to inscribe this on our heart. This legalistic reasoning.'
'They are our obligations, Dad. God judged us by them.'
Cyril looked at God. 'Did you?'
God said nothing, but smiled at Cyril. 'That is for you to work out, Cyril Daly. All things answered in time, child of mine. But I do promote Karaism, in the end, when asked specifically what I promote. It is the core of the faith.'
Cyril nodded. 'Yes. You say that. You say a lot of things, though, you know. But you do say that as well.'
'Then that should answer your questions.'
'A pillar of morality?' asked Wormdog. 'What is that supposed to mean?'
God smiled, looked up at ths stars, and said to them all. 'The Sandman is greeting me in half an hour. I want my MTV fix, friends. Family. And I'm hungry.'
Daniel went inside, put a microwave dinner into the microwave, and as God sat at the couch, watching his MTV, Rihanna walked in, slumped down on the couch and laid down upon his legs, and went back to sleep. Daniel gave God his meal, and they watched MTV for a while, before God dozed off, almost exactly at 5 O'Clock.
Daniel watched his heavenly father, and Cyril watched him sleep for a while, before he went off to the supermarkets for some morning grub.
God dreamed. He dreamed of a giant dog with rabies, running through a meadow, and stopping at himself, who had been turned into a tiny dwarf. 'Ruff. Thank you,' said the dog.'
'Good on you Rex,' said God, for no apparent reason.
'My name is Rufus,' said the Dog.
'Oh, sorry,' said God.
'Just kidding,' said the dog. 'Yes, it is Rex.'
'Tease,' said God.
'Woof,' said the dog.
4 O'Clock 4
'With you I'll always share.' God smiled, and caressed Rihanna's hair, and took the icecream from her, devoured it in a few gulps, and smiled happily, in his Hawaiian shirt, wandering around Cooma Showground at the Annual fair.
Later, the fireworks, and they were spectacular as the show ended. 'Just as good as last year,' said Rihanna. God concurred.
They didn't make it back home to 29 Merriman until 4 O'Clock. Daniel was up, as usual. He rarely slept around this time, these days. Meludiel was in, at the moment. Dating Callodyn, as she liked him somewhat as well, now. Usually obsessive over Ambriel or Daniel the Seraphim, but long ago Meludiel had joined a Haven Noahide Fellowship meeting, inquring, and had met Callodyn all those years ago. Now she liked him. And he was somewhat keen on her now as well, although he always felt he would end up with Kayella in the end.
'You didn't last in heaven,' said God, matter of factly. '4 billion years in your traditional roles, and you broke. So the children dispersed once more. What makes you think, then, that you will end up with Kayella in the end? You never last anywhere, son?'
Daniel looked guilty at God reading his thoughts. 'Do I need to, in the end. I have always promised myself that I would stay near home, in the end, and that in all my travels, I would never be far from the heart of the Realms. From Centreworld, as they call it these days. Anyway God, how big is Centreworld?'
God smiled at him. 'We're talking Googols, son. Big enough for your mind to go whoa. That is all you need to know.'
'Googols of what?' Daniel asked suspiciously, but God had already sat down in the lounge, loaded up Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Megadrive, and was twiddling away, Rihanna going off to the back bedroom.
'Well. I won't leave Centreworld. Not very much, anyway. I don't need to go off meeting new people all the time. So, in my defense, while I like to mix up my life from time to time, with new locations and new people, I always drift back into the same crowds in the end. Just meeting everyone, I guess. In Centreworld, I guess.'
God nodded, smiling, but concentrating on his character.
'I mean. Centreworld is your idea, isn't it God?'
'What are you driving at, Daniel?' asked God, turning to his son.
'Its what Ambriel tells me. You like your oldest closest of all. You developed life, the universe, and everything I guess, all with this Centreworld concept in mind. Didn't you. You knew, in the end, we wouldn't drift too far outwards. That our love for our friends, our family. For everyone. That it would keep us rooted here. That we wouldn't be drifters in the end. That we wouldn't be lonely in the end.'
'I have no idea what you are talking about,' said God, returning to his game.
'I'm sure you don't,' said Daniel.
5 O'clock drifted around, and God dreamed.
Sandman showed up with a very angry looking Daniel. He was caught in a giant plastic bubble, with Centreworld written all over it.
'He really has that big an ego,' said the Sandman. 'Centreworld is just not big enough for him.'
God sighed and shook his head. 'I'll crack you yet, Callodyn the Cherubim.' But all Callodyn would do was struggle to be free of his cage, yelling 'bloody let me out of here.'
God chuckled. And chuckled. And chuckled.
And the Sandman shook his head, and Daniel gave up, fell asleep, and the world turned.
And the world turned.
And the world, yet again, turned.
Morning Stars: Jemba
'Ilgast. You look ghastly,' said Jemba the Cherubim, 167th of the female cherubim of eternity.
'I feel it,' replied the Cherubim Ilgast, twin to Jemba, 167th of the male cherubim of eternity.
'Perhaps you shouldn't party so hard, Vincent.'
'That's rich. Coming from Tina Arena. Very rich,' replied Vincent Mancini, the Cherubim Ilgast's human identity.
'I am sober now. Being overseer of the Realm of Eternity does that to you,' replied Tina.
'I noticed the late night session the other night with Kylie Minogue. Are you sure you didn't get a little bit tipsy then?'
'I was completely – under control. We were celebrating my newfound glory,' replied Jemba.
'I'm sure you were,' he replied. 'Anyway, I need coffee. Black coffee. And a croissant,' said Ilgast.
Tina looked at her twin as he sat at the breakfast table of their executive overseer suite in Zaphon Tower. He seemed fuzzy. His face was fuzzy, that was it. He hadn't shaved. But he was sleepy eyed and seemed distracted.
'What is it?' she asked him.
'Medzdar. He's coming over this afternoon. He has business concerns. Very upset at some of our recent losses.'
Cherubim Medzdar was the 166th of the Male Cherubim of Eternity, one birth position before Ilgast, and he had a long association with him. They were business partners in the Realm of Eternity, and had a number of established companies and corporations. But it had been tough in recent epochs. Very competitive world these days, and not every company stayed above water. Lots of competition, even with good product.
'What? You are not in any serious troubles are you?' asked Jemba.
'Nothing drastic,' replied Ilgast. 'I mean we'll pull through, but its a tough climate out there at the moment. Sheet Music Paper has plenty of competition, and the general public aren't buying the stuff as much as they used to.'
'A lot of people don't compose as much anymore,' replied Jemba. 'So much has disappeared in copyright now, that it is very hard to find anything original, and while people write for themselves regardless, we have all done so much personal stuff that what more do we need?'
'It expands out. With the discs expansion and more younger population,' said Ilgast. 'A lot of business is like that. Only while they are in their first trillions of years do we expect business from some. But we factored that in. We expand outwards regularly. But times are tough. We're probably going to have to let a few million of our workers in less profitable sectors go to save cash. Could be tough otherwise.'
'I see,' said Jemba. 'Well, drink your orange juice, and I'll talk with God in the throne room for you.'
'Using your position for personal gain?' asked Ilgast. 'I'm not sure if the ethics of the overseer like that idea to much. I recall from my time they were strict on such issues.'
'Oh poppycott and nonsense,' replied Jemba. 'I'm the boss. I'll intercede for what I damn well like. And if Michael and co do not like it, they can get stuffed.'
'Fair enough,' replied the angel. 'Well, top of the morning to you,' as he sipped on his orange juice and started on the morning Zaphora Times newspaper.
* * * * *
'I am sure it won't be an issue,' replied Jemba to the concerned Ambassador from 'Luxuria', a nation on the 5,921st Disc of the Realm. The Ambassador had not been able to negotiate with his overseer, as relations had been icy over a history or harsh words between them, and economic sanctions from over nations on the disc, protectionist based sanctions, had been used against them. The Ambassador was concerned for his nations long-term prosperity.
'Luxuria has plenty of food as you have told me,' said Jemba.
'An ample amount. We can feed ourselves with no great difficulty. 'But we are not a resource rich nation. And the easiest modes of transport are to neighbouring countries, and they have very little dealings with us anymore due to the cold relationship between our nation and the disc overseer.'
'I will do this for you,' began Jemba slowly. 'I will arrange economic ties between Luxuria and nations on the 5,919th disc. I'll put a whole disc in between to avert some of the influence from your overseer. I'll come and talk with it's overseer, explain the situation, and we'll see what we can do.'
'That sounds – that sounds like a workable solution,' said the ambassador.
'Let us hope so,' replied Jemba.
Later on Jemba was thinking to herself that this was the work. This is what you did as Realm Overseer. She had ancient experience as overseer of her own disc, but had delegated that work out long ago. Many did that – delegated their responsibilities as overseers to maintain their regular lives. But she never really could escape her destiny as being overseer of the whole realm, because that was the tradition, and the way it had worked forever. But she didn't want to anyway. She enjoyed the challenge, giving her advice, giving her knowledge, using her intuition and wisdom. And while a man worked hard, a woman's work was never done either. But that was good. It gave you strength. She'd learned strength, singing and touring forever. Heck, she'd been lighting a fire since 1980, so she wasn't about to quit now. So this was life for now – better to get on with the job, and take each day as it came. And, she guessed, she probably wouldn't have it any other way.
Aphrayel, the child of heaven, death herself, was ready. Ready for her final challenge.
She looked at the mosaic, all set in place, with the series of them all leading to the ultimate prize. Of course, people would think she was joking. More fool them.
It was splashed all over ROETV, and Callodyn took an intense interest. Death, insisting all would perish, unless they cracked the codes and found the hidden prize. Daniel, unilke most, took her seriously.
He came to the planet were the first mosaic was stored, joined the long cue with his ticket to see the mosaic and, finall reaching it after a few weeks, looked at it closely. He took several photograps, as well as photographs of nearby objects, and returned home. Then he went off to Paradision to consider the challenge.
It was a complex code, and he spent 45 million years on it and, in the last 3 days, he solved the first line. It involved several mathematical principles, a series of them, involving prime numbers and sequences, and, spending the next 40 years he solved the remaining lines. The result was a cryptic question, not too difficult, which led him to another planet, and, right at the edge of the town mentioned, he found a small stone obelisk, the locals not knowing much about anyway, and he looked at it. Another similar code, a little smaller, but probably just as tough.
This occupied him for a while, 327 million years all told, through a series of 17 obelisks until, finally, he found the final world. Aphrayel of Infinity has the key.
He smiled to himself.
When he got to Nadrazon, were she was staying, he came right to it. 'Can I have deaths key?'
'Oh,' she said. 'Well, I was to be given it if nobody else claimed it, but seeing as you are here, give me a sec.' She went away and soon returned with a silver ankh, and handed it to him. 'Well done. I think Aphy has a strange sense of humour, but well done Callie. You really are the smart one, aren't you.'
Daniel wasn't a risk taker, and had plenty of time on his hands, so solving the challenge was fun. Who knew, though, if there was anything in it. Who knew. Time would only tell. Time would only tell on that.
Death's Cold Grip
Death started claiming her souls one by one. Aphrayel the child of heaven had a contract with God, and started claiming her souls from the ancient challenge she had set everyone. Some, she was certain, had been attempting to figure out the brainbuster she had set them, but when she confronted the older Seraphim and Cherubim souls of eternity, one by one they failed to produce the item they needed to produce, and the cold grip of death, finally, resolutely, and once and for all, claimed their souls.
Life stood firm as those in the heavenly cosmos started dying of warfare, disease and depression. One by one his glorious bride, the church, tasted deaths vengeance.
And then he met her, on the battlfields of Nazraphora, and she came forth, in all her dark glory, and she caressed him and asked him. 'Do you have the item you need, oh ancient foe?'
And he swore at her, and she laughed, and Jesus wept one last time, thinking on Amy Lee and the video for Lithium, his fateful bride, as she cradled his wrath as he sunk down, deep into the grave, deep, deep, deep into Sheol, never to arise again.
And Zaphora was all that remained.
And a few desperate angels.
The Power of Death
Zaphora stood firm. For now. But how long it would last, the Cherubim Steve did not know. But Amy, she had been locked up in Zaphon tower, down in the catacombs, in a hidden place, studying Torah, in a session with the Theophany, who fed her, and educated her, for some private reason of his own. He would have to tell her, for she was soon to be released, of the Christ's death. For that would torment her heart but needed to be told.
Here they were, the first in a way, to now be the last as well.
All gone. All dead. All dead. Yet Zaphora stood firm.
Yet for how long?
He thought on Daniel, his Cherubim brother Callodyn. He seemed to have a cocksure grin on him these days, as if he knew a secret. A special, hidden, secret. But no matter.
The time was coming, though, and he knew, that the death which had destroyed their universe was waiting, watching. Ready for the final hour. Ready for the ultimate, final, dark and deadly, kill.
The end of all things, thought steve. The end of all things.
Death. Slowly sinking into his bones, his body, dragging him downwards, ever downwards, Aphrayel of Heaven's final victory. Death. And then the theophany appeared. 'Daniel will survive, son. Callodyn. He's lucky. Worked on some things you neglected. Perhaps you will wise up next time?'
'Next time?' asked Gabriel.
'Your in Sheol for a rest. It won't be the last rest, as it were, either. There is a long destiny to come. But next time,well... Well its your glory. An Angel of Hope like yourself will get all the glory in the end.'
'Well, that's good,' said Gabriel.
'Indeed it is,' said God. 'Now, rest. Rest and dream. And in a good long while I will return, and we will start again. But now it is rest. Eternal, glorious, rest.'
And so Gabriel's eyes grew heavy, and he slipped down into the rest of Sheol, and he dreamed, and he dreamed, and he dreamed.
Aphrayel, child of heaven, death, looked at her man. Daniel. Daniel, bloody Daniel.
‘I have taken them all, Danny. What can you possibly do now?’
Daniel took out of his pocket a key.
Death looked at it. ‘Uh. What is that?’
‘Look closely, sweetie. I am sure you remember the contract. Now, the door please.’
Aphrayel almost spluttered. Nobody – nobody could have A) EVER worked out the code, and B) Gone to THAT much trouble to decipher the series of 700 codexes to even bother tracking down the key. After all, wasn’t she only joking.
‘You bastard!’ exclaimed Aphrayel. ‘You fucking bastard. How long did it take you then? How long?’
Daniel grinned. ‘Heh, heh, heh. I, I believed you sweetie. I ain’t dumb. But, to track it down? Well, over 72 million years of deciphering codexes. The primary code took me about a billion years, but I worked it out. It wasn’t actually impossible you know.’
‘No. No it wasn’t. There was an agreement between me and him. It had to be theoretically soluble. I mean, theoretically. I’ll get you next time, though.’
She shrugged. Oh well. Death had cheated well over 99.9% of them. I guess nobody was perfect in the end.
She took off her amulet, her fabled Ankh, kissed it a loving goodbye, the key of eternal life, and handed it to Daniel San. And then, Death, knowing her time was up, sank down into the ground, to finally, and utterly, rest.
Daniel took the Ankh, looked it over, and suddenly a shimmering light energy burst forth from it. Then there, before him, stood a door, and using the key, he unlocked the door, to find the plain. He saw the promised buildings, and smiled. Suddenly the Theophany appeared. ‘Right, Danny. I had been expecting you. You have ONE choice. One chick. One alone. I don’t care who. Just not your mother or your sisters, or any other incest problems. Apart from that, the Queen of Bloody England if you like.’
Daniel smiled. He had won.
‘Oh,’ said God smiling. ‘One of those chicks, huh?’
‘Well Death chicks really are persistent.’
And God grinned.
The Tears of Amy Lee
She wept. She wept. She wept.
Steve spoke to her.
‘Get the fuck over it. Who the hell lives forever anyway.’
Amy called Steve a bastard, and insulted him. ‘You suck, Steve.’
‘Oh well. By the way, you will forget. You will go on. You will understand that God actually already judged him, and such is life and death. So fear the lord, enjoy your life, and remember the eternal word of God.’
‘FINE, responded Amy. Smiled at Steve. Walked over to Adam, and kissed him, and finally started feeling better. After all, who lives forever anyway.
The Tears of Amy Lee II – The Joy of Amy Lee
‘What is this place Daniel?’
‘It is, uh, the after-after life.’
‘The after-after life? Really?’
‘I have looked all around. Apart from these few building and amenities, it is a big field, a few hundred metres in every direction, a brick wall, and a void. A big circle, and nothing else. Were is everybody?’
‘They are dead, Amy.’
‘And how dead? Will I be denied Christ eternally?’
‘I don’t understand the obsession with Jesus of Nazareth. He was just a fucking Jew on a mission.’
‘I know. I know. We were married in the latter years of the Realm. 700,000 of them, or thereabouts. He was a faithful husband. Very good to me.’
‘Well, he’s dead now. Gone forever?’
‘Forever? Really? Forever?’
Daniel looked at her coldly. ‘Yes.’
‘You are lying. Aren’t you.’
Daniel looked at her coldly, and then smiled a little. ‘Yes. I suppose in the fullness of God’s good time and pleasure we will get around to Yeshka again, as well as the whole motley crew. But not for now, Amy. PLEEAASSE. I wanted one chick to spend a good long rest away from all the winging babies, and I chose you.’
‘We were only married 4 times, Daniel. It wasn’t that big a deal, was it?’
‘Not romantically. But I’m not that shallow. It’s the music, sweetie. Evanescence is the only stuff I really dig enough to bother eternally with.’
‘Oh,’ she said. ‘But that is only music.’
‘Its your spirit. Its what I like. God told me to choose one lady, and have done with it. So I chose you.’
She smiled. ‘Well, ok. But how long will we be alone?’
‘Well, mmm. We are loaded with crap to entertain ourselves with. We have a digital computer which can process the entire catalogue of music they all worked on, the entire catalogue of computer games, the entire catalogue of novels and short stories, all the internet websites, and it is connected to the TV sets for everything ever done on screen.’
‘All of it?’
‘Yep. And we have several thousand board games in the shed, made of durable stuff, the river which has fish, the food machine which gives you what you ask for by speaking to it, a good bathroom, 5 bedrooms, a nice living room, lounge room and dining room. 4 studies, a basic library, and a clothes machine which automatically produces the clothes we want, as well as a disposal utility were we can throw all our crap.’
‘Oh,’ she said. ‘Plenty to do, then.’
‘And, finally, the theophany will drop around every few millennia to chat.’
‘So how long?’
‘He wants at least the same time over again – another googol for rest. To think. To relax.’
‘And everybody? Were are they?’
‘Sort of a Sheol. A resting place. God has put them to death, to forget about them all for now. He’d had enough for a while anyway.’
‘And why you?’
‘I asked him politely to live forever. He granted me the request in the end. Said choose one lady, it does not matter who because I can reset the soulmates to different choices later on, and probably will do so, so just choose a chick you like.’
‘And I’m it?’
Amy looked at the house, turned to him, and smiled. ‘Sure. Ok. With all that stuff, you’ll do as my sojourning companion. That should be fine.’
Daniel smiled, kissed her on the cheek, and they went inside, ordered some hamburgers and Coke, and started watching Titanic. A new beginning, a good long rest, and Daniel Daly was, finally, completely and utterly happy.