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Morning discussion

(On the planet Hala, Realm of Alethea)

“But I want to come!” Hatty said flatly, standing her ground in the morning light beginning to flood through their doorway.

Looking up from The Book of Abel, 3 cajoled, “Dear, you know it’s too dangerous. And besides, you just got your hair done.”

Indeed, 3’s divine mate looked ravishing in her new ringlets of dark, lustrous hair falling to one side. He recognized she had been growing it longer for him for some time and let her know, in small ways, that he thought her new look very beautiful. As was customary in the sanctuary city of Hala, Hatty’s apparel accentuated her body rather than covered it. Standing in the doorway, he marveled how good she still looked, form silhouetted in the first sun’s light, very much the Egyptian queen he first fell in love with so long ago.

Michael will protect us

Looking back at her strong, protective lover with a look of “Really?‘ Doc replied, “Michael is with us, who would possibly try anything with him around?”

“Well, that is the point, isn’t it?” 3 said softly, “Dove sent him for a reason, Sweetheart.”

“Look,” Hatty said pleadingly, “I’ve been at this Seraph Hunter calling just about as long as you have and I’ve survived. Don’t make me sit this one out, Darling. I want to see the Librarian, too. Besides, I feel I am supposed to.”

That’s odd, 3 thought to himself. Then, remembering Karnak, 3 finally said, “Okay, Hatty, I’ll talk to Michael today and we’ll let him have the final say on the matter.”

“That’s perfectly okay with me, Love,” she said smiling, blowing him a kiss as she exited their chambers.

I wonder

3, turning back to the book of Abel, opened it again and read in the ancient language,

“Beauty from old sees a final blow,

Seven days shall pass until the prophecy unfolds.

A Seraph in season, in time shall recur.

From one shall be two as seen in a mirror”

Setting the old book carefully on the bedside table, 3 rose and made his way onto the balcony. Standing, golden in Hala’s twin sun rises, he mused to himself, I wonder.

Times are tough all over

(Vatican, 1647)

Life in Vatican City, while difficult, was much more secure than the rest of Europe. In some regions, bitter cold made it almost impossible for people to stay warm. The poor peasant farmers struggled as their crops declined through cloudy weather and heavy rains, bringing famine to whole regions. Not only that, but as gold and silver began to pour in from the new world, everyone found that what little money they did have, bought less.

For centuries, the black death resurged again and again, indiscriminately killing young and old, poor and rich, reducing the population of some areas by as much as 50%. In northern Italy alone, beginning in 1629, over a quarter-million souls succumbed to the hellish scourge.

War between God’s people

Added to that, there was the 30 years war, a brutal, all-encompassing, religious conflict that raged between the Holy Roman Church and the upstart protestant reformers. Beginning in 1618, 30 years of ever-escalating war sapped Europe of all semblance of humanity. Torture and rape became commonplace as peasants were killed or driven from their homes by rogue armies. Only the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, mostly due to the utter exhaustion of the warring factions, brought a cessation to hostilities, allowing the continent to slowly heal.

It was into the midst of this apocalyptic era, 15 years before Westphalia, young Tim Lambert was born. The first and only child of his Father, a pious priest named John Lambert, Tim entered into a world of wealth and privilege. Due to his father’s miraculous conversion, in his late 30’s through two divine visions, the Holy See granted him an exception to the practice of celibacy amongst its priests. John, before meeting God, already had a wife of many years. Unfortunately, upon his death, all that changed for his small family, However, people such as Father Donovan remembered John’s many kindnesses in life, helping out his widow and child as often as he could after his passing.

At death’s door

Tim, barely 14 years old now, stood wondering what the Cardinal was doing.. Two nights before, he followed Cardinal Jenkins at a distance, rousing when he heard him slip out at 2 AM from his Abbey. In the cold night, Tim felt clammy as he sweated, shadowing the old man, who walked surprisingly fast, towards the Vatican. Unable to follow too closely, Tim watched the holy man disappear into the Saint Peter’s.

What on earth could he be doing at this hour? Tim thought to himself. Yet, exhausted from his day’s duties, Tim didn’t wait for the Cardinal to exit, but returned quickly to his quarters, seeking refuge in a few hours sleep.

It’s going to be okay

(Lakota Tribe, Montana Territory, 1876)

Bren smiled, her eyes opening slightly, feeling Wichapi’s hand resting upon hers. Realizing what that meant, the Seraph Hunter rose up and leaned over towards her friend. Looking at her closely, Bren noted that Chapi seemed to rest easily, breathing normally for the first time since she fell into her arms the day before. Immensely relieved, after watching her for a moment, Bren rose quietly up and slipped out to answer nature’s call.

The sun, barely cresting the mountains, cast a grayish light through the morning’s mist. Gathering some firewood on the way back to their teepee, Bren thought about what to make for breakfast. Surely Wichapi would be hungry after her ordeal. Nothing heavy, mind you, but something easily digestible, Bren thought.

Do I know you?

Carrying a bundle of sticks for their morning fire, suddenly Bren felt a tug at her arm. Turning, she saw an old woman. The squaw, oddly familiar, asked, “What are you doing, child?”

Bren said, “Just gathering firewood for my friend, she’s been very sick.” Then, looking at the old squaw intently, trying to remember where they met, Bren asked, “Do I know you?”

“They say you are the White Buffalo Woman,” the old woman declared.

Bren thought, Strange, only Wichapi calls me that. Then noticing the red scars on her arm, Bren questioned, “Are you the woman the bear was chasing?”

Who are you?

Looking into Brenzel’s eyes, as if life itself depended on it, the old Lakota woman said, “I have come to warn you. You have a good heart and the Spirit lives in you, but you sleep with great evil,” she said earnestly.

“Why, what do you mean?” Bren said, starting to wonder what the woman was getting at, feeling uneasy in her mind.

“Beauty is not always good and evil is not always ugly,” the old woman said.

“What the…” Bren exclaimed, eyes widening, “you’re the woman from my dream!”