I’ve been pondering about the new course of events all night. Beatrice wished to stay in my vicinity and comfort me. She said that whatever I’ll decide, she will support me. I have a feeling that she is the only one, amongst all humans that I’ve met this past week, to perceive my sentiments the way I do…
“No wonder, dear, if I’m capable to freeze your bone marrow then I can also feel you in totality.”
Yes, no question about that. Seems that I’ve just got myself a lawyer. Shall we fight for my twins, Beatrice?
“I’ll fight for your rights, for your children, yes… First thing in the morning, when Rebecca and Yvonne arrive on the platform, together with Easter and Saturn, and before the scheduled training would bring the military staff in, you have to speak out. Not think but speak, with your mouth! Tell them that you raise a claim for the twins.”
Will they listen?
“Officially, they need not, because ‘officially’ you don’t even exist.”
Neither does Kronos, officially.
“Correct. There’s no mention of Kronos other than in Greek mythology, Hollywood and the marketing industry. For this planet, Easter and Saturn were born to Rebecca and Alain, eighteen years ago. As simple as that.”
Yet utterly untrue.
“Dishonesty runs through human history since… let me see.. since your first born had had lied to poor Eve. Sigh…”
Another blowback. I’m quite accustomed. Why do you help me, Beatrice?
“For one, because you’ve been taken advantage of. I can sense that chill haunting your veins…”
Oh, you do? I thought you wished to punish me… thought it was coming from you… poor me…
“No. Why punish you? On the contrary, I’m sending sensations of warmth and confidence throughout your nervous system. Don’t want you tailspin into a new depression, make a scene, showing these people what a real fool you can be.”
What makes you think that they shall listen to my claim?
“They are good people. They respect you. Perhaps they have a point and you must exert your right to be heard, to have your questions answered. I wish this too for myself, and for them as well, because so far there was no adequate answer.”
She is a gem, this little angel. A sweet-sounding friend of mine. But hey! Is this a symphony? Is this more than your voice? What music is this?
“It is The Music! I’ve opened a channel for you.”
A channel?, to where?
“To some of my sisters in the Ninth Heaven. It is how they communicate up there.”
Raining with Bach. This will keep me company over the night. Are you about to retreat? You can, if you wish, as The Music will keep me company.
“Dear, don’t want to take The Music out with me. I’ll stay. For The Music and for your little scared soul.”
But I have no soul, everyone knows that…
“Now you have! The name of your soul is Easter and she’s quite frightened, I can tell. You know, Rebecca and Yvonne are giving her everything, yet the milk she drinks is provided by you, her mother.”
Oh yeah, those clumsy pumps and pipes. They have told me to pump myself every hour, to fill those tankers…
“Your babies need but a minuscule fraction of all that milk. This is another theme for debate.”
“I mean that you should listen to The Music now… Oh, and pump yourself. Take this new tanker, unseal it and pump. Once you’ve filled it, please lay it in this separate square. I’ll ask Yvonne to analyze what you’ve milked while listening to The Music.”
Wow! See?, this is the kind of exploitation I enjoy most.
As the night consumes herself over the surface of sands, here, in the depths of these caves, Beatrice circles the air like a golden butterfly, I pump myself like a human Godzilla filling tank stations after tank stations with my milk, and The Music rains upon us both…
A wife of God and the mother of the devil… listening to the same melody…
Twenty tankers later, Rebecca and Yvonne come out of the elevator. Each holding one of my twins in her arms. They don’t jog at sixty kilometers per hour now. They just walk, like normal people (or what I’d deem to be normal people, from casual backups that I’ve been studying). I patiently wait for them to get near… A test of endurance for me… Guess that I feel like filling one more tanker in this while. However, my eyes can’t help but zoom in on them. How lovely the little ones are. Well, they’re not so little anymore, are they?
“Hey, sisters! Will you let them on the platform? Wish to see if they’ll make some steps.”
“Ah, there you are, Astarte. Hard to miss you. Why are you speaking out loud?” Remarks Yvonne.
“Like to hear my voice. Could you please let my kids run around?” Say I in an effort to think only when I speak.
“Yeah, dear…” notes Rebecca, “they had their first steps yesterday evening when they’d asked me to let them inspect level 362.”
“Are you telling me that I’ve missed their first steps?”
“You may run it from a backup. Let me see… Yesterday, 21:25 hours. Start from there.”
What can I say? Focus, Astarte! Focus! Speak! “I’ve ran the backups many many times in my head. That was a rhetorical question. Wished to tell you how much I missed them. I am their mother after all. Their natural mother…”
Easter imitates a ballerina, trying to complete a few pirouettes. Saturn, with his little hands stretched like an airplane, circles her making high pitched noises. Seems that the vastness of the platform belongs to them.
With a sudden swoosh, the doors of the elevator hide on sides, allowing the Colonel, Guy and a couple of legionnaires in camouflage attire to desecrate my little ones’ imaginary empire with their beige and very serious boots.
“My dear sisters, mon Colonel, Guy!, ah Guy!, dear soldiers, I have to tell you that I raise a claim for my twins. Here and now!”
Silence. My babies continue to play without making any more sounds, like they’d knew that the adults have to conduct adult business around.
“Your claim is legit,” responds the Colonel. “We shall address it within the hour. I’d expect that you wouldn’t mind if the father of the children will be part of the negotiations.”
“Their father, Kronos, who is trapped inside the core of planet Saturn, keeps a telepathic connection with me. I can put it on screen for all of you,” say I.
“We know that,” chimes Rebecca in, “but Alain thought of a teleconference that will allow all the freedom to your mind. Let us show you.”
She nods at the two legionnaires. They pull some sort of medallion, no!, it looks like a stick…
“A key, dear, each of them wears a necklace with a key attached,” clarifies Rebecca.
“…Very well, let’s call it a key then.”
This is introduced, by each soldier, in a precise spot on the ground, a hundred meters apart. At the opposite end of the platform, the wall of granite cracks and slides to sides, just like the doors of the elevator. No swoosh this time. Solid black darkness, a hundred meters wide per hundred meters tall square of nothing, of night.
Instinctively, my eyes project limited spectrum light inside the hole, to explore it. But I can’t get the slightest feedback, not a shadow, nor a nuance of grey.
“It’s nothing,” I say.
“Nothingness, my dear,” marks Beatrice who positioned herself right above my head, fifteen meters ahead of my eyebrows, “not even space.”
Oh yes, now I pay attention to the data: Zero Kelvin. What the heck?
“Fret not, little mind! This is just a communication device. Nothing more, nothing less. The universe won’t implode because of it.”
Is this how he had sent me from his planet to Earth?
“Speak, Astarte! Speak your thoughts out. Open your mouth to speak!”
“Ah, thank you, Beatrice… Is this how he had sent me from his planet to Earth?”
I can notice the breeze of my spoken words on their uniforms, through my sisters’ long hair… The right eye of mine, always zooming on my kids, records the goosebumps on their skin. Their red coarse hair is still too short to wave…
Rebecca, reading my mind, even these unspoken perceptions, allows me a minute to contemplate Easter and Saturn playing a game that involves lots of running and jumping.
“No, Astarte. He didn’t sent you to us through this device. Told you that this is merely a gate for communication, not for transport.”
“Where is he?”
“He is late. Not the first time. We’re accustomed…”
“The god of time is late? Often?”
“Yes, why not? He’s got all the time…”
“…I’ve just got all of YOUR time, Milady. Mine is numbered and running out. Fast.”
“Oh, Kronos! There you are. How do you do?”
Seems to me that he’s doing very well. Radiating face, marbled muscles and… Oh! Aw… That sublime dick of Kronos. The best in millions! Ohhh… how I miss it…
“Thank you for the compliments, Astarte. You’re looking gorgeous, your boobs are bigger.”
Turning his eyes down to Rebecca, he continues “…and, Milady, I am doing well, thank you for asking.”
“Monsieur Kronos,” interrupts the Colonel, “we had to make this call because Madam Astarte had raised a claim for her babies and you, as the father, are to be part of the negotiations. Do you accept?”
“Yes. I accept. Proceed.”
“For the record,” proceeds the Colonel, “we have gathered here, at elevator level 821, on the backup platform, in the presence of Astarte and Kronos – natural mother and father of the minors Easter and Saturn (present here with us),” he points in their direction, “in the presence of Rebecca Johannson and Alain Johannson – godmother and godfather of aforementioned minors, in the presence of Yvonne Loiret – nursing doctor, and Beatrice Challe – guardian angel or good fairy,” he smiles at his small puzzle of words, “together with Guy d’Anjou – Captain in the French Foreign Legion, Acmed Moussa and Wilfried Stolz – legionnaires, key-bearers of the Portal. The Earth Zulu time as we speak is 05:20 and the local time is 06:20, today, on August 21st, Anno Domini 2021, under the Richat Structure, Mauritania, West African France.”
“Records being filled, procedures being followed, allow me to reassure my first consumed love, Astarte, the mother of my firstborns, Easter and Saturn, that these children were given to me and to her not by happenstance, not by accident, not by mistake. On the contrary, I have invested my best programming skills, I have made huge sacrifices (beginning with my own freedom of movement), I have called others, humans and daemons alike, to make enormous sacrifices in preparation of the birth of Easter and Saturn, our twins. I knew what I was doing, which cannot be stated about their mother. However, the whims of any woman can’t (and won’t) be called into discussion as accusations or damaging evidence. My claim over our babies is equal to hers. But our claims are less important. What really matters is the well-being, education and instruction of our children. Our duty, as natural parents, godparents, guardians and friends, to them prevails. Easter and Saturn will play a role that I wish to be remembered after the history of the human race will be fulfilled. A role of support and comfort.”
“The human race and the daemon race,” dare I speak.
“The daemon race is no more, Astarte. I had it erased. All of your progeny has been dealt with, of an irrevocable manner. The daemon race is dead!”
“…Aha? …And you say that I’m the depressed daemon here. Look at him! Remember when you’ve told me that you fell into a black hole and that you’ve exited on the other side? My offspring must be captured in those many traps crafted by you.”
“Only the information is there. The memory of them is captured in the black decks (no holes, but two-dimensional decks). Who would bring their memory to life? Who would raise a stone to build their bones up? Who would stretch sinew and muscle and wrap a skin around their bones? Who would breathe life into their nostrils? Who?”
“The good news,” steps the Colonel in, “is that you, Kronos, and you, Astarte, were given the chance to procreate together. More than that, your mutual offspring appears to be human. We humans are honored and humbled to have your twins among us, to raise them into adulthood and to jubilate together with them in giving thanks to our Lord, Maker of you among many others, thus conducting your personalities away from nothingness. This being stated and repeated and agreed by all parts, let us begin the negotiations.”
I can’t help myself when thinking of all my other children, destroyed by this reckless Kronos. Erased, he said, erased! Can you imagine? Can yo… Ugh, ice climbing on my spine. Oops, guess that I’d better behave. “Agreed!” I find myself shouting out loud.
“Wait, wait… wait!” There’s a bit of revolt in Yvonne’s voice. “Beatrice! Whenever Astarte tries to express her opinions, you crawl that frosty spider on her back to silence her. Is this fair?”
“Yvonne dear,” marks Rebecca while Beatrice eases the ice on my back, “Astarte has a well-known predilection for rambling. Our little Beatrice does no harm to her while saving us time and sanity. But I’ll have to give you the credit because you have asked about fairness. Therefore, Beatrice dear, please remove your controls from Astarte. No! Not the encryption, that should never depart from her mind. Let Astarte free to rattle on. And Yvonne darling, when you’ll get tired of it, please ask Beatrice to roll the spider up, will ya?”
“Sisters,” say I, “please forgive Yvonne. She is well-intended. I am so grateful to have Beatrice near me, even with her little pointy spiders. Oh, Yvonne dear, it was Beatrice who made me call this negotiation. She truly cares for me. This is why I can tell you that our relationship is based on fairness and love.”
“Oh God have mercy on me!” The metallic voice erupts through the Portal to silence us.
“Anything wrong, Monsieur Kronos?”
“Look, Monsieur Alain, I have no idea what you’ve done to your brains, or ears, to undergo all the nonsense emitted by these females. Really. How can you human males live among them, hear them, listen to them?”
“Our charms transcend our trivialities,” giggles Rebecca as she takes off her camouflage.
“Ah, Milady! Vous êtes toujours aussi charmante…”
Seizing the moment, Beatrice breaks the nonsense – rather of a brutal manner if I’m about to judge of the warming up, cozy climate that we all appear to enjoy.
“I hate to say it, but you’re all incoherent here. We’ve met to negotiate the claim over Easter and Saturn, of which you shortly forgot. Someone has to take the lead. Allow me, or don’t allow me, I couldn’t care less. So I present you the following propositions…”
As she reads them, the words come to be written in thin air, to our left in French and to our right in Aramaic.
“Natural mother’s claim number one: daughter Easter and son Saturn must spend one third of a day’s time together with natural mother Astarte until the age of majority when they are emancipated.”
“Granted.” Pronounces Kronos. Everyone agrees to fit this third of a day’s time in my twins’ schedule.
“Natural mother’s claim number two: the human race and the entire universe must learn that Easter and Saturn have been born out of the union of Astarte and Kronos.”
“Not granted.” Sounds their natural father like a prison door.
“This is unacceptable and untrue. Lies have paved the death roads for all my other children. You, Kronos the Stupid!, were deceived to kill them all. And you proceeded as the supreme imbecile that you are! Deception is the beginning of perdition! Why did we bother to conceive them? So you can kill them with more of your lies?”
I can’t help my hysteria. The funny thing is that no spider has been sent to silence me. Hum… I feel good hearing my voice.
“As the godmother of Easter and Saturn, my duty is to take care of them, to do my best in teaching them about the Lord and henceforward about the Truth. Within our secured perimeter, there will be no lies or else there cannot be trust amongst our people. However, the outer society is not yet prepared to accept the truth. The human race still believes in such nonsense as ‘our truth’ versus ‘your truth’ or ‘their truth.’ While Truth – the real One – belongs to God, is God. But who is God? Is there such a thing as ‘your god’ versus ‘my god’ or ‘their god?’ I remember what daddy told me on a late September evening. We were strolling about the Independence Garden, overlooking Hilton Beach in Tel Aviv. He just returned from a visit to America. Very excited about his dialog with Einstein, he couldn’t wait to share it with me. You’ll know that your daddy loves you when he can’t wait talking philosophy to you, when you are his most trusted confident. By the way, Astarte, would you be so kind producing the following backup volume for us? Don’t worry, I’ll make it short.
“Sure. Name and date, time, please.”
“Albert Einstein. 1953, August 12, 19:00 US Eastern Time.”
On we go. I generate the volume in 3D, at a fair distance between the humans on the platform and the Portal. It covers about half of Kronos’ hologram but I don’t care – he may generate his own backup volume anyway. What matters to me is providing the optimal angle to the French guys down there.
With the eyes of this Albert from America, we see a wooden table and a pair of hands to the left. Must be the hands of rabbi Richard Rabinovics. But the voice speaking, with pauses, is not his.
“The bomb is not the problem. Using it is.”
“Those idiots gave it to Stalin. May God forgive them because I never will!”
Our subject looks up to his interlocutor.
“You had it stolen from the Nazis and handled to the British, Ritschy.”
The rabbi shows us, through Einstein’s eyes, the roar of his perfect teeth, otherwise hidden under his white mustache.
“I’ve stolen it from those who invented it. Poor Germany: great scientists and engineers, lousy politicians and a hideous military machine. There’s only one country more blessed and more cursed than Germany…”
“…And that is?”
“Russia! Exactly where those schmucks have handled the plans of the bomb. I take it out of Germany, they put it back into Russia. Unbelievable.”
“What is so unbelievable, Ritschy?”
“It is that two old farts like us can sit here on the porch, watch the alley and have a laugh at the tragedy of mankind. Besides this, we can believe in anything and everything. Can you imagine this?”
“Oh yes, if you can then I can. Just wondering how your Zündapp-God can allow guys like Hitler and Stalin walking through His creation.”
“It is called tolerance, Albi. If God would allow only his own views then how could we make any mistakes? Besides, your universe will suddenly cease to be relative. No more speed, no more time… Physicists out of jobs… Oh my…”
“If the observer is a rabbi then the speed of light is null…”
Another dental display. Your father looks quite in shape, Rebecca, how old was he in 1953? I wish to break the monotony with this diversion. Think that we’ve got more important business to conduct than watching these old farts…
“Can read your mind, Astarte!”
“Seventy-four, my daddy was seventy-four in 1953. The ‘old farts’ were both born in 1879. How about you fast forward until the first phrase containing the word Spinoza? Boring the entire audience to death is not in my intention, but I wish to make a point about the perception of the truth on this planet. Sounds boring because it is. Go ahead, Astarte, with the fast forward!”
There you go, sis!
“…Spinoza fascinates me. His philosophy won’t separate the soul from the body, he sees them as one.”
“The soul is just another body, a better one, with more sensors. Looking from above, Spinoza is right: we have a higher body that our ancestors have called soul, and a lower body, that rots and dies, unlike the better body.”
“The difference between you and the Indians is a rat and a cow.”
“Ho-hum,” …no more dental show laughter this time, “…who knows what kind of experiences those Indians have had. I’m talking to you from my own experience. Truth is…”
“Truth comes from physical reality, Ritschy.”
“Which you describe as relative, Albi.”
“So it is, at least our perception of it.”
“What if I’m color blind, what if I confuse red and green and yellow. What’s my truth based on my perceived reality then?”
“Your truth will go grey. We all go grey.”
“And truth has to follow us, into the grave, along with the realities of our lives?”
“‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.’ I didn’t say that, took it from Max.”
“Seems like science advances one funeral at a time. This makes scientists quite a stubborn flock, don’t you think?”
“Look, Ritschy, you’ve got your God, you say that he’s a biker and I believe you, honestly! But I’ve got my God and he has no beard, I don’t know what he is but I know one thing: that he’s telling us something from behind this universe. Poke at the physics and talk to him.”
“He had shaken my hand. I’ve talked to Him, invited Him in my synagogue!”
“God doesn’t play dice with the world. And he doesn’t ride a bike.”
“Definitely not with the world. Just with us, people. Oh, and if He was riding on a donkey, then why can’t He ride a Zündapp?”
“As I’ve told you so many times, I believe in Spinoza’s God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”
“I believe in Abrahaam’s and Isaac’s and Jacob’s God, Who reveals Himself in His people, Who walks with us where we go. He knows us and we know Him, regardless of the world, harmony or not.”
“You’re talking again about YOUR god. I’m still talking about MINE. Different gods, different worlds, different observers, different truths. We agree to disagree, Ritschy. It’s not the first time we do this.”
“Reality of the world is no truth, Albi, just a perception. Reality is a compilation not a source. God can be only One, but we are many, and you prefer Spinoza while I like Abrahaam, Isaac and Jacob.”
“One God, different observers, didn’t I tell you that?”
“Is the truth with God or are the different observers holding their own truths?”
“As many truths as the observers.”
“What if God is an observer? Would you give Him a truth?”
“He would deserve it. As any other observer.”
“Good. Then we’ll have as many gods as observers, as truth-holders.”
“Ritschy, I feel a bit tired. Please send Esther and Rivkah my best wishes, will you?”
“Aaand cut!” Shouts Rebecca at me like a director. “Dear audience, dear Astarte, together with my excuses for the boring movie, I politely ask you to comment.”
“I’ll comment it out loud. Gotta learn how to use my words and thoughts.”
Uhm, what an entry, if I’d knew how to speak during the Venusian Insurrection… but I digress…
“Dear sisters and legionnaires, dear Kronos… oh my, you’re so… Big!… If the collective mind of society on this planet emulates this guy, Albert from America, then I’m sorry to say: they’ll never find what the truth really is. Truth is simple! Truth is the reality within us, not a relative reality of nature, not a perception, not a concept of our brains. Truth is our inner identity preceding us. Truth is a person, a Guy… Not you Guy, but a Guy with a beard. You have no beard. Not that having one would make you God… Why are you laughing?… What did I say?”
Darn me, I’m not fitted for speeches.
“Question!” – sounds Mr. Big! – “Astarte, do you admit that the human race is unprepared to learn the truth about Easter and Saturn being born as the result of our union?”
“I have to admit that the human race is immature to understand such a simple truth of life. And this must change. Humans have to grow up!”
“This is why we are here.” He smiles at me from above his Portal.
Oh, come and give me one!
“Compose yourself, Astarte!”
But you’re so fucking hot! I wish to have you inside me. Can I jump into the Portal? Will this work? How do you call it on Earth? Ah… yes… cybersex.
“Calm down, Astarte!” Feel a shiver on my coccyx so I opt to behave.
“I propose a forty-nine Earth-years moratorium on the truth about the conception of Easter and Saturn. If everyone agrees, then we shall use this delay to prepare the human race for the future. They cannot develop as a spacefaring race with this kind of mentality.”
“Forty-nine years should be enough time. I vote with Kronos.” Rebecca calls the game. When she leads they follow, when she sings they dance. Maybe that guy, Einstein, wasn’t totally wrong…
“No, he was just partially wrong. This is what science is about, at the end of the day. Good that we have politics to fill the gaps of science. The art of inventing plausible lies.”
“Milday, if you allow a remark. He was not even wrong.”
“Well, Kronos darling, may I say that I’ve got a premonition, thinking of poor uncle Albert, great friend of daddy’s, seeing where life drives me, surreptitiously, what if you, dear Kronos, are Spinoza’s god? And Einstein’s god?”
Why is she dearing this imbecile twice in a sentence? I don’t know…
“Well, well, Milady. If Albert Einstein were a woman, I would have sent one of my Cron drones to him, the same I did with Lissy of Austria and with many many other romantic ladies.”
“To tempt him?”
“He was asking to be tempted, didn’t he?”
“Why did you killed so many women with your Saturnian drones?”
Oh my, Rebecca is a helluva judge to everything, small or big.
“I did not kill any of those women. They’ve chosen to kill themselves when copulating with the Crons. Never take imagination too deep into the flesh or it kills you. Keep that in mind, ladies!”
“Okay, okay. My didlo-fashion business used to focus on the harmony between form and vibe, not size. But let us return to uncle Albert, shall we? Let us discard the sexual encounter as purely imaginary and let me ask you this: what would you had to say to him about Spinoza’s god?, about his god actually?”
“I’ve said to him, by several occurrences, that I have a god at my turn. Even if I’d be Spinoza’s god, my own God is Abrahaam’s and Isaac’s and Jacob’s.”
“I did. One of these moments was the dialog between your father and him. There were quite a few before… and after.”
“…Yes, I do think that he’s got it, because he was way too brilliant to miss this.”
“Rebecca,” we can hear, and see, Beatrice flying in between Kronos and the Leading Sister, “shall we proceed with our day schedule now?”