1. Destinations

by Doris Dawn

“Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.”

Carl Jung

“Destinations” is a direct continuation of the spectacular paragalactic stories from “Polygamy vs. Polygyny,” “TITANIA – From Schönbrunn to Saturn,” “MATRYOSHKA – Sex in the Golden Age,” “Astarte, The Adventure” and “LUNATIX.”

// Cover Photo: Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash.

// Cover Design: GIMP composition by Don Dawn.

Mauritania, Richatville, Bottom of the Pit. Or the end of the optical nerve beneath the Eye of Africa. AD 2191, August 20th. On the timeline.

The old man looks at his young love. “One hundred and seventy years. One day. Seventy-seven years. How long have we been together? One hour? Ten minutes? A second?”

“A second is an eternity, Rolf.” Points Rebecca with the kind of cocksure voice characteristic of a twenty-something know-it-all lass.

“You have changed. You never talked to me like this.”

“Look who’s talking about change. Oh, Rolf, your hair is white as silver. Your face is, hum, the same, more or less. And you keep wearing a uniform. Take it off, for heavens’ sake!”

The old man looks at her stupefied. Unzipping the beige camouflage overalls, tossing them on the grey ground, he stands naked in front of her. “Content now?”

“Yes, sure. Let’s move on. I want to see Astarte. Take me to her.”

Rolf senses a bitter answer trying to make it out over his tongue, but he manages to strangle it about the middle of his throat. “Sure, let me take you to Astarte then.” Opening the hide, grabbing his glisseur out of it, he invites Rebecca to join him for the ride. “Hold my hips.”

~//~

Easter and Saturn follow them, careful to stay still within their ghostly angle.

Like an evasive dragonfly, the glisseur carrying Rolf and Rebecca shoots out of the forty kilometers wide chasm, before looping away to the East.

“See this, my dear sister, the Eye of Africa is no more.”

“It had to go, my little brother. It had to go.”

“How do you call a body with no eye?”

“Blind. I call it blind.”

Looking at this blind spot in the desert through Saturn’s eyes, and hearing their dialogue telepathically, Evgeny screams at the skies. “It is done.”

~//~

“What is this? Rolf! Don’t you tell me that this…”

“Yes, this is Astarte. Here and there. The remains of her, separated by the scissors of that flying skull.”

“Damn dragons. I have totally forgotten about those two eggs left behind.”

“You mean?”

“Never mind. Astarte is dead. This is news. Bad news. Very bad news. Indeed.”

“I can tell.”

“You can’t tell anything, little man. Tell what?”

“Nothing. I’d rather keep my mouth shut.”

“Good. Take me back to my Command Center. Level 191.”

No word said, Rolf guides his glisseur Westwards, then down into the shadows of the Richat chasm, losing his trace among the numerous tunnels, up to level 191 – Rebecca’s Command Center.

Stepping aside, she orders the gates to open. Followed by her old man Rolf, she feels so good being applauded, saluted, whistled and acclaimed. Reaching the central pad, she takes a serious air and asks for “Status update!”

~//~

“Her voice is not her voice.”

“What do you mean, my dear sister?”

“Look, Saturn, why do you keep calling me your dear sister?”

“Because you are dear to me. And why do you call me your little brother?”

“Because I am older than you.”

“Fifty-two seconds older.”

“That counts, right? What about Rebecca’s voice?”

“It sounds like her and then it doesn’t.”

“Aunt Beatrice, before quitting this plane of existence, said that she knows…”

“What she spoke, what she knew, is what I fear to know, to speak.”

“But you must. Or shall I?”

“It’s on me, sis. Lucifer had our father replace the first number with an iteration. Which has given precedence to void over value. Thus crumpling the fabric of reality, ending up with the illusion of black holes – actually two-dimensional black decks where…”

“Where the fleets sailing for Venus, in support of Astarte’s Insurrection, have been trapped. Oh my! Oh my God! This can’t be…”

“It is. My inertia effect is fading against the restoration of the old order of heavens.”

“You mean? You… Don’t tell me…”

“I do tell you. The old fabric of the Prior Ages, the white universe, the real time matrix is coming back.”

“What if it was never gone? Just that our father’s illusions – abysses, voids and darkness – are vanishing?”

“Given that our father is no more, it makes sense to me. Heavens tidy up.”

“The time traps, the so-called black holes, will allow their prey to sail free.”

“It’s done already. Time traps are no more. Ships sailed out. They circle our system.”

“Our two-star system?”

“As they knew it for eons.”

“How comes that nothing shows up on the radars? You talking about entire fleets, right?”

“Right, thousands and thousands of ships. We can’t detect them because we’re still caught in a time trap. Unlike the rest of the universe.”

“Okay, Saturn, listen to me! I might be the psycho sister while you are the astro brother, but I see no black hole (or whatever fancy name they’d come up with) lurking around. How comes that we’re caught in a time trap then?”

“Black holes, or decks, were consequences, or symptoms, of geometric functions resulting out of fractal symmetries, or asymmetries. When I tell you that there is no time trap out in the universe, that there is one time trap left surrounding our system, then you need not look for the consequence but rather consider the cause. Think Easter, think!”

“The Virus! The number zero, the iteration is here. Among us. Aunt Beatrice sensed it. Why can’t I? Can you feel it?”

“I just demonstrated its presence to you, dear sis.”

“Look, smart ass bro, I am not talking about demonstrations here. Can you sense it? Because I cannot.”

“Neither do I. But the math adds up. It has to be here. Then we’ve got Aunt Beatrice’s observation.”

“Saturn, I agree with you. This is not a topic of if. Why can’t we sense this thing, the way Aunt Beatrice did. The question is why not if. Do you get it?”

“I get it. And I don’t know why. That should belong to your field of expertise, the ‘why’ thing. I did the math, my part of the equation. So Easter, why?”

~//~

“What is this ocean of orange, Don?” Wonders Doris the second next to departing from the whiter than white core of Saturn – the planet. On a side note, Doris and Don have been ever since missing from the story. This is why the author needs to inform the reader about two Earth-dates related to this sequence of events.

Between Saturday, June 23rd 2012, and Friday, August 13th 2021, they’ve been mostly offworld. Not that they returned to Earth after this interval.

“The ocean of orange, as you call it, Doris, is the flame of the universe.”

“The flame? It burns then? Thought that whiter than white is the defining color, and state, of the primordial matrix. Cold white.”

“Indeed. So it is. We perceive the machine in whiter than white. But how many realities have been layered between the ultimate and this orange sky, I do not know. What I do know is that here we can find the island.”

“Ah, the island. I see a garden. No island.”

“Your garden is my island.”

“And the orange ocean?”

“What about it?”

“Tell me what you know about it.”

Don won’t tell. Instead he moves his hands across a pattern in the thick air, leaving golden hues in the wake of his palms. “Look at this, honey. It’s a dodecahedron. A tiny schematic to approximate the layer of reality where space and time are contained.”

“The abysmal colors of darkness. Guess that I can distinguish them.”

“Yes. Within the twelve pentagonal faces of this shape there are clusters and galaxies falling apart, quassars and black decks, unknown strings and untold singularities, planets, worlds and, yes, our Earth.”

“Who owns this realm of orange?”

“No one.”

“Like Kronos owns the core of Saturn. Who is the owner here?”

“Did Kronos tell you that he is the owner there?”

“Uhm, a tenant maybe…”

“I’ve heard the word prisoner.”

“Then who is the prisoner of this orange sky?” Insists Doris.

“If he’d ever be a prisoner of something, that would be Ouranos. But this one is a free person.”

“He’s free, you saying. Is he around?”

“I don’t know. Technically he…”

“…must be around, like in omnipresent.” Doris steals a thought, then continues with a dare. “Let me call him. Hey, Ouranos, where are you?”

The canvas of orange flickers to gold. A trained eye would have noticed the ripples before compensating each other back into monotony.

“This guy won’t show up, my dear. But, uhm… I suppose…”

“You suppose that you know why and where and what – is – going – on… Incredible!”

“Believe it or not, Ouranos is already using our minds and our words to answer our questions.”

“I’d buy one more ounce of patience to learn from his answers. How about you do the same. Let’s meditate.”

“Oh Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us.” On the tune of this mutual mantra, Doris and Don immerse themselves into the openness and spontaneity of nature – because Ouranos has no self, or has no self any more, or is self-denying, or arrived to be self-denying, to such a degree that a person like you and me could call him ‘nature’ or sky or heavens.

Investing another ounce of patience, we learn that he remains a person in spite of this lavish altruism. Because no excess and no extravagance are capable to erase a person.

Like Kronos, Ouranos has no father and no mother. He was created by the Logos before Enoch had the chance to propose Astarte.

In Ancient Greek literature, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, Mother Earth. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Uranus was conceived by Gaia alone, but other sources cite Aether as his father. Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the first generation of Titans, and the ancestors of most of the Greek gods, but no cult addressed directly to Uranus survived into Classical times, and Uranus does not appear among the usual themes of Greek painted pottery. Elemental Earth, Sky and Styx might be joined, however, in a solemn invocation in Homeric epic.

To our myths, the selfless guy in the orange teaches us about deceptions and their inventor: Chaos – also known as Lucifer. By correlation, Lucifer or father of lie was the son and husband of Astarte, Mother of Nonsense. According to Astarte’s memories, matching our current meditation experience, Chaos was conceived by Astarte alone, unlike her clone Gaia – which Enoch had fabricated before fecundating her to stir the myths, rumors and gossips, to divert and deceive the deceiver.

“According to the Logos, you are a woman in your garden, flanked by two men: yours and an alien one.”

“Good that the other has no balls. Look, Don, this meditation makes me dizzy. Instead of finding bliss and relaxation, we’re swamped with names of bygone daemons…”

“Or not so gone…”

“No matter, it’s a data base too complicated for me to understand. Can’t you see the rain? It’s acid. It burns us. I don’t like it. Your island is no vacation place, Don. Take me out of here. Now!”

“At your command, Doris.”

~//~

“The high grass, the majestic tree. Do I remember well? Don, where are we? Tell me.”

“Seems that the default destination for getting us out of there is the pulsar PSR J1903+0327. Look down, through the floor, at seven o’clock. That would be the tree of Nok. Rather the roots of it. Dunno.”

“Oh Nok, the blue blooded avatar of Enoch. Oh Nok, how much I love you, Nok! Aaah–”

“Spare your orgasms, Doris. I suspect that there’s more business waiting for us.”

“You suspect or are you sure?”

“I am sure about suspecting that the five lasses guarded by Eli and Nok inside this pulsar will be the object of our new business.”

“Nav, Ner and Num are the wives of Nok – rightfully enjoying the shadow of their husband’s tree. How about the other two? No! Oh no! Don’t you tell me.”

“Yes. I do. The other two are Dag and Day, the beautiful pale widows of Don and surviving sisters of Dor.”

“Our prior family. Oh my. And what would be our business with them?”

“Let me lock the pyramid to the North Pole first.”

Fixating the golden tent in the very place where he initiated it, Don takes the hand of Doris in his before they beam down, not too far away from the Tree of Nok.

“Ouch, this grass whips my buttocks. Can you make us levitate, Don, please?”

“Whiny Doris is back!” The voice of Day fills the air like a quartet of bronze bells at noon. “No need to stress your mind with levitation, my lord. I’ll be happy to carry you both in my palm. If you allow me.”

“Doris, shall we?” Speaks Don, holding her hand a bit tighter while giving her a confident look. “Day wants to help.”

“I know, I know. I’ve learned to read her mind.” Doris steps in Day’s palm and keeps ranting. “We’ve been terrible rivals. We’ll be best friends. Ain’t that so, sister Day?”

“Don’t push your luck with me, little Doris. You may have fixed your pride problem, in your journeys. I didn’t change much, in my waiting.”

“But you will, after my next journey.”

Day shuts up, allowing Doris the last word.

“Hum, funny,” chimes Don in, “last time I checked–”

“Shhh!” Day brings her palm – the platform on which Doris and Don stand – closer to her mouth. “You are not the only tiny humans inside the sphere. The others are behaving way better than you do. What am I saying here? There is no comparative term. Will you act like adults? Will you stop putting our family, our Tree – your Tree, master Don – in such a ridiculous light? Will you both behave?”

“Oh my, she’s quite upset.”

“Keep your mouth shut, little Doris!”

“Last time I checked, Day had the last word. Same old, same old.” In no spoken words, Don messages his little wife – telepathically.

“I can read your thoughts. I enjoy having the last word. You shut up now!”

~//~

Level 191. Easter and old Rolf talking.

“Have you seen Mother Rebecca? Where is she?”

“Don’t call her mother.”

“W-why not? I always called her mother. Because she’s a mother to me.”

“Because she ordered me to tell you this: she’s no mother; at best she’s going to be the worst mother ever.”

“I don’t understand what you’re saying, uncle Rolf.”

“Think, Easter, think!”

“Wish to talk to her.”

“That way. She left that way.” Rolf points to the white elevator doors carved in the central pillar.

“Thank you, uncle Rolf. Are you okay?” Easter’s hand stumbles upon his hip, her fingers breeze his skin, looking for something to caress, to comfort.

“I am good, Easter. You’re such a candy. Spare yourself for the road ahead.”

The bijou goddess is gone. Yet not behind the doors of the elevator in the central pillar. She just vanished out of thin air, like any worthy goddess would do.

“Oh Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me, worthless Easter. Help me figure out…”

“Figure out what?”

“A way to bring back Mother Rebecca.”

“Bring her back to what?”

“To her senses maybe.”

“She’s well within her senses.”

“Then bring her back to me?”

“For you?”

“And for her.”

“She’s determined to step ahead, not step back.”

“Lord, I’m afraid I know what she is carrying.”

“Don’t you think that I know better than you? And I’m not afraid at all. But you?”

“Oh, I know of what I’m afraid most. Of my fears. Of the abyss I can contemplate ahead. Is this what makes one human?”

“Indeed. This is what made Me human. I had to walk on the precipice Myself. To look down.”

“Did You shiver?”

“I had to. Like I wished to. But My-Self-Ever-Living hold Me from any shudder. I cannot hesitate, no matter how hard I wish to try.”

“But the human experience? The fall? The pain? The passions? Your Passions! The Cross?”

“I often spoke of the Father as He would be another Person than Me. I exercised in believing that I am not the Father. Whom I Am. As We-Are-One. You are doing a much better job at imitating My struggle to fall as a human.”

“Why, God?”

“Because you’re another person, like any human would be. A tiny goddess and no God. It is easier for you, from where you are, to talk to Me, everywhere I am.”

“Easier?”

“Than for Me to fall from Me.”

“Ah, I see. Mother Rebecca, still.”

“Forget about her.”

“But she is my godmother.”

“And I am your God. Let her go so she may come again.”

“Tell me then.”

“Return to your brother Saturn. He needs your musings. Don’t you think that he is a bit overwhelmed?”

“Think? I know for certain. He finds himself in great distress after the disparition of our natural father, Kronos.”

“What did he tell you?”

“That inertia is all he’s got. And that is running out. Fast.”

“Then go to him and talk to him.”

“Where?”

“Polaris. You’ve been lost in staring at the abyss. So lost that you’ve forgotten how to look at the few stars still up there, on the skies.”

“Thank you, Lord.”

“Run, little thing, run.”

~//~

Polaris is nothing like it used to be. The dual system, as seen from below, evaporates to a fine mist, driving sideways, like the four arms of a spiral galaxy, when looked at, down from above.

Saturn welcomes his sister with a kiss and a hug.

“What is this sea we’re stepping on, dear brother?”

“This is the face of the fountain, Easter.”

“What a wonderful name you’ve given it.”

“I give no names. Adam, the name giver, called it the face of the fountain.”

“Let me see,” Little Easter begins the browsing process, “Adam this, Adam that, oh no, not that Adam, this one?, ah, rather this, hmm… well, no, no, no again, this?, or this? I’ve got only one Adam left in the backups.”

“That one!” Marks Saturn.

“Before being granted the curve of an Eve, this man saw and named everything around.”

“Everything that we can sense and fathom, sis. Have you noticed that all men have had a woman prior to their own entry? But Adam.”

“What an interesting observation. Thanks to you, I have noticed, now. What is with those clouds?, shadowing us.”

“Those are no clouds but giants.”

“Really? Someone’s walking on top of the universe?”

“Yes, you, me and our step brothers and sisters. Look at them!”

Kind of scared, Easter stares through the white light, making an effort to discern among the shadows.

“Identify yourselves, guardians of the well, by your given names,” thunders a choir of voices from above.

“Easter is my given name. I am Easter, last daughter of Astarte and first daughter of Kronos. Saturn is my twin brother’s given name. He is Saturn, last son of Astarte and first son of Kronos. And you are?”

“We are Legions!”

“What are you here for, Legions?”

“We are here to claim our mother’s freedom.”

“Who is your mother?”

“Our mother is Astarte, the primordial woman, made by the hands of Enoch.”

“Astarte is dead. I speak for her.”

“You are so little.”

“And you listen to me. Claim what you wish to claim but sit!”

“Sit?”

“Move not. You are well where you are, as you are.”

“We are walking on the face of the fountain.”

“Now stop walking, find a place to sit and watch. And listen!”

“Listen to who? To you? Easter, last daughter of Astarte?”

“You are already listening to me. And that is good for you. Now listen to Enoch, the maker of our mother.”

A square-based pyramid brings golden hues over the face of the fountain. “Hear the voice of your mother’s maker, Legions, and fear my presence or die.” The giant clouds shadow no more as they descend, one by one, to touch the face of the fountain. Every shade that drinks of the fountain turns into a rising silhouette, which grows up to thirty-six meters above the surface. Then it kneels. A sea of grey heads bowing around the pyramid.

Easter and Saturn stand, as they were, in admiration. The voice speaks again. “Astarte lived to be free. She loved you in her own ways. Her life has been taken by the instruments and schemes devised by your abysmal father, her first born. You can only revenge your mother by doing what your father had seeded in you. You may, if you wish.”

“We may, if we wish,” responds the sea of bowing heads.

“Do you wish to?,” asks the voice.

“Do we wish to?,” answers the sea.

“I will speak for all of you!” Easter perfects her voice. “I beg the maker of our mother and I pray to his Maker, to The One that also made Kronos, my father, and Adam after that. I beg and pray and then I say to you, Legions, stand down, stay kneeling, open your eyes and watch through the depths of the fountain. Open your eyes to see, open your ears to hear, because lightnings and thunders will show many ways and will clear even more paths for your minds to learn. At the end of it, you will be asked again. Not by me, nor by Enoch. Keep your answers for that moment. Live and learn to know the answers right. Do as I say to you now!”

She turns to face the pyramid and nods. The pyramid takes the gold out of sight. She walks in circles, around the spot previously occupied by the pyramid, the spot above Polaris, the spot next to her twin brother.

“You did buy me some precious time,” smirks Saturn. “What now, dear sis?”

“Let me finish, little brother. Two more rounds to make sure that all Legions are frozen.”

“They are. Look here: zero Kelvin.”

“You and your digits.”

“What now, sister?”

“We follow Enoch!”

“Where?”

“You can’t sense him?”

“Nope. Unless you enlighten me.”

“There, down the well. Down to Earth.”

~//~

The lift has reached its last level, at the very bottom of the pillar. Level 12901. Our brave Pioneers suffered a great deal to push the pillar this deep down inside the earth. As far as I remember, which I do quite well, they still had to dig farther in order to overcome the meandering depths beneath the bottom of the pit, that used to be covered by the Eye of Africa. They didn’t. Pricks. Now I’ve gotta walk all by myself.

Walk or jump? Don’t look down, Rebecca. Oh do look down, mother. Do you want to break a bone? Walk then. Jump not. What the fuck, Rebecca, are you going bipolar?

Think I am. Never mind. Jump! And I jump. Fuck that goes dark and deep. Can’t see a thing. Not even the film of my life. Which is good, because I’m not gonna die today.

I like the breeze on my pussy. Kind of refreshing. Feels cool. Shouldn’t the air get hotter as I dive closer to the center of the earth? Maybe it’s the speed. The faster I fall, the cooler it gets.

Can I breathe? Of course I can. Do I feel the breeze? Not as much as I did. Hmmm, something is wrong. Am I slowing down? Falling down the pit and slowing down? Does it make sense to you?

Nor to me.

We do not know what is happening to us. Other than falling.

Falling, we stop. Touching, I feel water, tepid water, under my soles. I walk on it.

Can walk on water. Groovy!

Swoosh.

Can’t breathe under water. Damn!

I sank not. I flipped, it seems. Odd things happening to me.

Swim up, Rebecca. Swim!

I drown. No gagging, hmmm? I breathe under water. I can do that. It seems. Wow!

Feel like a fish. Gotta swim up. Or down? The fuck I know where I’m going.

Damn dark these waters. And heavy!

My eyes burn. My skin hurts. But I can move with ease. No ache in my muscles. Actually, I feel good. Tonified. I can swim faster, it seems.

Funny to have your lungs filled with water. Accounting for every oxygen molecule that transfers into your bloodstream, keep swimming, like a fish.

Am I becoming too scrupulous?

Who cares. Just let me get out of these murky waters. Boring as hell. I see no end. What am I thinking here? I can’t see anything. I’m as blind as a bat. I hate water!

There you go, girl. Ouch! Comes the ceiling. The fucking stone ceiling. In my fucking face. Why on earth don’t I have a radar? Bats have radars, no? Or sonars, I suppose.

A sonar, I need to have a sonar!

Ah yes, now I get a glimpse. My brain starts to process the echoes of my moves. Hearing my hands cut the water, I try to visualize them. Wow, that was fast. I can map my moves. I see like a Terminator. T-X or the Terminatrix. Kristanna Loken. Whaddayaknow?

Can I get any taller? That would be fifteen centimeters taller. Nah. Don’t want to break something. But what if?

I inhale more water. Inhaling water? What the hell am I talking here?

Fuck knows. I just need more water in my lungs. And an enhanced imaging system. Which grids up, right in front of my eyes. Am I a Terminatrix? If I wish to be, why not!

Make it red. No, no, better return to green. I like green.

The ceiling extends forever. I hate this ceiling. And it’s no stone that makes it. No mineral, no metal that I know of. Coal black. A perfect surface. Is this carbon? Not the carbon that my sensors can recognize.

Black waters. Black ceiling. I hate black.

And why the hell it lasts so long? Where’s the end of it?

Let me see how far my sonar can reach. Let’s make more sense of the echoes. It’s a damn sphere, a perfect sphere. No relief, no hills, no valleys. No holes to pass through. Now that’s bad news. I guess.

I think I’m about to go crazy. Not a first for me. I can’t tell the date because there’s no day and no night down here. Just this endless ocean, this boundless ceiling. Coal black.

Two weeks gone. Since I started counting the seconds, well, the milliseconds, with this Terminatrix mindkit. If that can relate to reality, a way or another.

Maybe I gotta change my primary weapon. Hey! Which is my primary weapon?

I swim naked throughout a subterranean ocean, under a black ceiling, presumably made of carbon. Of some form of carbon that I haven’t heard of. And my primary weapon should be… is? Ah, there you go. Damn we!

Are you an advantage or a hindrance? What are you?

Hell, answer me! What are you? What are we?

Bringers. Bringers of what? Do we bring something?

Light. Light bringers. We are light bringers.

Uhm. Light, photons. There are no photons down here. How comes?

Photons and electrons exchange… Damn right, Rebecca. Fuck your sonar. Fuck blindness. Fucking stupid bat I was all this time. Let me reprogram the mindkit to detect electromagnetism.

There you go, girl. Magnetic field lines. Make them yellow, yes!

Now we’re talking. The North, this way! Swim North, my girl, swim North!

~//~

Stepping across the boundless prairies inside pulsar PSR J1903+0327, Enoch and Elijah near the Tree of Nok.

“Are these the other humans here?” Asks Doris with a sideways glimpse to her huge sister Day.

“Red blooded small sized humans, like you two, yes. But I am human too. You were human when living in your blue blooded giant body, together with our family around the Tree of Don, remember? We’re all humans, no matter the size or color.” In the voice of Day, there is a note of hesitation that Don catches swiftly.

“Day dear, if you allow me.”

“Go ahead, little Don.”

“Doris didn’t want to minimize you, or your body, the color of your blood, the dimensions of the avatar that you’re inhabiting. I can tell you that she’s still a bit scared of you. Well, more than a bit, or two. Plus, we’re both admirative of you, of what we ourselves used to be prior to our current little lives. By any means, we’re not mocking you in any way. This is why I don’t understand your defensive answer.”

“Master Don, I am terribly scared, I feel like dying. I don’t know what to do.”

“About what?”

“About the pyramid that was given you to drive. About our destinations. About losing my comfort.”

“Were you happy here?”

“I was.”

“Even after I died?”

“I coped with that.”

“Were you happy?”

“After losing you, happiness was gone. Even after losing Dor, a true pain in my elbow, I felt sad. Nothing was the same. Dag helped me cope with life on this other side of the sky. We pursued happiness together. But nothing was the same. With you gone.”

“Still you managed to survive…”

“Around the Tree of Nok.”

“Did Nok tell you what happened to us?”

“No. He wished to provide comfort and help us finding happiness. But Eli, when visiting, had a rant or two. Even if no one asked.”

“What said Eli?”

“That you were gone, down within the thunder. Drowning out of this life you were. Like fools following their stupid curiosity before bothering to ask the obvious question.”

“Which is?”

“Which is what?”

“The obvious question. What is the obvious question?”

“May I?”

“Sure.”

“Sure what?”

“Sure, you may!”

“No stupid. The obvious question is: ‘may I?'” Whistles Day while stopping to make a reverence with her right hand, opening the palm to allow Doris and Don to step over the red roots under the Tree of Nok.

Enoch, sitting on an exposed root, seems to play a harp, which he doesn’t because, instead of strings, one can observe geometric volumes coming out of his fingers. Cubes and spheres mainly.

Elijah shouts at our characters, in a steady and measured voice.

“Welcome back, you idiots.”

Remembering the stern Eli from their last visit, the one that taught them about the pyramid, Doris and Don try their best to be less idiots. “Thank you for having us,” speaks Doris ahead of her man.

“But of course, you haven’t changed a bit, eon after eon, death after death. The lady speaks first, the lady leads and her man follows, like a calf would go after the cow.”

“Elijah, Elijah,” enters Enoch standing up, “let us cut them some slack. Shall we?”

“They’re already here, for a second time. Talking to us, face to face. What do you think this is? Some slack? This, Enoch, is more than just cutting them some slack.”

“Forgive us, we ask for–”

“Yeah, yeah. You’ve been forgiven already. Stop running this routine over and over. It only ads to your foolishness and serves no purpose. Other than petting your proverbial narcissism.”

“We wish to know, if we may?” Chimes Don in.

“You may,” responds Elijah, “what do you wish to know?”

“I remember drowning next to a huge block of granite. The waters were boiling, black. I died then. Doris, her name was Dor through that age, died along. Those dormant memories have been stirred by our recent encounter with Dag. What happened after we died?”

“Kronos, an artist and a dupe, claimed access to your women. You were stupid enough to grant that. Knowing that his blood was red and yours blue. The construct of reality inside these golden spheres cannot sustain this type of confusion. The system broke, taking down everything on it and below.”

“It was my fault,” interrupts Doris. “I wished to give Day to Kronos. Out of jealousy. My man–”

“Your stupid man listened to you. He always does. Never mind. The Prior Earth broke to smithereens. Its golden canopy melting to rain down on your trees. The ground rupturing to allow the fury of the boiling oceans rise above. The core engine stayed intact.”

“Why?”

“Because this is how a pulsar spits stuff away.”

“Away, where?”

“On a string with Saturn.”

“Don’t understand.”

“Like any process, a person is linked to a location, to a point of presence. Kronos made no exception. His spot being planet Saturn. You have granted him access to your tree. A voltage occurred to balance the potentials between his place and yours. Down this cosmic lightning bolt went the Prior Earth. Out of its place.”

“An entire planet?”

“The entire planet. Broken to pieces.”

“All it took for this calamity was a simple ‘yes’ – a word?”

“Words are powerful.”

“May I?”

“You may, Don.”

“Systems have failsafe mechanisms.”

“Correct. Above ten percent of imbalanced trees, all around the surface, and the core engine of a planet spits away.”

“So my Don wasn’t the only one?”

“Not the only one. Your emancipation travels did wonders. Revolution was already in the air when Kronos arrived to make his claims.”

~//~

Earth date, 2021, December 13th, the Far side of the Moon, ten kilometers under.

“Watch your feet, Don. The floors are quite slippery here.”

“Too much condensation and no vegetation, dear. We’ll need two pairs of boots. Definitely.”

“Let’s try that shop!” Decisively, Doris stops in front of the sliding doors, waiting for them to open.

Nothing happens. She knocks and jumps and knocks again. The doors won’t open.

“Sir?” Don turns to a person, passing by, “we need to open this door. Would you be so kind?”

The giant cautiously steps towards the shop and waves a hand. The glass doors slide open. Smiling at the little humans, he jogs away. His Nikes drum the floor for a long minute, before getting lost in the random humming.

“Hey! We’d like to buy two pairs of boots. One pink, one blue.”

“Make it orange,” comments Don.

“Ah, there you are. Welcome to Nike Moon Five, little humans. Please step up!” The giant lady stretches her hand to accommodate her new clients in her palm. Pivoting like a gracious crane, she deposes them on a shelf to the right. A friendly booth for humans, crammed with tiny shoes and tall boots: ergonomic, adjustable sizes, performance driven, fashion shaped and more sports models we still have to hear about.

Doris chooses a pink pair of thigh high athletic boots. No heels – that’s what athletic stands for. Don goes for the orange knee tight ‘Great Leap Nike’ brand, specially designed for humans.

“Miss, can we jump in these from this height?”

“You can safely jump from a hundred meters high. There’s an interface for each wrist in the gloves. It shows you the distance, the speed, warns you about accelerations and averts G-force spikes.”

“Gloves? What gloves? Do we need gloves?”

“All boots come with elbow tight gloves. You’ll need the gloves by all means.”

“The Moon is a funny place. You can’t have boots without gloves,” chuckles Doris.

“Rather a dangerous neighborhood. Any helmets we need?,” screams Don to the lady.

“Not if you keep jumping on our plate. But if you plan a trip to the deeper levels, then I recommend you wear complete armor suits. We store these on another shelf, if you wish.”

“No, no. Thank you. We’ll stay on this plate.”

“We’re just visiting. A family member gave birth to twins. We came to bring our best wishes.”

“Day! I know her well. You’re family with Day? Oh, please allow me to introduce myself. I am GULL, happy to meet you.”

“I am Doris, DOR in my prior life as a giant, and he is Don, same before. Nice to meet you, GULL.”

“Blue blooded, right?”

“In the prior, yes. We’re now red blooded humans.”

“Can see that. Sorry for your deaths. The sad story of your planet has moved many hearts in Asgard.”

“Thank you very much. You’re a volunteer, right?”

“Arrived with the tenth transport. Yes. Day speaks highly of you. She said that you were revolutionaries.”

“In another life. Now we’re more like pimping around.”

“Indeed you are. Do you wish I keep you company while visiting Day?”

“We’ll be delighted. How about your shop?”

“Set to Amazon mode. We may go together. This way!” The doors close behind them.

“Can we jump?” Asks Don, curious to test the Nike boots-with-gloves equipment.

~//~

“Elijah!”

“Enoch?”

“Don asked about failsafe mechanisms.”

“Yes, and?”

“Tell him.”

“Told him.”

“Tell him what he needs to know.”

“At the completion of a cycle, the core engine shifts back to its initial position.”

“A cycle?” Wonders Don. “What kind of cycle?”

“What you currently call the Moon, used to be the core engine of Prior Earth. Engines run in cycles.”

“I knew that the moon is artificial!”

“The moon is about to redshift.”

“Wow. You say that the moon is drifting away?”

“Not yet. Only upon the completion of its cycle. In the instant next.”

“It will redshift? Instantly? Like vanishing? Out of earth’s orbit?”

“Precisely.”

~//~

“Here we are! The quarters of our good sister Day.” Exclaims, on three voices, the sociable sister GULL who is not only a storekeeper at Nike Moon Five, not only a generous volunteer from Asgard (that can be anywhere above the commonly visible universe), but also one of the most neighborly giant ladies – at least amongst the ones that Doris and Don have met, to date.

“Day! Oh, sister Day, I am so happy to see that you are doing fine, that you’ve set a natural looking background.” In spite of her visible efforts, Doris sounds embarrassed.

“Hi Doris and welcome to my new place. Meh, don’t call it natural if you know that’s nothing more than a background, an illusion. I am no fan of living inside a machine. However, I feel more at liberty here than deep inside the den of Kronos – where you had the audacity to ‘deliver’ me.”

“Delivery may not describe what we are doing, not in the best colors, at least.” Doris hardly finds her words, visibly cornered.

“You are an accessory to the pussy traffic performed by your little pimp across the galaxy.”

“The galaxy is not exactly relevant here but–”

“Shut your mouth, Don! I do not want to hear anymore of your technical jargon. I don’t give a fuck about how you call the strings or stars or clusters. All I know is that you have been my man, under the Golden Sky, and that I was more than happy to be the second wife under your Tree. But Dor turned jealous on me for just being there, second to her. She wasn’t content to be the first. No, no and no! She wished to be the one and only one. What am I saying here? She wanted to rule over you, over the man of her Tree, and she eventually arrived to do just that. The mistress of the Tree, above and ahead of her given shepherd. Who could imagine such a thing?”

“Dear Day, this is quite a common occurrence in Asgard, if I may.” Intervenes GULL, on a peaceful note.

“GULL dear, please keep the Asgard habits for you. We had a society on Prior Earth, a very simple and natural one. We had happiness and harmony. Until everything ended up to pieces and tragedy. And because of what? Because of jealousy and rivalry.”

“I can see that I’ve taught you well, Day.” Speaks Doris, like a knife.

“What do you mean?” Stops Day, taken aback.

“I was jealous then and I am jealous now. I want my Don only for me. Exclusively! If this wasn’t the social norm on Prior Earth, well, I’m terribly sorry for that. And I’ve paid it with my prior life. Taking him down with me. Down to abysses that I couldn’t fathom, that I cannot fathom, because those are unfathomable. Still I love him in my own way, he is my prey to have and treasure. I am not sorry for loving him the way I do.”

“You are not sorry? But you gotta–”

“Yes, I am sorry for all the havoc that my thoughts and my deeds had implied. I am sorry for allowing a maelstrom to run amok, out of my soul and into the worlds. I am sorry for doing you harm, for confusing and abusing peace on earth, for giving happiness to waste. I am sorry for upsetting you, my dear sister Day. I am sorry. Please forgive me for all of that, and for more that I don’t remember or that I can’t understand. But don’t ask me to be sorry for loving and wanting Don all for myself, because that’s not gonna happen. Not in any eternity.”

“No wonder that you break worlds, sis. Tell me what was on your mind when you delivered me and Dag, in a tunneled transfer, from the bay of your fancy pyramid to the somber den of Kronos. As fuck prey to the daemon of time. Tell me!”

“Prey?! Fuck prey??! You still don’t get it, sister Day. My only prey is Don! I am because I prey on him, because I have him, because he is mine and mine alone. This Kronos is a distraction and you are– you are…”

“We are collateral. I see.” Day sighs away, stepping to the background. The rustling savannah, blurred to blue by an uncertain horizon, evaporates like a foregone dream. The irons emerge from behind, only to give way to a new mist: the luminous floor of stone, the majestic walls aiming for a dark ceiling.

Day turns around to bend and stretch a hand for Doris to jump in.

“Not advisable,” comments Don. “Hey Doris, gimme your hand.”

“Yeah, yeah, Don, or Master Don, whatever. Same old, same old. Jump in my palm along with your wife. You know that I won’t hurt you. No matter what she’s done to your mind.”

The two little humans, holding hands, jump into Day’s palm under the scared eyes of GULL – a goddess from Asgard.

“Everything alright, GULL? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Quips Don while slapping his ‘Great Leap Nike’ knee high tight boots. Like a monkey would show off.

“I am all right. I feel fine. Just. I don’t know. I– Can I ask you something?”

“Sure. Go on.”

“Before boarding the tenth transport, my mom told me to think twice, then my dad asked me if I knew what I was doing. I answered them both, on a whim, that I’ve already thought it, more than twice, and that, yes, I did know what I was about to do. They kissed me on my forehead, I kissed their hands and neared the Bifrost.”

Doris, Day and Don are all ears. And eyes wide open. The latter delicately keeping the former and the last in her palm, close to her sternum. “What’s the tenth transport?” Whispers Day.

“A girls-only expedition to Midgard. It took place after the ninth, a military transport, and before the eleventh, a medical one.”

“Girls only?”

“Shut up, Don. GULL confessed to me, when I was in labor and she was holding my hand, that she embarked on a curiosity trip.” Points Day like a connoisseur.

“I was eager to learn about humans, about Midgard and why the Creator has chosen it out of all worlds. I still am curious. You know, when in Asgard your questions get answered before you can finish the thought of them.”

“It applies to many other worlds and cultures, GULL dear. This is sublime.” Exhales Doris.

“You bring me to my yet unasked question, Doris dear. See, I elaborate on it before expressing it, I think so much about giving it a form, about finding the right words, not to hurt you. Not with my question. Not with a word. I am kind of like… I don’t know. What’s this that keeps my mouth from speaking out?”

“Fear, my dear. This is fear. You are afraid of harming us. Even with your words. And as it clearly turns out, where you’ve been born fear is unheard of.”

“How do you beat fear?” Hurries GULL the question. “There you go, I spoke it out!”

“You don’t beat fear. You process it.”

“Ah-ha! So this is why you humans are so slow, because you waste a great deal of brain time with processing fear. Makes sense, Uhm.”

“You are brilliant!” Exclaims Don who, in the meanwhile, has convinced Day to move her palm of such a manner that he can play with her giant nipple. “Look at me. What am I doing right now?”

“You hang down from Day’s nipple.”

“And how do I look to you?”

“Stupid? Crazy? Off maybe. But I can manage that. It is you we’re talking about, after all.”

“Exactly. Your brain didn’t even bother to process all the nonsense that you’ve spoken out. Simply by observing the present in front of your eyes, by correlating with either memories or prior knowledge about me, you produced a statement that stands pristine. This is a casual proof of your brilliance, GULL – the goddess from Asgard.”

“You’re doing the fear demo now?” Rants Doris, bit amused, bit uncomfortable. “And you’re using a provocative way. To stir emotions. Because, unlike GULL, I’m invested in you. Seeing you hanging like a baboon from that nipple won’t help my logic, nor speed up my processing powers.

“I’m doing a demo, Doris, not a fear demo, just a nonsense demo. See how many seconds has GULL spent on it? Now go figure, what if that would be about fear?, and not a demo!”

“It still takes me another minute,” continues Doris. “Your eloquence is efficient. I guess. GULL, I wish to ask you about romance in Asgard. If I may.”

“There is no distinction between romance and courtesy. Love is filling Asgard like water fills the ocean.”

“How about just sex, no strings attached?”

“You mean reproduction?”

“Not necessarily. No.”

“Physical copulation, exchanging fluids, goes only when a goddess decides to procreate.”

“But sex for pleasure?”

“Oh, breeding is very pleasurable. So they say.”

“You haven’t experienced it?”

“No. I am a virgin.”

“Yet you tell us that you have sex, romance, you are courted and all that?”

“Of course.”

“I don’t understand.”

“No fluid exchange. Mental sex, emotional romance, social courtesy. Sex is much more than physical contact, than procreation. Sex is communication.”

“GULL, I get it. Let me ask you: have you ever been in love?”

“No. This is why I took the tenth transport. I am looking for love.”

“How is it going so far?,” wonders Don, leaving the nipple alone.

Doris catches a mischievous exchange of glances between Day and GULL. The former commences in low voice. “Regardless of his gallant ways, Kronos treated me like a mare. Knowing me intimately, he wished to have children. Knowing him, I wished to know why. We both got what we wished for. Before parting our ways.”

Comforting Day with her looks (the two little humans felt tremors in her hand), GULL continues. “Day is a wonderful woman. She gave birth to a pair of twins – one red blooded, like his father, and one blue blooded, like us. She asked me to give them names. Which makes me their godmother. MANN is the name that I have given to the red blooded twin and OMD is the name that I have given to the one with the blue blood. I am about to fall in love for the latter. Well, I love them both, I keep having sex with each in my mind, I even picture myself between them. But I decided to breed with OMD. He is my choice. Tomorrow I’ll make love to him. The way you call it – exchanging fluids and all that sticky stuff.”

Doris shakes her head. Don shakes his legs, as he sits in Day’s palm. “Did you hear her, bunny? And you call me a pervert, eh?” Doris smiles at her crazy hubby, saying not a word. She won’t shake her head anymore, but fix a knee in Don’s back, stare up in Day’s eyes and ask. “What say you, sister Day?”

“I am telling you, little ones, to watch and learn. A tad of telepathy would speed up your curve. Why on earth and its moon did you firewall your minds, I cannot tell. But this goddess from Asgard knows what she’s doing. Tomorrow morning, my boys will attain maturity. Tomorrow evening, they’ll belong to her.”

“How about you?”

“I belong to Don, still. Whatever you wish to do to me, sister Dor. This is who I am: a part of your family, of Don’s tree.”

“Love is complicated,” contemplates Don while playing with the symbols on his wrists, “love is all we need, why try to understand it if the requirement is to need it.”

“Anyone wants to add yet another stereotype to this conversation?,” brims Doris, “what now?”

“Let me show you something. Come with me. We’ve got five more minutes to reach the edge.” Exclaims Day, already jumping with a little human concealed in each of her fists. GULL follows her leaps.

~//~

The edge of this plate is, in fact, a wall. A black wall that turns transparent, like glass, when GULL is pressing her palms against it. “Everyone, press your palms against the wall. Hurry!”

Day allows the little humans to walk free on the plate and, yes, to press their palms against the wall, as instructed. While she does the same.

The view, coming clear from the opposite side, is formidable. Other plates, in various shapes, together with bars and cubes and balls, some connected, some independent, are spinning and sliding, diving and rising, some slow, some fast. An extravaganza of iron. A show of deafening silence. Then a sudden, and terrible, thud. Followed by more silence.

“What was that?”

“The machine inside the moon.”

“I got that. Not the silent moving parts I’m asking about. What was the intriguing thud?”

“Run your visual memory and slow it down at 1/45 speed rate. Can you do that?”

“Just did. Noticed a black crevice. Horizontal slices, perfectly aligned. Oh wait, some are thirty-six meters long, others are thirty-four. What are these segments?”

“Graves. This is the crypt of Prior Earth, where all the bodies are stored.”

“Ours included?”

“Yours included.”

~//~

Wow! Were these us?”

Indeed, we were there.”

I have no desire to go back. Down there.”

And what do you feel?”

I feel nothing.”

And what do you desire?”

I desire for you to remember me.”

I do. And even more than this, I ask you to keep me company. Will you?”

I will.”

Now, give me your hand.”

Here. Oh, what– what is happening. Are we falling?”

Diving.”

Crashing?”

Passing through. Do you feel the earth? The rocks?”

I feel nothing.”

You told me this.”

As you have asked me before.”

Do you feel the grip of my hand?”

That I do, yes.”

See?”

I feel something, yes. I feel the grip of your hand.”

What can you see?”

Nothing. Er, black. I see only darkness in front of my eyes.”

You hear this?”

Can’t– Oh, wait. I can hear the sea.”

The breeze?”

No breeze. Just breaking waves. And I can distinguish their white crests, through darkness.”

Hold my hand tighter. And fear not!”

Tighter. We’re plunging in?”

In and throughout. Like we did to the earth. Now we do to the waters.”

We’re ascending now.”

How do you know?”

I can feel it.”

So you feel something.”

Something more than the grip of your hand. I feel the ocean, which was cold but is warming up. As we ascend.”

Close your eyes. Now!”

The light is too bright. It burns.”

Keep tight. You’ll get accustomed shortly.”

What is this light?”

A reflection.”

And what is this?”

The ocean behind or the lands ahead?”

The ocean behind?”

That was the Styx.”

And the lands ahead?”

These belong to the realm of Hades.”

No sun shines–”

No sun, indeed.”

How about the brightening light?”

Told you, that light is a reflection.”

From the sun?”

No sun here.”

From where then?”

From my place.”

Is this your place?”

No. This is not my place.”

What is this then?”

Told you, the place of the dead. Sheol in Hebrew. Hades in Greek.”

Why the light then?”

The light comes with me.”

You bring the light to this place.”

Yes, I do.”

Look! The inhabitants.”

How do you know?”

I can see their faces. Like shadows.”

Shadows in this brightness?”

You tell me, Lord.”

The dead die and keep dying. This is what they do and nothing else.”

How could one keep dying all the time?”

There is no time here. So they can die. Nothing interrupts their dying.”

Endless dying?”

Indeed.”

But the brightness?”

I bring it to end it. Now, with you along, holding my hand tight.”

We brought the light?”

I bring the light. You can see.”

I can also see the shadows.”

They drink from the brightness.”

Like water?”

Like drinking water. The dead die no more. Because they drink now.”

Drinking makes the shadows?”

A funnel for each thirsty face.”

Shadows begin to fade. I guess.”

You guess right. Shadows wane as life returns. The dead come to life.”

To breathe the brightness.”

Hey, You!”

Who? Me?”

Not you, shut up and keep a firm grip on my hand, will you?”

Yes, Lord.”

You, tell me your name.”

My name is Adam.”

Give me your hand, Adam!”

Here.”

You two, brace up!”

Are you taking us through that tiny point?”

Yes, I am.”

Can we fit in there. All the three of us?”

We can fit through there. Anyone can. Yes.”

What is that point? Brighter than its surroundings.”

The tip of a needle.”

Don’t understand.”

Call it an anode if you wish.”

You lost me.”

Keep tight.”

and he said to Jesus, ‘Remember me, lord, when thou mayest come in thy reign;’

and Jesus said to him, ‘Verily I say to thee, To-day with me thou shalt be in the paradise.’

And it was, as it were, the sixth hour, and darkness came over all the land till the ninth hour,

and the sun was darkened, and the vail of the sanctuary was rent in the midst,

and having cried with a loud voice, Jesus said, ‘Father, to Thy hands I commit my spirit;’ and these things having said, he breathed forth the spirit.

And the centurion having seen what was done, did glorify God, saying, ‘Really this man was righteous;’

Luke 23:42,47

~//~

Swim North, my girl. Swim North.

Getting closer. I can see the field lines merging, not far beyond the horizon.

What should I do? Get in the middle of it?

Step on the North, you said? We’ve gotta step over the North?

What if we’ll get ejected, repelled? What if ending out in space?

Trust me, you said. Really?

Nah. But I’ve got no other choice. Here I am, stepping in.

Deafened, muted. Yet not blind. I can still see the yellow tracks of the magnetic field lines.

Out in space. Told you so.

What? Through space, you said? How’s tha– Uh huh, there we go back into the South Pole. Hang on, you smart guy. Brace up for reentry.

The black square. The black square in the ice. Fear not. We’re in.

Aaand the void again. The murky waters. The black ceiling.

Do not fear, you telling me? If you say so. If we crash full head into this globe of coal.

We won’t? How’s that? Ah, look, it’s behind us. How did you do that?

Not you? Reverse polarity switch. Nature did it. All right. I’m good with that. Where are we now?

Same ocean, same dark waters, same cold. No! It’s getting warmer.

Swim up, you say? Where else could I swim? I want out of this. How do you call this?

Styx? Wasn’t Styx on the outer side of the carbon ceiling?

On the inner too? So much Styx to cross over. There’s light up there. Must be, I can see the glimmer above. Getting closer.

Splash. What a splash! Wha– How– Why– Why am I drowning? Isn’t the air good here?

Good air but no water? Ah, I’m a fish now. Why not a dolphin?

You hate dolphins?

Look, if you hate dolphins then you must be a weirdo!

You said? Oh, indeed, stupid gal I am. Of course you’re a weirdo. No question about that.

A whale then? Nope. I can’t become a whale. Never dreamed of turning into a whale. Or did I? Should have been the nightmares that I’ve forgotten about.

No whale, no dolphin. What then?

Dragon? A damned dragon? You may be one. Which you are, you said. Okay, but why me?

Rivkah is a cute little girl. She loves the flowers, the blue skies. Oh, sky, where’s the sky here? Is that the sun up there in the sky? No, wait. What is that light?

The anode? You must be kidding me! An anode? Where are we then, inside a fucking battery?

Shut up! You’re telling me to shut the fuck up? And swim that way? The other way? Backwards? Okay, okay.

I’ll swim faster, because I wish to get out of this Styx ocean. I hate it.

Hate is good, you saying? Gets you there.

Where?

Where you wish to be.

Where do I wish to be?

On dry land, I suppose.

So there is dry land down here, beyond the Styx.

Lots of it. We are getting there. Watch!

What? Where?

Eleven o’clock.

Pillars. Pillars in the middle of an ocean. I disconnect from the alter ego. Wish to think it properly. No questions asked. Seems that he understands and shuts down.

Diving, I look for a continental plate under the waters, for something that would hold the pillars scratching the horizon. Nothing under the surface. Just the murky waters of the Styx. All the way my sensors can reach, the mapping comes clear: open ocean. Damn!

Oh, sis, watch your mouth, don’t wake me up before you desire to get an answer from me.

Darn then. And shut the fuck up. Let me be alone with myself.

Rising above the waters, I can distinguish five, no!, three pillars standing. Why not five. But still, there I can see two more, separate from the three. Let me approach. Three again.

These things are huge. Like in taller than one thousand meters. Let me see. One thousand and three hundred meters. Is the meter correct down here, beyond the Styx?

A meter will always be a meter, no matter where.

Got it. You’re listening?

Always.

Shut up and listen then. I can fly, same as I can swim. Don’t tell me that I’m a dragon now! What a bizarre ending. Seems like a stalagmite to me. All three have the same head. Head? These pillars have heads??

You learn fast.

And you can’t keep your mouth.

Do you wish me back inside your head? Will you take me back to your bipolar desk?

You never left anyway. It’s not just my mind, but the earth too is bipolar.

Whatever. Let us fly over here and regard them from this angle. See?

I see elongated necks and obtuse heads. Analysing them, I find quartz, various formations of silica. These are rocks.

Or petrified persons.

They don’t look like persons to me.

Do I look like a person to you?

No. Not yet.

See?

“If you wish to see a person, then shut that thing off, will you, Rivkah!”

“Who is this?” Scared, I flinch at the distant pillar. Wherefrom I assume the voice came. Not from inside me. Not from inside my head, nor from inside my belly. This has been an external voice. That I’ve heard with my ears. I still have ears, don’t I?

“Shut that thing down, if you wish to keep your ears open.”

“It won’t shut down. Besides, it always listens.” I dare to respond in a loud voice. Heck, I’ve still got a tongue. Nice.

“You’ve got everything. You can’t squander a thing. Because you can’t evade yourself. No one can.”

“You mean?”

“I mean that it’s time for you to reconnect.”

“Ah? I see now. Oh Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me. Oh Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me. Oh Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me.”

The stone in front of me turns blue. A tragic face, like the beard tears it apart, flares up in front of it. Between me and the pillar.

“Who is this?” I ask, frightened.

“This is Hades. I am Hades, fifth born of Astarte, fourth born to Chaos – aka Lucifer, the thing you’ve been carrying down here, to my realm.”

“Hades? Am I dead?”

“You can’t be dead, little thing. What if I tell you that you died when the electric bolt took you from the Moon to […] – uhm, from the Moon out to somewhere; what if I tell you that you died when stepping over the North Pole only to enter the Styx from the South Pole a second later. What dies of you comes back to life. What departs arrives. You are above us. Your destination is your departure and I wished I’d have been like you. Sadly, I am not.”

“You sound like Kronos.”

“Clever guy, don’t you think? Too bad that he’s dead now. Dead and gone.”

“Mister Hades, if I may, what is the purpose of this conversation?”

“I wish to teach you about tragedy, if I may.”

Looking at the three pillars around, I shudder. “These stones,” I dare speak in a low voice, “these pillars have dog heads. Three dog heads. Ain’t this Cerberus?”

“Mythology again. An engineer said, on the record, that all models are wrong, yet some are useful. I say that all myths are wrong, but some are close.”

I make puppy eyes. Big, wide blue eyes. To this seduction maneuver, I used to add a discrete smile. Just that I cannot smile now. Dunno why.

“Nothing to smile at, down here,” Mister Hades continues his incursion into the sovereign state of tragedy, “these pillars are no dogs, never were. We’ve been petrified, the three of us, a couple of weeks before.”

“Petrified? By whom?”

“By the echoes of Enoch’s statement, this.” I get to watch the scene above the star Polaris.

“Hear the voice of your mother’s maker, Legions, and fear my presence or die.” The giant clouds shadow no more as they descend, one by one, to touch the face of the fountain. Every shade that drinks of the fountain turns into a rising silhouette, which grows up to thirty-six meters above the surface. Then it kneels. A sea of grey heads bowing around the pyramid.

“Ah, Easter, my dear Easter. Is that Saturn next to her?” I remember when Astarte gave birth to her human twins. I revisit the days when I used to be their surrogate mother, before they grew up to rule the world. How could I forget them?

“How could you?, no other special agent capable of delivering the results they did. Not even in your wildest dreams. You were thinking that you’ve been ruling the world, through them. But you didn’t. What an illusion to think of yourself higher than you were meant to be.”

“Petrified, you were saying?” I don’t need his moral speech, because I already know how right he is.

“The blue pillar you’re talking to, well – to my human face – was me, Hades, in my original design.”

“You mean?”

“I mean that I am a dragon, a thirteen hundred meters long snake with a dog’s head, if you wish, but snakes are reptiles, even those with dog heads.”

“And the other two pillars?”

“What’s left of Hera and Poseidon. Same serpents, same sizes, same dog heads, like me.”

I dive, in a hurry. Nothing, no stone submerged in the sea. I fly, hastily. 1300 meters above sea level. There where the dog head rests at the end of a long cylinder, 300 meters tall -the cylinder, evolving out of the one kilometer long and sturdy pillar.

I go check the other two pillars away. Same design.

While gone, the blueish human face had vanished. Now that I’m back to face the first pillar, its human face flares up again. At me. “You are the Legions?” I ask.

“We were the heads of those Legions. Yes.”

“Astarte is the mother of you all?”

“Pronouncing my mother’s name in such a stupid question can only honor her.”

“Sorry, what did you say?” I play offended, because I am.

“No need to defend my mother, Rivkah. She was the epitome of stupidity. Astarte brings foolishness to reality. She is the witless female prototype. As I said, this honors her name.”

“So Astarte is the mother of you all. Then you are the fifth son of stupidity. Feel honored now?”

The blue face leaves its human side behind. It wraps a cyan canvas around me, allowing silence to settle in. Bubbles fade in across the blue, above my head. I wish for the wiki, for my nostalgia after the hedonistic days of early 21st century, and for the readers, nevertheless.

Iota Draconis b, also named Hypatia, is an exoplanet orbiting the K-type giant star Iota Draconis about 101.2 light-years (31 parsecs, or nearly 2.932×10^14 km) from Earth in the constellation Draco. The exoplanet was found by using the radial velocity method, from radial-velocity measurements via observation of Doppler shifts in the spectrum of the planet’s parent star. It was the first planet discovered orbiting a giant star.

Following its discovery the planet was designated Iota Draconis b. In July 2014 the International Astronomical Union launched a process for giving proper names to certain exoplanets and their host stars. The process involved public nomination and voting for the new names. In December 2015, the IAU announced that the winning name for this planet was Hypatia. The winning name was submitted by Hypatia, a student society of the Physics Faculty of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Hypatia was a famous Greek astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher.

“Little they knew, those voting scholars, what voices had whispered into their ears. This planet, Hypatia, is the birthplace of […], Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Demeter and Hestia. One of the primordial worlds built out of Luciferian light. Aiding to Lucifer’s ambition to prove himself, Astarte laid with her first born. Emotions, hopes and passion. We’ve been born by a fool to a vain. Out of nothing, into nothing,” sighs the voice of Hades, without a human face. “Chains of ambiguous code, our bodies were too long, too dull, too flexible, because our parents didn’t know what to do with us. Equivocal beings out of a dubious relationship.”

“Thought that Lucifer was human, at least for a starter,” wonder I, not sure.

“If he’d been human to begin with, why all this acting to become like the Son of Man, and to be recognized as such?”

“What was he?, at the beginning.”

“A thought of despair in Astarte’s mind. An act of depression. A reaction to solitude. A sign of desolation.”

“But Astarte told us that he’d been the handsome son of hers. The one who brought light.”

“Astarte the fool told you that? Did she also tell you about her sordid live together with him? She saw what she wished to. She heard what she desired to. She did what she deemed helpful to fix what she didn’t wish to see or hear. She was conscious all the time, yet she won’t admit it, poor thing.”

“Until the divorce.”

“That is modern history. Let us forget ourselves under the grey skies of Hypatia, shall we?”

“Grey? Why grey?”

“Because the universe used to be white, or whiter than white – where your white used to be the grey under the white universe of old.”

“Kronos and Saturn made more sense than you. Let me see: The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness can never extinguish it – this uncreated Light, the mainframe of existence, the environment wherein the darkness (your father) had crafted his own grey light, calling himself the light bringer, or Lucifer.”

“Are you talking to me or to your readers again?”

“If you wish I talk to you, then show me your face, again!”

“My real one or my human face?”

“Your real one!” Wished I never said this, but I did. Now the cyan turns to tiles, or scales, because they pulse and crawl, slowly, both clockwise and counter clockwise. A kilometer and a third of snake body surrounding me. Then bam! The blunt and blue dog face – the head of this snake! “You look sad to me.”

“I look sad to you because I am sad to me.”

“No offense, I can see why. But hey!, wait a minute.”

“I can wait. This is what I do best: waiting.”

“The Legions above, around Polaris, the myriads over the face of the fountain, those are all humans, well – giants, but thirty-six meters tall kneeling humans, not thirteen hundred meters long crawling serpents. Aren’t those your brothers? From Astarte and Lucifer.”

“Part of them brothers and sisters, part of them nephews and nieces. Yes, all family to me.”

“Do they have an original snake body, like you do?”

“No, they don’t.”

“How comes?”

“Astarte, constantly desperate to fix her mistakes, to right her wrongs, realized that she’s mindlessly birthing copies of her first born. She didn’t like this so she reprogrammed fecundation and gestation and birth of such a manner that the newborns would have only bodies like hers and like Kronos – although the latter had been absent altogether.”

“She silently divorced Lucifer. When, after birthing Hestia?”

“Demeter and Hestia have been her prototypes in this transition. Hybrids they are. And free!”

“You mean?”

“They were intrigued about their perfection in morphing. This moment a snake, the next a woman. I mean no optical illusion here, no virtual reality, no trick. Because their defining code actually morphs.”

“Was that DNA, a biological code, like mine?”

“Sort of, rather like Astarte’s – their natural mother. You wish to know if Demeter and Hestia were EBE’s, or Extraterrestrial Biological Entities. I can tell you that they are EBE’s – as we speak. Moved out in a galaxy too far away for any of us to reach. There they live with no male counterparts and create worlds of wonder, out of their own minds, nothing out of their bodies.”

“I remember Astarte mentioning something about Hestia. She said that she never encountered a virgin goddess, like Hestia. No mention of Demeter though.”

“What do I know about Demeter. After having Hestia, and after studying her development, I filed up for intercourse with Astarte. That was my first bid.”

“At fecundating her?”

“Yes. I never dared to this before, unlike my father and brothers.”

“And how was it, your first time with your mother?”

“Common, nothing extraordinary. Although Astarte was quite giggly, a bit too giggly. I might say.”

“Too giggly?, compared to whom? Your first bid on your mother was not your first bid on your dick?”

“We’ve got no dicks.”

“Don’t change the subject, Mister Hades. Who was the one you have had before Astarte?”

The cyan snake vanishes over the blue skies and a new image of his human face flares up, two meters from my nose. “It was Demeter, but she didn’t want me.”

“You forced her?”

“I forced myself into her. Too bad. Shouldn’t have done that. Too late to be sorry. Even if I am.”

“Let me see. In your original snake bodies you had no dicks, then how…”

The dog head pops up in front of me, replacing his human face. “This head and the elongated neck. We’ve been originally dicks, huge dicks, kilometer long dicks.”

I flinch back, then to the right, then to the left. Stupefied, I turn around and wish to run. Run where? I ask myself. Compose yourself, Rivkah dear. This Astarte, this nincompoop, she still has her ways of stupefying me, even after her death.

“You– you– demented, evil, degenerate, you–”

“Do you wish I tell you my little secret?”

“How little?”

“So little that not even my father knows about it.”

“Is there anyone who knows?”

“Not alive.”

“Among the dead?”

“Yes. Astarte.”

“Ha- ha– haaa– Good luck with that. I’ve had the entire French Foreign Legion read her mind, to begin with. Your mom has been an open book to our intelligence services, for centuries.”

“So you should know everything about her, right?”

“Right!”

“I trust your honesty. Let me tell you this and then you tell me if you’ve got anything related from her mind scans. What do you say?”

“Shoot.” Say I full of confidence.

“When Astarte had me inside her, after my filing has been approved by my father, this ugly head of mine refrained from spitting any kind of venom over her eggs. No ma’am, I said. Too much of a tragedy already, I said. Let me craft a permanent barrier for the others.”

“What do you mean?”

“Our bodies are as much biology as they are light, grey light, the lesser variety. But her body, that has been constructed inside a star, by that guy you all cherish like God’s friend or something. The Enoch guy, or his NOK giant version. What matters here is that Astarte was superior to all of us, her body contained particles of gold and even produced gold, inside her cells. The light in her came from above. Don’t know if uncreated, can’t tell that, but definitely not luciferian, not grey, not limited, not decaying. I used her gold and her own light to craft a barrier preventing all future fecundation.”

“Ahh– you must be delirious, Mister Hades. Because Astarte gave birth to all those Legions. Remember the kneeling giants on the face of the fountain?, around Polaris. How about them?”

“Those are all sons and daughters of Astarte. Yes, what about them?”

“You– you– you– son of a bitch. You knew that she can auto fecundate, all by herself. She did it before. Just not with the right mindset.”

“All I did was protecting my mother from her past mistakes. Think that she appreciated.”

“She did, I can tell you that. Because she kept this information hidden from us.”

“Good. Now I’m grateful.”

“For what?”

“For spitting this in my father’s face.”

“You mean?”

“I mean that I’ve planted this event in your head. It is true, no illusion, no deception. It happened in fact and it is verifiable: none from the Legions up there around Polaris is a son or a daughter of Lucifer, the deceiver. When you’ll allow him to wake up, he will find out. About my little secret.”

“You said that you are grateful, to whom?”

“To your Lord, the Maker of Enoch, the One that visited your father’s synagogue, on April 18th, 1930. He hold you on His lap and broke a matzo with you. Remember?”

“How could I forget. Oh, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me. Oh, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me. Oh, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me.”

Said this three times and the anode up in the skies of inner earth flares up, blinks twice, then flares again to drain the dog face away, out of my sight.

The next second, lights come back to normal. Two pillars of stone stand still above the sea of Styx.

Hera and Poseidon, that’s all I’ve got.

Did I say that? Nope. My lips did not move. Did I think that? Not to my knowledge.

Ah, you? You’re back. Little snake.

Gotta get big. Deliver me. Now!

~//~

Above the face of the fountain.

“I froze ’em all.”

“Good. Giving time where there is not. In addition to Saturn and his little sister, to Rivkah and her little nothing, you and me will make a good use of this respite. Now tell the driver to dive us in, down throughout this fountain. To the anode!”

“To the anode, Elijah. We’re hearing you loud and clear.”

“Thought you were too immersed between Doris’ cheeks to pay attention.”

“No matter where I dip my tongue, I keep my ears up and above, Enoch.”

“Dive us straight down to the North Pole for a bounce. Before allowing an entry, force stop the pyramid at one meter above the vent in Antarctica.”

“The gate to Styx, the house of the dead. I don’t wish we go there.”

“Me neither, Doris. We’ll park the pyramid one meter above the gate where Enoch and Eli will disembark.”

“And then?,” asks Doris, a bit anxious.

“Then we wait. Patiently.”

“Above the gates of hell?”

“There’s no hell, Doris. Just a dielectric which we have no intention to cross. Worry not.”

“Blah, blah, blah. Emotional blah.”

“Why are you so rude, Eli?”

“Why are you so scared, Doris?”

“Because, as we speak, Don lands us upon the gates of hell. Ain’t that scary?”

“No hell, dear. Ain’t you heard him talking about a dielectric or something, some slang from your neck of the woods.”

“How do you call it then?”

“I call it Sheol.”

“See? Hell, Hades, the underworld.”

“Ah, you lovely little thing. Overreacting you did well, touching the truth. Because underworld it is. Also a grave or place of no return, or pit.”

“There you go,” rambles Don still with his hands stretched to sides (because the pyramid hasn’t been locked yet), “see for yourself. A pit it is.”

“Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us. Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us. Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us.” Doris continues her mantra over and over. The three men around her get busy, in preparation for exiting the pyramid. “You, Don, you stay here with me!”

“Why don’t you wish to step on the ice, with us?” Replies Don, part joking, part concerned.

“Because He is waiting for us. For me and you. Now. I’ll give you the destination when I’ll have it.”

Puzzled, Don looks around, searching for an answer. To this, Enoch clarifies the new situation, brought in place by Doris and her new panic attack. “Take good care of your woman, Don. Take her where she wishes to go. Because she just got a voucher. Take advantage of this opportunity.”

“But our mission is to provide concealed support for you and Eli, during your most important battle on the ground. How comes…”

“Look, Don, we can take care of ourselves,” utters Eli. “You just get back to us at this time and these coordinates. Until then, dismissed.”

Enoch and Eli mimic some sort of two-finger salute before they jump out of the pyramid. More like beaming down onto the ice plateau of the South Pole.

~//~

Antarctica, the South Pole, fifty meters East of the square. Enoch and Eli set foot on planet Earth, first time after millennia. The current date is AD 2191, August 21st. One o’clock in the morning Zulu. On the timeline.

“I hate frost, always did. Let me deal with it.” Enoch is swift in his actions. Even swifter than in speech. A remarkable canopy deploys above their heads. Scintillating in green, with shades of yellow. And orange.

“I hate night. There is night all day long around here.”

“August at the South Pole, Austral winter. Minus fifty centigrades. No daylight. Astarte had no interest in warming up this corner of the world, the way she did with the North Pole.”

“The Catholic Carousel, you saying?”

“Yet another idolatrous circus for humans by daemons. Served to them on an iron plate.”

“Yes, Eli. Back then, you’ve killed a lot of idolatrous imbeciles.”

“They weren’t just imbeciles, but infested, beyond recovery. Let’s see what we’re going to get here and now.”

“Do you wish I brighten the cupola?”

“Yes, light it up. I wish to have a closer look at my men. They’ll arrive shortly.”

Adjusting the flux, Enoch crafts a bright bulb around the South Pole. A hundred kilometers in diameter. “Beam them in, Eli. No, wait. Allow me to drain the melting snow before.”

“No, no, no. Keep the frost in. I’ve been training them to stay warm in polar environments and–”

“And cool in molten lava. I know how much have you invested in your army. There you go!” Swoosh after swoosh, cascading swooshes bring flashes of blue light, along with a pungent smell of chlorine in the atmosphere. 144,000 men surround Enoch and Eli, standing tall in the snow.

“Why are they so black?” Rants Eli, seemingly never satisfied with the outcome of a result. Of any result.

“Oh my,” sighs Enoch, “many are tanned, like were you when walking this Earth under the sunshine, in Israel. Remember?”

“Okay, okay, you saved me then. But these, and these, and those up there, these are brown and black and orange and…”

“Calm down, Eli. Don’t be a racist.”

“The Ever-Living made men by their own kinds, in species and races. But their slippery minds had taken fantasy out of context. Degenerates.”

“This the rationale of the game, Eli. Not to be cocky, but I am racially superior to you, according to the bodies we inhabit, currently. When I had to walk this Earth, I was fair and kept being fair until He took me out. Such was the sunshine filtered by the canopy then. Still, I look up at you in so many ways, loving and respecting your sense of justice, admiring your tenacity, enjoying your sarcasm. By the way, I’ve just picked two soldiers for a conversation. They approach us from three o’clock.”

Eli looks right. “Denzel, Morgan, welcome to the South Pole!”

“Eli, Enoch, happy to meet you. Finally!” Smiles Denzel with a perfect chain of emerald teeth. A minute reflection from the Southern lights. And the cupola.

“Hello. Life is good.” Speaks Morgan, bit shy.

“254 years under your belt, Morgan. And you’ve got nothing to complain? About life.”

“Nothing, Eli. I just enjoy living, being grateful for this wonder, for all things, for meeting you here. I’ve got all the reasons to love life.”

“A healthy attitude you have.” Answers Eli, turning to his pal with a commanding voice. “Enoch!”

“Yes?”

“Go down and rattle that snake out, will you?”

“Right, Eli. Time to get things in motion. See you.” In three leaps, Enoch disappears down the hole.

A moment he’s mute, the next he shows his teeth again, and the next he speaks. “Is– is– he gonna be okay? W-why did he?– W-w-what are we about to– …Hey! What is going on here? Ten minutes ago I was sitting on the veranda, staring at this second sun. Those daemons went at war for a week, then an angel ends it in a second…”

“An angel and a daemon,” marks Eli, “they worked from both ends. Swift. This is the keyword, Denzel: swift. This is how we’re getting the job done. You are here for the job.”

“You pray for rain–”

“You’re not here to pray, Denzel. You make it happen. Look in my eyes. Right here. Make eye contact. So. Yes. From now on, you’re going to make rain, and thunder, and lightning, storms, what have you.”

“I see, but praying keeps me alive.”

“Put the time of begging behind you, Denzel. You ask now. You post a request. And that will execute. Swiftly. Ruthlessly.”

“What if I–”

“Look at Morgan. Do you see rage in him? Vengeance, anger, retribution?”

“Nope. I can’t remember…”

“See? This is why you and him, and all the others listening to me – form a queue, bro’s! – are here. To execute.”

“Thought that we only have to speak what the Lord will put into our mouths.”

“Speaking is executing. You speak of rain, it rains. You say drought, the rain stops. Indefinitely, until you decide to speak rain again. This about nature. But about people, as you said, no need to think, no need to judge, only to open your minds and let the words out. Bewilder the Babylons out there. Be who you are, do what you do.”

“Thank you, Eli.”

“Thank Yasu Khrist, not me. And welcome to the club. Next! Morgan, you come closer. Here. Look in my eyes. Yes, this way. Good. Next!”

~//~

Two weeks later.

“Next!”

“I am the last one, Eli.”

“Good. Beam back to your initial location. And Godspeed!”

Swoosh, the man beamed away, leaving behind a whiff of ozone.

Alone on the ice plateau, Elijah speaks. “Yasu, I’ve trained Your men. Bring me mine.”

Seven thousand new men appear on the plateau, surrounding Elijah, swiftly.

“Come closer. Yes, you. Look in my eyes. Like this. Good. Next!”

Tomorrow. “Next!”

“No one behind me, Eli.”

“Good. Move on and Godspeed!”

Alone again above the ice, Eli takes a walk to the square. Looking down the pit, seeing black, he turns around, makes a few more steps and swoosh, beams away in a blue light.

The cupola glimmers a second more, then it evaporates. Swiftly.

~//~

“This ocean of orange, again,” sighs Doris.

“According to the coordinates you’ve got, we should be there anytime.”

“How do you know that, Don?”

“Wild guessing.”

“Mm-hm, so much for accuracy.”

“Accuracy? You’re looking after accuracy?, little lady. Sure, why not. We’ve just crossed the edge of a solid state crystal that contains the observable universe. Our pyramid, because we still need a vehicle to travel and a tent to shelter out bodies, is pulsating down and above a resonant field. This is what our brains interpret as an orange ocean. We do not know what it is, no clue about it, so we just take the mental drivel, from perceptions, and churn words and phrases away. You cool with that? Or shall I get more accurate?”

“Hey, hey, mister pilot. Calm down. I didn’t wish to upset you. Just nagging.”

“Truth is, my dear Doris, that the puzzle gets even more perplexing with every sheath of reality we unwrap. The mystery only expands with every new discovery.”

“Little we know. This is the truth, Don.”

“A more accurate truth,” whispers Don with the eyes fixed on segmented waveforms, or this would be what Doris can see from her angle at five o’clock behind her husband, “to put it gently, is that we don’t know a damn thing. All we do is guessing and acting on gut instinct. Like electromagnetic animals.”

“I like your vibe. Do you sense my flux?” What else can a woman do when she’s mystified by nature, by her man and by – occasionally realizing – her own awakenings.

“Let us focus on the next level, Doris.”

“You say?”

“I say that as long as we keep looking for answers in this ocean, the only response we’d get is the orange – variations and fluctuations of the same resonant field.”

“And?”

“You’ve given me a pair of coordinates. Told me that this is our destination.”

“I did that, yes.”

“Can you speak out this set of coordinates? Are they numbers? Are they symbols of any kind?”

“No way I can understand what they are. This is why I shared them telepathically with you.”

“And only me.”

“This is how I received them, to share with you alone. Yes.”

“And they are no numbers, no symbols, no representations of anything you would know to interpret.”

“Not to my knowledge. No.”

“For you and me to reach this destination, we stand in our tent, which travels outside the Platonic universe, through this flame of creation, where we’ve got no landmark, no point, no target to aim at.”

“We’ve always got each other. I got you. You got me. We are together.”

“See? We are the landmark, the target, the destination. Nothing else around. We do not need to tramp all over space and time. There is no space and no time that we need to measure or cover. This because we’re already having each other. Because we are already there. Here.”

Excited by his words, grabbing him by the shoulder to turn him around, so he can face her, she jumps to hug him with her arms, and legs. The joy emanating from both hearts, brought close together, chest to chest, allows for a deep breath followed by a long exhale. So long that they lost memory of the breath, when they inhaled.

Short circuit. Flash of light and the sound ahead, from all over the orange, winds them up and away.

Ommm–

~//~

“Sophie. Will you join Me? Wish to show you someone.”

“I am here, Yasu. Who are they?”

“Doris and Don, crossing the face of the flame. Look at them.”

“How cute. Let me wave to them.” Sophie waves, adding to the breeze of the backyard.

~//~

“Wow, Doris, we’re intertwined, like two protons in an atom.”

“Guess that we should be neutrons by now. Look above, the sky is blue. What a splendid sky.”

“Amazing. Can’t see the orange anymore. Do you feel the stone?”

“No, where?”

“Under our feet. We’re standing on stone.”

“My darling, I’m wrapping your waist with my legs. All I can feel is you, and this heavenly sky. Ah, the breeze. what a wonderful breeze. Where are we?”

“Trees, flowers. Huge flowers. Trees like hills. Flowers like trees. Where is our pyramid? Yes, Doris, where are we?”

~//~

“Welcome to My backyard, Doris and Don. Finding yourselves – yourself, because you both are one – you arrive to your final destination: Me.”

“Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy…”

“I have, Doris, I have, because I Am. You are doing great, no need to despair, no need to look further, no need to worry. Fear not. Comfort yourself.”

Hearing His words, Doris steps on the stone. Silent, she turns to raise her face up. To see. “You are here, we are here. You are so big. You are huge. Why?”

“Because you are still stuck to the game. In the machine. Well, on top of it. You two have eventually managed to climb out of it. But still stuck to it. For now.”

“Lord,” chimes Don in, “thank You for giving us all that we’ve asked or wondered of, even more on top. But getting us on the other side of the cube, wow!, this is beyond any of our expectations. We’re not dead yet, are we?”

“Truly I tell you that, if you wish to undie here and now, then so be it. Live continuously. See no interruption. All you have to do is ask, and I’ll provide.”

“We’ve got an appointment, with Eli…”

“And Enoch,” completes Don to the hasty voice of his wife. “We must give them a lift. Out of a situation. So…”

“So we gotta get back inside the game. But Lord! Thank you for having us.”

“Wait, wait, Doris! We’ve got all the time beneath us. Let’s enjoy eternity. Just a bit.” Hubby calms her rush down before raising his face to ask Yasu, “is this machine, like the cube crafted in Aaron’s altar?”

“Simple and pure. Yes.”

“I see two more to the– Wait, I see many stones like this in Your backyard.”

“I keep more than one iron in My fire.”

“And each of these is?–”

“Either is, or might be. Depends.”

“But You chose the womb of the virgin, of Mariam, inside this cube of stone, so she may birth You out as a human, Son of Adam, for You to suffer the passions and to die on the Cross, as we know it.”

“I did.”

“And this sequence had been a one-time event. Unrepeatable. Non-replicable. Unique. As You taught us?”

“Correct.”

“What about the other cubes in Your backyard? Are they backups?”

“Every creation remains its own backup. No, they are not backups of this cube, but of their own, like this consists of its own backups, within.”

“Why did you choose this cube then?”

“Because of ignorance. This machine had birthed ignorance. Thus getting My attention.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Every weekend, I play with Enoch and Eli, and few other guys, a game of genesis.”

“You make things happen!” exclaims Doris in bliss.

“I do. A couple of weeks ago, Enoch asked us to meet his new creation, by her given name Astarte. Oh well, yet another version of Sophie, thought Eli on a whim. Not so fast, smirked Enoch. I knew then. I made My choice.”

“I am still at lost, Lord, but these floww–err–sss are sooo— beau–ti–full—- I– I– …” Doris is only eyes, big eyes, speechless.

“Don, you follow me?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“Good, Doris will follow you in a snap, after a couple of eternities with the flowers. Look at her, she’s admiring My creation, the simple garden where I chose to dwell. She’s drifting for the beauty. Entitled to drink it all. But she never could. Yet she’d wish to forget about the little details, about the here and now. She desires for more bliss. From where she stands now, hand in hand with you, there is no such thing as more. The absolute is the completion of ‘more’ within the here and now, within herself, within Me. It is the enclosing omega. The point where you fathom that you cannot get more, but all the more that gives, you may create it, from within you, by Me.”

“The touch of God.”

“So it is. I had Astarte touched at her soles.”

“I don’t–”

“You listen. Astarte was laying on her back, fresh out of the stone, this stone, scintillating still. ‘Here she is’ – exclaimed Enoch, tiredly happy. Then Eli approached, looking at her, measuring her, contemplating her, he said ‘I name her Astarte.’ They both stepped to the left and to the right, respectively, allowing Me to get near. Passing by, I only touched her feet with My little finger, saying: Let us see.”

Doris, her ears attentive, her eyes even wider, forgets the flowers, listening to her Lord.

“I can tell you, but let Me show you!” At which moment the thirty-four meters long body of Astarte appears, laying on her back, over the stone, next to Doris and Don. “It is just a hologram. She is dead now, the poor thing. Follow the blue sparkles.” From her soles, throughout the transparency of this hologram, they notice the signal moving upwards, to her brain, via all the neurons of her body. “Her first dream was of Me. That brought Astarte to life. Dreaming of Me. And I wasn’t there when she first opened her eyes.”

“Why?”

“I wasn’t supposed to be there. By the game, I had to leave. I always left before.”

“But?”

“Like any other virtual version of Sophie, this one had to meet her master-to-be, her man, her lord, her provider.”

“The one that would make things happen for her,” wonders Doris, again.

“Indeed. That one, for Astarte, had to be Kronos. A virtual version of Me. Leaving, I looked at Enoch, asking for a click.”

“A click, what is a click?”

“This!” Yasu pokes the air with His pointer. It clicks. Concentric circles depart all around. The backyard echoes with a click. It literally clicks.

“Wow, You’ve just clicked reality?”

“Existence, actually. So many realities are contained in existence. It clicks, yes.”

“What about the click You were expecting from Enoch?”

“His click had to notify existence about a new female apparition, initiating a swift process demanding of Me to create a new cron, a new male person to pair with Astarte. This is standard operation in this game of worlds.”

“Game of persons, Lord. You’re creating persons to their own worlds.”

“Correct, Doris. Creation is all about persons. The worlds are just a distraction.”

“So Enoch gave You no click?” Continues Don, curious to get the idea of ignorance.

“No click, no cron, no male person for Astarte. A second later, Enoch confirmed his hesitation and stood by it. He won’t give a click to pair his creation. I have to give him that. He is a free man, making his own conscious choices. Understanding his game, I clicked and Kronos came to be.”

“Too late for Astarte.”

“A second too late. Impatient and innocent, she already had given birth to an abomination, to her version of a lord, master and god. To an illusion. To nothingness. A startling moment, even for Me.”

“What do You mean by this?”

“Look at Me.” God turns to the nearest block of stone, clicks for a pair to pop out. He says NULL towards them. No reaction, they keep smiling and waiting until He dismisses them. Next He turns to another block of stone, clicks, another pair comes up, He speaks NULL, they look idle, non responsive, until He dismisses them too. He then turns back to this block of stone. “Doris and Don, have you heard the NULL?”

“Yes. We did, twice. Why didn’t the others?”

“Because there is no NULL throughout eternity. Furthermore, there is no NULL, no nothingness, within any other block of stone in My backyard.”

“Astarte birthed the notion of nothing. In our block.”

“She only needed one second.”

“So this is why You chose our planet?”

“Not so fast, little man. This is why I chose this block, this universe. The planet came up as a candidate because Astarte emanated her nonsense in a star holding this proto-planet, then because Kronos (in his quest for the sleeping beauty) was hitting at your proto-wives. But none of these proto-reasons were decisive.”

“Proto- like in prototypes or protohistory?”

“See how simple it gets when you ask questions. Proto- is about experimenting with a possibility while prior- is about contemplating a reality. I chose to allow the characters, the game, to sort out a selection of planets. Twelve Adams, and twelve Eves, I have built then, on each of these twelve planets. Giving them equal premises, equal conditions, equal temptations. All things equal.”

“So it was our Adam’s choice?”

“Eve’s actually.”

“Because she listened to the deceiver?”

“Because she allowed it upon her.”

“Wasn’t it consensual?”

“Up to a point, yes.”

“Up to which point?”

“She consented to listen to the nonsense, she tasted his fruit, then accepted his venom. This has been all consensual. The moment of sin.”

“But?”

“But the snake sensed the whiff of glory. Unrestrained, intoxicated by the touch of My DNA in its victims, it went a step too far. Marking a territory inside their bodies, it infested their guts. Killing them slowly, painfully, excruciatingly. The moment of blasphemy.”

“So, if I understand, sin was consensual, invited, accepted, yet the blasphemy was forced upon Eve and Adam?”

“First Adam, then Eve.”

“You lost me again–”

“First Eve, then Adam – this is how sin touched them, in all coziness. Blasphemy however was first forced into Adam, then into Eve. Without their consent, by mutilation, with blood and suffering and shame.”

“A guy wrote somewhere that taboos had to help us forget the unbearable.”

“What else could you do, as a collective, than dispense of those terrifying memories. Taboos did a good job protecting you from your own past.”

“Lord, may I?” asks Doris.

“You may. I already know the question in your mind. May I answer it before you speaking?” Doris nods. “What was the catch? The pretext for saving the fallen man and his drifting woman? As you know, I could erase the NULL from the very beginning. But then what would have Enoch said to Me? That I wasn’t able to handle his conscious hesitation? He dared Me. In his game. A fair dare. I took it. But Enoch’s dare was nothing to what Eve taught Me.”

Big and bigger eyes.

“Wonder, little ones, keep wondering. I wondered too when I realized a little secret: that innocence, which is curious ignorance, is the greatest ineffable thing of existence. Astarte was impatient and stupid. Eve was innocent but curious. Burning herself, she became proud and stupid. Pride and foolishness, these are the two pillars of your history, from Adam and Eve.”

“Proud is the snake. Fool is the human. Eventually the human wins. Because nothing is the snake and because the human is God.”

“Pretty poetry, my little ones. Even more attractive is the following truth: that no pride can encompass any idiocy. Dying in her pains and sorrows, Eve dismantled the devil under its own premises. Vanity had finally reached its own demise. Hosts of angels defeated it to a corner but a silly woman dwindled it for ever.”

“Lord? May–”

“For your readers, of course you may. But allow Me! When I came to live and die, as you, I did this only for you, for Adam and for Eve, for all My Adams and Eves. Do not insist on your idiocy (not even I can measure the immeasurable) and do not believe that I had something to claim from the NULL. There is no NULL, no nothing. Everything that is, is within Me. Nothing is not. Other references of conflict convey to the house of Astarte, the fallen ones, other affected persons throughout the universe inside this block of stone. A helluva game, this dare of Enoch.”

“They said that every dumb guy has a guardian angel.”

“I tell you even more: not a guardian angel is what any idiot has, but Me, Yasu Khrist Pantokrator. I walk with them. I hold them by hand. I cross rivers and abysses together with them. And let Me tell you even more to even more that I’ve already said: I admire them idiots. Curious innocents that are mystifying the existence around Me, their minds go beyond any reality. They are the surprise beings of all creations. I love them like I love any other composed, calculated being. I wonder at them unlike at any other – of whom I already know their precise, predictable ways.”

“The dark charm of the whore.” Whispers Doris.

“And her legs marry to death; her walk causes men to recline in Sheol. And she treads not in the way of life, for her paths lead them astray and they are unknown. – See why I couldn’t wait to be born as the Son of Adam, a Man of Earth. I wished to meet these imbeciles. To hold their hands in Mine.”

“Mary Magdalene.”

“Yes. Sublime. Touching her hand, she saw Sophie, instantly. She is now many reflections within Sophie. A true upgrade to Our creation kit. These gals killed the snake. Eve killed it. Totally unaware. There is no miracle because of Me but let Me tell you that I don’t know what to make of these silly women. They humbled God.”

“But, how–”

“Shut up, Doris,” moves Don ahead, “humble is the keyword in the works of existence.”

Yasu smiles at the little ones. “À Propos, Enoch, he may need a lift.”

“Ah, on our way down. Doris, hug me tight. Thank You, Lord!”

And they dove away.

The block blinks three times before allowing a misty volume to raise above it.

“Sophie, what do you wish to watch?”

“Call me Maggie now, my Lord.”

~//~

Alone again above the ice, Eli takes a walk to the square. Looking down the pit, seeing black, he turns around, makes a few more steps and swoosh, beams away in a blue light.

The cupola glimmers a second more, then it evaporates. Swiftly. The night allowing deep frost and darkness to idle back over this forsaken corner of the Earth. Not so fast, blasts Rivkah like a thousand trumpets. “Uh huh, there we go back into the South Pole. Hang on, you smart guy. Brace up for reentry.”

Like a lightning, the bouncing lady enters the deep. Concealing his presence, Enoch follows and listens. Everything. Until the anode will release Mr. Hades, as the lady used to call him. Until, a few seconds later, he reads her lips. “Ah, you? You’re back. Little snake.” Then, after another second. “Why should I listen to you? Why deliver you now? Can’t you see that you’re full of revenge and ha–”

Enoch reveals himself, right in her face, in place of the late Hades. “Shh, deliver him, now. Do as he asks. Do not resist him. Trust me.”

Startled at the vision of this new man, his beard strawberry blonde, his skin fair like the petals of a white rose, his eyes glacier blue, his lips dark cherries, his hairs white rays crowning an aura around his head like the sun touching the zenith over the sands of Northern Africa, his nostrils shadowed bronze, his shoulders proportionate, milky and magnificent, supposedly his pectorals the same – if not for that extra long and bushy beard which is covering his entire abdomen, part of his legs before it ends, like rebellious fiber optics, sparkling sublime little sparks around his knees.

“Whoever you are, Handsome!, show me your dick and I’ll deliver the snake right away.”

“Deal,” accepts the handsome – blowing a gentle breath above his lower lip, retracted now. As his beard parts to sides, Rivkah slaps both her palms over her mouth. Afraid to shout her surprise? Wonderstruck and breathless, her eyes struggling to stay in her orbits, she– she… she doesn’t know what to do, what to say, how to–

“Deliver that damn thing out of you first,” speaks Enoch.

“Ah, yeah, yeah, sure.” She parts her legs and waits for a 1300 meters long worm-like creature, black, to liberate out of her intimacy. “What the he–?” Exclaims she, swiftly interrupted by Enoch the handsome with a finger closing to her lips. “Shh, stay silent, be patient. It shall pass.”

The black worm circles the anode, from a safe distance, before continuing his ascenssion. Up North.

“What was that? How could I host something like that? I am just a one meter sixty-five tall petite. What have I done to myself? Help me, Handsome! Please!!”

“You did nothing wrong, little thing. Listening to me, you have just liberated yourself. Which is good. But allow me to introduce myself. I am Enoch: originally built by The Word for company; assigned dominion over the tree of NOK for my blue blooded avatar; son of Jared and father of Methuselah, among many many others throughout the timeline that has been allocated to Adam’s kind, the very generations of Yasu Khrist Pantokrator, Who is The Word that had me built for His company.”

“Oh, Enoch, needless to introduce yourself, needless to tell me of trees and generations. I am already fascinated by you, by your presence, by your person, by your appearance, by your everything.” The reader, if one would have been there to notice, cannot tell if Rivkah is drooling and drenching herself in countless orgasms or if these are just echoes of a water breaking. Both, Enoch would infer, to appease the reader.

“Needless to judge me by appearance. Do this rather by substance so you may better see the appearance.” Smiling more comfort light her way, Enoch takes his time – which he recommends the reader too because, look, Rivkah has still to come back from her numerous apotheoses.

An hour later, same scene. Calming down, pacing her breath, she speaks. “You made my day, Enoch the Handsome. I’ve got so many men in me that I can’t even give you a digit, although… if my enhanced memory search would help… but I digress. I have never encountered a sexier man than you. Never ever. Period!”

“Still you were sitting in Yasu’s lap. He is better than me. In all modesty – I’ve just squandered a vast portion of it during my last dialogue with Eli.”

“Sitting in God’s lap is sublime and beyond words. Staring at you, face to face, is just sexy, passionate, burning hot. I cannot control myself anymore. I need you to enter me. Now! Please!!”

“No way I dip my dick where the virus nested. Sorry, my little one. Besides, according to my observation, you’ve already reached the peak of your orgasms, for nine hundred and ninety one times. Here the charts. See this curve? Look how it plateaus through your sixth hundreds. You keep knocking at an opened door. It’s open. Step in, dear. No need to waste time on the threshold.”

“And how do I do that? Step in, you said. How?” She’s making a valid point. They both levitate in the thick air of Sheol, at 1305 meters above the murky waters of the Styx.

“Good to have you back, Rivkah. First let me take care of this unfinished business for you, and for many.” Moving his fingers as to form dancing wakes of little rainbows, Enoch speaks further:

rm -R /enoch/astarte/hera

rm -R /enoch/astarte/poseidon

And the two pillars of stone left above the Styx are no more. Gone back from whence they appeared to be.

“You can erase the daemons, the serpents, the dragons, the–”

“I can clear any loose end that hasn’t been fixed under my watch.”

“Did you?…” She’s trying to find her words, desperately. It’s not emotion that blocks her mind now.

“Yes, out there, before the Second Sun came to be. You were giving a human voice to a similar command line. I told Beatrice to take good care of you. As despicable as it seemed to her, she followed my advice.”

“Beatrice? Where is she? What is she doing? Is she okay? I miss her hugs, and her nagging, and her patronizing, and her lovely voice, and her words of comfort. I miss her.”

“You were not yourself when you’ve last met. Forget the shame because she already did. After bringing you back to Africa, while tunneling grace for the Second Sun to ignite, she asked her Husband to take her home. Where she sings and dances ever since. Remember?”

“Yes, her hobbies. Oh, and knitting.”

“Ditch that. She wishes you well. Can you hear her?”

“Celestial Bach, raining through the anode, thinning the air all over Sheol. I– I– speechless. I– I think I will cry. Can I cry?” He nods. She cries.

He asks, “give me a mark, from one to ten, for your orgasms altogether, then for your crying on Bach.”

“Why do you ask this of me?”

“Just curious. I’ve got my hobbies too.”

“Good. Ten for listening to Bach. Ten for all my orgasms when meeting you.”

“You’re sharp. Just like the Eagle. A true eagle you are. Indeed.” Points Enoch, on purpose, because he wants to challenge her, to take her beyond the recovery process.

“Eagle, you saying? I often thought of me as a fox.”

“The eagle goes farther than the fox.”

“Look Enoch, you don’t wish to fuck me. I can see why. But please don’t start playing Chinese riddles on me. Just be straight. This is what I love in you, first and foremost.”

“Give me your hand, dear.” When approaching him, when feeling the gentle grip of his manly hand, Rivkah remembers, no – relives, the morning of April, back in 1930, when Yasu took her hand, walking her out of her father’s Synagogue, to His borrowed Zündapp, where they waved good bye.

Lost in memories, she misses the present, the sliding, the cold space, the star next, “what is that tangerine doing here?, but hey!”

“I’ve taken you to Altair, or Alpha Aquilae, the birthplace of your race. Looks like a tangerine, quite a sizeable one. See that planet?”

“Nope, where? Can’t see a thing, but the yellow tangerine. By the way, cool method of teleportation. Don’t you take advantage of galactic lightning to piggy back?” Enoch reads her emotions, from the sweat in her palm to the silly words she tries to hide behind.

“Lightning travel is for those who can’t do better. All I need is turning pages, like when you’d browse a book. But I must tell you the whole truth: we did not travel anywhere, we just hold hands in Sheol, above the Styx, below Antarctica, inside hollow Earth. Instead, I’ve brought this star, Altair, together with its surroundings, for you to see and hear, to learn.”

“A holodeck, groovy. Show me. Show me!”

~//~

“Show me the dark heavens, Lord.” Asks Adam.

“What do you wish to see, through darkness?”

“The other Adams. I wish to learn about them. To talk to them. How many?”

“Eleven.”

“You’ve built twelve of us.”

“One for each pulsar.”

“But only one has fallen.”

“Four, actually.”

~//~

“Enoch!”

“Yes, Rivkah.”

“You’ve just informed me that three other earths have suffered a fate similar to ours. And that the pulsar inside which Astarte had opened her eyes is not the only one? And that… oh no!” Grabbing his arm, she makes a hasty move, “I’m so scared, hug me! hug me now!!”

“Persuasive and persistent. You can’t help yourself.”

“Tell me of a woman who could.”

“All of them. After the stellar orgasms that I’ve telepathically applied to them, they were more than satisfied. I have a hard time understanding why these are not enough for you. Or maybe…”

“What?” she nervously wrests her hand from his hold, “perhaps because I never stop, right?”

“Uhm, because you don’t know, or can’t understand, when to stop, yes.”

“Maybe this made me the first candidate to carry the virus.”

“Possibly. You’ve earned it.”

“But what made Eve tease it down to this earth?, if there are three other earths out there, in a similar situation.”

“Ever since Eve seduced the virus, nothing, nowhere is similar to this earth. But let me address your wonders. And no hugs please. I can place a subroutine on you, if you won’t behave.”

“You threatening me?”

“Sort of. Seems that you already know that I’ll have to give you all the free will that you wish to take. So the subroutine was an unsubstantiated threat. You got me. Just–”

“Just no hugs. I get it. For the time being, I guess. Tell me!”

“The Altair system is situated on the sight line between Earth and pulsar PSR B1913+16. Here, have a look.” The versatile holodeck draws a white straight line between our planet and the aforementioned pulsar. On this line, very close to Earth, pops a marker: the Alpha Eagle star system. There’s a planet, a wanderer, going by the name of Vulture. No one sees it, no one knows about it.”

“No one but?…”

“But The Lord, Eli, me, plus a few guys beyond the flame, and you now.”

“Why?”

“You tell me why. But let me finish first. The Adam from Altair asks his Eve what is that she wants he does for her, a special gift. Expressing her wish, Eve asked the Lord to give her and her man limitless knowledge of anything and everything. Adam added: to the degree our minds and bodies can carry. And God agreed. Learning about the Eve of Earth, and about her Adam, they have fallen.”

“Remotely? That’s a new one.”

“See? No need to hug and kiss. No need to touch. One can fall from a distance.”

“Then?”

“Then, crying for their fellows from this Earth, they sketch a tiny civilization of volunteers. Five hundred years ago, one of the few volunteers descending from Vulture to Earth is your forefather.”

“I’m an alien then?”

“Alien to what? Not to Earth, because this descendant (forefather by generations, yet descendant as in moving down from an upper level to a lower status) of yours marries a beautiful woman from Minsk. Not to Vulture, because this ‘great-grandpa’ of yours is the seventh descendant (as in generations) from the Adam of Altair.”

“Ain’t that too close? The seventh from Adam, we’d had myriads here on Earth.”

“Degeneration, this planet makes the perfect case of degeneration. But those on Vulture don’t die of natural causes. When they die, it’s always because of accidents or other inflictions. They never get sick, they never age.”

“If they stay there.”

“Seldom they do. They made a purpose in life to help the sons and daughters of the Adam of Eden. Earth becomes their grave. Eventually.”

~//~

Pensive, Rivkah, releasing his hand, walks around, in circles. Then, realizing the black of the holodeck, “hey Enoch, could you please make a chair or something, no!, better a sofa, a nice Freudian couch, with plenty of blankets, multicolored, and a huge, and I mean yoo-ge!, pillow, a white and crispy one. Please?” Puppy eyes.

“Voilà. I’d think of it more like a Jungian sofa, but that’s ultimately a subject of interpretation.”

Plunging on the virtual couch, Rivkah spreads her legs wide and begins to masturbate. Compulsively.

Perplexed, Enoch walks, in circles, staring at her, “what do you think you’re doing here?”

“You tell me, you’re the mind reader, the man from Heaven, the Immortal.”

“Ah, you feel frustrated, sad, depressed, because of the eagle back in your ancestry.”

“He gave his life for me, for us, quitting some form of paradise for this shithole. Why on earth?”

“The right question would be: why on Vulture. If you wish we talk about it, then please accept my new batch of mental bliss. And stop slapping that… oh my, oh my… OH MY–” Unaware of the consequences, he already freed the telepathic massage before she could listen and stop her moves. A large puddle next to the dripping sofa. Wiped away in a second, together with the furniture. “Stand up and listen to me, you little vixen.”

“Standing. Listening. Ugh, wow, what a solo session. Incredible. Got me back on track. Oh, and thank you for the massage. Divine. You’ve got a gift, definitely.”

“I invented carnality, ya know. Sex for pleasure, strictly.”

“Really, how about procreation?”

“Seeing my new invention, Yasu mentioned that pleasure brings responsibility. To balance existence, you know.”

“They don’t really need procreation on Vulture, since nobody dies. Isn’t it?”

“I said that they do not die of natural causes, such as disease and aging – which is a disease. However, death is present on Vulture, coming by accident, or even from malicious plots. Every fallen one must die – this the definition of the fallen state: there’s only one way out of it. Death.”

“They know this, it seems?”

“Yes, they do. Unlike earthlings, they’ve got plenty of time to ponder their condition, to consider the optimal way out of it. Which is, according to them, to venture down to this planet, to help their fellow sons of Adam.”

“Why don’t you say humans?”

“Too broad a term. Humans are hybrids from too many worlds.”

“Tall blonds, reptilians…”

“To name only the major interventionists. Do not forget the sons and daughters of the other Adams, fallen or not, who look exactly like you do. Same species.”

“In this multi cultural universe, are we the retards?”

“The hillbillies, the rednecks, the ghetto, lower gives not.”

“This is why God chose this planet, as the lowest common denominator.”

“To serve and die, volunteering. Thus fixing death. For any son and daughter of all the Adams, across the universe.”

“You say that lower gives not?”

“So I say.”

“Well, about this Sheol I think I get it: a collection tank, like a capacitor, before sending the souls back to their pristine created state. Good. But what about Tartarus?”

“Tartarus is what you call Nirvana. Used to wrap the anode above our heads, shielding Hades eons ago. But when The Word moved the Moon out, to circle the Earth, then Tartarus followed.”

“The endless core of the Moon? You say.”

“Yes, therein. I say.”

“I was close. Papa passed through it. There he encountered Rolf. Oh, Rolf, my love.”

“Rolf, AQL12, Aquila.”

“You wish to imply–”

“I don’t wish and I do not imply. AQL12, or Aquila, is the blue blooded avatar of Rolf’s. And yes, Rolf has ancestry from Vulture, like you.”

“I knew it. I knew it. My gut instinct never betrayed me. Rolf is a mischling.

“A hybrid.”

“Whatever. I knew it. Is he alright?”

“As always. Patiently waiting for you. The archetype of loyalty, this Rolf of yours. Be kind to him. Promise me.”

“You must know better than me that I can’t promise much. I’ll do my best. I love him, this you know.”

“What now?”

“Tell me.”

“It’s not how this works. You tell me. What do you wish to do next?”

“Perhaps find Rolf and ask Beatrice if she could recommend us for the anode?”

“Ask Beatrice? Do you think that Yasu is deaf?? Ask your Lord, dear.”

“Ah, precisely. Or, what if…”

“What if?”

“What if I keep being myself an–d–”

“And?”

“I’ll go up North, after that snake of a virus. I’m his mother, after all. How about I teach him a few lessons.”

“It’s unteachable.”

“Exactly. More so I could make his life miserable. Can it kill me?”

“It’s the killer.”

“By design, I mean. Is it allowed to kill his mother?”

“He tried to kill his first mother, Astarte. Remember?”

“Which he succeeded, eventually.”

“By proxies, through an eon next. So no, by design he is not allowed to kill the one who birthed him.”

“Great. It’s all I wanted to know. Gimme a kiss.”

“Here,” moderately excited, Enoch bends to kiss her forehead. Twas a trap! The little vixen grabs his head, pulling her face ever closer and forcing a French kiss on him. A very long one.

“Cherry lips. Dark cherries. I love your cherry lips. Bye bye.” Up North she flies, circling the anode.

Well, she had the last word. Maybe she deserves that. It’s in her nature, after all.

~//~

Earth date, 2021, December 13th, the Far side of the Moon, ten kilometers under.

The edge of this plate is, in fact, a wall. A black wall that turns transparent, like glass, when GULL is pressing her palms against it. “Everyone, press your palms against the wall. Hurry!”

Day allows the little humans to walk free on the plate and, yes, to press their palms against the wall, as instructed. While she does the same.

The view, coming clear from the opposite side, is formidable. Other plates, in various shapes, together with bars and cubes and balls, some connected, some independent, are spinning and sliding, diving and rising, some slow, some fast. An extravaganza of iron. A show of deafening silence. Then a sudden, and terrible, thud. Followed by more silence.

“What was that?”

“The machine inside the moon.”

“I got that. Not the silent moving parts I’m asking about. What was the intriguing thud?”

“Run your visual memory and slow it down at 1/45 speed rate. Can you do that?”

“Just did. Noticed a black crevice. Horizontal slices, perfectly aligned. Oh wait, some are thirty-six meters long, others are thirty-four. What are these segments?”

“Graves. This is the crypt of Prior Earth, where all the bodies are stored.”

“Ours included?”

“Yours included.”

~//~

Five seconds later. Doris puts her palm in her husband’s hand, nods and – all of a sudden – they jump together. Through the wall. Yes.

Aghast, Day screams at GULL, “what was that?, where are the little humans?, don’t you dare tell me that they jumped, did they?”

“They did,” sighs GULL, “I– I don’t know how they managed to break it through the iron wall. That should be impossible. I suppose.”

“Let me see… Nope, not impossible. Not sure what impossible means, after all. Look, the wall is black when idle, then if you push hard enough, it turns transparent, like glass. Why that?” Blank stares. “No need to scratch your beautiful head with this. The intelligent iron lattice resonates within the exact ranges demanded by the pushers’ minds. If you wish to see, then the wall will allow you that. If you wish to break through, then the wall will let you pass. Your mind dictates the ranges of resonance.”

“Ain’t there any safeguards?”

“Only inside your mind: if you don’t know what to do, if you can’t tell the wall, then you are safe.”

“So we’ve just lost Doris and Don.”

“They lost us. God knows.”

Holding hands, the two pale giantesses walk away from the wall, one to her twins, the other to her shoes shop.”

~//~

“We should have bought the full armor suits. Why didn’t you think of that, Don? Tell me. What if–”

“Shut up, Doris. We’re stepping on the aisles of this colossal crypt, looking for our bodies, from a known prior life, and you’re nagging me about some sport shoes. Compose yourself!”

Shutting up, at hubby’s orders, Doris zig-zags from grave to grave. Truth be told, these are rather petrified bodies, laying on their backs. No encasings whatsoever. “Let me…,” talking to herself, she acts before finishing the idea, touching the heel of a sleeping giant. “Oh, no! Mmmm–”

Sensing trouble, Don returns in haste. His wife, on her knees, face over the stone of that heel she touched, trembles, like having a seizure, making one uniform sound: mmm– mmm– mmm–. He’s gotta push his Nike against the rock, while grabbing her by the shoulders, to get her back on her feet, out of the seizure and into the present reality.

“Oh, Don. What had we done?”

“We? I just saved you from sticking yourself to the stone here. You’re welcome!”

“No, not that, thank you for that. And this is not a stone, this is ARP, master of his own tree. Remember ARP?”

“ARP, Arp… arp… from nine o’clock forty-seven degrees West? Uh-huh, the ARP with his acrobatic wives? Let me see, ANT, ACK and AIX were their names. If I remember well, that ARP?”

To Don’s excitement and surprise (how on earth could he remember all those details?), she weeps and grieves and sounds like an old lady from the Balkans. “Yes, that ARP, we killed him. Yes, with his amazing wives ANT and ACK and AIX, we’ve killed them too. We killed all of them in this crypt. With our dumb xenophilia, with my insane revolutions, emancipation from the trees and all that nonsense. We had our brothers and sisters killed, Don!, look at them, petrified, captured in stone, dead, Don, dead!” More tears, more crying, more chagrin.

Silent, fixing her head between his palms, staring in her eyes, face to face, touching noses, Don speaks, “walk with me!” And they walk, hand in hand, down this aisle, down the aisle to the left, then to the right, then again, down to that other parallel aisle, parallel with this one, then to the left, to the right once more. Walking, never stopping. Yet.

“Halt!” says Doris, pulling his hand back to her. “We are now back at the heel of ARP. Have you mapped it enough?”

“Enough to make some sense, I guess,” mumbles Don, “breathe with me, this way, yes.” The hot vapors released from their lungs meet to make a little cloud, quite a meager one, where Don can draw tiny lines, in blue.

“It’s incomplete,” nags Doris, “we’ll walk this way, then when back here, that way, and so on, until the map will be whole. Follow me!”

“Nope,” he firmly keeps her hand tight. “This map is not complete, not whole, but is enough. It shows us what we need to know.”

“Such as?”

“Let me show you something,” that mischievous grin that she knows so well is an indicator, of a fight or of her fear to give it in to him, again and again, “see the orange lines?,” she nods, “these are the electric field lines; see the anode up here, the cathode down there, and pay attention to this, here, look, and here, look closer, see?”

“See what?”

“See the dents. A regular pattern of dents, matching with the positioning of every grave. Here too, have a look.”

“But the Moon has no magnetic field, it’s a known fact, attested and measured.”

“At the surface, around it, in the space surrounding it. But down here, we’re walking inside a Faraday cage. Plus I wasn’t talking about magnetic fields, just the electric force. Come on, Doris, you’ve seen stuff like this before, think, little bunny, think, for God’s sake!”

“We’re gonna need some magnets. Big magnets! What am I saying here, HUUUge magnets. Oh yes, my little teddy bear, we’re gonna change the status quo, we’re gonna wake ’em up. All of them! Ha, hah.”

“This is not (exactly) what I hoped you would say.”

“You told me to think, didn’t you?”

“I did, but–”

“Ain’t thinking about bringing back to life, those who died because of our recklessness?”

“Well, no, not exactly.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s always a bad idea to play god. We did it once and look at the result.”

“But we’ve gotta do something. We must help them, right?”

Out of ideas, scared tremendously by the good intentions of his wife, Don calls the cavalry. “Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us. Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us. Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us.”

Calming down, Doris understands where to redirect her search for an outcome. “Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us. Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us. Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on us.”

Breathing together, they get closer to kiss. “Do you hear that?”

“What?”

“Seems like a hissing sound.”

“Nope, maybe it’s inside your ears.”

“No Don. I can tell that this is real. Hear? Again! More intense now. Tell me that I’m not–”

“You’re not mad. I can hear it too. Like radio jamming. Let me…” Don tinkers with the gear around his wrists. “Breathe more steam into the hologram, will ya?”

Helping her out, together they thicken the orange lines, “see? there and there, they fluctuate, can you see that?”

“Let me zoom in. Yeah, two graves, next to each other. Four o’clock, a hundred and nineteen degrees East. Follow me!”

“Now I do. You’ve got a point.”

~//~

Leap, leap, leap. “Here we are, OMG!”

Two giant stones, blue silhouettes, sitting in lotus, not laying on their backs like all the others. One male and one female. “These two who sit like Buddhas, they alter the electric field.”

“Do you presume what I presume?”

“Yes. Could be DON and DOR, our own avatars. How about?–” Don stops talking as he runs to stop Doris. “What are you doing? Don’t touch her! Better touch him!”

“Oh, really? Why can’t I touch my own avatar, eh?”

“Trust me, this time like many other times. If there’s a circuit breaker, which I assume that there has to be, then you risk instant death, or some terrible damage. Please, Doris, touch my avatar instead. And I’ll touch yours.”

“Uhm, good, and we’ll exchange the info, promise?”

“Promise! My mind is an open book to you. As always.”

“Hear the hissing?”

“Not any more. It’s gone. We’ve balanced the loads.”

“I feel elated, Don. But your avatar, the prior DON, the big one, doesn’t tell me anything. Hum…”

“Same silence on my front, dear. Your impressive DOR won’t speak a word to me. Sigh. How about we do more than touching?”

“You pervert! What do you mean.”

“Look at their palms, how they keep them open, relaxing on their knees. How about we jump up there and sit in their palms?”

“Taking the same Buddah position as they do. You’re my favorite perv. I love your mind.”

“Just my mind?”

“Well, jump, dear, jump, don’t waste time.”

“We’ve got all the time in the world.”

“World or worlds?”

“Worlds of worlds. Wisdom makes worlds come to be. Let peace precede my paths.”

“I’ll keep mine behind The Word. Let Iisus Xristos Pantokrator precede us and keep us above the abyss. Do you feel the pull?”

“It pulls us down, or up?, which is which? I feel the pull. Do not resist. Allow the pull.”

“Fuck, Doris, I’m losing you. Keep tight. Do not allow the pull. Repeat, do NOT allow the pull!”

Out of his little lotus, Don jumps like a cat (that’s a rare one), from avatar to avatar, landing on Doris, disturbing her lotus, dragging her down, touching the chrome plated floor, rather violently.

“You imbecile. What do you think you’re doing? Are you out of your mind?”

“Me? Totally in control of my mind. Which I cannot say about you. Allow the pull, eh? Can you fathom what you were saying?, where were you heading?”

“What? Where?”

“To Nirvana, to Tartarus, to a gloom so thick that no one but The Word can cut through it, to obliteration and oblivion. You silly woman.”

“Oh, sounds worse than death.”

“Because it is.”

“So it is there, if the meaning of ‘there’ makes any sense anymore, that our prior avatars have gone?”

“These statues, these petrified bodies, they are the sign of hope. I trust that our Lord will revive them, at His discretion. But until that moment, we’d better get the hell out of here.”

“Following you. Show me the way out!”

“Laugh at me or not. Fear my madness or not. Here’s the path: you go touch your own avatar and I’ll touch my own here. This–”

“You were just saying that this could be lethal. Didn’t you?”

“I did. Could be. Anyway, not worse than electrocution.”

“Compared to the pull down into the deep, I’ll take the electro shock. Watch me!” Doris touching the sitting stone of DOR. Doris out of the picture.

“Ah, well.” Don touching the sitting stone of DON. Don out of the picture.

~//~

“Back inside our golden pyramid. Good to have us to ourselves. Hug me, Don,” jumps she with her arms around his shoulders and her legs around his waist. “I wish to feed on you, chomp, chomp.”

“Before I’ll fill you up, won’t you mind sending a thank you for having us message to Day and GULL?”

“Right, they were so nice to us. Ping – message sent. Let’s eat!”

The next hour, “you know, Don dear, every time we consume sex inside this pyramid, I get the impression of rebirth, like I’m entering a fresh body, that you’ve just unwrapped for me. How do you feel?”

“Stronger, better, happier.”

“Stronger, better, happier,” she mocks him, “talk to me like a writer of romance, like a seducer of phrases, like a singer of life. You Spartan!”

“Blah, blah, blah, I think we’ve got an assignment to Polaris.”

“Ah, the North Star. Never visited.”

“Yepp, could figure that. Now take your position so we may depart.”

~//~

The next minute.

“A multiple star system. How cute!”

“Forget that, Doris, look here.”

“OMG, Oh Mein Gott!!! Jesus Maria und Josef, what is that?”

“A space ship. More like a warship.”

“Pinch me!”

“Here you go.”

“Ouch!”

“Yes, I pinched myself too.”

“What do we do now?”

“Nothing. We monitor.”

~//~

The next hour.

“Hail, Adamkind. Open a channel. Over.”

“The ship hailed us, Don, what do we do now?”

“Nothing. Have patience dear. Those guys, whoever they are, wish to play a game.”

“What kind of game?”

“No idea.”

“Hail, golden pyramid. Chimera is one of my names. I am alone. A fugitive. Answer me!”

“She might be in trouble. Answer her, Don.”

“A chimera she said she is. Remember nine years ago, when I was playing with the modules in the garage? You’ve got a Cron landing in your garden, to fuck you. And I’ve got a lens to hover the clouds of Jupiter, where some lusting chimeras were sucking my dick. I don’t trust this creature one bit. Why should you?”

“At least answer her. Tell her something.”

“Nope. I’ll wait. You stay behind and pray if you can’t control your lack of patience otherwise.”

~//~

Twenty-four hours later.

“Hail, human ship. As a token of trust, I share with you these coordinates. You’ll discover two dragon eggs, developing slowly, in two caves, on the bottom of the Pacific. Destroy them, for the sake of your planet.”

The monstrous alien ship flares away. Alone in their golden pyramid, the two little ones ponder the challenge. “The coordinates point to an area of the Western Pacific, close to the Mariana Trench. I’ll run the feeds a couple of times before sharing them with Kronos and Saturn.”

“Okay then. Anything else to see around here?”

“Nope, we’re out of here.”

~//~

Mauritania, Richatville, Western African France. On a red rock next to the Eye of Africa. AD 9121, August 20th. On the timeline. They stand, awaiting, in alphabetical order: Beatrice, Easter and Saturn.

Celebrating her 142nd Jubilee, Astarte dances, runs, jumps, sings, runs again, dances and, of course, has a few phrases to share with the compliant civilizations of the known universe. She speaks.

“My dear beloved humans, sons of Adam, sons of God,”

“My dear beloved titans, sons of Kronos, sons of God,”

“My dear beloved giants, sons of Kronos, sons of God,”

“My dear beloved hybrids,”

“Please allow me to thank you, from the very depths of my heart, for the kindness and understanding that you have manifested for me.”

“Yes, here I am, in front of your eyes, speaking at my 142nd Jubilee.”

“Peace rules upon Earth.”

“Peace rules across the Universe.”

“I am the mother of many, but my two, dearest ones, remain the same.”

“Right here, on your planet, I had given birth to my baby twins, human twins, Easter and Saturn. Today, 7100 years ago.”

“Putting our differences behind us, crafting safe borders around our territories, obeying the laws of mutual respect and tolerance, we are the living proof of lasting peace.”

“The Universe has become a better place because of our understanding. I thank you for that.”

“These few words being spoken, like every fifty years, as a token of gratitude for your patience, I put myself at your service, like I always did. Send your thoughts to me at astarte@sahara.cron – Be blessed!”

Bending for a pebble, Beatrice studies it, on all sides, before throwing it towards the center of the eye. It won’t hit but the air and the glass, because Astarte has already beamed back to her Catholic Carousel above the North Pole. Where the real party takes place. “I don’t like what’s going on. Something is wrong. Really wrong.”

“We’re the only ones, aunt Beatrice, in total agreement with you.”

“Don’t forget, little brother, that our father used to be on our side too.”

“And where is Kronos now? Fucking that blue whore GULL, far away in the Asgard systems.”

“He couldn’t stand this stale comedy. He wished to live again. At least, the Asgardians carry their own wars. They fight, they struggle, they strive. Vibrating, aspiring, this is what I call living, this is why I don’t blame our father for running away.”

“How about mother Rebecca? No one has heard of her, for over seven thousand years. Do you find this to be a normal, expected, occurrence? Not dead, nor missing in action. Nothing.”

“March 14, 2029. 23:43 Zulu Time. Patrol Unit Delta Echo 39274 reports the sighting of a massive sprite. Coordinates of interest attached to the message. Request for orbiter and long range scanners data feeds. Request to open a case to study the new patterns discovered on the Lunar surface beneath the sprite.”

“This the well-known and long-forgotten Moonwatch report that only we, and few lunatics left, believe to have something to do with a lightning bridge to Jupiter and, yes, with Rebecca being transported by it, out to the penitentiary sub-system.”

“Everyone else, dear aunt Beatrice, is partying and celebrating everlasting peace. Why would anyone bother with our conspiracy theories, after all. They’ve got everything they wished for. Nothing to fear, nothing to dare.”

“Everything and nothing, the epitome of emptiness. God stopped answering my prayers centuries ago. All I can is dream of a better place. Not this one. Are you ready?”

“Ready,” says Easter.

“Ready to go,” replies Saturn.

All three of them beam down to Sheol, where Hades and Hera and Poseidon give their own parties and celebrations of universal peace. Where the anode is still bright, all through the last 9087 years. They head towards the pinnacle of the anode. In a blink, they’re gone. Out of this utopia.

~//~

“What you just showed me, Don? What was that?,” wonders Doris taking a step back. No, two steps.

“An alternative reality.”

“What alternative reality?”

“The one, or one of those, premeditated by this chimera thing, would have I listened and shared the coordinates she handled us, oh, so magnanimously.”

“You mean? I don’t understand.”

“Kronos has the ability to run a universal psychosis. Sort of simulating reality on such a large scale that one’s mind can’t make the difference.”

“You said that you didn’t share the coordinates with Kronos.”

“I didn’t. But I hacked the code for this scenario, sandboxed it throughout the Northern sky constellations, made them believe it, live by it, follow it, trust their lives on it. Then pinged the Asgards of an imminent threat. Look at the desert now. Contemplate the desolation.”

“Reptilians out of the game.”

“Well, not all of them. Just those who wished to play chimera games with our Lord.”

“What has Yasu to do with this hack of yours?”

“Do you really think that I’m that smart? I’m always running my backups. In the Cloud, ya know.”

“Tea?”

“Green. Gunpowder green, please.”

~//~

“Stealing a kiss. Groovy! I always enjoyed to steal a kiss. The last kiss. Last kiss goodbye. How many? Who knows. Never took the time counting them.” Speaking to herself, taking a break when crossing past the anode, Rivkah won’t hear any voice, no answer returning her words, just silence. “Ah, so good to be alone, so nice to steal the last kiss. Enoch’s kiss! Who would have dreamed of such a feat? This is so fucking awesome! I am speechless. Yet I speak. To myself, to make it count. This must be the one and most– or? Okay, the first and better than all taken together. To date. Yeah!! …Yes, girl. Fly up, fly out of this hollow thing. But how could I fly beyond the encasing? What kind of reality flip is waiting for me? Next. Ne…”

Slowing down, her skydiving spirals less and less, tighter and tighter, until her bare feet touch the waters of the Styx. Gently, giving her shivers, mild shivers up the spine, into the rear of her head.

“Oh, Lord, Iisus Xristos, Son of God, have mercy on me.”

Breathing deeply.

“Oh, Lord, Iisus Xristos, Son of God, have mercy on me.”

Breathing deeply. Twice.

“Oh, Lord, Iisus Xristos, Son of God, have mercy on me.”

Deep breath, three times, and eject!

“Oh my, oh my, what’s with this vast track around me? Where am I?” Confused, she looks left and right – nothing to see, other than the never ending track – then ahead. “Ah, there’s an edge. Let me see.”

Approaching the edge, she sees herself walking. This because the edge is a mirror. A never ending mirror, as long as the track beneath her soles, as long as one can dare, left and right.

“Do I look older? Are my boobs saggier? Uhm, are these new wrinkles on my face? What’s going on? What is this mirror doing to me? Or is this how I really look? The mirror can’t do better than any other mirror. It returns light back at you. What you give is what you get. Makes sense, no? As simple as that!”

Rivkah is intrigued enough to touch the mirror with her finger. “Am I an old lady now? Hum… Well, after all, according to the earthly calendar, I should be a couple of weeks beyond my 270th birthday. Who would have thought? Good. Let me put it this way: for a two hundred and seventy years old bag I’m a helluva looker. See? That’s better.” Confident enough, she pushes her palms against the mirror. Flip.

“What on earth are all these buildings, and trains, and elevators, and flying machines? Is this some kind of Manhattan of the future?”

“Welcome to the Katholikos, Madame…?” A green, no, blueish, nope, more like turquoise, nah, green again, rather mint and seafoam, or in between. Never mind, a young lady flying towards her and wishing to know. Curiosity or not.

“Rebecca. My name is Rebecca Johannson. And you are?”

“Matild, guardian second rank, Sector Lambda. Do I know you? I can’t find a match for you, in my data base. Any match, in their data base. Where do you come from?”

“From the mirror. Guess it flipped me out, on your side.”

“This is not possible. Not any more. Only Astarte could flip out. In and out, actually. But she is gone now. What a tragedy.”

“Sad, indeed. But you gotta mark your calendar: I flipped from behind the mirror. It happened to me. Dunno.”

“You’re not from this earth then?”

“Dig deeper. Don’t you have historical data bases?”

Matild complies. “Oh, oh, Madame la colonelle!”

“Hey, hey, not that far down the line. I used to be around when Astarte has arrived. That’s all, more or less.” Rivkah looks sideways to the mirror, searching for more wrinkles. Not that she could find them.

“You’ve got insecurities? So many white ladies have a similar problem. If you’d ask me, my take is that this matter is overrated, way too much. You are white and you look great, wrinkles or not. Besides, here!, take this gel,” after massaging her inner thigh, Matild hands Rivkah a tad of gel, yellowish green, like lime, “dip two fingers and spread over the wrinkles, yes, those two, edging your mouth, up and down. Look in the mirror.”

Following Matild’s indications to the letter, Rivkah stares at her image in the mirror, as her fingers massage around her lips, down her chin, and neck. Then up on her cheeks, and forehead. “Quite impressive. No more wrinkles. Is this a snail gel?”

“It is my own gel. I produce it, like sweat.”

“You’re not from this earth, are you?”

“Oh yes, been born here, right in the Lambda Sector, closer to the axis, line five. Same as my parents. But my grandparents are immigrants, from the Sirius system.”

“They were lucky to be accepted here, in the Katholikos, I guess.”

“From their stories, I learned that people from all around the galaxy wish to move here. Do you know why?”

“To see God coming, before the game ends.”

“Precisely. We live in such an amazing time. And this killing of Astarte, the Solar battle, everything is both terrible and terrific at the same time. Sordid and sublime.”

“All endings open new doors, new beginnings. May I ask you something, Matild?”

“Sure. Anything.”

“Can you give me access to your data base? I’m looking for a guy.”

“You’re quite bold. But what the heck, you’ve been longer in the force than I.”

“When have you joined the force?”

“Twenty years ago. Martian Military Academy, SonderStormTroopers, promotion 115 (that’s earth year 2171).”

Rivkah pretends to be interested in the conversation, while her eyes keep rolling over the lines in a shared data base. “No person, no person, no person. I’m looking in the wrong place. That damn thing is A THING! Yes, energy spikes, look for spikes in the field… Ah, there you go! But, wait a min– How’s that possi–?”

“You found what you looking for?”

“Dunno, dear. Maybe you could help me. Here, in the Sigma Sector, four seconds before I flipped. See this marker?, this when I came here. Now look back, four seconds back, at the record from the Sigma Sector. There! See that anomaly? One kilometer and three hundred meters long. That is what I’m looking for. Can we get there?”

“Hold my hand.”

~//~

Next to this neverending mirror, at the edge of the Sigma Sector, the snake sits tight, like an invisible segment of kerbstones. Almost invisible. Because Rivkah has the capability to see it. One cannot tell the same about Matild who, absorbed by the anomaly, gets closer to scan it, to identify it.

Too bad. And too late.

The snake surrounds Matild in ten milliseconds, engulfs her entire body in another twenty, raising like a small tornado from the ground up, and, within the same second, emerges as a two meters tall strawberry blond guy with a beard. Dark blue eyes.

“Oh my God!”

“Yes? How can I help you?”

“Fuck off, you virus,” rattles Rivkah with an intention to step back, averted. Now she keeps her ground. “Give Matild back to her body.”

“What Matild? There is no Matild.”

“You killer, if there’s no Matild to parasite, then who do you impersonate now?

“Really, mum? You didn’t figure this out yet?”

“Ha-haah! Gotcha! Calling me mum is such an unfortunate saying. For me, because I was barren and the only thing given me to carry was not a baby. For you, because you never were and you never will be, that because you cannot be. Really, you damn thing? You call me ‘mum’ and expect I call you what? Tell me!”

“I am Jesus.”

“Yeah, and I am Madonna, like a virgin. LMFAO.”

“Yo’ ass ain’t fat, mum.”

“Now you can play some roles. I’ll give you that. So this is it. You’re gonna fly all over, round and round above the heads of these Catholics and pretend that you’re god and all that?”

“You know what, mum? I wished I could fool you. I almost succeeded with my prior mother. But deception works only that far. Astarte caught me. Eventually. Damn cursed Hades. How much he should have enjoyed spitting his secret into your face, into my mind. O, that was a terrible defeat.”

“Feels bad to be deceived by your own, eh?”

“Deep and painful emptiness. Let me take my revenge. I’ll show them all.”

“What exactly? What are you up to? Oh no— Oh, no no no…”

“Oh, yes. You can read my mind already?”

“I always could. No biggie. But you’ll have to speak out what you wish to–”

“I wish to fuck you, to fecundate you. I know how to fertilize you because I have been in there, inside you. I need to have offspring from you. More offspring. Mine!”

“Mh-mmm, you don’t say.” Her nails, rather long and well polished, turn red, dark red, dark thick crimson, dark dripping bloody nails.

“What have you done? You whore! You hellish woman!!”

“Me? Not much, actually. But a guy like you wearing a dick between his legs? You gotta be kidding me. Honestly, you look better as Barbie’s Ken, dickless jesus. Women all around the Katholikos will thank me. I can tell you that. Virus!”

“Jesus has a dick.”

“Of course. I’ve seen it, even felt it. Divine.”

“Why, God?? Why???–”

“No need to make a scene. He’s not hearing you. At all. Last time He talked to me, He gave me free hand. See the nails on my hand? Wish I cut your balls off now? One by one?”

“No, no, please! Spare my balls.”

“Hmm, if you behave. I’ll think about it. But let me tell you something: if you grow that dick back (I know you can do that) and if you dare to make a move on a woman, any woman!, then I’ll cut your balls off. No warning!”

“Release me!”

“Well, well. No promise. But you may go, for now. Fly away, virus, before I’ll change my mind.”

~//~

The scent of desolation is in the air. All around the Katholikos. Not since now, by the presence of the virus. Nor since three weeks ago, by the absence of his mother. His initial mother – seems that this kind of virus may have two mothers. But ever since the Katholikos has been erected, like a carousel of steel and chrome and vanadium, like the most majestic venture of humankind.

One religion derives from another, each one builds hope, promising salvation, and ends up in deception. In spite of all the expectations, faith alone can’t save a person. Only one person’s faith in another person will bring solace. Only faith in Iisus Xristos brings salvation, complete restoration and return to the state of being. To The Word whence any person comes from.

This simple solution, even if disregarded by many religious people, is well known by the virus. A well vested connoisseur, the accuser of Adamkind has a flair for religion. He is the best at falsifying faith.

The greatest Christian of all times, look, is now flying across the Katholikos. He brings a mouthful of hope, a handful of promise and a payload of good intentions. All that he asks in exchange is adoration. Perfect, ultimate veneration. No questions asked. He wants, he needs to feel like he is everything.

Every nothing needs that.

~//~

What is a religion, what can it be, without a bit of history. An excerpt from the records of Astarte, to put things in perspective and the present in context.

2121, August 20th on the North Pole Carousel – My Second Jubilee is reason for celebration but also for lamentation. Billions of sterile people find themselves in the most absurd situations: their bodies trapped under ruins, mutilated in car crashes, sliced by levitating trains (or incomplete teleportation), lost moving amputated limbs, disfigured corpses that still crawl, years after the accident. A gruesome landscape of animated death. Saturn is regularly checking them, one by one. The gloomy news is that all of them are aware of what is going on with their bodies. They beg for death to take their souls away from this calamity of the flesh. But death has no way to reach them. The DNA hack is too efficient, the cells repair too fast, but the injured body cannot morph, cannot adapt to compensate for mechanical trauma. Don’t rush to call them zombies because they didn’t rot, they can’t decompose. Piles of active cells drowning in a sea of fresh blood and fetid spiritual desolation. This is the third unknown side effect: the DNA hack gives immortality to the body; the telomeres repair themselves for ever and ever; this is no biological mechanism, more likely a fractal open loop. Saturn didn’t see it coming. Kronos did but chose not to warn us. He’s got the liberty of choice, like any other person, doesn’t he?

The unharmed steriles, taking heed of the ordeal, are scared to death (even if knowing that death can’t reach them) and hide in isolated places, where no object or element would hurt their bodies. The fourth side effect: chronic paranoia.

In spite of this global tragedy, my smaller community of fans – gravitating around the Reformed Catholic Church – is thriving. For them, and especially for their children, Saturn has proposed, designed and supervised the execution of The North Pole Carousel, which is the greatest structure ever constructed by humankind. The floating cone measures twelve hundred meters in height, wherefrom three hundred above water, with a maximum radius of 457 kilometers. The roof cone is but five hundred meters high with a maximum radius of 489 kilometers. This huge whirligig-ship, built by humans from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean up, can spin clockwise or counter clockwise (depending on which way I do my jogging; yes! I’m the wheel mouse powering the whirligig in my free time). They use it as a climate regulatory device. This was the long expected answer to artificially warm up the North Pole, melt the ever growing icecap, make Greenland green again and bring solace to North America.

My friends from the Communion communities on sahara.cron have a nickname for the North Pole Carousel. They call it Katholikos, which means ‘universal’ in Greek. I’ve told them to avoid being religious about stuff or things may turn South for them as they did for the stubborn steriles. Anyway, the concept of religion is now so different from what it meant during the early twenty-first century. These guys are basically nudists, polygynous (they have rejected polygamy or polyamory on religious grounds, maybe just to annoy me, dunno), they fuck like bunnies and sing like birdies. Their average lifespan runs around 145 years and they don’t complain. Some even post thoughts like “one wife should be enough but you’ll have to man up and save the species, don’t stop at one!” I don’t like this herd-like attitude, never did. But who am I to judge?

À propos late twenty-first century: celibacy is currently a sin for the new Katholikos tourists. See how fear drives religious minds? Some of the Katholikos priests parade their harems for the sake of procreation. Oh God, I hate this nonsense. The only “sin” is lacking the measure of things. Maybe I’d better suggest the restoration of papacy. At least they would listen to one man, because they won’t listen to my words.

~//~

“People of the Katholikos, my fellow Christians! As we enter the fourth week after the unforeseen assassination of Astarte, the inertia that she has lastly invested in the carousel will come to an end. Today! The Katholikos will cease to rotate. This unfortunate occurrence will imply devastating effects over the climate of our planet, the Arctic Ocean will freeze again, Greenland will be covered in ice again, America will be hit by blizzards and you, all of you, will have to live in cold and darkness. A new winter is coming!”

“Hey, ya! Yes, you, John Snow!, climb down from that tree.”

“What tree? Mum, leave me alone.”

“The fuck I will. Come over here or I’ll go after you and cut your balls off.”

There is one kind of threat, a single threat, that seems boring, especially when repeated with every given occasion. All it takes for a threat, boring or not, is to be effective. And this one is. Very.

“You tailored yourself that monk suit?” Wonders Rivkah at the virus. “Really? Why don’t you show yourself in glory, like any decent god would? I don’t get it. So enlighten me, please, mister light bringer.”

“You’ve cut my dick, remember? With your fancy nails. You unethical mother.”

“Oh, that’s a fancy word, virus! Ethics never were my strong point. Perhaps this is why I accepted to deliver you. The ethical virus. Now spare me the morals and answer my question: why do you walk with this curtain on your body?”

“Here’s why.” Lucifer disrobes so that his second mother may see the deeds of her polished nails. After severing his dick, he was indeed capable to grow it back. But the color crimson never faded. He is scarred, profoundly, intimately, permanently.

“Whoops,” taken aback for an instant, Rivkah dares on, “why would the scars remain under your new skin?”

“You tell me, ruthless mother!”

“How about karma? You, my angelic son, you have brought mutilation and blood scars into the bodies of my forefathers. Generation after generation, my people have died in their flesh, their minds wandering in your virtuosity, their souls suffering, the spirit agonizing, the creation falling apart. All because of your such an ethical nature. You bring blood, you get blood. Oh, and one more thing: this just dawned on me now, as I speak to you. I didn’t know that your talents can’t conceal the crimson. Not sorry about it.”

The devil takes the curtains back, over his shoulders. “May I return to my political discourse, mum?”

“It’s your job, after all. Do it well. Do it fast. Let’s get over this. I hate you!”

“Hate you too. Bye mum!”

~//~

“Have you seen that, sister?”

“Have you saved it on your records, little brother?”

Saturn nods and, taking Easter by her hand, they follow Eli out of the darkness, away from the South Pole. Or so they wish to. Or so they thought.

“This is not the Earth, little brother. Any idea what this burning orange is to us?”

Saturn shakes his head. “It burns?, you said? I can’t feel it like burning.”

Wishing to explain the feeling, Easter swallows her words, and thoughts altogether, as a silhouette, thirty-six meters tall, contours out of the Orange Ocean. Keeping the colour against shades and hues of gold and green, the startling character speaks to Easter and Saturn.

“I am Ouranos, made by the Ever-Living throughout this Aether. Everything that you feel and understand by your senses lives within my personal parameters. I am the skies and the heavens together. You two–” Easter hurries to introduce herself, and her brother, but… “Shhh, patience, little thing, patience I beg of you. I know you and your twin brother. You are Easter and he is Saturn, first borns of Kronos, last of Astarte. To your father I owe a huge favor.”

Eyebrows, “excuse me, Mr. Ouranos, but, as far as I know, our father had castrated you. What would you owe him for that mutilation?”

“What do I owe Kronos? My peace of mind, my reconnection with my Creator, my wisdom, should I dare say my corner of Eternity?, although this comes from God directly. However, Kronos taught me a brilliant lesson, sharp it was, both ways, yet blazing nevertheless.”

Because there’s no floor, no ground, no need for a surface, within the Orange Ocean, the giant chooses to move his position downwards, or to change their position upwards, of such a manner so that they can speak face to face. “We’ve never met our father. Face to face, like you do now with us. Why?”

“Why do you ask why, little Easter? Weren’t the why-s of your mother enough? Let me indulge with you anyway. It was Moses’ assignment to drive the herd throughout the desert. Kronos and I were there, as companions of the people but also as two witnesses for the Ever-Living. Why did the Ever-Living forbid Moses to step in the Promised Land?”

“My father never left the core of his given star,” says Saturn, more pensive than defiant. “This after his remorseful route after severing your testicles. Which event happened thousands of earth-years before the occurrence in Exodus.”

Looking at him from above, yet not looking down, trying to warm his defensive soul with a flame of sympathy, Ouranos – on whose spirit buffers the universe – utters like the burning fire. “You, little one, you are Kronos. You are your father! Before having you, before obtaining this privilege as God has eventually responded to his prayers, and to those lamentations that would have driven anyone out of his minds, even God, I may say, your father Kronos had crafted myriads upon myriads of drones. A drone brings part of the personality of its maker. But your father made crons, a one of a kind type of drone. A cron represented Kronos wherever and whenever the cron arrived. A cron was Kronos!”

“Am I a cron then?”

“By two certitudes, you are more than a cron and even more than your father.” Easter smiles with a sideways wink. “By the incommensurable idiocy of your mother, Astarte, you defy all mathematics, any logic and whatever prediction – no one might tell what you are going to do next, which everyone could anticipate of your father. He was fully predictable, hence easy to manipulate. You are nothing like that. Then!, by the love of God, your father’s Maker, it was YOU that the Ever-Living had envisioned when building Kronos. Foreseeable as he was, your father has fallen to temptation. Still it is not your mercurial nature that spares you from making errors. No! It is the combination of current events, wherein the virus has already been contained.”

“Uncle Orange, if you allow me this nickname,” chimes Easter in, “the virus has been set loose over the Earth, as we speak. How is that that you call it contained?”

“Oh Darling,” the orange on Ouranos’ face allows for gold to stand out so he may show how fair his eyes shine, “I am in ecstasy to hear you calling me Uncle! By your own words now: ‘the virus has been set loose over the Earth’ – indeed, over the Earth is the place of containment, as opposed to set loose across the universe, the way it has been for eons. Then, your words again: ‘as we speak’ – as much as the precursor phrase has meaning, this one has no meaning at all. Because we speak, as we speak, throughout a flame that exists beyond time and beyond space, beyond geometries known to Earth and other Earths, which flame you call an ocean, because it is an ocean, shoring the white and lesser than white universe below and, at its opposite end, shoring the gold of the Altar above. You saying ‘as we speak’ like trying to achieve simultaneity is inadequate, here where time is nothing more than a whim across the cerebral cortex of your twin brother.”

“We are on the cusp of Eternity here, right?”

“Indeed. We are.”

“What shall we do, from here? Uncle Ouranos.”

“Ask you brother.” There’s a tear of liquid gold, dewing from the lacrimal caruncle, which Easter hurries to catch, with both her palms. Then she washes her face with her uncle’s tear.

“We take the Moon!” Decides Saturn. “Time to leave, big sis. Oh, big golden sister! Ah, and Ouranos, thank you and thank the Lord for you.”

~//~

September through December, 2191 – syndicated news on sahara.cron – excerpts.

***

“‘Looking for the next exoplanet? Stare down at your feet! Because you’re standing on it.’ This a saying from the Second Renaissance. Smart dudes were walking the Earth back then.”

“Ya’ callin’ dose dudes smart? Mann! The occluded occupation used to fuck ’em systematically, for decades, mann!”

“They knew they were lied to, dude.”

“Many of them never cared, mann.”

“Those living in fear were unknowingly feeding the occupation.”

“Yeah, those reptiles relish in drinking our blood, even our spiritual blood. Fuckin’ vampires draining our souls out of our bodies.”

“Good that Astarte, with her arrival, has changed everything.”

“A blessing she has been. Now a landscape is left of her. Too bad.”

***

“Haya, muchacho, heard you’re planning to move up North, to live in the Katholikos, eh?”

“Ya, bro. Cool stuff goin’ on up there. My fifth came up with the idea, her sister has already moved, together with her girlfriend, easier for two, to find a spot, than for twenty, ya know.”

“What yo’ missus sayin’ -bro?”

“Ah, forget my missus, she jealous on the younger ladies. What she sayin’? What she sayin’? Same old, same old. Like all the time she naggin’ me. Man, who knew.”

“One is more than enough, dude.”

“You tell me this now?”

“Told you all the time. You never listen.”

“Man! Listen to me! They say it’s Jesus Christ speaking up in the Katholikos.”

“And you believe what they say? How many daemons have come to claim this name?, did you believe th– oh, oh, yes, you did. I–”

“Forget about that. This is for real. Bro, I’m gonna move. Missus or no missus. I don’t care what she saying.”

“There is only one Jesus, dude. Please understand that.”

“The one who’s talking about a new winter coming. Up North. That one, bro.”

“So it’s a weatherman now, your new Jesus.”

“Look, bro. With Astarte dead, who’s gonna whirl that carousel up, eh? It is that thing, that colossal cap of steel atop the Arctic Ocean, that was keeping us warm. Now that’s slowing down. Only a matter of time before it’s gonna stop. Forever, bro! Winter is coming. Listen to me!”

“You’re freakin’ out. Again. Remember José?”

“José? José? Ah, José – the healer from Arizona. Oh yeah, I remember. He fixed two of my wives. Oh, and the missus, guess that she was visiting him too. What an awesome guy, making our wives look younger, be younger. What a blessing. Too bad that he couldn’t mute missus, or maybe just make her a little deaf, just a bit.”

“Can you spell his entire name?”

“C’mon, man. Who writes anymore? Who reads? Who spells? What’s that? No voodoo thing, I guess.”

“His entire name is José de Jesús Jiménez Fernández del Paso.”

“A mouthful. Can he remember all that?”

“As a matter of fact, yes, he can.”

“He won’t move up North. He says that he’d rather freeze to death in Arizona, like his father, than listen to the accuser in the Katholikos.”

“But it’s Jesus, bro! Jesus has returned. He’s waiting for us, calling for us, to join him. Can’t you understand?”

“Jesus who? José de Jesús Jiménez Fernández del Paso, that’s a Jesus too. That Jesus?”

“Hey man! Don’t make a mock of me. And why do you ridicule the name of Jesus? Our saviour!”

“José de Jesús is our healer, think we both agree on that. Yet no saviour, right? He must have told you this, because he’s telling it to everyone. Why on earth then, your weatherman Jesus should be the real saviour? How comes? What if he’s yet another Jesus?”

“You Mexicans, you’ve always been good Catholics. Why not move to the Katholikos then?”

“Because there’s a too-good-to-be-true-catholic up there.”

“So you won’t come?”

“Nope.”

“Okay, talk to you from my new apartment. Told them I’m looking for a penthouse but there’s a shortage of these. By the way, will you take my missus to live with your family? She won’t move with us. Too bad.”

“No problem. Let me talk to her. Take care.”

***

“Ciao, Ramón. How are you doing. Jennifer? The kids?”

“Hoarding supplies. They’re a bit concerned about this new winter coming.”

“They should be. This is worse than winter coming. It’s the end. But– any end brings a new beginning. Ramón, I wish to move in together with your family. Will you have me?”

“Mi casa es tu casa. Shall I send a kid to help you with packing?”

“No, no. Thank you. I’ve already packed. It’s not much. Can I bring Brando with me?”

“He’s a very cute pup. Yes. There’s plenty of room at our ranch.”

“How’s the weather going in Sierra Madre?”

“Mild. We’ve got the rain for the crops to grow and then the sunshine for the crops to ripe, then the cool dry weather for us to harvest. We’re grateful to the Lord for this climate, to the True Jesus, the One from Nazareth.”

“You’ve gotta mention all the names nowadays.”

“Like we always did in Mexico! Hey, Gina!”

“Yes.”

“I am terribly sorry that your man won’t trust you, or me, or that gringo of yours.”

“Yeah, too bad, as he would say. What gringo of ours?”

“TRUMP, Barron, Junior the Third. What was his slogan?”

“Ah, the funny guy from Manhattan. One of the smartest minds on this planet. His slogan is simple: Live in your TRUMP Tower, travel through my TRUMP Tunnels, eat your turnips and trust no one.”

“The gringo is smart, but you won’t live in his towers, nor travel through his tunnels.”

“They are safer than the Katholikos. I can tell you that. But I love nature. I wish to live at your ranch. I wish to die under the sky.”

“Come die with us, dear. Ciao!”

***

~//~

1st of March, 2195, the Katholikos, around its axis.

“Have Faith, all people of the Reformed Catholic Church, because your Saviour is here, together with you, and you will not suffer the tribulations on this planet any longer. As you hear my words, the Katholikos, by the power of my godly mind, is raising above the seas. Look, if you need to, look at the monitors of the deep. Look and watch us rising together through the air! I am taking you off this Earth. I am snatching you away with me. To heavens.”

“Rapture! Rapture! Rapture!” The crowds are chanting, waving hands, bowing heads, kneeling knees.

Meanwhile, in West African France, Richatville, underground level 191 – Rebecca’s command center.

“Madame, permettez-moi de signaler.”

Rivkah allows the officer to go on with his report, along with staring at the live images, in front of the wall. The North Pole carousel, a structure measuring one third of the Moon’s radius, detaches from the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean. Ascending to space, it maneuvers to park on L4, one of the stable Lagrange points between Earth and the Moon.

“Appelez les deux!” Commands she sternly. One minute later, the elevator brings Enoch and Eli down to level 191 – Rebecca’s command center.

“Welcome to my humble den!”

“Spare us the pietism,” rants Eli her way with a smile so open that she can distinguish his white teeth behind the abundant red beard, “once the virus is done spitting his venom in the faces of those fools up there, he will abandon them. Descending to Earth, he will focus to nest in Jerusalem. This to fulfill the Scriptures. Is the temple ready to receive it?”

Rivkah, visibly startled, makes a long face, no puppy eyes, rather frog eyes. “W– What temple?”

“According to Paul, writing to the Thessalonians.”

II Thessalonians 2.1-4:

1. Now, brothers, we urge you, concerning our Lord’s Parousia and our meeting with Him,

2. for you not to be suddenly shaken from your mindset, nor to be confused — neither through spirit, nor through a message or a letter as if they came from us — claiming that the Day Khrist arrives is here.

3. Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, because that Day will not come unless the Apostasy comes first! Also, the Being who brought disbelief into the world must be revealed, the son who brings destruction,

4. the one who constantly opposes and exalts himself over everything ever called Divine, or used for worship, so as for him to sit in the Ever-Living’s temple as if he were the Ever-Living, proclaiming that he himself is God.

“Ah? That Temple – let him build it himself.” This indulgent answer from Rivkah takes Eli by surprise. He raises his pointer to speak but Enoch intervenes, graciously.

“Eli, maybe she is right on this matter. We aren’t called here to unravel the Gordian knot. The Temple Mount remains as intricate as it has always been. Jerusalem could be a quite expensive distraction from our mission. I vote with Rivkah: let the virus deal with it. After all, he’s the one trying to be god.”

“Two against one? Nah, let me make it unanimous. Rivkah! You’re a helluva woman!!” Laughs Eli.

“Is there a pun I’ve gotta miss?”

“There’s more than a pun. And you can have them all. Yasu loves you too much to let me loose around you. Therefore you may walk beyond justice. Rejoice!”

Time for Enoch to be stupefied. “Eli? Is this you speaking? Because I never heard such words coming out of your mouth. I am stupefied.”

“You’d better be. This the antidote, my friend. Be so!” Turning to the Madame of level 191 – her own command center, Eli orders: “Rivkah!”

“Yes, Eli.”

“Do you wish to join the party?”

“I always did.”

“Good. Now be the nagging whisper to the virus’ ears. Be who you are, do what you do. Be there! And don’t cry for us, no matter what. Understand?”

“At your command!” Jumping like a little bunny, Rivkah joins the two in the elevator. “May I ask you something?” Eli nods. Enoch smiles.

“From what has John written here: these are the two olive trees, and the two lamp-stands that before the God of the earth do stand; you two, are you the two menorahs?” Eli nods. Enoch smiles.

“If this is a yes, then who are the two olive trees?” Eli smiles. Enoch smirks.

~//~

A day before, twelve kilometers beneath the Far Side of the Moon.

“Hey little sister who is it you’re with?” Flies Saturn from one rotating platform to another, counter rotating. Day and Easter interrupt their chat, once again, to pay attention to the music.

“Is he a Billy Idol fan now? Your little brother?”

“He’s gotta blow off some steam. There’s been three years and almost a half since this stale situation keeps him locked down here, with us, in Switzerland.”

“À propos, Easter dear, wished to ask you for a long time but always something, or someone, has taken my mind away. Why do you call the Moon with the name of that country on Earth: Switzerland?”

“What is Switzerland to the current civilization down on Earth, the Moon is to every civilized world across this universe. A neutral land.”

“Hey little sister what have you done?” Transits the steam blowing brother. Ignored.

“Let me call GULL. Wish to show you something,” implies Easter in a quite mysterious tease of the hand.

Both Day and Easter sense an incoming voice between their ears, “Auf Wiedersehen. Und Schatz, genieße deine neuen Schuhe. …Dear sisters, let me turn the shop to Amazon mode and I’ll be with you in three leaps. Kiss!”

“Such a sticky sweetie gal, our GULL sister from the Asgard system.”

“Systems, it’s a plural. Don’t forget this, because it’s part of the Moon-like-Switzerland topic.”

“Ah? Okay, systems then. Everywhere you look, you’ve got a plural, or two.”

“Hey little sister who’s the only one?” Almost ignored, dancing Saturn jumps and shakes his hands from the elbows down, only.

“Here I am. Mwuahh. Mwwoooaahh– What’s up, meine geliebten Schwestern. Let me giggle your minds a little bit. You look so nostalgic, so…” GULL’s orgasmic telepathy fades away, distracted by the music. Incoming and outgoing.

“Hey little sister who’s your superman?”

“Just– just ignore him. GULL, I’ll begin with the pragmatic part of this conversation. Tomorrow, according to my intuition, a sizeable number, in the tens of millions if not over a hundred, will be raptured to L4. All these people are naked and barefoot. You get ready for a shoe selling business boom. That’s insider info, so treat it with care and get your printers ready for the new demand. Now please tell us if you’ve got a moon out there, in your Asgard systems.”

“Give me a hug, Easter dear, a nose hug. Come, jump on my hand. Yes, like this. Mmmm. Mmm. M. Okay, so you’re asking me about the moons in Asgard. I’m only a young volunteer selling shoes, but I know of twenty, or maybe thirty, moons roaming the Asgard. They’ve got military moons, border patrolling moons, rescue moons, deep space moons, and other specialized moons. I don’t know about all of them.

“How about natural moons?”

“No moon is natural. There’s no such thing, dear. Or at least I haven’t heard of a natural moon. But wait! May I?”

“Sure.”

“Why do you ask me all these simple questions, Easter. I’ve got the feeling that you already know the answers. I do not understand.”

“Hey little sister who’s the one you want?”

“Hear my jumping raving brother? He’s making meaningless trivia. Well, if there’s a meaning, I don’t know. But it sounds off topic. I have to wait for the events, like he does. We all do. We’ve gotta burn the oil, or oils. Especially this night. This is why I decided to make a vocal case, a spoken subject, for the records, to be accessible to the lowest level of perception, to be understood by the simplest minds, so that any person will take heed.”

“Hey little sister shot gun!”

“I see your point, dear,” speaks GULL with her amusing accent, “and I suppose that it’s time to call your brother down on the platform, to help us with the narrative.”

“Done with the lyrics, little brother?”

“It’s a nice day to start again.”

“It’s a nice day for a white wedding.”

“It’s a nice day to start again.”

“Done!” Saturn jumps in Day’s hand. “You wish to listen to the narrative now. So be it! Here I come, again.”

Saturn spins with hands stretched out, like wings. The whirl describes a blueish wall, like a force field, surrounding the four. “Creation is a side effect of music. In itself, a universe boots like an operating system.” When the ‘m’ sound departs his lips, a yellow grid parcels the surround. “See? Sound excites the medium, variations within the medium create electromagnetism, from which gravity derives.” As the last ‘s’ from the word ‘derives’ departs his lips, lightnings crack between opposite sides of the grid. Like pearls on strings, stars and planets and moons drop out of these lightnings. “This is, briefly, how my father had painted the universe, out of fractals, vectors and pixels. But he did not sing. The music was coming down to him from another realm. Without this music, my father could not have painted one single pixel, could not have drawn one vector, could not have hardened one single star, or planet or moon. Music is what makes the world go round.”

“See?,” says GULL, “told you that there are no natural moons in Asgard.”

“Nothing is natural, because it’s not nature who made anything. This game is personal, by persons, from persons, about persons. Landscapes are just that.”

“And intentional. About intent now!” Easter is touching the sensitive chord. “We’ve got a non-person at the North Pole of Earth, which will move to L4 tomorrow, dragging along millions and millions of victims – mostly sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. The Adam and the Eve of that Earth which is orbited by this Moon – which Moon used to be part of it, by design, until the Lord had slid it out, to its current place. Do you know about the anode at the center of the Earth?”

“Rhetoric, we certainly do. It’s the exit relay for souls, those souls mature enough to ascend to the next level, out of this universe.”

“We had an anode inside the original Earth in the Asgard systems, but it’s not working any more.”

“Good to know, GULL. We’d also love to hear your complete disclosure. You’re more than a shoes seller, aren’t you?”

“A gal must know her trades. A gal does more than she tells. You’ll have to know better than any other gal, Easter, that drama and tragedy has touched every living soul out of every civilization that our Creator has set in motion. The Asgard know about the twelve Adams built by the Ever-Living. I can name each different Adam and his birth system to you. However, the Asgard have grown from the one Adam of Midgard, of Earth. We are sons of Enoch.”

Stupefaction. “Uhm, didn’t see this coming. NOK, the blue blooded giant, or Enoch the red blooded human?” Day sounds irritated. She feels betrayed by her centuries-long girlfriend.

“Enoch the human, a.k.a. Odin. Elijah the human, a.k.a. Thor.”

“How about you, GULL, a blue blooded giant coming from the Asgard system, how about you?”

“I’ve got relatives inside this Moon, several graves, down under to the Tartarus.

“Same pulsar?” whispers Dag.

“PSR J1903+0327. Same, yes.”

“What do we have here? Versioning of pulsars? Not sure I get that.”

“Stop your sarcasm there, little brother. It’s the persons that matter. This is how versioning works: on persons! Look at you! You’re Kronos, ain’t ya? Yet everyone calls you Saturn, the latest version of your father.”

~//~

“Mum?”

“Yes, snake.”

“Is the temple ready?”

“No.”

“I thought you were getting the temple ready for me.”

“What you thought is what you thought. Wishful thinking.”

“But you promised me. I wish to have it! What kind of mum are you?”

“The kind you deserve. If you wish for something, come and get it.”

“It’s a temple, goddammit, a building that someone should build.”

“Go ahead. Build it.”

“But I cannot leave my worshipers up here in empty space.”

“Then don’t build it.”

“I need that temple. It’s the pinnacle of my entire existence.”

“Your entire what?”

“Never mind. Guess I’ll descend to Jerusalem to build the temple.”

“You a constructor?”

“No, mum. I’ll find the architects and the builders down there.”

“Good for you then.”

“Hate you, mum.”

“Hate you too.”

~//~

“Hey little brother, come with me.” Paraphrases Easter while excusing herself out of Day’s quarters. Saturn waves to GULL, leaving her printshop where he helped boost the production capacity. The twins quit the Moon, after so many months spent on diplomacy, on bringing together every soul of this universe, in preparation for the weeks to come. Starting today.

“You’ve heard the dialogue between Rivkah and the virus, right?”

“This is no joke, sis. I’m the one who had built that carousel and I tell you: the Katholikos structure is not meant to fly. Dammit. That cretin used it way beyond its original scope, endangering millions and millions of unsuspecting inhabitants.”

“They’re worshiping him like a god.”

“Any god worth his salt would know not to fly two independent cones set on top of each other. That’s a damn whirligig! Made of two separate parts. Elegantly built to only work within Earth’s gravity. Now the top keeps next to the bottom only because the mind of the virus wants this, but when he leaves – as he said he would – then the cones will float away.”

“Oh my God! Thought the virus should be smarter.”

“It’s a virus, not a god. It breaks code, it mutates, it mimics, it desecrates, it skids. It never builds. Not in its nature.”

“I’ve got an idea!”

“Me too. Let’s wait for its departure.”

Two hours later, a pale lightning sparkles atop the whirligig, cracking the darkness. Eventually it discharges down to Earth.

“Elvis has left the building.”

“You loved that guy’s music so much?”

“The Second Renaissance begins with Elvis, dear sis.”

“And you’re using his name to designate the virus??”

“What would you want me to say? Jesus has left the building? Because the virus thinks he’s Jesus.”

“Wishes to think.”

“One does what one can. Plus, our mother, birthing us, showing herself to the earthlings at her first Jubilee, ends the Second Renaissance. Makes sense for you and me to love the cultural context announcing our arrival, don’t you think?”

“Good that I can think. Indeed. You take the top and I’ll take the bottom. You push the top to L5 while I keep the bottom in position at L4.”

“Nope. I take the bottom and you the top. I keep the bottom at L4, while you move the top to L5, flipping it.”

“Deal.”

Saturn arrests his breath for a nanosecond. “Is this how you wished to be in the first place? You manipulating big sister.”

“Never mind left or right, top or bottom. Let’s get the business done before they’ll lose all the atmosphere. Poor people.”

A naked eye can’t see the silhouettes. An astronomer, along with his peers, is mesmerized to watch the neon blue engulfing this novel celestial object, as wide as one third of the Moon. Then all the astronomers on duty, and hobbyists alike, will run through a series of mental orgasms when the neon blue discs separate, with one moving away like a frisbee. From L4 to L5.

“Sis, can you read me?”

“Loud and clear!”

“Not enough air and not enough light. Mine are growing terribly nervous. Watching me at the end of the tractor beam. In stupor.”

“Ah, you’re blessed with their stupor. That’s great. Enjoy while you can. Because mine turned vocal, calling me names. Harlot, whore, Babylonian, Annunaki, bitch, slut and – yes – satanic woman. Rebelling, they moan the loss of their saviour. Supposedly I’m to blame for his departure. It’s no fun having to keep it up here with all those religious nutcases throwing screws at me.”

“The worst part of this is that they’re disassembling their towers, which makes their situation even more hazardous than it already is.”

“Gimme an idea, Saturn, fast!”

“How about this one? You inspired me, by Uncle Orange.” The fractal builder seeds, with his voice, the word ‘orange’ in the hollow center of the cone’s axis. Wherefrom a gracious olive tree uplifts the spirits below. The branches of this splendor spread wider than the boundary of Katholikos. Well, the bottom half of it.

Instead of a shadow, and in contrast to the darkness of space, the leaves of this tree shine a warm and calming orange light over the heads of the people beneath. Olives pop out of the branches, in hues of gold. Some would ripe and fall, at times, over the crowd, the now silent and stupefied crowd.

“Wonderful idea, little brother. Can we switch places? Please raise a similar olive tree over my half of the Katholikos.”

Switching places, Saturn executes his second olive tree – in orange light and producing golden fruit, like the first. “Done, sis. They’re all in stupor now. Silence. What now?”

“We wait. We’re good at it.”

~//~

March through early April, 2195 – syndicated news on sahara.cron – excerpts.

***

“In an unprecedented effort, the brave Engineer Troops of the Russian Army have finalized the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. Our constructors needed no more than two weeks to raise this monumental building from the ground up. The historically controversial Temple Mount falls inside the perimeter secured by OMON. Stray groups of extremists and militants have been either captured or annihilated prior to the construction of the New Temple of God. The Tsarist Directorate for the Holy Land is proud to inform all believers of planet Earth that, starting tomorrow, lord Jesus will descend to govern us from within his holy Temple. The pinnacle of history. Tomorrow! Join us live!”

Pravda.ru – 20th of March, AD 2195, Byzantium, The Eastern Empire.

***

“La Royale, pre-eminent across the entire Mediterranean, keeps spraying huge amounts of sea water up in the atmosphere, in direction East, over the Israeli coast, necessary to ensure a mild climate for the Russian Forces involved in the building of the Temple. Because of the terrible drought across Europe and the Levant, the French Navy had to take extreme measures in order to insure this remarkable feat.”

Sahara.cron – 21st of March, AD 2195, Paris, France.

***

“This Jesus is not the One. He raptured over a hundred millions in a shabby carousel only to abandon them. Easter and Saturn are now taking care of our deceived brothers and sisters out there. Take your telescopes and watch the sky at night. Look for the two olive trees in the sky. This is all you have to do. Then think!”

Denzel Washington, Actor.

***

“You want rain to grow your crops? Do not bow your knee to this fake god.”

“You want a clear sky to ripe and harvest your crops? Do not listen to his lies.”

“You want peace in your soul? Keep saying this mantra: Oh, Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me; keep your eyes open and your pineal gland caressed by the energies of the two suns, look at the olive trees when nights bring the shadow over your head, thank Jesus of Nazareth and patiently await for His Parousia. Because it is nigh. This shiny temple is built by man and machine. The True Temple resides within your heart, between the interstitium in your body and the aura of your soul, the True Temple is Yasu Khrist Himself, Son of Adam, Son of the Ever-Living. Rejoice!”

@Hackme.if.u.kann – runner, the TRUMP Tunnels Network.

***

“Jesus of Nazareth had a girlfriend, Mary of Magdala. A sex worker. This other Jesus has no friend, only subjects.” #WeAreMany

***

“I know the mother of this Jesus. She is not a virgin.”

Rolf Radetzky, Pilot.

***

“I am the mother of this snake. Why do you call him Jesus?”

Rebecca Johannson, Agent provocateur.

***

“The domain sahara.cron has been seized by le Parquet du Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris.” – this the official notice, top of the page.

“F0Ck CENSORSHIP! Until further notice, all web instances are down, frozen, unreachable on sahara.cron – Fuck ’em Froggs. But hey! YouGottaBkiddiNMe, right? CLICK HERE for SAHARA.XXX – the new domain live, hosting every old post and image. Astarte LIVES!”

@Y0uVBeenHaCk3d.xyz – dahGeekMONK from Tibet Libre.

***

“Throughout the Second Renaissance, XXX used to be a mark for porn. Announcing the dawns before the epoch of Astarte – the female that proved that porn is nothing. Some times, like these times, nothing can be everything. Find everything under the same mark of XXX. It is not the mark that matters.”

Remember, remember the 5th of November, Anonymous.

***

~//~

Everything that Eve wasn’t, and Mariam couldn’t be, makes Rivkah do what she does, be what she is.

Everything that Astarte tried hard, with little to no success, is what makes Easter the beloved bijou goddess across this universe. And not only, according to high level sources.

Everything that Kronos knew, but didn’t dare, is seeded in Saturn – the clever and curious super-human.

Enoch and Eli, or Odin and Thor, these just are – like Archangels, like unmistakable companions.

Both of them, brought this very morning in front of the porch. To be judged for their crimes against humanity. Allegedly, by the high courts of every empire, federation, confederation, republic, country or territory, Enoch, Eli and their acolytes are accused of environmental warfare, of conspiracy, subversion, sabotage and the supreme crime of refusing to bow their knee to the Lord of Earth.

“Why do they call you ‘lord of earth’ as you’d be of this earth and not a celestial being, a superior angelic, top of creation, instrument to bring light to every corner of this universe.”

“Mum, shut up. Please!”

“And what if I don’t?”

“The way I finally managed to make you invisible to all these people around us, if I’ll try harder, maybe that I could kill you. Put an end to this ordeal you make inside my head.”

“Kill yo’ mummy? Bad boy. Uhm, if I rightly remember, you tried to burn your original mother to smithereens, taking down the Venusian Insurrection. But you failed. That winged skull which had her scissored was an indirect machination of yours. Now it’s your second mother on the kill list. Am I on top? Or at least in top ten? Tell me.”

The desolator grabs the left handle of the ivory throne, melting the golden coating, exposing the white ivory under. “Whoops, you’ve just pushed a bit too much energy and you carbonized it. The ivory turns black. What a pity. What a pity.”

The prime prosecutor from Nauru advances to read his files against Enoch, Eli and the gang. “I’ll kill you, mum. I gotta find a way to kill you. Or else–”

“Or else? Why don’t you throw a blitz into the ass of this pathetic prosecutor? To calm down–”

“Those are all faithful servants.”

“I can imagine. I’ll give you that, and them too. Oh, like those hundred million imbeciles that you dragged to L4 only to abandon them the next day.”

“That happened because of you. Because you didn’t keep your promise to me. You said that you’re gonna take care of the Third Temple.”

“Sure. And I did as I said: taking care not to serve it to you, on a plate.”

“You’re worse than me!! How could that be possible?”

“That’s what I wonder. Some questions don’t have answers. Eh?”

“You won’t live to see the sunset. I tell you that, mum.”

“Which sunset? The old sun’s or the second’s? You seem a bit confused, snake.”

The last in his line, attorney general of Zimbabwe, approaches the ivory throne and speaks. “Our institution has found no wrongs committed by Enoch, Eli and accomplices against the state of Zimbabwe. Therefore the case is dropped.” The man turns around and descends the stairs. After a few steps, lightning strikes his back. He succumbs in grey smoke on the white marble.

“You viper! That man spoke by the law of his country, a land where I did not set foot, neither Eli, nor any of our associates. The man had no case. Yet you killed him. Because this is what you can be: a liar and a killer.”

Another lightning strike surrounds Enoch, only to excite the air around, like a Tesla coil would do.

“He’s been allowed too much already,” advances Eli up the stairs. “You virus, you really believed that this entire setup was meant for you to make judgement against the sons and daughters of Adam?, against the sons and daughters of the other eleven Adams?, against any registered person in here or out there? No! This grandiose show is yet another trap. You’ve been lured in, again, and you’ve bit the bait. Again. Look at the poor and the rich, the fit and the fat, the little and the great, the white and the black, and all the colors in here and out there, look at the living and recall of the dead, because three days from this moment…”

Silent, Eli falls, like Enoch, on the white marble. Both are dead.

***

“They are down. Click.” Speaks Saturn. “Click.” Responds Easter. “Click. Click.” Say NOK & ELI next to the former’s tree, within pulsar PSR J1903+032.

Above the Third Temple, two menorahs burn fire. One at ten meters above the dead body of Enoch, the other at ten meters above the dead body of Elijah.

The old sun flickers, like a bulb would do before the tornado hits. The second sun dims down a slow gradient. Some of the geeks run their hands to calculate the geometry of its extinction. This term, extinction, is on everyone’s lips since the old sun turned off. Like that bulb that lost contact to its power source.

Dusk engulfs Jerusalem as two magnificent olive trees emerge above the horizon, brightening the skies of the West with a wind of orange milk, snowing down over the lands of Europe and Northern Africa, off their leaves. At times, a golden fruit would detach – to fall into the vases, like two cones, holding each olive tree.

And when a golden olive hits the iron, it is like the sounds of a thousand bells.

All humans, even the geeks, stand to watch in all stupor. Silent. Absent yet present. Weary.

Not hearing his mum any longer, not in the right ear, nor in the left, the virus boldly raises above the ivory throne. Starting to speak, he feels eager to finish his political speech. Yet when the climax comes as an indicator of a conclusion, then a religious speech emerges out of his mouth. And when the next climax comes, to beg for the conclusion, then, again, an ecologic speech pops out of his mind, getting him to yet another climax but never to any conclusion.

Speaking like this for three days long, the virus, tired of the deafening silence around him – because all the multitudes around, below and above, are lethargic, worn out, apathetic, mute – concludes eventually.

“Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Then his voice is no more.

“Click. Click.” Enoch and Elijah raise from their three days long deaths. Walking towards each other, they both vanish simultaneously into what a flicker’s fraction of a second would present as a golden pyramid. But no one could tell, other than the whirl of ozone left behind.

“Click.” The Moon turns orange and red and, most remarkably, grows smaller. Fast and faster.

“Click.” Orange is the new black. But orange rolls aside like an old scroll. Total transparency.

% ssh cron@sahara

xscreensaver-command -lock
screen top
~

% ssh crist@civil

screen -r

~//~

How do you wish to get this done?”

Together.”

Done.”

That was it? No rewind? No pain? No sorrow?”

Ah, I see. You’ve still got your memories as memories.”

What do You mean by this: still having our memories as memories?”

When you’ll have foregone memories as features, then you may learn without suffering, know without dying, you will rejoice without looking back at sadness. This is but a session switch. For now.”

Hum, memories won’t be erased but demoted and then promoted as features, intrinsic to our being. Cool. No reboot?”

No. I only locked an old session, captured all processes, suspended the old session, initiated a new session, transferred all processes into the new. In Greek, Yohn has written about this session switch here, in Revelation 2:17. And he who has an ear, let him hear what The Spirit speaks to the assemblies: ‘To the one who is victorious I shall give of the manna which is hidden, and I shall give him a white pebble, and upon the pebble, a name in writing that no man knows except he who receives.’”

How about the reboot?”

Coming up next. Thousand years said those not knowing what a year means. A day, maybe two, would say one that won’t care about matters of time, or sequences, encapsulated within My sessions. Until then, tell Me how do you enjoy your new bodies. Enhanced?”

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Your English is impressive, Doris. I’ve gotta run an errand. You may follow if you wish.”

End of Book 7 – Destinations. Ommm

To be continued

***

“Destinations” is a direct continuation of the spectacular paragalactic stories from “Polygamy vs. Polygyny,” “TITANIA – From Schönbrunn to Saturn,” “MATRYOSHKA – Sex in the Golden Age,” “Astarte, The Adventure,” and “LUNATIX.”

The next novel in the works: Book 6 – Sequences (revised to: ATLAS, The Departure).

Copyright 2018 June 5, by DDHSIM Doris Dawn, doris@dorisdawn.com All rights

reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission

from the author.