Chronicles of the

 

Children of Destiny

 

Life in Zaphon

 

by

 

Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly

 

http://noahidebooks.angelfire.com

STORIES:

Life in Zaphon

Earth Prime

Life in Zaphon 2

 

 

300,000 HY

 

Chapter One

 

Daniel the Seraphim examined the puzzle. It was challenging. It was a jigsaw slide puzzle, but it was made of squares and rectangles, and he'd never seen anything like it. You had to form the picture, and while he'd done the ones with single squared, the rectangles looked like a problematic addition. But he'd solve it. Nothing better to do today anyway. He was in his traditional dorm in Zaphon, and Valandriel was snoozing lightly, a porno magazine resting on his chess. He'd have to be careful with that. Zaphon had quite strict protocols about such things. But it was only a playboy, so he'd probably get away with it. Probably.

 

'Daniel. Do you support the idea that Gabriel will be the best overseer the Realm of Eternity will ever have?'

 

Daniel looked up. Ambriel stood there. 'I'll be the best overseer the Realm of Eternity will ever have,' replied Daniel.

 

'I'm sure you'll be popular enough,' said Ambriel. 'But Gabriel is excited. It's become clear he'll be overseer soon enough, and the team is ready for a new beginning. Morning Stars born anew.'

 

'I'm sure Aquariel will be happy. She claims to be the ultimate Morning Star after all. Her time of glory,' said Daniel.

 

'She'll be the new queen,' said Ambriel softly, sitting next to Daniel on his bed.

 

'I'm sure she'll be splendifferous,' said Daniel, looking at the puzzle.

 

'They are easy to do,' said Ambriel. 'I solve them all the time. Jerahmeel makes heaps of them. They are catching on at the moment. A new fad.'

 

'Another yo yo craze,' said Daniel sarcastically.

 

'Daniel. Do you think you will ever come down to earth. Get over your fascinations with ultimate glory?'

 

'The Messiah thinks I should come down to earth. That is rich,' replied Daniel.

 

'Life is so much easier with a steady and humble heart. When God rules and you let him have all the say things work so much better for everyone. We just do as he says and it all works brilliantly. God is wonderful that way.'

 

'And live a boring existence, where all the fun is gone from life,' replied Daniel.

 

'Oh, it becomes spiritual and mellow,' said Ambriel. 'When you surrender to the grace of God.'

 

'I think I'm about to puke,' replied Daniel.

 

'You just need to spend some time here. Some life in Zaphon will get you back to your old self. It's why I asked God to ask you to stay for a while. Get you over the high life,' said Ambriel.

 

'The high life is what it's all about,' replied Daniel. 'But, yes. I know what you are saying. Quiet time is always good.'

 

'Like it was in the beginning,' said Ambriel.

 

'Like it was in the beginning,' replied Daniel softly.

 

They sat there, quietly for a while, and Ambriel pointed out some moves, which Daniel made, and soon the puzzle was solved.

 

'As easy as that,' replied Ambriel.

 

'As easy as that,' agreed Daniel.

 

'Hey, lovebirds,' said Valandriel. 'Let's get drunk, and watch some porn.'

 

Daniel smiled. At least some Seraphim brothers had a sense of humour.

 

* * * * *

 

He looked downwards.  Down, into a neverending haze of bluey, greeny, grey nothingness.  Yet, was it nothingness?  The rim had long fascinated Michael the Seraphim.  Long fascinated him.  He remembered, in earlier years, he visited this spot regularly.  It was a favourite part of the rim, in fact.  Of course, now, looking over the abyss of the rim a number of cubits, the realm of Terraphora displayed the glories of God’s second creation.  But Zaphora was still the heart of Michael’s home.  Still his heart.

 

He was older now.  Much older.  Time had come, time had gone, but life, sort of, remained the same.  There still lingered a quiet melancholy of the soul, a melancholy of the reflection of friendships which had come and gone, and dreams and dramas which had been lived and then lost.  But there was this constant – there was this eternal constant.  And despite, feeling in his heart at the edge of eternity, there was this constant remaining – God himself.  He already was eternal, it seemed, for he had said nothing to indicate otherwise.  And God continued to bless him when he prayed and answered his requests for peace and love.  And, recently, God had been taking him into simpler things.  Simpler things, perhaps beyond the days of pride.  Perhaps things of the secrets to our life.  He walked through forests now, often with Elenniel, out in the outer realms, puzzling over the unicorns which had become increasingly popular.  He drank fresh water from crisp streams, and ate watermelons and strawberries and blueberries and all sorts of refreshing fruit.  And, often, he would sit at night with Callodyn and Elenniel.  He would sit out in those places which Callodyn frequented, quiet places, away from the maddening crowd, and gaze up at the stars.  Callodyn was nocturnal, it seemed, and as torah said, to paraphrase, in the peace of night you will find your soul’s rest.

 

Life eternal.  Life beyond the east and the west.  And is that also beyond the north and the south?  But the secret is simple, the secret of love.  Of course, his own:  ‘Know the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength.’  He had slowly been reaching conclusions on this issue.  As Israelite Torah said – by his knowledge he created all things.  Through his power all things came to be.  Knowledge was infinite, so he had been told by Daniel on many occasions.  Infinite which, presumably, meant it was without end.  And, perhaps, that was a good thing.  For if life was eternal, and in need of things to entertain one-self with eternally so, then knowledge should suffice for much of such a reality.  Of course, conflict and tension were things which often seemed the bane of pleasantness, yet strength through challenges overcome was usually the fruit of such things.  Of course, God had knowledge of the Infinite.  He knew all things.  Thus, was there a never ending array of entertainment in the mind and heart of God?  Did God have an eternal funhouse of flirtatious amusement; a cavalcade of seductive, sensual cogitations; a neverending monologue of chaotic happiness running through his mind, all for happiness, pleasure and the joy of simply living?  Were there all such things running through his head?  And was he counting an endless array of numbers, having started at one and now well up into the ‘Googols’?  And how many bottles of beer on the wall had he now been through?  Even up to the ‘Googolplexes?  Or, dare I say it, the Googolplexians?  Of course, the ego himself, Callodyn, raved on about ‘Googolplexianite’s’ and ‘Googolplexianiteron’s’ and ‘Googolplexianiteronhedron’s’ all in the ‘Googol family.’  All these big numbers of Callodyn, quite appropriate for his ego, Michael thought to himself.

 

 But here he was on the edge of eternity and, looking down, it was nothingness.  Simply nothingness.

 

 He stirred himself, got to his feet, stretched, and started walking back home to Zaphon.  He reached into his backpack, pulled out some ‘Blueberry’ juice and drank slowly.  He looked at the flora and various fauna which appeared, smiled to himself, and whistled a quiet tune.  Whatever else he had learned, going through the melancholy of the soul, he noticed that the good things in life seemed to remain good and eternal and that, as he got older and wiser, the melancholy slowly ebbed away, replaced by many things.  Love – friendliness – kindness – peace – goodness – charity – wisdom – humility – sense and purity.  And, of course, nature.  The beauty of nature, the source of his life, one in which he, it seemed, endlessly flowed and walked, all by the love and grace of his heavenly father.

 

 He neared a well, looked down into it, and pulled out a ‘good luck coin’ and dropped it in.  He closed his eyes, made a silent wish, and opened them.  Feeling thirsty he lowered the bucket with the handle and, when filled with water, reeled it back up and drank from it.  It was cool and refreshing.  And now, back to his march.

 

 The day continued to pass on by, and as he walked he thought on various things.  If life was indeed eternal, and beyond the days of pride was the secret to living, did it really serve a great and grand purpose trying to achieve all the glories under heaven?  Was there really a point in pursuing this agenda?  For, questioning, what grand glories awaited beyond the days of pride?  What secrets did life reveal to the hearts of the humble?  He walked on, thinking this over.  He thought on the achievements he had made in life, the books he had written, the competitions he had won, and the glory that had been his.  But, perhaps, these were of the days of youth.  The days when proving one-self seemed important for some reason.  But beyond this?  Well, friendships.  For life was often difficult to manage alone, but friends seemed to make it all the more enjoyable.  And, of course, food and drink always remained pleasant.  And, then, he had a potential solution.  Pride was a motivator – it achieved things – it built things – it produced product.  And, of course, this product could then be enjoyed eternally.  It could then be appreciated and loved for all time to come.  But the best products were the beautiful ones.  The ones which shone joy and love, and which made the heart feel at ease.  They were the best of all.  And thinking this, he began thinking on how and what spirit should go into the building of the very best products.  What tools of the mind and heart should be used, and what knowledge it should be based upon.  And thinking that, and realizing he still had much to learn, Michael walked further on, leaving the edge of eternity and returning to its haven.  Returning to its haven, refreshed, renewed, and with still much more to contemplate on the neverending mystery of what it is all about anyway.  Such was the life of Michael the Seraphim of Eternity on a lovely summer day in the year 300,000 HY.

 

 *   *   * * *

 

 She studied the piece of copper and the way it had been bent, carefully, into the shape she desired.  And then how she had moulded it, dinted and tapped away at it, to produce the picturesque scenery she had desired for the piece.  It was a scene of Terraphora, close to home in fact, one she had done a number of times previously, but never from this particular angle.  But, in the long years life had graced her with, despite being a new picture, was it really new?  Was anything, these days, really new?  And could it ever be so again?  Elenniel’s conscience worried at times, especially about ideas which Callodyn spoke of.  The finite nature of infinity.  She had worried at times, about this, and in her conscience had worried that, somehow, she had been using up her infinite life far to quickly.  Taking too much of the joys of life, not leaving enough in reserve for the infinite time before her she truly desired.

 

 She thought on television and the movies she had seen in her time.  Millions of them, now.  But she had grown quite accustomed to the plots, quite predictable now, and the tired old clichés of dialogue.  Nothing, really, was surprising anymore.  As Shlomo himself might say, in true ecclesiastical wisdom, there is nothing new under the sun.

 

 She thought, also, of how she had once consumed things.  Movies, books, CDs.  Consuming them by eating up all the ideas and beauty which the product could offer  her, applying her knowledge as rigorously as possible to her own life, and trying her hardest to be that noble queen of glory.  But now, while she had definitely enjoyed her glory she was, somewhat, jaded.  As if having had all the glory her heart desired, there was nothing left to strive for.  No real purpose left, with all her dreams and goals accomplished.

 

There was a secret though, something which her husband spoke to her of just the other day.  ‘Beyond the days of pride, the secret to our life.’

 

But the question was this.  ‘What exactly was beyond the days of pride?  And what was the secret to our life?’  Of course, she had an answer, hidden down in that heart of hers.  Beyond the days when she had striven for all her glories, all her successes, all her accomplishments, all her pride.  Beyond those days, when something else entered in, it would seem.  Something which she had long striven to have in her heart.  Humility.  A humility which accepted other people, other people who might not have reached the peaks of glory which she had been capable of.  Other people who had not been born with the God-given talents she had enjoyed, but who had remained in the shadows, watching on, perhaps even envious, perhaps even jealous.  And the humility she knew, perhaps, she needed to claim, was one which accepted the frailties in these people, but also accepted that they were children of God, made in his image, worthy of love and acceptance simply for being them, for being alive.  And a humility, now, now that she knew somewhat more of what God expected of her heart, a humility which wished the best for others who wanted also to scale the peaks of success, the peaks of glory.  A humility which would even work for and stand behind someone, in service to their desires for triumph.

 

She thought on how she had stood behind Michael for so long and seen his successes.  But she thought again on how, as firstborn daughter, she must stand behind not just Michael but all her holy brethren.  She must pray for them constantly, which she did, and be that rock foundation which they could build their dreams and hearts desires upon.

 

And thinking just that the Spirit of God whispered some secrets to her heart, some secrets of the future, of unity and togetherness, when the darkness had been dispelled, and good triumphant, and of a strange and mystical peace, a peace she had felt time from time, but never gotten to know truly that well.  And, having just had a feeling of that peace, she saw perhaps what the peace was.  The secret to her life.

 

She took a bite of her apple, put the copper down, walked outside of her workshop, sat down next to the well, looked at the blue skies, and just wondered.  What next for Elenniel the Seraphim?  What next?

 

* * *   *   *

 

 Alindrel took the volume from off the shelf.  It was an old copy, now.  Quite old.  Not the oldest, of course.  There was still an original copy held at the library in Zaphon.  But her own copy of ‘Reflections’, composed aeons ago in her very youth spoke to her heart and mind these days.  It spoke so certainly of the truths of life she had known then, and still knew now.  Simple truths which remained just that – simple truths.  She opened it up to the first page and the first poem she knew so well – her very first poem.  Of course, the work itself was something of a ‘Biography’ on her life as she had lived it up to that stage, all those years ago.  But the biography was interspersed with some poetry and a few short fictional tales.  She looked at the first poem, in its bright orange letters on the fading yellow paper, and read through it yet again.

 

 ‘Life – A Poem by Alindrel’

 

 Life is simple to me

 

It is all about honesty

 

With God and everybody

 

Being true with all I meet

 

 

 

Life goes on forever

 

Will it end?  No never!

 

Life is what you make it

 

Better not to fake it

 

 

 

Life is simple to me

 

This proverb is trusty

 

This life goes on forever

 

Will it end? No never!

 

 She thought on the poem, and the honesty it spoke of.  Simple and true honesty.  And that indeed was a truth, with all her experience, which never really changed.  No matter how cynical she had been at times, it seemed, perhaps even by the grace of God, she had remained true in her heart to that honesty, and it had guided her, reminding her to be true to God himself and others, and remain in the love of a good and proper heart.  Life is what you made it after all – much better not to fake it.

 

 She closed the cover to Reflections, put it back on her shelf, sat on her bed and stared out the window.  She thought on the Torah – ‘Beyond the days of pride, the secret to our life.’  It was Semambarel’s principle, one she had devotedly tried to master earlier on in life, and she felt, perhaps, she was succeeding at this one.  But there was one more section of the torah – one more.  And it was her dear brother Saruviel’s principle, ‘And whatever shall be shall be…’ which was, of recent years, on her mind somewhat.  What was the mystery in that?  What was the mystery in that indeed?

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

 Callodyn sat quietly, by himself, in his abode on Androma in Televon.  He was over it.  Really, over it.  He knew what God required of him now.  Knew completely what God required of him.  And that was very basic.  A sense of the law, not to be too disruptive in society, and nothing really more than that.  God would provide for him with the basic living allowance if he didn’t want to work, which was enough to cover food costs, electricity and clothing as well as a little for transport.  In the last 100,000 years he had whittled away most of his inheritance, but still received a fair bit of royalties for his books.  But those royalties didn’t matter – nothing lasted forever anyway.  And he had a feeling in his heart, something which the Seraphim Torah spoke of.  Beyond the days of pride???  He knew what that meant.  God would start taking care of you.  He wanted to do that anyway.  It was all a pride system anyway.  Chase the dream.  Live the glory.  Be all that you can be.  Fuck, who gives a shit, thought Callodyn to himself.  Who really gives a shit.  He himself had been motivated by money because money bought things and got you what you wanted.  In his early years he had been with ladies of the night, old fashioned whores, because that had been the easiest way to satisfy his sexual desires.  But God had eventually taught him this truth – most women didn’t think highly of men who went to prostitutes to gratify their carnal desires, so to get along with them it was best to abstain from such activity.  Their opinion of you mattered in the end, God told him.  And so Callodyn had given up this behaviour in the end, and gone without sexual activity for aeons.  His twin, Kayella, well he wasn’t honestly sure he actually remembered what she looked like.  He hadn’t seen her for over 150,000 years, the girl having gone off to her ‘Real’ friends as she had said it, after they had been together for a little while.  But Daniel didn’t really care anymore.  Mr Daly was over it.  Well and truly over it.  Women expected things, but Callodyn really felt, in the end, it came down to this.  Beyond your pride, just be yourself.  Do the things you want to do, say the things you want to say, be the kind of person you choose for yourself, and to hell with the opinions of others.  Who cares.  You only have to live with yourself in the end anyway.

 

 And God had spoken this to his heart, reminding of it through his witness to him in his life – ‘I will provide for you.  For I care for you.’  And that was that as far as Mr Daly was concerned.  The end of the matter.  But, still, there remained an uneasiness.  As if something yet remained.  Some great truth, perhaps soon to be revealed.  Something he hungered for which, when revealed, would give him the impetus he perhaps needed.  Something was in the air, his spirit told him in dreams.  Something was in the air.

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

 Kayella, for the first time in a long, long time, was considering visiting her twin.  She left him because he was slackening off.  Not doing things properly anymore, being very casual with people, not being proper and completely polite.  Treating people as if they weren’t very important, as if they were just people.  It was an attitude she didn’t like – didn’t like at all.  She realized, in her heart, that people deserved respect as they were made in the image of God.  That they deserved to be loved, appreciated and treated kindly.  And, as far as she was concerned, Callodyn had failed miserably to learn these lessons and begun treating people so casually that he no longer even cared what they thought about him.  It really was a terrible attitude that had crept in.

 

 But that was a while ago now and, in reflection, perhaps she had been too hard on him.  After all, he was a person as well, with a right to his own views on life, and if that was how he wanted to express himself, then such was life.  She thought he missed the obvious truth – people communicated themselves to the world perfectly through their words and actions.  If you wanted a good reputation with people it was important to have good words and good mannerisms.  But, obviously, Callodyn didn’t seem to care greatly about such things.  It was not that he was offensive towards people – he didn’t really go around insulting them personally, or behaving rudely.  It was mainly that he was apathetic, and didn’t seem to care about conforming to normal societal expectations.  It was something she didn’t really like in her twin, but she knew in her heart that she should live up to her own standards and accept him, even in his frailties and stupidities which she knew were his.  Currently she was not married, not dating anyone, and perhaps even missed him a little.  Yes, perhaps it would be a good time to visit him.  Perhaps now.

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

 Alindrel thought on Berakiel.  Her twin was close to her these days, but they were not together in any real sense.  They had married once, but it had only lasted a decade.  But now he was a good friend – a close friend – and simply because he was her twin they had developed a long standing relationship of friendship and trust.

 

 He was coming by that afternoon, to see her and have afternoon tea with her.  It would be a casual thing, nothing serious, as was the norm.  But thinking to herself she was glad for the company and, sitting in her abode in Terraphora, looking out over the Aldur ranges from her lofty position, she was happy with things at the moment.  And thinking on Berakiel she felt, perhaps, after many years of reflecting on what perhaps went wrong with their first marriage, maybe she could try things differently this time.  Perhaps now, with a little more wisdom and experience, perhaps now something a little better could be made of the relationship between the two of them.  Perhaps now.

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

Daniel the Seraphim sat down, after having worked hard all that afternoon out in the farming region of Kazraphon, and looked at the picture of his twin Ariel on the mantelpiece of his abode, just south of Zaphon.  She was distant from him at the moment, very distant, out on a planet somewere in humanity’s section of the spiritual universe, having not seen him for over 10,000 years now.  And he missed her.

 

 It was gone from him now, his fascination with Meludiel.  Long gone.  Her and Ambriel were now well ensconced in each other’s arms, as perhaps it was always going to be, inevitably.  And he had not given his heart over to another lover since his last romance with Meludiel, about 40,000 years ago.  It had been Ariel he wanted, now.  Just Ariel, and nobody else.  Yet, after leaving him be one day, she had written him a letter expressing her desire to go off and explore the universe a little, and that she would eventually touch bases with him back in Zaphora if was around.  But not for a while, she had said.  Not for a while.

 

Since then he had devoted himself to something which, perhaps, he felt he had long abused.  His work responsibilities.  For about 8,000 years now he had been working in the traditional ways in the Kazraphon farming region, gathering fruit and vegetables by hand.  The Kazraphon farming region was in Zaphora, just to the south of Zaphon, not far from his own home.  His own home, Danielphon, had been built after many years of requests having initially being turned down finally been given permission.  It was not far from Bethlephon, but far enough to give him breathing space from Davriel.  It was his own little section of Zaphora, in the heart of eternity, and he was grateful for it.  Somewhere he could truly call ‘Home’.

 

 He had been reflecting, for a while in recent years, about the basic truths of life.  The truths which remained consistent with life.  Firstly, the desire for a mate seemed to remain true for him personally.  That much didn’t seem to change.  Food, clothing and shelter also remained necessary needs for a happy life as far as he was concerned.  And because of that he had been reminding himself of doing the necessary things to ensure those things continued in the manner and way he liked them to continue.  Out on New Terra he had a bank account with credits in astronomical figures, money he had saved for a long time.  There was no interest allowed in bank accounts, part of the underlying philosophy throughout the spiritual universe that you had to earn what you made.  So he had worked for a long time to earn the money, and of course his books still sold very well out there, as well as in the realm itself,  which did give him the royalties he was entitled to, which kept his figures rising.  He employed a lot of people to maintain his book company which produced his books, maintained the websites, and placed his profits into his bank accounts and other desired places of charity and so on.  It all ran itself these days and he really didn’t need to offer anymore input.  And they had done a study, recently, on the continued population expansion of the heavenlies and his books had reached such a point in growth that it was deemed, with the continual new readership, that he would be eternally wealthy, as he knew in his heart he would always be anyway, and that he could enjoy the good life forever if he really wanted to.

 

 But he still had convictions, which perhaps the spirit of God visited upon him from time to time, reminding him that he had to do his share still.  There was still work to do, still some challenges for him, before he could enter into his eternal rest and pleasure.

 

 But looking at the picture of Ariel, wiping the sweat from his brow, and taking a swig of lemonade, he thought on that rest and thought that, really, it should be with his twin that he enjoy such a reality.  The long rivalry between them, now, was something of the hearts of childhood, and now he just wanted to see her and be with her.  Really, he now didn’t want it any other way.

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

 Callodyn looked at his twin, noticing the happy enough demeanour of her countenance, and thought to himself, ‘She at least seems happy.’

 

So, have you missed me?’ she asked, for about the fifth time.

 

You’ve asked that a few times sweetie.’

 

Sweetie?  And what exactly gives you the right to call me sweetie?’

 

Oh, we’re still up ourselves are we?’

 

She was about to object, but thought of a suitable tactic.

 

Perhaps.’

 

Callodyn thought on that response.  She had been practicing, obviously.  Well trained, it seemed, in witty repartee.  But he would persist and test her out.

 

Well, that doesn’t surprise me.  You always were stuck up.  Typical for a woman, though.  They are all like that, thinking they’re the bees knees.’

 

But why wouldn’t we, dear Cal?  Why wouldn’t we?  We are God’s gift to mankind, after all.  Where would Adam be without Eve, after all?  Think about it.’

 

He considered that point.  ‘Probably a lot happier, actually.  Him and God could go fishing all the time without having to worry about the little darling.’

 

Are you suggesting he is into men?  Adam’s not gay.  Perhaps somebody else might be, but Adam sure as hell isn’t.’

 

Nah, firstborn is straight.  But I honestly think he would prefer Asexuality.  That is the way to go as far as I am concerned.  Not hung up on simple women, which they all definitely are, sweetie.  Which they all definitely are.’

 

And of course, you would know, wouldn’t you?  You’re the expert on women, aren’t you?’

 

Glad you’re acknowledging the truth, dearest Kayella.  That surprises me, you know.  For a woman, you are almost intelligent these days.  Must be all your research with your many lovers.’

 

Oh, and there have been millions of those dear Callodyn.  Believe me.  Millions.’

 

I don’t doubt it.  I remember you seemed to have a bit of a carnal wantonness about you.  No real use for me as my twin, but I guess that is the way God made you.  Must have his reasons, I suppose.’

 

And you don’t know those reasons?’ she asked, looking at him slightly coyly, as if suggesting something.  But that put off Callodyn a little.  He was not quite used to that, a girl coming on to him a little.  Not quite used to that.

 

Heavens above, Kayella.  To make babies.  What else.’

 

She shrugged.  ‘I guess.  I guess that is all it was for.  Mmm.’

 

He looked at her.  She really was good at this game, now.  Very good.  Going with the flow, letting the opponent have the upper word, not fighting it, but going with the flow.  Really, she was quite advanced.  Time for a challenge.

 

So, have you been studying in your time away?  Learning more of God’s knowledge?  Learning more about the things of life.’

 

I guess,’ she said, rather dryly.  Seemingly bored with the question.

 

He changed the subject.

 

Well, why on earth have you come to visit me after all.  I had thought the twin thing was no longer an issue.  That seemed to have been established the last time we were together.  No big deal to you.  No reason to dwell on it.  Just a freak of God’s design.’

 

And I possibly still hold to such a view, dear Callodyn.  But, whatever it is, God did create the soulmate.  So in honour to him I will consent to visit you from time to time.  Perhaps you will eventually grow up.’

 

Soulmate?  For Christ’s sake, don’t you go calling me your soulmate.  I have been single long enough that I don’t need to be laboured with a soulmate, especially in my twin.’

 

So you don’t believe in soulmates?’

 

God has a lot of weird designs amongst angelicdom and humanity, dear sister.  So many of them turn to sin in the end and go off to Sheol.  I think amongst the Cherubim half of them are now finally lost to Sheol, permanently.  Apparently, from what God has alluded to myself, it is mainly a matter of nature and choice.  They’re choices were not wise enough in the end, and God let them go from his heart.  Really, only those who are life focused in a sufficient enough degree seem to have the stamina for eternal life.’

 

And your point?’

 

Why on earth would I want to commit to a soulmate if that person one day disappears.  I would be committing to a no shower.  Not that wise in the end, sweetie.  Not that wise in the end.’

 

I see your point.’

 

Tell me, are you a no shower?’

 

I believe in predestination.  God is eternal and knows all our future before us.  He has already declared those who are his.  Don’t you know?  We are those written in the book of life.’

 

Which book is that?’ asked Callodyn.  ‘I have heard of Jesus attempt, but that failed.’

 

Don’t you know of God’s book of life?  Haven’t you heard?  It is all the rage in Zaphora at the moment.’

 

He looked at her, slightly puzzled.  She seemed to be speaking of a subject he did not actually know about, and he was instantly alarmed.

 

You.  You aren’t joking, are you?  You aren’t messing with me?’

 

It is why I have come to visit you.  I found your name.  Written next to mine.  God has judged you, now, worthy of eternal life.  You have passed enough tests with him.’

 

Callodyn started shaking, quite a bit.  He looked nervous.

 

Fuck!’ he said.  And looked straight at her.  ‘You’re lying, aren’t you?  He never promised that.  He never promised that.’

 

She looked at him, smiled a little, and spoke.  ‘I can prove it.  You trust Ambriel, don’t you?’

 

I don’t think he would lie to me,’ he said, still somewhat visibly shaken.

 

She pulled out her mobile, dialled a long number, and waited.  Eventually Ambriel responded.

 

Oh, Amby.  Tell Callodyn the good news, would you.  I am not sure if he believes me.’

 

She put Ambriel on the line, and he said, ‘If she has told you about the book of life, yes, it is true.  We are now eternal.  All the remaining Seraphim and Cherubim.  God is finally happy enough with us.  Good news, isn’t it?’

 

Callodyn remained silent, but handed the phone back to Kayella, and walked over to the kitchen, opened the fridge, got out a can of Coke, opened it and started drinking.

 

He sat down, and seemed relieved.  And then something changed in Callodyn.  Something changed.

 

Uh, mmm.  Would you like to stay the night?  Would you like to go see a movie tonight, or something?  I mean, it would be great if you could stay a while.  I would really like that.  And I will be on my very best behaviour, I promise you.’

 

She looked at him, and noticed a new humility instantly in him.  As if something very significant had suddenly changed in him.  Something very significant.

 

Sure.  And thanks.  I appreciate it.’

 

He came over, and quite quickly, give her a kiss on the forehead, which she didn’t resist.

 

Thanks Kay.  You have made my day.  Really, you have made my day.’

 

She smiled back.  It was nice being kissed by Callodyn.  Really, it was quite nice indeed.

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

 1,000,000 HY.  Michael looked at the calendar.  ‘Yes, he thought to himself.  The time was right.  Time to complete his overseersmanship and hand over the reigns to Gabriel.  He would do it soon, just next year, and then wait and watch what would unfold.  It could be a hectic year – a very hectic year indeed.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

 

A movie?’ queried Berakiel.  ‘Oh, alright.  What do you want to go and see?’

 

Gone with the wind.  There is a cinema out in Mitraphora which shows it all the time.  We could fly by plane, and spend the night in the city.  Have a good time.’

 

Alright Alindrel.  Sounds good enough to me.  When do you want to leave?’

 

We can catch the six thirty flight tonight.  I already have the tickets reserved.  Oh, I’ll pay.  I don’t mind.’

 

Ok.  Yeh, it would be good to get out to Mitraphora again.  I haven’t been out that far for a while.’

 

 Mitraphora was the third disc of the Realm of Eternity, there now being 30 of them, with Canbraphora the current outer disc, and by far the largest.  Actually getting right out to the edge of the rim, apart from taking one of the portals, which was expensive to purchase a ticket for now anyway, took quite a bit of travelling now.  Technically you could walk all the way to the outer rim, but that would probably take aeons.  But, supposedly, the rim would go on expanding eternally outwards, such being the plan of God.

 

 Living in the central realms of Zaphora and Terraphora was, in truth, quite expensive now unless you were a Seraphim or Cherubim.  The Ketravim, Saruvim, Abraphim, Noahphim and Celestyels and the rest of the angels all occupied the outer rims, with travel to the centre strictly regulated and on a rostered basis.  They simply could not allow everyone under the sun to travel to the centre of the Realm of Eternity as the crowds would be overwhelming.  That said, they had become lenient enough that it was a bulging metropolis around Zaphon now anyway.  Zaphon itself had been expanded a great number of times and now stood over 100,000 cubits upwards, towering over the other surrounding towers in the central city district of Zaphora.  Most traditional keeps were enormous these days, apart from Bethlephon and Danielphon, those keeps respective owners, Davriel and Daniel the Seraphims preferring to keep them small, perhaps out of ego, or perhaps as suited their styles.

 

 Of course, Zaphora housed over a trillion souls now, many of them in Zaphon itself, and it was the nub of commerce and life in the Realm of Eternity.  Purchasing a unit in Zaphon itself, in one of the upper penthouse suites, it seemed, was the life goal of half the angels of the Realm of Eternity.  And one day for humanity as well, according to a recent ruling of God.  When the 40th disc was complete, God had deemed that there would be sufficient room and an appropriate amount of tradition having been built up to allow the richer humans, those who could actually afford it, to buy land in the Realm of Eternity.  And supposedly this would go for the Realm of Infinity up above them eventually as well.  They were intended to merge, gradually, in the words of God.  Not straight away, but slowly and gradually, so as not to upset the apple cart.  They were used to each other now, the angels and the humans, so this really was not objected to by anyone.  In fact, many humans apparently relished the opportunity to draw close to God in the throne-rooms of the Realm’s when their rostered times became available.  It was rare he would speak to any human out in the human’s planetary sectors of the spiritual universe, but he would usually speak with anyone who presented themselves to a throneroom in the Realm of Eternity or Infinity.

 

 ‘Well, it will be good to get away for a while, dear Berry.  It will be good.’

 

He kissed her on the forehead, smiled, and turned on the television set, switching to a the cricket channel.  She smiled looking at him.  He really was a guy, still into the cricket.  But she didn’t mind that, and guessed he needed such things to keep himself busy.  But that was life after all, wasn’t it.  Keeping yourself busy with things, while the merry humdrum of everyday existence went on all about you.

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

 ‘So what brings on the visit?’ Daniel asked Ariel, quite surprised to see her after so long.

 

The recent news.  On God’s good blessing for us.’

 

Oh, that.  I guess I should have known.’

 

How have you been Daniel?’

 

Oh, alright Ariel.  You know, same old same old, I guess.’

 

That is good.’

 

And you?’

 

Oh, alright.  Quite good, actually.  All things considered.’

 

Any romance?’

 

A few.  One marriage which lasted a century.  A human, Jonathon.  He was kind.  We separated in the end – it was never going to last forever, and we both knew that.  But it was good while it lasted.  I had a child to him.  Fiona.  My 78th, now.’

 

Is it that many?  I guess they do add up after a while.’

 

And you?  Still the same dozen?’

 

Yes, the same 12 kids.  I think it will be a good long time before I bother again.’

 

And which child is the child of your heart, dearest Daniel?’

 

Why, Rachel of course.  Who else could possibly come close.’  Rachel was the child Ariel and Daniel shared together.

 

That is good to hear.  Anyway, I am returning to Zaphora.  For a while, I think.  And perhaps for a good long while.  A very good long while.  With the new blessing there are things I want to achieve, now.  Eternal things.  And a foundation is needed for that.’

 

He looked at her, curiousity aroused.  ‘And you don’t yet have that foundation?  That surprises me.’

 

Oh, and you have worked everything out, have you?  Still the master of all knowledge in your heart I take it.’

 

He backed off.  ‘No, no longer that arrogant, dear sister.  I know my limitations.  I am only a mere angel, as frail and human, I guess, as the rest of us.’

 

Too true.  Anyway, do you mind if I call Danielphon my home?  You have a dozen rooms you don’t seem to be using, so it will do me.  I don’t mind the privacy, despite all the commerce from Zaphon buzzing around here as well.’

 

Oh, they respect my privacy well enough.  Laws of Zaphora point out the protocols required for the Seraphim.  Davriel enjoys the same privileges.  I think both of us need a degree of privacy.’

 

Well, will it be a problem?  Me staying here at Danielphon?’

 

No, that should be okay.  Really, there are not many else whose company I would really want on a permanent basis anyway.  Meludiel, Ambriel.  Maybe even Michael and Elenniel, or Gabriel and Aquariel.  A few of the other Seraphim.  But you are entirely welcome, dear sister.’

 

That is good to hear.  Any food in the house?’

 

Do you like cold pizza?  I order it regularly, and usually leave some in the fridge overnight.’

 

Don’t you worry about your weight?’

 

I have worked out how my body works and how much I can eat and what luxuries when and were I can afford them.  I have pizza once a week, but otherwise have a pretty good diet.  Oh, and I still love the Coca Cola.  Which is ironic.  Callodyn and young Daniel the Cherubim and the Dreamlord fellow all like Coke, from what I have heard.  Must be a Daniel thing.’

 

Oh yes, that was Callodyn’s human name, wasn’t it.  I had forgotten that.’

 

He doesn’t use it much any more, apparently.  Prefers Callodyn.’

 

His books, you know.  I read them quite a bit.  Very similar to yours in so many ways.  As if he is coming from the same line of thought very often.’

 

Perhaps a Daniel thing again?’

 

Could be.  So, where is this pizza?’

 

Daniel led the way into the kitchen, and opened the fridge, getting out a box with a half eaten pizza.  ‘It’s a pepperoni.  Usually my favourite.’

 

Oh, I love pepperoni.’

 

Do you?’

 

Oh yes.  I appreciate the spice now.  Quite a lot.’

 

He smiled at that.  ‘Well, do you have your things with you?’

 

No, nothing really.  I travel light now anyway.  Just my backpack with a change of clothes and my banking details for the Realm.  I have plenty put away, so can buy what I need afresh.’

 

It can be like that, can’t it.  It seems we stay the same, but what we carry around with us comes and goes.  Always changing, but the heart remaining the same.’

 

That’s life, I suppose.  But Zaphora doesn’t really change much anymore.  Out in the west, near Golden Lake, it is virtually untouched since our youth, and the Garden has never been touched.’

 

That is law, now.  God won’t have those parts changed.’

 

Yes, I assumed as such.’  She took a piece of pizza and grabbed one of his cans of Coke.  ‘Do you have any good DVDs?’

 

Oh, I have it all on pay tv and a huge collection of ‘Permanent watching Rights’ movies.  They cost a fortune for the permanent rights, but they are yours to watch forever then with no charge.

 

Yes, that is a good thing in the Realm.  We are so fortunate for our technological advances to come up with the machinery to allow that.’

 

There is a core computer at Zaphon which God maintains.  It will last forever, so he says.  Basically, the permanent rights stuff is paid to his own account and he pays his workers to provide the connections.’

 

No wonder he is so rich now.’

 

Comes from being God, I suppose.  And being eternal.’

 

He gets all the breaks,’ smiled Ariel.

 

Oh, he spends his money alright.  He has told me that he often uses it to sweet talk younger angels into doing things for him.  It was the old fashioned way of obedience with us oldies, but he compromises the hell out of his older principles with some of the younger ones.’

 

Just there way, Dan.  I think that is the way it was always going to be.  After all, you know how liberal the younger ones are on sexual relations and all their other attitudes.  They were not made for holiness the way we were.  Different in their creation.’

 

Are they?’ he queried.  ‘Are they really that different?  Or did us oldies give up taking holiness that seriously in the end?  Was it too much for us?  Too much of a commitment?  And did they pay the price because of it?’

 

Don’t you think God has the answers to those questions?’

 

Probably.  But his insights don’t always come cheap.  You can wait thousands of years for an answer sometimes, and often it is dubious, clouded in mystery?’

 

Such is the way of eternal life,’ she said, munching on the pizza.

 

Come on then.  What do you want to watch?  You can scroll through my list.’

 

They headed into the living room with the rest of the pizza and coke, and she sat down next to him on  the couch.  He handed her the remote and she spent 20 minutes navigating through the menu of genres and eras, finally finding something which looked interesting.  A romantic comedy called ‘2 hearts’.

 

This is a good one,’ said Daniel.  ‘You should enjoy.’

 

Let’s hope so,’ she responded, snuggling up next to him and watching the movie, nibbling on the pizza.

 

 

 

He looked at her, laying against him, and smiled to himself a little.  It was funny, that.  How life seemed to provide for you when perhaps you needed it the most.  It was funny that.

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

 Michael and Elenniel were out on Golden lake, in the west of Zaphora, floating over the still, calm waters, simply enjoying life.  It was a gentle day, not too hot, not too cold, and everything seemed right in the world.  It was Sabbath, rest day, and they had decided to visit Dameriel at Glimmersphon to spend the day and Sabbath night, returning home the following morning.  Glimmersphon was virtually unchanged since earlier years, having been basically just maintained.  The original stone was still under much of the paintwork, but a lot of it had now been replaced, not surprising given the vast amount of time since its initial building.  And Dameriel was like Glimmersphon in many ways.  His twin, Florel, was usually also found at Glimmersphon, but was often at work with her career on various discs of the realm.  She was an astute businesswoman, now, head of a number of corporations, one in particular which ran a chain of ‘Bed & Breakfast’ establishments, in true Glimmersphon tradition.  Dameriel had shares in most of her companies, but generally left her to oversee such things.  He was happy and content with Glimmersphon, and saw no great need to change from what gave him happiness.

 

Michael looked to the east, gazing at the city of Zaphona, the name tentatively given to Zaphon and the surrounding city district in the heart of Zaphora.  It was not yet official, but had been used for as long as Michael could remember now, probably well over 100,000 years old in usage.  Michael had queried God wether they should adopt it as an official name, but God just said ‘MAYBE ONE DAY.’

 

Zaphona went up very high, naturally.  100,000 cubits was about 50 kilometres in human terms, and the uppermost tower of Zaphon itself towered over the realm.  It really was quite a spectacle to behold.

 

How life has changed, dear sister.  How life has changed.’

 

How so,’ queried Elenniel, taking a sip of water from her flask.

 

I know it is not exactly yesterday, but sometimes it seems it was only just yesterday that we were all innocent Seraphim, first hearing the words of Gabriel about the creation of our dear Cherubim brethren.  My, how time has flown.’

 

The nature of eternal life, dear brother.  It comes, it goes.  We fill it in as we will.’

 

I guess we do at that,’ he replied.

 

He continued staring out at the city for some time, enjoying all the bright lights and haphazard, seemingly, designs which still seemed to flow together in some weird sort of harmony.  It had not been strategically planned, to begin with, the structure of Zaphona.  It just seemed to form itself naturally along with demand.  But after a while they had been a little more careful to ensure it complied with some sense of aesthetic attraction.  That was, of course, still important as well.  Perhaps they had succeeded, perhaps they hadn’t, time would tell on that.  But it was, if nothing else, absorbing entertainment to gaze upon and perhaps they had succeeded in that sense.  It was something which gave life an interesting spark in the Realm of Eternity.

 

Michael thought on his bestselling novel, ‘Life in General.’  It was doing well in the last dozen millennia, doing very well indeed, and had finally gotten into the top 20 all time bestsellers in the realm, for the first time ever.  Daniel, his younger Seraphim brother, still held all the top 10 slots, but Callodyn had seven of the numbers from 11 to 20.  And Michael had a suspicion that Callodyn, perhaps, might one day rise to the top.  Critically they were both exceedingly popular writers, but Michael felt Daniel had been given the edge simply because he wrote a lot earlier on, was a respected Seraphim, and had a tradition of being the number one writer in the Realm.  But Callodyn was catching up, and age would only help his Cherubim brother.  Michael, naturally, promoted ‘Life in General’ quite a bit, and regularly gave talks about it and answered endless email questions and inquiries.  He had one other book in the top 100, way down at 78 currently, and that was proving popular continuously.  But ‘Life in General’ he knew was his best work, and he intended to maintain a professional attitude forever in how he promoted the work and responded to questions about it.  He was not sure if he would ever get to number one, which was an unstated goal of his, but he hoped for the best and would persevere.  Really, he had no other option but to do that.  The other threat was Ambriel’s ‘Love’, which was sitting happily at number 13 currently on the all time list.  Michael honestly believed that the Apostle Paul had prayed for it, in true Corinthian fashion, to remain at number 13.  It was both the 13th chapter of Corinthians which spoke of love in the New Testament, and the love shown to the Devil in Ambriel’s work, the Devil’s number also being 13.  He believed that, but when speaking with Paul, while he wouldn’t actually deny that, just smiled at the suggestion.  Perhaps it was just one of life’s little ironies, Paul had suggested.  Perhaps that was all it was.

 

He stared at the city for a final few moments, and then gazed at Elenniel who was resting under an umbrella.  Perhaps a snooze.  Perhaps a quiet snooze, before returning ashore.  Elenniel was content, so he laid back, closed his eyes, and started counting sheep.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

The movie had been what Alindrel had hoped for, and now they were at a city tower restaurant, gazing out over the nightlife.

 

 Mitraphora was an enormous disc compared with Terraphora.  It was the same length again outwards as Zaphora and Terraphora combined, which naturally led to a huge area of land, as it circled all of Terraphora.  In fact, all the outer discs followed this basic principle, expanding double fold the distance from Zaphon to the edge of previous disc with each expansion.  The distances in ‘Canbraphon’, the current outer most disc were ‘mind boggling’ so it was said.  Alindrel had never visited Canbraphon, but took those who spoke to her of it word for granted.  It was a common joke in the inner discs that walking to the outermost rim would take so long that by the time you finally got to the outermost disc you had started towards, there would already be manifold expansions beyond that.  Something which, with the neverending birth of children, seemed now perhaps impossible to actually achieve.  ‘Thank God for the Web Net’, was what most people went on about instead, which made all distances short.  The Web Net of the Realm was run by God himself, now, with a special light-like substance, only available for the Web Net, used to transfer data.  It was practically instant, so God maintained, and no matter how far out the realm went, would always be at such a speed, so he maintained.  It was actually just making the initial connection through the actual typing or speaking in to the computer which took the time.  All data transfer was basically instantaneous after that.  Cimbrel maintained that God had spoken to him of the substance, and that it was special spiritual matter God himself had used from time to time for communication purposes.  Apparently, also, in words which spoke of God’s infinite forethought, he had planned for the substance to be used for the Web Net for a very long time.  Regardless, everyone in the realm was eternally grateful for the stuff, and eternally grateful to God for making the linking of their lives so simple.

 

To you,’ said Berakiel, raising a glass to his twin.

 

Why thank you, kind sir,’ responded Alindrel, and raised her glass of Champagne to her lips, taking a sip while staring into Berakiel’s eyes.

 

We must do this again, dear sister.  I have had the time of my life – really.  Really, we must do this again.’

 

It would be my delight, dear Berry.  It would be my delight.’  And he smiled at her, with that delicate smile Berakiel gave out when he was very pleased with things.

 

They made love in the hotel that night, and Alindrel conceived.  She found out she was pregnant a few weeks later, and thought about the birth of the new child.  She would wait to see what it was, but it was a good omen, hopefully.  She’d had over 100 children, now, mostly a thing of younger years.  But she’d only had 3 children with Berakiel, and another seemed, at this moment, perfect.  She would speak to him of the child soon and, hopefully, her intentions could be realized.  Her most honourable intentions.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Callodyn sat with Kayella in the spaceport.  They would be leaving, soon, returning to the Realm of Eternity and Callodyn’s abode in Zaphon.  He hadn’t been back for a while now and was looking forward to it in that sense, naturally.  But he was looking forward to it, now, in a much deeper sense.  A much, much deeper sense.  It was now, finally, his.  Eternal life.  He had prayed for it countless times earlier on in his life, and had always wondered wether he would be truly granted such a gift.  But, in all the years he had persevered through life, he had never really known if God ever would grant it.  And now, suddenly, here it was.  The gift of life eternal, and right now, right at the beginning of this eternal odyssey, in a sense, he knew just were he belonged, were he had to be.  And with Kayella, his twin, sitting beside him, waiting on the flight home, he thanked God in his heart yet again for the gift he had so anxiously waited upon.

 

Next to him Kayella was playing a hand-held Nintendo game.  Nintendo was hugely popular throughout the human planets, as were Sega and Microsoft and the others.  They had started way back in the 20th century of the Christian calendar, back on earth, but had never died and only gotten more popular, as so many of the ancient companies had.  She was playing one of the endless variety of ‘Mario’ games, and was half way through it, so she claimed.  Callodyn still liked playing them as well, and did so from time to time, but was not as fussy as he had been in his youth.

 

He was happy, Callodyn.  He was happy.  He thought, now, on his books and his royalties and was suddenly oh so very appreciative to God that he had answered his own prayers of youth and inspired him to write.  He knew just how popular he was in the Angelic Realms, something which had not crossed over as greatly amongst humanity, but that didn’t matter that much.  He wanted to be popular, and rich, in the end, as he supposed so many did.   But now, now with the gift of eternal life before him, that mattered an incredible amount more – an infinite amount more.  Now, everything he wrote which was commercial was important.  Every story, every chapter, every sentence, word and letter virtually, mattered.  They mattered because with the establishment of the Web Net throughout the Realm, all his books were available to be purchased online, apart from the foundational ones which were free to read, and with the eternally expanding realm due to children not stopping coming forth, his royalties and wealth, it seemed, would now never end.  He knew, in his heart, he never had to work again.  He knew that.  But he had the faintest hint of a goal in his heart – if you are going to actually compete, which had never really been his goal, but if you are going to, you may as well work towards being number one.  And his initial successes in the realm so far were excellent – he owned 7 of the slots in the all time list from number 11 to 20, and about a dozen more in the top 1000, 3 of them in the rest of the top 100.  His best works, he was told, were incredible.  Truly memorable literature.  Since the early glory days, though, people generally knew what to expect from him, and he offered few new surprises, but his ‘Chronicles’ steadily unfolded and each new novel usually landed the number one slot in the current bestsellers list of the realm for a few weeks at least.  Daniel his Seraphim brother was a constant competitor, and Ambriel never ceased it seemed from having a new release within a few months.  He had matched Callodyn’s early output, and they were now neck and neck in total number of works.  Callodyn had the greater sales figures over all compared to Ambriel, but not by a lot.  Of course, Daniel the Seraphim was still number one in all time sales figures, but there was competition.  He worried himself about Meludiel.  She was in at number 19 at the moment, one place ahead of Michael, and her other books were constant sellers as well.  She had a distinctly different style, quite female oriented, and she was the dark horse Callodyn feared the most in the long term.  But there was lots of competition – lots of it – and you could never tell what works would pop up one day.  Some great masterpiece, perhaps already written, but sitting on a USB drive somewhere, waiting for the day to strike.  Time would only tell on that – time would only tell.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

 Daniel and Ariel were in Zaphon, right up near the top, in one of the restaurants, overlooking the Realm.  It was late, near 12, and the lights were bright over the city of Zaphona.  They had run into Callodyn and Kayella earlier on that day, the two of them having just arrived back to the Realm.   They had  reminisced about old times, and Daniel inquired into how ‘Haven Noahide Fellowship’ was faring.  Callodyn had spoken of the ‘usual growth’ throughout humanity’s planets, and gave figures well into the quadrillions now for official membership.  ‘I receive tithe offerings all the time, Daniel,’ Callodyn had stated.  ‘It has never been a policy to ask for funds for the maintenance of the fellowship ministers lives, but we followed the Jehovah’s Witness tradition of accepting donations for the maintenance of the buildings, the literature and charity and evangelistic work.  But occasionally people make donations to elders in the fellowship, so we have a policy of allowing freewill offerings if members want to make them.  We do strive to be representatives of the divine, and people often look to our elders in a priestly or pastoral sense.’

 

Daniel had asked Callodyn what the fellowship now taught in spiritual matters, and Callodyn had replied that they taught a lot of the Angelic Torah’s and interpretations alongside the standard ‘Rainbow Bible’ teaching the fellowship maintained.  ‘The core teaching doesn’t actually change, really,’ Callodyn had stated.  There are 70 official volumes of dogma, creed and doctrine which the fellowship maintains.  We call it the ‘Catechism of Haven Noahide Fellowship’ after Christian tradition.  It is amended occasionally, but rarely now.  The first volume is a contents volume and brief synopsis of the following 68 volumes, while the 70th volume is purely an index.  A lot of the time it is just the first volume which sells or is given away.  People get to know our beliefs, generally, from that.’

 

Daniel found all the information absorbing, and was happy to find some of his teaching was still the subject of some of the earlier material in the teaching.  He had been involved with ‘Haven’ in its initial foundation all those years ago back in Canberra on Earth, but had taken little interest since the resurrection.  But Callodyn maintained the official doctrine for the fellowship, if not the High Priesthood, which fluctuated around some of the older families of the fellowship.   ‘One of our primary goals,’ Callodyn had stated, ‘is to remain culture current, but grounded on those beliefs, practices and traditions which remain unchanging and eternal.  Focused on true spirituality, on foundational beliefs which should not change, but relating to each era that comes and goes in appropriate and acceptable spiritual behaviour.  In other words, flexible to culture, but eternal to morality.’  It was a teaching Callodyn had established back on Earth, and a view which really didn’t seem to have changed very much.  And, perhaps, nor should it.

 

Callodyn had disappeared with Kayella that afternoon, but were scheduled to meet them around midnight in the restaurant they were in for a nightcap.  Ariel looked out over the city and asked Daniel a most unusual request.  ‘Sing me a song, Danny.  One of your own.  Go on.  Sing me a love song.’  Daniel looked at her, smiled at her request, and went over to the bar to ask the barman if he could play on the piano, which was not refused.  The barman spoke on a microphone and announced to the late night audience a special event.  ‘Daniel the Seraphim is here with us tonight, ladies and gentlemen.  And he is going to sing a song for us.  How about a round of applause.’

 

There were some cheers, and claps, and Daniel sat down at the piano, looking at Ariel.  Just then Callodyn and Kayella walked in, saw Daniel about to play, and sat down near the entrance.  They went quiet as the audience did and Daniel began playing, and slowly singing.

 

Sweet child of God.  Sweet and fair maiden.

 

Be mine forever.  My heart for you is laden,

 

With love and gifts of joy,

 

With Torah’s purest grace

 

I want to know your hearts delight,

 

To see your beautiful face

 

 

 

Sweet child of God

 

I’ll love you forever

 

Sweet child of God

 

I’ll never leave you, never

 

 

 

Sweet child of God

 

I’ll be forever true

 

Sweet child of God

 

My heart it is for you’

 

 

 

He continued on, through about 4 more verses, and finishing off with an extended coda of melody, he finished and gave a bow to much applause.  Returning to Ariel, he sat down next to her, put his arm around her shoulders, and whispered into her ear, ‘Sweet child of God.’  She blushed, and took his hand in hers, and laid her head on his shoulder.

 

Callodyn and Kayella suddenly appeared and Callodyn gave him a little clap.  ‘That’s one of yours, isn’t it.  From an old CD.’

 

A very early one, actually.  Glad you remembered it.’

 

Hey, you’re hard to forget.’

 

They chatted on into the late evening and early morning, not quite getting sloshed, but consuming a fair bit of various alcoholic substances.  Around 3 in the morning they were all down a few levels, having hired one of the hotel pools on that level of Zaphon.  And they were skinny dipping, of all things, Callodyn blushing at seeing Ariel naked.  She really was quite an attractive angel, and seeing her naked hardened him up somewhat, something he tried to hide from Daniel who didn’t appear to notice.  He did notice, but didn’t care.  Ariel had had enough different lovers by now, and if Callodyn was ever to be one of those it would happen inevitably.  Such was life.

 

They schmoozed the night away, happy with everything, and while they woke up with hangovers the following morning, looking bleary eyed out at the new day, they wouldn’t have had the night before any other way.  Really, not any other way.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Alindrel was beside herself.  Upon hearing the news Berakiel had gone silent for a while, but then had been overjoyed.  And then the most exciting thing of all, something which she had truly wanted for herself, but which had happened without her, seemingly, having to do anything more.  He had proposed.  And she was overjoyed.

 

 The wedding, their second, happened 5 months later, still before the birth of the child, and a number of Seraphim, including Michael and Elenniel were in attendance, alongside their other three children, Joshua, Caleb and Margaret.  It was a memorable wedding, and the Father of Eternity dropped in on them in spiritual form, hiding away so as not to be noticed, happy that his young daughter was finding the relationship she needed with her twin.

 

Later on that day, Michael and Elenniel sat, reflecting back all those years ago to their first wedding in eternity.  They had never separated, remained faithful to each other, and were as loyal as ever.  ‘Perhaps they will all find the happiness we have together with their twins one day, dear brother,’ Elenniel remarked.

 

Perhaps one day, sis.  But could life ever be that simple in the Realm of Eternity.  I mean, with people like Daniel for starters.’

 

And Elenniel laughed.

 

 * * * * *

 

450,000 HY

 

'What have they called it?' asked Valandriel.

 

Daniel looked at his brother. 'Earth Prime,' said Daniel. 'Earth Omega was considered, but they settled on calling the 45th planetary body Earth Prime. 'It is now officially settled with 3 billion souls thriving in the colony established centuries ago, and admitted into the Council of the United Galaxy. Talk, though. They are thinking they've had enough.'

 

'Enough of what?' asked Ambriel, not looking up from a copy of Valandriel's ancient playboy. They were in the dorms in Zaphon, hanging around, talking shit.

 

'Enough of humanity growing outwards. There is already talk of retracting themselves, and returning to Earth alone to live. Apparently aliens aren't everyone's cup of tea.'

 

'Rimwalker likes them. He married one,' said Ambriel.

 

'She's hot too,' said Valandriel. 'Chance Kibb'Starr. Reminds me of Britney Spears as a Smurf or something. Hot Arcturian babe.'

 

'We can mate with them as well,' said Daniel. 'I don't know. Maybe God has had enough of the aliens idea. I don't recall whose suggestion it was.'

 

Ambriel looked at Daniel. 'I recall.'

 

'Nothing to say,' replied Daniel. 'Anyway, it's a shame if they pull back just to Earth. Mankind should go on expanding forever.'

 

'Why?' asked Valandriel.

 

'Human nature. We're explorers,' replied Daniel. 'We need to broaden our horizons. It's what we do as people.'

 

'And sometimes they get big enough, and its nice to be a big fish in a small pond again,' said Ambriel, looking at the porno mag.

 

'True enough,' replied Daniel.

 

'Whatever happens, I am sure God has it all under control,' said Valandriel.

 

'I am sure as well,' replied Daniel.

 

And another afternoon passed.

 

The End

 

 

 

The Angels Saga

 

Chronicles of the

 

Children of Destiny

 

 

Earth Prime

 

 

by

 

Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly

 

Copyright 6180 SC

 

 

 

Prologue

 

'Daniel. You are more than an idiot. You are vain,' said Ambriel. 'What the heck is the big interest in Earth Prime all about? Why do you want to poke around down there. Leave them be. They hardly need interference from the likes of you.'

 

'45's are my specialty,' replied Daniel, looking at his blueprints.

 

'What the hell is all that shit?' asked Ambriel.

 

'I'll be building a space station. To observe Earth Prime from officially. Had words with God. He'll likely be settling many Primers on a corresponding planetary body in our universe.'

 

'Primers?' queried Ambriel, eyebrow raised.

 

'Earth Prime citizens. They da coolest,' said Daniel.

 

'My my. The cold hearted beast has a fascination at last. And here I thought my twin was the source of your eternal anxiety.'

 

'Be that as it may, yes, I occasionally take an interest in things,' replied Daniel. 'What do you think? How about Centrality Orbiter? That make a good name for the space station.'

 

'You do have pride, I admit it, but get real,' replied Ambriel.

 

'Centrality Orbiter it is then,' said Daniel resolutely. 'I shall study these mere humans, and devote my energy to planet 45 of our stuff.'

 

'You do that,' said Ambriel smiling. 'Oh, and send me pictures. Can't wait to see an album of all the chicks you fancy.'

 

'Shaddup,' replied Daniel. Ambriel only grinned all the more.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Frank stood on the Captain's Deck of the British Spaceship 'Valiant Warrior' looking out at the sight before him. 'Earth Prime'. His new home. They'd given him honour after his years of service, with a special presentation of a gold watch and a certificate, but importantly a healthy retirement fund from the 'British Galactic Space Armada', for which he'd worked many long years tirelessly. And he'd decided to take that fund and go to the true Final Frontier. Earth Prime, the most recent settlement of humanity in the Galaxy, a planet very similar to Earth, which had been claimed by Terran's millennia ago, and just recently admitted as the 45th official body of Terran Planetary Habitation into the United Galaxy. And it was to be his home till the day he died. He didn't have family, to speak of, back on Earth. It had been a solitary life since 18 when he'd joined up, and now, at 52, a decorated veteran, he was looking for a new adventure. He still had it, though. A thirst for life. A thirst for new adventure. Sailing the stars had been brill, but there was action and excitement over Earth Prime, and they'd been in the news back on Earth a lot, with all their new glories of their new world. It was the place where the new life was, so many said. And that drew Frank's attention, so that was where he would settle up.

 

The ship landed, and the first mate saluted Frank as he left, and came into the terminal. He approached a desk, and was greeted by a pretty lady with a name badge which read 'Helen'.

 

'Hello Helen. Captain Frank Jones. But you can call me Frank.'

 

'Hello Mr Jones. Welcome to Earth Prime. Can I see your passport please?'

 

Frank handed her his new Earth Prime passport which he'd had allocated and sent to him upon applying for citizenship to Earth Prime.

 

'I see your a new citizen. Come to see what all the fuss is about have you?' Helen asked, looking at the passport and stamping it.

 

'I've retired. Need a new challenge.'

 

'We get that a lot,' replied Helen. A buzzer went off just then, and Helen looked at the clock on her panel.

 

'Oh, my shift is finished,' she said. She looked at him. 'You don't have family with you?'

 

'Single. Looking to perhaps start something here on Earth Prime, but I don't know if its really for me. Used to being a solitary man.'

 

'I'm 30,' Helen said.

 

Frank nodded.

 

'And single,' she replied.

 

'Lovely,' Frank replied again.

 

'Do you have somewhere to go?' she asked.

 

'Not really. Just thought I'd see where adventure takes me.'

 

Helen logged of her name, and picked up her handbag, and came out and stood in front of Frank. 'Let me show you Earth Prime. I'm free for the rest of the day. Nothing better to do anyway.'

 

Frank was a little taken aback, but softened immediately. 'Well, ok Helen. What can I call you?'

 

'Helen. Helen Smith,' she replied. So Helen indicated the way out of the Terminal, and they came to her vehicle. And as it drove along Frank hummed to himself. Earth Prime. Where the action was indeed, he thought to himself sarcastically.

 

* * * * *

 

'Life goes on, Jack,' said Diane.

 

Jack looked at the book again. 'The Wisdom of S.A. Tan', he said. 'You are reading the Wisdom of S. A. Tan. You don't think with a name like that that you are pretty fucked in the head, dear?'

 

'Shaddup,' she said. 'He's brilliant. Has many insights.'

 

Jack turned the book over. 'Former member of the Church of Lucifer. True proponent of honesty in life, and doing what you really want to do. Freedom unlimited. He's frikking a loony, Diane. It'll fuck you up, dear. One day it will really fuck you up.'

 

'It's my life. And I won't be told what I can read by the likes of you Jack Hawker.'

 

'I'm your husband. We have family. And I don't like it.'

 

'I don't tell you what to read,' replied Diane.

 

Jack looked at the book again, and sighed. 'Fine, dear. I don't think it wise, but yes, its your life and your rights to read what you want. Earth Prime is like that, isn't it? Full of people rights and liberties and their own expression of things.'

 

'It's why it's such a wonderful place to live,' said Diane. 'People are their real selves here. So much of this universe has worlds hampered down with endless legalism and authoritarian beureacrats telling everyone what to do and how to behave and what to think. Earth Prime is alive. We're that last expression of human enterprise to my way of thinking, like all the talk shows say. We're were humanity is still kicking and screaming, alive to possibility, not bogged down in dogma.'

 

Jack looked at her. 'I should have married a Jehovah's Witness.'

 

'Shaddup,' she replied, and cheekily pinched his bottom. 'They wouldn't give you the kind of loving you need, honey.'

 

Jack reached over and kissed her on the cheek. 'No, they probably wouldn't. Anyway, I'll be late for work. See you tonight.'

 

'Say bye to the kids before you leave,' said Diane.

 

As Jack drove to work he thought on his wife and the silly books she read. But she was a freespirited freethinker, so what would you expect? And that was just par for the course on Earth Prime, with all its fruit loops and crazies. Just par for the course.

 

* * * * *

 

Ricky Andrews and Fiona McKee looked up at the statue. 'Jan Kolby – The Rimalker – Champion of Galagon' read the plaque. 'Fascinating guy, his life story,' said Ricky. 'I did a research report for him as part of my thesis.'

 

'What was the title of the thesis?' asked Fiona.

 

'Improvements in shared interplanetary technology throughout the history of the Galaxy,' replied Ricky. 'It discussed how alien culture has intermixed with our own, and how societies learn from other societies, especially in technological development. I actually use some of the ideas from the thesis in our research company 'Earth Prime Driver Tech'.

 

'How on earth did you get Earth Prime into the title? That's reserved for official government businesses,' asked Fiona.

 

'We're an official NGO. Non-Government Organisation. Technically we're private sector, but a lot of our research is on behalf of Earth Prime Central Government.'

 

'Fascinating,' said Fiona.

 

'Pretty fucking much,' replied Ricky.

 

'You swear too much,' Fiona said to Ricky.

 

'Join the cue on that rebuke,' replied Ricky Andrews. 'Dad corrects me constantly. I don't fucking care though. Earth Prime is my home, and it's the custom here not to give too much of a shit about what everyone says and does. We're freedom Fiona. The way we all like it.'

 

'Earth Prime is still finding its feet,' replied Fiona. 'I often think it needs the religious to take their work more seriously. They don't care so much here. The One needs to get to work in our civilization also as far as I am concerned.'

 

'Your not even religious,' replied Ricky.

 

'I acknowledge the truth of Monotheism. I'm a good citizen. I observe the laws of the land carefully,' replied Fiona. 'It's why I studied legal aid at university. Religion is ok, don't get me wrong, but I'm for secular morality for the most part. Just the law.'

 

'Amazing,' said Ricky.

 

'Shall we continue on with the tour?' asked Fiona. 'The capital has so much to offer, so many things I'd only seen on the worldnet growing up. It's amazing to see them in real life. Such a real experience.'

 

'Let's get an ice cream first,' said Ricky.

 

Soon they were sitting on a bench, by a lake, in the capital city of the nation they were in holiday in in the southern hemisphere of Earth Prime, licking on their ice creams.

 

'Can Pookie have some of Poo's ice cream?' Fiona asked Ricky.

 

'STOP THAT! I AM A STRAIGHT TEDDY BEAR,' replied Ricky Andrews. And they burst into laughter, and Ricky offered Fiona a lick on his ice cream.

 

'You better marry me now,' said Ricky. 'You've eaten my cream.'

 

'Dream on,' said Fiona, and punched him lightly on the arm, as they watched the swans sail by, the sun shining brightly in the sky.

 

* * * * *

 

'….especially used in Trucks,' said Joey.

 

'We're experimenting on a VW,' said Jonny. 'Big red beast out back.'

 

Bob Andrews, CEO of 'Earth Prime Driver Tech' nodded. 'Always the trucks with you two. Monster Trucks especially from what I've noticed. I've given you guys a free hand in what you develop, but why truck technology all the time? It's only part of our work here.'

 

'Suits us. When we were little we fought over a little red truck, and we agreed later on to share the damn thing, then we both started collecting old trucks and fixing them up. We have a huge display shed back at the homestead filled with over 200 trucks we've fixed up. It's our specialty, especially VWs. Love their technology,' said Joey.

 

'Fair enough. Well there's ample business in the field so keep at it. But only so much on GPS technology. It's not much in vogue here. People like the real thing. It's part of the Earth Prime Bill of Rights. Driving on one's own skill. It's what sets us apart from some planets where its all controlled. People want their freedoms here, and they don't care about the risks.'

 

'We're older fashioned,' said Joey. 'In ancient earth history early transportation always ran on human effort. Some things don't change that much in the end.'

 

'Keep up the good work,' said Bob. 'Talk again.'

 

Bob left them, and returned to his office. He noticed an email from his son Ricky, who was on holiday cross the pond a bit, the neighbouring country from where they worked and lived. Fiona was perhaps interested more so now, he read, but told him to keep on dreaming. Good luck, Bob thought to his son. Fiona McKee was quite a catch. Smart lady, with a diabolical sense of humour, very suited to Ricky Andrews. He went through his other emails, and then clicked back to his designs on the screen which Earth Prim Driver Tech were working through at the moment. Back to work, after checking on some employees. Life went on after all.

 

* * * * *

 

The Stronghearth Industrial district of a city in a nation in the southern hemisphere of Earth Prime had a lot of technology driven industry. One of the NGOs was Earth Prime Driver Tech, which did a lot of work for Government organisations. Right next door to EPDT, though, was Complex Solutions, a robotics company. Lord Charles Stewart was the CEO of the company, a former member of the House of Lords from Essex in the United Kingdom on planet earth, Charles had established Complex Solutions on Earth Prime to get with the new ideas and creativity which was coming from the new world. He wanted to be were the action was. His chief roboticist was John Smith, who had a co-worker, Fiona Dawkins, who was very talented working alongside him. Fiona was a problem, though. She developed 'War Robots' and 'Fighting Robots' which were in demand throughout Earth Prime, especially for sporting events, and she seemed to delight when the robots she was designing beat each other to destruction. A strange woman in some ways. But John handled her, and did his job with skill. Very valued worker to Charles Stewart, even though his designs often had glitches which needed to be worked through, and he feared lawsuits against any dodgy product which Complex Solutions put out on the market which backfired on them. But they did a lot of experimental work, working with older ancient technology in the public domain a lot of the time, especially for the robust Earth Prime market which liked a bit of adventure. Fred Stone, his other chief roboticist, was gifted as well, but was like John in many ways. The products always had glitches which they'd overlooked in programming design, and it took Charles many hours of corrective work at times to fix the problems, as Charles himself was chief roboticist for the company.

 

Charles was 53 now, having moved to Earth Prime about a decade ago, and while he'd had a wife on earth, they'd divorced when he left, as he was seeking new adventure, and they'd fallen out of love long ago. Currently he was romancing a lady who also worked in the Industrial district, and that was going well.

 

'How's the design coming John?' Charles asked.

 

John Smith looked up from his work bench. 'Problems. The protocols on this one's a bitch. It has to be prepared to defend itself, and use force against a human if necessary to varying degrees. Complying with the legalities of Earth Prime law on the subject is a chancy sort of thing. I got to take risks, you know, or it will be just too tame for its work. Me and Fiona have worked hard on this fighting droid, and its perhaps our best model to date.'

 

'Protocol programming is always the hardest part,' replied Charles. 'I remember my thesis on Asimov's laws of Robotics. I concentrated on debating the morality of what Robots could and couldn't do. I should tell you about it some time.'

 

'Fascinating,' replied John. 'Is that all?'

 

Charles nodded, and watched as John got back to his work. He walked on through the building, checking with this and that worker, and got back to his office after his daily patrol. Lighting up a cigar, he smoked, and dimmed the lights, turning on some relaxation music. It was good to be the boss, it had its perks, and he enjoyed his little smokes, which he really should think better about for health reasons. But that was Earth Prime luxuries, wasn't it? You didn't always do what was best for you in the end.

* * * * *

'You don't get tired of dancing, do you Helen?' remarked Frank Jones.

'I like to dance. Earth Prime has some 'New Moves' she said, shaking her hips. They were in Helen's apartment, and Frank had settled down for the time being living with his new acquaintance. 'Work tonight?' asked Helen.

'Back to the grind. Need to work again,' said Frank. 'Need to do something. Been here a while now, and while I could enjoy some retirement time, just need to get back in the saddle.' He looked at her. 'I feel I might have found a new life here. A life which may have been on hold for a while.'

'Till things were sorted out and the universe knew what to do with you,' said Helen, taking the just toasted toast, and putting on some margarine and vegemite.

'How can you eat that stuff?' asked Frank. 'It's way to tangy for my liking.'

'You get used to it,' replied Helen. 'That robot design from Complex Solutions. Have you finished assessing it yet?'

'The force on Earth Prime are fussy,' said Frank. 'There not like Earth which gives things a go.'

'Hey, we're prime material. Get it right first time every time or move on buddy.'

'Don't I know it,' said Frank. 'Here that a lot. The spirit of excellence and nothing short of it.'

'It's the nature of the beast,' said Helen. 'Why we are Earth Prime. I looked over the design. It looks ok, but it's presentation is a little clunky. You could sort out its aesthetics far better. Smooth it out a lot.'

'It's functional and does the job well?' replied Frank.

'But we expect more here,' said Helen. 'It has to look cool also.'

'I'll keep that in mind Miss Smith,' said Frank. 'How do I look?' he asked her. He was in his uniform.

'A million bucks. No, a billion,' she said. 'Now go take it off, and get some rest. I'll be back at Midday and will spend the afternoon resting with you. We can go out for a meal, and then off to work.'

So Frank Jones went to the bedroom, looked at himself in the mirror, and took off his uniform, back in employment with his old scene, and enjoyed the bliss of a relationship which had started from nothing but which, so far, seemed to be the new lease of life that he was looking for.

* * * * *

Jack Hawker examined the lawnmower. The X77 model.

'Come on,' he said. 'You can do this.'

'You're too lazy, Jack,' said Frank.

'Bite me Jones,' replied Jack Hawker. 'What Helen sees in you is beyond my imagination.'

'Come on mate,' said Frank. 'Let the great spirit of enterprise of Earth Prime rev you up and get you going. Set the standard, mate,' said Frank.

'Ignore him,' said Helen, coming out on to the driveway. 'He is an idiot when he wants to be.'

'Typical Earth man,' said Jack. 'No idea about standards.'

'Doesn't that thing self mow anyway?' asked Frank, getting into the automobile.

'That's hardly the point, Frank,' replied Jack. 'I do this once a fortnight, and it requires concentration to do it perfectly. I like our grass lawn to look exquisite.'

Frank looked at the lawn. The Hawker's indeed kept an immaculate lawn, typical on Earth Prime.

'Oh, I've finished that book by Mr Tan,' said Helen. 'I'll give it back to Diane tomorrow some time.'

'No problems,' replied Jack, looking at the lawnmower. 'Come one,' he said, revving himself up. 'You can do this.'

'Get in the zone,' mocked Frank. 'The zone buddy,' he said, pointing his hand at his own forehead.'

'Depart ye heathen earth man,' replied Jack.

Frank chuckled, and closed the door. And as the neighbours of Jack and Dianne Hawker pulled off to their evening meal, Jack Hawker psyched himself up for yet another adventure in lawn mowing to the highest and most professional of standards.

* * * * *

'Another day, another dollar,' said Ricky.

'You should know,' said Fiona. 'Your dad runs a strict ship, and you may be the most lackadaisacal citizen of our world, but you need to get your act together and maintain the plan. We have a plan,' said Fiona. 'We have a plan.'

'Yeh, I know. Ricky settled down onto the couch after another days work at Earth Prime Drive Tech, and flicked on the TV.

'Go across the road and talk to Frank and Jack. They are on the front lawn drinking beer. I'm reading a book Dianne lent me, and I want a few more hours to finish it.'

'Fine,' said Ricky, getting to his feet. He kicked himself across the road, and, to the nods of his neighbours, sat down, and took a beer from the Esky.

'Tough day at work?' asked Jack.

'Another one,' said Ricky. 'Busy at the moment. Society has a new structure at the moment with the new president, and things are aligning with a new model in the public services and the like. They want up to date design and culture current designs for their official vehicles. We're refining some old models and working on some new stuff.'

'Life goes on,' said Jack. 'Even when the thrill of living is gone.'

'Don't I know it,' replied Ricky.

The three of them drank beer for a while, as the twilight slowly descended.

'The lawn looks good,' said Ricky.

'To the highest of standards,' replied Jack proudly.

'Sometimes I think that,' said Ricky. 'Don't get me wrong, I like the casual way a fair bit. It's what I'm about. I like my freedoms. But this is Earth Prime, and I don't kid myself that people value their freedom for a reason. To be the glory they want to be.'

'We're America in a lot of ways,' said Jack.

'Don't I know it,' said Frank. 'They say law of the jungle, our opponents, but not in reality. Every man has a standard they set on this planet.'

'The whole point I guess,' said Ricky.

'It's the way we like it in the end,' said Jack.

Frank looked at them both. 'In the end I probably do to. But more than that. Helen is pregnant, and I think my seed probably has that in them. That idea. I'm a military man and believe in high standards, but couldn't find anyone on Earth I really connected to in the end. But I get here and at the spaceport I meet my new woman. And we're scheduled to get married in the spring.'

'Oh, congratulations,' said Ricky.

'This is probably home now,' said Frank. 'Not what I'm completely used to, but it seems to be what life wants from me.'

'It all fits together in a big conundrum of the divine will,' said Ricky.

'Probably,' said Jack.

'I guess so,' said Frank.

And they drank beer, and mused, and the evening continued on its merry way.

* * * * *

Bob surveyed the design. Joey and Jonny were standing by eagerly. Bob took out the 'Government Design Protocols' new edition. He leafed through it and read a number of passages. After a while he put the book down and returned his focus to the design.

'Right, diplomacy is now a key focus for the new president and administration, and they want certain aspects of the interior addressed, with a focus on comfort more strongly than the predecessors. They want visiting internationals and galactics to be welcomed and enjoy our hospitality to the best of experiences. So the interior is good, but this truck is used for outback experiences for showing grasslands and terrain with our nature reserve programs, and big bossman wants the visitors to get there as comfortably as possible. So it looks good, and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, but go over it again for a few days, and see if you need to do anything more.'

'Will do boss,' said Joey.

'Aye aye Mr Andrews,' saluted Jonny.

And the brothers departed with the design.

Bob sat back in his chair and looked out the window. New times with new challenges. But life always went on didn't it? There was always a new day, always a new discovery, always a new thing to look into and get involved with. That was the mystery of life. To start with anyway. All the wonder it contained for children of innocence. Oh, he was not that innocent. He knew too much to claim that moniker. But things came across his desk from time to time to which he raised an eyebrow and had to look twice at. And in that there was that fresh slice of life's apple pie which made the living experience worth while. Would life always be like this? He imagined not. But at this point he was content enough with his work and life, and happy that his son Ricky was home and moved into his new place with his girlfriend Fiona, and life was moving on for Bob Andrews. What was next, though, was anybody's guess.

* * * * *

John Smith pulled up to the kerb, and got off his bicycle. He walked it up the driveway, and leaned it against the garage door. He came around and knocked on the door, and Frank opened it.

'John. Good to see you,' said Frank.

'Hey bro,' yelled Helen Smith from the kitchen, John's sister. John came inside and sat down on the couch, as Frank sat down and passed him a beer.

'So. You've looked over the model?' asked John. 'Made corrections?'

'It does its function as a war robot well enough,' said Frank. 'But your sis thinks it needs better aesthetics.'

'She would,' replied John. 'Just like her mother. Fussy that things look the best.'

'So sue me,' said Helen, coming into the room, and placing a try of chinese yum cha and lemonade on the table. 'Careful. They're hot,' said Helen, but that didn't seem to deter Frank or John.

'I mean,' said Frank, chowing down. 'It looks like it's gonna do it's job just fine. But Helen is fussy, and while the Military doesn't mind practical things, I sort of agree with her. It should probably have a smoother look to it. More humanoid than just a robotic beast.'

'Well there's plenty we can do in terms of modifications,' said John.

'When we're finished here I'll get the design out,' said Frank.

'Sounds good,' said John.

'Work going ok?' asked Helen.

'Yeh, actually,' said John. 'Busy days like a lot of us in Stronghearth District are going through. New administration, lots of NGOs around, and the new president likes to spend a lot on looking good.'

'Don't we all,' replied Helen.

'Come on,' said Frank. 'We'll finish these later. Let's look at the blueprints.'

And so Frank and John spent the rest of the evening drinking beer, and Helen made another load of Yum Cha for them to enjoy, as the boys of Earth Prime got on with their work, and the world turned, and all was well.

* * * * *

Charles Stewart of Complex Solutions pulled the cloth away. 'Here it is,' he said to President Ronaldo.

'Will it do the job?' asked the President.

'This model. John's best work,' said Charles.

'You are on board with the agenda, then?' queried the President, looking at the robot.

'It's gone on too long. The rivalry between human's and the Scarlattians,' said Charles. 'Humanity has a war brewing. The Scarlattians have it coming to them, and the galaxy will face a galactic war the likes of which we've never seen. And Earth Prime will be at the heart of the conflict, this much I know. We can't escape it Ronaldo. We have to be ready.'

The President lit his cigar. 'Difficult times for our brave new world. Earth Prime will be tested. Our freedom. Our virtue. All will be tested against the Scarlattians. We can't afford to make mistakes this time Charles.'

And, soberly, Charles nodded. Not this time. Mistakes. Not this time.

 THE END

 

The Angels Saga

 

Chronicles of the

 

Children of Destiny

 

 

 

Life in Zaphon 2

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

1,000,000 HY

 

Zaphona

 

 

 

Zaphona.  So it is settled.  The name of the city of Zaphon and its surrounding districts is now officially Zaphona.’  And with those words spoken by Michael the Seraphim in the Council of the Realm of Eternity, the name of Zaphona, after being unofficial in use for so long, now bore official status.  God had affirmed it in conversation with Gabriel who spoke with Michael affirming the decision.  And then council was called and the affirmation made.  It was now official; Zaphona was the capital city of Zaphora and of the Realm of Eternity.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Callodyn stood in his new apartment, about three quarters of the way upwards in Zaphon, about 70,000 cubits high.  The view, to say the least, was impressive.  Zaphon was fortunate to still have good views, despite the other towers surrounding it, and you could see well into Terraphora from where he was.  Some would say, on a good day, you could see the third disc of Mitraphora from the top of Zaphon, but he honestly thought that was exaggeration, never having put it to the test.

 

Kayella was on the lounge, reading through a magazine, not doing much.  But really, for the past year they had done that – not much really.   They had been enjoying the good life, really.  Going to movies, dining out, visiting a few other Seraphim who currently resided in Zaphon, and just going easy.  In fact, for the last year they hadn’t even left Zaphon itself, and rarely been in the bottom half of the tower.  They got plenty of fresh air from the windows which were put ajar, so they didn’t need to worry about getting out in the open.  But they weren’t bothered either way.  They were generally content.

 

Presently Callodyn was standing by the looking windows, gazing out over the realm to the west.  He could see Golden Lake, which was looking downwards at an angle, and seemed relatively close in some ways from this great height.  And then Terraphora and some of the nearby Terraphoran cities.  The realm really was becoming a burgeoning metropolis in its heart, and he sometimes felt it would all be a huge central city one day, like it was in those science fiction movies he liked watching.

 

In recent weeks he had been philosophizing.  Philosophizing what exactly he was supposed to do with the rest of eternity before him.  For a long time it had been an issue, but not an issue.  For until recently when he was inscribed in God’s book of life, he had never really known for sure just wether or not eternal life really was his.  But it WAS his now, and he was in a state of working out just what he should do with this great gift.  He had already become wealthy, in fact alarmingly so compared to some.  He was a bestselling author, and it seemed his wealth would do nothing but rise and rise and rise.  And now, even more so, as interest had finally been allowed throughout the heavenlies.  For so long charging interest had been contrary to God’s desires, but wealth was so great now and everyone had opportunities that God had let the issue go.  Banks could charge interest for loans and give interest on bank accounts now, if they so wished.  Callodyn had made use of that straight away and put a substantial amount of his savings into high interest earning bonds and other securities.  He may as well get richer while he could was his basic philosophy.

 

But apart from the wealth, something more beckoned.  Something of actually giving back to the life which had given him so much.  And now he had started thinking about Ambriel, and how for so long he had been engaged in social welfare work – showing love.  And to the heart of Callodyn the Cherubim, it was now the right time to start doing things like that.  In fact, for a long time he felt he would work towards that type of work, but something kept him back.  In his pastoral duties in Haven Noahide Fellowship he had done much of this, but not in the same way of personally ministering to the heart that Ambriel did.  Callodyn was always more theological and doctrinal in that sense.  But he knew something now.  ‘Be in the hearts of men.’  He knew that Torah truth.  And it was about time he started showing some of the love which God had shown him for so long.  It was about time Callodyn sacrificed and gave of himself, to show he really did in fact love.  To show he really did, in fact, give a damn.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Don’t be too serious, Cal.  Don’t be too serious.  Remember, Ambriel is more fitted to that work.  It comes more naturally for him.  You’re theological, sweetie.  Don’t pretend to be something you’re not.’

 

And my guilt for not doing something.’

 

You are doing something.  You’re just scared of enjoying yourself.  It’s a common problem.  It goes away.  Just have a good attitude towards people, sweetie.  That’s all that matters.  Believe me, people can take care of themselves.  Especially here in the heavenlies.’

 

Callodyn considered that, realizing everything she was saying was true – quite true, and backed off a little from some of the ideas and words he had spoken with her.

 

Yeh, yeh I see you’re point.  Then what is my point?  What do I do with my life?’

 

Just enjoy it.  That’s all.  And remember this lesson – ‘People are attracted the most to people who know how to enjoy their lives.  Believe me on that, sweetie.’

 

Thanks Kay.  You’re right, of course.’

 

I know I am.  Now would you order a pizza – I’m starving.  Oh, and some Coke too.  The droid units stuff will be fine.  They make good pizzas these days.’

 

Sure,’ said Callodyn, and went to the phone.

 

 Droids, in fact, handled a lot of the work in Zaphona and throughout the realm.  Angelic help was quite expensive to hire in Zaphona, even for the wealthy, and it was usually younger angels who needed to earn their fortune who came in from some of the outer territories who usually filled the work rosters.  Because of that droids, or robots, did a lot of the manual work in providing the food and other basic goods and services in the heart of Zaphona.  All Seraphim now owned at least a number of companies and corporations throughout the realm, and in Zaphona shops and businesses were mainly run by droids.  Some businesses, such as various hotels and specialty shops often specialized in Angelic help, but they always charged a lot for their services.  Whatever else the economic system in the end marshalled supply and demand, and it was wether a company could deliver quality service which led to it surviving or not.  The Seraphim, due to their great age and experience, ran competitive businesses now, but Cherubim and other angelic groups were always catching up.  It still was a competitive world and you still had to watch your pennies in a sense.

 

 Callodyn ordered the pizza and, while waiting for it to arrive, thought over what Kayella had said.  She was right, of course.  She was right.  In the end, as it really did come down to, angels were responsible for their own lives.  If they couldn’t cut it in the end with all the help that was available if they needed it, then something was wrong with them.  And life sorted out those problems naturally anyway.  Really, he need not concern himself so greatly with others.  Suffice to look to his own concerns.  Suffice to concentrate on Callodyn the Cherubim and let the others deal with their own lives.  Suffice for that.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Callodyn had made a list of ‘Things to do’.  Strangely, he had never really found the need to make such a list before, so full of things to do had he been.  The Fellowship had always occupied a degree of his time, as had his books.  Apart from that he generally watched movies, played web chess and listened to a lot of music.  Recently Kayella had come back into his life after a long, long absence, which filled in a lot of time now, but he was hungry for something useful to do.  And with that in mind he took the elevator shaft the long way down, right down to the throneroom of God in the lower sections of Zaphon.

 

When he finally arrived there was a receptionist at work who, upon seeing Callodyn, indicated that he could enter straight away if he wished to.  Nobody was presently using the throneroom so it wasn’t a problem.

 

He entered, came up the throne, burning bright orange, and spoke.  ‘God.  Father.  I am lost.  Lost for things to occupy myself with.  I know you are eternal, so I guess that has never really been a problem, but I am lost for things to do.  Do you have any suggestions?’

 

God remained silent for moments, but spoke quite quickly thereafter, unusual for God.

 

CORPORATIONS?  WOULD YOU FANCY BUILDING A CORPORATION?  DISPLAYING ALL THE YEARS OF YOUR LIFES SKILL?  I KNOW YOU ONLY HAVE THE BOOKS CORPORATION YOU MAINTAIN AND YOUR PART IN YOUR FELLOWSHIP, BUT PERHAPS AN AREA OF BUSINESS MIGHT KEEP YOU OCCUPIED.  PERHAPS YOU NEED A CHALLENGE, CALLODYN.  SOMETHING TO DO WHICH WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY AND FULFILLED.  PERHAPS YOU SIMPLY HAVE HAD IT TOO EASY, I THINK.’

 

He went silent then, and Callodyn just stood there.  He thought, perhaps he should ask further, for suggestions of what type of corporation, but thought better of it.  God’s wisdom would suffice.  No new hobby, no new pastime.  Work, instead.  A businessman.  Time for business.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

So what are you going to study?’ asked Kayella.

 

I have seven degrees, and 2 PhDs.  A PhD in English Literature and Theology.  And my degrees are in Philosophy, commerce, economics, accounting, mathematics, science and business.  But I gained all of them aeons ago and haven’t bothered studying for so long now.  Really, most of it is forgotten.  Like Michael says, you need to refresh often.  He recommends a study course once a century.  Perhaps that might actually be a good idea.  But I want to do at least 3 or 4 degrees in something now, perhaps even repeats, to get me up to scratch.  Sharp and on the edge is what I will probably have to be for a business to succeed for any length of time.’

 

Good luck, Cal,’ said Kayella.

 

Thanks.’

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

1,000,001 HY

 

When Michael turned the overseersmanship over to Gabriel, Daniel was very, very frustrated.  He had been hoping, perhaps against hope, for himself to be the chosen one, but alas not to be.  And that is were a plan began.  A plan to now strike for one of his goals.  He thought on Valandriel, and what he could achieve with his friend, and smiled to himself.  It would be a hectic year – a hectic year indeed.

 

* * * * *

 

Seraphim Daniel was staying at Zaphon again. He was still busy with his farming work in Kazraphon, but was working from Zaphon for the time being. Ariel was busy enough with her own thing, and doing things with Andrew and his new friend Jessica, so it was life in Zaphon for the moment.

 

'Gabriel,' said Valandriel.

 

'What about Gabriel?' asked Daniel.

 

'We'll need an agenda. Some sort of agenda to deal with Gabriel. If we, kemosable, are to rule life, the universe and everything, then we'll need to deal with the Prince of Roma.'

 

'We could hire Satan to kidnap him, and imprison him in an outer disc dungeon, and feed him bread and water for a million years,' suggested Daniel.

 

'He'll probably complain too much about that,' replied Valandriel. 'But it's a good idea.'

 

'We could frame him for crimes against humanity. Ruin his reputation. Get him sold into slavery,' suggested Daniel.

 

'Tempting, but we could get into trouble for that. No, we need a plan. A cunning plan.'

 

'What is the weakness of Gabriel?' asked Daniel.

 

Valandriel looked at him. 'You have an idea?'

 

'Of course I have an idea. Already on to it. Stuff has been forming in my head for a while now. I'll continue to let it simmer for a while, but we'll talk soon enough. It's a beast of an idea, but not now.'

 

'Good. Work on it then,' replied Valandriel.

 

'Will do. Anyway, we may as well go off and have a game of that Keldo thing. We've planned on playing that for aeons, but never bother much,' said Daniel.

 

'Sounds good. I'll thrash you to the floor,' said Valandriel.

 

'Oh, the power of the twelfthborn. Let all fear and tremble,' said Daniel in a mocking tone.

 

'As all will inevitably do so,' replied Valandriel.

 

And so they disappeared to the activity room of Zaphon, and spent the afternoon playing ancient Keldo, and mocking each other constantly.

 

 *   *   *   *   *

 

1,000,003 HY

 

Callodyn chose to do two double degrees, one following the other.  His choices to start with were Communication and Office Administration.  He hadn’t made up his mind what to do after that, but would choose over the next few years.  He chose a suitable 10 year degree course, with the double degree taking him 18 years in his plans.  In some degrees you could practically go up to a century to gain the qualification, so advanced were some areas of knowledge throughout the realm.  After that he would take a year or so off and then hit the other degrees.  And then he would plan out his business strategy, hopefully by then having chosen his field of endeavour.

 

The first five years of study went smoothly enough, but then came a shocker.  Kayella was pregnant.  This would be the first child they’d share together.  The very first.  And despite being committed to his studies at that moment, Callodyn knew he would have to postpone for a little while.  His first child with Kayella warranted such a commitment, and he wanted to be sure everything ran smooth with the little one.  This was the child he had been waiting for in his heart, the one he had often yearned for.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

 Kayella finished wiping off the baby’s behind and put on the new nappy.  She then tied up the old nappy, put it in a plastic bag, and placed it in the rubbish.  Coming back to the child she picked it up and looked at Callodyn.  ‘Do you want to hold her?  Give me a break?’

 

Come on little Elenniel.  Come to daddy,’ said Callodyn, holding out his arms.

 

He took her over to the window to look out over the realm.  ‘This is home, dear Elenniel.  The Realm of Eternity.  We are angels, children of God.  And God loves you very much, little Elenniel.  But the baby just began crying, leading to Kayella putting up her hands to have her back.  After patting her bottom for a few moments the child stopped crying and Kayella gave Callodyn one of those ‘your such a man’ looks.  Callodyn cringed, but new better than to object.

 

Motherhood for Kayella, after so long without child, was something quite different.  She had gotten used to lovers, but no children.  But now, suddenly being confronted with a child almost seemingly out of the blue and unexpected, she was almost not quite sure how to handle the kid.  She’d had 17 children very early on, but had left off childbearing, and had almost forgotten how it was done.  Callodyn only had 3 children himself, not really given to child raising.  But this child, so he told Kayella, he really cared for and wanted the very best for her.  ‘Because it is our first child, Elenniel is something special, Kay.  Something special,’ he said, and she knew he meant it.  But it didn’t make raising a child again any easier.

 

However, as the year passed and the future yet again came forward, the child grew, and she was calling them mummy and daddy before they could even catch their breaths.  She was a beautiful girl, much like her mother, and Callodyn couldn’t help but dote on her.  He loved her, really very much, and had been fussing greatly over what type of education to pursue.

 

Let the child find its own way,’ was all that Kayella would say, typical for his twin, but he saw the wisdom in her words, as he often did.

 

When Elenniel was 7 they decided that they may as well send her to a ‘Little school’, as one was run lower down on Zaphon.  Neither of them had really known infancy in the same sense as Elenniel in angelic form, but they had known it in their human incarnations.  So ‘Little School’ had not really been part of angelic life for them from youth.  But they wanted to do the right thing by Elenniel, so ‘Little School’ was the best option.

 

On her first day of school she looked very smart and pretty and Callodyn just beamed looking at his precious little daughter.  It was right then he understood why fathers loved their daughters so much and cared so deeply for them.  It was right then he understood something very deep and basic to parents and children.

 

When she got home she talked all about her new friends and her teacher and what they did and Callodyn was so excited he took numerous pictures.  It was truly a blessing, a child, and Callodyn thanked God yet again for this new life to give his own meaning.

 

When she got to 10, though, normal life had resumed somewhat, and Callodyn decided the time was right to return to his studies.  He’d had a lengthy hiatus, but his original concerns resurfaced, and it was time again to make something of his life.  To prove his worth yet again.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Daddy.  What is your job?’

 

Callodyn found the question a little strange, having thought Elenniel had a fair enough idea what he did, but decided to explain things to her so she would understand.

 

I study, at the moment, El.  In about 30 years I will be finished studying and then I am going to start a new business.  I am going to try and offer something to the angels here in the Realm – some sort of enterprise, both to make money and keep myself busy.’

 

Yes, I know.  I thought that was what you did.  You don’t talk about it a lot.’

 

Oh, sorry.  It must have slipped my mind.’

 

What I am supposed to do when I grow up?  When I get older?’

 

Whatever you want to do, sweetie.’

 

But what?  I am not sure.’

 

That has always been your father’s problem,’ said Kayella, coming into the room carrying some clean washing.  ‘He has always been indecisive in career options.  I think he only ended up writing simply because he was good at it and had nothing better to do.  But that is, I suppose, what we should concentrate on.  What we are good at.’

 

That makes sense, mummy.  But what am I good at?’

 

I don’t know, sweetie.  What are you good at?’

 

Elenniel thought that over, sitting next to her daddy on the large lounge chair.

 

I like making my room nice and neat.  So you are both happy with me.  I like doing that.’

 

Great, an interior decorator,’ said Callodyn sarcastically.

 

Yes, you would make an excellent interior decorator,’ said Kayella, trying to instil confidence in her young daughter.

 

Then that is what I will be when I grow up.  An inferior decorator.’

 

Uh, that’s interior, sweetie,’ said Kayella.’

 

We hope,’ said Callodyn, smiling at his wife.

 

And, funnily enough, a decade and a half later, having just finished design school at the age of 27, Elenniel did in fact take up interior decorating.  And was quite adroit at the work.

 

Callodyn, later on in the year after Elenniel had graduated and started working, had decided, funnily enough, on his choice of business.  And funnily enough it was his daughter who had done the choosing.  Interior decorating, on a large realm wide scale, seemed like the perfect business to get involved with.  He was careful before sharing his intentions with Elenniel, careful so as not to been in pushing in on her own work, but when he finally told her and explained that it just seemed like a good idea and something the family could share together, while she was at first a little miffed, seemed to accept the idea after a while.  As long as they were ‘Partners’ and shared the profits, she really didn’t mind.  And Callodyn thinking he could not possibly object to partnership with his daughter, accepted her terms.

 

He started his fifth degree in Interior Decorating not much later after he finished his other two degrees, repeating economics and accounting.  He was ready with business knowledge, and his own catalogue of life skills and ideas, and in the last year of his Interior Decorating degree, getting by with Elenniel’s input, they both sat down over a busy month and mapped out a business plan.

 

Life in Harmony,’ was the name of their proposed business, a title taken from one of Callodyn’s early books, a title which seemed suitable for their business, and one he had trademarked long ago for his own business purposes.  Their focus was on harmony in the home, familiar with feng shui and many other principles of interior aesthetic harmony.  When Callodyn finished his degree and the business officially started Elenniel had already been working for a while with established contacts, and Callodyn smoothly started working alongside her.  He had a client almost immediately – Elenniel, Michael’s wife.  She had been greatly honoured in Callodyn naming his daughter after her, and liked visiting them often.  When Callodyn emailed her telling of the new business venture she volunteered her office in Pelnaphon for some of their magic.  And with that client taken, the two of them began work together, Father and Daughter, of a long lasting professional relationship.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Andrew was Daniel the Seraphim and his twin, Ariel’s, second child and first male child, after Rachel.  And he was a recent addition, born just the year before Elenniel.  He was a good height, build and looked similar to his father.  Ambriel was always around, hanging with his nephew in a sense, and Michael visited him often as well.  It seemed Andrew had good father figures to look up to, and because of that seemed to develop good attitudes on life.  Occasionally he would see Callodyn, mainly because he had grown up going to the ‘Little School’ which Elenniel had also attended.  Later on, as they hit their teens, they still saw each other often, but had parted when she had started working, Andrew going of to work in Mitraphora for quite a while.  But he had returned this year at 34 years of age, and was thinking of marrying.  ‘Very young to consider that,’ was what Daniel had said, but Andrew was ready, he felt, for such a commitment.  Besides, he already knew who he really wanted to marry, and had known for a long time.  He was in love with Elenniel, Callodyn and Kayella’s daughter, and was determined to make her his wife.  But that would not be easy, especially as Elenniel had just begun dating Ambriel and Meludiel’s son, Jonah, who had long been without a woman.  Jonah was over 20,000 and had never married, pre-occupied with other things.  But when he had been introduced to Elenniel he took an instant shining to her and they had been dating for some months now.  When Andrew returned from his work in Mitraphora, determined to marry Elenniel, he hadn’t known the situation he was walking into, but he found out soon enough.

 

Andrew.  This is Jonah, Ambriel’s son.’

 

It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.  Ambriel told me all about you growing up.  So how was life out in Canbraphora.’

 

It’s great to meet you to,’ responded Jonah.  ‘Life on the rim is definitely interesting.  So untouched, in a sense, so innocent, in comparison to here in the centre, in the heart.  Dad tells me that the rim, with each new expansion, is always like the realm as it started, as it was in its days of innocence.  Everyone really should visit the rim at least once in their life, and considering the distance it might end up being just once.’

 

True,’ responded Andrew.  ‘So, you and Elenniel are dating.’  Andrew’s question was not so much a question, but rather a statement.

 

Jonah looked at Elenniel a little nervously and looked back to Andrew.  ‘Well, yes.  You could say that.  We have been seeing each other for a few months now – about four or so – and I guess you could say we are dating.’

 

Anything serious?  Should I be reserving my wedding gift now?’

 

Elenniel tried laughing that off.  ‘Don’t be silly, Andrew.  We are just good friends, okay.  Nothing more than that.’

 

I’ll bet,’ said Andrew, noticing how the two of them seemed to gel together so well.

 

Besides, perhaps we might never marry,’ she said, looking at Andrew with one of those looks.  ‘Perhaps we may simply remain friends.  Friends forever, huh Jonah.’

 

And may it be a long forever, El.’  She turned and smiled at Jonah, while Andrew watched on, trying to hide how much he was annoyed.  He was silent for a few moments, a few awkward moments in the little group of three, before finally finding something to say.

 

Well, how about dinner?  Dinner tonight, some place upstairs.  There are hundreds of good restaurants in upper Zaphon.  How about we choose one.  We’ll make it a threesome.’

 

Why not invite a friend,’ suggested Jonah.  ‘We could make it a foursome.’

 

Oh, I have the perfect suggestion,’ interrupted Elenniel.  ‘Bianca.  You know, from school, Andy.  She always liked you, and she is single as well.  We could have a great time.’

 

Great,’ said Andrew, again looking at the two of them.

 

Shall we make it around 7,’ suggested Jonah.  ‘How about at Luigi’s?  Italian sounds good to me.’

 

Perfect,’ said Elenniel.

 

Yes, perfect,’ said Andrew.  But everything was not perfect.  In fact everything was far from perfect.

 

Well, see you tonight,’ said Jonah, giving the not so subtle hint he expected Andrew to make himself scarce.

 

Uh, yeh sure,’ responded Andrew.  ‘Well, it was a pleasure to meet you, Jonah.’  Andrew held out his hand and Jonah shook it.

 

As he left, making for the doorway, Andrew gave the two of them one final look and Elenniel turned her head slightly to look at Andrew, almost seeming to give a look of ‘I’m Sorry’, but then turned back to Jonah.  Andrew took the hint, and left.  Such was life, he thought to himself, coming to the elevator.  Such was life.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

So, Bianca.  Do you have a boyfriend?’ asked Elenniel, hoping to get an interest from Andrew to the answer, but he looked totally uninterested in her.

 

Uh, no.  Not yet.  Dad says to take my time on that issue.  All the time in the world to sort out issues of the heart.’  Bianca looked at Andrew.  ‘Do you have a girlfriend, Andy?  You didn’t in school.’

 

No,’ said Andrew flatly.  He looked at Bianca who looked similar to how he remembered her, same blonde hair, up in a pony tail.  She did look a little more attractive than he remembered her.  A little more grown up, from how she came across.

 

And are you still in that finance position?’ asked Elenniel.  ‘I know I haven’t emailed you for ages, but I have been really busy.  Sorry.’

 

That’s ok, El.  I know how life can get.  Yes, I still work in my dad’s company.  We are doing well these days.  People often need professional financial consultants, and dad’s one of the best.  Years of experience, you see.’

 

It was the usual small-talk, but Andrew was uninterested.  He had been looking at Elenniel all night, trying to get her attention, but she had been doing her best to make sure he understood she wasn’t biting.  She was with Jonah at the moment and she didn’t want that interfered with by the looks of it.

 

So, what do you do, Andrew?’ asked Bianca.  He turned to her, smiled to be polite, and responded, ‘Well, mainly office administration work.  I don’t really specialize in anything.  Never found a need to as there is always demand for qualified administrators.  I often operate at lower level positions.  I mean, I have worked a little higher up, but I guess I am still young.  Still learning the ropes.’

 

You have all the time in the world to get there, Andy.  We are young, remember.’

 

She said those words with a distinct note of grace and Andrew was lightly touched.  ‘Thanks Bianca.  You’re too kind.’

 

Elenniel spoke up.  ‘What are your dreams, Andrew?  What are your plans for life?  For this great adventure?’

 

Andrew looked at Elenniel and knew he really should have a good answer to that question, but he didn’t.  He hadn’t really worked it out yet.  Who had by his age after all.

 

I’m not really sure, Elenniel.  I mean for now as long as the bills get paid I don’t really worry about it.  I guess I’ll just build up experience and go from there.  But I earn enough and I have a small unit in Zaphon which dad gave me.  I’m in an alright position.’

 

So Daniel finally gave you that flat, huh?  That doesn’t surprise me.  Your dad has always been a good guy.  Very popular, you know.  Angels love him.’

 

Yeh, I know.  It’s his eccentricity I think.  And that famous love affair with Meludiel.  I have heard so many Seraphim tell me about his age long fascination with her.’

 

The affairs of the heart can often be mysterious, don’t you think Andrew?’ asked Elenniel.  Andrew looked at Elenniel, and then looked at Bianca, who turned to look right at him.  ‘I guess,’ responded Andrew.  ‘I guess.’

 

They chatted on into the night and the four of them got to know each other a bit better.  Andrew gradually lightened up as the night wore on and found himself talking to Bianca more and more, even starting to like her somewhat.  Jonah proved to be really quite a kind guy, well groomed as befitted a child of Ambriel and Meludiel’s.  His personal manners were superb and he showed genuine interest in Andrew, even when Andrew didn’t seem to want to know him at first.  Later on, after he had taken Bianca home, he was in the elevator climbing back to his unit, thinking over Jonah.  As try as he might he simply couldn’t find it in his heart to hate the guy, no matter how much he envied him.  Andrew had returned from Mitraphora with the real intent of dating Elenniel, but had been most disappointed to find her almost seemingly attached.  And tonight, perhaps, had done more harm in that department for him than good, seeing how well Jonah and Elenniel were together.  Still, there was Bianca, he ironically thought to himself.  And despite having made a big personal deal of having come to see Elenniel, Bianca almost seemed like an interesting alternative which, he sarcastically thought to himself, was God’s backup plan for his little angelic son.  Whatever else life would prove interesting for the next little while.  Whatever else it would definitely prove that.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Cheer up son.  Perhaps this Bianca girl might be the better one to chase anyway, if she has an interest in you.  That is always a good sign.’

 

I almost wish I had been in your situation,’ responded Andrew to his father Daniel’s statement.  ‘You and mum were twins.  You were made to be soulmates.  We don’t have that privilege.’

 

It only means all the more to choose from, son.  Think of it like that.’

 

Yeah, great.  At least you can make the soul-connection with a twin.  At least you can do that.’

 

I guess,’ responded Daniel.  ‘Anyway, try dating Bianca.  You never know.’

 

I suppose,’ said Andrew, but he was still upset.

 

He left the main living room of Danielphon and went off to his own room in the house.  Sitting on his bed, pondering life, his mother, Ariel, came in.  She sat down next to him, looked out the window, and then put her hand on his shoulder.  ‘It won’t always be like this, Andy.  Trust me.  Sometimes it takes a lifetime to find the one right for you.  Me and your father were always struggling in that sense.’

 

But you found each other in the end.  Remember?’

 

I know.  But try looking at it this way – if you and Elenniel are meant to be together, it will work out in the end.  It always does, son.  It always does.’

 

Thanks mum.’  She looked at him, thought about sharing some more consoling words, but decided to leave it at that.  Better for the lad to solve his own hearts dilemmas in the end.  She stood and made as if to go, but turned to him.  ‘If you ever need someone to talk to.’

 

I’ll remember.’  She smiled, nodded, and left him to his hearts conundrums.

 

Andrew opened a drawer beside his bed and took out an older photo of Elenniel, from school.  Looking at it he really could not think, in the end, Bianca would suffice.  He loved Elenniel.  If she married Jonah it would just break his heart.  As simple as that.  But what could he do?  What on earth could he possibly do?

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Elenniel sat in quiet thought in her room in her parents home in Zaphon.  She was thinking of Andrew and what his heart must be going through.  She could tell, the signs were obvious, that he had come back from Mitraphora to win her.  But, as she once felt when she was younger in school with him, he was more interested in what they represented together than in how he felt for her.  This was her honest opinion, and she’d yet seen any reason to really change from it.  If he loved her for her and not what she represented, there would be a sign.  But she’d seen none.  Whereas Jonah, well he was perfect in every way imaginable.  He was kind, considerate, thoughtful and loving.  And so very genuine.  Really, how could she choose anyone else?  How could she?

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

The date was going okay.  Elenniel had arranged it, and Andrew sat with Bianca, watching the movie, but not really interested in chatting with her much.  In the foodcourt later on Bianca tried making conversation, but Andrew really seemed disinterested.  He was a hard one to crack, she thought to herself.  Really quite tough.  But she didn’t mind that – she liked a challenge.  Bianca had liked Andrew since school, and was very happy that Elenniel had emailed her dragging her into the friendship.  She’d really only dated rarely, but that was really not that surprising.  Despite the enormous number of people who lived in Zaphon and Zaphora, most of them were of a great age relatively speaking and there were not that many people around her own age to which she could relate.  Most of such people were further out in other discs of the realm.  But Andrew was around her age and in him she had the most hope for a partnership.  If only he would take something of an interest.

 

Bianca was the child of a Cherubim couple, not twins, but the getting together of twins in marriage was not that common in the end.  She loved her parents deeply and worked for her father in his financial consulting firm as one of the accountants.  Really, she only did the payroll and some other minor clerical work, but it was a start – and you had to start somewhere her father constantly reminded her.  She’d had a minor social life, but was not worried.  But that was the nature of eternal life her parents constantly reminded her – you had plenty of time to get around to things.  In terms of the romance department she’d not really been seriously romantically involved yet but, again, given the small number of people in here age group in Zaphora, that was not that surprising.  There were singles groups on various websites and, relatively speaking, there were actually a lot of people around her age group, but they were all over Zaphora, and not always close at hand.  It was mainly that they made up such a small percentage of the population which was why they did not always cross your path.  Still, Andrew was in her age group, and she had high hopes of romancing him.  That is if she could get his mind off of Elenniel.

 

So tell me, Andy.  What do you do for fun?  I mean apart from going to movies.’

 

Andrew was eating through his French fries, not taking much of an interest in the conversation.  But he took a sip of Coke, turned to her and replied.  ‘Oh, you know.  Nothing much.  I have an X-Box in my unit and I play on that a lot.  Dad had a large collection of old games he gave to me recently.  They are a lot of fun to play and fill in my time, I guess.  I read a lot.  Not much else, though.  Apart from music, which I love listening to.’

 

Sounds familiar.  The music, I mean.  I have over 1,000 CDs which I listen to all the time.  My MP3 player is full of songs.’

 

Who is your favourite band,’ he asked, curiousity aroused.

 

Oh, I don’t know.  I have lots of favourites.’

 

Yeh, me to.  Well, do you have a favourite type of music?’

 

Mostly pop rock.  Regular chart stuff, you know.’

 

Yeh, I know.  Basically me as well.’

 

That’s good,’ she said, taking a sip of her lemonade.  ‘So that is what you do on your weekends, huh?  Listen to music, play games.  Stuff like that.’

 

I think our age group does a lot of stuff like that.  We are young, after all.’

 

Yes, we are,’ responded Bianca.

 

 

 

They went silent for a few moments and then Bianca decided to be blunt.  ‘Well, do you like me, Andrew?  Do you think we make a good couple?’

 

Andrew looked at her, instantly thinking he should mention his feelings for Elenniel, but thought better of it.  Hey, why not go with the flow for a change.  Why not go with the flow.

 

Sure, I like you Bianca.  Your fun.  I think we get along well together.’  Funnily enough, those words were somewhat true.  They did get along well together.  She smiled at him, and played with her hair.  He knew those signs.

 

So, do you want to go out again?  Perhaps for a nice meal?  We could go to Luigi’s again.  Or somewhere else.  I don’t mind where.  As long as it is with you.’

 

He looked at her, saw how eager she was, and decided in his heart, may as well.

 

Sure, Bianca.  That would be great.  Luigi’s sounds fine.  Perhaps next Friday night.  I can pick you up at your place, if you like?’

 

Wonderful.’ She leaned over the table and kissed him on the cheek.  ‘Your wonderful, Andy.  Wonderful.’  And, despite himself, Andrew blushed.  It was a nice thing Bianca said.  A really nice thing.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Bianca looked, really, quite pretty.  Really, quite pretty.  She was dressed all in yellow, to suit her blond hair, in nice formal yellow dress with a white and yellow shirt under the dress.  It was a beautiful design, all of silk, and Andrew was instantly taken with her.

 

The evening passed slowly, this time.  Very slowly.  His attention was on her most of the night and, somehow, thoughts of Elenniel just didn’t seem able to enter in.  As if they were not capable of entering in for some reason – every thought was on Bianca.

 

It was later that week, later on, when he began reassessing his whole attitude of heart.  In truth, he cared for Elenniel.  That much was true.  And he loved being around her, and seeing her.  And he wanted her as well.  But Bianca, now, was becoming quite an acceptable alternative.  As if this girl who he had not really noticed that greatly before was suddenly something worth noticing.  A hidden gem in the dirt.  And thinking that was what she really was, he came to a conclusion that he would continue to date Bianca and see just how far this relationship went.  If this was the one that was meant to be he would find out soon enough.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Bianca, unfortunately, was unavailable for the next few weeks, busy with work, which made Andrew bemoan wether women liked him at all.  Really, they were unfathomable.  You liked a girl, but it seems as soon as she figured out you like her, she played impossible to get.  It really was frustrating.  And then her mother filled him in on a little secret.  Women liked you to be devoted to them alone.  If you were having thoughts of other women, they really did not like the competition.  And they wanted ALL your heart – not just some of it.

 

He thought on that for a while and felt, perhaps, with the attention he had initially given Elenniel that Bianca might be feeling he wasn’t prepared to commit to her.  And that was, perhaps, true.  But he was a man, in the end.  He didn’t think like women.  He could change his mind and in the same way change his heart.  It could flow on from what was not working with one girl to a situation which would work well with another.  That was how men felt.  But, he was beginning to understand, that wasn’t good enough for a woman.  They wanted you to dig your heels into one of them, and stay committed.  Not flaking off and going after another woman at the first sign of trouble.  That never impressed them.

 

And so, because of this, he decided to leave things be.  To leave them totally alone and let Bianca sort out her own heart instead.  He was being played, he knew that, and he refused to be played.  If she actually liked him, let her tell him that.  He wouldn’t fall for their love games anymore.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Bianca came around to visit him about 3 months later after he had said nothing to her and not even emailed her.  She said she didn’t know why he stopped paying her attention.  All that he said in response was ‘Oh, I have been busy.’  She was somewhat taken aback and he knew it.  But he wouldn’t give her the power in the situation.  He knew were that left a man – serving a woman’s desires, and not in control.  He suggested they go out that weekend and she agreed, and then they started dating regularly, without any more love games.

 

Gradually Elenniel was in fact more and more forgotten by Andrew, and his focus switched to Bianca.  She was a far more suitable match in the end, simply because she genuinely liked him, whereas Elenniel had other interests.  After a while, though, Bianca again cut off the relationship, claiming things weren’t working out well for her.  He didn’t seem to gel with her, she claimed, which was the point were Andrew had had enough.  ‘Fine, Bianca.  I guess some things are not meant to be.’  And he didn’t speak to her again for over 3 years.

 

Near the end of those 3 years Elenniel and Jonah married.  It was a good match, and while Andrew was a little shaken over it, he realized they belonged together.  It snuffed out any possible romance between him and Elenniel and then, about 4 weeks later, he met up with Bianca, who dropped around to invite him to her up and coming wedding.  He wasn’t that surprised – really, he wasn’t.  But another little tiny part of his heart broke just a little, and Andrew ended up being single for quite a while.  Not unlike his father in that respect.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

I don’t know dad.  I think I will just concentrate on work for a while.  Perhaps for a good long while.  Women are complicated creatures.  Very fussy.  I think, too fussy.  But that is how they are, I suppose.’

 

You’ll work it out, son.  It just takes time, okay.  It just takes time.’

 

Thanks,’ Andrew responded to his father, Daniel.  He had plenty of time, of course.  Plenty of that.  Plenty to ponder the mysteries of the heart and soul and to work out just how he should go about a relationship which was meant to last.  To work out, indeed, just how to go about that.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Life is ironic, Jessica.  Really, quite ironic.’

 

Is this more of Nathaniel Chambers eternal wisdom?’ asked Jessica Smith to her on and off boyfriend.

 

Hey, you know me.  Eternally wise.’

 

Yeh.  Yeh, I know you.’

 

Living on New Terra, 387 years after having been born to the heavenlies, the human Jessica Smith was starting to get tired of her boyfriend.  They had been dating for about 15 years now, and despite the fact that they had spoken of making it official, she had begun the process of backing out.  And Nathaniel knew it.  She was intelligent, caring and thoughtful.  He was a slob, slack at his work and just a typical male.  Really, she needed something more.  Something far more than Nathan.

 

So, how it is ironic?’ she asked, not really wanting to, but as befitted her kinder nature.

 

Oh, you know.  Here we are together after 15 years, and you wouldn’t dream of leaving me.  I would say that is ironic.  Considering I hardly ever take you anywhere.  But that is what women really want, after all, isn’t it.  A man who doesn’t really care.  Who is just a bastard.  That is what women want, isn’t it, Jessica?’

 

Yeh.  You said it.  Nailed it in one, genius.’

 

I thought so.’

 

They broke up three days later, or it could be better said Jessica broke up with him.  She’d had enough.  Really, quite enough.

 

Four weeks later, having waited over a century for the approval, she was on her way.  Visiting Zaphona, the heart of the angelic realm, to see what glories awaited her.  All she could say is that God better not let her down in providing a better quality of friendship than the disastrous Nathaniel Chambers.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

She sat in the cocktail lounge, too high up she felt, but that was Zaphon – the glory of the realm.  She had been told there were no higher towers in creation by a few angels, and that she did not doubt.  It went up simply forever.  The view was something, really, you only dreamt about.  Something which hinted at being hypothetically true in your wildest dreams, but blessed reality always gave you that wonderful doubt which said ‘their kidding aren’t they.’  But no, here she was, in the centre of the universe, viewing a scene beyond all her understanding.  And then the stranger spoke.

 

Like the view do you?’  She turned to him.  It was an angel, of course.

 

Uh, yeh.  It’s wonderful.  Majestic.  Just takes my breath away.’

 

Yeh, it does.  You get used to it though.’

 

How could you ever get used to something as beautiful as this,’ she said, gazing out at the scenery.

 

Living here every day.’

 

You’re so lucky,’ said Jessica.  ‘So lucky.’

 

I guess.  What’s your name?  We don’t get that many human visitors up here.  Your not one of those children of heaven, though, are you?’

 

Uh, no.  From New Terra.  I applied a century ago.  Finally got the approval for a visit.’

 

A century?  That soon, huh?  I thought it was longer.’

 

It usually is.  They must have fast-tracked me.’

 

They must have.  Well, my name is Andrew.  I live here in Zaphon.’

 

Oh.  What do you do?’

 

Nothing at the moment.  I have a lot of money from my dad.  Uh, you might have heard of him.  Daniel the Seraphim.  Writes all those books.’

 

Oh yes.  He’s good.  I have a few.’

 

Yeh.  Well he supports me.  Gave me an inheritance recently.  I could probably invest and never work again if I really wanted to.  I own a flat here, and a lot goes on in Zaphona.  I don’t know.  I might study again some day.  Don’t really know.’

 

You’re lucky.  To be so rich.  My great grandfather gave me a huge inheritance when I got to heaven.  I do work, though.  But I can live well for a long time if I want to.’

 

Andrew nodded, looking out the window.  ‘Would you like a drink?’

 

I have one,’ she said, raising her glass.

 

Well I will have one and sit with you, if you like.  Have a chat.’

 

Awesome.’

 

Andrew ordered a drink and returned shortly, sitting down next to her.

 

So, do you mind if I ask what your name is?’

 

Oh, sorry.  Jessica.  Jessica Smith.’

 

A good name.  Very traditionally English I think.’

 

Oh, yes.  Very.  Smith’s are I think still the biggest English clan.’

 

But watch out for those Jones’es, huh?’

 

You said it.

 

So, who’s your favourite musician?’

 

Vanessa.  Vanessa Amorosi.  She’s wonderful.’

 

Her huh?  Kiss your Mama and all that.’

 

That’s it.’

 

Yeh, I’ve heard some of her stuff.  Very popular these days.  Apparently in the all time top

 

ten albums out there – I saw the list once.’

 

She’s the best.  Kicks ass.’

 

I like Bon Jovi myself.  New Jersey.  That’s my favourite album.’

 

I’ll have to check it out.  Yeh, I like them.’

 

Andrew went silent for a while, drank from his drink, and looked out the window.  Jessica just looked at him, puzzling on this angel.  Well, God had delivered so far.  He certainly was grown up

 

So tell me Andrew.  Are you dating anyone?  Do you have a girlfriend?  A wife?’

 

Andrew looked at her and considered her again.  Human.  It wasn’t a problem for procreation – they were compatible.  She was pretty.  Seemed smart.  Human, huh God?  Interesting.

 

No.  No I don’t have a girlfriend.  No wife either.’

 

You’re not gay are you?’

 

He laughed.  ‘Oh, hell.  I don’t think we have any gays in Zaphona.  Further out you find them a bit, but they don’t come here.  Believe me they don’t come here.’

 

And why is that?’

 

Michael does not like them in Zaphona, ok.  Further out he doesn’t object, but not in Zaphona.  It really upsets him.’

 

So he has a problem with that issue.’

 

Remember he’s Jewish.  He obsesses over that Jewish Torah.’

 

Right.  I understand.  So your not gay.’

 

Not that I am aware of.  Why do you ask?’

 

She looked at him, looked into his eyes, and smiled a little.  She said nothing in response.  There was no need.  No need.

 

Later on that day they had gone off together to see a movie, and it seemed, perhaps, prayers were being answered.  It seemed that way indeed.

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Delta Goodrem?  Yes, she is a fantastic singer.  I love her music.’

 

Andrew nodded.  Daniel his father had heard of Delta who was an Australian music artist like Vanessa Amorosi.

 

Why do you ask?’ asked Daniel.

 

Oh, my new friend Jessica asked me if I like her music.  I hadn’t heard of her so I thought I would ask you.’

 

Well Delta is wonderful, son.  Wonderful.  She was possessionless.  She cared about the heart, about love.  Babylon could not conquer her heart.’

 

Babylon?’

 

I might tell you about that one day.’

 

Oh, okay,’ said Andrew, curious as to what exactly his father Daniel was driving at.

 

Later on, listening to ‘Innocent Eyes’ which Daniel lent him, listening to the song ‘Not Me Not I’, Andrew was in heaven.  The song was amazing.  And when he put on the next album, ‘Mistaken Identity’ and listened to ‘Electric Storm’ he knew he had found one of his favourite artists of all time.

 

I have to meet her,’ he said to himself.  ‘I have to meet her.’

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

This life we live, is just a dream

 

Of love and loss and vanity

 

We break their hearts, and they break ours

 

Then sit alone in lonely towers

 

 

 

We dream of love with brothers true

 

Who’ll take our hearts, when we are blue

 

And cheer us up, and give us love

 

As pure as God’s love from above

 

 

 

Celestyel’s adore their kin

 

Our love of  life did then begin

 

When they took our hands, our heads, our hearts

 

And told us then they’d not depart

 

 

 

This life we live, is just a dream

 

Of love and loss and vanity

 

Lovers come and lovers go

 

In this life in our eternal home

 

 

 

Sariel finished reading the poem.  He looked at Gloryel, who smiled at him.  ‘So, where is it from?’

 

Up above, bro.  The Realm of Infinity.  It is one of their ancient ones.  Wonderful, isn’t it?’

 

Yes.  Yes, sis.  Yes it is.’

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

Michael sat in reflection.  It had been hectic for a while now.  That first year of Gabriel’s overseersmanship had been unforgettable, and Daniel really had outdone himself.  And now life was simple, quiet and gentle.  What would come next, he wondered to himself.  What would come next.

 

The End