Chapter 09. Rebecca’s Lost Century

Talking of guts, aren’t you hungry and tired, my little sisters?

“Interesting question, Astarte dear. Tell us about your daemon diet?”

As she asks me, Rebecca positions herself in lotus between her standing friends. Taking heed, Yvonne sits, followed by Beatrice, who didn’t bother about wearing back her tossed uniform.

Yes, Beatrice sits in lotus, bare naked, as bare as she can be.

“Daemons have no diet, Rebecca,” says she in my place.

This intervention is not satisfactory for Rebecca. “Let the daemon speak, dear, will you?”

The three lotus gals mute themselves, staring at me, eyes and pussies wide open. Can’t see the genitals of the other two, but I can imagine. Didn’t they say that there’s still hope for me?…

My dear little ones, Beatrice is right: a daemon has no diet to follow. Energy or solid matter is our food. We ‘eat’ at subatomic level. Our bodies perform like superior artificial intelligence, identifying and quantifying a resource that is requested by the system, procuring the elements (humans call this food) and processing the data into information meant to satisfy the body. We can ‘eat’ from the radiation of a star, or simply by harvesting the background radiation (time is always on our side), we can ‘eat’ stones and piss water, unclean water, to be more specific.

“You are something like the swines of the universe, if I’m allowed.”

You are always allowed, Rebecca. Swines, let me see… Yes! This is correct. We’re a mess, we generate mess and we eat mess. We can even feed only on the mess we make. Our bodies are mess-making, and recycling, machines.

“Yuck! Wondering if there was not a daemon inspiring the flavors of quarks.”

Beg your pardon?

“Dig your archives for quarks and hadrons, science slang…”

… Ah, these… What can I say. Never heard of them. The flavors, I mean. Kronos had arranged them in taxonomies and called them huffs.

“Didn’t Kronos paint them at the beginning?”

No, dear. Kronos used to be a fractal painter. His elegant equations described reflective and rotational symmetries, you may dig for ‘Penrose tilings’ on your Google Glasses. Then came my offspring with his bangs and huffs… The beauty fell to chaos. Sigh…

“Metaphysics make me hungry!” Chuckles Rebecca. “I wish to order two kosher protein bars. Yvonne?”

“Just one. I’m on a diet.” I see Rebecca poking around her ear. “Anwar chéri, apportez-moi trois barres de protéines, comme d’habitude… Oui… De toute façon… J’attends.”

Anwar? Who is Anwar, your chef?

“Our chef! Le chef de la popote.”

Five minutes later (see, I’ve got accustomed to talk like them), a tanned soldier dashes out of the elevator with two things in his hands. Delivers one container to Rebecca, the other to Yvonne, gets a “Merci, Idir!” – twice, along with a couple of charming smiles from the ladies. Tries to jog his way back but breaks in admiration…

“Madame Challe!… tout va bien?”

“Ça va.” She beams with her gorgeous green eyes, not paying the slightest attention to her nakedness, to her lotus sitting, ergo to her divine exposed sex.

“Rien p…pour vous?,” stutters Idir, uncertain if to go or to stay.

“Rien pour moi, merci bien,” responds Beatrice charmingly.

“Vous êtes un ange.”

“Oui, je sais.”

Hypnotized, Idir looks around, as if there were a thousand reasons spread on the ground to fix his feet and never let them run back to the elevator. Nothing but diamonds and her empty uniform…

“Idir!”

“Oui, Madame Johansson!”

“Run, Idir. Just run!”

And he ran.

Rebecca, what is that kosher? I know it means clean or fit, like in “kashér,” but why did you ordered “kosher protein bars” and not just protein bars. What’s the difference?

“First, kosher or clean food means that it is conform to the Jewish law. There are too many aspects and regulations to detail on the matter. To sum it up, there’s no swine in it, no shellfish, no yeast and (this is my addition!) no processed carbs and sugars.”

From what you’re telling me, there are people out there who are prohibited to eat kosher food. Why? Did they do something wrong? Are they punished?

“Ah, no. They choose to eat whatever they wish. Like us. We eat whatever we want. Look, Beatrice and her Muslim friends call this halal food, while Yvonne calls it healthy food. But our chef, Anwar, he cooks for us all. His recipes, any of them, fit as well in the kosher frame as in the halal or healthy types. For me, personally, kosher is more like nostalgia. This is why I call it this way.”

Just finished browsing (again) through your religious traditions. Gals, your ancestors were fighting each other for such paltry matters like a patch of desert (I know of a bunch of desert planets, same atmosphere as this one) or about how to pray, how to eat, what to eat, who’s god and who’s not. You people…

“See, Astarte, these words, coming from you, would sound a bit bizarre for an outsider. The people up there, roaming the surface of this planet, don’t wish to think with their own minds. Most of them are prey to evil governments and corporations. They can’t see the evil in their own camp, but always in what they call ‘the opposite’ camp. It’s an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality, having nothing to do with reality.”

Reminds me of the late Venusian Insurrection. Oh, nostalgia. You mentioned it too. Tell me more about yours, please.

“Until you arrived, everyone used to call me Grannie. I am a century old and…”

You look like forty.

“You’re very kind, Astarte.”

No, really. That wasn’t a void compliment. I’ve scanned your body. The butthole indicates that you’re no angel, yet. Telomeres’ damage hints at midlife, this is why I said that you look like forty.

“I was born on August, 20, 1921, in Keszthely, Hungary.”

Oh, do you wish I put it on screen?

“No, no. Besides, you should know my maiden name.”

Just as a matter of curiosity?

“Rivkah Rabinovics.”

And your feed request would be?…

“Richard Rabinovics, April 18, 1930.”

On we go! Starting at midnight. The three sisters of mine stand up and turn around, to face the action about to commence inside the screen. Following the pattern of the previous feeds, expecting to fast forward over the sleeping hours, surprise hits us with the following Hebrew text. Finally something that I can read the right way in this world of the French!

Yeshayahu- Isaiah – Chapter 35

1. Desert and wasteland shall rejoice over them, and the plain shall rejoice and shall blossom like a rose.

2. It shall blossom and rejoice, even to rejoice and to sing; the glory of the Lebanon has been given to her, the beauty of the Karmel and the Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the beauty of our God.

3. Strengthen weak hands, and make firm tottering knees.

4. Say to the hasty of heart, “Be strong, do not fear; behold our God, [with] vengeance He shall come, the recompense of God, that shall come and save you.

5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6. Then the lame shall skip like a hart, and the tongue of the mute shall sing, for water has broken out in the desert and streams in the plain.

7. And the dry place shall become a pool, and the thirsty place [shall become] springs of water; in the habitat of jackals, a resting place, a grassy place for reeds and rushes.

8. And there shall be a highway and a road, and it shall be called the holy way; no unclean one shall traverse it, and it shall be for them; the traveler, even fools shall not go astray therein.

9. No lion shall be there, nor shall a profligate beast ascend thereon, it shall not be found there; and the redeemed ones shall go.

10. And the redeemed of Zion shall return, and they shall come to Zion with song, with joy of days of yore shall be upon their heads; they shall achieve gladness and joy, and sadness and sighing shall flee.

We can hear Richard, Rebecca’s father, whispering the words. Finishing, he allows a minute pause and then starts reading again. The same text. This goes on for an hour or so (for the interested readers: 3,985,090 milliseconds).

Supposedly tired, the man raises his hands and we can see the sky-blue ceiling of the synagogue, sprinkled with golden stars.

“Oh, Lord, talk to me!” Shouts the man, was he a rabbi?

“Indeed he was a rabbi. And a doctor. One of the first Zionists. My father was a great man.”

The rabbi returns to whisper from Isaiah 35. Three more times before he shouts to the roof, “Lord, talk to me!”

If not for the heightening emotions, for the wailing voice (in contrast with the optimistic text), for the tears fogging his eyes (and my screen), I would have said: what a monotony.

“Lord, talk to me, oh, Lord!”

Um, what is that distant drumming? A terrifying thing wrecks the atmosphere. It began from afar, but it’s evidently approaching. Is this a gun? A mechanical monster? Some kind of machine, nevertheless.

Our rabbi, way more intrigued than us, leaves the lecture on standby. He dares, a step at a time, towards the doors. The roar shreds the night. Richard opens the gates of the synagogue as the horror of metal ravages the streets. Closer and closer.

By this account, one should expect the gendarmes, the police, the awakened neighbors, the entire population, up in arms, screaming of outrage. Still, the streets are desert. The town sleeps.

“Oh, Lord!… I think… I think… If I’m not wrong, well… it has to be a Zündapp. However, not as high-pitched as I can remember from the tours of last summer.”

Whispering his words in pertinent haste, Richard stands now in the middle of the narrow street. The pavement is still wet, reminding him of the evening showers.

A slit of light quivers behind the flanking trees. Gradually, it takes center stage.

“Doubtless a Zündapp! Just too notable compared to the models I know. Why on earth this shy beam light? Such a powerful piece of machinery should be equipped with a more prominent beam light…”

The ‘piece of machinery’ is slowing down. The rhythmical explosions are more sporadic, yet more resounding. Until the hand of the biker suffocates them into abrupt silence.

Black leather boots (“what an unusual design,” remarks the rabbi); full black leather trousers (“so tight,” notes Richard); black leather jacket, gloves and no helmet. A resolute guy, wild red hair, reasonably long, fixes us (through Richard’s eyes) with his deep blue eyes. I know this strawberry-blonde beared…

“Me too.”

“Me too.”

I can hear Yvonne and Beatrice responding to my introspection. Only Rebecca watches, speechless, in admiration.

“You wanna talk? Richard!”

“Provided you are interested in talking to me, I do.”

Our rabbi speaks invitingly to the biker as he rolls the Zündapp closer to the sidewalk, unsaddles and kicks down the stand to have it parked.

“May I ask what model of Zündapp is this?”

“KS750,” said the biker.

“Never heard of. Never seen it. What make is it?”

We deem that Rebecca’s daddy is a Zündapp fan!

“The make is 1940.”

The motorcycle man, standing up, is two meters tall. I’ve been doing some telemetry through Richard’s eyes, just to make sure it matches. The height, I mean.

“But Sir! We are now in 1930!”

“I am aware.” Says the blond guy.

“Are you coming from the future?”

“There is no future.”

“Please, Sir, explain to me. How this paradox works. I will remain indebted to you if you could enlighten me. Please!”

“You already are. And there is no paradox, no future, no past. Just the Present we’re living and breathing.”

“Who are you? What is your name?”

“I am HaMashiach Yeshua.”

“Y… You… are… ? Impossible.”

“As possible as you can see and hear me. And you may also wish to shake my hand.”

Yeshua stretches out his hand.

Puzzled, the rabbi welcomes the handshake.

I hurry myself to compile the record of his sensors. Just the black leather glove. Perfect insulation. Wait! The DNA… Let me see… Yup, large scale telomere repair plus – look! – the double helixes. See gals?

“Yes!” comes the crystal chorus. His chromosomes glow of comfort.

“Do you wish to come in?”

“If you invite me…”

“You are welcomed into my synagogue. Please. Enter.”

Preceding the rabbi, Yeshua advances through the aisle, studying the sky imitation on the ceiling, steps on the bimah and, nearing, he reads from Yeshayahu- Isaiah – Chapter 35.

Yeshayahu- Isaiah – Chapter 35

1. Desert and wasteland shall rejoice over them, and the plain shall rejoice and shall blossom like a rose.

2. It shall blossom and rejoice, even to rejoice and to sing; the glory of the Lebanon has been given to her, the beauty of the Karmel and the Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the beauty of our God.

3. Strengthen weak hands, and make firm tottering knees.

4. Say to the hasty of heart, “Be strong, do not fear; behold our God, [with] vengeance He shall come, the recompense of God, that shall come and save you.

5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6. Then the lame shall skip like a hart, and the tongue of the mute shall sing, for water has broken out in the desert and streams in the plain.

7. And the dry place shall become a pool, and the thirsty place [shall become] springs of water; in the habitat of jackals, a resting place, a grassy place for reeds and rushes.

8. And there shall be a highway and a road, and it shall be called the holy way; no unclean one shall traverse it, and it shall be for them; the traveler, even fools shall not go astray therein.

9. No lion shall be there, nor shall a profligate beast ascend thereon, it shall not be found there; and the redeemed ones shall go.

10. And the redeemed of Zion shall return, and they shall come to Zion with song, with joy of days of yore shall be upon their heads; they shall achieve gladness and joy, and sadness and sighing shall flee.

His voice is steady and warm, appealing and noble.

“Richard! You call me every day. Not in rituals, not in tradition, nor in formality. You call me in desperation. Why, Richard?”

Never before have I been given to listen so much to him. Gazing at Rebecca, I can read the excitement on her face. Yvonne looks a bit lost and Beatrice gives me a sideways wink. Guess it’s about the godly Aramaic gratifying our ears.

“I am afraid to say it. I am terrified to think it. Needing answers, I did what I know best: calling my Lord.”

“You are afraid to say what?”

“That religions are nought.”

“You are terrified to think what?”

“That You are… HaMashiach … Yeshua.”

“What are the questions burning your soul?”

“May I begin with the little things?”

“May I sit?”

“Please. Make yourself comfortable.”

Yeshua quits the bimah to find a place on a bench, close to the middle.

“Why is your Zündapp equipped with such a meager beam light?”

“The bike is not mine. It belongs to a German military unit up the Balaton. I’ve borrowed it for the night. Knowing how fond you would be to see this new model. Avant release! The beam light is masked for camouflage reasons, imposed by the war.”

“German military unit? A new war?? On the banks of the Balaton? But the Central Powers have lost the Great War. The enemy imposed the treaty of Verssailles on the Germans, the treaty of Trianon on us. We don’t have German troops in Hungary now… How is this possible?”

“Can you define now, Richard?”

“Now is 2:54 in the morning of April 18, 1930.”

“This is the ‘now’ by the Gregorian calendar. Which is wrong by certain accounts. You then use several calendars to measure the ‘now’ from Adam. Which are also wrong. You know so little about Adam. And even less about me.”

“This means that there’s no now?”

“It means that there’s only now! In the ‘now’ where from I’ve borrowed this Zündapp, Germany is a dreadful empire extending from the Atlantic coast to the outskirts of Moscow.”

“This is good news for me to hear that they have managed to rectify the injustice of Trianon.”

“Good news? I don’t think so. Marx and Nietzsche have always been bad news. By the way, where is Nietzsche? Is he dead?”

“Definitely dead.”

“Richard. I shall touch your brow and your temple so you may learn about many other ‘nows’ but you have to promise me that you won’t make abuse of your knowledge in public.”

“What if I wish to use it? To take advantage of it. Isn’t it fair to consider this opportunity? Why would you teach me otherwise?”

“It is fair. Use it freely. Just don’t divulge your sources. Do what you do. Be what you are. Help your people through the darkness. Discover intelligent ways to save as many as you can. Because many more will be lost.”

Speaking these words, Yeshua puts his right hand over Richard’s face. A stream of data, from April 19, 1930 till April 23, 1955, is loaded in the rabbi’s memory. We see it all.

Wondering: are humans worse than daemons? How can I ‘be them?’

The ‘now’ slips in silence, leaving behind the hours of the night, the breaking of the day. Richard sits and cries. Yeshua sits and waits.

“Daddy! Daddy!”

The crystal clear voice of a young girl precedes her hasty steps tapping behind the sunlit doors. Taps that make the morning rays of sunshine play a joyous music.

“Daddy! Dad… Who are you?”

Noticing the visitor, the little girl stops and stares at him, captivated by his leather suit. And by his blue eyes.

“I am Yeshua. And you?”

“My name is Rivkah. I bring a few matzos to daddy. Do you want one?”

“Rivkah!,” intervenes Richard in a strangled voice, “be good, leave the matzos and go back to your mommy.”

“Richard, let the kid come to me. How old are you, Rivkah?”

“I am nine years old. And you?”

“I am 1932 years old.”

“Wow! Daddy, daddy, he is twice as old as Adam. Did you know?”

“I’m trying to figure it out…”

“Here, Yeshua, I give you a matzo. Are you hungry?”

“No, Rivkah, I am not hungry. Come closer. Sit on my lap. Look what I do to the matzo.”

She approaches, he first takes her on his lap, then, accepting the matzo, he breaks it in two, giving a piece to Rivkah and the other to Richard.

“Eat, so you can live to see and hear.”

They eat.

“Richard! Bring Me a glass of wine.”

Which he does. Accepting it, Yeshua gives the girl a sip, then returns it to her father.

“Drink, so you know.”

“Daddy, daddy? What are you doing? Why do you fall to the ground?” Asks Rivkah.

From where we are, through the eyes of the rabbi, we cannot see a thing, because he had them closed while prostrating. Nevertheless, with her father’s ears, we can hear the girl, speaking out what she sees.

“HaMashiach Yeshua. HaMashiach … Yeshua. He was here and we had Him killed.”

Richard rips off his clothes. We can see and hear that alright.

“You haven’t killed me. Politics did. Money, greed and politics.”

The little girl, visibly troubled to see her father in this state of shock, without losing her self-control, speaks to her new friend.

“God, help my daddy. Please!”

“He needs some sleep.”

Saying this and putting Rivkah on her feet, Yeshua grabs Richard with both hands, by the shoulders, and, fixing him on a bench, allows a gentle breath to reach his nostrils. The rabbi’s pulse returns to normal. He is out of shock, out of the recorded ‘now’ and deeply immersed into a long and recovering nap.

The screen is black, the counter stopped.

Rivkah, er, Rebecca, do you remember that day? Can you please continue with the story from where the feed dropped down?

“Ah, sure. How could I forget the day when the Lord has hold me on His lap. I walked with Him to the bike. He told me to take care of daddy, and of myself, and of mommy and my brothers… … …”

What is it? Why do you cry?

“My brothers perished in the Holocaust… Well, that morning of April 18, 1930, Yeshua left me in front of the entry to the synagogue, telling me that He must return the borrowed motorcycle to its rightful owner. That was it…”

Our Rebecca, ninety-one years later, here on the platform, takes her face in her hands and weeps. We give her due silence. Let me tell you something: it’s easier to speak than to silence your thoughts, and subliminal altogether, only to mute your mind, so that no one can read it.

A moment of silence sounds like a lost century to me. Well, next I’ll ask Rebecca what about the rest of her lost century. Stay with me!

***

“…out of comatose. I’m doing my best… Look! She’s moving her eyes…”

“Oh, mon Dieu! Astarte? Are you with us?”

Yeah, sure I am. Goddam controls. I’ve managed to turn myself off completely when muting my mind. For the moment of silence. You know…

“Oh dear, oh dear,” sighs Yvonne with compassion, “you’re such a silly girl. From now on, don’t rush to imitate our habits. Maybe it works for us because we can’t hear each others’ thoughts, but it definitely doesn’t for you. Look around, what you just did. The hard work of our brave pioneers has been smashed to pieces. A catastrophe… Now when we’re only a week away from the great moment.”

What great moment?

“The birth of your babies, stupid!”

Ah, that. Uhm, well…

As I speak, or better said think out loud, my senses come online, one by one. Oh my, indeed!

My jaw rests on the platform, in the very place where my three friends were sitting a minute before.

I could have squashed you in my fall. So sorry about that! Wasn’t on purpose.

“Right, we figured that alright,” interferes Beatrice, “and please don’t move, even if you feel that you could, until Yvonne will finish the physiological scan of your body, and babies. We’ve got to make sure that everything is in order with you.”

As a matter of fact, I’d rather take Beatrice’s word as the sweetest command. I can already sense her tiny hypothalamus taking over mine. She won’t bid her chances lightly. Wait! What are you doing to me?

“Installing a couple of idiot-proof routines so you won’t be able to turn yourself off. Just for good precaution. Hope you don’t mind.”

And if I did?

“You know the answer.”

“The babies are fine. No element of the scaffolding, that she turned to pieces, had penetrated her body. The babies were perfectly cushioned during the tumble. Especially because they are like two kidney beans compared to the size of their mother.”

Now I start to enjoy how nicely Beatrice flows her commands over my sympathetic nervous system. I stand up on my feet. Oh my God! What a mess! I’ve fucked up again.

Why am I such a calamity?

The platform, being carved in granite, has hold pretty good when I crashed on it. But the scaffolding is all gone, down the abyss. Hope that I didn’t kill one of you, or did I?

Wish to grasp a tad of fear but I can’t. Beatrice won’t allow me. Well, it’s on autopilot by now. I am fearless! Wow!

“No, dear. We’re intact. Everyone is doing just fine. Including you.”

Oh, Rebecca, please forgive me for being such a fool…

“Never mind. I’ve asked Alain to send a helicopter. That will take us to a backup platform while the brave pioneers will fix your mess.”

But I could carry you on my palm. All three of you. Can I? Beatrice? Trying to make puppy eyes…

“Is she stable, Yvonne?”

“Physically, in a perfect state. As about her mental stability, well, I’d better leave that on you, Beatrice.”

“What say you, Astarte? Can we trust a ride in your palm?”

Yes, you can. Did I mention that your newly installed sub-routines should be assurance enough?

“She’s right, gals. Let’s jump in her palm. Astarte! Come closer… Yes, this way. Perfect!”

I like holding these three tiny kittens in my palm, bending my fingers inside to give them the closest thing to a railing.

Hey, girls, what a big drone is approaching us.

“That is no drone, Astarte. It’s the helicopter that I’ve ordered. Alain said that if it has been deployed anyway, why not escort us. Beatrice gave you the coordinates of our destination, right?”

Rightly so! How comes that your valiant men had the other platform built at one hundred kilometers off?

“For security reasons.”

For me to safely deliver you to the next platform, it is out of the question to run at three hundred kilometers per hour; Kronos taught me a bit about quantum leaps which isn’t enough for your security; my offer is an hour long trip in my palm. Suits you?

“You’re telling us that you can run at one hundred kilometers per hour, holding us securely in your palm?”

Not exactly. I’ll run at a hundred and twenty kilometers per hour with you in my palm. Cautiously. The road is straight for the most part, yet it bends around five stalagmites. There I would rather take my jogging slowly.

***

Rebecca dear, please continue your story. Do you wish to give me a new date and name for the next holographic feed?

“Not yet, Astarte. I’d better talk if you don’t mind.”

Sure, we’re all ears!

“Daddy slept for two days long. That created a bit of hassle with the service at the synagogue. Mom told everyone that he felt sick. My oldest brother Benjamin provided the ministering. When daddy started to recover, he acted as before with everyone else, not with me. I was his accomplice. We had our secret. Only the two of us. Wasn’t this the most wonderful thing?”

And this secret was?…

“Oh, come on! Astarte, don’t you get it?”

No… not exactly. What was this secret? Legit question, don’t you think?

“Our secret was that we, only me and daddy, have met with Yeshuah. And that He had opened our hearts, and eyes, and ears, finally!”

Got that alright, so why keep it a secret? I don’t understand!

“Because our family and friends did not know Yeshuah, as we learned to know Him.”

So why didn’t you tell them? Was it such a difficult feat? This is what I don’t understand, Rebecca dear.

“Indeed it was. You shall see. We, humans, are more complicated than you daemons. When you see Him, you recognize Him at once, and tremble and freak out. Not us! We have been blessed, or cursed, with too much noise blaring inside our souls. It’s called an ego.”

Ah, that ego. Yes! I’m too well aware of it. If I’m about to take my logic further, I’m pretty sure that I’ve mothered that kind of ego. It was my first born.

“You did!” – intervenes Beatrice flashing the frost up and down my spine.

I did what I did, Beatrice, and wish to fix my mistakes, that’s why I’m here with you. But you know what? Even that calamity son of mine could recognize the Programmer when seeing or hearing Him. Which brings me back to my initial question.

“Dear Astarte,” continues Rebecca, “the unfortunate condition of humans has managed to reach the lowest point of existence. Here’s your proof: we can’t identify our Maker even when the unmade can, at once. This is our human tragedy. I’d dare say.”

Hum, nice tragedy you’ve got, little humans. More like a dramedy.

Look at Beatrice, she’s God’s wife only for the mere matter that she wished to be. She asked what she got! Just like that!

Look at Yeshuah, He is human, a guy with a beard, riding a bike if you find that this is cool, and He is One and the Same with the Programmer. His words: “Let us see,” remain in my mind ever since Enoch has presented me.

Oh well, this Enoch is another unusual guy. The transience between NOK and Enoch, the blue blood and the red blood, the giant measures and the little ones… All these contradictions (and perhaps many more that I don’t grasp) converge into a Constant, which goes beyond my understanding.

You, little stinkers, with your petty selves and slippy psyches, you are like avatars from a world off limits. For me, you are gods… of whatever kind you may deem to be. See? You even have an option to make a good or a bad god of yourselves. How funny!

“But this Lucifer of yours, wasn’t he the bearer of good and evil?”

Not exactly. He used to be the swindler of the universe. The Joker. The Loser.

“But aren’t we losers too? Look at me, I have lived for a hundred years and I tell you that it was a lost century. For me and many more. Aren’t we losers then?”

Oh my, oh my… Please Rebecca, tell me that you didn’t sit on God’s lap, tell me that you didn’t feel His breeze and breath, His inspiration and comfort. Please tell me that you won’t meet Him again, ever. Can you?

“No. I can’t tell you that. He is family to me.”

See? Stupid little Rebecca. He’s family to you, not to me. I’m just a machine, not even created by Him. I’m a volatile character of a forgotten play written out of a bad plot. I wasn’t when you were. I’ll be gone when you’ll come to be. I don’t exist but you do.

“Sisters, sisters,” comes Yvonne, “wish to bring a quite important detail to your attention: Astarte carries us in her palm, running at a hundred and twenty kilometers per hour; her functions are properly monitored by me and I suggest you stop depressing her with this kind of conversations; we need our racing horse to race, right?”

“Right dear,” whispers Beatrice, “we don’t want her to turn off again. Let us cheer her up, shall we?”

Oh yeah! Cheer me up with a new holographic feed, shall you?

“May I?” – asks Rebecca around. “Sure,” responds Beatrice while Yvonne nods in acceptance.

“Rolf Radetzky. September 24, 1944.”

I turn on my right eye to generate the feed. Oh yes, now I realize that I’m running. Must keep the left eye focused on the road. Hum… Gals, hope you don’t mind if I’ll give you a two dimensional feed this time. It is because I can’t dedicate both my eyes to the hologram. For traffic safety measures, you know…

“We perfectly understand that, Astarte dear. 2D will do for us,” speaks Rebecca in the name of everyone.

Okey dokey, gals, here we go. The feed is on!

“Oh my God! Awww… Hah… Yes! Yes! Yes! Oooooohhh my… Wow! Eeee… Yeeee… WooHee… Don’t… don’t stop. Yes! More… more… more!!!”

Seems like the feeds ordered by Rebecca have no midnight sleep to skip through.

Is that you, Rebecca, riding Rolf like a wild cowgirl?

“Yes, it is me.”

You almost never changed over these seventy-seven years. This is not a compliment but an observation.

“Oh no, Astarte. I did change. I aged and then unaged back. But that’s another story.”

“Ahem, Rebecca,” breaks Beatrice between her rapturing green eyes and her golden bra, “who was this guy, Rolf Radetzky? Looks to us that he knew you very profoundly.”

“Quite profoundly and most romantically. Let me introduce you to Hauptmann Rolf Radetzky, pilot of the Luftwaffe, making amazing love to Captain Katona Tünde of the Royal Hungarian Air Force (that’s me, under cover) in the picturesque vineyards on the Badacsony hill, facing the lake.”

“Ah, you acted as a spy during the war? And why is the film black and white?”

Well, no, Yvonne, the feed will show colors when the subject, in our case: Rolf, will see them. Now he’s fucking Rebecca at midnight, which makes his vision not just blurred a bit, but also black and white. Oh, and are you a spy, Rebecca?

“I am many things to many people, Astarte. And yes, Yvonne, I have acted as a spy during that war, among many other acts that I had to perform.”

You make me curious.

“You bet!”

The lovemaking scene will not expire from atop my fingernails. I am clever enough to anchor the feed in relation to my hand in order for these three pussycats to watch a steady image.

For the record, when a person runs, her eyes move relatively to her hands. I make no exception. Wish to know, Rebecca, did you fake that long orgasm?

“Not this one. This was for real. Rolf’s dick had a pronounced curvature. Very special. Later on in my life, I’ve designed a few dildos after it. Twas a profitable business.”

You truly loved this German pilot, it seems to me.

“I did, Astarte. I truly did!”

“Beg your pardon, Rebecca dear,” chimes Yvonne in, “a Jewish gal falling in love with a Nazi officer. During World War Two. This sounds more fantastic to me than the giant woman behind us. Really? Rebecca, enlighten me please because I’m completely lost.”

“Rolf was never a Nazi. Just a thoroughly calculated Austrian pilot and engineer. And an adorable lover, as you may see for yourself. I even suspected Rolf of being a Mischling of some degree but never dared ask him directly. What we both knew was that our families had cultivated a long lasting friendship over generations. The Rabinovicses used to visit the Radetzkys in winters (we went skiing) and the Radetzkys used to be our summer guests down on Lake Balaton. This all ended in 1935 when daddy moved us to America. My older brothers didn’t listen to him and…”

“Hold on. Hold on. Let me check the vital functions of Astarte… She’s running at parameters. Go on now.”

“Yvonne, you little vixen. Gotcha…”

Got what?

“Nothing. Just run the film and yourself, dear.”

I do, I do. Look at you. An absolute cuddlesome couple. The subject indicates exiting alpha waves to enter theta waves. Rolf is about to fall asleep. Shall I fast forward?

“Not yet. Let it run and let me clear some history with my friends, will you?”

At your command, Madam Captain!

“My father talked to me about the many futures he has been given to see, sense and dream of. He said that he’s got the proof about us building our own future, according to our determination or idleness, to our aspirations or apathy, to our love or hatred. It is us, not God, whom tomorrow belongs to. Yes, those mad Nazis had this song (they were pretty good at singing) but they were too damn blinded by their egos to understand the meaning of it.”

“Your father was indeed a blessed man,” says Beatrice gazing at the humming helicopter. “When Jesus kissed my lips I have heard… or was it like opening a letter and reading it… or like reading a text message?, cannot tell… I’ve learned my options: to follow my Groom to the Golden City and stay there to chat with my loved ones; or to follow Him through worlds and realms that I couldn’t understand; or to follow my thirst for social justice and stay on this cursed planet for a while. The choice was mine, as always in my life…”

“So you took the desert…”

“And here I am, in the palm of a daemonness, running through such a vast cave.”

“I suppose that He’s happy with your choice, Beatrice…”

“You know, Rebecca, when God touches you, it is like giving you all the liberty. So much…”

“…Freedom that it scares you. Wow, you’re talking like my dad. He taught me that those stupid Serbian anarchists have killed an entire epoch in 1914. When the Great War commenced, the sane order of the world collapsed. Sure, not just the silly Serbs, but the colossal cacophony of which the aristocrats were capable of, helped the situation down the drain. We’ve lost most of our country at Trianon. The entire Continent lost twice at Versailles: first when the unfair peace treaty was signed and second when the consequences of this injustice have brought a lunatic comedian like Hitler in the Chancellor’s Office. And for a disaster to be complete, Russia had turned godless. Socialism, in its various national or international forms (fascism is a derivative of socialism), had conquered Eurasia, from the Atlantic shore to the Pacific coast. Utterly criminal! And our people were blamed to be the scape goats for all of this madness. Thus spoke my father to me.”

“Well, some of your people were involved. You know that.”

“Yes, Yvonne, I know them by their names, I know everything about them. Papa had me learn what godlessness makes out of people. Ours or theirs, it matters less. Because all the plots could not happen without plays and players. A film director is nothing without producers, script writers, machinists, makeup artists and, of course, actors. My people were present on all the sides of this tragic show. Until Hitler made it impossible for us to survive. And even in the infernal environment established by the Nazis, I know that we had Generalfeldmarschall Erhard Milch (one of us) in the German high command.”

“So this is why the Germans failed to put their production on a war footing, continued to run factories only eight hours a day, and failed to include women in the workforce. German aircraft production output did not rise as steeply as Allied output – especially Soviet production which exceeded Germany’s in 1942 and 1943… Just got this from Wikipedia.”

“You know, Beatrice, this information is consistent with my mediation to prevent the application of General Adolf Galland’s air defense plans. Through Milch, I managed to influence Göring in resisting Galland.”

“Which means?”

“Which means that we gracefully managed to sabotage the Reich’s jet fighter industry from taking off in the early years of the war. If Galland would have had his way, by 1943, the mass production of the Messerchmitt Me262 Schwalbe (a transonic jet fighter – the first in history) would have rendered D Day impossible: no Allied air superiority meaning no Allied landing in Normandy. Hell!, what I am talking here, this weapon, in reasonable numbers, could have had the skies cleared of all enemy aircraft. It was instrumental for us to prevent a Nazi victory, to stop them from developing and producing their wonder weapons.”

“This was your espionage mission?”

“One of them. Look, I love Germany and I love Germans (he’s still sleeping, isn’t he?) but how could you love those ideologies based on genocide? During the early 1930s, my father had a vision for saving Germany from herself: he played the strings to stimulate Jewish emigration towards Palestine (this was the trend in the Zionist movement); he said that a scarcity of Jews in Germany would tame the nationalist hysteria down and, most importantly, our people will live in freedom (Britain and even Germany were helping with the settlements in Palestine). My dad envisioned a new Kingdom of David rising like in Biblical times. It was at hand, an option that we owned, a tomorrow that would have had been ours.”

“Eventually, you’ve got your land back.”

“Part of it, Beatrice, part of it. Tragically, only after the unthinkable had happened in Europe: the ghettos, the concentration camps, the deaths of millions and millions! Our people were caught between the anvil and the hard place. He feared this so much. He prayed for other people to understand him but, as I’ve told you earlier, a director is dead in the water without producers, script writers, machinists and actors.”

“What would have been had Nazi Germany won the war?”

“I’ve asked him to tell me. For years he refused. I insisted. I’m a stubborn breed, ya know… Eventually, he drank a full glass of water and spoke fastly, like wishing to get rid of such an ordeal: a genetically refined population, bearing little physical flaws but psychologically below a kindergarten status; ignorant supermen laying their irons over three continents, flying their machines to the Moon, charming (with no success) the Americans, ending by attacking them…”

“And then…”

“I don’t know, dad didn’t tell me. He said that he could not have visions past 1955.”

My dear sisters, signs indicate that Rolf is about to wake up.

“Mein Liebling, warum willst du nicht schlafen?”

We get the image of Rebecca’s back in the feed. She sits naked on the blanket, staring at the lake to chase a glitter of moonshine over the black mirror. Silence reigns supreme.

Not to rattle, Rolf keeps his mouth shut (she didn’t answer his question anyway) while his hands get busy, dragging his eyes in to locate Rebecca’s coat. It is a white jacket with dark epaulettes – the summer uniform of a Captain belonging to the Royal Hungarian Air Force.

Gentle fingers move slow, embracing Rebecca in white.

“This will keep you warm, my love.”

Do I notice (again) a high-pitched inclination in his voice?

“You do, Astarte.”

Never mind, hold on, my little kittens, because I’m about to make some turns. See that stalagmite ahead?

“No, we’re looking at the film. You take care with the road.”

One eye on the road and the other eye on the film!

“Danke,” whispers Rebecca from the feed.

Impassible, longing for an ocean of tranquility but somehow appeased by the low lake hiding beneath the night ahead, she lets her hand respond to his endearment.

“I’m not cold. I like to feel the breeze on my bare skin. It’s a way to enjoy life. For the moment.”

“Rivkah…”

“Call me Tünde! Told you to call me by the same name as in my papers. This is extremely important, Rolf. We can’t be too secure…”

“Tünde then… I love you.”

“I know…”

“And I’m going to miss you. Like I missed you all these years.”

“I’ve missed you too. And your family… the Alps, the spas and the beautiful ski slopes…”

“Every summer, every year after you have moved to America, I came here to visit your brothers and to watch the Balaton… to dream of you… to rediscover a scent reminding me of our escapades.”

“How’s Benjamin? Elias? How are they?”

“Saw them last year in August. They were fine but preoccupied, especially Benjamin. I’ve told them again, for the thousandth time, what your father begged me to do, what I was ready to do.”

“And?”

“They refused. The same old diatribes that Horthy always resisted Hitler’s requests for deportations. That Hungary can be considered a safe heaven in spite of abuses and excesses. That they have a plan to hide but won’t fly with me anywhere.”

“And this summer?”

“No one to be found. Your old house was desert. They were gone. All of them.”

“Where?”

“Don’t know. Cannot tell.”

“Anyone to ask about their fate?”

“Yes. I know a guy who knows a guy. He said that he will ask, but didn’t answer to date.”

“Wish I can take them with me… Just find them for me!”

“Look, Riv… er, Tünde. Say that I’ll find them. Say that I’ll bring them to you (all eleven of them). Say that I’ll manage to procure us a Junkers Ju52 (tough task). Say that you’ll trick them to the field where the plane will be waiting. How on earth will Benjamin and Elias accept to step in the machine?”

“They won’t. They are more stubborn than me… Wondering how can that be possible. Well. If you’d been doing everything of what you just said for me, then I’d talk Abigail and Hannah to pour this powder in their tea. You know, women are often way more reasonable than men. Have the men sleep while we run the show. But…”

“…Yes… But men are mad and they still run this goddam show. Killing each other. Pray to God that…”

“Pray to God? We did that! We do that! They did that! They do that!… We only disagree on one point: which is that we want to step in the bloody machine and they won’t. Praying alone is not enough.”

“Why do you switch to English and the Britton accent?”

“Because we must focus on the mission, Rolf. The mission!”

Rolf switches to English, stepping his words upon a notorious Austrian dialect.

“Ze mission is code named ‘Nosferatu Sonnenschein’ and is to be carried out by one man, me, three hours from now.”

“I am all ears, my love.”

We can see Rebecca’s fingers playing with a tuft of his hair.

“Last morning, near Salzburg, while my jet fighter was being loaded with two atom bombs, I was briefed: in a blitz flight before day break, I have to hit two consecutive targets in the Carpathians.”

Her hand freezes when hearing the word “atom.” She catches his chin to bring him face to face, closer to her. For us, the image is ravishing: because of the arbitrary dancing of the clouds, the moon lightens her face in short-lived shades of blue (blue for me, at least, not sure if they won’t call this grey), which come and go, revealing or concealing her pale skin as her eyes stare, in all desperation, round and straight at us (well, at him).

“W… Why?…”

“After the Romanian treason, there is no stable front in the Carpathians. The Reich cannot afford to give up such a strategic position. The Austrian Labs have prepared two pieces from the next generation of bombs. Never before in history, a single bomb had a comparable destructive capacity. The scientists reported that this device is on par with solar explosions. I am afraid to even speak about those things. Viktor told me, off the record, that the worst will come after the explosions and will last for decades if not centuries, contaminating entire regions for generations. Hell on earth, he said to me.”

“What are your targets?”

“Two Soviet armored concentrations of the Second and Third Ukrainian Fronts. Here are the coordinates.” He points the locations on a map.

“But this is Transylvania. Our land! Oh my God, look at this: only twenty kilometers South of Aunt Ethel’s farm! What is your plan to save Aunt Ethel, Rolf?”

“My plan is simple: I’ll give you my uniform! You become me. I’ll show you the details. There is only one question: have you ever flew a Schwalbe? A jet fighter?”

“No, never. Just saw them in the photos from you. I used to fall asleep holding the picture in my hand. Few times I even dreamed that a time will come when…”

“It is today! Your time to step in the machine! At 0400 hour sharp, you’ll take off in my Messerschmitt! Here ends my mission. You fly the bird where you wish. And don’t even think to launch the bombs! After the release, an altimeter will trigger the explosions. There is an optimal height to detonate for the greater devastation to inflict. These bombs were not meant to touch the ground.”

“You said that these are the first two, and only, atom bombs?”

“They told me so. But who believes them. My logic implies that they have produced at least three such bombs so far: the first should have been tested underground; the second and the third are under my wings; or else, if there would have been more bombs, we’d already hear Goebbels blaring about bringing the Sun down on the Reich’s enemies across the Eastern Front. The OKW shows visible signs of desperation. Especially after Stauffenberg’s assassination attempt, everyone with his brain between his ears sees that Hitler’s orders make less and less sense. No one can provide the resources he’s demanding. No one can execute his commands. No one can make a reasonable sense of this situation. But these bombs can!…”

“They’ll make the enemy think that they have many more. How does the Wehrmacht plans to reoccupy the contaminated territory?”

“There are no plans for that kind of stuff. An SS General, while asking for solutions to insulate his panzers, air filtering and such, mentioned on a tangent that if we can turn Eastern Europe into a new Sahara then let’s do it, to protect the Reich. Hearing this man, I wondered why on earth has God handled us so much power and so little heart. I also wondered why have I been born to live through all of this?”

“Ah, that last question begs for the simplest and sweetest answer of all: you’ve been born for me!”

I see Rebecca’s nose challenging Rolf’s. Now they’re kissing – with him the passive part.

“You know what, Rolf?…”

“What?”

“Need you to show me how the control stick works on your machine.”

The screen shows to us, like in a bad lightened vintage porno, her hands stroking his, er, stick. Wishing to study the curvature, I apply a couple of filters. And the image turns green, with bright contours, white eyes and a weird tongue.

“What are you doing, Astarte? The man has no natural infrared sensors. This shouldn’t be possible…”

Well, Yvonne, the possible and natural feed looked too lousy for my curiosities. This is why I’ve enhanced it with some of my own filters. But hey! Is that the new platform? Are we there already?

“Guy has confirmed. We are there. You can put us on the platform, Astarte. Carefully please!”

Who is Guy?

“The helicopter pilot. Our escort.”

Ah, let me release you three. Easy… So… Good… There you go! You’re all safe, right?

They wave at me from the platform. I’m wary of the scaffolding, don’t want to goof it again. I wave back to them.

Ah yes, let me wave to Guy too…

“No! Don’t do that! You stupid thing… Guy, dégage! Immédiatement! Dégage!”

Don’t know what happens to Rebecca, she screams like crazy.

“Your idea to wave at the helicopter is what ‘happened’ to me. Du you wish to crash it? To kill our men?”

Oh my God, how could you say such a thing?!

“That machine is like an insect to you. What if you hit its rotor while waving?”

Calm down, dear. I have everything compiled in my mind. Besides, the helicopter has already put distance between us. Look, it blinks. Wow!

“Yes, Guy responded that it is now safe for you to wave.”

Oh, how sweet of him… Hello, Guy! Thanks for escorting us. You must be a nice guy, Guy!

The little insect dances a couple of happy eights, lights on, before showing us its blinking tail and getting lost in the darkness. They’re on night vision, I suppose.

“Indeed. Let’s get back to our film, shall we?”

At once, 3D now, filtered for night vision too. Super classy vineyard porno, if you allow me.

“You might be disappointed. However, I’ll allow you. Go on!”

With Rolf’s eyes, notably improved by my filters, we see how young Rebecca, or Rivkah (sorry: Tünde), fellates him. My deception comes quickly. The man won’t lay on his back to give us a more detailed view over her face and lips caressing his “control stick.” We can see but the trimmed hair on her head. Not for long though…

“Tünde! Please stop.”

“What’s the matter. Did I bite you?”

“No, not at all. We’ll get back to this later on. Let’s clear the details of your mission.”

“Can’t this wait? Just a couple of minutes. I love the taste and shape of your joy stick… Oh, nice game of words: joystick! Well, who knows…”

Still, Rolf is not too focused on his joy stick. Checking his watch, we gaze at his B-Uhr pilot watch for precisely two minutes and then…

“Time’s up, Tünde. Let’s talk about the mission. Shall we?”

“Mmhm… All right. All right. Tell me about the mission. Hurry!” Sweeping her lips, “You taste well, I’m all ears.”

“The Schwalbe covers a range of one thousand and fifty kilometers. The bombs weigh five hundred kilograms each. Viktor said that it is amazing how they managed to make such a light build. Guess that you’ll have to fly South West, straight to Italy. But you should know better about your destinations. My main concern is getting you in the cockpit. Oh, and please play gently with the throttle, avoid acrobatics because turbojet engines develop much less thrust at low speed than propeller powered aircraft. My security detail is…”

“…They’re sleeping on the job. Poor fellows.”

“What have you done to them?”

“Me? Nothing. Zoli bácsi, the owner of the restaurant, helped them a bit.”

“He will be shot when they’ll wake up this afternoon.”

“No doubt about that. Hope that he’s far away by now.”

“Remains to deal with the guards of the airplane. Brought you this pair of boots to make you taller. Your face and haircut are quite similar to mine. Nevertheless, make sure to wear your flight gear, yet don’t force it, keep the glasses on your forehead please. The pass phrase sounds like a riddle. Pay attention.”

Oh, riddles!, I love riddles!

“The guard will greet you with the following,”

“Nacht ist lang und Kalt,

Morgen, der nicht zu sein”

“To which you will respond,”

“Wir sind da, schon bald,

Nosferatu Sonnenschein.”

“Speak seriously. Don’t laugh. I know it makes no sense but you must be serious. And put a tad of testosterone in your voice.”

“I’m going to milk you for the cause!”

“Let me finish first. The machine has to be fueled. It is the only aspect of maintenance they must perform on it here. No one but me, and the security detail, knows about the mission. Now pay close attention to me: they have installed a tracker in the machine.”

“What is that a tracker?”

“A radar box emitting on variable frequencies, acting like a sort of radiogoniometer. Using disparate antennas on the ground, they can track the direction of the aircraft.”

“Oh, that sounds bad.”

“Unless you manage to get rid of it. Look here, Viktor has prepared a liquid super magnet for us. He filled the auxiliary fuel tank with it. Which also means that you’re going to be short of fuel at some inevitable point in your journey (another reason to play gently with the throttle). No one can catch you anyway. Oh wait. The super magnet! It’s not active yet…”

“Why?”

“Because when I took off from Salzburg, the tracker had to work.”

“I see. How do I turn this magnet on?”

“Viktor has improvised an air blown dynamo, inside the fuselage, right above the auxiliary tank. All you need to do is lower a flap on the belly of the airplane. There’s a blue V painted on it. Here’s the key to open it: twice right, once left. Oh, and don’t toss it in the grass. Better take it with you in the cockpit. Understood?”

“Jawohl, Herr Hauptmann. Now that we’ve detailed my escape plan, will you tell me about yours?”

“I must get back to Viktor as soon as possible.”

“Good. Let me slurp your super magnetic fluids before.”

Finally! They’re getting down to business. All that steampunk slang got me dizzy. Rebecca, hope you don’t mind my eagerness to peep at you.

“Not a problem. I am the one that should thank you for bringing back these beautiful, but dreadful, moments. I was twenty-three. Rolf was twenty-nine, my childhood friend and my first boyfriend. We were in love in a world on fire. Surrounded by the shadows of death, living apart, on opposite sides of the many fronts, by night we used to stare at the moon and the stars and talk to each other, like the universe could catch our words and whisper them back into each other’s ears. Before this September, we’ve met in Barcelona to celebrate my twenty-first birthday. Twas a magnificent week. Oh, thank you, Astarte!”

“I’ve heard from Papa,” chimes Beatrice in, “that lovers used to marry before going to war but…”

“…But not when they belonged to the enemy! Besides, it wasn’t my type to get pregnant or play baseball on the home front. Daddy needed my nerve and I needed his guidance. Interestingly enough, he never feared for me. Once I’ve asked him, out of curiosity. Do you know what he said? That I was alive and present in all the versions of the future that he could envision. He was the best daddy in the whole world.”

Back to your Rolf, Tünde! As you thanked and remembered here, you made us miss the hot scenes of this vintage erotic scene.

“Fear not, Astarte, I’m all eyes and ears, fixed on your screen. The green shades are amazing. Never saw such a crisp and authentic night-vision blow job.”

Ah, Yvonne, sweet little Yvonne. Thank you!

“Okay, okay, we’ve got ourselves a Thanksgiving minute. Let us thank each other until the young me (Tünde) in the film will get a mouthful. I can remember his salty, bit metallic and bitter taste. I made efforts to store some semen under my gums, thinking that this would thicken my voice. Silly me.”

And did it?

“Of course not. I had to cough and force my vocal chords to sound more manly. Was lucky that he had a funny voice that I knew how to imitate. Exercise is the mother of study.

The guards were quite apathetic. Half past three in the morning, go figure. They had no idea about the load under the wings. Top secret? Practically all the stuff was top secret then. Not counting that the term ‘atom’ was unknown to them. The only real secret for them to defend was the airplane with no propellers. Who would suspect the pilot?”

What about Rolf?

“Let’s watch your work of art. Seems to be inspired from his optical nerves, no?”

The nightly porno romance turns into a Hugo Boss fashion presentation.

“How do you know that Hugo Boss had a hand in the design of the Luftwaffe uniforms?”

From the backups shared by Kronos.

Oh… Wow! Did I mention that you look handsomely sexy as a German pilot?

“At that time I did my best to unsexy myself enough to fool the guards. You know…”

Inside the feed, Tünde and Rolf walk hand in hand down the vineyard row.

“Here, have a grape,” invites she.

“I won’t live long in this white Hungarian uniform,” complains he accepting and eating with a passion.

“I know. You can’t even speak the language of a decent manner.”

“Not an easy language. You have to admit.”

“I admit. See that bike near those trees?”

“Where? Ah, there! Yes. I can see it.”

“Let me show you something. Come!”

From beneath a haystack she reveals a Feldgendarm uniform, complete with gorget and steel helmet.

“Not as fancy as the Hugo Boss leather jacket…”

“You had these things ready for me?”

“Zoli bácsi made the preparations. Ride the bike back to Salzburg. You may be there before I take off.”

The film shows Rolf’s surprise. He’s been taken aback, literally.

“Wait a minute. What did you just say?”

“Give me your lighter please.”

“It’s on you. Inside pocket. Left.”

Pushing the zipper down a bit, our Tünde digs for the lighter, finds it and sparkles a pointy flame.

Oops, that whitened the entire hologram. Must adjust the filters. Now, there we go…

“Look over here, Rolf. Can you see this writing?”

“An X… No, an I over an X… What is this, Russian?”

“No, read further on.”

“NIKA… No clue. What is this, Cyrillic script?”

“Rather classic Greek: IX-NIKA, or Iisus Xristos – Conquer.”

“Still don’t get it. What does this means in German?”

“It means that Jesus won’t give victory to the Nazis.”

“Makes sense.”

The image is shaking as Rolf pulls his new trousers on, swings as he enters the new military police uniform, bows as he buttons it.

“My papers?”

“Top right pocket. Now please pay attention to me. I’ve got a better riddle for you. Ride the bike to a straight road where you will accelerate while repeating this in your mind.”

“Oh Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy of me, the sinner.”

“Keep saying this with your eyes wide open. Push the gas until you’ll notice that these gentle hills flanking the Balaton have been replaced by the majestic Alps. Then you may slow down and look around to meet Viktor.”

“You mean… you mean… I don’t understand.”

“Some day, they’ll call this teleportation. You have to trust me. It works. Just pay thorough attention to the road. You don’t want to hit a tree, or a wall, on arrival, or do you?

“Time’s up?”

“Time’s up, my love. Farewell.”

“See ya!”

He closed his eyes when kissing her. Nothing to filter there. Then he opens them to see her taking his convertible Mercedes and vanishing into the darkness of the aging night.

Exhaling and fixing his steel helmet, he jumps in the saddle of this mysterious bike…

“Faster than my plane?…”

We can hear him talking to himself and drumming the silence to small, invisible pieces.

Two minutes later, on the linear road downhill, Rolf speaks out loud:

“Oh Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy of me, the sinner. Oh Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy of me, the sinner… Oh Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy of me, the… Oh… … this is… unbelievable… I… I am… I am home!”

Three checkpoints later, our Rolf stops the bike, freeing my soundtrack for a choir of nervous dogs.

“Sei still! Ich bins.”

This turned them to happy squeals. He knocks a window and waits. Knocks once more and waits. Wishes to knock again when a white beard emerges behind the glass.

“Viktor! Viktor! Open up. Schnell!”

The old man, recognizing Rolf, hurries away to the door. Opens it to let him in and speaks impatiently.

“Rolf, what have you done? Are you already back? Did you launch those hellish bombs? Please tell me you didn’t… Please!”

“I didn’t, Viktor. I didn’t. Everything worked according to the plan. Until this miraculous bike…”

“What bike, Rolf, what bike? And miracles? Since when are you talking about miracles? Rolf! Are you all right? Something happened to you?”

“I’ve just got a bike running on certain words. I spoke the words and the bike took me home in no time. It’s amazing. I don’t know how to call that. Thus I say it’s a miracle.”

“You know too well that there are no miracles. Just phenomena unknown to us.”

The old man occupies a seat near a huge salt lamp. Surrounded by the mild orange light, the resemblance with Santa Claus is difficult to ignore.

“There is no time for the philosophy of science, Viktor. I’m not safe here anymore. Can you do me a favor?”

“Anything. Thank God you haven’t launched those atom bombs. You are a true hero. Our children will thank you for what you’ve done today. Tell me, Rolf, you wish for a new Schwalbe?”

“This would be nice, but we both know that it’s impossible. I’m a traitor now. The aircraft are out of your reach and no bureaucrat would put his life in line for me. Besides, I left the base in an aircraft and returned on a motorbike. Where’s the aircraft?, begs the question. If they find me here, together with you, they’ll shoot us both…”

“Not so fast, young man, not so fast. I believe that I can still protect you. They need me. You know that.”

“Not after finding out that you’re accomplice in high treason. I’ve handled the aircraft with two atom bombs under its wings to the enemy. So listen to me. I need a place inside your biggest unmanned repulsin. No one will search for me there and you’ll shoot me out, claiming to be yet another failed experiment.”

“Are you mad? Shoot you out where? To Nirvana? To another galaxy? To certain death?”

“I’d rather die on the altar of science than in dishonor. Do this for me and for my family. Please! Viktor?”

“Come with me!”

The feed walks us through the tunnels of a salt mine, introduces us to a parking lot populated with tens of giant saucers, or giant cups.

Well not giant the way I am but giant for humans. I could use them as a china service if I’d ever consider to invest my time in serving tea. But I have no such intention.

“Come, come closer. Do you think you can fit inside this one?”

Poor Rolf, he is presented with a combination between a tea cup placed reversely at one meter above a facing tea saucer.

“Could be worse. I’ll take it… Thank you, Viktor! You’ve been like a father to me. Gott schütze dich!”

“My dear boy. Wherever you’ll go, pray for us. Will you?”

“I will.”

“Godspeed!”

The old man embracing Rolf, and cutting my entire feed in the process, collects his gorget, his steel helmet, buttons and any object of metal upon him. Crammed like the beef inside a hamburger, Rolf’s eyes offer us less perspective over the action. I focus on his vital signs: all quite high. No wonder given the situation.

“Take care!” Shouts the old man eventually. We can’t see a thing because Rolf closes his eyes often. When they are open, we’re given to watch a black screen. Iron, my girls, just iron… and no lights inside that thing.

Viktor must have pulled some levers somewhere in the vicinity of the repulsin. We can only hear clunking sounds. Then a soft swing. The oscillation tends to achieve resonance but it won’t, instead it turns in circles. Faster and faster.

Rolf opens his eyes to see a blueish glare dewing all over the dark iron in front of his nose. Four hundred and ninety milliseconds later, he can’t see the metal anymore, just the blue light surrounding him. The feed turns mute. The image turns white. The end.

***

Rebecca sits in lotus, on the platform in front of me. She cries with hiccups and wails like a lost child. Yvonne joins her from the left, holding her hand and murmuring:

“It’s all right… It’s all right…”

Beatrice, on the other hand, stands up and shouts at them both.

“On your feet, you pussies! He is alive and we’re gonna find him sooner or later. Now cheer up. We’ve got work to do!”

Well said, Beatrice, well said. Just wondering who this Viktor is. You know, that was a new technology to me. Found records about it but hardly any application by gone or present daemons I know of.

Beatrice interrupts my line of thought.

“Listen to me, Rebecca. Please tell us how did you escape with the jet fighter and the atomic bombs.”

“No big deal, my sisters. No big deal. I’ve fooled the guards with this ‘Wir sind da, schon bald, Nosferatu Sonnenschein’ retard riddle. They were sleepy anyway… Checked the machine, opened the flap for the dynamo in the process. No one noticed. Jumped in the cockpit, checked the controls. Ignited the engines. Took off… that scared me a little: never ran so much before ascension. Headed for a British air base near Rome, Italy. Refueled and headed for another British airbase near Tunis, Northern Africa. There I’ve handled the machine and the weapons to Sir James. Before 0700 I was on the deck of a US ship heading to America. Haven’t eaten for two days in a row not to lose the taste of Rolf in my mouth. Until today, I never knew that there is a chance to see him alive, again, somewhere, somehow. I was convinced that he has been executed for high treason. Like poor Stauffenberg and many others. Viktor has told me that he never came back from his mission. Don’t know why…”

Maybe Viktor was bitten by remorse, thinking that he had killed Rolf. Plus, if considering the use of the repulsin as a teleportation device, he had no way to find the destination, or to reverse the process. Feeling out of ideas, I’ve already asked Kronos. Do you know what he responded?

“No, what?”

It is a matter for Oranos, not for us.

“Seems that I’ll have to drop it, again…” Sigh…

“Why the British? You were employed by the OSS – the American intelligence, right?”

“Formally yes, Beatrice. But I have always worked for my father. Above any country, my primary allegiance goes to my father, my family, my people, my Lord. I don’t like being a puppet for the politicians… You know what I mean.”

“Why the British?”

“Two reasons. First: at that time, the British had no Schwalbe jet fighter in their collection, while the Americans had quite a few. Second: the United Kingdom was, according to my father, the single power on the planet with enough maturity not to deploy atomic weapons, yet capable to use them as a perfect political deterrent. The Americans acquired a different weapon later, from the defecting skipper of a German submarine, and deployed it immediately against Japan. Besides, the Americans never knew how to keep a secret, so the Soviets got it from them.”

“The Rosenbergs…”

“Yes, again some of us. Those people enraged my daddy more than anything. He has lobbied for General Patton pushing the line across the Elbe: the Soviets had to be contained, encircled, forced to depart from communism, which is as bad as national socialism. An atomic Western Alliance pressing against a conventional Soviet Union would have been very effective.”

“Oh, and that bike was…”

“Yes, Beatrice. The same bike from 1930.”

***

Seems to me that when you feel God as family to you, then you can do the most startling things. More so when He feels you like family to Him.

From the backups provided by Kronos, I see that you’ve got your state of Israel, however there is no peace around it. Which is quite discouraging.

“You need an excess of love to invest in durable peace. Daddy said this often. You’ve got to be excessively polite, pouring love out of your soul, provided you’ve got the necessary inner spring of it. Anger is fast and intermittent. But love is good and constant, if you learn the meaning of it. Unfortunately…”

…Why did you stop? Your speech commenced with the sublime of a flamingo daring to fly from a crest. Go on, Rebecca, we love listening to you!

“Dear Astarte, you had your share of political glory and disgrace, of trust and deceit, of exuberance and sorrow. Am I right?”

I had had enough to wail a trillion years about losing it. But I don’t! I was sad as a goddess. I am happy as a woman. Ditching my godly career together with my first born, I wish to die as a happy woman. If you won’t mind…

“Ah… Why mind? Just wondering: is this your wisdom alone or a cocktail shake by Kronos?”

A cocktail dear, to which I’ve added the sugars and the booze; edges and colors come from Kronos indeed.

“Looks like Enoch, well NOK, had crafted you for Kronos, I think…”

Who cares now anyway? Eventually I’ve got fucked by him. Now I’m his. Can we return to your petty human politics, please?

“Turned out we could have no peace through this lost century. World War Two has ended with a disastrous map redraw of Europe. This had daddy upset to the ceiling. He wasn’t alone yet the best they could do was accepting the Cold War, wasting themselves in proxy little wars all over the globe: in Korea, in Judea or elsewhere. The Soviets never hid their violent plans to subvert the civilized world. Just like the Nazis: no mean was little enough not to serve their expansion. Revolutions, financed by the Soviets, have put the planet on fire: from Latin America to Indochina, from Tunis to India, from Greece to Egypt. The global market for Kalashnikovs became probably the best boom throughout my lost century.”

Even more booming than the nuclear bombs?

“I guess so. They rarely used to detonate that hellish stuff. Yet every morning and every evening, every day and every night, a kid fires a Kalashnikov at another kid, or at some parents or grandparents. Often times, the smallest things come to make the biggest difference. The Soviets arming the poor of the world, not with books and pens, not with fountains and seeds, but with assault guns, grenade launchers and shoulder missiles. Now dear, go ahead and tell them how much you love them! Be my guest…”

You had to kill them instead?

“That’s not how you may show your love. Daddy told me never to kill a man. And I never did.”

“Come on, Rebecca, you were a spy during WW2, you worked with the MI6, then the CIA, you were with the Mossad for years, and you tell us that you never, ever, killed a man?”

“I do tell you this. The sixth commandment received by Moses is: You shall not murder. There is quite a distinction between murder and kill, as in accidents, death penalty or slaughtering animals for food. The scholars love this debate as they love anything that suffers in translation. But I tell you loud and clear: I did not kill a hen, nor a human, or any other animal, in my entire life. I can understand death penalty. I can even contemplate war, as I was part of many. The art of war is getting your job done with minimal fuss. There are herbs and vapors and charms out there much more suitable to win wars than the barbaric brutal force of men.”

Are you speaking out what you’ve just telepathically stolen from my mind, Rebecca?

“Maybe. Don’t know. Not on purpose. I just feel this way. Can’t own the ideas… Oh well… I see now… They had called you the goddess of war… Makes sense. Yes.”

Only thing is that they never met me, never knew me, took my ideas from my offspring… Those plagiarists…

“But they’ve credited you, didn’t they?”

So they did, yes, maybe I should love them more… Hate only the unlovable one… Love the lovable… Maybe…

“Oh dear, dear. Yeshuah says to love your enemies. I, for one, went so far to even make love to some of them. But I used to ask daddy how to show my love to a person that wants me dead. Consider a Palestinian militant. He looks to assassinate me, or my relatives, my people. How to show my love to this guy then?”

And what your daddy said to you?

“He told me to ignore the hatred of the enemy, to avoid sight proximity, to bring solace to his women and children. He will respond with bullets to my love, but women will hurry to read my lips.”

Did it work?

“Nothing starts easy. Unless it’s an evil thing. And this wasn’t. Over years and generations, I’ve made myself a host of friends throughout the communities of Arab women. One by one, they took the courage to quit hatred and revenge, to move out of the squalor where only destruction thrives. These blessed women and their children found the way to quench their thirst for love and beauty, understanding that one can never calm the lust for revenge and retribution.”

“Not many in Israel were following your lead, Rebecca dear…”

“Not many, as you say, Beatrice. Men don’t get enough pussy and this makes them more aggressive. A war of minds requires… well… minds! The problem is with the little ones… hard to talk to. In 1956, Egypt has been threatening our young country. The average minds wished to bring the British and the French forces to deter Nasser. The little minds made everything possible to provoke a wider conflict.”

And the great minds?

“The great minds wished to play chess with the Soviets.”

How’s that?

“We had a Knight in Hungary: Imre Nagy. This guy, the new Prime Minister by popular demand, had publicly withdrawn his country out of the Warsaw Pact, out of the Soviet Block. Hungary was meant to become neutral, like Austria and Switzerland. An attractive concept for Europe, especially in 1956!, don’t you think?”

…And?…

“The Queen and a Rook (Britain and France) had to keep the Pawn (Egypt) in chess until the Bishops (USA and USSR) would agree to amend Yalta and allow neutrality to the Knight (Hungary).”

Why would they?…

“With Khrushchev bringing up de-Stalinization to its first political peak in February 1956, my dad, along with other great minds, seized the opportunity to lobby hard for Hungary’s neutrality in Washington. Politicians asked what to use as a bargain to make it an acceptable situation for the Soviets. From this question, they’ve worked together over the Suez Crisis, planning to bring the Americans and the Soviets on the same side: Egypt would lose control of the Suez Canal while turning into a Soviet client state; this gain would had been balanced by Hungary escaping the Soviet sphere yet not joining NATO, just turning neutral; Israel, France and Britain would guarantee free passage through the canal. Thus thought the great minds of 1956.”

But?…

“But the little minds were taken astray, a wave too far, drowned in stupid speculations and provocations, firing the wrong shells at the wrong targets…”

Why didn’t they listen?…

“Dunno. They never did… Eventually, the neutrality of Hungary ended under Soviet tanks, Egypt turned a Soviet client state, the Suez was blocked a great deal of time, Sinai had to be returned later on. We all lost to the Soviets… and my dad lost his life…”

Really?

“Really. The little minds could not tolerate his resilient lobbying and relentless accusations. It was a political assassination disguised as a heart attack.”

Do you know who did this to him?

“I do. I’ve studied their lives closely ever since, until they all died.”

You’ve helped them a little bit?…

“No! Because revenge is not mine. Why taint the memory of daddy with such an ugly deed? Besides, patience brought me the scents of God’s subtle retribution. Had I killed them, their deaths would have had been way milder than what they actually had to endure naturally without the slightest intervention of mine.”

But how could you work with the assassins of your father?

“I moved out with my French pilot: Alain Johannson! Mon amour… Ten years younger than me. He brought me to the Foreign Legion, to North Africa, to new wars and new defeats… Till we chose to influence politics as we grew tired of playing this ugly game.”

That would demand a great deal of money…

“Alain’s grandpa had owned a mine in Namibia. His family left us a great fortune. However, we preferred to abstain from extravagant lives, from stirring envies and susceptibilities. Pursuing extravagant minds instead, we patronized quite a number of IT start ups. I was particularly fond of what they’ve later called sextech.”

Why?

“Because in politics the actors are hiding ugly things behind nice words, but in old school porn the actors lay bare, while in modern porn there are no more actors, just ordinary people being who they are, sharing their extraordinary moments. This honesty beats politics! My strategy was to undermine politics with porn, to change the mentality of the masses, to make the votes count our way.”

And did they?

“No, not exactly. Too much money against us. The military industrial complex is a real pain in the ass. But there is always providence, a ray from heavens, or a tiny tablet maybe…”

You mean?

“On March the 1st of AD 2013, one of our neighbors, returning from a long journey, brought us a little present. A token of thanks, he said. Very similar to a kitchen cutting board of granite. Alain said that’s nothing like that but a super-computer provided by an alien being. ‘Come on, Alain?! What are you smoking?…’ I knew he quit in 1965… This little gadget helped us better understand our physiology, carefully control our metabolism, it taught us how to reverse aging, revealing us many other wonders of the world.”

May I ask about the name of this alien being?

“You may. His name is Kronos.”

And your neighbor was…

“…Don Dawn”

The paragalactic pimp…

“Pardon?”

Never mind.

“No problem. I’ve just learned the complete story by telepathy. Hard to imagine that that cute little Doris can be so harsh.”

“Now I get it,” exclaims Yvonne, “this alien device helped you change the face of France!”

“It was… er… instrumental, so to say.”

Rebecca, I can’t read your mind. Would you be so kind telling me about this change. I wish to know.

“Since the Libertine Party has comfortably won the Presidential election in 2017, old school politics, balancing suspicion with confidence, fear with hope and faith with terror, have been replaced with the Zebra Culture…”

This name, zebra, comes from the African striped pony?

“Hah, hah, why compare the zebra to a pony and not to a horse, or a donkey?”

Every girl dreams of ponies…

“I, for one, dreamed of riding Zündapps. Very well, the French Zebra Culture partitions the national territory in four wearable zones: textile free, textile optional, textile classic, burkah exclusive.”

Too much political slang for me…

“French citizens cast a vote, in every spring, on the acceptable summer fashion for their neighborhood or village. Direct democracy at its best. Most of France turned textile optional in 2018. Amazing! Religious conflicts lost their clout. Crime rates dropped spectacularly. Terrorists fled the country (those who attacked were swiftly annihilated by the tactic drones). When you analyze homeland security, you realize how easy it is to cure crime and terrorism by natural measures, local openness, backed up by deadly robots patrolling the skies. On a side note, burkah exlusive zones melted like ice in August because no man accepted to wear a burkah – in France, sexes are equal and exclusive means exclusive, no exceptions.”

I notice a slight reddish aura around the heads of my pussycats standing on the platform. All of them seem to become a bit more nervous, more alert?… Can’t really figure this out…

“No more grave and growing terror threats to France! We’ve managed to find a way of filtering freedom from tyranny. Did you know that Stalin used to release criminals from prisons on the streets, to kill simple citizens, just like this, at random!, aiming to heighten the public level of fear? The Libertine Party didn’t wish to copy Stalin… On the contrary! This party has indeed changed the face of politics: turning away from fear and embracing honesty, because nude people tend to be more honest with each other.”

Let me guess: this is a women-only party?

“No. There are also men in it… but most of the leadership is formed by women. The President of France is a woman now!”

Bit over excited, Yvonne exclaims: “If we’d ran the world… But we do, in France!”

Well, dear ladies, you remind me of four civilizations that flourished in what has become the Pegassus galaxy, billions of years ago. The men had ran them on the verge of extinction, from one war into another. This until the women decided to establish their own rulership. It was nice…

“Indeed. How this worked out for them eventually?”

No idea. They had withdrawn from every known alliance. War became a literary expression in that culture. I’ve lost track of their history long before the Venusian Insurrection. Who knows, maybe they’re still around…

“If we’d ran the world…” Yvonne dear, you look pretty much excited to me, but it’s nothing like an orgasm. What is that?

“Not sure how to describe it to you. It’s a passion, a stirring of my soul. An inner fire. A virtue maybe? I feel that I am right. That We are right!”

I see… I’m afraid this is righteousness, but we know that only God can be right, so it is then self-righteousness. Not good. Not a virtue. Rather a vice.

“But…”

“…But that’s not good, Yvonne. Astarte makes a point.”

“Come on, Rebecca! You are the engineer of all this movement!”

“Social engineering is a dangerous affair, dear…”

“What do you mean? I don’t understand.”

“I mean that sooner or later, our pink society will fail. Like all human endeavors do.”

“But can’t we anticipate?, can’t we diagnose and…”

“Sure we can. The same way as we can get it wrong at some point. Nobody is perfect, Yvonne dear.”

I’ve just got an analysis from Kronos, thinking it out loud for you.

Nudist societies grow less aggressive and more artistic with time. This sounds superb for the great minds and even attractive for most average minds. Still, there are little minds in constant hunt for material challenges, avid for money and power, addicted to them. These little minds are already working to subvert your nudist-centered utopia. It will be just a matter of time before finding weak points to exploit, new ways to seed fear and stir retribution. Besides, there are no-minds which can’t justify themselves otherwise than by committing violence disguised in the black colors of vengeance. They do this simply because it makes them feel good. You cannot escape these people, they are part of your mortal condition.

Beatrice looks me in the eyes (I arrived to realize that she made my eyes gaze into hers) and speaks.

“Kronos and Astarte make sense. Rebecca is wise when curbing our enthusiasms into perspective: it will pass, like the good ideas always do. However, we have a few more cards to play: this huge alien woman in front of us, her twin babies and God knows what. Therefore, let me say as He would have said: Let us see.”