“No, he has not. I’ve kept away from him as I don’t like him so I doubt he’ll work up the courage to ask me - in the extremely unlikely event that he changes his mind. As for misleading him…are you certain I did? Rania, do you think I did?”
She giggled. “Dad, she’s messing with you. She was right, if he had first learnt he had been an alien at some time, he would not have been that horrified at learning he’d sided with aliens for his own gain. I’m not certain it would have stopped him being an obnoxious religious fanatic.”
“I had no interest in turning him into a non-believer, Rania. I wanted to shatter that certainty of his of always being in the right - I wanted him to stop being so damn fanatical about it.” My loves teased me about my being fanatically opposed to fanatics. Last night turned into one of those nights that are not bursting at the seams with crude lust, but the humour and love made our lovemaking memorable.
Iisous finds it difficult to control his anger when he sees Joseph. It seems this Jesus did love, marry and have children. They all died in the first attack against him. Since we are too softhearted to ignore his pain and anger, we were compelled to ask Robbie to return for the family. He truly can empathise with the way Iisous feels and is doing so tonight and plans to arrive with them in time for giving him a surprise when he wakes up. I have the memories of when and where from Joseph. Robbie’s time-event arrival was a few days before the deaths of the family. He wanted to learn something about the enemy. For instance, why are they so determined to kill Iisous? Why would they travel interstellar distances when they must have known that Iisous did not have the technology, nor any knowledge about life on other worlds, lacking therefore the motivation to cause their deaths. Didn’t they realise they were turning their prophecy into a self-fulfilling prophecy by their own actions and fears?
His first surprise was a huge one: On arrival, the aliens sent their spaceships into the sun! Did they fear they might fail and make it possible for Iisous to seek out their home system and destroy their planet? Robbie admires the determination and courage it took, but he tempered his admiration with his opinion that they were driven by fear and stupidity. They must be similar to us Terrans in the tendency we have of allowing fear to make us stupid, unable to think clearly and logically.
They never spoke the name of their species (if they did, Robbie did not have Claudia with him) and they used a spell to project themselves as Terrans, dark haired and slightly olive complexioned. I thought, when Robbie shared, that a couple of them were quite yummy looking with their almond shaped eyes and long eyelashes.
They had gold for trading and made themselves known in the market place of a Lebanese town that is known in our time as Saydã (Sidon). We don’t know whether they avoided large towns deliberately or whether they wanted to be closer to the lands of the Jews. They employed a small number of rough looking men and travelled south. As they climbed towards Jerusalem (Yerushalayim), they met a trader obviously fallen on hard times, who was walking home without even a donkey to ease his journey. Shrewdly, perhaps sensing the man, they invited him to join their group and he was provided for. Late that night they spoke to him and Robbie is convinced they discussed magic. The man they were speaking to was the previous incarnation of Joseph. The name of Jesus was mentioned and gold changed hands. Robbie saw one of the aliens speak to a guard and guessed he was being instructed to prevent the trader from leaving their group. Since they had already paid him with gold, they did not want him rushing ahead to warn Iisous.
The purpose of the actions and inactions are ultimately ethical, but when Robbie knows what is to happen and he does nothing to prevent it, somehow he feels the line of what is moral or ethical is being blurred. Not with regard to the family, in this case, who will be saved. The effects are far wider than just the family themselves. What about the suffering of Iisous and the hate that must affect him until he learns they have been brought to him in the future? What about friends and family who will grieve? What about the person who betrays them and ends up still paying for his crime nearly two thousand years later? What about the way an entire planet is to be affected? The circles of effects spreads out in many rings of various strengths and yet there is nothing we can do. The past cannot be changed if it is to alter the future as we know it; all we’ll do is create more realities.
Moody and grieving at his inability to act otherwise, all Robbie could do is judge his moment of intervention as finely as he dared, keeping in mind that he has no protection against magic. He rushed into the house and collected all the people he found inside and in the yard. Even as he departed he felt the effects of the attack spell burning through his shield. They were gone from the reality before the spell was able to do more than reduce the thickness of the shield and Robbie paused to make certain he had not been sent to the wrong reality or place. Seeing he was in Freddie, he slowly landed without releasing the shield. He had captured far more than just people and had to make certain he had not brought insects, bacteria and so on. He destroyed what was a danger, moved into a house, and only then did he release the shield. Dommi, Claudia and Angelica instantly joined him.
When a moment of such joy is imminent, we ensure everyone, of all species, are aware and sharing, for love and happiness are common to all and the general emoting makes Freddie a heavenly place to be for that day. Perhaps Iisous felt everyone in general, but it is more likely he sensed the eager anticipation in his two alternates and became curious.
Some of us were still with his family, trying to convince them they are safe and that they’ll be meeting their husband and father soon, when Iisous started to walk to the taverna. We only had twenty minutes to calm down his family and it became obvious we’d not make it. Dommi threw her hands up in the air, just like a Greek woman and told the others with her to get ready for jumping the family as soon as she gives the word.
Iisous has penetrating eyes and even his passing glance as he checked each of us out of curiosity gave us the feeling he’s seen all the way into our souls. He then stared, almost belligerently at his two alternates and Christós chuckled as he pointed at Robbie and said, “Ask him.”
“Ask him what?” He turned to Robbie and scowled, not amused when Robbie responded by laughing.
Robbie did not dare pull any of his funny stunts as Iisous might think he is being attacked, so he turned serious and said, “We felt it might be nice of us to perform a miracle for you. Please welcome - your loved ones.” His family appeared, not exactly screaming, but shaking from fear. They saw him and could not understand why he only stared at them, frozen like a statue. Within a minute they were in his arms and he had buried his face in his wife’s neck.
Once they had calmed down enough for explanations to be given and his family to lose their fear, it was time for them to leave, to go to the house we’d given them. Iisous was assured by Dommi that nobody will be sensing them while they are in the privacy of their home and Iisous accepted her word - though I doubt he’d even thought of the possibility of it not being so. If Dommi had not, he would have started to wonder at some stage and it would have been a very uncomfortable time for him. We had to stay at the taverna as thousands wanted to celebrate so we organised some music, drinks and snacks and we all had a great time.
The next morning, we invited Alki, Allan, and their families, Jesus and Christós for a private meeting. They all guessed it had something to do with Iisous, but all of them guessed wrong. It is very rarely that we play a joke on Robbie with Jesus and Christós present, as we are still not as confident of them as we are of Allan and Alki. This was a good time to change that - and we did have another reason for inviting them over. How could there be over fifty females together and there not be the other reason?
Cherine aged herself so that she looked about eleven or twelve (an undeveloped twelve) and this helped convince everyone the discussion is serious and important. We sat on the grass in our garden and Cherine faced all of us. “As you will have noticed, Iisous has a son of seven and a daughter of about four years. She is a tiny but cute little thing and we have to take precautions that our family does not grow by one more wife. What should we do with Robert? Should he be sent to Kolonaki in the Sparkler World?”
If Cherine doesn’t turn into an ‘imps’ set all on her own after the reaction to her humour, I’ll be amazed at how levelheaded she is. Apart from Robbie, everyone treated her question as being the most hilarious thing they’ve heard for a long time. Jesus and Christós did not laugh as much as the rest of us, but they did grin. Maybe that is why they felt Cherine was being unfair when she picked on them.
“Ever since we first met the two of you, we’ve wondered and wondered where and how could you find a woman to love. I guess we still don’t think of you as mutants, only Talents, just like me. What I do know is that both of you are our friends and since you are not the Son of God, the woman you love does not have to be from Heaven - she can be just as ordinary as us. I am afraid that existing the way you have for two thousand years, it is going to be difficult for you to form a relationship. For it to happen, for you to have a chance at having a love and a family, you will have to work very hard at growing into a relationship. You saw his two children; for them to be yours, aren’t they worth whatever it costs you?”
Diana added, “I think I’d die of happiness if I could hold a child of either of you in my arms.” The yearning, wistful look in her eyes made her look incredibly beautiful, but also like the kind of Madonna mankind has dreamt of for two millennia and it softened their hearts in ways that our emoting of love could not. Poor, sweet Robbie fell in love with her all over again.
We will not pester them, with their personalities that would only be counterproductive. I think that for the first time they’ve had to acknowledge their own yearnings and their hearts have been sweetened by feeling how much they are loved. I hope they find their own Diana - their own dream girl…sorry, their own dream woman.
“Are we supposed to link Iisous?” Robert asked us, in the privacy of our home. His Cherine looked suitably awed by the idea.
“Oh god!” Rosie blurted. “I’ve just realised, this is a magic reality and it has a Robert and Cherine! Can either of the two of you do magic?”
Before they could answer, Cassie gave a short laugh and told Rosie, “Robert can. He bought a box of magic tricks from a toy shop and he’s been practising. Don’t let him put you in a coffin and saw you in half yet…he’s no good at that trick.” Most of us laughed because of the expression on Rosie’s face, but I also wanted to give our Cassie a hug. She’s rid us of being awed, which is not what is needed when decisions have to be made.
“Cherine, there is no single right or wrong answer to your question. First of all, you have to feel it would be right to link him, the same way it is for everyone else. Then he also has to want you to link him. Then you have to consider how his powers could end up affecting the Cherinians of your reality - don’t forget to add your future alien friends when you do so. Last, do not forget to consider what he could be like if he is not linked as a Cherinian. Our Cherine and two magi friends found their own answer, but your situation is not the same. Our Cherine remains the Cherine of our reality, despite linking them, for they belong to their own realities. This Jesus belongs to your reality. How will he feel, how will you? Will the link make all Cherinians of this reality stronger and truer to their ideals? Could you clash because of having different needs and beliefs, tearing Cherinianism in your reality into two halves? Think carefully about what he wants and what his personality is - at least you do not have to worry about his character.” I wished I could hold her to me as I ended off, “My love, you have a very difficult decision to make and whatever you choose, you will be both wrong and right. Once you have thought about all the pros and cons, then listen to what your heart wants - for that will make the rights of your decision more important than the wrongs, whatever your decision.”
This is Robert. I just have to comment on what Samantha told the new Cherine. Her advice, in the main, may sound obvious and not very helpful, just cleverly analytical which can be useful, but her final sentence is being debated by many of the races, for we feel she has found an important yardstick for guiding us with regard to many other questions of morals and ethics that are not clear-cut and without one single answer to satisfy all the criteria that are important to us as Cherinians and humans.
It seems Freddie doesn’t feel it is time for us to return the Cherinians and Iisous to their reality. He’s been doing this sort of thing more often and not once have we felt, afterwards, that he was wrong, so maybe it is a new gift of his - or else, this is a gift that is growing because of Freddie having Kirsten to love and share with! It is such a beautiful thought that I can only hope with all my heart that it is true.
Four days have passed and just when some people started to quietly question our reason for waiting here, something happened that showed it was wise of us. Joseph fell apart and tried to kill himself.
Robbie sympathised as he kept a close watch, but asked everyone to refrain from trying to stop Joseph. Robbie has tried more ways of committing suicide than anyone else and he says it is important Joseph tries all the ways he can think of so that he learns that there is no way for a Cherinian to kill himself. I should qualify it by mentioning that Robbie did explain to him that should he prefer to return via re-birth, being a Cherinian soul he will remember who he was. We did not point out that Robbie was wrong. We are in a dead reality and so his soul will not be re-born for a very long time - which means he could suffer trauma to his soul and forget or else achieve final death. For now, we let Robbie bring him back after each attempt and make patience as he screams at us.
“Even were I a vengeful person, this would not be acceptable. I would like to speak to him.”
Robbie shrugged. “Nobody has the authority to gainsay anyone else, you may do as you wish.”
He stared at Robbie without doing anything and then turned to our Cherine. “There is a reason this is allowed - it is not meant as punishment?”
“Who would punish him?”
“You do not have a legal system, not even a Council?”
“We do - both of them. Jesus, they are not allowed to interfere, only individuals may - people who care about him. We’ll do a telling for you, but in the meantime I’ll explain that Cherinians undertake to protect others from themselves. I do not need to protect myself from any Cherinian since everyone else protects me from themselves, which means I must protect everyone from myself.”
He missed the clue Cherine gave him so Christós and Jesus drew him aside for a full explanation of our rules. It took him a while, but as soon as he understood, he went to Joseph. “You should first explain to me and, if there is a need for it, you can then apologise to my family.” Iisous listened to more than the words Joseph used and it might sound presumptuous of me, but I think he grew a little closer to being a true Cherinian. Somehow he helped Joseph. Joseph should not be a Cherinian, but there are many in other realities who should not have been linked, so he’s not unique. He is not a danger and I think our alternates can handle him.
Jesus and Christós can feel the difference keenly and they betray the way it makes them feel in little ways. Iisous is the only fully compos mentis Jesus we know who is under fifty years old. He settled in Jerusalem at a young age and stayed there for most of his years, only travelling to Bethlehem and a couple of other small towns or villages. He also went to the Dead Sea, but that does not qualify as international travel. To our two, his magical abilities are not as developed and he feels very young, which makes them sometimes talk to him as if he is their son - which no doubt irritates him.
Since Freddie did not move, we looked around, trying to work out what was keeping us here. Angelica told Robbie that since we are waiting anyway, she would like to leave Freddie with her two mentors to attempt a new spell she’s invented (do spells get invented or created?). Robbie did not allow himself to ask what the spell does. “My Angel, don’t you think you should take Iisous with? After all, he also does magic.” Angelica did not want him to be with in case she fails, but she agreed it would be far more tactful. They left without using a platform and Freddie lost sight of them before Angelica performed her magic.
More than just our family were disturbed by the way our three magi friends felt. We discounted the difference in the way Iisous felt for he does not have experience of us and Angelica, but still, it was not nice feeling any of them. What could our little Angel have done to make them fearful?
Angelica sighed. “They congratulated me, but at the same time they felt this way so it didn’t mean much to me.” Robbie decided to hell with everything common sense dictates and he placed her on his lap, his arm around her middle. She continued as if nothing had changed. “I wanted them to keep it a secret but they have worried everyone so I’ll have to tell you about my new spell.” She looked at Jesus. “Teacher, do you agree I should?”
“Once the idea has been thought, the spell is not impossible for a true magi, but it might be better you explain so that we use this time to find a counter spell - if such a thing can be created.”
Angelica sent the coordinates to Freddie and we sped there. At first we could not see anything and then Freddie focussed on a dark liquid shaped matter. “I thought of the power Samuel has, of releasing atoms so that an explosion happens. As a power it is too destructive for it to be of much use, so I tried to think of a way I could do something similar by magic, but without radioactivity or explosions.
Instead of atoms, I directed the spell at molecules. I wanted the molecules of an object to become slippery so that they lose their grip, losing the tension and memory of its shape, turning solid matter into a thick fluid like mercury.” Her beautiful eyes grew large with awe as she looked at the slowly changing shape outside. “I was afraid to test the spell inside Freddie - thank god! You see, I wanted to be capable of pinpointing the exact object or mass without the spell affecting surrounding material. For instance, say I need to affect a door lock so that I can open a door, I don’t want the door, wall and building also slipping apart so that it forgets its shape. When we chose this dead planet, I tried to affect one single rock, but the entire planet was affected!” Now she let us feel her fear.
I did not expect Robbie to be the first one to speak. He gave Angelica a squeeze and sighed. “You do realise all the scientists are dying to take samples? I hope it will be safe to do so - has the spell stopped affecting it?” Jesus confirmed it has. Robbie kept a serious look on his face as he turned her face up to his. “You are going to have to practice hard until you learn how to localise the effect exactly. You must spend time with your teachers as you’ll need their help. Where would the three of you like to go for your experiments?” They chose the asteroid belt of this reality and Robbie promised to prepare them a large platform with all the comforts - and then surprised them by asking that they take with a number of scientists and computers so that they can keep a scientific record and perform their own experiments. Freddie reported, exciting the scientists, that the puddle is not radiating even the low-level radioactivity normal matter does. He told us that it seems to be inert and wondered whether it is more likely to absorb radioactivity than deflect it.
When we returned home, Robbie took her hand and walked with her out into the garden. He stopped by a water feature and kneeling by her he pulled her towards him. Before his lips touched hers, he stared into her eyes and told her how proud he is of her. She felt his words echoed by each of us, but before her eyes could fill, Robbie’s lips touched hers and she felt his love for her explode in his heart.
Iisous made it obvious he wanted to accompany his alternates and Angel, but he didn’t ask and they did not invite him. I wondered why. All three of them are usually sensitive so it means they did not want him. Angel would have felt her teachers have the right to decide so she would not have been aggressive enough to ask if he could join them. As for Jesus and Christós, I suspect they do not want anyone else learning how to use such a spell. The problem is, Iisous is a strong magi, if what we’ve seen of his fight with the aliens is an indication. Now that he knows such a spell is possible it will not take him long to conquer it. If I’m right, surely it would have been better he is included so that he feels obligated to respect the secrecy?
While I thought about Iisous, I tried not to be intrusive as I also watched his wife. She is not very social and prefers to be alone with her family. It makes sense, to me, that he would choose a woman like her. Imagine a Jesus having a wife who enjoys painting her face, going to parties, socialising and making her presence felt. I think it shows he is wiser than he lets everyone see.
He still needs to spend almost all his time with his family, for losing them has made them twice as precious as they were before. However, there are times when he needs to be alone and I’ve noticed his family never try to stay with him when he feels that way. Luckily I’m not family so I can pretend to be insensitive. I took my place close to him and stared at the vegetation ahead of me. I was just following one of my quickly-made-up rules - when I want to talk with someone about something personal or that they might feel sensitive about, it is better to let them start the conversation.
“Should I return to my reality or should I leave it to the Cherinians and find somewhere else for me and my family to settle?”
I side-stepped his question with one of my own. “Do you think you should not be linked?”
“I’ve noticed my alternates are, but they are not part of your group, they remain in their own realities.”
I frowned at him. “What does that have to do with anything? Some Cherinians belong to different realities and some to different times. It does not prevent them from being part of our Family of Cherinians. What about all the Cherines, Roberts and their Cherinians, including those of your reality, are they not part of our Cherinian Family? Iisous, being a Cherinian means that you become part of all life; your link to your Cherine or group of Cherinians is but a minor part of what you are linked to. Would it frighten you if I told you something truly awesome? There are moments, rare instances, when all of us - well, many of us, can feel that who linked us does not matter, for we are linked to all Cherinians, whatever reality or universe they belong to. Now here is the scary part - there are split seconds when it feels to me like I’m linked to Cherinians who are not born yet, perhaps will not be born and linked for tens of millions of years. It does not matter that we do not even know of their realities at this time…for all I know, perhaps their realities have not been born yet! I cannot tell you whether I sense truly or am hallucinating, but I have noticed those moments come when we’ve done something right, something important that leads Cherinianism into growing closer to its potential. Sometimes Cherine makes it happen for me by taking on her aspect of being The Light.”
From the way Iisous was staring at me, it was obvious he was locked within his own mind and the awesome picture I’d painted for him, for I’m certain he did not sense that nearly all of Freddie had set aside whatever they were doing and were listening, my loves happily buzzing within my mind as their own thoughts jumped around like crazed fleas.
“It is strange that this Arthur of yours chose to make all this grow from empathy.”
“It is? What should he have chosen? Love? Compassion? Selflessness? Since all of them are a part of what makes up empathy, would not any one of them only have limited us?”
“I’ve had my moments, at some time or other, when I’ve experienced an epiphany. They have helped open me to others, made what I thought of as love, purer and stronger, more meaningful - especially when I learnt that for real love to exist it must not ask for anything, only offer. What I’m saying has been said by poets, philosophers, song writers, even by a few biblical prophets, but I have a reason of my own for mentioning these clichés. Samantha, being linked, how does it affect my sense of empathy, is it like experiencing an epiphany?”
“For some. For others, they have to grow into it. The difference, the one difference that makes it possible for all of them is that it is as if a door has been opened and somebody has switched on a light, helping them find their way. Even for a Cherinian, all those qualities that make us what we are, they do not become a part of us just because we were linked. As with everything else, the more we practice, the more we make the qualities of empathy, love, compassion and so on a part of our lives, so do they brighten the deepest parts of our minds and souls so that we see that there are still great distances for us to reach out to. Hopefully we’ll never reach a limit and will continue to grow forever.” I grinned. “For that to happen and remain human, we’ll have to be like the tide, ebbing and flowing - with each time we grow back to the deepest parts of ourselves, finding there is some tiny detail that has been scoured cleaner of baseness we did not know still existed in us.
I don’t want to become anything like the way angels are described by various religions. The Samantha sitting here by you has a potential and if she reaches it, you’d still recognise her as Samantha. That is the path I want to follow and I’m hoping the path does not only have thorns to be my teachers. It must have lessons for me to learn from flowers and butterflies and a liquid golden sunlight that warms my heart. That which I’m asking and hoping for comes from being loved and having so many to love. Both sides of love are what give me the courage to bear the thorns so that I can learn from them. The thorns, on their own, only teach fear and fear teaches hate. Both fear and hate block the path leading to my potential.” I glanced at him, at his dark bearded profile, before continuing. “I doubt you saw the love you have for and from your family as being the key that opens doors, enabling you to someday reach your potential, despite all the fancy words of poets. Jesus, the empathy we are speaking of, it will change the love you know today and you will marvel every day at the new depths.” We sat in silence until most of the minds concentrating on us drifted back to their own concerns or conversations, some now analysing what we’d said. “Iisous, what holds you back from becoming a part of your Robert and Cherine?”
“You are asking that I submit to another.” His tone gentled. “I do not argue their right to lead, nor whether it is their due, all I’m saying is that I cannot place the course of my life and those of my family in the hands of others.”
I sighed. “Poor Robbie, he’s tried so hard, but it seems he’ll never succeed.”
He waited for me to explicate but when I remained silent, he asked, “That was your answer to my soul baring?”
“Do you see my Robert and Cherine as the leaders of our reality?”
“I understand they are accepted as leaders over all Roberts and Cherines.”
“That is what I meant when I said my Robert will never succeed. He has tried so hard to help others see that he is not a leader. He does not even want to be the leader of my family - you know, in the way most males want to be. I have not read any poems by you nor have I seen any drawings or paintings by any of your alternates, so I do not know whether you have the heart of an artist. Maybe it is necessary if you are to understand what our Robert and Cherine are. Cherine is the easy one. Not Cherine the person, but what she symbolises. Cherine is a tool - just like a chain can be viewed as a tool. She is the conduit or channel for all the best emotions to flow from heart to heart, from soul to soul. If you want, we can discuss what she is some other time, at this moment I think we should concentrate on what Robert, all Roberts represent and also, as a separate subject, the need for submitting.
Robert thinks of himself as the servant of life. That may be part of what he is, but to me and my family - plus those who have had years to learn about us and grow close, Robert is something else - far, far more important than being a leader. He is our guide, our dreamer. When Robbie dreams correctly, braving his own fears sometimes, then his dreams guide us and many mistake his guidance for the trappings of leadership. Iisous, even when he guides us, he does not ask that we follow, nor does he demand. All he asks is that we allow him to point out the way that leads to growth and then leaves it to each of us to choose our own way.
You talk about submitting as if doing so makes you helpless, takes away your rights. Submitting to another, even should that other be a god, that lessens what you are and can be. All gods are dreamers. How can a dreamer want that of you? However, if you submit to a dream, to an idea that is still being born and therefore is still being shaped, with you a part of the process of shaping - while it is still so nebulous we have to name it a dream; that submission does not take from you, all it can do is give and give and give every time it grows towards an idea assuming a form, until the dream-idea has been achieved and you have attained your potential as a Cherinian and human being.”
He gave me a false smile, recognising I was not asking for an answer to the question as asked. He stared at his hands, brooding as he immersed himself in the thoughts I hope I’d helped him consider. I silently touched his arm in greeting and then jumped back to my apartment. I also need to think about all I told him. It is strange when I find I also learnt something from what I said to others.
Iisous told his Teller family that he will be returning with them, though he does not wish to be linked yet. He was shocked to feel the claws of fear rake through Robert. He realised Iisous had sensed his fear, so he explained. “As far as the world is concerned, you died nearly two thousand years ago. Seeing you will create a religious fervour that could destroy our civilisation, as many will think your return signifies the Second Coming.”
“Second Coming? What is that?”
“Those who wrote of you in the New Testament spoke of the day you will return as being the Second Coming. They claimed that when that day arrives, Satan will be vanquished and the dead will be brought back to life so that they, and us the still living, can be judged.”
“I’ll tell them it is not true. I am a magi - that is all!”
Robbie burst out laughing at the look on Robert's face. “Iisous, whatever you do or say, there will be many deaths and wars will be fought because of your reappearance.”
He glanced at me, so I spoke. “The decision must be yours. If you want to return, I suggest you first allow us to do a telling so that people understand why you disappeared in the past and are about to return. It won’t prevent everyone from doing crazy things, but more will have the opportunity to adjust and help us contain the crazies.”
“My family can wait in Freddie?”
We did a practice run in Freddie so that Iisous can share and sense how the girls will present his case. They built into it the story of the two alternates and we sensed it pleased Iisous. Whatever else we’ve achieved, at least the Cherinians of this reality are returning as a closer knit group and there is more of a feeling of being a family than there was before. We’ve also helped teach most of them how to jump realities and they know how to choose the reality they want to visit. From now they will not fear showing they stand by the side of their Teller family.
We appeared in their skies and Freddie announced we’ll be doing a telling about their Jesus.
It took a couple of weeks to get the television stations to agree a common date and time - there is no point in using the internet as the speeds are too low for video streaming. They also don’t have the technology for large screens which means we’ll have to allow local interpreters at each station to translate for us. As the days went by, Meli and the rest got more depressed about the telling until Meli finally spoke up, refusing to use the television stations. Luckily for us, Alki intervened and convinced her that we should use the existing arrangements, but add platforms created by the Sparklers. Since the purpose of this telling is to save lives, we are creating more than double the platforms we usually use and there will be over forty five thousand of them spread all over the world. Some of the bigger cities have between five to twenty. To the Sparklers, the number of platforms makes little difference, the problem is ensuring that Claudia and her helpers can affect all the platforms. We don’t need one per platform as they can float overhead and influence-translate at a number of tellings. A rough estimate gives us the figure of one thousand four hundred are needed. We can’t bring the five of them back from the future two hundred and eighty times!
Let’s presume six ‘satellites’ at each of the following latitudes: 20˚S; 0˚; 20˚N; 40˚N, each of the satellites stationary over land areas. It means we’ll need twenty four satellites to give a decent cover of all the populated areas, if we can treble the area they can each affect. We tested them; three together, then four and then five. With the last test we obtained nearly treble the area if the girls are at about fifteen kilometres above sea level. It’s the best we can do and it means we only need to bring the girls back from the near future twenty three times.
The governments were told the giant screens are created by the concentration of energy from the void and it panicked them - they were convinced we would use them to threaten to blow up all the cities if they give us permission to site them at each ‘repeater platform’ the Sparklers will create. I’m very glad we have Hettie and others like her to handle politicians, for I still cannot comprehend the way their minds work. If we want to use the energy for blowing them up, why would we need their permission to place them where needed? Okay, Hettie explained that they are playing to the fears of the man in the street. Humph! I don’t believe it. They might play to the fears of the public for well known reasons, but I think they have the same fears and are not using the brains evolution gifted them with. Hettie soothed them and we were given permission! I wish I could go back in time to visit myself at the time Robbie was shot by the Askaris (soldiers) in Dar and Eddie forced Hettie to stop the war. I was sooo very angry with Robbie when he then chose her to represent us. If I could go back to meet myself, I’d tell her to stop being so stupid and that she should be glad she has such a brilliant father-husband. I don’t know what we would have done without her…so many times!
The tellings left everyone stunned. We kept the platforms functional and waited. As soon as the first crowds went wild and started striking at the police and trying to destroy buildings, Jesus made his appearance on all the platforms, told everyone he is an alternate, but asked them to settle down. Just when it looked like there would be violence again, Christós appeared on the platforms. Usually it is Jesus who seems more intimidating, more stern. This time Christós took on that role and he really did frighten many. Maybe the idea of more than one Jesus existing was what really frightened everyone. When we felt the time was right, Iisous joined the two of them and he spoke for a longer time, explaining what they had shared from the telling. The girls had made it clear that those who attacked their Jesus were not mutants, that they were aliens who died from natural causes and yet, when Iisous explained it, we sensed that most of the public only understood the truth for the first time. I keep on forgetting to take account of the effects emotions, especially fear and hatred, can have on the intellect.
It was at this time that Nicole/Alexis with Irene/Noelle came up with their genius of an idea. They suggested we keep the platforms for an extra three days, manned by at least thirty at each platform at all times. We should be there to answer questions from the public, explain and soothe hearts. We chose from our family and from outside, including our alien friends, those who have a soothing effect on others. Each of them took a number of Wirms/R-Wirms with, compounding the effect we wanted. I think this idea on its own did more to save the planet from riots and deaths than everything else we said or did. As to whether it will help prevent new schisms in their existing religions, I doubt it. Once the main religions lose control and it becomes easy for every greedy and manipulative Tom, Dick and Harry to start a new religion, nothing seems to slow them from proliferating like poisonous mushrooms shooting up overnight in the damp darkness of ignorance and superstition.
We gradually withdrew from all discussions with governments and the media, pushing our local alternates and other Cherinians into prominence. As they came to know some of the individuals - and especially their Robert and Cherine, they started to treat them like normal people. Some liked them and became friendly and a few hated them, with most of them floating backwards and forwards somewhere in-between the two extremes. Their Cherine took a leaf from ours and made certain she mostly stays in the background, but does not hesitate to speak up when she considers it necessary. This reality will need decades, maybe even a century or more, for them to adjust to their mutants, but we’ll only consider the local Cherinians successful Cherinians the day most Normals admire and like them.
Now that the first steps have been taken, we must leave. If we don’t, then this reality will end up a copy of other realities. They must evolve in their own way and with Cherinians and magi, with natural psychic gifts mixed with magic, this reality definitely has to be one of the truly unique ones. Maybe they will be the first who can dare to meet aliens from their reality - the rest of us, even the Terrans of the other four magic realities, are wary of meeting aliens who have magical abilities. Our alien friends are not exactly comfortable with the idea of meeting their alternates of the magic realities and they suspect that, at best, when they do, it will greatly complicate their lives. They might be just what we need someday in the future.
We announced our imminent departure, went to some parties and invited those we felt we should to a party in Freddie. Our last two days were spent solely with our alternates and those closest to them - which luckily includes the Mansfields. We’ve bonded with these Tellers and had tear-filled eyes as we hugged them goodbye. We promised to return soon and after they’d left that evening, Freddie jumped.
Allan chuckled. “The first Teller family not to ask for a copy of one of you! The way Robert felt about so many of you girls, I guess his Cherine was afraid to let him start or else they’d end up with a huge family. That’s a wise little girl.”
Robbie grinned. “This is also the only Teller family that does not have an Allan. Oh, by the way, I agree with you, she is a wise lassie.” We laughed at the way they were taking digs at each other, but we also wondered. Maybe they’ll ask for some of us after another visit or two, when they feel more comfortable with us.
The Reggheri have been more than patient with us - I bet they think the delays are deliberate and meant to be a test of some kind. The truth is, they asked for extra time, but I’m also afraid I’ll say or do something wrong and lose an entire species because of their pride or…whatever. I still don’t understand them!
“My loves, do you mind if we visit the world of the Reggheri next?” They agreed and I could sense more than a few of them were relieved, having the elders patiently watching us, emoting their need, it was getting to them.
I asked for their opinion. “We arrive at your planet in the morning. I felt we should discuss what steps you and we are to take. For instance, do we help all your people visit the void or would you prefer to have only the elders do so at this time?”
Sol cut in. “Keep in mind that your people used to visit the void but they were not aware. The void is not dangerous and it can teach them so that they mature faster.”
Laura asked Sol, “But if they can visit, isn’t there a danger that they might come to depend on the elders again or substitute the elders with the World entities of the elders?”
Robbie chuckled. “Are you girls going to give them the opportunity to express an opinion?”
Liisutsii spoke slowly, with care. “All advice is appreciated and we too are learning. What is it you wish Samantha?”
“I wish to see your people grow so that they stand at our side as our brothers and sisters. My loves have mentioned a few good points and I too am concerned. As they’ve shown us, we face two contrasting conditions of equal importance. Experience has shown us that the mind matures faster if it can visit the void, for the soul is not as prone to the weaknesses of our present life which blind us. However, they have spent millennia depending on you elders and they will be tempted to fall back into that pattern. I have an idea that might not be good for you and require some sacrifice of the elders, but it is for a limited time. Would you agree to forming your Worlds and then moving your Worlds? Why not move them to be close to our Worlds. That way your entities can learn to grow into the brotherhood of World Entities.” I felt the intuitive leap everyone took and how it affected them, but I kept my eyes glued to the elders. “There will be Worlds of dozens - maybe hundreds or thousands of species someday, in the same part of the void, and they will not only grow to a maturity we cannot imagine at this time, we can also hope that they grow to love each other as we Cherinians would wish, as brothers and sisters. When those you leave behind, your children, are ready for you and your Worlds to return, you will be wiser and know how to help them grow towards the potential of your species.”
“Freddie, we ask that you stop in the reality of Prime Cherine but not close to Terra.”
For a moment none of us realised who had made the request, but we soon worked out that the voice had come from the Unation spaceship. Their Admiral and leaders still visiting us (I had not realised there were that many of them visiting at this time, I don’t think we’ve ever seen that many with us before) appeared at a spot close to the beach and in a slow, dignified walk they approached us. Robbie noticed the way they are dressed and quickly asked us to project so that we appear less casually attired. I was more affected by the way they seemed to literally glow from an inner energy. Candy gave a cry and we realised that the Sprakil representative is Iziko! That was when we realised that most of the officials are people we’ve grown to love over the years.
Some of those who came to us:
Altogether there are four hundred and thirty four, representatives from each species and also representatives from alternate Unations. It was an impressive sight. Cherine is taking over while I go hide my face under a pillow.
Arthur, we managed to maintain a dignified presence all day and during the hours we celebrated that night but, as soon as we got home, we all wept. This is one of the most important days of our lives till now and never have we taken such a huge step towards the dream of our Robert. I wish all the other Teller families could have been present. I’m especially grateful that our pappou is with us.
Freddie did as was asked of him and we stopped about a lightyear outside our solar system. A small spaceship of the Unation arrived and Freddie gave it permission to jump in. It landed and we stared with huge eyes as we saw that Michael, Ahní and all the others we love like family walked out. Even the Dalai Lama, David (of the chat show, with two camera men), forty leaders of governments and…Arthur Campbell - the one from our future, as the original is still with us! Campbell appeared with a sphere of light in his hands and when Robert tried to sense it he was rebuffed and it felt as if he’d been stung by red ants. The sphere left the hands of Campbell and floated to wait above the Unation leaders, so I did not get aggressive. I could feel that one of us was suffering, that she desperately wanted to jump and hide in her apartment, but she stood without showing how she felt, biting her lower lip.
Laak-ist-Eltiorass spoke first but others took turns. I won’t complicate matters by naming them and will only call their speakers the ‘Unation Speaker’.
“We have waited for this day, millions of years. Robert, our apologies if you feel we have committed a paradox but, Worlds from one hundred and forty seven species, including those of the Unation, are at this moment in the void at proximity to your Worlds and those of the other species that were there. They are waiting for us to feel their joy and entities will be celebrating on each others’ Worlds - the final stage of celebration will be in the World of the Prime Sparklers.
We bring a visitor with and we have assumed responsibility that the wish of our visitor to remain anonymous will be respected by all species.” Robert nodded his agreement. “As you see, we have brought others, mostly from your species, as they are those who most deeply love the one we wish to honour and by whom we wish to be honoured this day.” I grabbed hold of her hand and squeezed and sent her a ‘fierce’ face so that she knows I want her to be brave. I am certain she also felt how close to tears I was.
The Unation Speaker addressed Robert and I directly. “The Unation Council formally request that you allow us to appoint Samantha Teller a full member of our Council.” They all turned to Samantha. “For the Cherinian dream to take one step closer to reaching its potential, we ask you to honour us by agreeing to become a Councillor of the Unation Council. We further request, as a joint vote between the five of them, that the following share one seat on the Council. Haven; Robyn; Shiyra; Aven and Shelif.”
The next Unation Speaker continued. “This is the first time any species have invited a person of a different species to their Council, empowering that person to be a leader of their people. Accept us, Samantha, and the day will come, sooner that it would without you, when all species will have mixed governments and they will be an additional bond, just as the coming together of Worlds, that binds their nations, planets and species so that we truly are one, as Cherinians.”
Samantha and Shiyra, on behalf of the five, were given a document that seems to be almost indestructible, plus a seal and a belt (more like a narrow metallic cloth sash) as symbols of their positions. There was not one species that did not cheer and celebrate when the two girls accepted. I held out until the formalities were over and then I let Robert pick me up and hold me to him. Maybe I should ask my healer to devise a way for me to breathe when he squeezes me so tightly.
Although the Unation had planned for us to leave immediately for the void, Robert asked Freddie to jump realities so that we can have a party and then go home to hold our six girls who were feeling overcome. We let Alki and Allan take turns in holding Sam and concentrated on the others. We did have a bit of a giggle because of Candy. Angelica brought Jesus and Christós back home with us so Candy said that if she could have them and Samantha have Alki and Allan, then she should be allowed to bring Iziko, so Syrina added she should have our isi and demanded, on behalf of Lucy, that we bring Sharipya and Asimi. It was all in good humour and the laughter helped us let go and cry.
Over breakfast, Jade put her elbows on the table and held her head in her two hands. Willing, as ever, to be her ‘straight man’, Samantha asked her what is wrong.
“I just realised that with you being Friend of Aliens, nobody else will ever get a chance to be invited to join the council of another species. Not even poor Cherine!”
Cassie put on a show of being upset and asked to go on a trip on her own to find a species to love her as their best friend and the imps soon had us laughing. More importantly, they helped break Samantha out of the mood (blue funk?) she was in and when Robert saw her happily playing with the girls, he quietly asked Freddie to give her a few hours before we return to our void. Our friends also saw to it that the leaders from Terra do not come to the taverna until they sensed we are ready for them.