The Angels Saga

Volume 52


Volume 12



Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly

Copyright 6184 SC / 2021 CE





The University of the Dead

Old Haunts

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 5

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 6

Kool Kats

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 7

Before the Board


Hot Stuff

Ruth 35

The Three Daniel's

Hot Stuff 2

Working Girls

4 O'Clock 27

Melanie and Daniel 16

Knowledge of the One

Before the Board 2


Alison and Natalia: Tag Team Partners

Angels of Hope 19

Melanie and Daniel 17

Dr Chiu's Happiness 2

Melaniel the Magnificent Child of Majesty 2

Belgarath Vs Aldur in Quest of the Pink Panthers: Afterthought

PCM: GEM and the Multiverse's Lost Rainbow

Daniel's Life

Before the Board 3


Matthew Daly & The Emo Chicks

Melanie and Daniel 18

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 8

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 9

The University of the Living

Earth, Rocks, Rivers & Stuff

A Date with the Devil

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 10

A Lesson for an Angel

Wild Times 4

Krystabel and the Clock of Eternity VII

Christian Economics

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 11

Earth, Rocks, Rivers & Stuff 2

Universal Faith & Truth

Stephanie's Dilemma

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 12

Earth, Rocks, Rivers & Stuff 3

Taylor's Tits

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 13

Earth, Rocks, Rivers & Stuff 4

Callodyn and Stephanie

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 14

Interviewing God

Before the Board 4




Chapter One

'It all started with an egg,' said Adam. 'This gigantic mysterious egg sat in the centre of the universe. And one day – IT HATCHED!'

'What happened next?' asked Alison Daly, taking notes.

'Jumping Jehovah jumped out. He started roaming around the egg, and he was clucking like a hen to start with. But then he figured he was a rooster and went 'Cockle doodle doo.'

'Are you sure that's how the story goes?' asked Noah. 'I think Moses might have been drunk when this tale was being uttered.'

'Shut up,' said Adam to Noah. 'Who's telling this story? Anyway, Alison. As I was saying, he went cluck then cock and sat down inside the egg. All around him was a dark universe with nothing in it. All null and void. He had some planning to do. So he planned.'

'Obviously,' said Alison. 'What did he plan?'

'How to get even with the Devil,' said Adam. 'He had a plan to create a devil, a number of them actually, who he would allow to get the upper hand at times, and have to be paid a hell of a lot of dues because of it. But God intended to come out on top, so he would have to outsmart him in the long term. And so he came up with the Angels and the Demons and the Humans and the Magical ones. They were the main groups, and also there were animals, which were a lesser concern but important also. And into a world of worlds he would thrust all these characters. The wonderful realms of God. Now, there is a history of the world which is not really known, from a lot of other perspectives than the Chronicles of the Children of Destiny really records. And I will share that history with you Alison Daly. First and foremost, there will be a lot of genuine substance in it, but a lot of myth and magic and mayhem also. Creative story telling to make sure I tell a good story. So it's not all canonical factual sort of stuff. It's historical sort of and fiction sort of, so be prepared for a fun time. Don't take it all as gospel though, coz it sure as hell ain't.'

'That's fine be me. I'll make sure I explain well in the introduction,' said Alison. 'So, what happened next?'

'First of all God fashioned the realms in his heart. The heart of God. It was all in the Beginning in the Heart of God – the general themes and plans and motivations of God. And it still all is in there. Infinity and Eternity and a maelstrom of emotion and activity. Where God has his dreams and the source for our adventures in life. So it all began in his heart, but soon firmer sorts of realities came to be. The Geocities first of all then the Angelfire then Heaven and soon Infinity. And then a major project, eternity. Then we have Eternya and Zionistya and planetary bodies and other realms besides, some I will touch on in time. They were sort of fashioned and brought to be, and while you probably know a lot of the Realm of Eternity and its history, I doubt you know quite as so much of heaven for, as I recall, over these long years, we haven't shared that much with Daniel to give him the material he has often craved. But I'll share it now with you as our stories are well established in rights, and it's time to tell a tale or two.'

'Thank you,' said Alison.

'Call it the Chronicles of the Children of Heaven,' said Noah.

'I'm calling it Legends of the Angels Saga,' said Alison. 'It's a settled thing in the plans.'

'If that is what works for you,' replied Adam. 'Now, when Jumping Jehovah had made his plans, he looked at the egg. 'Could prove useful,' he said to himself. He examined its substance, and got to work. Taking the egg, which had all sorts of matter constructions in it, he began forming the spiritual universe. Realms and their foundation stone were put in place, and soon it was all going well. The geocities had a bit of a history and so did the angelfire, but we'll get to heaven now. There we were – the 70 children of heaven. And we'd come to be in heaven, and we were all together in a village of sorts, and had been given fantastical roles of splendour. And as we watched Eve fashioned Destiny, and we took notes of all the things which went on in the universe outside of our own. We had a basic library, but our story begins a number of years later, when the Realm of Eternity was young, and Zaphon had just been built. By then we had a larger library outside of our small home town. In heaven the greater, as we of the originals often called it. It was one fine day, I was on the steps of our major library, where I met her. Charlene.'

'Who is Charlene?' asked Alison.

'Trouble,' said Noah. 'Believe me. Trouble. Devil's are predictable. Charlene is too smart to be called a devil. Far too diabolical for such shenanigans.'

'Fortunately, nowhere near as evil,' said Adam. 'Not her style. But chilling. She's make the hair on your arms stand at attention and you would get goosebumps when she spoke.'

'Charlene was the grand-daughter of Delilah and Samson,' said Noah.

'Is, I suppose,' said Adam.

Noah looked at Adam. 'You reckon? Yeh, I guess so. What, it was a long time she was condemned, but that's over now I guess. I suppose she's up from Sheol. Out there somewhere. Probably living a quiet life. Learned her lesson I guess.'

'What, she was killed?' asked Alison.

'Sort of,' said Adam. 'But it was at the end of a long history with the Children of Heaven. She had a hell of a reputation in the end and, with her buddies, things really didn't work out for her. Her empire fell to pieces. It's not that it was evil. It wasn't really. It was just misaligned, I suppose, with the regularity of it all. Not quite in harmony with regular life. That's how a lot of things fail in the end. People average out in the end. To who they really are. In time Charlene probably will as well. But pride comes before the fall, and a Kingdom has to be ultimately born again in the truth if it really wants to last forever.'

'Born again,' said Alison. 'Interesting.'

'And not really again,' said Noah. 'But back to how it was originally formed. How we were all originally formed before the temptations took over. When we ultimately end up something we think we have risen to in life and claimed all our glory, it's gonna fade if it's not who we really are. The sands of time erode passions which aren't meant to be. It all falls down in the end, unless there is some truth of life present.'

Alison sipped on her now cold coffee and looked at Adam and Noah. 'Do you think our Noahide Foundation will last?'

'We've looked into changes from time to time,' said Noah. 'Cyril has arranged some things occasionally, and Daniel's exuberance is slowly coming into check. He should work things out ok gradually. You and your family will do fine, Alison.'

'That's a relief. Dad has a sense of humour about it all also. Grates on some people occasionally.'

'Now, as I was saying,' said Adam. 'Charlene. She showed up on the steps of the library and, in reality, propositioned me.'

'She what!' asked Alison.

'She propositioned me,' replied Adam.

'What? She asked you out?' asked Alison.

'Her exact words were, 'So how does one get in bed with number one,' replied Adam. 'I recall being flattered, as she is attractive, but I turned her down politely. But it didn't end there. I was working at that time with the city council, and she got herself into a position with the council as a scribe. I would see her regularly. She would not ask me out again, but she paid me a lot of attention. And then one day she said she wanted power in life, and could I help her?'

'What did you say?' asked Alison.

'Life's what you make it Charlene.'

'And then?' asked Alison.

'She seemed to take that to heart. She left the council soon afterwards, but it wasn't long. She was on TV not long thereafter, doing modelling work. It was the beginning of her empire. And, soon enough, feathers were being ruffled. Charlene, it seemed, was not exactly what people thought. Something else was going on. Something deep and deadly.'

'I see,' said Alison. 'Fascinating.'

'That will do for today,' said Adam. 'I have a luncheon to get to.' He waved at Seth and Abel, who came over, and Alison smiled.

'I have plenty to write up tonight,' she said.

Adam smiled at her. 'Have fun, Alison. With life. Have fun. No point in being miserable.'

'No. I guess not father,' she replied. And, with her notes, leaving Eden 7DF, it struck Alison that those words came from experience. And what she was now doing was gaining that. Experience to help her in life. To navigate eternity. And for that, to God, she was grateful. For that she was quite thankful.

Chapter Two

'So how you finding stacking shelves at Big W?' Alison asked her brother Matthew.

'Pay my dues. Jesus Christ!' said Matthew. 'I have to pay my dues. Society has expectations. Everybody has to pay their dues. I have unlimited wealth available to me in my family, yet daddy says 'Pay your dues and do some hard labour son, or they'll never respect you. So I'm paying my fricking dues and doing society's grunt labour for the foreseeable future.'

'Them's the breaks,' said Alison. 'You should have got a degree.'

'I'm not up for that yet,' replied Matthew. 'Not as quick off the blocks as you sis. Grades were passable in school, but no much else. Didn't even bother with tertiary because I wasn't ready for it. Finished year 11 and my money was spent. Too hard after that.'

'So you stack shelves and praise the Lord and eat at McDonalds coz it's all you can afford,' she replied smiling.

'Unless daddy give me my ruddy inheritance,' replied Matthew. 'Or mummy.'

'They have positions in society. They are unlikely to give you much of a break,' said Alison. 'We have to make our own breaks in life while we are young. Earn it ourselves if we want it anytime soon. But you always knew that.'

'Yeh, I know,' replied Matthew, and opened another can of beer.

'You shouldn't drink that stuff,' said Alison. 'Not good for your health.'

'Hardly,' replied Matthew. 'This is the zero percent alcohol stuff. Daddy doesn't like me drinking anything apart from zero percent. Not until I'm many centuries old.'

'Oh,' she replied, taking the can from her brother and looking at the label. 'I see,' she replied. 'Well, fine then.' She handed the can back to Matthew, who took a sip.

'So, how is the history of the world unfolding?' asked Matthew.

'So far so good. Had my first session. Interesting. I think he started with a joke about an egg by the looks of it. Promises to fill it with charming creative bits the retelling. But there's truth along the way, and it should be an interesting project.'

'Real work. And you'll get paid well,' said Matthew.

'Only when the job is complete will I get the major money. Just base payments till then.'

'Still, it must be better than my wages,' replied her brother.

Alison smiled. 'I guess. See ya,' she said, and wandered off to talk with her parents in the main living room.

'Father. Mother.' said Alison, sitting down on the couch next to her mother, watching the TV.

'Hey Alison,' said Taylor, and stroked her daughter's arm.

Daniel was looking at a magazine.

Alison watched the TV quietly for a while. It was Bargain Hunt.

'Why do you watch this?' she asked after a while. 'There is much superior TV than this. It is old fashioned, and entirely out of date. There are much more lively and active shows on collectibles.'

'Right,' nodded Taylor. She looked at her daughter. 'I suppose there is.'

'Yep, heaps of hot shit,' said Daniel. 'Right up a lot of peoples alley as well. Just what they are looking for.'

They continued watching.

'Then why watch this tiresome fiasco of a television program?' asked Alison.

'I've seen the other shows,' said Taylor, taking a sip on her can of creaming soda.

'You have?' asked Alison.

'Seen em all for the most part,' said Daniel.

'Then why watch this?' asked Alison. 'It's mostly boring. Little excitement in it.'

'We're old,' said Taylor.

'I know. Right at the beginning of things you two came from. What? Is this your actual buzz in life?'

'Not really,' replied Taylor. 'This is standard humdrum.'

'Humdrum?' replied Alison.

'Humdrum,' said Daniel. 'It paces things out well. Good pacing for life. Delivers satisfactory patience.'

'Satisfactory patience? And what is that supposed to mean?' asked Alison.

'Latter shows have more adrenaline. They don't take their time as much. Antiques roadshow is better than this, but this is more your mothers type of quaint. Escape to the Country also. We watch this stuff to stay focused on our core duties. It keeps us balanced.'

'Balanced?' replied Alison. 'How so?'

'It's bland, but has activity. I also listen to relaxation music once a month. Life is like that. When you have your fill of the toxic elements, you need detox to regain your mental balance in life. Sedate enough TV keeps you focused on the standard life plan for eternal life. Life is not always that exciting, and when it is you need to come back down to earth or you get lost in the thrill of it all. Especially if you have money and can afford the high life. You lose touch with reality if you disappear into Babylon too much.'

'So you watch Bargain Hunt?'

'It's approximately standard behaviour for humans. We have a bit of humor like the people on the show, and we go shopping for antiques and things regularly enough as human beings. This approximates life well. It stops me being schizophrenic. Why Daniel maintains a core of his culture digestion as standard. He got over most of his schizophrenic ways when he leveled out to regular.'

'Pretty much,' replied Daniel. 'Too much metal to start with'. Got into a lot of pop and regular music. I came under control in time.'

Alison sat there. Watching the show. 10 minutes later she was still watching.

'I think I understand what you are driving at? I'm still young, but history keeps me traditional I think.'

'It was a good choice,' replied her mother.

'Very,' said Daniel. 'History teachers have permanent work. Life will always have a use for you.'

'Right,' said Alison. 'Thanks for the lesson.'

Taylor kissed her daughter on the cheek. 'Your welcome Alley Cat.'

'Well, I'm going off to work on my notes from my first discussion with Adam,' said Alison. 'I'll be in my room.'

Alison left her parents, and went to the back room at 29 Merriman. She sat down at her small desk and looked at the laptop. Where to start? A man came in the room and looked at her bookcase. He picked out the ancient copy of 'Pride and Prejudice' of her father's, smiled at her, and left her room. Alison looked at him as he left, and got off her seat and went out to the living room. The man was seated next to Taylor, looking at the book. Cyril was now in the kitchen getting tea.

'Who are you?' asked Taylor.

The man looked at Cyril. 'White, two sugars,' he said. He looked at Alison. 'Frank,' he replied.

'Right,' said Alison. 'Frank. Frank who?'

'Daly. Frank Daly,' replied Frank Daly.

'Brother,' said Cyril.

'He's a brother?' queried Alison.

'My brother,' said Cyril.

'Oh. How many brothers do you have grandfather?' asked Alison.

'8 earth born brothers,' said Cyril. 'Frank is one of them.'

'Right,' said Alison. 'Great uncle Frank?'

'This is a pretty old copy,' said Frank to Daniel. 'What, you are 1972? You weren't that wealthy to start with. How did you get this?'

'Oh, it wasn't that much. $40 to $50 or so. Maybe a bit more. Somewhere circa 2020 it was purchased. They were still affordable enough at that stage. Got Vanity Fair. A copy from 1897 which didn't cost the world either. You could still get old stuff without having to pay too much. I had a bit of cash from my pension. Could afford some things.'

'Right,' replied Frank. 'Lucky. This stuff is beyond reach of nearly everyone these day.'

Alison looked at her uncle. 'It's not that old is it? I've never really looked.'

'It's an old copy,' said her uncle.

Alison sat down next to Frank. 'Did you know daddy when he was little?'

'Yes, actually,' replied Frank. 'He came up to Sydney with his dad a few times. Had a sense of humor from memory.'

'Yeh. I remember,' said Daniel. 'I was quick on the jokes a little even then.'

'Funny,' said Alison. 'You look like a Daly. Now your father is Peter Paul, isn't he? Where does he live?'

Frank looked at Cyril. 'Dad's in Sydney. On New Terra 50 something I think,' said Cyril. 'He's got a major property there. Owns a string of three pubs. Traditional scene for him. He worked as a cellarman a while, and pub work seemed to be the way to go when he settled down after a while. Wanted to work, also. Could have gone with shares. With share divisions he still could if he wanted to, but retirement is not for him. Needs to work. Hard man. Work is for him.'

'Right,' said Alison. 'You work, don't you grandfather?'

'Part time for Telecom,' said Cyril. 'This and that. Some technical work, and electronic maintenance and things.'

'I see,' said Alison. She looked at her father. 'You have a job in quarantine, don't you dad?'

'He does that rarely,' said Taylor.

'Oh, I get to the AQIS job for a few months every Mega or so,' replied Daniel. 'I have a permanent position there, and can work when I want to. There are duties which AQIS still handles on an ongoing basis. Most is automated, but there is stuff they do.'

'Any other serious work you do then, father of paying my dues?'

'Oh, she's funny,' said Taylor. 'He does a live set with his brother in Perth every millennia or so. Mostly music, but he does a little stand up at times. And he runs the Daly foundation with his father and the other Daniel's. That is a part time position. Gets to the office every year or so for a few days.'

'Right. But mostly on the cruise control?' queried Alison.

'I can afford it now,' replied Daniel. 'I do have a bit of overseer work also. A few other things. But mostly cruise control indeed.'

'Humph,' replied Alison.

'I – can afford it,' said Daniel. 'You will too in time.'

'Looking forward that,' replied Alison. 'Well, it was nice to meet you uncle Frank. I'm going back to my room.' And she kissed Frank on the cheek, and returned to the back room, sitting back down at her desk. She opened it up, took out her notes, and looked at the laptop. 'Well, here we go,' she said, and typed in Legends of the Angels saga, and things, as they say, got going.

Chapter Three

Talzudiel looked at the Mountain. Mt Impregnable. The Realm of Eternity's new highest peak. The most daunting of mountaineer challenges.

'You are a schmuck,' said Azrael.

'A brave schmuck,' said Cosadriel. 'But still a schmuck.'

'Bite me Scandinavian,' replied Talzudiel.

'Will he succeed?' queried Meludiel.

'South Americans have training, but lack brute strength on challenging things,' said Daniel.

'Bite me too Irishboy,' said Talzudiel to Daniel.

'He'll prove himself a man,' said Ambriel.

'Or a mouse,' said the Theophany.

'Are you a mouse?' Michael asked Talzudiel.

'Squeak,' replied Talzudiel, and looked at the mountaineering gear at his feet.

'Brave, but ultimately dead,' said Azrael.

'It's impregnable buddy,' said Cosadriel.

'I know its frikking name,' replied Talzudiel.

'Cindradel. Get the gravestone company alerted. We need a project for a Seraphim of ill repute.'

'Go to hell,' said Talzudiel to Daniel.

'I'll charge your account,' replied Cindradel to Daniel.

'No problemo,' replied Daniel.

'I will succeed where all you will only fail,' said Talzudiel.

'If I could be bothered with this minor challenge, I will half your time,' said Cosadriel.

'That, I'd like to see,' said Talzudiel, and picked up the gear. And he was off.

The gathered Seraphim settled down into their campsite, and that afternoon watched Talzudiel climb. They had binoculaors and telescopes and kept their eyes on him as he toiled. A few days later he was nearing the top and they were excited.

'Looks like the schmuck will do it,' said Azrael.

'Do you think so?' Alison Daly asked Daniel the Seraphim.

'He sure will,' replied Daniel to Alison.

Alison took some more pictures.

'Making a record of this are you?' Daniel asked Alison.

'The ANU has a major project going, as I've told you about. We're doing a comprehensive history of the world. I'm doing a lot of work with Adam the first man, but there are more things besides that we are looking into. The ancient Seraphim challenges is one of them which is why I was eager to join this affair when I heard about it.'

'Right,' replied Daniel, and smiled at Alison.

Soon enough Talzudiel had reached the summit and raised the flag of Columbia.

'Oh, he's proud,' said Azrael.

'He's proud alight,' replied Cosadriel.

The climb back down did not take as long and as the angel approached the group, he was walking dramatically, doing his best to look like Atlas or Zeus or some other divine figure.

'Well done son,' said the Theophany, tapping Talzudiel on the shoulder.

'Bah. Easy challenge,' said Azrael.

Talzudiel stretched his arms. 'For the mighty Talzudiel all in a day's work.'

Cosadriel looked up at the difficult and long climb's summit, and Alison took his picture. Cosadriel looked at her.

'The challenged Icelander,' said Alison. 'That's the heading.'

Cosadriel nodded. Maybe he was indeed challenged. It had been quite a show.

* * * * *

Mt Impregnable was in a ROE discworld out there. In the heavenly globe. Somewhere. Alison knew where she was – sort of. But she boarded a VFT and settled down in her seat with her laptop. The VFT got going and started speeding through the Realm of Eternity. Very Fast Trains or VFTs got very fast at times and then slowed down a lot for the scenery. She was headed for Kalphon, but the train slowed down at times to show some of the beauty and wonder of the Realm of Eternity. She passed through a number of future world cities – utopian technological dreamlands with architecture out of this world. Scapes of the imagination pushed to its limit she sometimes though. And then there were olde world meadows and pastures and traditional churches and ovals of men in white playing cricket and farmers in the fields gathering the sheaves. And a lot of mundania. The modern world which seemed to be the dominant thinking were regular life took place and things she was mostly familiar with from her upbringing. The standard patter of most thinking. Soon enough though she was in Kalphon district, had unboarded, and made her way to the keep. She found directions and was at Saruviel's office, and was let in.

'Hey,' said Luladiel to Alison.

'Hey,' replied Miss Daly. She sat down and looked around the office. Not incredibly large. Nice green paint. Classical posh looking furniture. The angel Daraqel seated opposite her, snoozing, and Saruviel at his desk looking at his notes.

'Brax,' said Saruviel, without looking up. 'He went off and found this Charlene as he liked her style of thinking. He'd been with me a while, but found a new mistress in a sense, and spent time doing her bidding as it were.'

'You know about Charlene,' replied Alison.

'She drives a banana blonde corvette. Thinks she is queen of the world. Literally. Adam has a tale to tell I would well imagine, but I wanted to say, before I send you off to chat with her, that she is and was misunderstood.'

'Oh. She is back from sheol then.'

'She is around Alison Daly. Still driving the same banana blonde corvette as well. Brax still her right hand man also. She's a fascinating one. She has a surge of power in her spirit. To accomplish and rule and be the thing. But it's not evil. I think the commentators in the end saw that. She sought power and it corrupted her to a degree, but she accepted her punishment and went to the death of it all without complaining too much. But the lesson was learned, and her empire is building again, a little more slowly this time, a little more cautiously and prudentially. She wants to rule the world and inevitably will. A keen competitor on the circuit. Like your father. As you know.'

'As I know,' replied Alison. She took out her laptop and started typing up some notes. 'How will she contact me?'

'I'll send you to Nadrazon. Brax will pick you up. She'll show you a side of her tale in person. And you can have fun with Adam's responses. The ANU project sounds interesting. I might have a comment or two for you in time also.'

'Thank you Saruviel,' replied Alison.

'Hey,' said Luladiel, as Alison stood, and pushed her skirt down.

'Hey,' said Alison, smiled at Saruviel and left the office. Well, that was interesting she thought, as she wandered off to the cafeteria were she was told to wait on Saruviel when he was finished for the day by the receptionist, the usual manner of things.

* * * * *

'Sit,' said Charlene.

Alison sat down. They were in a large room with Aquariums on both sides of the room. Large glass panels on both sides which ran down the full length of the room. There were dolphins and seals and tropical fish of all colours and varieties inside the Aquarium, and oceanic relaxation music was playing. They were seated in the front row of a row of seats, with Charlene in the master seat with a keyboard on the left side of the seat on the arm rest and a control stick with buttons on the right armrest. In front of them was a gigantic viewing screen with smaller screens on the left and right of the main screen. Charlene was obviously navigating the screen and as Alison watched scenes of all sort came over the screens. Offices with people at work, city centres, manufacturing businesses, nightclubs even, and shots of various obviously political setting showed at times also.

'You are researching?' asked Alison.

'Standard monitoring activities,' replied Charlene. She turned and looked at Alison. 'You don't rule the world unless you know what is going on.'

At the back of the room near the double doors stood Brax, who had led her to Charlene, in his suit and long dreadlocked hair, looking as tough and as cool as they come.

'So you are a free radical, a power monger, in service to Saruviel the Grand Beast, ruling the world,' said Alison.

'You have your father's sense of humour, I see,' replied Charlene. 'I'm just earning a livin', sweetheart,' replied Charlene, in a southern accent. 'Paying da bills,' she said, in new york jive accent.

'And how many lives get wrecked along the way. Marginalised. Made redundant. Out of work and home. All because the powers that be have had a new corporate takeover and need to rationalize.'

'That's your mother, isn't it?' replied Charlene. 'Those traits. The Swifts always were moralizers. Jonathon loved to moralize. You don't seem to be much different Alison Daly. I provide employment, sweetheart. And sometime hard decisions have to be made, but there are leaders and followers, and business is business. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made.'

Alison looked at the screens and turned to look at Brax, who was offering some nice chocolates.

'Thank you Brax. You appear to be a gentleman,' said Alison.

He smiled at her and withdrew.

'Good help is hard to find. Of the exacting qualities one needs,' replied Charlene. 'Brax is the best henchman in the business.'

'Oh, so you admit it Lexine Luthor,' said Alison.

'Funny. That reminds me, I need another copy of Lex Luthor 774 for the collection. Working on my third set of the run these days.'

'Daddy has five full sets of the Lux Luthor run,' said Alison proudly. 'He was sharp from the start with Pannapictagraphy. Now people are indeed trying to catch up. They get the point on it's coolness now.'

'Funny girl,' said Charlene, and the screen in front of them changed to DC Productions somewhere in an American society.

'This product has been done before, but DC remix it regularly to give fresh spirit,' said Charlene. 'Everyone does. The fans who are emerging usually want fresh stuff for their generation. As long as its been produced again, newly. The knowledge just goes on then. So the actors job, it's never really finished. Knowledge is finite, but fresh demand from the new blood is always there.'

'We're experts on that theology,' replied Alison, looking at the screen.

'So you want to hear my side of the story,' said Charlene, sipping on a drink Brax offered her.

'From the horses mouth is the expression,' said Alison. 'I'm listening.'

'Ok. Well it all began with an egg. And out popped Adam and Noah, and farted around, and accomplished not much. The rest is sort of like they told it. I got power, got fame, used it to make business empire and glory, fucked up quite a bit on some stuff, a lot of people got hurt, some got killed, I was sentenced to death, spent a long time in darkness, finally did my term, got out, and wrote out a few books on what I'd learned and how to do it better next time.'

'Shouldn't have to learn the hard way. If you were wise,' replied Alison. 'But you must be a DC Talk fan at heart.'

'Funny girl,' said Charlene. She passed Alison a USB stick. 'The story is in here. There is a master document of condensed stuff which you can quote and paraphrase for your purposes.'

'Thank you,' replied Alison. 'Why does everyone always think the Man of Steel rules in the end? Batman is the dude.'

'They like a hero,' said Charlene. She stared at Alison. 'The Dark Knight is not always everyone's cup of tea.'

Alison looked at the dark mystery of history in Charlene's eyes. 'No kidding,' she replied.

They chatted a while longer, Brax led her to the front of the citadel, Alison smiled at him, and the taxi took her away. The taxi man spoke to her. 'Charlene is a lot to handle.'

'Indeed,' replied Alison, and stared out the window, thinking over that evenings notes to write.

Chapter Four

'It's interesting I guess,' said Alison.

'Very,' replied her father Daniel. 'The Confederations of Realms. There are now 9 peak bodies in the heavenlies. The Geocities, the Angelfire, the Home Community, the 7 Heavens, the Realm of Infinity, the Heavenly Realms, Paradise, Eternya & Zionistya. There were other minor realms created which have now merged with various of the 9 major realms. It's exciting times. We have a while of growth now since the Unification, and God appears to have accomplished his desired genetic diversity program.'

'His genetic diversity program,' replied Alison, typing up the details Charlene had shared with her. 'What's the supposed to mean?'

'Too much concentrated pride without the diversity of your neighbour brings too much conflict. The issue is resolved now in the mixing, and he is predictable as he was in the beginning. 9 peak bodies. And the re-establishment of the realms as their own planetary body.'

'What's that supposed to mean?' asked Alison, now looking at her father.

'The discs were flatface so they could paste together as a heavenly globe, to then accomplish the genetic diversity phase. Now they can be separated and now made a planetary body, which was the ultimate long term objective. And of course, there are now 9 main bodies.'

'Why 9?' asked Alison.

'Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto. 9. Obviously.'

'Obviously, replied Alison, as her father left the room.

She focused on the laptop, and looked at the picture of Brax feeding a dolphin. Funny guy, she thought to herself. Now what the hell was her father talking about?

The End


'Technically we can,' said Chantelle Daly. 'If we really fight it and find a way out. It's never easy to crack it. They monitor you. Nobody really wants to leave anyway. We have a purpose and a point. It's the reserves against the plague. The thinking was, if he did it once, yeah, he might do it again. It's not like we have a rainbow covenant denying it, you know.'

'Right,' said Alison, and sipped on her juice.

'So I've never left M3,' said Chantelle, a hint of pride in her voice. 'I do my job. Daniel comes and sees me every now and again. It's pretty secure. He always says a nuclear bomb couldn't permeate the mountain. I doubt it also. We are well dug in. But if the world was destroyed again by God, the universe, and he visited plagues and things and armageddon stuff, and there was no hopes left, the Mountains would survive. M1, M2 & M3 and so on. We're protected by prayer and a strict holiness code which makes us acceptable to God. Some of them in the outside world call us a doomsday cult, and there is probably no denying that. But they all know the history of how the world ended for a while, and only God's mercy restored it for the most part. We have a point in making sure the Mountain communities deserve surviving God's doomsday impulses, and we archive the history and artefacts of the first Mountain community regularly and protect them. The worlds archive of the deep storage kind.'

'That was something the mountain took care of indeed,' replied Alison. 'Were the bastions of faith gathered and stored their prize possessions as the world ended. How many mountains are now formed?'

'Not sure,' rpelied Chantelle. 'I know there is now more than 10, but I don't know their exact number. But we follow the traditions from M1, and are pure and holy and look after the artefacts. We are pretty much guaranteed eternal life, you know. The Theophany visits the mountain communities from time to time and says he is pleased with us. Yeh, we're a doomsday cult in some ways. But we're not a cult, you know. We're holy. And we have a happy enough life. I don't really want to leave. We do have an internet connection which an elder can sit with you when you use it. I have some online friends around the universe. We chat every few months or so. We're not toally isolated. But we are security. The security of the children of destiny I have often been told. Anyway, let's go see John Samuel. Seal's boy.'

Chantelle led them from the cafeteria down a level, and along a long hallway. They came into a room with a water feature, which seemed to be a well of sorts going down into the earth. A dark skinned youth was sitting on a bench, reading a book. He looked up at them. 'Hello Chantelle. Who is this?'

'Cousin Alison,' replied Chantelle. 'Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly's new daughter.'

'Oh,' replied John.

'She's compiling a history of the world for the ANU,' said Chantelle.

John looked at Alison. 'Is that the Australian National University?'

'The one on New Terra,' replied Alison. 'I work in the history department there. We have major program of world history going on at the moment, and I am visiting and meeting a lot of people about the ancient legends in the world, and hearing what people have to say.'

'I see,' replied John. 'Interesting. My father is Seal. He is a singer. Released R&B albums. A spiritual man in many ways. He qualified for the first Mountain community. There is a lady here also, Jewel Kilcher's daughter. Amethyst Blue is her name. She knows a lot of the history of the Mountain Communities. You should talk to her.'

'I wanted to have you tell her about Deep Water,' said Chantelle.

'It's in the water. The deep mysteries,' said John, turning to look down into the well. 'The reverberations of the world. All the mystery of history. It's all in the water. The anger the love. The emotions. The turbulence of the world, its weather and excitements. The water carries the tidings of it all. The flood judged, but the rains also heal.'

Alison sat down opposite John.

'And they are soothing and cleansing. And in the deep water you find the solid part of the world, which is more settled, and more knowing. It's calm. It's quiet. And it tells a story of the soul. There is history in every molecule, which knows the heart of the world. And it's mysteries are unearthed when you sit by quietly, with revelation and understanding. And this calmness is required in my blood, and I fill that role in the mountain, as do my offspring.'

'They are in the other mountains,' said Chantelle. 'I have no offspring yet, but we have roles much of the time. Ways of holiness we each accomplish. To please God and to matter to the Mountain and to life. To be deep water. Contemplated water. Deep wells of spirituality.'

'I see,' replied Alison. 'Not flakey Babylonians, huh?'

John smiled. 'I suppose so, Alison Daly.'

Alison looked at the ground surrounding the well and noticed an array of white pebbles. She picked one up and put her hand over the well. She looked at John. 'We interpret the world, but only through finite understanding.' She dropped the pebble. It went into the water and ripples formed.

John smiled. He picked up a pebble, put his hand over the well and said, 'May our limitations not get the better of us, as we humbly learn the knowledge of creation.' And he dropped the pebble. Alison and John looked at Chantelle.

'Oh,' she said. She picked up a pebble, closed her eyes for a moment, then put her hand over the well. 'Let the sands along the seashore be numbered by the Almighty, let the days of our lives be counted for good. Let the waters of eternity echo peace and truth forever, let the moments we find in time accumulate to wisdom.' And she dropped the pebble.

'Excellent affirmation,' said Alison.

Chantelle smiled. 'We'll return to the cafeteria and leave John with his book. And Amethyst Blue we will visit later in the day.'

John smiled at the two ladies as they left, and Alison made some mental notes for her work, in a peaceful spirit as they returned to the cafeteria.

* * * * *

'Hi. I'm Amethyst Blue. I am a talk show queen. M3 is a humorous community. Lots of life. Lots of vibrancy. My mom Jewel Kilcher had a heart of kindness. I do that jazz too. Kindness. On my talk shows I speak like this. Howdy Ya'all. I'm Amethyst Blue. We're the archivalists. I know, I know. Probably more boring jobs exist elsewhere in this very large universe. But we're a cult in a hill with mission. You know. Take care of the old farts crap. Do we get paid? Hell no. We serve because we are loyal and loving. And there is a payoff. We get saved perchance Doomsday II comes our way. What a thrill. But, seriously, we have a share in the assets of the Mountain community. We are the official caretakers of the product. Much of the stuff from M1 was left in place, and a lot of that has been divided up into various of the Mountains. We have eternal rights with the product, which is sort of stored now on bookcases for the most part, and around the rooms here and there, with easy enough access. It's mostly all on display. It's our eternal inheritance. The Children of Destiny in tough times when Doomsday comes around again hover with us at these precious moments and enjoy some of their delicate fancies. And then, the world inevitably restored by the eternal mercies of God, they sod off again and leave us with our golden one rings. They are so thoughtful.'

'I see,' said Alison Daly.

Amethyst started walking around the TV set like a robot, and smiled a robotic smile at Alison, who laughed a little.

'So you get to take care of precious,' said Alison.

'Yeh, dear. They are our sacred relics. Much of humanity's items of interest. We look after them. Strict handling codes and concern codes, and a very sedate lifestyle with company we have known since birth. All things considered, I won't leave the job. We're self sustainable for the most part and, technically, some people have judged it, on trends, that the potentiality for a second Doomsday in the very long term is conceivably possible. We feel in the research undertaken that some souls, potentially, have perished in sheol now. It is considered a possibility. We are not really sure if every soul is immortal. And because of that my strong decision, in the end, has been to remain in the Mountain Community were we are protected, even by law, from this happening. The theophany seems to guarantee us eternal life from all my observations of the chat with the elders. Wisdom tells me I like my banana splits enough that eternal life is worth it in the end. Especially when chocolate sprinkles are involved.'

Alison laughed again. 'A reason to maintain the faith, I guess.'

'An astute observation,' replied Amethyst Blue.

'So the legend of M3 has it's core details,' said Alison. 'I have processed the syntax you have uttered, and have the thinking in the mind to write the words of true history.'

'Colour it up,' said Amethyst. 'We're not really as bored as some people might think we could be. I have seen shows at time of life in other parts of society, and while there is a lot of hurly burl, which sometimes looks like fun, we have been taught that there is a lot of anxiety which often comes from such hurly burl. A sedate world of calm souls brings peace of mind, and it is not easily traded for a different lifestyle if you are sensible enough. Not easy to carve a niche of peace on the outside.'

'Circles need to be examined, and when trusted travelled in carefully,' replied Alison. 'Don't go too far out of your world and recommended persons of acquaintainceship. It's manageable. Father has taught me well about maintaining a sensible circle of friends and to guard it with my life as it is my life.'

'I see,' replied Amethys. 'Naturally our circle doesn't really change much.'

'I've noticed,' replied Alison.

'Come on,' said Chantelle. 'I'll show you back to reception. 'The afternoon is spent.'

As Alison followed Chantelle back to the technical entrance into M3 she thought on the encounters she'd had, and the notes and thoughts of the writing of the words were coming through well enough, and it was a pleasing second legend in the unfolding work at the origin of her career.

* * * * *

'So, how did it go?' Taylor asked her daughter.

Alison, sitting in front of the Bargain Hunt TV show was typing at her PC. 'I learned some ideas. Some ideas about life which I'd already been taught, and saw the deeper parts of the religious instinct at work. It was fascinating.'

'You have the words for the record you are to make?' asked Taylor.

'Typing them as we speak,' replied Alison.

'I'll make caramel mousse for dessert,' replied Taylor. 'You have probably earned it.'

Daniel sat there, looking at his magazine, and looked over at his daughter. 'Oh. One thing to take note of. I have a Mountain project organised for your visitation and joining. Down the list a fair bit, but they have your details. I'll give you the contact information in a few decades. When you have a collection of sorts you might want to archive, and a better understanding of the ideas at play.'

Alison looked at her father briefly, and returned her attention to the laptop. 'Thanks dad,' she said after a few moments. She looked at him. 'If I'm really my father's daughter, then that will likely synchronize with my life plans.'

Taylor picked up the remote and flicked to Dr Who on ABC. 'Then your life plans are going to get too bloody hectic soon enough, coz I ain't shagged another dude in aeons.'

Alison sat quietly. That was rather coarse chat. 'Thanks for that mother,' she replied.

'No worries,' said Taylor.

Daniel smiled. Taylor did have choice words at time. Sometimes very choice indeed.

The End

The University of the Dead

Chapter 1

Alison looked up at the sign, carved in wood, with green paint. 'The University of the Dead'. She came up the path, in long grown grass which hadn't seen a lawnmower in a hell of a long time, and came up the steps. She trod on the first one. It creaked. She was concerned. She came up gingerly onto the verandah, and looked at the bell. She rang it. Silence. The house was probably a 5 bedder, all in peeling white paint, built of wood. Finally the door opened, and a long gaunt man dressed in black with a white collar opened it.

'Is madam expecting you?' he asked. His voice was as stiff as his appearance.

'I am expected. Miss Alison Daly from the Australian National University.'

He looked at her, seemingly calculating that information, and finally nodded and admitted her inside. She was shown into a room, a front living room, which was dimly lit, which looked like a room of an old countess in her aged years. It had luxurious but weathered couches. In fact everything in the place so far had that too it. Like it was old and weathered and ancient. The apparent butler disappeared and Alison sat there. She took out her laptop looking over recent notes, not sure if she just saw a bat fly past the window, and finally put her laptop away, and waited. Half an hour passed. Finally a lady entered the room, dressed in old robes as one might expect, and sat down opposite her.


The question seemed more of a commandment. Alison politely nodded. Tea arrived momentarily, and Alison sipped on Earl Grey, but it was well cultured Earl Grey tea, and the biscuits were very fine. She looked at the lady.

'Lady Marmalade. Unusual name.'

'The Marmaldes are aware. I understand the jokes from various things. Now, the dead speak with me dear Alison. And they learn here. They learn lessons on behaviour they are unwilling to learn from the humorless pastorings of priests and pastors. They have no firmness with them. They do not repent completely at time because so many priests lack the convictions to be entirely serious about the state of the souls salvation. Let me assure you. I am completely aware of the state of the soul of each person I meet after a few moments observations. They betray themselves, so easily at times. They may not be aware of it, but every thought in their life, of a serious nature, is sold to the world to view in the little things they do. How they sit themselves, look around the room, carry themselves. Their clothing, their hairstyle. All sorts of things are noted and, immediately, it becomes obvious, their grooming, self opinions and thoughts of the world.'

'And mine?' queried Alison.

'A young lady who thinks more highly of herself than her position in life has yet earned.'

Those words stung Alison. Lady Marmalade was obviously one to be reckoned with.

'I need your assistance,' said Alison. 'It has peaked in our research that commonality is not the crucial thing to be recorded of the world's history. We have plenty of information on all the most regular of things. We want those extraordinary stories which do not so much define the way of things but show the extremes and potential limitations of what the world is really like.'

'Indeed, I work in an extreme environment,' replied Lady Marmalade. 'But I am the central gravity of reality my dear Alison. Where the extraordinary, as you put it, is dealt with and returned to sanity, away from the extremes of the serpents temptations, which never show the way the real world works.'

'Light and dark, and their interplay. Exactly what we are looking for,' replied Alison.

Lady Marmalade sipped on her tea and looked Alison over. 'I will tell you 3 tales. 3. No more, no less. Each tale shall teach you of the stubbornness of the human condition when it chooses to no longer give a damn, and of the redeeming lesson each soul finally learned.'

'Thank you,' replied Alison. 'I will type notes while you speak, if you do not mind,' indicating her laptop.

Lady Marmalade waved her hand at Alison indicating she did not mind, and sat there, poised, her mind at work thinking of her stories.

'The first tale is of Lord Jellyforth. It is quite shocking in places, especially at points involving his vigilante crusade. Quite bold adventure, which led to insight in humans he felt would never change. And then a fall, and a time in Sheol he decided was never worth rising from again. I will begin at the beginning of things.'

Alison took some notes, and sat, listening carefully to the well elucidated speaking of the imposing Lady.

'I have a question,' said Alison.

'I am listening,' replied the lady.

'Can I ask you to speak on a certain subject instead of the tales?'

'What is the subject?' asked the Lady.

'Can you tell me what it's like to live in this house, when it is run down, and with a butler who is grave, and a lifestyle which is like a mausoleum and dreadful.'

'It suits me,' replied Lady Marmalade. She looked directly at Alison. 'I don't like good cheer very much.'

'No, it can be fluffy,' replied Alison, and put her laptop down. 'Can we go for a walk.'

The lady stood and they exited the front door and started a circuit of the block.

'Life goes on,' said Alison. 'And it is in the things of regularity and personal instinct which are the cornerstones of continuity. Graveness works for you and it is solid and reliable because it lives in the real world. The house, though, needs to be repainted, and repairs made. It needs to maintain or the life is in the spirit of fading away. The butler needs to return to his original place of training to learn the rules again. He smells a bit, and needs to remember butler's keep clean well enough. You need to maintain the spirit of the place you are on and keep it as an axiom of the work you do. There is no need to change anything. Just maintain it in working order. If you do that you will remain constant in life, because the appeal factor of your ministry is good. It is classical, really.'

The lady continued walking and they came around the block. They returned to the living room. She looked at Alison.

'I will do as you request. You may see me again this time next year. The changes will be made.'

Alison left. She wanted freshness on this job. Not fade.

Chapter 2

'The rape of his sister by a commoner was not beneath him. He did not pride himself too much that Isabelle could not marry beneath her station in life if she so chose. And the man had courted her a while, a worker in shoeshop, a mere assistant, albeit stable in his employment. Yet they had dated a while, and she suffered date rape. The man had apologized time and time again, and they married later on, yet Isabelle informed her brother Lord Jellyforth on the rape quietly one evening, and Lord Jellyforth steamed, and threatened his brother in law with a pitchfork, but relented of the deed. He took to drink that night, and got wasted as they say for months, before sobering up. He had found another flaw in his examination of the human species at the more ordinary levels of functioning, and took to the comic room reading golden age reprints of Batman. He purchased a Batman suit, and the help thought him crazy at midnight as he sat atop the mansion walls, in his Batsuit, howling at the moon. The madness of Lord Jellyforth they called it. He appeared to be mocking, till he went out on the streets of the London Town of a certain olde world disc and nation, and confronted wrongdoers. He was thrown into jail a number of times, and left to cool off till the morning, when the magistrate would enter his sell and try and reason with the Lord. It was not becoming behaviour, best left to the official police for such things. Yet it continued for centuries and, over time, he confronted crimes, and saw the dark side of humans and angels, and it bit into him more than some, for he had reached a conclusion that mankind was fundamentally flawed in many ways. And this principle went to his heart, and the drinking returned, and he slumped over one evening, a heart condition failing his body, descending into sheol. And there he stayed. I speak with him, every few months, for his spirit sought me out in my explorations, and I counsel him. He bemoans his views, which I have since researched, meeting much of his family, and slowly I am teaching him the way of stability and return to form. He listens, but is stubborn. So many are.'

'I understand,' replied Alison.

'Do you?' asked Lady Marmalade. 'I fear many claim to understand the depths of a man's soul, yet never really obtain mastery of that truth. Men and women can be complex and in despair contemplate all sorts of ideas they claim as truth. It is the misery and malaise of it all. Nothing works well. All is lost. The situation is hopeless. Why bother. All sorts of negativities pervade my ministry time and time again. The woe of it all.'

'Yet despite that you continue,' said Alison.

'I fear it is a duty of my calling in life. I was no nun, but this dark side of life was an attraction, it would seem, for this purpose. I seem skilled at it, even if I say so, and when success is achieved payments do come in time, generous donations for redeemed ones, thanking me for my time for their soul's concern.'

Alison smiled. 'Reward for the labour.'

'In the end it is a business, I would say. A very strange niche for someone to fall into in life, but, ironically, it fashions forth an income. Stranger ways may be known to earn a dollar, yet mine is indeed one for the counting.'

'The next tale?' asked Alison.

'A snake. A man who was a snake in many ways. An Indian man who swam with dolphins in his Water Park. He got famous for the tricks he did with them, but he seduced women time and time again with his fame and prestige, and his soul wore down, and he despaired ever finding virtue and innocence again. He suffers in the darkness, thinking himself not worthy of a woman anymore, and no point in pretending to society. He sought me out, and listens to my words of Shakespeare softly in our communion. And then he fades away again, back to the darkness, and sometimes it is years before I hear from him.'

'That sounds interesting,' said Alison. She looked at the butler who sensed the conversation was ended, and he escorted her to the door. 'You have freshened your appeal,' she said to the gaunt figure.

He nodded softly, and Alison was away, record-keeping to attend to, and a second visit for a second tale from the university of the dead soon forthcoming.

Chapter 3

'Arjuna Singh was a happy man. He played with dolphins, and all throughout the Bombay Municipality he was part of, a multicultural one, which spoke mainly in English, he attracted visitors of all sorts to his park. They marvelled at his magical touch with the dolphins, the jumping and twisting and turning tricks, and he was so charismatic, so much so that aftertimes a lady or two would be chatting, and he would be smooth, and they would fall into his arms and his good Indian looks. But it gradually wore him down. The wealth never really stopped comings, as he was proficient in his work, and the charm seemed to improve with time if anything. And so the women kept on coming, women who never really wanted more than a fling thing, and it did not seem objectionable to Arjuna, so he enjoyed his privileges and bedded the women, and never really let his soul wonder of the consequences. But there were consequences. Every few decades he would find quiet time, and settle down, but not find peace. Just agitation. He felt it. He was a womanizer. A lust filled man who did not show real love to a woman – only carnal desire for what they could offer him. And after a while be despaired of ever really finding a woman to actually love him which had been a consideration in former days, and while he never really repented of bedding the maidens, it wore him down. Eventually he saw himself as a beast of a man – not a gentleman. And he looked at the dolphins one day, and knew he could not continue. He looked at the waters of his park, and took a chain, attaching it to a large metal object, and chaining it to his leg, was dragged down into the depths, were he drowned. And down into sheol his soul descended, and drifted into the cold darkness, and he found his place down there, and despaired, and pretended no more to be a man of substance. But I am known in the depths of despair, and I sensed him one day. He spoke to me in my communions, and it was suggested that Shakespeare might soothe the difficulties of his soul on love and romance. So I speak it to him, regularly, every once in a while, and he listens, and he tells me it is helping, and then he descends once more into the darkness. He has said, in more recent times, that he has been contemplating his problems, and his ways. And he feels romance should be true to a lady if it is to be genuine, and has managed to find some acknowledgements of problems in his lustings. It appears to be working.'

'I see,' said Alison, typing in some points into her laptop. 'And like Lord Jellyforth there will be compensation in time for your work upon their redemption.'

'The financial concerns are understood,' replied Lady Marmalade. 'But this work I do, as I have said, is my calling in life. It is a skill I have particular adroitness in. The way, as they say, the cookie crumbles.'

Alison smiled. 'What is the final tale?'

'Jessica Lucky,' replied Lady Marmalade. 'Although lucky is quite the opposite of her ultimate state. She was a stage worker, a burlesque queen, who showed her body regularly, and thought herself nothing but a slut in the end. But it was drugs she developed a fondness for, and the alcohol, and the seedy lifestyle, full of vice and sin. She thought nothing of herself as a person in the end. Just white trash, as she calls herself time and time again. I will give detail upon your final visit.'

Alison nodded. 'Then till we meet again, Lady Marmalade.'

'Till we meet again fair lady,' replied Lady Marmalade, as Alison was shown to the door, and a gentle smile from the butler as Alison started the trip home.

Chapter 4

'She did not say she was a saint. She had been raised to be one. Hypothetically, so she tells me. Mixed faiths in her household, but it was expected she develop a spiritual impulse. She found a friend in early years, a lady of the night, who took her out drinking, and bedded her on occasions, with many another lover. And she moved out of home, and found a friendship circle filled with deviates, and danced her naked skin, and felt it was such a thrill and a lucky life. But it went on. Years passed by, and the seediness continued, and slowly, step by step, she felt it in her innermost being. Slowly she felt the decay of the spiritual upbringing replaced steadily by vice and sin. And one day, over a large bridge, she felt it was not worth it anymore. Depression was an unceasing companion, and misery was her second nature. Nothing was good. She lived for the thrills. She was addicted to the thrills. But she knew those thrills had cost her the centre of her being. And so she stood on the rails, and jumped, and as she plunged down she did not fear but welcomed the cold thud and the quick end to her person. Down in the darkness she descended to where her soul was fit to be, and she crawled up, and let go. Dreams was the state of the remnant of her soul, and a long time passed, and she finally confessed it a lifestyle which was fun and full of exuberance, but just really didn't work that well. So she sought out some light in the darkness, and communed with me after some time. She is actually quite a fun person. Full of sarcasm and wit and ribald humour about the things she has done. She fears if she ever got over being the harlot she is that she would only return to it, so I read books to her about women who have been through lifestyle changes, having come to terms with things, and she sometimes shimmers in front of me and says thank you, and disappears. But she returns, as most of my customers do, and she feels one day she will rise from death again. It is a case which has hope. Those who come to me usually are that way ultimately. They have found some sort of reason to try again, and need counsel and wisdom to return to life. To come to terms with what was not working and find out a way of life which does.'

Alison, after finishing her typing, closed her laptop and smiled at Lady Marmalade. 'I have my words. In my head, and there will be an introduction about your person and your butler. The ANU will send you payment in a short while, and the official record will be forwarded upon publication.'

Lady Marmalade smiled. 'My dear young lady. You have been a memorable experience. I have even told some of the fallen of your visits, and remarks have been quite positive.'

Alison smiled, and escorted to the front door she looked over the house one last time, nodded to the butler, and went off for the subway to return home and complete this new legend.

Chapter 5

'So, what's next?' Daniel asked his daughter.

'An unusual aspect of history,' replied Alison. 'Life at the top, from a different perspective. 'Cindradel, and her most choice stories of life from Zaphon. She is so old and has so much experience and knowledge, and has seen so many of the iconoclasts of the realm of eternity come and go, that she is the perfect subject for one of the highlight articles.'

'That's you main job? Highlight articles?' asked Daniel.

'The complete work is really only concise. A work on the history of the world can only ever really be concise, can't it? Especially these days with the age of it all. There will be the standard 24 volume Hardback edition. The Online Edition. And the Exhaustive Library edition, which is in 150,000 volumes kept in a new building of the ANU. My work will feature as highlight articles in the 24 volume Hardback Edition. The one for general sale.'

'You'll be famous,' smiled Alison's father.

'Paying my dues,' replied Alison.

'Something we've all gotta do. Day in day out.'

'Thanks dad,' replied Alison. He father left, and she looked at the screen. For now the article was complete, but she'd fine tune it all later on, and it would be submitted to the editorial team before the final product would be fashioned. An unusual subject, communion with the dead, but life was stranger than fiction wasn't it? And next, Cindradel. Something which could be tales to tell. Especially if there was any dirt on her father. That could make family meals all the more interesting. All the more interesting indeed.

The End

Old Haunts

Alison pulled up in her Holden Commodore. She looked at the house.

'It's a place we lived a while,' said Taylor. 'We occasionally revisit. Lots of sarcasm. Commodore 64 jokes abound.'

'Let's go in,' said Alison.

They got up into Taylor and Daniel's apartment in the Realm of Eternity, and Alison looked around. 'It's like you,' she said to mum.

'Next door as well,' replied Taylor. She sat down and picked up the remote.

'I do recall he's an asshole,' said Taylor. 'I miss him.'

'He'll be back,' said Alison.

'It's been a while,' said Taylor.

'He'll be back mother,' said Alison.

They watched Tv for a while, and then Taylor got up and ordered pizza on the phone. Daniel walked in. He sat down in the opposite seat, and picked up a Commodore 64 magazine from the bench.

'Head over Heels: The Feline Maze of Asteroth the Cat Deity' is nearly ready to go,' he said.

Taylor looked at him. 'It's taken you a while.'

Alison had a tear in her eye. She finally turned from the TV to look at her dad.

'5 million years asshole,' she said. She turned and looked at the TV. She started giggling.

'Love you girls,' said Daniel. 'Where's that pizza?'

Alison watched the A Team. Her dad had finished programming his new Commodore 64 game. He'd come home.


The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies 5

Gilgadel sat on the jetty of Golden Lake. Glimmersphon was up behind him, Dameriel the sole resident at the moment apart from Gilgadel, who was staying a while. He looked out at the lake, and drank in the beauty. Calm. Relaxing. Golden waves of God's magical creation. The heart of eternity and one of its finest wonders. He picked up his piece of wood and looked at it. 'What am I to do with you?' he mused. The wood had been genetically engineered, the tree it was from, combining many attributes of various similar species. Genetic engineering was not forbidden in the Realm of Eternity, just not terribly common. But this wood was commissioned by Gilgadel, hard, firm, strong, but light. The ideal stuff to work with. Pliable too. He looked out at the lake and sipped on his bottle of water. Life had come along. The twin was at home, doing her hously work, and he was happy enough. Oblivion Tube was on his mind though. He'd had words with Surafel recently, and some objectives were starting to come to the fore. They had bided their time, the Arabic and Middle Eastern angels, and while terms of politeness were acceptable with the Hebrews, they ran their own show, since it had been since the beginning. But they were not a group to run second at life. They were to be premiere material. They were to be the ones of something to show respect and acknowledgement for their peace and their observances. He felt, in all honesty, people were starting to see that firstborn Michael was really just a bit of a scmuck all things considered. He was a buffoon. More in it for the thrill than any actual responsibility. And the Noahide bunch preferred too much sarcasm for Gilgadel's liking. Good for a laugh, and they were serious enough when they wanted to be, but Gilgadel knew better. He mused, though, in thinking genes, that it was what people were like, the stupid ways of their nature, and that he might push his Muslim agenda, but it would only really work with those for the temperament of it in the end anyway. It was a thought which had been with him a while, and while he felt they were to succeed and triumph in the long term, the point seemed to vanish if the people didn't really care. If they didn't really give a damn about their integrity and ways of life, the point of representing something as serious as Islam ceased. People did their own thing. They had Seraphim and Cherubim Torah as a community, and people still read those works, and lived regular enough lives. It seemed that people were into what people were into and wouldn't be that much persuaded otherwise. So it could all end up being a losing cause, only victorious with those who wanted to accept it anyway. Perhaps they could broaden their appeal, but you couldn't compromise the faith. It was what it was. He looked at the wood. Maybe this wood was a compromise. A creation which didn't happen in the natural. Maybe that was a waste of time as well. He looked at the river, sighed, sipped on his water, considered the work he had to get back to soon enough, and reminded himself to scold Hazan for some recent minor stuff ups. Life went on, he thought. On with the show.

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 6

'So the core of the Empire is Building Supplies. The business,' said Gilgadel.

'We've known that since day one,' said Jacinda.

'From the very beginning with have been with you because of it, boss,' said Hazan.

'Right. So that is the core. Now we look around these days. Everything has an institution. You know what I find funny, Hazan? You know what I find funny. In some of the American nations which are strong on pop culture, out there, you find towns and even cities were a single issue of an early comic is celebrated. I was in a place called Nebrska Divine, a small county on one of the outer discs. Everyone there was in the Batman 408 club. The whole county looked exactly like Gotham City from issue 408 of the original Batman run. The culture was all based around that solitary comic. It was their religious Bible. And you know what, Hazan?'

'What boss,' replied Hazan.

'There were Batman 408 clubs they talked to me about everywhere in the universe. Millions of them. They had gazillions of citizens in their club. And that is just one example. There is a place in the English worlds were they celebrate one of the Coldplay albums as their music. Just one of the albums. Everything in that culture reflects that album. Like the comic, it is just a build up of fans who enjoy that particular product particularly as their favourite, some of them, with their obsessions, finally congregating. Everything has that now Hazan. Every product has that. A growing Empire behind it. Everything. So our Empire is based in the core on Building supplies.'

'This we know,' replied Jacinta.

'So it will be a standard Empire, and it business based, and Islamic based, and will build with our employees as the core citizens, those who are the most loyal and devoted, and we will build from there. Nations, countries, towns and cities. A world were our culture and way of life is the central thing.'

'It is what I surmised it would be,' said Hazan.

'Sounds good boss,' said Jacinta.

Gilgadel glowed. 'Get back to work. We have much to do.'

And they got on with their day as Gilgadel soaked in the glory.

The End

Kool Kats

'I feel 15,' said Taylor to Katy.

'You're having problem with your collar,' said Katy. 'Here, I'll fix it.'

Taylor was looking fabulous in her glitter rainbow coloured outfit. Benjamin Button-Hider was looking Kool too. Denim and Leather, and some sparkly buttons on her pussy cat. It took many years, the figure-fitting design for her pussy. It had to be tight and flash, to be the sparkle on display she needed, but she wanted to cover her bases with several areas of thought on dresscodes for felines, and had gone through many thoughts on style before accomplishing her final style. It looked good, Daniel said. Katy said so to. She should know. She was an expert at these shows.

'5 minutes Miss Swift,' said a knock at the door.

'How do I look?' asked Taylor, standing before Luladiel.

'A million bucks sweetheart. Knock 'em dead.' Katy kissed Taylor's forehead, and Taylor picked up Benjamin the cat and headed to the stage.

Shortly later Katy sat down next to Daniel and Kantriel in the audience, and they looked up at the International Kool Kats stage. Finals. Taylor had done well. It was expected of the world elite to sometimes measure up at these things. They usually proved themselves in younger days, and always had the drive potential to get high when they tried.

'Sneaker Streaker. Are you a brave cat?' asked Caeser Flickerman.

Sneaker Streaker, dressed in blue, looked at the host. 'You are not the real Caeaser Flickerman. Caesar Flickerman was a deadbeat employee of Vaccu Corp, a vaccum cleaning company from Detroit which went bust in the 1950s. Everybody knows this. From my generation. Caeasar ended up with a large collection of vaccum cleaners, and is in an occasional collectors magazines. I know this well.'

'What generation are you from, Miss Violet?' asked Caesar Flickerman. 'And I am a character from the Hunger Games. It is my stage name.'

'I understand,' replied Violet. 'You do it well, though. Look just like the guy from the movies.'

'It's the same guy,' said Caeaser's assistant.

Miss Violet looked at Caser's assistant, and then Caesar. 'You are the real Stanley Tucci?'

'Guilty as charged Miss Violet.'

'Katniss killed the wrong guy. She should have killed the old president,' said Miss Violet.

'Interesting view,' said Caeser.

'Sneaker Streaker looks like a bored cat,' said Taylor, standing next to Miss Violet.

'You think he's bored Miss Swift,' said Caeaser Flickerman.

'Putting up with Miss Violet's drone, he'd have to be a pretty bored pussy cat.

Caeaser Flickerman turned to the audience and went 'Oooh,' and the audience gasped.

Daniel looked around.

'What they do at these shows,' said Katy, eating her popcorn.

'I do have drone issues,' said Miss Violet. 'Something I'll have to look into. I can actually sing well, though. A certain blonde on this stage. She attempts singing. Hasn't done any yet. But she's attempted it.'

Caesar looked at the audience, who gasped again.

'Benjamin Button-Hider,' said Caesar to Taylor. Taylor nodded. 'So, he literally hides buttons?'

'Hides all sorts of trinkets,' said Taylor.

'Must have hidden your good reputation also,' said Miss Violet. 'It's so tiny and all, you know.'

Taylor scowled at Miss Violet. Caeaser looked at the crowd. They chuckled and went 'Oooh.'

'It's sad,' said Alison, sitting on Daniel's Right, Katy on Daniel's left and Kantriel on Katy's left.

'What's said,' said Daniel to his daughter.

'She seems in her natural element. Like Taylor Swift and her bad reputation was born to bitch, and likes the fight.'

'Catholic Logic of the 20th and 21st Century,' said Daniel.

'Cold sledge, father,' said Alison.

'True though,' replied Daniel.

So the night wore on and Taylor triumphed. Afterwards she took Alison aside. 'Do this, and you'll live to regret it. I sell my heart and soul on that stage. But one thing, there is quiet delight in the mockery. That much I don't deny.'

'I'll keep that in mind, mother,' replied Alison Daly, making mental notes for the contributing article it would make in her history of the world.

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 7

Gilgadel touched the screen and brought up the 'Micro Machines Racing' page. A Commodore 64 online website. He laid back, in his lunch hour, watching the races.

'Pretty basic graphics,' said Hazan, eating his roll.

'Good enough though,' said Gilgadel, eating the kebab Jacinda had made for them. 'And the music is classic C64 stuff. There are players all day long throughout the universe on this site. Challenges are endless for the glory in micro machines.'

'Do you play?' asked Hazan.

'Rarely,' replied Gilgadel. 'I do have an account, but I mainly like to watch. Hobby of mine this site, and a few other C64 similar sites. The Ruff and Reddy Fighters channel I like as well.'

'Right,' agreed Hazan, hooking into his kebab.

Jacinda came in and put 3 bottles of apple juice on Gilgadel's desk, sat down, and picked one up for herself.

'Good week, boss,' she said. 'Business has been doing well, and a lot of the employees internationally are liking some of the ideas of a community mentality about the Empire we are working on. Some just want a job, but some like it.'

'I figured it would be mixed,' said Gilgadel. 'But I knew we would get some takers. People have been with us a long time and have got nowhere else to go. It's their rock in life. A steady job becomes like that.'

'Very philosophical boss,' said Hazan. 'You should write a book on the idea.'

Gilgadel stared at Hazan, wrote a note on his notebook, and picked up his juice. 'Yep, the advent of glory.'

'We're right behind you boss,' said Jacinda. Jacinda tapped Hazan on the shoulder, and tilted her head, indicating that Gilgadel should have some quiet time to reflect.

When they'd left Gilgadel stared at the C64 screen on his standard PC monitor for a while and turned to look out the window. Progress with his Empire building. Some liking it. Some liking the standard 'just a job really, boss.' Of course, that was not a problem. He'd work with what he got. He sipped on his juice, changed the channel to some classical music, and laid back in his chair, enjoying the rest of the afternoon with some quiet time. Things were good in Gilgadel's Building Empire.

The End

Before the Board

'I have several decent case studies,' said Alison to the ANU World History Executive Board.

'Submit them there,' said the female secretary with glasses, seated behind a desk separate to that of the board.

Alison stood and placed the folder on the desk.

'Within the rectangle,' said the secretary.

'Why?' queried Alison. 'I mean, you can reach them just fine?' Alison had a puzzled look on her face.

'Miss Daly. Please place the folder within the rectangle,' said a man on the board with a tweed suit.

'Fine,' replied Alison, and stood and carefully placed the folder within the rectangle on the desk. She returned to her seat.

'Are you happy with your submission?' asked another man on the board.

'Yes,' replied Alison. 'I have my second submission ideas ready to go for the end of the upcoming decade.'

'That is good,' said the secretary. 'You may leave.'

Alison gave the secretary a puzzled look, stood, said 'Thank You,' and left the building. She did not know what to do. She went home.

* * * * *

'The rectangle indicates a formal submission of work,' said Daniel. 'Official submission to the ANU. It's not a doctoral thesis. It's a research document from a professional being officially received. A photograph would be taken of it within the rectangle for formal records.

'Unusual procedure,' said Alison.

'Lots of institutions have their quirks,' said Taylor. 'It's what makes the world go round my dear daughter.'

'I guess so,' replied Alison. 'I'm going to my room to think.'

Alison had finished 10 case studies of unusual life historical events for the ANU. It was not really something which had been pushing the limits of her research skills. More things which she just sort of stumbled upon which seemed to be the right thing to do. So far it had been easy enough. But the next 10 would likely be more of a challenge, and she wanted to produce an equally interesting spotlight on the unusual things in life, the truth that was stranger than fiction. She sat there, in her room, the afternoon light waning, and put on one of her mothers albums and lied down. Life went on. She would receive her money for her work so far soon, part of the grant payment scheme and, as her parents had dutifully informed her she would have to do one way or another, make her own way in this big universe. But how could it be any other way? She turned over, soon went to sleep, and dreamed her happy dreams, as Daniel and Taylor chatted about their daughter, both impressed with the qualities they had seen in Alison Daly so far.

The End



Hot Stuff

'You're pretty hot, Gayle,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.

The pop princess dragged back on her cigarette. 'Didn't I fuck you at a party last week?'

'I'm innocent,' replied Daniel, and winked at her. 'You were pretty good as well.'

'You moving on dude?'

'Taylor is old news. I like Alison, but time for a new chick on the cock again.'

'That's disgusting,' said Gayle. 'I should rebuke you.'

'We can fuck instead if you like.'

Gayle stood and exited the nightclub with Daniel and they made their way across civic to the hotel room he owned. He owned the hotel actually. They came up to the room, the same room as last time, and did the wild monkey magic.

'I need a new woman,' said Daniel. 'I tend to move on in life. Find a new girl who wants me for a season and a time, and do the thing with her. Probably want and need you for a few aeons. If you are up for it. I'll likely move on then, you know. Not kidding you in that respect.'

'I hardly care,' replied Gayle. 'I have some friends I stick with and they are my family.' She continued sucking his cock and he exploded and orgasm into her mouth.

'Aw fuck,' said Daniel. 'You're good at this. Better than Taylor.'

'I study what works,' said Gayle. 'It's all in the timing and the strokeplay.'

'I believe you,' replied Daniel, as Gayle used a tissue and cleaned him up. Taylor, the following day, took Alison and Matthew and stormed off.

'Faithless bastard,' she said. 'Complete asshole.'

'I'll forward on the severance pay,' remarked Daniel. Gayle moved in. Mary liked her. Hot stuff again for Daniel. Life moved on.

The End

New Chicks on the Cock 2

'Billie Eilish,' said Taylor.

'Pathetic,' said Alison.

'Hopeless,' said Matthew.

'Taylor Gayle Rutherford,' said Taylor.

'Equally pathetic,' said Alison.

'Equally hopeless,' said Matthew.

'Are there any new chicks on that cock which don't fit?' asked Taylor, eyebrow raised.

'I have a reputation,' replied Daniel, hooking into a spring roll. They were having chinese at their places they shared together, out in an outer disc, where C64 activity ruled.

'A pretty hopeless one,' said Taylor. 'Yet you have invited your family. Your 'outcast' of a family for a get together. You couldn't cope with the new chick?'

'Worried about VD,' said Daniel.

'Ha,' said Alison. 'The old fool has a conviction. Are you sure you have concerns father of mine? That slippery when wet album has a lot of excuses in its theology. You've used a lot of them.'

'I only shagged her a few times. Took some pills to make sure there weren't any problems. It all seems fine down below, but I have concerns. Felt it best to move back to safer territory. Too much hot stuff to handle. Daniel the Seraphim has gone straight for a long time now, and doesn't mess around with the ladies anymore. While I enjoyed the temptation and the spending of some lust which had built up, I felt it best to maintain my reputation as mostly a decent family man who settles down in time. For many reasons, including that they are somewhat my personal convictions.'

'Somewhat,' said Taylor, eating a dim sim. 'Explain somewhat to us, father of the household.'

'I'm still a bit of a free spirit, like Katy. Move on with the times and the new scene. It's in my nature a bit. But as the years have passed by and I read a verse or two of scripture, settling is going on.'

'He finally has a conscience,' said Alison. 'Cyril. He has a conscience. Grandfather has always had a conscience. Father? Too many porno magazines in his archives. Far too many.'

'Less than a hundred,' said Daniel. 'Somewhere around there I think.'

Taylor frowned. 'You should get rid of them.'

'Memories, in the corners of my mind,' sang Daniel. 'I'll settle babe,' said Daniel, putting his hand on Taylor's shoulder.

'You better,' she said.

'Make an honest woman out of her dad,' said Matthew.

'I will,' said Daniel. 'I will.'

'You better,' said Alison. 'Or there will be – trouble.'

'Thanks Robocop,' said Daniel. But indeed convictions had been in play on the recent hot stuff shenanigans.

The End

Ruth 35

Chapter One

Obed picked up the trowel and started digging in the back yard of his father's Televere home in Paradision. Obed was the firstborn son of Ruth and Boaz, actually mentioned in the Book of Ruth from the Holy Bible, father of Jesse, grandfather of King David.

'Righteous men in robes should not molest children,' said Obed.

'Most definitely the case,' said Claudia, Callodyn's ex-wife, who lived down the street a little.

'The ANM has a good reputation in this respect,' replied Callodyn, sitting next to Claudia. His wife Stephanie was sitting next to Claudia and the Major, Claudia's husband, was smoking a pipe, watching Obed dig.

'There is still a Paedophila activity statement required by Realm Law to be filled in by heads of Religions on a regular basis. Reports are required to be made,' said Obed.

'Seraphim Daniel and Valandriel were key drafters in the legislation,' said Callodyn.

'It worries me,' said Obed, standing and stretching. 'That we have repeat offenders who are ancient in age. It seems to me further action of re-education now needs to be a focus. This is a demon which needs to be driven out of the hearts of men and angel.'

'Even angels,' said Stephanie, moving her top to make her large breasts more comfortable. The top was tight and revealing, which was often Stephanie's barmaid ways.

'We've grown slack,' said Obed, returning to his digging. 'People have grown comfortable with life and think they can get away with any sin. It's time to make some decisive decisions and cut out the nonsense. I propose a movement of sexual ethics be formed by those in charge of things, and eradication of the casual affair become a priority.'

'Sounds strict,' said Callodyn. 'I'll stick with the legislation of the land on the issue.'

'Sometimes rules aren't enough,' said Obed. 'Sometimes action needs to be taken.'

'Hear hear,' said the Major.

Claudia looked amused. Her husband was like that in some ways, but he usually settled down. Would affirm a good idea, and appear all wholehearted about it, but it was mostly getting along of the moment.

'You expect me to talk with Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly about it?' asked Callodyn.

'And Noah, if you can gain the access. Jesus of Nazareth has already been talked to by King David,' said Obed.

'Oh. This is a thing in motion,' said Stephanie.

'Indeed it is,' said Obed, staring at Callodyn. 'Time to root out the shenanigans.'

Ruth looked at Boaz, who put his hand on her arm. Obed had spoken.

Chapter Two

'Do you have Kath & Kim?' asked Obed to Callodyn.

Callodyn scratched his nose. 'Dad has. I mean, cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly has.'

Boaz looked at Callodyn. 'Did you let something slip then, Callodyn? One of the divine mysteries.'

'Course not,' said Callodyn. 'Slipe of the Tongue.'

'The Kath & Kim Stamp,' said Obed, examining an album in his father's collection. 'Do you have spares available for trade?'

'We have a number of them. They are dear and treasured. They trade for stamps from Guyana quite quickly, and then European stamps of all EU sorts of nations are a priority. We certainly don't have the full collection from the early centuries of stamps. Took a while before Cherubim Daniel settled down and concentrated on all the world stamps. Quite a few slipped his grasp. But we do trade, as I made known. Particular fuss on Kath and Kim for a reason?'

'David likes Scrubs and Kath and Kim and other offbeat shows. His quirky sense of humour. Prizes dopey comedy stuff.'

'I see,' said Callodyn. 'Arrangements can probably be made.'

'Catholic Mary stamps?' asked Obed.

'Fan of Jesus of Nazareth are we?' asked Callodyn.

'She follows traditional Judaism much of the time,' said Obed. 'So does Joseph. The heads of the Church are still committing to their Jewish roots. Lots of discussion have gone on to maintain the traditions of Old Testament devotions. I'm interested in collecting some aspects of Christian culture. Stamps are quite ok with me.'

'I see,' said Callodyn. 'Quite a few available for trade. I'll get back to you with a list soon enough.'

'Good,' said Obed, closing the album. 'Now. I have a paper I wish to share with you. For your 'dad' to see. It is some of the proposed activities we want to get going on in Zionistya, and we would like the Realm of Eternity to think through the logic and see what they might do in response. It's up to you guys. You are mostly a Noahide realm these days, and you are sovereign in that. But the world needs a core morality which is stable. And I think you guys have always agreed with that.'

'Yes,' said Callodyn. 'We are Torah. Things are fine from my perspective. Crime statistics on sexual behaviour don't change much. We sort of feel nothing needs to change much. But if there are things you'd like to see, perhaps we can accommodate here and there.'

'That's all I ask,' said Obed. 'I'll get you that paper.'

Obed left the room and Callodyn picked up the album. 'He's as strict as I remember him, Boaz. You trained him well I suppose.'

'He has his own mind,' said Boaz. 'But yes, he follows the faith dutifully.'

'Obviously,' replied Callodyn, leafing through the stamp album.

Chapter Three

'Here it is,' said Callodyn. 'Kath and Kim.'

'Will this one do,' said Obed, handing Callodyn a plastic sleeve with a Guyanan stamp inside.

Callodyn looked at it. 'No, we don't have this one.' He clicked on his mobile and looked up the stamp. He checked values, but wasn't too bothered as they needed the stamp, and Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly had given him specifications on what would be an acceptable trade. 'Should be fine,' said Callodyn, looking at the details on the stamp. 'But you'll have to order in pizza with coca cola to seal the deal.'

'Done,' said Obed.

That evening they sat in Boaz's room, and Ruth brought in 3 boxes of Pizza.

'All kosher,' said Ruth. 'No pig bits anywhere. But there is meat.'

'Sounds good,' said Callodyn.

They got stuck in and watched the local news on the TV. A bushfire had been going on which was being watered, as it was summer at the moment, but all things were under control. Firefighting technology was very advanced now.

'Callodyn,' said Ruth, sitting next to Stephanie, who was obviously enjoying her pizza. 'Does the ANM have hidden problems with sexual morality?'

'Not that I'm aware of,' said Callodyn. 'We report as being just about the cleanest throughout the Realm in this area. There are some tiny groups which are very finnicky on such rules, and are practically spotless, but for the larger congregations we are clean cut, believe me. As good as I think we can get it. What, you've heard reports or something?'

'I'm talking about fornication,' said Obed. 'What is your position as a movement on this issue? We never get clear cut answers.'

'Refer to Genesis 1:1 to 11:9,' replied Callodyn.

'Hardly a decent response,' said Obed.

'We're not about to divulge our private doctrines to the priesthood from Zionistya,' replied Callodyn. 'Suffice that you should know we keep things under control enough for our liking and that of the general public. Things are under control.'

Obed had a piece of pizza in his hand, and paused looking at Callodyn. He put the pizza down, and looked out the window. 'Eternity is a long time. And things can slip at times. We're aware that you guys are stable, but aeons have passed, and you might have relaxed a bit. We need to exercise viligance from time to time to ensure we maintains the standards we claim to keep. This is time for an overhaul and making sure things are as good as we hope them to be. A time for reflection.'

'If that's the time of things. I'll speak with Cherubim Daniel about it.'

'You do that,' replied Obed, and continued on with his pizza.

Ruth looked at Boaz again quietly. He nodded softly to her.

Chapter Four

'So there's a time to sin and time to repent, is it?' Ruth asked Boaz. 'Or is it a time to be amorous and a time to curb your ways,' she finished.

'Funny,' replied Boaz. Obed had departed that morning, on a flight home, and he had quite obviously been a man on a mission.

'He's occasionally taken issue with this and that, but it's surprising to see him doing a Cohen's work.'

'Technically the nation is supposed to do a Cohen's work at time,' replied Boaz. 'Exodus 19. Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation.'

'What I married,' sighed Ruth.

'And you have regrets about that?' asked Boaz, looking away from the TV screen.

'No. Don't be silly.'

'But Ruth the Moabitess still likes a bit of her Moabite passions at times is it,' replied Boaz, returning his focus to the TV.

Ruth stood, and took his dinner plate, and stared at him. 'I am what I am. Just like our divine Lord. He made me the way I am, in both the nature and nurture of it all. But I chose the Lord and his people, and I don't regret that decision.'

'No. Sensible lass,' replied Boaz.

Ruth took the plates, and went to the kitchen, and decided to wash them up. As she stood there, the tap water pouring, she looked next door at Callodyn's house, and privately wondered what Callodyn's thoughts were at the moment on her firstborn son. Oh well, if it wan an issue at all, she was sure she would find out soon enough. One way or another.

The End

The Three Daniel's

'Obed. Now there's a class A dickhead,' said Callodyn. 'He must manufacture starch. There's that much in his shirt collar I would imagine. By the rulebook I would imagine. The worst of Boaz exemplified.'

'Quiet, Callodyn,' said Seraphim Daniel, examining the paper.

Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly was in his desk at the Daly Foundation, and the 3 Daniel's were gathered, discussing things.

'Do we have a response to this?' Seraphim Daniel asked Cherubim Daniel, having read the paper.

'I've been thinking it over,' said Cherubim Daniel. 'Israel is trying to flex some priestly pulpit power over their Noahide Neighbours. We share a heavenly globe these days, and while we still remain worlds apart, they are negotiating with a form of holiness to try and exhert their priestly parade. It's mainly what is going on. This is an excuse to justify themselves and their perceived mission in life.'

'So what's the response to Starch Boy.'

'No response,' said Cherubim Daniel. 'We already routinely report, and do the studies and questionairres into activities on this issue. Crime reports haven't indicated any increase in a long time. Things are under control. I do agree it is always important to be mindful of this issue, as the paper recommends, but it's well under control. Quite frankly they should be more concerned with their own position and that of the church than the Noahide world. Statistically they are far more guilty than our behaviours.'

'Pretty much,' said Callodyn. 'Shifting blame more than anything else.'

'So an object lesson is required for his holiness Rabbi Obed. I'll speak with the Theophany,' said Cherubim Daniel. 'And I'll get myself to the throneroom of Zaphon. I'll clear up this issue, and see what the underlying factors are at work. We're not going to be rebuked without cause, and if something fishy is going on I'll expect justice.'

The three Daniel's dispersed, and Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly sat there, thinking it over. It was true, in terms of hanky panky he had had some recent issues, and if that was a concern, he'd speak to God and deal with it, and let the issue blow over. But if more was going on he would make sure he found out, and deal with the issue. One way or another.

The End

Hot Stuff 2


Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly sat there, at the back of the throneroom, and looked at the throne. God had answered his query. Ok. God had commented. Hot stuff needs to be kept under control, and Starch Boy was of good conscience. He'd clear that with Callodyn, and make sure he kept good relations with his neighbours son in Paradision. He sat there and took out his notebook. He looked at the names of his lady lovers over the years. Roughly 40 to 50 serious commitments on enduring friendships and occasional romances. Still the same old list from formative years, with a few exceptions. He looked at Taylor Gayle Rutherford on the list. He'd always intended to get around to the chick eventually, and time had finally dawned for the encounter. But, by the looks of it, it was approaching too much hot stuff for the Lord's liking. He was reluctant to strike her name off the list, as he had genuine interest in her and, in the long term, wanted her in the 'Mating of Clan's Hierarchy' he had been slowly establishing for a long time. Those particular ladies, and there were some gents as well, who he wanted to comingle with for both his personal likings, but primarily for the concern of his offspring, his seed, throughout the generations. Taylor Gayle was a nice girl and, quite frankly, as crude as it was, the best way to break the ice was to fuck the chick, and get her used to some intimacy with the Daly clan, the bloodline of Cyril Aloysius Daly in particular. There was indeed a plan at work. He didn't think Taylor Swift had worked this out yet, and he was not one to tell her, as he liked the amusement of Mr Unfaithful, as it was good for jokes. So he kept the truth of the matter to himself. But there was a plan at work. Seemingly, though, his ancient list was still the list at hand, and no additions anymore was quite apparently what God was subtly hinting at. He would keep this matter in mind, go off on an ANM retreat, and consider the issue carefully. Or make sure his commitments were solid, and lust was not involved. Apart from the core bits necessary to get the job done. Apart from those lovely little bits.

The End

Working Girls

Chapter One

Betwixt Androma City, the Capital City of the continent Androma on the planet Televon, also known as Androvon, and the township of Paradision, lay the city 'Cityscape', which was were Boaz was wont to go on regular basis for stamp conferences and were Ruth visited Working Girls, or Prostitutes, to undertake her civic duty in terms of health concerns for the Brothels of the city. It was not the most loved occupation on Televon. It was not quite disdained, as it was an old world, and it was not something which was undertaken in abundance by the citizens of Televon, being quite a conservative Torah planet in its citizenship for the most part. But though Cityscape had millions of citizens, there was a small number of brothels, mainly for the 'confirmed bachelor' who lived a life mostly dedicated to quiet solace, and the occasional lady every decade or so. Many men were like that. They knew a lady, a working girl, who was their girl in a way, though the relationship was far from being anything official, who they escorted on a brief date, gave a few flowers, and unloaded their built up tensions and frustrations in such ladies loving arms – or loins, to be quite specific. Because of this, and the work which such ladies of the night undertook, again not something quiet needed too much to be banished from the ways of Televere by most opinions, both liberal and conservative, there was something of a need from a revered matriarch to teach the ladies, who could sometimes slip somewhat, in more ways than one, the ways of ongoing health maintenance for their challenging occupation. In this occupation the ANU of New Terra, having heard reports of Ruth and her activities of social work, decided that such an item of interest would be the kind of thing a case study for their history of the world would be, in the end, appropriate to cover and inform their ultimate readership of. So Alison Daly, who was not unknown to Ruth or Boaz, was sent in with an extra task to her already worked out list, to chat with Ruth and accompany her on her health visits to hear, firsthand, some of the tales of the lady and review the work which Ruth undertook.

'Obed. I don't think you should try and sell me some condoms,' said Alison Daly.

'Well, I'm not trying to sell them to you to make money,' said Obed, having returned from the Paradision shops. 'I merely assumed you may wish to recompense me for the expense of them, as some people often do not like gifts that much because of the view that they can at times be beholdent to the giver of such gifts. Nay, Alison, clearly this is not the case with you, so they are for you without charge.'

Alison accepted the condoms, and took one out of the pack. She opened it up, and looked at Obed. 'Stick it out then,' she said, grinning.

'Excuse me,' said Obed.

Alison grabbed his hand, and pushed two of his fingers together, and pushed a condom, rolling it down onto her fingers.

'It goes on the penis,' said Obed.

'Oh, you want to demonstrate do you?' asked Alison.

'Very funny,' replied Obed.

'No kiddings, Starch Boy,' said Alison. 'No, if you must know, I've not used them yet. Never had the opportunity. Technically I am actually waiting till marriage. Not every Daly daughter of our beloved Daniel's makes such a decision, but mother said if I could, probably best I wait.'

'Not always ladies of virtue, your sisters and nieces and thing?' queried Obed.

'Taking notes on the Daly family are we?' asked Alison, eyebrow raised, removing the condom from Obed's fingers.

'Not at all,' replied Obed. 'I suppose that sums it up though. Somewhat conservative, but they'll damn well do as they please if they really want to.'

'Is that an observation?' queried Alison.

'I suppose you could call it that,' said Obed.

They got in Obed's van, and Ruth came outside, with her suitcase, and put it in the back of the van. She got in the second back seat of the van and looked at Obed. 'Let's go. The ways is not difficult to follow. Go west in most ways and we'll get to the highway. The signs make it easy to follow and the highway goes all the way uninterrupted to Cityscape. Boaz has put a flask of coffee with some rum in it for you, as it might get cold this evening, and we usually like to make the whole trip without stop.

'Sounds good,' said Obed. 'Right, ladies. Let's roll.'

So the van got underway, and Alison sat there, looking at the condom, looking at Obed, and thinking over both the report she was soon to be writing up and, when it came right down to it, the sexual morality choices she made on such issues in the end also.

Chapter Two

Veronica Heart, or that was her call name, spoke first.

'It's like, sometimes you are human to them, and sometimes you really are just a piece of flesh. You know what they are there for, and they know what they are there for, and there is often pleasantries, but Joe just needs to get his rocks off. It's not really a problem, you know. Not really. He had a tool down there, and it gets feelings and desires, and sometimes he just needs to do a lady whether he likes it or not. I get priests, occasionally, you know. They sometimes bemoan their lack of virtue, but state it's just what they need to do to deal with it. It's a penis, they tell me. And it goes in a vagina. And all the vows of holiness in the world sometimes can't prevent it from doing what it naturally does. Just the way it is. And I know in a perfect world we're all happily married ever after, and all with lovely families and happy smiling children. But, you know. It's never been a perfect world. Never will be from all my observations.'

Alison nodded, and wrote down a note.

'I mean, I suck a lot of dick. Usually the condom is involved but, they pay extra, and sometimes I glance towards the receptionist outside the room, just sort of look in her direction, where the fellas pay the bills, and I say 'Sure sweetie. I'll blow you bareback. Just a bit extra dude.' And often they pay that extra amount. And, no kidding, it's pretty hardcore. You get semen in your mouth, and if they pay enough you swallow as well. I mean, it's got a taste. But it's a funny thing in some ways. Swallowing a load. Dirty work, I guess. Like they say. Full on, you know. It's a life with dirty and gritty bits. But it's about the only way a girl like me gets by in a place like this.'

'Not sure you should always be so convenient to their liking,' said Ruth. 'If you must, there are pills you really need to be taking. They deal with some of the effects of literal oral sex.'

'And you fork 'em over every time,' said another lady, Jasmine Glory. 'And I run out about 3 weeks in, and then I take the risk.'

'And you just do that,' said Alison. 'Take the risk?'

'What else am I going to do?' asked Jasmine. 'Bills to be paid, ok. Can't live on goodwill and smiles. Gotta pay bills to get by in life and, with our reputation, no bloke in Cityscape really wants to marry us. We're well known, here. You know. They all know the working girls. We've been doing it long enough. And we're not exactly at the top of the list for desired brides to be.'

'I could imagine,' commented Obed.

'Here,' said Ruth, and gave out the pills and extra condoms she brought with her. The girls took them, and you could tell from the looks on their faces they were grateful, and would use the items.

Ruth looked at Obed and Alison. 'Later on I'll be going into the showers with the girls and I'll be giving them a thorough scrub and cleaning. Of their privates. Some ointment will be used as well. To keep things fresh and lively. You two can wait in the van when that is going on.'

'Of course,' replied Obed.

'Naturally,' said Alison.

'It's not the end of the frikking world, though,' said another lady. 'You know, in the end it's just a job. A physically demanding job were we sell our own flesh but, still. Just a job. We're working girls. We literally do sex work to pay our bills. It's just a job,' she said, but looked the other way.

'Is it shaming?' asked Alison.

'What do you think,' replied the lady. 'But we do it to get by. I mean, it may sound bizarre, coz I've fucked half the single men in this city, but sometimes it's a thrill as well. Especially when you get a good looking guy. I even orgasm at times, when it's hard and the sex is good. Sometimes it's a thrill. There are good days. But mostly, you get stuck in, get the result, and get the job done. And life goes on. Get home, enjoy the decent enough money, and watch Netflix, and do your thang. I don't have a boyfriend. I don't really bother. I get enough bedroom action, you know, so go home, and keep it quiet. Funny, I read the book of Ruth every few months.' She glanced at Ruth. 'Sort of what a few of the girls do, Ruthie.'

Ruth nodded. She'd heard that from a couple of the ladies in private.

Ruth stood, and looked at Obed. 'Why don't you and Alison go wait outside. I'll be about an hour or so. Buy her a coffee or something from the takeaway down the road.'

'Sure,' said Obed. Obed and Alison left, and they found the takeaway. As they stood there, drinking coffee, Alison spoke up.

'I guess I take it for granted. My life, in some ways. I'm well taken care of. But it says a lot about life. This world. It's history. It hasn't always been a fairytale.'

'It's never been a fairytale,' said Obed. 'Except for the lucky few.'

'Except for the lucky few,' replied Alison, sipping on her coffee, and looking back in the direction of the brothel. Except for the lucky few.

Chapter Three

As Sargeants Peppers Lonely Heart's Club Band played on the cassette player in the van, Obed sipped on the coffee, which was still warm, and they sat around the car stop, in the still of the night, looking up at the stars. They were halfway back to Paradision, and would get there in the wee hours of the dawn, and Alison was in a pretty positive mood. She'd been exposed to things she knew about well enough when it came right down to it, but never seen firsthand. She looked at Ruth.

'One thing I think I noticed. Prostitutes are people too. I sort of knew that, and probably always reminded myself that. But they're just like us. Trying to get by, pay the bills, and get along with life. As best they can. Dirty work they've found themselves reduced to, and I could sense they were not that proud of themselves for doing it. Brave ladies. Definitely brave ladies. Doing dirty work.'

'A dirty job but someone's gotta do it,' said Obed.

'I do what I can to help them out,' said Ruth. 'Oh, we've occasionally talked about other plans in life. A proper career one day. And the girls sometimes say yeh, sure. But their hearts aren't in the idea much. They seem to accept this as their work in life. As if it's a job which needs to be done, and like Obed said. Someone's gotta do it, so these girls do it.'

'Supply and demand, in reality,' said Obed. 'The nature of the economy. Fellas will pay for a bit of flesh, so the world's oldest profession has always been in business.'

'True enough I guess,' said Alison.

'My job, which is voluntary, is to make the best of a bad situation,' said Ruth. 'And sometimes I am reminded that the ladies, which they occasionally comment, can get off their arses and get a better life if they really wanted to. So I know they do this job, in the end, because they choose to do it. But it's dirty and grimy and it deals with the baser things in life. So it's something which needs, literally, cleaning up. And that is what Ruth the Moabite does for this thing. Helps clean it up.'

Alison looked at Ruth, and took out her notebook, and wrote down some points.

'Making a difference,' said Obed.

'Making a difference,' echoed Ruth.

And Alison knew just then the angle she would be taking in the report she was going to write. Soon enough they were back in the van, driving along, and Alison looked ahead at the road which Obed was skilfully navigating in the darkness, but the girls were on her mind, and the thing they dealt with. Desire. Desires of the flesh. Something she too, one day, would have to address. For down below she had her own carnality, and while the lecturing of Noahide faith, and tinges of Catholicism kept it well enough in check, she too was human and she too had desires. Things which would need to ultimately satiated when the time came.

'I'm going to find some sleep,' she said to Obed, who nodded. And as she put her head against the side of the van, she drifted off, the last thing on her mind those condoms Obed had bought that morning and the very grim realities such prophylactics dealt with. The very grim realities indeed.

The End

4 O'Clock 27

'Which one do you like? The Black Knickers or the White Knickers?'

'This is a trick question,' God replied to Rihanna.

'Choose,' she said.

He put down the Sega Control stick and stared at his Girlfried. He looked up at the clock. 4 in the Morning.

'Red knickers,' he replied, and returned to his game.

She glared at him. She left the room. Shortly she returned.

'Light red, or rich red,' she said, holding two pairs of knickers.

God stared at them. Another trick question.

'Give them to me,' he said. She gave them to him. He looked at them carefully. 'Rich red,' he said. He handed them back. She glared at him.

'Fine,' she said, and left the room.

'Yo, Riri,' he shouted. She came back in the room. 'Black bra top.' She left the room. She came back in after a while in the rich red knickers and the black bra top. God looked at her. 'Ok. Denim skirt to the knees.' She left, and soon returned with the addition. He looked her over, nodding. 'Ok, white shirt, and tie it up beneath the bra and let a bit of the bra show and the neck be open.' She glared at him. Soon she returned dressed just like that. 'Dancing shoes. Your black ones,' he said.

Half an hour later they were in their regular dance club in Zaphora. They danced for a couple of hours, drank alcohol, and returned home. It was early. 7 in the morning. God was overdue for his sleep.

'Riri. I will specify the outfit for the light red, the black and the white knickers carefully. I will consider them and be sensitive to your person and how you feel in them.'

She glared at him. After a moment she softened. 'Good,' she said. 'Ok. You've wised up.'

'I need to sleep.'

God went into his bedroom. He lay down on the double bed. Riri was in the single couch beside the window. She was looking at nothing in particular, with that classic Rihanna look. She looked good.

'I need about an hour and 15 minutes sleep. I'm a little overdue for sleep.'

Rihanna nodded.

'You happy,' he said, as he settled down. He fell asleep and dreamed. Rihanna looked at the sleeping old fart.

'Yes I probably am old man,' she said, and opened the curtains, stared at the aurora for a while, and nodded off. The mood was sedate but usual in home. Life went on.

The End

Melanie and Daniel 16

Chapter One

Daniel wanted to kiss Melanie. On her arse. He needed to kiss that Spice Girls butt. It was important.

'I need to kiss your arse,' said Daniel to Melanie.

Melanie continued eating her weet bix in Danielphon, looking at the news on the small analog black and white TV set.

'How does that thing get reception?' asked Daniel. 'I'm sure we phased that out.'

'It wasn't phased out,' said Melanie. 'There's a simple connection which runs the black and white in the main broadcast stations, and analog is maintained by law. Foundation stones can't be changed. Some people way back have analog TVs and refuse to move on. Traditional sorts. Unlike Daniel the Seraphim.'

Daniel sipped on his orange juice. 'I have one. Two of them I think. In an archive. I don't use them. Sort of outdated.'

'It gives you the original buzz,' said Melanie. 'Why your sorry arse has no foundation in tradition, but moving on mentality.'

'I'm faithful to Jessica,' said Daniel. He looked at the TV set. 'It's made in Japan,' he said, examining the label on the back. Hardly the best of British Sporty Spice,' he said in an English accent.

'It's my set from my Auntie,' said Melanie. 'She left it to me in a complicated will.'

'I see,' replied Daniel. 'It's crap.'

Melanie put down her weet bix. 'You'll probably watch it then. Why do you want to kiss my arse?'

'You're a Spice Girl with access to Victoria. She's hard to reach. Gloryel says 'Yeh, sure. I'll give her your number.' She never does. I need a Spice Girls concert. Victoria is always the challenging one to get involved. Always at fashion shows. Or Soccer matches.'

'Association Football,' said Melanie, now doing stretches. She had a light sweatshirt on with white sleeves and a photographic design on the body of the sweater. Monkeys and Gorillas and Bannanas and things. It had 'Love Nature' in green emblazoned over it.

'Victoria will perform if it's worth her while. Finances need to be correct. Just appropriate payment, but she needs it to be something which works well for the lifestyle of Victoria Beckham. Feed the show into her career or lifestyle in some way, and she will consider the idea. It also has to be a show which has a solid enough reputation for an official member of the British Empire.'

'I see,' said Daniel, looking at Melanie as she stretched. He went to his room and came back with his Indoor Cricket top. 'I'll be doing Indoor Cricket for 45 seasons. Do you want to compete with me?'

'Why now?' asked Melanie.

'Haven't had a fitness fix for a while now. You remind me of that at times.'

'Sure,' said Melanie. 'Don't mind cricket at times.'

'Good,' said Daniel. 'We need the Spice Girls for a standard program of ValDan. We need some fresh Spice Girls work to promote the campaign. The campaign has passed all legal requirements and the board of Environmental Ethics says it's decent enough for its members to support.'

'That's important,' replied Melanie. 'Those guys are very influential.'

'Don't I know it,' replied Daniel. 'Ok. I'm off for morning brunch with Jessica. She was out early this morning, but I'll catch up with this evening. We'll talk shop and arrange the cricket.'

Melanie smiled, and punched Daniel softly on the arm. 'No worries Danny boy.'

He smiled. They were good friends these days. Things were good.

Chapter Two

Melanie looked at the wall. An ordinary indoor cricket centre wall. She wiped her forehead with a towel, and sat there. Quietly. Daniel came up the stairs to the up stairs seats, were people watched the match and often ate food. He had two orange juices from the cafeteria, and two ham and salad rolls. Melanie was hungry after the match. They had lost. The team they played was experienced. They performed – adequately. They were not in the best of form. The stadium was mostly empty, but the manager was in the office beneath them doing the books, and the canteen lady was still on duty. Apart from those two, just Mel and Dan.

'You have talent at it,' said Daniel.

'Some,' she said. 'I go well at a lot of sports.'

'Enjoy yourself,' said Daniel.

'I want to take it seriously,' said Melanie. 'We're playing 45 seasons?'

Daniel nodded.

'Let's push to compete well. Not compete to win. We'd need a lot more than 45 seasons against these old timers. But I want to complete to play well.'

'Sounds good,' said Daniel, handing over the OJ and roll.

They ate and drank, and Daniel started harping on about Matthew his Uncle of sorts and his boys who sometimes played in the Zaphora competition. 'Matthew gets access to the Realm because he's related to Cherubim Daniel. Brother. Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.'

'Your uncle then,' said Melanie, eyebrow raised.

'Something like that. Matt likes cricket but is crap at it. But his boys are competitive.'

'I see,' said Melanie, and looked at one of the posters on the wall. She looked at Daniel. 'The Spice Girls will do a Sporty Phase, which is in our contract, on Indoor Cricket, and you can use that angle with the campaign. We can usually claim a phase with each other if we wish to. There's give and take. Vicky won't mind.'

'We'll do that then,' said Daniel.

Melanie continued looking at the poster. 'I want to do some promo posters myself. You'll give me access to Danielphon's resources?'

'Sure, Mel,' said Daniel. 'Me and Valandriel will like to watch you, though. Maybe even film you for record-keeping. That a problem?'

'No, that sounds fine,' said Melanie. 'An enjoyable project to do for a while. Something happy in life which makes it worthwhile.'

'We gotta do things to make it worthwhile,' said Daniel. 'That much I do know. ValDan keeps the action going. We ain't quitters and we make sure we get a buzz going regularly enough.'

Melanie looked at Daniel. Thoughtfully. 'Yes, you do, don't you.'

'Yep,' replied Daniel.

Melanie looked at her buddie. True enough about Daniel the Seraphim. He kept the excitement high enough.

Chapter Three

'Your dick is up her arse,' said Valandriel.

'My dick isn't up Melanie's arse,' replied Daniel.

'You have been following her all day and saying 'Brilliant Melanie. Excellent Melanie. First class job Melanie.' Your dick is so far up Sporty Spice's arse it's not funny, Daniel San.'

'I'm keen on my bestie,' said Daniel.

'Keen? You want to shag her?' asked Valandriel, eyebrow raised.

'Past tense vocabulary with Melanie Chisholm,' replied Daniel. 'No, I am keen on Melanie being in my life forever. I need her, buddy. She's like a bit of my flesh. Not quite one flesh, not quite a blood brother or blood sister, but a chunk of my world revolves around the lass and the Spice Girls. They have a piece of my heart. Sort of know she likes me and we've been friends forever, but I don't really ever want to mess that up ever again Valley Boy. I need the chick in my little blue book.'

Valandriel sat there for a while, looking at his work, and sipping on a latte. 'Ok, call me an idiot then.'

'Idiot,' replied Daniel.

'Touche,' said Valandriel. 'But Ok. What is a blue book. A little blue book.'

'Platonics,' said Daniel.

'Platonics?' queried Valandriel.

'Platonics,' affirmed Daniel. 'Those friendships with ladies you don't want to shag. Or more realistically no longer need to shag. But you like. Platonic girlfriends. Buddies.'

Valandriel nodded. 'And you have a little blue book with platonic women's contact details in them?'

'Not too many names. Only about 30 or so. Melanie is near the top of the list. These are girls who are sort of girlfriend friends. But, you know. Like girls have girlfriends and don't sleep with them, that sort of thing.'

'BFFs,' said Valandriel.

'I'm not that gay,' replied Daniel.

'No,' said Valandriel. 'Just checking. So she's important to your little blue book.'

'Kapiche,' replied Daniel.

'And kissing her arse is to ensure she stays that way?' queried Valandriel.

'Hole in one,' replied Daniel.

Valandriel sighed. 'Ok, ok. I get the point. Just try not to schmooze so much ass kissing. It's really pathetic, Danny. You are usually far more honest with people. You call a spade a spade. It's what I like about you.'

'The things we do for love,' said Daniel.

'The things we do for love,' echoed Valandriel, and got on with his work.

Chapter Four

'What's that?' asked Melanie.

'It's a betamax VCR,' said Daniel.

Melanie looked at it. 'They are ancient. Outdated.'

Valandriel came into the conference room and plonked Melanie's black and white TV on the desk, and hooked it up. Daniel connected the Betamax to the TV. Cosadriel came into the room and plonked a machine down on the table.

'What the hell is that Cosadriel?' asked Melanie.

'It's a transcriber. It converts Digital data into Betamax tape. You have to do it manually, though. There is power of course, and you plug in your USB or SD stick into the system. But you have to process the conversion of the data into Betamax tape by spinning the mechanism yourself with the handle.

'Primitive as Geri Girl in her Union Jack,' said a puzzled Sporty.

'Hey, we're traditional,' said Daniel. He didn't look at Melanie. Melanie turned and looked at Daniel.

'Ok,' she said after a while. 'Fair enough then.'

'It's only into black and white as well,' said Cosadriel. 'They specified that from Good Fellas. Charity work we are doing for them. It took a few hours to knock it together, but I worked it all out soon enough.'

'Thanks Saddy,' replied Melanie. She picked up her USB stick and plugged it in.

'Here is the reel,' said Daniel. 'It will fit into the blank cartridge for a Betamax cassette when it's all done.'

'Fine,' replied Melanie. She waited a bit, looked at the guys, then took the tape out of Valandriel's hand, fitted it into the machine, and connected it in. After a moment, staring at it, she pressed play on the machine. She then started turning the handle. A green light flickered.

'It's working just fine,' said Cosadriel. 'It will wait till the tape is well established. 20 seconds or so, before it records. It all works fine.'

'Ok,' said Melanie.

'You have about 3 hours of recordings. You'll need to put it all on the tape. It should fit about right,' said Daniel. 'We recorded properly. As you agreed to, this will be used in the campaign for display at bulletin news releases. There will be 5 viewings as you contracted with us for. One in the morning before each of the Spice Girl's concerts. You'll need to be present to talk people through afterwards and answer questions. We have arranged traditional big black and white TV sets for the experience.'

'Cool,' said Melanie. She mumbled 'Asshole' softly.

'What was that, Mel?' asked Daniel, grinning softly.

'You're fab,' she said. 'Asshole,' she again said softly.

Daniel continued grinning.

Chapter Five

'Men are stupid,' said Victoria.

Melanie sipped on her bottled water. 'They're not stupid. They are vindictive,' she replied.

'Which is dumb,' said Victoria. 'Black and white? What age are they thinking about? Prehistoric 20th century? Dumb as donuts.'

'Donuts are not dumb. Just unhealthy,' said Melanie.

'You'd have to be an idiot or a cop to consume them,' said Victoria. 'Madness for the thighs. Look, do we have to agree to this charade? I don't want to sit there for 3 hours watching black and white antiquity to answer dumb questions on their campaign. What's the campaign again?'

'Traditional French furniture. They've spliced in a chunk of it into the video on my for indoor cricket, and moulded it all together for a stadium show at the end in France in Terraphora where the furniture is in a big display room. There will be Terraphora and Zaphora indoor circket stars used as models, and they need to sell the stuff to several new developed audiences of various micro nations which have recently gone macro.'

'I understood none of that,' said Victoria.

'Don't play dumb Vicky.'

'Ok, I understood just fine. Well I suppose so. Something different to do, I guess. Any decent furniture?' she asked, as she picked up a copy of vogue from the table and started flicking through. Melanie sipped on her water. 'It looked ok, actually. Decent stuff. Quality. The campaign is being angled as old and traditional and they are after David Suchet if he is available for the look they want.'

'Poirot,' commented Victoria. 'He's always refreshing enough. One of the more polite souls I've met.'

'He's like that is David,' replied Melanie. 'It will work out fine, Vicky. They are just being a bit silly, but the program is probably sound enough. It should probably help our reputation ok enough, and sell a few CDs to some of the micro, sorry, new macronations. Probably worth our while. Maybe even a concert in some of them. A tour?'

'Don't push it,' replied Victoria. 'We've all eternity to tackle new nations. We get to them in our time. I'm mostly busy with my fashion work, but SG Priorities come in on occasions.'

'Yes. I know,' replied Melanie.

Victoria looked at Melanie. 'It should be fine. I'm content with what is on offer.'

'Then all is well,' sighed Melanie, as Victoria Bechkam continued leafing through the issue of Vogue she had in her hands.

Chapter Six

'Ok, it went bad,' said Daniel.

'Bad! It was fucking shite!' swore Melanie.

'It wasn't that bad. I think our sales are doing ok,' replied Daniel.

'Oh, that's fucking good. Our sales are probably shit,' said Melanie. 'David Suchet. Drunk. The dude never gets drunk. He shows up, drunk, and pours a bottle of champagne on Victoria. Was that planned?'

'Total spontanaeity,' replied Daniel, grinning.

'Then after the epic bore for the 6th time the reporters are exhausted, said the doco sucked, and they felt the whole event was dismal. We looked like shit to everyone. And Geri was on her best behaviour as well. A total embarassment.'

Daniel picked up his mobile. 'What was it? Seldenvardenland. A Scandinavian province turned glorioius.' He typed away, and after a while. 'Here it is. Oh, right. Well that's ok then.'

'What,' said Melanie, fiddling with her black and white TV which was back in its proper place.

'Here,' he said, and handed Melanie the mobile.

She looked at it. 'What's this?'

'Seldenvardenland's official Music Charts. They have about 40 billion people. Tiny, but they grow well.'

'Right,' said Melanie, looking at the charts. Spice by the Spice Girls was at number one and their greatest hits at number 3. 'So what?' she replied, and handed the mobile back to him. She sat down, trying to tune the TV. Daniel continued looking at the screen.

'I'll look up another one. Felderthinktria. It's a weird country. Very free spirit.' He found their charts. 'Oh,' he said.

Melanie took the mobile from him. Northern Star was at number 1 and Spice Girls greatest hits at number 2. Spice Girls and solo albums filled the charts.

'Look at the article,' said Daniel.

Melanie looked at it. She read it. 'Spice Girls camp performance hit the nail on the head. David Suchet was a classic in a new style. Very funny Spicies. Bravo.'

'Oh,' she said. 'The people liked us.'

'Well that settles that then,' said Daniel.

'Settles what then,' replied Melanie, softly.

'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.'

Melanie glared at him, and the TV started buzzing. 'Damn TV,' she said, and hit it on the side. The picture came on perfectly.

'All's well that ends well,' said Daniel.

Melanie did not respond. Daniel's grin summed it all up.

The End

Knowledge of the One

Chapter One

'We had a world for a while,' said Chance Kibb'Starr. 'Arcturus. Home of the blue skinned avatars of the skies which entice and the deep blue aquamarine, were our philosophy spoke to the galaxy. We were – we are – a mystical people. Mostly sedate by the example of most of the galaxies races, deep and mysterious, always gazing into the horizon and thinking about what the future holds. There were ways about the Arcturians which everyone liked, but it faded. All the races faded in the end.'

'Except humanity,' replied Alison Daly.

'And when our civilizations died we came back after a while. Human. In the image of God as the Earth scriptures teach. It wasn't our destiny, you know. We were a United Galaxy. But the wars and the hatred became extreme, and the One found it intolerable in the end. So made us one. Our world didn't change, though, nor our culture. We were simply transmogrified into the same homo sapien DNA. It changed me after that. My thoughts were a lot more honest in some ways, and a lot more savage. For an Arcturian anyway. Some races felt they'd lost an edge, but we generally gained one. And I understood Jan a lot more. And the things which made him tick.'

'And what does make him tick?' asked Alison, taking notes.

'A lot of things. He's human. He has an ego. We didn't have much of that. You might say spiritual in some ways, which we are as a people, but more mystical. Ponderers on aspects of life. But human's function on a lot of things like ego and rivalry and passion. A lot of them have a lot of passion. And drive.' Chance looked at Alison directly. 'When things changed, so did we. I've noted your request to talk about this issue for the history of the world, and there is a reason we're going to the moon of Arcturus.'

'I was wondering, actually,' replied Alison.

'It's about knowledge of the One,' said Chance. 'God in English. At the origin of our world, when Arcturus was formed, their came a legacy from the early civilizations. Records of various types were kept, and we have many holy books detailing early society. The most important is usually a book called 'Knowledge of the One'. It's about God. And God and his thoughts for Arcturus. He spoke with us regularly to begin with, but faded away, and spoke only to special chosen ones after that. Usually in dreams and visions. When our transmogrification came, as I've just mentioned to you, there came a change in our nature. And being human is different. So much of the early writing is all valid, but there is a new nature in us now, and for so long now we have slowly been reshaping the teachings to our new requirement. We are to meet with a prophet who God speaks with, who is the current scribe for 'Knowledge of the One' in its official retelling. The history of it isn't changing, but the legislation has been updated. This is the 8th prophet. The first seven did the first 7 Pyramid Obelisk's on Arcturus. But the 8th Pyramid is on our Moon. On each pyramid so far is one of the core books of 'Knowledge of the One' having been rewritten in the new thinking – the new thought. The 8th prophet is responsible for the final book, currently in progress. He's been at it a long time, but he is now ready to carve a new verse into the Pyramid. I've been accepted on invitation to watch the event with yourself, and speak with the prophet afterwards. These events are very rare, and the contemplation takes a long time for each new verse. We are trying to make sure it speaks the truths of our new humanity. It has taken a long time, but we're getting there.'

'I see,' said Alison. 'Well that's quite fascinating.'

'We'll be there in a few hours,' said Chance. 'So if you don't mind I might get a little rest.'

Chance left Alison's room on the space shuttle, and Alison stared out at space. It was an exciting case study, this particular one, with many interesting facets so far. Soon she would witness, so it seemed, an important part of Arcturian history unfolding. And that much would make an excellent source of information for a Case Study on the great intaking. What humanity often called the induction of the alien races. She settled down in her seat, sipped on her juice, and enjoyed the sight of the stars, happy with the view and the exciting event which lay just ahead.

Chapter Two

'There are three towns on Luna,' said Chance. 'We have an International treaty on Arcturus that Luna is generally not to be settled for the most part, but there are those who like to holiday and visit there, and we have 3 spaceports on the satellite with supporting communities for this to happen. They have atmospheric generators around the towns. It's really funny. If you try and walk out of the perimeter after a while the oxygen starts thinning and it gets colder and colder. You can't really go too far out by virtue of the fact that it's too damn cold and you just can't breathe. Naturally sort of takes care of itself if you know what I mean.'

Alison smiled at Chance's words. 'So we're going to Starbright,' she said.

'It's our foundational town on Luna. Were we first landed when we went out. It's where the 8th pyramid is stationed. The prophet is there now, in the town. We're landing any minute now.'

Alison watched as the shuttle started descent and soon landed on a runway around a mid sized community. They gathered their things, and Chance led the way out of the shuttle, through the spaceport, into the main part of the town. It was warm, actually, Alison noticed, and there were generator poles all around the town in front of her.

'This way,' said Chance. 'There are no vehicles. It's too small for that really to be an issue.'

They made their way across a recreational park, up a street, soon coming into an arena were people were gathered. Chance showed their passcards, and they were brought to a stand which faced a pyramid structure, more of an obelisk.

'There's the prophet,' said Chance.

An Arcturian male was sitting in front of the pyramid, cross-legged and head bowed. He seemed to be meditating. Chance looked at her watch. 'It's starting in about 10 minutes. The shuttle was timed to arrive just before the show.'

They sat there, on some seats, and watched. Soon a gong went off and the prophet stood. He took a tool he had with him, and for the next 20 minutes the electronic device carved out letters forming the verse in particular for the pyramid. Soon he was finished, and a cheer went up with clapping, and the prophet bowed.

'That was it,' said Chance. 'There will be formal blessings later on in the week to formalise the new teaching, but for now we're done. Come on.'

Chance led the way, and showing their card, they were introduced to the prophet. He smiled at them.

'You have questions?' he asked them.

Alison looked at him. 'The mystery of translating one life into another. And finding the words. But they need to be a new eternity for your people.'

'That is the summing up of this task,' replied the prophet. 'It's been a long labour, and it's not finished yet. But we are near to the ending of it all. In all truth, I have completed the work in what my general thinking of the wording is, but it is a long period of contemplation to the final acts till all is sounded out correctly enough.'

'And core scripture is complete,' said Alison.

'Sacred word renewed,' smiled the prophet. 'If you'll excuse me.'

Chance smiled and bowed at the man, who was taken by officials to some others at the gathering. She turned to Alison.

'A lot of fuss, I know. But it's important we make a show of it. These are our scriptures. Most of the transformed races of our galaxy have some form of communication from the divine. Important we do things correctly.'

'Naturally,' replied Alison. They mingled for a while, but soon they departed and returned to the shuttle. It was heading back to Arcturus at the end of the afternoon. Chance and Alison chatted at the spaceport, and Chance talked of Jan Kolby, her husband, head of the United Galaxy at one point in time. The illustrious Rimwalker, famed adventurer on the rim of the galaxy. Chance had a lot of stories, and Alison listened attentively, enthralled by Chance's passion and her vivid memories. But soon time came, and they boarded the ship, and started the journey home. Chance had her information now, and already was thinking through how she would write up the case. It had been an interesting affair, learning how those who were not human becoming human. It was what she had always been. It could be quite – confronting. To become something new from what you had taken for granted. But Chance seemed well adapted, and happy, and a process had been going on with the race of Arcturians to resolve their issues in life on this complex change in procedure. But that had been the decision long ago. Too much rivalry otherwise. Simply one of those things which just had to be. And in thinking that Alison knew the angle she would make with her report.

The End

Before the Board 2

Alison was back at 29 Merriman on New Terra. Grandma Mary was with Grandpa Cyril.

'Well,' said Alison. 'Seeing the board tomorrow. Giving an update on my new datafiles.'

Cyril nodded. 'Good luck for you,' said Mary. And they continued watching TV.

'A chunk of new entries,' said Alison. 'Interesting item. Especially the Arcturian Prophet. That was fascinating.'

'I could imagine,' said Cyril.

'You have a clean dress for the meeting?' asked Mary.

Alison nodded.

'Let me look at it,' said Mary.

Alison went and retrieved her dress and handed it to her grandmother.

Natalia Mico came in.

'Hello grandma,' said Natalia.

Alison looked at her. 'Hello. Who are you?'

Natalia stared at her and looked at Mary. 'How old is she?' she asked her grandmother.

'20 something,' replied Mary, examining the dress.

'Right,' said Natalia. 'Still a little shit then.'

'Excuse me. Bitch,' said Alison.

'You're hardly a family member yet,' said Natalia. 'You've been around didley squat. The Empire of the Cucumber Sandwich Eaters is held in more esteem than the likes of your kind. Newbie.'

'Amusing,' replied Alison, now focusing on her grandmother's examination of the dress.

'You probably won't go the distance,' said Natalia. 'Drift off one day when the lure of drugs and alcohol gets too sweet, and fade away like most.'

Alison looked at Natalia. 'What's that supposed to mean.'

'Most fade in time,' said Mary. 'No stability. Enduring faith. Solid prayers to guide them.'

'Oh,' said Alison. 'Well I pray regularly enough.'

'Doubt you'll make it,' said Natalia. 'Not hard enough.'

Mary returned the dress to Alison, nodding, and Alison returned it to her room. When she came back Natalia was in her seat, watching the TV.

'Bitch' she said again, and sat down next to her.

'Your father is all that will pull you through most likely,' said Natalia.

'He's fond of this one as well,' said Mary. 'A dedication on Matthew and Alison. The parents are quite committed to these two.'

'Why wouldn't they be?' asked Alison.

'Countless kids before you guys,' said Natalia. 'You ain't necessarily anything special to them.'

'I don't even know who the other children are,' sighed Alison. 'They won't tell us.'

'They have private lives,' said Mary. 'A Daly trait.'

'Right,' said Alison softly. She looked at Natalia. 'I'll go the distance. And who are you exactly?'

'Georgia Bridges daughter,' said Mary. 'Auntie Brigid's grand-daughter.'

'Oh. I see,' said Alison. 'Well nice to meet you I guess.'

'Yeh, sure,' said Natalia. 'We'll see if you hang around. If you have any substance.'

'Gee, thanks,' said Alison. 'Good to know.'

* * * * *

The following day Alison was before the board, had given her report, and stood there. 'There's something I'd like to say, actually.'

'We're listening,' said a board member.

'I want to do a report on ancient members of society, and specifically the lessons they have learned which have gotten them this far. The truths of the human condition which lead to eternal life.'

'There are a number of suitable organisations. I believe you are part of one yourself. We'll leave it in your hands,' said the board member. 'You are excused.'

Alison nodded, and left the room. As she drove through the streets of Canberra heading home, she had reached some conclusions on things about life. You could indeed be a serious enough person and think all things were well and good. And, indeed, they could be. But down the track were choices. Decisions. And you had to make them one way or another. And these choices and these decisions had consequences and ramifications. So to engender a decent result for your life and, with eternal life in mind, you had to make the right decisions. And with that thinking in her head, she would choose the most obvious person of all to do a report and questionairre upon. Her father, cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. Quiz dad's mind and the Advancing Noah Movement and work out just what it was which made this Noahide community tick and give it the strength and the ability to, as it were, go the distance. As she drove she continued pondering the idea and then, at the roundabout where she took a left to go home, or a right to the shops to get a pizza, she thought on her thighs, and the fact she liked to maintain a trim size and, despite thinking she really had earned and deserved a break, she took a left, and contemplated a light salad from grandma, with maybe a sausage or two if she was lucky. If she was lucky. And so, getting home soon enough, another day passed for Alison Daly, and the next chapter of her work was soon enough to begin. It was good times in the universe these days. Things had settled somewhat with all the grandiose changes, but the new system was being worked out. Life went on and choices were made, and same chose good and some chose bad. But choices were made regardless and, young Alison being our prime example, it could well be the choice to skip that extra cheese pizza was the wise choice, as Natalia walked in just after she arrived with a bucket full of KFC, and said, 'Have some bitch.' Alison did not object.

The End



Alison and Natalia: Tag Team Partners

'You know what is dumb,' said Alison, sitting in the swing in Macarthur's park in Canberra on New Terra to her cousin Natalia.

'Grandpa Cyril,' said Natalia. 'How the old fart gets anything done is beyond me. He is sooooo sedate.'

'I was thinking of grandma Mary's cooking,' replied Alison.

Natalia chuckled. 'It's like she took lessons in how to create the most boring English meals she is capable of. Ox Tail stew and, believe me, you don't know what's good for you.'

Alison burst out laughing. 'Exactly,' she said. 'I mean, her meals are a hit and miss affair. Sometimes they are quite nice, usually passable enough. But sometimes she is just off a bit and, despite my politeness, I remark, not quite to my liking grandma. Dad told me to be honest, and remind her she mostly gets the cooking done pretty well. And, God, does she like to mix it up a lot. She is not terribly consistent with her mix of meals. Very often the same sorts of ingredients, but she changes all the ruddy time. Standard home meals, and it's not like she's changing into international cuisines. Standard stuff, but such a diverse mix.'

'She experiments,' said Natalia. 'Likes to try new things at times.'

'Probably a good thing I suppose,' said Alison.

'Grandma Brigid is not quite the same,' said Natalia. 'There are a lot of standard meals she returns to pretty regularly, and they are more modern than grandma Mary's stylings. She also orders in a lot.'

'Different generations with different styles,' said Alison. 'The traditional generational gap.'

'Yeh,' probably. 'I mean, technically, your even a generation above me, you know.'

Alison looked at Natalia. 'How so?'

'Well you are grandma Mary's grand-daughter, actually. Daniel's daughter. But I'm her great grand-daughter. Mary, Brigid, Mum Georgia then me.'

'Oh, yes,' said Alison. 'Never thought of that.'

'You took a while stewing, that's all,' said Natalia, and grinned at Alison.

'I guess so,' she replied.

In the last few weeks the girls had quickly developed a friendship while Natalia was in town. And it grew pretty strong pretty damn quick. They called each other girlfriend and they called each other bitch and, for Alison, she had found that buddy and family member she suddenly had a strong connection with. That hadn't quite happened yet, and it was quite surprising actually, so used to her parent's and Matthew her brother's company in this respect.

'Let's walk down to the shops and get a subway,' said Natalia.

And so the new tag team partners, without much of a care in the world at this present time, strode confidently down to Chisholm shops, ordered Subway Subs, and sat there, commenting on the world passing by, and noticing one or two of the cute boys who passed on by. They were quite the pair.

The End

Angels of Hope 19

'Chicken Sandwich,' said Gloryel. Daniel paid. They walked over to Infidel's Park in the centre of Joniquay, and sat down, starting to eat their meals.

'You know,' said Gloryel. 'Eternity is like a circle. The circle of life. Where everything old is new again.'

'It does go on, doesn't it,' replied Daniel. 'I mean, seriously. I have that many 'Get to Item's' these days that getting them all up to date, never mind done, would take a lifetime of lifetimes.

'I like to run loose on things like that,' replied Geri.

'Loose woman, huh,' quipped Daniel.

Gloryel sat there, eating her chicken sandwich, thinking on her response. Finally, 'You might say that.'

'Yeh, that's the spicies. The loosest of women. They've seen it all, done it all, had 'em all.'

'Had 'em all?' queried Gloryel.

'All the hard words and all the hard ones right up 'em. Time and time again,' replied Daniel.

'What are you driving at?' asked Gloryel.

'Heavy driving as well. Lots of pushing and shoving. Squeals of delight.'

'You're disgusting,' replied Gloryel.

'Chicken is a good choice,' said Daniel. 'So many ruddy vegan cafes in the city now. Half of Joniquay must be vegan or vegetarian I would imagine.'

'People like to run healthy here. And fit. Very much a fitness place. Lots of gyms. Were people often go to be seen,' replied Gloryel.

'Way of a lot of the modern world,' said Daniel.

'People make choices, be they wrong or right, and those choices shape our world and culture, and we get what we get because of it, whether it's too our liking or not,' said Gloryel.

'So what we do is adapt and fit in,' said Daniel. 'And you learn some of the knowledge of the emerging things to understand them and to acclimatize to them. You get them in your system so you can get along just fine and have the ability to fit in.'

'Exactly,' said Geraldine, and continued munching on her chicken sandwich. She looked around the park. Infidel's park. Where the first rebellion took place in the Realm of the Diamond Cities, the Seceond Heavenly Realm as it was often called. 'Statue of Satan,' she said pointing to a bronze statue not far from them.

'Come on then,' replied Daniel. Geri put her sandwich in her handbag, and picked up her raincoat, as it had been raining that morning, and followed Daniel over to the statue on a rock base. They looked at it.

'He looks in a fowl mood,' said Gloryel.

'That's the devil for you,' said Daniel.

'It has a plaque,' said Gloryel.

Daniel read it. 'Dedicated to Satan. The Grandest Infidel of them All.'

'Funny,' said Gloryel.

'Honest, I guess,' replied Daniel. 'But it was infidelity or something like that which led him astray again.'

'The devil doing what he does,' said Gloryel.

'And the rest of us facing the consequences,' replied Daniel.

It started raining again, and Gloryel put on her raincoat. 'I'm doing the challenge again. One day,' said Gloryel. 'Made up my mind. Not yet. Not anytime soon in fact at all. But one day.'

Daniel looked at her. 'You'll need a coach again, I guess?'

'Same team,' said Gloryel. 'There's a little bit of the virtue of consistency I've been reading about in a devotional which I want to make a few acknowledgements and decisions on. People can have expectations of you from what you've done in the past. Perhaps you should do it again, being lawful and holy and good, that is.'

'Come on,' said Daniel. 'Let's get to the car.'

They left the park and get inside the car in the carpark, and Daniel took out his tablet. He started typing away, and after a couple of minutes Gloryel asked 'What are you typing.'

'Ironically, what you just remarked. The point you made about consistency and doing what we have done in the past again in the future, albeit holy and lawful and good, that struck a chord. A deep chord, actually. I'm just doing some notes to write an official document for ANM on it.'

'Oh,' replied Gloryel, a little surprised. 'You see merit in the idea.'

Daniel looked at her. 'Very much,' he replied.

'Come on, finish up, get us home. I need a hot bath.'

Daniel put away his tablet, and as they drove along Geri took out the rest of her chicken sandwich and continued munching on it while Daniel was thinking quite a lot about the comments just mentioned. They had actually struck a chord in the heart of Daniel the Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity.

The End

Melanie and Daniel 17

Chapter One

'Move it, chump. Move it!' screeched Melanie C.

'I am fricking moving it, sporty,' retorted Daniel, as he grounded his bat for the quick single in the indoor cricket match they were playing.

'Slight chance!' yelled David Beckham from the stand.

The team was chasing down a target in the Zaphora Indoor competition they were playing, and Danielphon indeed had a chance. Their first victory in their new endeavours they'd been pursuing 5 years now was on the horizon, and neither Daniel nor Melanie nor the rest of the team wanted this one to slip. They were back in form. In past times they competed well, but the competition was ancient now, and getting back up to scratch took some effort and some training – what they had been doing for a while.

'Listen, D grade champion,' said Melanie. 'We're not going to let this one slip yet again. Keep your eye on the bloody ball, and get us a run.'

'I know how to play ruddy cricket,' replied Daniel. He made a mental note. Eye on the ball. Thanks Melanie C.

They played on, and of the first ball of the last over Melanie scored 2 runs, winning the team the match. They came off, not quite exhausted, but hot and sweaty and looking like champs.

'Well done, pommie lad,' said David Beckham, as Daniel sat down next to him. 'Not National level yet, but you're not bad.'

'He did fine,' said Victoria Beckham. 'Can probably improve still.'

'Indoor cricket,' replied Daniel, catching his breath. 'Is were I play cricket best. Not a huge amount of talent, it's ok, but I am able to rustle up the passion at times to compete.'

'My God,' said Melanie C. 'The once invincible Daniel the Seraphim admitting to mortality. He has changed.'

'Funny,' replied Daniel, using a towel to wipe off his sweat.

'3 more wins and we're off the bottom,' said Melanie.

'Don't get ahead of yourself,' said Daniel. 'These guys are only mid-placed on the ladder.'

'But we're improving, and it's second last place next week at home. We're a sure thing.'

'Maybe,' replied Daniel. He looked at Victoria. 'The Spice Girls up for phase 2 of our promotion?'

'I suppose,' said Victoria. 'I doubt it could get worse than phase 1.'

'Hey that turned out fine for you girls in the end,' said Daniel. 'Sales were up in several new micronations.'

'But our reputation tarnished forever,' said Melanie sarcastically.

'Take a lot to make it any worse,' quipped Daniel under his breath. Melanie poked him with the end of her cricket bat.

'Improve the star next time,' said David. 'David Suchet is fab, but you could use the top talent.'

'He is the top talent,' said Daniel.

'Mainly in dry and stuffy,' said Melanie.

'Branch out for a hipper market,' said Victoria. 'Spice Girls style.'

Daniel looked at them. 'I'll think about it. We have an image for the product we want to maintain, but maybe. I guess it couldn't get any worse.'

'Hey, when you are running last, you got to try something,' said Melanie.

Daniel looked up at the blackboard with their team last on the ladder. 'True enough,' he replied. 'Let's get some OJ.'

Melanie followed Daniel to the canteen and as they chatted lightly, Daniel kept the advice in mind. Maybe a brand new star and a brand new vision. Hey, it could only improve things. Couldn't it?

Chapter Two

'Peter Sellers?' queried Melanie.

'He's a winner,' said Daniel.

'As Inspector Cluseau?' queried Melanie.

'Should sell the product just fine,' said Daniel.

'I don't know,' replied Melanie. 'I mean, David Suchet had class. Peter Sellers is mostly arse.'

'He's a classic English actor,' said Daniel, taken aback.

'He's no shakespearean class act,' replied Melanie. 'The last of the summer wine, quite frankly, which had indeed turned to vinegar.'

'He'll do fine,' said Daniel.

'You hope,' said Melanie.

'Besides, Victoria is up for the idea, and she is always the hardest one to win. We have a Pink Panther angle which should work, especially after the recent fun with Emma Bunton which made the news.'

'The Quest of the Pink Panthers,' said Melanie. 'A hairbrain idea to teach Lamech a lesson. 70 odd Inspector Cluseau look-alikes running around Zaphora, eaching solving daft riddles to teach morality lessons.'

'Great concept,' said Daniel. 'I could write an epic on it.'

'Oh, a bestseller,' said Melanie sarcastically.

'For sure,' replied Daniel.

'He'll do I suppose. Not exactly hip and happening, but he has a lot of fans. Probably an ok thing for the Spicies, and I think Emma will probably like chatting with him. She's the biggest fan of 60s styles. Geri too, but Emma's music has a large influence from that era.'

'Some of my favourite albums,' said Daniel. 'Look, it'll be fine. Peter Sellers is the sort of guy we want. Fits right in. I know, he's a bit hokey, a bit out of date at times. But the product we are selling borders on the olde world nearly. Nearly. Peter Sellers is probably the guy for the moment. I promise he won't let you down. He'll do fine.'

'Mmm,' said Melanie, and hooked into her weet-a-bix, watching her TV. They were in Danielphon, and Melanie lived there most of the time now in her own room. She and Daniel were pretty good friends, but of course Daniel was now quite faithfully married to Jessica, who kept him on a short leash. It was a marriage which had gone the distance, simply because Jessica liked the fellow well enough and intended to keep him. It seemed to Melanie that that was what Daniel was looking for. A lady who loved him and wanted to keep him. When that came along he just stuck with her in the end. He loved freely at times, did Daniel the Seraphim, but that might have put a lot of ladies off. But, so it seemed, if a lady wanted him enough, he was hers for the taking. And Jessica had claimed that prize. Lucky girl, Melanie thought, but Dan was mainly her buddy these days. How their relationship worked out.

'Ok, Peter Sellers will do,' said Melanie, finishing her cereal. 'I'm not 100% sure it's the best of ideas, but I'll trust you again, and the Spicies will run with the ValDan agenda once more. But don't let us down this time buddy. We have a pretty strong rep, but we're not invincible.'

'It will work out wonderfully in the end,' said Daniel, reading his Zaphora News Newspaper. 'Trust me. Have I ever let you down?'

Melanie gave him one of those looks.

'I'm off for the day,' said Daniel. 'You keep busy you here.'

'Today I'm a couch potato,' said Melanie. 'And the afternoon is for fan emails. I have a gazillion years of them to catch up with, so I'll get stuck in for a while.'

'Good plan, dear,' said Daniel. He kissed her forehead, departed, and Melanie sat there, shaking her head. 'Peter Sellers,' she said to herself. 'Good grief.'

Chapter Three

'The cuisine is, how you say, shit,' said Peter Sellers.

Melanie C chuckled. 'Funny, Peter.'

'It is bad enough that ze Pink Panther has been stolen, but I must carry out this charade and find it in one of ze furniture items they have on parade. They must have worked through the night for that idea.'

'Their philosophy is that people are dumb,' said Melanie. 'And respond to banal humour.'

'They have that much worked out very well,' said Peter.

'I think so,' replied Melanie.

'Oh well, on with ze show,' said Peter.

The night passed on, with the dinner generally going as planned with the reporters taking regular photoes. They were in an elaborately done up studio with the french furniture ValDan was flogging off on display everywhere. The Spice Girls had posed with Inspector Cluseau and made wonderful comments about the elegance of the furniture, but everything seemed to be coming off as tired and cliched. The night was not really going to plan. Afterwards Melanie was back at Danielphon, around midnight, sitting on the couch, watching TV. There seemed to be a tired look on her face.

'Well, that wasn't too bad,' said Daniel.

'Possibly a pass,' said Melaniel. 'It was trite and too long, and we looked like schmuck used car salesmen.'

'I thought it all looked as it should,' said Daniel, scratching his head.

'The worst part was the painting of us Spice Girls with Inspector Cluseau around the Pink Panther and the furniture.'

'I thought that was a good idea,' said Daniel.

'In principle, but why the political satirist style of art? It looked dreadful. Like something from the Sun.

'What our audience goes for a bit, I think,' said Daniel. 'We were happy with it.'

'It was dreadful. But your saving grace is that Peter Sellers was a true gentleman and managed to turn a bad night into something which was actually pleasant enough in the end. And Emma really enjoyed his company.'

'So a pass then?' asked Daniel, eyebrows raised.

'It wasn't your worst effort, and slightly outdid the last shenanigan.'

'Right,' said Daniel, again scratching his head. 'I guess we need to improve still. Would you girls be willing to give it one final try? We'll work even harder.'

'Don't push your luck, Danny boy,' said Melanie. But she looked up at him. 'It was a pass. If you can come up with a cracker for one last go, I will think about it. But get it right this time. Or your dead meat.'

'I'll keep that in mind. Oh, and Melanie.'

'What?' she asked.

'Thanks. You're a lifesaver.'

'Think nothing of it,' replied Melanie C.

Daniel departed, and Melanie stared at the TV, yawned after a while, and thought on the night. Actually, it wasn't too bad, all things considered, and their reputation probably came out about level if anything. And Peter was a charmer. She would give Daniel one last chance, but stuff up this time, dead meat. And he'd never hear the end of it. That much was for sure.

The End

Dr Chiu's Happiness 2

'Fungxia has tradition,' said Dr Chiu.

Victoria used her chopsticks and expertly put the fried rice to her mouth. 'Well, it is quite old now,' replied Victoria. 'Developed a lot of character. Perhaps too much character.'

Dr Chiu went silent, and ate her meal. 'You are driving at,' she said to Victoria, without looking up.

'It's a bloody mess in the southside,' she said. 'Grotty as David after footie training.'

'He still plays then?' asked Dr Chiu.

'He gets to it every now and again,' replied Victoria proudly.

'There are a group of families which rule the south side,' said Dr Chiu. 'They have been there from the beginning, and are very set in their ways. They don't change very much, and are quite established economically. They often, the elite in the family, throw out things on the side of the street, without giving a damn about the rules, as they rule. It is very sedate and laid back, and they do not care for they rule. And the populace there do not bother much to maintain a standard, and some of the old parts of China are prevalent, and it can be gritty on the streets. Not violent, mind you, but some of the men spray paint still, and while we had policies forbidding this strictly in the beginning, now nobody cares. Walls are never washed much. On the north side they maintain a decent enough reputation and way, but only so much more than the southerners. They will maintain a certain standard for society and our visitors, but the south. They just do not care anymore. It is not exactly the dream Fungxia was founded on.'

'It is comfortable, though,' said Victoria. 'The chinese restaurant I was in was a bit grotty around the corners and things, but the utensils were clean, and the food was actually delicious. People seemed to be more focused on kindness, though, then cleanliness.'

'Relaxed and loving life a bit too much for my liking,' replied the Doctor.

'But you are a doctor, of course,' said Victoria.

'Of course,' replied Dr Chiu. 'But our traditions we have going now, they are established well enough. Transport is still first rate throughout the city, and is maintained well. You get to were you need to go smoothly and affordably. They do, if the event calls for it, put in an effort. Even the south side.'

'It's a friendly city,' replied Victoria.

'Often too friendly,' frowned Dr Chiu. 'Brothels, all hidden up back streets, with shameless red lights burning through the night.'

'It could be the God of Heaven's plan for the city. What he had in mind from the start,' said Victoria.

Dr Chiu sighed. 'Well, it is still my home, and I am proud of it. It is good to see you again, Victoria. It has been a while now.'

'As you can see, I eat well with chopsticks now.'

'I can see that, Mrs Beckham.'

Victoria smiled, and finished her meal. 'It is probably how Fungxia wants to be as a city,' said Victoria. 'Have a little faith, Doctor. What is meant to be is meant to be, and if London was Paris it just wouldn't be the same, if you know what I mean.'

'I understand,' replied Dr Chiu. She lifted her wine glass. 'To Fungxia, then,' she Said.

'To Fungxia,' replied Victoria, and drank down her wine. She looked out over the city. What it was meant to be, she thought to herself. Maybe indeed, but an interesting idea, if indeed the God of Heaven was getting his way with the city. Very interesting indeed.

The End

Melaniel the Magnificent Child of Majesty 2

'What do you thing Rags?' asked Melaniel the Seraphim, Mel B, to Raguel the Archangel of the Realm of Eternity.

'I think Daniel has truth indeed and the Universal Truth Assembly is wise in its way, but this time they have bitten off more than they can chew.'

'No we haven't,' retorted Valandriel.

Daniel studied the gaming board.

'Difficult decision,' said Melaniel. 'What will Daniel San decide?'

'Who designed this game anyway?' asked Valandriel. 'It's – awkward. Not annoying, but a little frustrating. And it challenges you to think awkward answers too.'

'That's the point in its universal truths,' said Melaniel. 'Raguel and I took a long time to ensure this passed the board of the UTA for Official Product status.'

'I should really have been consulted on it,' said Daniel. 'Not 100% sure this is what we are looking for, but then again people are to be challenged at time, and we are supposed to be honest about things. But making people score their own honesty on an answer, and reward themselves a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 point chip for their honesty – I mean, that can really cut some hearts up. Questions they don't want to answer, and have to answer dishonestly, but everyone knows. Really cold Melanie C.'

'Thus the name Cold Truths,' replied Melanie. 'Brilliant work. Long contemplation from your blessed Queen of the UTA in developing this magnificent gem of a board game.'

'Long contemplation indeed,' said Daniel. He stared at Melanie. 'My penis is 18 inches long.' He awarded himself a 1 point chip. Complete lie.

Melanie did not grin. Well she did, but she hid it well. 'Stud,' she said softly, under her breath.

'Shaddup,' replied Daniel the Seraphim.

The game twoed and froed and at the end Melaniel won, who was very used to answering to cold truths.

'But you designed all the questions anyway,' said Valandriel. 'Stuff you were comfortable in answering.'

'Prerogative of the Queen,' said Melanie, blowing onto her fingernails. 'I'm number one, so I make the questions.'

'I did a number also,' said Raguel.

'It's cold,' said Daniel. 'But fun. I will pass the thing as certainly an experience.'

'That much it is,' replied Valandriel.

They put the game away, and sat in the seats of Danielphon, chatting. Melanie C came in after a while, and grabbed Melaniel's hair, and they argued some details about an upcoming Spice Girls concert for a little bit, before Melanie said she was going out for the night to get pizza.

'How you finding her?' asked Melaniel to Daniel.

'She's always been pretty fab company,' replied Daniel. 'And Jessica likes another woman in the house. Gives her someone to talk to of the same gender, which she finds comforting, and they get along pretty well. Really lucky to have her hanging around.'

Melaniel scrunchged Raguel's hair. 'My bestie here is good luck too,' she said. 'Eternally grateful he doesn't mind his younger sister dogging his feet all the time for some good times.'

'We all need friends,' replied Raguel. 'And I think I have learned that if someone genuinely likes you, it's best to let them and be friendly in reply.'

'Wisdom,' said Daniel.

'Cold truths,' said Valandriel.

'I'm up for Chinese for dinner,' said Melaniel.

'As long as it's hot,' said Daniel. 'No cold fried rice for me.'

Melaniel smiled, and they ordered takeaway chinese, and the rest of the evening they ate well, watched some Eddie Murphy movies and Melaniel was in quite a good mood. Quite.

The End

Belgarath Vs Aldur in Quest of the Pink Panthers: Afterthought

Note: The Story 'Belgarath Vs Aldur in Quest of the Pink Panthers' fits here, which is

found in Audio-Videobook format at the 'Pop Culture Meanderings' Video Channel

in the Noahide Videos Bible Network on Youtube

The Quest had come and the Quest had gone and Lamech of Cain's line had been taught a lesson, and now all was well in the world. But Emma Bunton, who had gotten very used to Inspector Cluseau lookalikes, and had recently been graced with the presence of Peter Sellers, Inspector Cluseau himself, in the ValDan's French Furniture Campaign, felt that while the Quest had been a very interesting experience, more was required.

'Yes, a second quest is planned,' said Daniel the Quintessential Blue Beetle.

'And who is the victim this time?' queried Emma, sitting in Daniel's home in Paradision, the Angel Callodyn the Cherubim of Eternity in his Human Identity.

'Victim is a strong word. Subject is preferred,' replied Daniel. 'It is our Rainbow Torah agenda to bring core lessons to the bad boys of the Rainbow Torah. Nimrod is on the list, so is Tubal-Cain, and of course Cain tops it. We are considering an application to review this theological idea of who are what the 'Serpent' of the Garden really is or was, but that information is not terribly easy to access, so at this stage the Devil himself is exempt from our purposes. But the bad boys are on the list, and Belgarath and Aldur still have further assessment and debate to make on the nature of good and evil and redemption, key factors in the administration of the Vale and the World of the 7 gods, which is accessible via portal mainly only, and only to those chosen by Elohim to travel the Multiverse of Adventure.'

'That is all well and good,' said Emma. 'But who is next?'

'You choose,' replied Callodyn.

'Nimrod the Hunter,' said Emma. 'He is the next bad boy on the list. But not the Pink Panther's next time. A different subject matter for Belgarath and Aldur. A different Quest.'

'That has been considered,' replied Callodyn. 'True, Belgarath and Aldur are the core component in this adventure, but I did kind of like those crazy Cluseaus.'

Emma giggled. 'So did I Cally. But, no. Time to move on and get a new idea. Think it over, buddy, as I am up for another crazy bus ride. It was fun.'

'Blue Beetle at your service, baby spice.'

Emma giggled again. 'Very funny, Danny.'

And they got on with their day.

The End

PCM: GEM and the Multiverse's Lost Rainbow

'3 Queens,' said Callodyn.

'3 Queens what,' said Ruth.

'3 Queens. GEM.'

'3 Queens of 7DF?' queried Ruth. 'Madonna, isn't it? The HNF Queen. And that Georgia Bridges as the HAF Queen?'

'Something like that,' replied Callodyn. 'But the 3 Queens in Particular are the GEM Queens.'

'The GEM Queens,' replied Ruth, cutting up carrots for that night's dinner, musing it over.

'And the Lost Rainbow. It's the GEM Covenant.'

'GEM is 3 Spice Girls in that side project. Can't remember which 3,' said Ruth.

'That's the idea,' replied Callodyn. 'I have a lot of their limited edition products. Hard to get stuff. They don't release much of it, and it's nearly always in Limited Editions when they do.'

'Which 3,' said Ruth, now reaching for the potatoes.

'Geri, Emma & Melanie B,' replied Callodyn.

'And the Lost Rainbow?' asked Ruth.

'In Saruviel's Mythora there is a place, a community, where Rumors exist of a Lost Rainbow. I have a gut feeling from the snippets of information I've got it's a Rainbow Covenant at stake, and there are hints it's a Spice Girls thing behind it all. There is a big Spice Girls thing in this community, and it was whispered the Rainbow Covenant is a Big GEM Focus.'

'You know this?' queried Ruth.

'Met the old man on the mountain,' said Callodyn. 'He needs a GEM CD Single signed by the girls. It was all arranged a long time ago by Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly and the Theophany and visits to the Throne Room of Zaphon. The GEM Girls will be visiting soon, got them to come around for a few week holiday, then we are off on the quest to find the Lost Rainbow, and give Witness to God and Noah for the GEM Covenant.'

'A 3DF Covenant of sorts. AOTDC, AOTMH & UTA,' said Ruth. 'Those are the 3 Fellowships for the GEM Queens.'

'Correct. I have the Covenant Book of the 3DF Program all worked out. It was done a long time ago, actually. Right at the beginning of things. But when we hook up with Noah and find the old man on the hill, tracking down the correct location for the Rainbow Covenant Witness could be challenging. Never easy chasing Rainbows.'

'No,' said Ruth, turning around and looking at Callodyn. 'It never really is Daniel Daly.'

'Can we have potato cakes and pasta carbonara,' said Callodyn.

'Oh, whatever,' said Ruth, returning to her cooking. 'Fine.'

Callodyn smiled. He loved Ruth's potato cakes. She always had the magic touch.

* * * * *

'You shall not pass,' said Soslan the Lion King.

'Shouldn't you be in an adventure of Kung Fu Panda,' said Melanie B to Soslan. 'A Lionman instead of a Tigerman, though.'

'Aw, come on. Let us pass,' said Emma. 'We'll be on very good behaviour.'

'I am the King of Mythora. You shall not Enter the Hidden City.'

'You're hardly the King,' said Noah. 'Mythora is beset with little Hitler's who all think they are King Rat. Just another pretender to the throne, buddy.'

'I, am the King,' replied Soslan, getting out his lasso of truth, and whirling it around like a cowboy. Just ask Neqora the Unicorn. She acknowledges me as the King. You'll meet her futher into the Valley ahead.'

'Neqora has a Sword,' said Callodyn. 'Forged in Avalon. She's a Unicornman like you are a Lionman I take it?'

'Unicorn Person,' replied Soslan, amused with his rope tricks, and impressing himself. He pulled up his lasso of truth into his hands and pulled it tight. 'We'll hang you sonny Jim if you don't get the protocols correct in the Hidden City. I am the King and I run a Tight Ship. All above board, Sonny Jim. Believe me.'

'Who employs you?' asked Geri.

Soslan jumped down onto all fours, and came over and started brushing against Geri's legs and purring. 'You're my favourite Spice Girl. You have all the heart,' he said.

'Oy,' said Melanie. 'We're all heart.'

'You're too scarey,' replied Soslan, who had returned to his rope tricks. 'But I like you. Funny. That father of Angel. He's a funny guy. Beverly Hills Cop indeed.'

'You're the King Warrior of the Hidden Valley are you?' asked Noah.

'I'm the Defender of the Realm,' said Soslan, now swinging his rope around. 'And I'll hang you high if you mess around too much. The Rainbow is challenging, and a 3 headed dog guards it at the final stage, and you better answer the riddle, or you'll be dogfood for sure.'

'There is supposed to be a Marble Plaque Ready for the Covenant Chapter. It should Read 'The Gem Covenant is Ratified by the Rainbow Covenant. There is supposed to be an engraver ready to chisel out Genesis chapter 9.'

'He's ready,' replied Soslan. 'If you pass the riddle. But never mind that. You won't get past me to start with, and if you do, Neqora will use her Magic Sword and dispatch you for sure.'

'Oh, it's a Magic Sword is it,' said Mel B.

'Got to be. And then if you negotiate Neqora's wisdom, Varadin the Little One will Battle you with his Stick and you'll not get over the Glorious River to Climb Mt Glory, that's for sure.'

'Is he a big guy?' asked Geri.

'He's a size or two,' replied Soslan.

'Figures,' replied Geri. 'Little John. Robin Hood.'

Noah looked at her, nodded, and turned to Soslan. 'You obviously know the details of our Quest well.'

'The Hidden Valley has been ready for you clowns a long time,' said Soslan, laying down on a rock, playing with his rope, and trying to look like the Koolest Kat in town. 'But you won't get past me. You're too thick to work out my riddle.'

'Oh, there's 3 riddles, is there?' asked Geri.

'4,' said Soslan. 'The Guardian of Growler has the final one, and it's a tough one. But work out all 4 riddles, and show true wisdom, we'll maintain the Covenant forever. It's a rainbow covenant, but you better prove worthy, or back you go, and we'll reset it all for someone far more worthy.'

'Wonderful,' said Callodyn. 'Fine. What's the riddle.'

'Glad you asked,' replied Soslan, jumping down onto his feet, and whirling the rope above his head. 'Now my riddle is not too tough. I rate you schmucks a 50/50 chance of solving it. It's an oldie, but a goodie.'

'Get on with it,' said Geri.

'Here it is,' said Soslan, sitting down on the ground, throwing the rope over his shoulder. He looked at them, and wiggled his whiskers. 'What gets bigger the more you take out of it?'

'I give up,' said Emma.

'That was quick,' said Melanie.

'She's impatient,' said Geri.

'You have to answer this one Geraldine. The 3 GEM girls in order, and then Callodyn. It's how the order of this covenant is ratified.'

'Wonderful,' said Geri.

'It's not too tough,' said Callodyn. 'A classic really.'

Geri sat down, crossed legged and looked at Soslan. 'Do you have a mate?' she asked him.

'Private pussycat details,' replied Soslan. 'Don't try and sweettalk me Gingerbread Girl. It won't work.'

'I know the answer, I'm not stupid,' said Geri.

'I figured you might,' replied Soslan.

'Do you have a lonely life or is this Hidden City a big thing?'

'We are servants of an ancient Rainbow Covenant, and in reality you guys are required to solve these riddles. We can only function on the GEM covenant. It's the whole point.'

'I see,' said Geri. 'It's a hole. I know this one well.'

Soslan started purring. 'You may pass. But Neqora has a tougher one Gingerbread Girl. Good luck.'

'On we go,' said Emma.

'We forge ahead,' said Melanie.

'Thank You Soslan,' said Geri and winked at him. Soslan continued purring proudly.

* * * * *

They passed on along the road, leaving Soslan playing with the rope behind them, coming instantly into a long dark tunnel with light at the other end.

'Let's hope a train doesn't run us down,' said Emma.

'We'll be fine,' said Noah confidently.

They emerged at the other end after a hundred yards or so, and entered the Hidden City proper. It was indeed a lush and green valley, with a traditional village abounding, and a way station with a gate right in front of them, and a sleeping figure on a seat by the gate. The village was different – like Smurf Village itself, with all the houses in the shape of mushrooms.

'Very strange,' said Emma.

There were villagers here and there going about their business, but the most looming thing was the large river which lay ahead of them a few hundred yards with a bridge, and a big mountain behind it. But, for now, the way station was before them.

'We push it up I guess,' said Emma. 'Or walk around it.'

Suddenly the sleeping figure awoke, startled by the noise. It looked up. Indeed, a Unicorn Person. The mysterious Neqora.

'Neuuddhh,' she went. 'Oh, I was having such a wonderful dream. Who are you funny guys. Don't hurt me. I'll use my magic sword.' Neqora pulled out her sword. It was quite – small.'

'That's not a sword,' said Callodyn.

'It's barely a dagger,' said Melanie.

'More of a dirk,' replied Neqora, and neighed again nervously.

'You're worried,' said Emma. 'We're not scary, you know. Melanie excepted.'

'Thanks,' replied Mel B.

'We don't get many visitors, and it was rumoured the questers would finally show up today. The druid was suggesting today might be the day.'

'What's the riddle,' said Emma. 'It's my job according to Noah to solve it.'

Neqora flipped her sword into the air and it hovered around for a bit, spinning, before dropping down and Neqora catching it.

'Another artisan,' said Callodyn. 'Figures.'

'It's sharp as well,' said Neqora, touching the end. 'Ooh,' she said. 'Sharp,' putting her hoof to her tongue and licking it. 'No matter. The riddle is tougher than Soslan's doddle, but tougher still lies ahead questers.'

'Out with it,' said Emma.

Neqora looked them over and confronted Emma. 'Ok Nappy Rash. Here it is. I'm as solid as a rock, but can't make up my mind between night and day, and I'm always crashing the waves. Give up? Good. I need to return to my nap.'

'Mmm,' said Emma, and sat down on the road. 'This one's tough.'

'Not too tough,' said Callodyn. 'I think I know.'

'Well don't tell her or we'll spoil the quest,' said Melanie.

'I won't,' replied Callodyn.

Emma looked around, looking at the village. She looked at the colourful splotches on the mushroom houses, then looked up the sun, and illimination suddenly filled her face.

'It's made of rock, fluctuates all month from light to dark, and controls the oceans. It's the moon.'

'She's not as dumb as she looks then,' said Melanie.

'Always those hidden surprises with Emma.'

'Well done Nappy Rash,' neighed Neqora. 'You may pass.' And she promptly opened the gate, and returned to her seat, returning to her happy slumber.

'On we go,' said Emma in a Mario voice.

'Very funny,' said Geri.

And the troop marched on

* * * * *

As the walked along towards the bridge the villagers started gathering around them and cheering. An old wizened man came up to them. 'I am Soltaic,' he said. 'Druid of the Village.'

'You look like the old man on the hill back in Village Catweazle,' said Melanie.

'He is a druid also. In our guild. We expected you today, questers. The portents seemed to indicate today was the day. Purple clouds last night, and a wonderful sunset, indications of glory the following day.'

'Well here we are,' said Emma.

'Be mindful of Varadin the Little one,' said Soltaic. 'He is the man.'

'He is the man?' queried Melanie.

'He is the man,' nodded Soltaic, and stepped back.

They continued on, nodding and waving at the villagers, and approached the glory of the bridge, a standard wooden bridge, but quite well made and with beautifully carved features. The odd thing though, a large man in the middle of the bridge, with a wooden stick, a jarring stick, thrusting and parrying it around, going 'hut, hut, hut', all the time. The marched onto the bridge the the apparent 'Varadin the little one' carried on, and started saying 'I am the Man. I am the Man.' He seemed quite full of himself. As they approached he stopped his art and stood and looked at them.

'Ho. The questers have finally arrived.' He pointed his stick at them. 'But you'll never cross Glory Bridge. It's not in ye, ye whippersnappers.' And that said he continued on his excercises, with 'I am the man' frequently spoken.

'What's the riddle?' queried Melanie, toughing up.

Varadin stopped what he was doing, and leaned on his stick. 'Se yer serious then. I don't know. I've been guarding this bridge a very long time. Don't really know if I want to give up my day job. But yer here, and tis my duty I guess.' He came over, and sat down, crossed legged, like the other two, and Melanie sat down likewise in front of him.

'So ye think yer up for it Brown Sugar?' asked Varadin.

'She's smarter than she looks,' said Noah from behind her.

'We'll soon see,' said Varadin. 'Very well then. If ye can solve the Glory Riddle, along ye will go. But if not, I'll cast your sorry hides to the rocks below.'

'Shoot,' said Melanie.

Varadin grinned. 'I'm a white skinned fella, fat and thin at times, I serve every night, and I never get tired. But when my work is done, it's lights out for me, And I'm gone then forever, a fading legacy.'

'Oh, I know,' said Emma.

'Me too,' said Geri.

Melanie looked at Varadin. 'It's a tough one. And I think I know, but I have a question. What's next after I solve your riddle?'

'Oh, I have my duties in the village,' said Varadin. 'We have a covenant we've been preparing for since the dawn of time. But you'll need to enlighten me if you want me to get on with my day.'

'And enlighten you I will,' replied Melanie. 'Just like a candle in the wind.'

'Very good,' said Varadin. 'Brown Sugar,' he said, picking up his stick, and knighting her on the shoulder. 'You're all that.'

Melanie smiled and jumped to her feet.

'A candle,' said Callodyn. 'Obviously.'

And so on they went, passing by Varadin the little one, who had returned to his exercises, now facing Mt Glory, and a difficult pathway which seemed to lead up to its summit.

* * * * *

And so they climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed and, finally, Callodyn said 'I'm getting too old for this.'

'Move it, pox-breath,' said Noah, and nudged Daniel with his staff, who picked himself up and moved on

After a long climb they neared the summit and started noticing there was more to Mt Glory than the mysterious summit at the top.

'It appears to be a residence,' said Emma.

'Many of them,' said Geri, pointing.

'Carved into the mountain itself,' said Melanie.

As climbed up they came to little trails which ran to the side, and there were windows and doors, and suddenly a face appeared, and suddenly a number. Men, women and then a number of what was obviously druids from the order.

'Come on,' the people said. And so they carried on and reached the top, a crowd following at their heels. The came to an elaborate and beautiful gateway at the top of the mountain which levelled out into a volcano-like surface, which was about 50 yards in diameter. On the surface it was all level with what appeared to be a checkerboard surface of black and whit, and in the centre a grand looking altar. But the biggest and most obviously noticeable thing was a rather large 3 headed dog, about 4 or 5 yards in height, roaming around sniffing the ground which, when it noticed the visitors yelped and came over, growling at them, protecting the chessboard surface.

'Don't mind growler,' said a druid. 'He'll just tear you to pieces if you try and enter in without permission.'

Callodyn gulped. 'Good to know.'

The druid came over to Noah. 'The carving is all done. We've had word a few hours now of your approach, and all we are waiting is the rainbow itself as the witness. But looking at the clouds above and this rain which is now sprinkling, it doesn't appear to be long now.'

The girls sat down crossed legged, and Noah took station behind them, standing proudly, leaning on his staff, and they all stared at Callodyn.

'Remember,' be polite,' said Geri.

'Don't stuff up Cally Wally,' said Emma.

'Get it right idiot,' said Melanie.

Noah nodded soberly at Callodyn. It was up to him. The druid came over, and sat down crossed legged. Callodyn mirrored him.

'Now, cherubim, are you ready for your riddle?'

Callodyn nodded. 'First of, all, just one question?'

'Yes,' replied the Wizard. 'Glory Village has a duty eternal. Are you really sure you are up to it?'

'After all this time,' sighed the druid. 'I don't think we could imagine anything else. Now, the riddle. Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly crafted this one with you well in mind. And here it is. I am Eternal, I never give up. I'm faithful and true, and a sign of good luck. I'm with you forever, you know me so well. Now answer the riddle, and of course you can tell.'

'A bit obvious,' said Geri.

'I think it was supposed to be,' said Emma.

'Even Callodyn could not mess this one up,' said Melanie.

Noah stared at his protege.

Callodyn, of course, knew the answer instantly. He looked at the skies, and as the people looked on a Rainbow appeared in the clouds, and everyone looked.

'Well it must be a rainbow then,' said Callodyn. 'What else could it possibly be.'

And then the villagers started singing, and instruments suddenly appeared, and they danced trills. The GEM Covenant was ratified, and Callodyn had solved the final riddle. Noah came over, put his hand on Callodyn's shoulder, and said 'Well done son.' The Quest was complete.

* * * * *

'Well, after that,' continued Callodyn to Ruth, we passed by Growler, who started licking us, and got to the altar. There was a large plaque which had been freshly carved with the introduction and Genesis 9 carved out in English. The community of Glory are dedicated to the Gem Covenant which has some teachings of the 3 combined fellowships and a particular spiritual style associated with it. And, of course, GEM are the main musical obsession.'

'Well all worked out fine,' said Ruth. 'Now do you want potato cakes again?'

'Bubble and Squeak variant?' asked Callodyn, eyebrows raised.

'You'll be lucky,' said Ruth, returning to her food, as Daniel wandered out into the living room, sitting down in the couch, Boaz snoozing with a newspaper on his lap. Callodyn flicked on the TV, and tuned it into golf, and putting on their copy of Queen's 'News of the World' Callodyn settled down on a Sunday afternoon, and soon started snoozing himself, as Ruth continued on with the night's meal, and Nick Faldo scored a hole in one on the 9th, a good day for England, and outside, just outside, not a cat's whisker distant, a rainbow appeared in a sunshine sprinkle, and another chapter in the life of the Rainbow Covenant filed away its information, a dutiful creator making some notes, and settling down for the rest of the days activities.

The End

Daniel's Life

'Why me?' asked Alison's father Daniel.

'To be sure it's meant to be,' replied Alison in an Irish accent.

'Yes, Irish lass,' said Daniel. 'Ok. Sit down then.'

She sat down in the Den of Daniel and he started his tale.

'I was born in a town in the great UK, from a baby to a boy to a man today.'

'You're quoting a song,' said Alison. 'I Can NOT remember which one, but I know it. From childhood.'

'Funny. But, yes, I was born in the UK in Kingston upon Hull in my Earthly manifestation. Early life was Catholic. But more Daly I suppose then Catholic, and half Baker style at that.'

'I could imagine. Grandmother is a very strong woman.'

'Muggins is a tough nut indeed. Called a brick once by Kevin McFadden.'

'I don't know him,' said Alison.

'St Pats friend of the family,' replied Daniel. 'Now in my early 20s I found God after an agnostic phase, and returned to Catholicism before drifting into Pentecostalism for a while, before becoming a Noahide. For the briefest time the 7 laws of Noah were adhered to, but soon enough the Karaite concept ruled the idea of the Rainbow Covenant for me.'

'This much I do know,' replied Alison.

'So I'm being brief. Forgive me,' replied Daniel. 'Soon enough recording things came along and divine inspiration unlocked secret histories of the universe. Or something like that. And the Chronicles of the Children of Destiny was born. Various fellowship ideas soon after an, in time, the ANM parcelled it all together in the main package of things. The rest, as you say, is history.'

'Give me some unique things,' said Alison. 'People know that much already.'

Daniel scratched his head. 'Not much to say which hasn't been written about already or isn't in my memoirs. You could research them, you know. Cull together a piece from all of that.'

'I like it fresh out of the horses mouth,' replied Alison. 'Spill the beans buddy.'

'Very well. Your mother was a fond obsession from early on. Eventually I cracked on to her, and eventually other Daniel's gave up. I won the spirit of the Swift Chick.'

'Funny,' said Alison.

'We do have prior children. They are private sorts. Not keen on being in the public eye. One day you'll meet one or two of them. Not for the time being.'

'I understand. Mum said the same thing,' replied Alison. 'Tell me about Katy Perry.'

'She was an early obsession too. I've had a romance or two with that one, but it's mainly Taylor who lights my fire. She is suited to me very well. I always felt Daly's and Swifts would make a probably good team. It's usually been the case.'

'I see,' said Alison. 'Obviously. You produced me. First class work there dad.'

'B Minus,' replied Daniel. 'But I'll continue.'

Alison chuckled.

'No, Taylor is the main gal of my dreams, and I'm hopelessly devoted, but there are a few other chicks back in time which are out there here and there, and the little black book is occasionally referred to – the brain in other words – when I click onto facebook and send a little not of 'Hi', touching bases again after what is usually an aeon.'

'How it's done I guess,' replied Alison. 'But Katy. Was it the big breasts? Be honest?'

Daniel glared at Alison and sighed. 'They were something of a factor, but it was mainly crazy dreams. Your mother too. Extreme loving encounters in silent lucidity and my heart was claimed. Crazy, I know. But those dreams spoke to me.'

'Really?' replied Alison. 'I did not know that.'

'Few do,' replied Daniel. 'Private matters of the heart.'

'What motivates Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly?' asked Alison.

'Truth,' replied Daniel.

'Truth?' queried Alison.

'Truth,' stated Daniel. 'The problem with Jesus is that he is not a deity, and the New Testament as a whole implies the idea pretty strongly. It's just not right. He's a man. Just a man.'

'Just a man,' replied Alison. 'Mother tends to agree.'

'Mostly these days. History has been too awkward to argue anything much else for Taylor now. It is not a divine plan for Christ to emerge slowly from the shadows and be justified. It is just a man on a mission. It becomes clearer as time passes by. Oh, she likes his gospel messages. The steadiness of the Catholic approach. And in his ministry there is a way of life which is appropriate enough for adherence. Jesus of Nazareth does have some spiritual skills. But he's not deity, and I moved onto Yahweh God the Father because of it. He stood the test, I acknowledged him as the God of creation, affirmed the Daly motto of fidelity to God and King, and grounded on the Rainbow Covenant which the spirit affirmed to me as well enough to God's liking. And it went from there, and is based on the notion of being everlasting, so on we go with the Noahide Faith.'

'Biblical criticism?' asked Alison.

'I get a lecture from Noah every aeon or so on some historical aspects of his life. They are recorded, and there are ambitions for further biblical foundations gradually. These things are earned by MKN through service and loyalty to the covenant. There not free. They require eternal commitment and then the service. It's earned in time.'

'I understand,' replied Alison. 'Callodyn met Noah recently. I've met him also. What are your thoughts on the man?'

'Strong enough to get the job done, and will do what is required for salvation. He's righteous enough for my liking. I suppose he and the Deciarchs from Adam through to Noah are the real rock foundation I build upon. Tanakh is the scripture, and I do in the end accept the Abrahamic blessing of the scriptures as a focus in some ways. That much of the blessing I won't deny, because it is supposed to be God's official communications for our humanity. So Karaite faith is accepted. But in my Cherubim ways there is the Cherubim Torah, but that is a focus on the heavenly globe, not our Terran one.'

'I would imagine so,' replied Alison. 'So, what does the future hold for Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly?'

'The immediate future, I have some catching up with Daniel the Seraphim and Cherubim Callodyn at an upcoming Board Gaming Tournament in Zaphona City. Then continuing on with Callodyn who has sponsored such an event in Paradision on Televere. That is coming up soon enough. Apart from that some regular ANM meetings and the usual humdrum of it all. Same old same old for the most part.'

'Has it been satisfying? Your experiences in life?' asked Alison.

'Mostly. A lot of tough times. Glory isn't cheap you know, and I've had my fair share of that ole glory. Has to be paid for in suffering usually. But it's been worth it.'

'That will do,' said Alison. 'I have some thoughts on what you've just said on suffering for glory, and I want to go off and write some things down.'

'Got what you needed?' asked Daniel.

'It will do. The rest of the info I need I can get from the records.'

'Don't flatter me, but don't drag me down either,' said Daniel. 'That's all I ask.'

'No worries old man,' replied Alison, grinning. 'I'll keep that in mind.'

And she was off, to her room, notes to write, and Daniel flicking on the TV to watch some English quiz shows, as the world turned.

The End

Before the Board 3

'I know, let's visit Ethiopia,' said Sharakondra.

'Go to hell bitch,' replied Semyaza.

'And we'll visit the Ethiopian Coptic Church,' said Sharakondra.

'Fuck you bitch,' replied Semyaza.

'And study 1 Enoch,' finished Sharakondra, proudly.

'Bite me babe,' replied Semyaza. 'Cold hearted bitch. Low blow.'

'What's the problem?' asked Alison Daly, the Cherubim Offspring, to Semyaza, firstborn of the Cherubim of Eternity.

'His problem is,' began Sharakondra.

'You,' interrupted Semyaza.

Sharakondra poked her tongue at Semyaza and continued. 'His problem is 1 Enoch is early scripture that condemns the firstborn angels of the Cherubim to eternal suffering.'

'It's only scripture with the Ethiopian Church. They always have a frikking problem with us guys. I think they pray about us nastily as well,' said Semyaza. 'I sense that.'

'That's in the pseudepigrapha. Or the apocrypha, depending on what you call it,' replied Alison.

'It's quoted in the book of Jude in the New Testament, and that is in the Ethiopian church's bible, 1 Enoch. Always gets under Semyaza's skin. I have a copy of that Bible I berate him with from time to time. He always calms down after that.'

'Cold,' said Alison.

'Fucking oath it's cold,' said Semyaza. 'Heavenly father's way of keeping us in check. Bastard.' Semyaza continued grumbling and drank some more beer.

'Is he always this moody?' queried Alison.

'I don't see him that much anymore. I'm mostly at Danielphon, as you would know. But I've been told he's a slow improver, and doesn't get wasted with the boys quite as much as he used to.'

'I'm reformed,' replied Semyaza, grinning at Alsion, looking like Gene Simmons from Kiss or, worse, Lobo from the DC Comics Universe.

'He's hardly reformed. He's a fallen angel who'll never amount to much in the end, even when he occasionally puts in an effort,' said Sharakondra.

'Fuck you bitch,' said Semyaza. 'I'm going outside for a smoke.'

Sharakondra stuck her tonuge out at Semyaza as he went outside, who flipped the bird at her in reply. She looked at Alison. 'Now what can I do for you young Cherubim angel?'

'I have questions. You can probably help. I'm writing an expose on my father, but of course, he is also a Cherubim. He never really talks about that aspect of his life much, but in the beginning, what was he like? Before the Earth years?'

'Oh,' said Sharakondra, and wrinkled her brow. 'I don't remember that much about the early days anymore. I do have some ancient journals, though. But I do remember one thing about that cherubim. He was quiet, and just sort of went with the flow of those he hung around. Didn't speak up that much. Quiet type. Daniel changed a lot in time, though. He became the most outspoken in his own way in time. Never really saw that coming, in truth.'

'Oh,' said Alison. 'Just one of the pack then?'

'Not even that, from recollection. He was the quiet type. A loner. But when he was in group and things, just sort of went with the flow. Didn't seem to want anything different, then, from just belonging.'

'Just belonging?' asked Alison.

Sharakondra nodded. 'Now were is that blasted Cherubim? One cigarette, no more,' she said, as she chased off after Semyaza. Alison sat there, on the couch, and pulled out her purse, looking at her picture of her father. That was interesting. A truth which perhaps lay at the heart of Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. She'd ask a few more questions, of some close people to the family, and then she'd write her report. And soon enough she'd be before the board for her second last review. She'd need to be ready.

* * * * *

'My Report is complete,' said Alison.

'Please stand at the doorway,' said the Lady of the Board. Alison did as requested. The board spoke quietly for some time, glancing at Alison occasionally. Eventually the Lady of the Board came over to Alison.

'There is one final submission.'

'Correct,' replied Alison.

'Your work is approved of. Simply follow the standard courses of action in completing your final articles, and all will be approved of, and you will be granted a plaque in the library, and a document will be processed for inclusion in the library on your efforts. You will be formally lauded on completion of the project. You may go.'

Alison left the building and drove home.

'How did it go?' asked Taylor.

Alison sat down. 'I'll be formally lauded at the completion of the project. I guess they will say well done and give me a handshake or something.'

'Who knows,' said Taylor.

'They will have a cocktail party and it will be semi-casual but professional enough. You will be lauded, and they will give you a degree of credit to your reputation with the University. You will be expected to show this merit in the future, and you will be extended the liberty of knowing what you are doing to a certain extent. They will treat you a little more personally, a bit more like a colleague. As you grow in knowledge ahead of you, you will be more accepted in time. They are actually quite friendly as you earn your place.'

Alison looked at her father. 'Really?' she said.

'You will enjoy being associated with an official enough University,' said Daniel. 'It gives you good standing in life. They are well mannered people. Good to know in the end.'

Alison smiled a little. She stood and excused herself and went to her room. She looked at her CD collection. She chose Mozart. She settled down, and looked at the ceiling. A little smile crossed her lips.

The End

Part Four

Before the Board

Matthew Daly & The Emo Chicks

Alison's brother Matthew was listening to Evanescence.

'I am Metal,' he said to Alison.

'You've dyed your hair black,' she said to him.

Daniel looked at his son.  'You won't get piercings will you.'

'I am Metal,' replied Matthew.

'You will need Emo Chicks,' said Taylor.

'I am Metal,' said Matthew.

The following day Alison and Taylor were dressed in some of Daniel's heavy metal T-Shirts and had black mascara on.

'We are Emo Chicks,' said Taylor.

'We worship the darkness,' said Alison.

'I am Metal,' said Matthew, putting on his CD Walkman earphones.

'Don't let it go to your head,' said Daniel, and turned over his Newspaper.

The following morning, after pizza with the Emo chicks the prior evening, Matthew woke up on the couch.

'I am Metal,' he said.

'Do you want weet-a-bix or porridge,' said Grandma Mary.

'I am Metal,' he said.

'Heavy Metal,' said Cyril to Mary.

'Daniel's music,' said Mary.  'I understand.'

The emo chicks came in.   They were dressed normally.

'I am Metal,' said Matthew.

'Give him porridge,' said Taylor.  'Get him back to the real world.'

Mary fed Matthew porridge.  He asked for extra brown sugar. It was then Mary came to the realization that Matthew must be Daniel's child.  That became obvious at that point.

'Only so much,' said Mary.

'I am Metal,' said Matthew.

Matthews uncle Matthew came in.

'AC DC is real metal,' he said.  'Evanescence are American Wankers.'

'I am metal,' said Matthew to his uncle.

Matthew chuckled.  Matthew had porridge as well. Later on Matthew, the younger, was listening to his music. Suddenly he took of his T-Shirt and put on a T-shirt with Boom Crash Opera on it.

'I am Aussie Rock,' he said.

'Here we go,' said Daniel.

The End

Melanie and Daniel 18

Melanie C was sitting at the River. Some ruddy river. She did not know its name. She didn't really mind not knowing. That was life when you were quite ancient. You didn't mind so much at times anymore. Sort of used to it all.

'It's been challenging,' said Daniel, sitting down next to the now startled Spice Girl.

'Oh, Jesus,' she replied. 'Where the hell did you come from.'

'Tracking you down was also a challenge. What the hell are you doing in Lima in Peru for?'

'The heart of Terraphora has always been consoling,' replied the Cherubim angel. 'It's where we Cherubim have our home, and I like South American rivers. I collect them from time to time. Taking photos and things,' she said, indicating her mobile phone with the camera inbuilt.

'I collect comics. Sensible. They go up in value,' replied Daniel.

'My photos are worth a lot. To me,' replied Melanie, and returned her gaze to the river.

'There's probably Piranha,' said Daniel. 'I mean, it's South America. I bet those things are in there by now.'

'Wouldn't know,' replied Melanie. 'Wanna find out?'

'Very funny. Anyway, like I said. It's been challenging. But I have the perfect next host for our promo.'

'Do me the courtesy then,' replied Melanie, leaning against Daniel's shoulder.

'Pierce Brosnan,' said Daniel.

Melanie turned and looked at Daniel. 'I mean, that's wonderful, but he's hardly French.'

'We're not pushing the French angle completely. We're doing for a lot of Celtic countries who like Gaulish and Bretonnish sort of stuff. Our furniture polls well with them. They react pretty positively to our Irishman Pierce. We're looking at a James Bond angle. We figured you girls have always liked that sort of stuff, and I think this might just be the winning move to shift a lot of our stuff and get established in the micronations we are targetting.'

'Mmm,' said Melaniel. 'Daniel san appears to have come to his senses. We'll see how it goes, but it sounds promising enough.' She stared out at the river. 'Nice Anima here,' she said.

'You like that word these days, don't you,' he replied.

'You use it enough,' she replied.

'I do,' he said.

They sat there, staring at the river in South America in Terraphora. It was a pretty happy spirit.

* * * * *

'Nice hotel,' said Daniel.

'I chose it for the view,' replied Melanie. Daniel spoke on his mobile, and sat down in the foyer of the hotel.

'What you doing? The room is this way,' said Melanie.

'We wait,' said Daniel.

Melanie sat down. A waitress appeared momentarily and she ordered a drink. Soon enough it arrived, and Pierce Brosnan and her fellow Spice Girls with a film crew came in.

'Oh,' said Melanie, looking at Daniel. 'You had this planned.'

'The furniture can go here,' said Daniel. He stood and went over to management, had a chat, and an arrangement was made. Shortly big men dragged in a number of french furniture pieces, and Pierce, dressed like Bond, with a gun, was leaning over one of the tables.

'When I'm in town, I like a bit of the French Style. Moneypenny always commends me on my taste.'

Daniel nudged Melanie.

'And say what?' she asked, exacerbated.

'You're a professional. Ad lib,' said Daniel.

Melanie jumped in front of the camera. 'But Moneypenny is on vacation in Brazil and this is Peru. She got the wrong address. Will Agent Melanie 008 do Bond?'

'008 is how I play the game,' said Pierce. 'And with furniture this special, you have to play hard.'

Emma showed up on the screen. 'And that's how I like it Bond. Hard,' she said, and looked down towards his crotch. Geri waved her hand, and the camer pointed at her as she put her hand to her mouth in an 'Oh no,' manner.

The shoot went on with various takes. Pierce was professional and courteous to the girls. It took about 3 hours all up till Daniel said they had enough takes of ad lib pro Spice. The girls disappeared, Daniel shook Pierce's hand, and Melanie sat down, and picked up her drink.

'Well,' said Daniel.

'Well it's a pass because of the short notice. But it was a good enough time killer,' she said. She grinned at him.

'We did just fine,' said Daniel. He looked around the room. It was later in the day now, and quiet at the moment.

'Don't get any funny ideas. You're a married man Daniel san.'

'I wasn't getting any funny ideas,' he said, returning his gaze to Melanie. 'Just, I think I've been to this hotel before. Lima is not the biggest of cities in Terraphora, and it's so old I've been everywhere in the disc now. In the older parts that is. A lot of new extensions, though. Gabriel prays steadily enough for the growth as overseer's are responsible for.'

'I do know. I have a disc on that concern also. A prayer every last day of the month for it's wellbeing. It grows steadily.'

Daniel nodded. 'I'll stay the night. In another room of course. We'll play tennis out on the back courts as I remember. You love that game also these days.'

'Always liked tennis,' said Melanie. 'And thanks. For the company. Mr Daly.'

'Your probably my number one bff Melanie C. Apart from Valandriel that is. Gloryel on a level with you. Course I care.'

'Course you do,' said Melanie. She sipped on her drink. The mood was good.

* * * * *

Daniel and Melanie were playing tennis in the back courts of the hotel in Lima. It was bright in Heaven that day, and they were both in an animated mood.

'How are you handling your balls?' asked Melanie, as Daniel was about to serve. Daniel stopped, and looked at her.

'The ball handling is just fine Sporty. What, are you trying to get a grip on my balls or something?'

'I'm sure I could handle them a lot better than you,' said Melanie.

'Worry about your own balls,' said Daniel under his breath, and served. They played out another game. Sporty was leading the match.

'Ball handling is important,' said Melanie. 'They are sensitive things. You need to deliver the stroke with them just right.'

'All in the strokeplay,' said Daniel. 'Right. I'll remember that.'

'Yes, it's all in the strokeplay. You need a firm grip on the handle when you are ready for action, or the balls won't come out right.'

'They need to come right do they?' asked Daniel.

'They need careful attention,' said Melanie.

'Right,' said Daniel, and served. They played out another game. Daniel won this one.

Later, after they had showered, they were in the sauna.

'Ballplay is fundamental,' said Melanie. 'I mean we're alone here. I can give you a lesson.'

Daniel sat there. Melanie edged over and started giving his handle some attention.

'Are your balls ready for action?' asked Melanie. She continued her manipulations. Shortly Daniel erupted somewhat. Melanie tidied him up a bit. 'Right. Well, you've had your buddy lesson. Time for another shower I think.'

'Friends with benefits,' sighed Daniel, and as he showered he realized that there were limits as a married man, but sometimes buddies did extra-curricular activities. All about the ballplay lessons.

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 8

'The Tower is crooked,' said Jacinda.

'Very crooked,' said Hazan.

'It's not crooked. By the prophet's holy name, peace be upon him, it is straight I tell you.'

Gilgadel looked at the tower. He tilted his head a little then straightened it. 'Alright, it is crooked.'

'Our name is at stake,' said Jacinda.

'Let's investigate,' said Gilgadel, as they headed to the 4 Wheel Drive, and made off from the little park where they had been taking pictures of 'Absolute Fienesse Plaza Tower', the number one gambling casino in Lower Radrukiphora. They came to the underground park, using their passes, and went to the lift. They ascended to the top of the tower, gaining access to the roof with their pass codes. They went out and looked around.

'It's stable,' said Hazan.

'It doesn't bend with the wind too much,' said Jacinda. 'Like it was not supposed to. And it is windy up here.'

'It's about 2 or 3 degrees off straight,' said Gilgadel, looking at the tower. He sat down, crossed legged, and bent his head over. Hazan and Jacinda sat down on the railings and watched him. He seemingly meditated for a while. Apparently, by the looks of it, lost in thought. Finally he looked up and stood. He walked around the roof, letting his senses speak for him.

'We go to the bottom sub-basement now,' he said. They returned to the lift and went all the way down. The process was repeated in the bottom of the basement.

'Now to mid floor zones,' said Gilgadel. This time he looked out the window, staring at the city.

'What's on your mind, boss?' asked Hazan.

'Spit it out boss,' said Jacinda.

'We can't rebuild. Too costly,' said Gilgadel. 'Follow me.'

They came to management, and rang the Board who owned the Tower.

'We can eternalize it. It's in the agreements with the city,' said Gilgadel. 'They will allow it if we wish. Eternalized it will sit the same forever, regardless of the slight tilt.'

The board discussed on the monitor-video phone. Finally one board member nodded. 'Make it so.'

'We fast now,' said Gilgadel to Hazan and Jacinda. 'We return to the office and fast for 3 days. Only water.'

They did the fasting, and then the Prayers were prayed. 12 hours of prayer over 6 days. On the 6th day a minor Cherubim flew into their office, using his actual wings.

'Your request is granted,' said the Cherubim, and gave them a gift of balm oil. He then left.

'There is always the leaning tower of Pisa,' said Hazan.

'It's not the end of the world now, boss,' said Jacinda.

'Heads will roll,' said Gilgadel in his anger now becoming apparent. But luckily they had resolved the situation before it had become a real problem.

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 9

'Roger,' said the chopper pilot. 'We're going in for a closer look,' he said to Gilgadel. The chopper descended, and examined the bases of 'Pearlstone Harbour Twin Towers'.'

'There,' said Gilgadel, pointing. 'The structure has deviations. The weight of the tower is causing it to slowly lean.'

'We've had 3 collapses this month,' said the chopper pilot. Bugman is guilty as sin, and we need to take care of these situations. 50 projects in the last few months handled by various firms, and while Radrukiphora is on the go, we can't afford any more deaths. It's been a disaster for our public face with the world.'

'I understand,' replied Gilgadel soberly. They returned to base, and Gilgadel left, going back to the police station. Cimbrel and Radrukiel were still in discussions with the chief of police.

'Bugman probably has an elaborate setup,' said Radrukiel to Gilgadel as he entered the room.

'That's the conclusion my team has reached based on the programming style,' said Cimbrel. 'These are some of the best expertised hackers in the universe. But what's worse – they have not signalled any clear intentions. Building structures could just be the beginnings of our woes.'

'I think it's a grudge,' said the Chief of Police. 'Against Radrukiel possibly, or some other signficant in Radrukiphora.'

'Could be,' replied Gilgadel, sitting down, looking at Cimbrel's screen. He was lost in thought for a minute. 'There is one thing, though. A style has emerged in what Bugman is doing. He targets skyscrapers, and I've looked at the reports. There is a consistent truth to them.'

'Which is?' asked Radrukiel.

'Elite financial institutions are always present. The crème of Radrukiphora's biggest finance companies. There is always one present in the buildings being destroyed. There could be a common link of the institution or owner being targeted.'

'Get on it chief,' said Radrukiel to the Police Chief.

The police chief left the room, and Gilgadel sat there. 'There is something else, though. We've been involved in all the building projects so far. I didn't want to say. There's a small possibility he's targetting – me.'

Cimbrel and Radrukiel looked at their brother. 'You have enemies?' queried Cimbrel.

'Not that I'm aware of. But I've been around a very long time, and over that time I've made mistakes. We all do. It's just a concern, though. Just a thought. I'm sure it's nothing.'

'No,' said Radrukiel. 'Your a popular firm. At this stage it's just coincidence.'

'I'm sure your right,' replied Gilgadel. But the look on his face meant something entirely different was his thinking.

The End

The University of the Living

'We're dickheads,' said Sebastian Overturner.

'All of us are dickheads,' said Jane Osbourne. 'I'm descended from Ozzy Osbourne. Speaks for itself, doesn't it.'

'Fascinating,' said Alison Daly. 'Tell me more.'

'We're obsessive in the University of the Living,' said Sebastian. 'We obsess about Christian Metal. This is the biggest branch of dickheadness in the Church, according to the Lord Jesus. Bigger than his 'Gay Plus Priests of Holy Sodomy' movement, which he calls the ultimate wankers. 'We're bigger dickheads, though. We try to justify the Arch-Enemies music, and put a spin of Jesus Jesus Jesus on it. We listen to Dio and Ozzy and Iron Maiden and Petra and Stryper and Bon Jovi and Poison and other Pseudo-Christian Metal Acts, and claim we have the Spiritual Edge in life, were the passion of life is. Jesus calls us a malignant growth in his everlasting mercies. Terrible representation of the faith.'

'Then why do you persist with it. Just flake out and tell the Christ Child to get stuffed?' queried Alison.

'Because we love him and are loyal to the blood within us,' said Sebastian. 'Old roots of the faith are in our ancestry, and we're not really going against the grain of that. It's not completely disputed that the dark lord of evil is an influence in us. He probably is in reality. But Heaven and Hell is what it is all about according to Black Sabbath. That is the real intensity of the living experience. And it can get bloody intense at times. Our Mosh Pits are were the real action is in life. Were we worship the music and grind it out in expression of our passions and love for life. We are truly alive. Jesus will understand this one day. When he drops the false piety.'

'He likes his piety indeed,' replied Alison. 'Quite a string of popes under that particular moniker.'

'Indeed,' replied Sebastian. 'Anyway, what details do you want for your report, exactly?'

'Just the general way of life of members of your association. How you relate to living in the real world. I have a particular interest as I did a report not long ago on a minor organisation called the University of the Dead, and thought about opposites and typed University of the Living into a search engine and found you guys. It should be a good complement to my first report.'

'If you say so,' replied Sebastian. 'Well, hang around our clubhouse for a few days. Take notes. We'll chat and listen to music and let the party roll on.'

'Sounds cool,' replied Alison.

* * * * *

'Of course, Jesus calls us the 'Wild Childs,' said Sebastian. 'We are part of the Church and, in the end, he needs the borderline grey areas because 'Something has to be', and it 'May as well be us'.'

'So you're accepted,' replied Alison.

'Technically yes,' said Jane. 'We have a New Testament prepared for us by Jesus. It has 50 works in it, the Gospel of Matthew, and a host of epistles directed at us by Apostle James, concentrating on keeping the works of the flesh within the domain of the law of the land, and while the passions of life can be honoured, the truth of the calling of holy behaviour were passions are under control must likewise be honoured. In other words we can only party so hard before we have to call it a night.'

'So let's party,' said Sebastian, and put on a Great White CD.

Alison sipped on punch, which she felt was surely laden with whisky of some sort, and watched as the dozen or so members of this chapter sat and chatted as the music played, one playing with a guitar, another brushing her fellow metalheads hair with a whole heap of hair related articles to be put into it in a major grooming session. Most just chilled on the sofas, in the dimly lit room, sipping on their drinks, and eating pizza, which was one of the most dominant themes, apparently of their weekly grind sessions. This chapter met every Thursday night from 7:30 and grinded till midnight, listening to a plethora of supposedly pseudo-christian hard rock and heavy metal bands from many different generations and cultures of society, but traditional Anglophonian music being the most dominant. They seemed nice enough people, and when the first album ended they began a discussion on the next concert to see 'The Beloved Maiden's of Iron, Steel and Thunder,' a well known Iron Maiden cover band in this area, which was starting to attract bigger and bigger audience. But soon the music started again with Tyketto on the play list this time, and the night wore on. By midnight she was starting to get bleary eyed, and despite an advance from one of the guys who asked what she was up to on the weekend, which was, while flattering, not what she was here for, it was a rousing sort of night.

'We'll see you next week then?' queried Sebastian.

'I want to see one more night in action, and ask a few more questions, to get a bit bigger of a picture,' said Alison.

'Sure then,' replied Sebastian. 'Well it's been fab Alison Daly. See you next week.'

'See you then Sebastian Overturner,' smiled Alison, and waved at the group, before heading off to her hotel in the city.

* * * * *

'Wild love,' said the dude.

'You offer me wild love,' said Alison. 'You're serious.'

'Passion, baby. A night of wild passion. We ditch this dismal scene, and go back to your hotel, and do the funky chicken. Bump and grind baby. Hot action tonight.'

'Sure,' said Alison. 'And I want a case of VD from Grim Metal God 101 like I want a hole in the head.'

Grim Metal God smiled, and said, 'Well you can't blame a guy for trying. Your hot enough. Solid 6, 7 on a good day.'

'Gee, thanks,' replied Alison. 'Flattered, buddy. Seriously.'

Grim Metal God stood tall, stretched, grinned at her and turned away, muttering 'Bitch' under his breath, to which Alison shot back 'Jerk', likewise under her breath.

'How's it going,' said Sebastian, interceding in the situation. 'Never mind Kevin. He cracks on to all the chicks. Thinks himself God's gift. Know what I mean?'

'I could imagine,' replied Alison. 'Still, it's not unexpected from Hell's Angels I suppose.'

'Funny,' replied Sebastian. 'Here, I'll get you another drink.'

Alison sat there, as Kevin the Grim Metal God, leered at her from the other side of the room and mouthed 'Wanna fuck', which Alison perfectly understood he was mouthing. She raised her fist and waved it up and down, suggesting he was a 'Wanker' and Kevin laughed, then started chatting to his mate. Sebastian returned with her drink.'

'He's harmless,' he said. 'Just likes to get lucky when he can.'

'Sure,' replied Alison. 'Well, it's been – memorable. I do have one last question. Are you guys really officially a denomination of your own, or are you generally just who the hell ever shows up.'

'Like I said,' replied Sebastian. 'Kevin's really just harmless when you get to know him. We are actually Christians. Sort of non-denominational every-denomination club. We have our own bible like I told you, and while we love our rock and roll, we do follow Jesus of Nazareth. He's our way for our moral codes.'

'I see,' said Alison.

'We take it seriously enough babe,' said Sebastian, as he turned. 'And you're welcome to visit again if you wish. Work us out properly.'

'Thanks,' replied Alison. 'I'll keep that in mind.'

She sat there for a little longer, but stood, put her handbag on her shoulder with it's long handles, and waved, making her way to the exit. Kevin stepped in though.

'Look, babe. Don't get the wrong impression. I just fancy you ok. Wouldn't ever hurt you or anything. Just a come on. Not trying to upset you babe.'

'Oh. Well, fine then,' said Alison. 'If you'll excuse me.'

'Uh, sure,' said Kevin, who removed his hand for the wall, allowing Alison to leave the clubhouse. As she drove back to the hotel she was summing up her thoughts, and when she got home she would chat to dad, whose musical tastes included a lot of heavy metal, and then write up her report. It would be – interesting – to say the least.

* * * * *

'Jesus is the dickhead, quite frankly,' said Daniel.

'How so?' asked Alison.

'Heavy metal is not the devil's music. It's just music. Music with a heavier nature to it – melody, lyric and beat. It's music. Music can be interpreted anyway you wish and any slant put on it. Some people call certain chords demonic. Ridiculous really. It's just music. If you let it go to your head and get carried away it more reflects your shallow upbringing in lawful and decent behaviour. Music should not go to your head and, if it does, hit the Bible and get some stability into your life. It's for enjoyment, a bit of reflection, a bit of humour and a good time. It's not about celebrating the dark lord of evil.'

'What about Satanic Metal?' asked Alison.

'Even that in the end is just music being applied to what we would constitute is just 'Weird' ideas. But it is still just music. The credibility of the music for it's enjoyment is all that really matters in this respect. If you really listen to lyrics suggesting killing and rape and any evil mentality, and take them seriously, really, you need your own head examined rather than the lyrics of a CD.'

'I see,' replied Alison. 'Mmm. Not 100% sure I agree with that, but I see your point.'

'How's the report coming along?' asked Daniel.

'Mostly finished. A few more touches, and then it's on to the next job.'

'Which is?' queried Daniel.

'That – remains to be seen,' said Alison. 'But I'll come up with something soon enough.'

Daniel patted his daughter on the shoulder. 'I'm proud of you, you know.'

Alison touched her dad's hand. 'I know, dad. I know.'

The End

Earth, Rocks, Rivers & Stuff

Enosh examined the rock. The son of Seth moved on down the river bank, holding the rock and looking at it. It was the right type. He cradled it in the palm of his hand, and closed his eyes, thinking. Designs entered the mind. He had a lot of designs in his repetoire now. Countless – but not technically. He contemplated a few, and opened his eyes and carried down the solid Earth, looking at the trees and shrubs which bordered the line of the river. He carried on. He came down a few hundred more yards downstream, looked at the water, and waded in. He reached down, fished around, and brought up another rock. Right sort again well enough. He waded back to the shore and sat down. He closed his eyes. He contemplated. This design offered a few alternatives, and he settled on the probable one. 5 days passed, and he collected his 150 stones, and then started the trek back to the village. He got to his car, and drove. Back to the spaceport, and soon heading home. He got home. Space travel was reliable – it did get you there in the end. Customs had cleared his acquisition of stones, and he settled back at home on New Terra, and got out the rocks. His wife looked at him.

'Exactly 150? You did bother to be specific as you said you might?'

'I bothered with exactly 150,' replied Enosh. 'It seemed the right thing to do to commit to the general intention.'

'And you contemplated the designs you wanted?'

Enosh nodded.

The wife went to the arts room and brought out his rock carving tools. She placed them in front of him.

'I will prepare ox tail soup tonight. Something traditional.'

Enosh looked at the 150 rocks, took up his tools, thanked God for a successful trip, and began his carving.

* * * * *

'And what is this?' asked Enosh's son Cainan.

'It is Mr Spreggledeggleoctopod,' said Enosh.

'A vague biped with eight arms. I understand,' replied Cainan, putting down the carving. He picked up another.

'And what is this, dare I ask?'

'The Wicked Valkyrie of Trafalgar Square,' said Enosh. 'It haunts Buckingham Castle when it is wont to do so.'

'I see,' replied Cainan, impressed. 'Will you paint them now?'

'Some of them,' replied Enosh. 'But not all. The natural look suffices for many.'

'I would imagine,' replied Cainan. 'Well, good work. Solid designs. They should fit in the new grand-daughter's cubby house along the window sills just fine. Very competent work. Thanks for the labour.'

'It was the least I could do. Sebamech has been very patient in waiting on a new child. Aeons before he decided to take the risk of going through the trials of growing pains with a young one all over again. But new blood is always a good thing.'

'Indeed it is,' replied Cainan. 'It's what makes the world go round.'

'Come back in a few months. They will be ready.'

'Thanks dad,' replied Cainan, and hugged his father Enosh.

All was good.

The End

A Date with the Devil

'The darkening soul. I delight in it. As decay enters the heart and they fall further and further into the temptations of sin. True delight. They are finally truthful with their pitiful and pathetic, sorrowful state. They are misbegotten creatures, nothing more, nevermore. Nevermore than the spawn of a God beset on authoritarian madness, not a creature of the life of the universe who understands its true realities. So when his beloved image falls, it is true delight, the falling away of a pretense of truth and glory.'

Alison sat in 666 Paramount tower, and looked at the pitcher. 'Can I have some water?'

Satan stared at her for a moment, and then poured her a glass.

'You're a sick fuck aren't you buddy,' replied Alison.

Satan glared at her. 'Cherubim Daniel's bitch, aren't you?'

'That's right motherfucker,' replied Alison. 'You seriously need help, dude. You misrepresent life bent on a sinful interpretation and distortion of life. You don't get it buddy. You don't get it. You have misinformation in your doctrines, which I've studied for months now. True evil stuff.'

'That's the name of the game, bitch. The Grand Adversary does his job. Always have, always will.'

'Not always,' she replied. 'The light side of the force will defeat you in time. There will be war and conflict, and Lucifer will be no more. It is the destiny of things.'

'So you say, angel scum,' replied Satan. 'Would you like some hemlock with your water?'

'Fine thanks,' said Alison. 'Thanks anyway.'

Satan sat back down. 'My life has been interesting. I do my job, and keep the people in check when they try and get too evil. The devil will get you, it is informed to them, if they stray too far into the darkness. I keep that glory as the true firstborn son of God.'

Alison wrote down those notes and looked at the devil. 'That is your commission from God, then? Nastiest bastard who keeps the rest in check?'

'It's a dirty job but someone has to do it,' replied Satan.

'And underneath all that charisma is a nice guy, I take it?' queried Alison.

'He does have a sensitive side,' said Marni, commenting for the first time. 'He's not really the Lord of Evil. Just doing the job. He doesn't let many know terribly much, but they are told from time to time.'

'You can quote her if you like,' said Satan. 'But I neither confirm or deny her words.'

'Right,' said Alison. 'I'll quote her and let people know that is probably what's going on.'

'You do that,' replied the Devil. 'Arsenic with your water? Some other toxin?'

Alison chuckled. 'It's been great lord of misrule. But I have better things to do. Vomiting in public naked is more preferable, you know.'

'Feeling's mutual, bitch,' said the devil. 'Oh, make sure it's a classic picture in this cyclopaedia thin. Get my dark side, you know. Heh heh heh.'

'Creep,' said Alison, and stood. She looked at the devil. 'You're a class act, aren't you?'

'All the more reason to love me,' said Satan.

'Humph.' Alison stared at Satan, summing him up, and left. In the end a fascinating enough individual. Her report could be illuminating.

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 10

'I can cheat the system,' said the Bugman. 'I can be the spider in the web which catches all the flies, innocent flies, and eat them. I can catch you Gilgadel.'

Bugman sounded like a bug. Just to Gilgadel's imagination. Like Spiderman high as a kite.

'Why are you oppressing me scumbag?' asked Gilgadel.

'Past misdemeanours from a forlorn youth. I have you in my sights, and I'm ready for the flyspray. You're dead meat, Gilgadel. Dead meat.'

Gilgadel said nothing.

'You still there?' asked Bugman.

'I'm contemplating having this call traced,' replied Gilgadel. 'Cimbrel can probably root out the original location. I think you're probably stuffed.'

'You take me for a fool? You'll never trace me. I'm Bugman you idiot. I'm the one who catches. The spider, not the fly.'

'I can trace you. We're not stupid. And Spider Spray is a big thing these days. We've worked out how to knock off the predator. We're not stupid. You're ass is grass Bugman,' and Gilgadel hung up. He didn't bother contacting Cimbrel. He wasn't stupid. He knew Bugman wasn't that stupid. But he had recorded the phone call. He got Jacinda into the office.

'Right boss,' she said, after a moment, and the speakers were turned on, and the volume carefully adjusted. A concerned look came on Jacinda's face as she listened intently.

'Play back the bit when he says forlorn youth,' said Jacinda. Gilgadel did as complied. She concentrated. 'There,' she said. 'That creak.' Gilgadel used his PC and hilighted the creak. Jacinda's brow furrowed. She pushed Gilgadel from the computer and brought up a page on the web on oils. She found the one she wanted after a while.

'Rudex Oil's sound like that when creaking on a doorway,' she said. 'Rudex markets in a lot of places, but not everywhere. But they are particularly prominent in Mitraphora, in the Redneck regions. They have Rudex Oil signs everywhere, which are considered collectables there. That oil is probably Rudex oil softening that door's creak. I can tell. We've used it enough over the aeons.'

'Sounds right,' said Gilgadel. 'We have fronts in Mitraphora. A disgruntled ex-employee?'

'I consider that a distinct possibility,' said Jacinda. 'But play the tape again.'

Gilgadel did so and Jacinda listened carefully. 'Oh,' she said, after a moment. 'That's obvious.'

'What is?' queried Gilgdel, eyebrows raised.

'He's quoting 'Good Omens'. When the demon insults Aziraphale and Crowley. Dead meat. He is probably a big fan of the book.'

'That could help us a lot. With investigations,' said Gilgdel. 'I'll let Radrukiel and the others know. And thank's Jacinda. That will help a lot.'

'Whatever I can do boss,' replied his secretary. She left the office, and Gilgdel played back the tape one more time. He had some clues now. Time for further investigation into the mysterious and deadly Bugman.

The End

A Lesson for an Angel

'You're lazy, Michael. This place is a mess,' said Alison, looking around Archangel Michael's Zionistyan office. 'Don't you ever have this cleaned?'

'I like it messy these days. Natural. Could not give much of a damn anymore. Every fricking body in the world has a grudge against Israel, so sod it. Quite frankly, sod it all. They can all go to hell. Stuff them. Stuff the lot of them. Archangel Michael has had fricking enough, and now he will do whatever the frick he wants to do, and the world can get stuffed. I'm off contract with Jehovah, and I'm a free angel. I will be a dick, and run around naked, and drink beer, and smoke, and do whatever. I do not care Alison Daly. I do not care.'

She stared at him. 'Pathetic, Morning Star. Pathetic.'

'You sound like your father,' said Michael, reaching into his desk, and taking out a bottle of whisky, taking a sip.

'You should avoid drunkenness. It's sinful,' said Alison.

'Bite me,' he said. He sipped once. Then sipped twice. Thought about it, but put the bottle away. He looked at her. 'You know, you're rather pretty actually.'

'Oh,' said Alison. 'You think so?' she queried, touching up her hair.

'Yeh, for a Daly,' replied Michael dryly, and took the bottle out again for a third sip.

'You're an asshole,' said Taylor.

'Like your mother too,' said Michael. 'Should have expected that I guess. Anyway, what do you want sweetheart. I'm busy.'

'Yeh, you look it. Have you had a shower recently?'

'Been thinking about it. Maybe next month. Don't know. If I give a damn myself. Nobody will persuade me, but maybe I care. I don't know. Maybe I don't. Be natural and all that. Wipe my arse when I could be bothered. Piss in the back yard. All that shit.'

'Pathetic. No wonder they kicked you out of Eternity. Slovenly second rate attitude. I heard all about the fall of Archangel Michael. It was a dismal effort.'

'And I love you too,/' replied Michael. 'Now, shoot. What do you want?'

'Don't know if it's really worth the effort, but I'm doing a report. On the history of the world. You are a significant enough character. Thought your two cents worth might be interesting.'

'Right,' said Michael, and took another sip of whisky. 'Just write up on this. You can elaborate with the records which will fill it in well enough. I've never insisted people do what I tell them to do, or insisted people comply with Torah. People make their own choices. But because Israel does, don't expect there not to be clashes. We're a priestly nation, and we do have opinions. If people don't like that, tough. God chose us, so that's the way it is. Assess that, and do an article on Michael's perspective on our history with that in mind.'

'Fine,' said Alison. 'That will do as the angle.'

She stood, straightened her outfit, and came over to his desk. She grabbed the whisky.

'I'll be taking this, and make sure you clean up this mess. Or you'll meet with the touchy charms of Rainbow Covenant authority, son of Jacob. And we do take our job seriously.'

As Alison left the room she heard a softly muttered 'Bitch,' but just walked on. Sometimes even Archangel's needed a lesson.

The End

Wild Times 4

'It's problematic,' said Jan.

Jenny surveyed the ship of Subura Takahashi. 'Apparently legal. What he's doing?'

'It is,' said Jan. 'It's all I can say. But we've returned for a reason. For while what he's doing is legal, what he's planning to do with it sure isn't. He hasn't stated that, but I know what's going on.'

'And what is that?' asked Chance Kibb'starr.

'It's illegal as hell, but not in a military or warfare sense. It opens up to that much collusion between the mogul's that it isn't funny. These free radical's will get so much power it isn't funny if we don't do something about it.'

'Explain,' said Chance.

'It's all in the intention to keep us off kilter,' said Jan. 'It's a ruse more than anything else, but a subtle part in the game he is playing. It's a symbol, a message, of the current game he is playing with others who play the game. Subura has signalled the current modality. The current area of R&D and Intergalactic competition.'

'Weird plasma stuff?' queried Chance.

'Chemical manipulations, also,' said Jan. 'And quasi physics and things. He's messing around with intergalactic authority, and stamping his own authority on the world, saying, I can do this, and they can't touch me, which is how moguls like it. It's like Lex Luthor in Metropolis. He does what he wants to do and manipulates the powers to serve him. It's exactly the game they like to play. And I intend to stamp out this game before it gets too far ahead of itself.'

'Which is our job,' said Jenny.

Jan looked at a fellow President of the UG. 'Exactly,' he said.

'Then why are we back here?' asked Chance. 'What can we do now?'

'He won't expect what I've planned. Now, we go in.'

The Wolfklaw approached, and signaled to the Space Station their intention to board. It was approved. Soon enough they were again in the presence of Subura Takahashi.

'There's been some problems,' said Jan.

'Oh,' said Subura. 'Let me assure you, what we are doing falls within the freedoms of International space. We are quite legal.'

'Under UG Policy we make the claim we have the moral right to deter intergalactic organisations which we deem a genuine threat to intergalactic peace and prosperity. You're actions have disturbed intergalactic peace somewhat, and we need you to make certain verbal commitments. The free radicals like to be an authority to themselves. We are capitalists and we accept this.'

Subura sat down, and one of his ladies game his a bottle of orange juice.

'The individual can do their own planning in life. From the beginning the UN authorized the rights of self determination.'

'This is true. And we do not deny those rights. But other individual's can do so likewise. We, as the UG, can pursue our own self-determination, and we have a sovereign right of self defense. All beings have that right. And if we consider an individual a genuine threat to our peace of mind, we can take any and all reasonable steps to keep them in check somewhat. So this is what I want from you Subura Takahashi. I want the commitment that you will keep it decent enough in the end. Play your game, make your money, get your glory, build your empire. Do all that and more. But nobody gets hurt, and the people end up giving you still a good name when all is said and done. If the report we get on you as time goes by is that you are too much of a pain in the neck, we'll do something about it.'

Subura sipped on his orange juice, and looked at Jan.

'Just play the game with the little guys in mind. They have real jobs and real lives.'

'I am not a barbarian,' said Subura. 'Begone with you. I won't assent any such agreement, but I will state that I will abide by legal rules when interacting with the UG. I will give you that commitment.'

'Let's go,' said Jan, and the group followed him out. When they had returned to the Wolfklaw Chance spoke up.

'He will probably be more cautious now, won't he?'

'He is aware we keep the basics of law as a priority. He'll keep that in mind somewhat in reality, despite the tough talk. It's a bit curly, but we've addressed the situation well enough for the time being. We can go home.'

As the ship sped away, Subura watched it from his control deck, sipped on his juice, gave a brief thought to the bothersome Jan Kolby, and turned to get on with his day.

The End

Krystabel and the Clock of Eternity VII

'Time, tick tick ticking away,' said Krystabel.

'Mmm,' nodded Ambriel.

'Clocks are dumb,' said Saruviel.

'HOW SO?' queried God.

'What?' asked Saruviel, and stared and looked at the throne of God.

'He occasionally comments,' said Krystabel.


Saruviel sat there, stunned. He looked at Krystabel. 'Is he like this with you?'

'I knit, usually,' said Krystabel. 'It consoles him.'

'She knits,' said Ambriel, turning the page in his Messia Quarterly magazine.

'I know she knits you idiot,' said Saruviel. 'I am well aware of that fact.'


Saruviel stopped. He looked at the throne again. 'Ambriel? Smarter than me?'


'Right,' said Saruviel. 'Let me remember, freedom. That was the spiel.'

'SPIEL INDEED,' said God.

'I did have a point,' said Saruviel.


'Right,' said Saruviel. He sat there. He thought about it.

'She also tells jokes occasionally. Harmless ones,' said Ambriel.

'What?' asked Saruviel.

'Krystabel. She tells jokes,' said Ambriel, turning a page in his magazine.

'Knock knock jokes,' said Krystabel. 'God often replies.'

'I'll bet,' said Saruviel. 'And whatever will be will be, or something like that,' said Saruviel. 'Accept life I guess. Whatever comes I suppose. Haven't given it thought for a long time.'


'I'll remember that,' said Ambriel. 'Good to know.'

'I shall remember that too, father,' said Krystabel.


'Understood.' He sat there. 'Stupid ticking clock,' he muttered under his breath.

'VERY FUNNY,' said God.

'Yeh, a laugh riot,' replied Saruviel. The time passed.

The End

Christian Economics

'Christian Economics?' asked Apostle Peter. 'Sure, we do believe in the economy.'

'Can you explain?' asked Alison Daly. 'Can you classify, in principle, the idea of what constitutes Christian Economics?'

'Firstly,' said Peter, standing from behind his table, and coming to sit next to Alison. 'We breathe the Holy Spirit into our works for the Father. We follow the Spirit in what it wants us to do in the world scene when we interact with our jobs and work. There is a great deal of economic activity which is Christian enough occupation. Many, many jobs are suitable and appropriate to be done by the Church. There is a great deal of taking care of things. Now, we are not against inventions and new ideas. The church has a great legacy in this respect. We are creative people as well, like Almighty God, whose first principle is that of a creator. We invent things too, and always have done. And we take these inventions to the marketplace to assist economic development. We care about the world and we try to be charity to it. We take our occupations seriously and work to conform to standards of decency and lawfulness in our occupations. We do not object, if you must know, to wealth. If a person works hard in life and commits to fairly earning a blessing like Abraham earned from the Lord, so do we. The Lord promises us a reward, even up to a hundredfold in life, the closer we follow him. It is not vanity to wish for riches, but it is important that we don't prioritize these riches above our relationship with God. They are embellishments for life, not the sole purpose of our existence. Pleasure makes a poor God. Charity is where we triumph and when that is kept in mind, things can be useful to make people happy and a way to show our love.'

Alison finished taking down her notes.

'How rich can a Christian rise in life?'

'That is not really an issue,' replied Peter. 'If there love for God is first and foremost in their mind, the King of an Empire will still remember his true identity as a child of God and that his true reward is in being acceptable to God and found in his kingdom. There is no greater riches than the holy spirit. Things can only make you happy for a season and a time. Love is eternal, Alison Daly. Only love.'

'I see,' said Alison. 'This is Christian doctrine I take it?'

'The heart of the Gospel,' replied Peter.

'I can quote you on it?' asked Alison.

'Of course you can child,' said Peter.

'Thank you,' said Alison.

'Oh, remind your father, he is due in confession eventually. He likely has a conscience still.'

'I'll remember that,' said Alison, and grinned at Peter, before leaving his office. Another article now in her mind, she was nearing the end of her work.

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 11

'Well, the next point I want to stress,' said Gilgadel to the workforce before him. 'Is that we are not a cult. Get that imagination out of you if it has taken root. We are a society. More than anything else we are a society. We are business, and somewhat a way of life. A workman's way of life. 9 to 5, though our business hours can fluctuate. But that is how we run our lives. Working men. As Jesus might say, salt of the Earth sort of people. We do the real work in the world by fixing and repairing things, providing tools for the tradesman, major building and infrastructure projects, and design and implementation work. We are the guts of much of the real labour in this world, and that is the heart of our Empire. Labour, work, the real stuff of life, and getting on with the job. Every organisation has holiday gatherings at times, annual events, were the workers get together and celebrate the holiday and chat. Of course we do that too, but we are aiming high. We are aiming for more than that. We are striving to be number one in this field, which has a huge amount of competitions. But we're aiming high, for number one, and we need to be the most skilled, the most dedicated, the most professional. A tight unit which does the best job in the business. So we are uniting more now than ever, to focus on being a society which has a point in life and, dare I say it, we serve Allah or we serve God, whichever you prefer, and we do something positive and constructive for our fellow humans and angels, to play our own part in the grand tapestry of life.'

'Understood boss,' said Hazan, as the workforce clapped Gilgadel's speech.

'Hand out the manifesto for the next decade,' said Gilgadel to Jacinda and Hazan and, as they did that, Gilgadel stepped down the concrete steps outside of his offices, and sat on the concrete floor of the upper part, looking at Jacinda and Gilgadel, and thinking. They were doing it. They were uniting and focusing and going on with the Empire. They had and increasing sense of purpose and he'd talked to thousands of employees over the last few years to gague how they best go about this work and the kind of society they should be. Feedback had been pretty constructive and philosophy and ethic had been reshaped to make sure they were doing not just what Gilgadel envisioned for them all, but what the team thought as well. And it was going well and they had something to work on in life to accomplish the dreams of glory. Things were good. Then Hazan passed him his mobile, and he took the call, and Bugman said 'Better Watch out. I'll be watching.' And a good day turned sour as Gilgadel looked around the workfloor, looked up at the walls and ceilings, searched for hints of hidden cameras or things, and returned to his office, annoyed. Ruddy Bugman. Some old wound from a disgruntled ex-employee. He was now more sure of that. It would have to be dealt with, and soon enough. But he decided to celebrate regardless, took out a cigar, and despite the bothersome phone call, smoked heartily, and dreamed on his glory.

The End

Earth, Rocks, Rivers & Stuff 2

Enosh continued up the river bank.

'Paradision is a great community,' said Callodyn. 'Lived here forever, you know. This is the eastern parklands. Lots of people come here and camp and holiday, and it's a great reserve for some of Televere's natural wildlife.'

'I enjoy the rocks,' said Enosh. 'The last bunch had properties I hadn't seen before. And they carved well.'

'We have original minerals and things,' replied Callodyn. 'Well, this is a good spot old man.'

Enosh followed Callodyn up the bank a little, and they put up the tent. When it was standing, they grabbed their fishing rods, and settled down on the bank of Paradise River, and started fishing.

'How's the wife?' asked Enosh.

'Stephanie is fine,' replied Callodyn.

'Sebamech is enthralled with her sister. Very buxom assets, if you know what I mean.'

'Runs in her family,' replied Callodyn. 'What's the new girl's name again?'

'Leandra,' replied Enosh. 'Great-Grand-Daughter. I have a few of those now, as well. Been a while since a new addition, but sometimes things happen.'

'The birds and the bees,' smiled Callodyn.

'Yes, usually that,' agreed Enosh. 'Anyway, I have a few questions. Reform Karaite Gentiles is getting on a bit now, and we are well established. The question is, to where are we reforming?'

'That's an interesting point,' said Callodyn. 'But all I can say is that we gain technical details from the sources we require only ever so slowly, and the reforming to the more accurate picture takes some time.'

'You won't get much out of me, I'm afraid,' replied Enosh. 'Adam is very cagey on some of the historical details. Mainly private family business and all that.'

'So the reforming takes some time,' replied Callodyn.

'When you're old enough, I might share a tale or two with you,' smiled Enosh. 'But again, where are we going with the movement? Don't you have enough details historically now? There are some records here and there on what we've coughed up.'

'The Auntie. Alison. Much younger of course, but Auntie Alison has a new record from firstborn, and we're researching that at the moment. Cherubim Daniel has been putting two and two together from the bits and pieces of fresh information he has gleaned from the chronicles, and there is a doctrine in the works. Foundational Thinking is likely it's title, as he's had that one for a long time, and with what Alison shared with him he has a bit more to go on. That's the current main project at hand, and in time when it's refined enough we can get that one going, and get that much more solidity to our campaign. It takes time.'

'And service,' replied Enosh, as he snagged a fish. 'Don't expect us to give you all the glory for free my young son.'

'No. I suppose not,' said Callodyn.

'Keep me informed. It's in my name, the movement, and the main project I have with the Biblical Noahides. I want to ensure it has a point, purpose and meaning in life. Important to me.'

'Will do old man,' said Callodyn.

'Now let's see if I can catch another one,' replied Enosh.

'Lucky devil,' said Callodyn, and Enosh smiled.

The End

Universal Faith & Truth

'Bite me, gramps,' said Valandriel to Mahalalel.

'Aren't I your grandfather, young Valandriel.

'I'm older than you. Yes, in my humanity you are older, but I'm divine, or angelic, depending on how you want to express that idea.'

'Well I might be a child of heaven from a few years further back, but I'll leave that discussion to another day, young Valandriel. Now move your sorry butt, I like the seat.'

'Fine,' said Valandriel, and shifted to the seat on right side of Daniel's at the conference table, as the rest of the gathering slowly came in. The Deciarchs were all present, Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah himself, as well as Melanie C, Mel B and Valandriel and Daniel. When they were all seated Daniel spoke up.'

'The war with the competition is starting to heat up,' said Daniel. 'Abraham is still an old fox and his boy from Nazareth hasn't yet given up the ghost. Mountain Moving Mohammed is as hot as ever, and Babbie Boy and Bahaullah are gung ho as ever, not discounting the numerous other minor players in the game. But we're the old farts, the ones who are supposed to run the show, and it's time for some official declarations. Mainly from my main man Valandriel.'

'I've agreed,' said Valandriel. 'Despite thinking I should perhaps know better,' glaring at Mahalalel. 'That I will officially enter the race with Melanie C and Mel B as Guardian Angel over the Universal Faith Assembly and the Universal Truth Assembly. I am the Universal Angel in many ways now, despite Raphael pursuing that agenda quite a bit as well. But while he is mainly preoccupied with Israelite agendas most of the time, I have agreed to Daniel's longstanding argument with me that the Rainbow Covenant is the true foundation of religious truth for mankind, and that I should really be looking into this as the foundation for Team Valandriel. Fine, I said. Have it your way. Not that I mind, as the witness of the minor half of ValDan has been solid enough long enough. So Valandriel the Wise shall now be of service to Almighty God and the Deciarchate in service to protection and promotion of the Universal Faith and the Universal Truth Assemblies of Adamide-Noahide or Deciarchal faith. Thanks.' He sat.

'Now, can we have those pastries and things,' said Mahalalel, but the others had already risen from their seats, and as Melanie and Melanie handed around the trays of cake and coffee, Daniel glanced at Melanie C, who winked back. 'Job done sweetheart,' he said under his breath. She beamed back.

The End

Stephanie's Dilemma

'It's like a grey sort of day when you are in a moody blue mood, and you don't really care very much, and you do the housework, and sit there on the couch, and you turn on the TV, and it just doesn't satisfy, and over and over again you wonder what the hell you are doing in this shitty life, and then you think you are having a nervous breakdown, and you take some sleeping pills, and sleep, and dream, and you are surrounded by uncles who chide you and remind you that their brother was supposed to teach you some foundational toughness, but he neglected a lesson or two with you, and you really should bloody talk to that pesky Moabite next door.'

'I see,' replied Ruth. Stephanie sat there, sipping on coffee, looking nonplussed.

'How do you do it? The wifely thing? I mean, I love being married to Callodyn, but it's a bit of a change I still haven't adapted too. I'm not sure if I got what I bargained for in the end.'

'It's give and take, and sometimes you need to take a little,' replied Ruth. 'But your problem is probably not your marriage but life in general. You are dismayed in your heart and not finding complete contentment because you lack some of the answers to the meaning of life.'

'How so?' queried Stephanie, eyebrow now raised.

'You need to understand that a human being has a point to find some stability and contentment in life through practice of continuity and regularity. These are important things. If you live for the rush too much, you come out of kilter with the normal things in life. The mundane things. If you want too much passion from the idiot box and things like that, and the heavy metal music, the natural sounds of the flow of the city can seem to boring. But that is 100% what you need. The sedate and normal things to adapt to the natural world moreso. What you need to do, and take it from me as I know these things, is sit quietly in that front room of yours, in the afternoon, and listen to the city, and learn to adapt to the slow and steady life of Paradision. Just get used to it. And, furthermore, go around your house and look at all aspects of it. Look at the roof and the walls, the furnishings, all the stuff in the house, and the garden too. Look around your immediate vicinity and get to know what it's all about. And, finally, what is fundamental when you start cohabiting with another soul is that you have to go through their collection of knowledge, especially there library. Books have spiritual energy, and until you learn them properly, they can bug you. You haven't read Daniel's books yet, have you?'

'Hardly touched them. Just the Chronicles.'

'Read them. All of them. Go through all his stuff, and get to know it well, and after a while you will have better adapted to the house you are living in. Do all these things and it will well and truly become your home and you will fit right in and feel you really belong where you are. And you will start becoming very happy with your life.'

Stephanie sipped on her coffee, and smiled at Ruth, and said, 'I'll be back in 6 months.' And she left. Ruth smiled. She had sparked something.

Stephanie knocked on Ruth's door 6 months later.

'Read everything. In the house. I pushed hard and got it all done,' she said. 'Except some of the Encyclopaedias which I am working on. It was exhausting, and Callodyn gave me puzzled looks. Been sitting in the front room every morning, quietly, listening to the town.'

'So,' said Ruth. 'What is the result.'

'Daniel has some crazy fucking books, you know. Fantasy epics with real bizarre shit in them. But it worked very well, the advice. I looked at everything, got to know every nook and cranny of the house and the surrounds, and now, when I sit with Daniel watching TV, the spirit feels like its on me, the spirit of the house or something, and it is much more familiar and easy to get along with. Quite happy now. It worked quite well. And I intend to go on with the job, because despite some of the crazy tomes, some were very interesting. Very.'

'Keep at it.'

'Oh, it worked ok,' said Stephanie. 'And I have some things I want to talk with Callodyn about on some of his viewpoints now. A great deal of discussion.'

Stephanie's dilemma seemed to be largely resolved, and Ruth wrote a particular journal entry on her good neighbour and started thinking about her own knowledge, and how accurate it appeared to actually be.

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 12

'Well, here we are boss,' said Hazan. 'Our Trendaphon Mitraphoran base. What now?'

'In we go,' said Gilgadel. They got in, mixed a bit, went to the office. The headman sat with him.

'These are the major profiles of Rudex users,' said the headman. 'From memory.'

Gilgadel examined the list. 'Right,' he said. 'Thanks. We'll be at the hotel. We might see you again.'

They drove to the hotel they'd booked on this leg of the trip. 5 of the 7 fronts visited so far, and no luck yet. They did the usual, settled in, ordered room service, watched some videos, and then Jacinda started hacking away at the net, searching only profile sites and things like that.

'Well, whadya know,' she said, after a while.

'Found something?' queried Gilgadel.

'James MacIntosh. Former employee, sacked over abuse of fellow employees and his superiors. Used Rudex oil constantly in his work, and he has several posts of Good Omens on his facebook page.'

'Give it here,' said Gilgadel, and looked at the profile. He studied the contact details, the personal information, and so on. 'He's single, has a kid, and indulges in BDSM. He also collects butterflies.'

'Bugman,' said Jacinda.

'Innocent until proven guilty,' said Gilgadel. 'But let's go look at his shack.'

They drove out, out of Trendaphon city, into the country a way, and turned down a road. It was starting to get dark, and the road was full of holes. But they drove along, and soon came to the house. They parked a distance, and Gilgadel said 'Wait here.' He walked slowly, carefully, up to the house and came on to the verandah. There was a glass door, and he stole a look. A man was on a couch, with the TV playing, but he was snoozing. Gilgadel looked him over. Seemed innocent enough. He went to some of the other windows, and looked inside. Bedroom. Bedroom. Laundry. Then – jackpot. The room, with red paint, and newspaper clippings on the wall. Newspaper clipping of Bugman. It could hardly be coincidence. He stole away quietly, returned to Jacinda and Hazan and nodded. 'We have our man. Clippings of Bugman all over one of his walls.'

'What do we do?' asked Hazan.

Gilgadel concentrated. 'Nothing. Nothing just for this moment. For the next few weeks business as usual, but we gather evidence, and prove our case. Can't let this one get away. Innocent lives could be at stake.'

'If you say so boss,' said Hazan.

As they drove back to the city Gilgadel glanced back at the house of the apparent Bugman. He had found his nemesis. Now it was a matter of proving it. And he would make sure he didn't stuff this thing up.

The End

Earth, Rock, Rivers & Stuff 3

'The river rolls,' said Callodyn.

'And the thunder strikes,' replied Enosh.

They sat. They fished. The day passed.

'I've been learning how to manufacture fish fingers,' said Callodyn.

'And what are fish fingers exactly?' queried Enosh.

Callodyn looked at him for a moment, as if he were born on another planet, and returned his gaze to the river. 'Mushed up fish in rectangular box shapes, covered in a particular crumb coating. They are usually purchased as frozen food items for cooking in the home. They are something like fingers in their shape and length.'

'I see,' replied Enosh. 'Popular, are they?'

'They don't always taste like fine cuisine, quite frankly. They are usually and often a budget conscience choice for a lot of people. In younger years I was fed them a bit, and they bring back memories and stuff. Working on developing my own particular brand for them at the moment. Fish from this region as well, actually.'

'Always good to have a business venture on the go. Money is what seems to make this world go round after all,' replied Enosh.

'Not a big believer in cash?' queried Callodyn.

'Oh, it has its uses. It doesn't replace the general necessity for a man to be able to live off the land as the creator intended. A medium of exchange for convenience, but so many people can get caught up in it that they lose sight of the natural world and way of doing things. Not always wise.'

'I hear what you are saying,' replied Callodyn. 'People like the thrill, though. That cash can bring. Spending power. Get what you want at the right price.'

'I could imagine,' replied Enosh.

They sat. They fished.

'So does Sebamech enjoy his new wife?'

'Third that he's on,' said Enosh. 'Delilah is a delight, you know. She's very consciencious. Recently it's been funny, though. She's been in the habit, so Sebamech tells me, of reading all of his books. Doing it constantly. Strange behaviour. And she is always looking around the house and examining it. Some sort of idea has gotten into her head.'

Callodyn stared at Enosh. 'That is weird. That is exactly what Stephanie has been doing for a while now. I can't explain it at all. She needs to read everything in my library, and is always quizzing me on things. I haven't even read every book in my library completely yet. Still working steadily through some of the reference material in long term study plans I have.'

'Woman, huh,' replied Enosh. 'God's great mystery.'

'I guess,' replied Callodyn.

They sat. they fished.

'Well, I'm jack of this,' said Enosh. 'Let's have a beer.'

And so they drank the night away somewhat, and nestled down by the fireplace, and as Callodyn explained in detail the process of his fish finger manufacturing procedures, Enosh enjoyed the company of one of his covenant commanders, and was happy at the pleasant atmosphere of this planet they called Televere.

The End

Taylor's Tits

'You have tits,' said Daniel to Taylor.

'I can see that,' replied Taylor.

'Blue Tits,' said Daniel.

'You've noticed,' replied Taylor.

'They are Eurasian,' said Daniel.

'Nothing gets past you, does it,' replied Taylor.

Blue Tits were birds from Eurasia.

'Why do you have Blue Tits? Asked Daniel. 'You're a Tits and Pussy sort of woman, are you?'

'You're disgusting,' replied Taylor.

'Taylor's Tits & Pussy Quarterly,' said Daniel. 'We can do the magazine. Fans worldwide are sure to like the title.'

'Very crude your imagination, minor cherubim of ill repute.'

'Seriously, why the birds?'

'I am starting an animal farm,' said Taylor. 'Jenny Gilmore came and visited, and we are putting a small animal farm out the back of 29 Merriman. Cyril and Mary have agreed, and we are going to allow visitors to come and see God's wonderful creatures.'

'All creatures great and small, huh?' replied Daniel, munching on another jelly bean.

'Something like that,' replied Taylor, paying attention to her tits.

'Gonna charge?' asked Daniel.

'It's for goodwill in society,' replied Taylor.

'Someone has to pay the bills,' replied Daniel.

'Call it Christian Economics then,' replied Taylor. 'The Power of Love, as Alison has dutifully informed me of late from Apostle Peter.'

'Heard that spiel. Bullshit. They are in it for the cashola too, sweetcheeks. They know their bottom dollar every budget day, believe me.'

'You would think that,' replied Taylor. 'But, no. I have altruistic concerns, and I will be covering the cost with Mary and Cyril for our ministry.'

'Oh, it's a ministry, is it?' queried Daniel.

'A ministry for Christ,' replied Taylor.

'Jesus Christ?' replied Daniel.

'Uh huh,' nodded Taylor.

'Failed on those prophecies. He was just having a go,' said Daniel.

'I know,' replied Taylor. 'He was attempting to be Christ Like though. He takes the job of being a Christ figure seriously. He is a student of Messiah like passages in the Neviim and attempts to fulfill these ideas properly enough. No, he's not a predestined Logos of God. That is not disputed. He's just a man on a mission. We're not arguing. But his good intentions have not changed, so I accept his claims of attempting to be a proper Christ figure and good example of love for mankind.'

'Technically so does the ANM,' replied Daniel, and munched on another Jelly Bean.

'Yes, you do in fact, don't you,' replied Taylor, looking at her husband.

Daniel nodded. 'Good idea,' he said. 'I'll throw in some cash and some labour from yours truly if you like. I support the Animal Kingdom. Especially tits.'

'Crude man,' said Taylor, as Daniel walked away. He turned and winked, and she shook her head. 'Funny guy,' she said, and returned her focus to her magnificent blue tits.

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 13

They'd done the research, carefully, one step at a time. First of all Jacinda had stated an obvious fact that Mr Macintosh might simply have an interest in the case being an ex-employee, which was always a small possibility. But as the evidence grew, it became clearer that he was likely their man. Realm authorities, Interpol, were brought in, and they came in to surround the house. Gilgadel was invited to join them, and they were all there. The cops busted in and searched, but nothing. The place was mostly empty and James MacIntosh was, for all intents and purposes, gone. As they days passed by it became clearer as to why. They found video surveillance cameras in the property, and there was footage of Gilgadel sneaking up to the place. James had obviously seen this and made the connection, and was gone. Clearly they had their man, but in all the evidence still left in the house proving it absolutely was still tricky. Nothing 100% factual linked him to the crime at hand – just high probabilities.

'What are you going to do about it?' Gilgadel asked the Interpol authorities.

'We had enough to arrest and question him,' said an officer. 'But not to charge him just quite yet. And still, after all this work we've done at the property, there is not absolute conclusive proof. The apparent doorways of Rudex oil hinges were not really found. Not a trace. There is Rudex oil on the propery, in the shed, but it does not appear to be present in the house. You spooked him, one way or the other, and we probably have our man. But at this stage, while we are searching for him, nothing more can be done. We want him for questioning, and that is all we can claim.

'I see,' replied Gilgadel. 'But, to sum up what you said, it appears we likely have our man.'

'It would appear that way, yes. Proving it is another thing, but he appears to be our Bugman.'

'Good,' said Gilgadel.

He got back to the office later that week, and Jacinda and Hazan encouraged him to get his mind off the matter of the Bugman, and get back to work. But Gilgadel couldn't quite let it go and, shortly, arranged another trip to Trendaphon. He was going to speak with his former employees workmates, ask questions, and do his own research. He would dig out this old skeleton himself, do the work any worthwhile detective ought be doing, and apprehend this ruddy Bugman. One way or another.

The End

Earth, Rocks, Rivers & Stuff 4

'So, where are we reforming too?' asked Enosh. 'Nice place, you know. Stephanie does a good job in keeping it clean.'

'She's marvellous,' replied Callodyn.

'Very,' shouted Stephanie from the kitchen. She came in in an apron. It was the same design as one of Ruth's. She had some of the same type of ear-rings which Ruth wore, and her hair was done in the common Ruthian style.

'Have I become married to Ruth the Moabite?' queried Callodyn.

'Uh huh. Apparently you shagged her once,' said Stephanie. She sat down on the couch. She looked at Enosh. She'd let that one sink in.

Enosh looked at Callodyn. 'You shagged Ruth while she was married?'

'Fuck,' said Callodyn. He sat down. 'It was a long time ago. She was a comedian at the time. Or something like that. Memory is a bit distant now. She got over it. I got over it. I had shenanigan's in me for a long time. They are gradually dying done, funnily enough. Stephanie is proving a longer and longer standing wife than I thought I might get. She was very attractive, I mean, she IS very attractive, and I didn't knock her back. But I do love her, and she is hanging around. Jessica hangs around Daniel. She just sticks. And ironically Taylor Swift is hanging around dad so long now that it isn't funny. So because Stephanie is just faithful, I have been reciprocating, and I don't really think adultery thoughts anymore. Sort of drifting out of my nature. Weird.'

'I've noticed you don't bother glaring at the hot chicks that much anymore,' said Stephanie. 'Surprising. You like to look at pretty things is what I've noticed. Not necessarily lust in my opinion, but you are attracted to hot and cool. But you've settled. We'll last, you know.'

'So it was an indiscretion which happened a long time ago and is unlikely to be repeated?' queried Enosh.

'Wouldn't do that to Boaz. I love him too much,' said Callodyn. 'He's – my brother, you know. I mean, not in the faith, really. I am Noahide forever. But we're eternal neighbours. It's a settled issue. Just couldn't do that to him again. But it's weird. I don't sort of regret it in a way, as me and Ruth sort of know each other a bit personally, and we sort of connect a bit, and it's a little bit comfortable because the tension on that issue is not really present. Old news.'

'Mmm,' said Enosh. 'Interesting reflections on an issue like that. Well, nevermind. You've come to terms with the issue now well enough I would imagine. I will refrain from commenting. Now, reform to where?'

'We reform to the historical facts for starters,' said Callodyn. 'Clarification on the accurate biblical history, when we can get it from the original sources. And then a standard development of the tolerances of behaviours. A strict enough general code of behaviour, but what flexibilities can be tolerated within the scope of the Reform Karaite Gentile life. We tolerate some gay for example, when it is lawful enough in general, so we have a standard sort of Progressive doctrine on that issue. Other things are treated similarly. But a core community at the heart keeps the generally intended way of things, and we build around our pillars. How a lot of denominations work it out in the end.'

'Understood,' replied Enosh. He looked at Stephanie. 'What's for dinner?'

'Ox tail soup. Told it's a favourite.'

Enosh smiled. 'You're good company, you two. I'll be around.'

Callodyn smiled. Always good to have the old patriarch in town.

The End

Callodyn and Sephanie

Witch woman is coming to visit,' said Callodyn. 'Said her life would suck without me.'

'Cheap moves,' replied Stephanie. 'Now, as I understand it, you two are the 'Team'. The twin 'Team', and you have a focus on each other's prosperity.'

'Yep, we're a serious team,' replied Callodyn. 'She focuses me on what I can't see and likewise. We charge each other up and get the team focused on the glory at hand.'

'And what is that glory?' queried Stephanie.

'Steadily rising every day,' said Callodyn. 'For example, I'm one of the cofounders of the Advancing Noah Movement, and responsible for a certain quota of foundational doctrine. I'm on most of the core literature in the index sections and things, and I'm prominent on the websites and things. Everyone in the ANM knows Callodyn. It's not quite that we're deliberately low key about this, but people don't really care that much outside of our religion who runs the show that much, but everyone in the ANM, as I said, knows Callodyn. And our numbers these days – googols, babe. Googols. I don't get key mail delivered here. It gets redirected by Televere post when it's sent here unless it's on the specified mailing list of approved senders, otherwise the mail would be horrendous.'

'I see,' said Stephanie. 'I did know ANM was well established. Don't really know your numbers.'

'We're everywhere, and we're vast, and I have countless contacts,' replied Callodyn. 'Extremely famous, and my earnings are mind boggling.'

She looked at him. 'You are really that rich are you?'

'We live in this house as it's my foundation in the heavenlies after the resurrection,' said Callodyn. 'I've been here a very long time now. It's home. You know. But I can afford a palace the size of Mt Olympus with thousands of servants if I wanted them. That's not really the point. I'm traditional. I like the standard life, and with Ruth and Boaz as neighbours, we have the standard life, and I don't really want to change from that very much. But I have places in Heaven and Earth – homes – quite a lot. One day I might show you one or two of them.'

'I figured you were rich,' she replied.

'But there's more to glory than riches. It's the game which is played against the other players in the angelic hierarchies of eternity which counts a fair bit also. Most play the game to greater or lesser extent. Were we compete a bit against each other for the prizes in life. There are still traditional things which go on in this respect in Zaphora and Terraphora and so on. Haven't participated in a long time, but maybe again one day.'

'Oh,' said Stephanie. 'That could be interesting.'

'I'll keep in mind that you're interested. Now remember, Kelly is passionate. She's a Callophim after all. One of a kind.'

Stephanie looked at her husband. 'What the hell is a Callophim?'

Callodyn looked at his wife and sighed. 'Now that's a long story.'

The End

Gilgadel's Building Supplies Empire 14

'You'll never get away with this MacIntosh. Scumbag.'

'You tell him boss,' said Jacinda.

'He's currently getting away with this,' said Hazan. 'And my head is dizzy.'

'And this is where we dangle you over the edge,' said Bugman, manouevering the crane with the three building supplies workers hanging from the crane tied up in a rope over the edge of the top of a skyscraper which they had designed. They blew in the wind.

'We're blowing in the wind,' said Jacinda. 'I feel like Marilyn Monroe. Or Princess Diana.'

'You are not a flame,' said Gilgadel. 'Listen, MacIntosh. Bugman. Hand yourself in. You're game is up now. We've tracked you down, and believe me we have records of where we've gone.'

'That might be the case,' replied MacIntosh, in his Bugman voice. 'But I'll be gone helter skelter long before they've caught up with your tracking device GPS or whatever it is you have.' He jumped out of the seat of the crane and came and stood at the edge of the skyscraper, gazing at his foes. 'You know, I should let you guys drop to your doom, but I don't really want to risk the wrath with you Gilgadel. Whilst I know you'll be in Sheol a while for your foolishness in getting caught, and old Hashem can be judgmental when people get themselves into sticky situations, your thirst for revenge will just be too bothersome. So I'll leave you hanging, bossman. But remember, the Bugman will be watching, and our Game of Terror is not finished yet buddy. I'll be back one day, and you will eternally suffer the torment of justice for your callous business policies.'

'You were inappropriate with fellow employees. We were not at fault to let you go,' replied Gilgadel.

'Rubbish,' said Bugman. He looked down at the ground below. 'Long way down. Better not look. Heh heh.' And then Bugman took a satchel from the crane, and, heading to the stairwell, disappeared below, leaving the building supplies workers dangling.


'This is great boss,' said Hazan.

'Shut it. I'm thinking,' said Gilgadel.

'We're fucked,' said Jacinda.

'Jacinda! You do not swear,' replied Gilgadel.

'Thought the situation warranted it,' said Jacinda. 'If anything ever does, this is it.'

'Can you wriggle your hand into my back pocket,' said Gilgadel.

Jacinda did so, and extracted a mobile phone.

'Dial the emergency number,' said Gilgadel. 'Triple Zero for this region.'

Jacinda did so. A voice answered.

'We're stuck,' yelled Gilgadel. 'Atop Armstrong tower, hanging from a crane over the edge of the tower.'

'We'll get someone there immediately,' replied the voice. The lady kept talking to them, and about 10 minutes later police came rushing in and looked at the situation. They manouvered the crane, and the building supplies workers were lowered to the top of the skyscraper, and the ropes were undone.

'I'll fill in the report later,' said Gilgadel gruffly. 'But we've found the Bugman.'

'And he got away,' said Jacinda.

'He got away,' repeated Hazan.

The got home later that evening, and sitting in the office Gilgadel looked over James MacIntosh's facebook page. They had their man now. And he threatened he'd be back. So, Bugman was his adversary. Guess every Mogul had to have one in the end. The way the cookie crumbled.

The End

Interviewing God

'Now, dear Heavenly father. I'm Alison Daly.' Alison was in the throneroom of Zaphon.

'NICE TO MEET YOU,' replied God.

'I did not know if you would reply,' said Alison. They say you usually don't. You have a magnificent voice, you know.'


'Now, I have some questions. You are eternal. This is correct, isn't it? Did you always cogitate, or where you at eternal rest first, then began your first contemplations.'


'Thought so. Father teaches that theological idea. Sounded right after a while. Now, your point in creation is to give us all life, and we are happy to have life, which also gives you joy of heart. So you observe? This is what you mainly do?'

'I'M OBSERVANT,' replied God.

'You would be. Noticed the accent also. English and Hebrew. Mixed in.'


'I see,' said Alison. 'Fascinating. I guess you are possibly aware of my report to write for the ANU on world history.'


'I don't expect disclosure. Now, father. Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. He got some early legalism which granted him some exalted status. Cunning moves, or wisdom?'


'Kosher enough, then,' replied Alison. 'Good to know. Now, final question. Heaven – Earth. Both expanding forever. Can I assume that the planetary bodies could qualify for this reality?'


'Overseers prayers required for growth. I understand,' replied Alison. 'I could to that, you know. Just saying. Not hard to pray to you, you know. I'm well trained.'


'I'm humble,' she replied. 'But I'm trained well, and I know I could do the job.'


'I have your approval for the seed of the woman theology then?' queried Alison.



'That is what will be provided,' said Alison.


Alison looked at the flame of God. It returned to it's solid blue. God had finished talking. She sat down on the seats of the throneroom, took some notes, and looked at the throne. He was a decent guy, this Yahweh. Polite gentleman from her impressions. Good to know. She finished her notes, left, and had her eye, like so many others, on her glory. And another day passed.

The End

Before the Board 4

'They kissed my arse,' said Alison.

'It's a good butt, too,' said Taylor.

'You are my daughter and I am proud of you,' said Daniel. 'Pass the remote. Bargain hunt is on.'

Alison passed Daniel the remote and sat down.

'Life goes on,' said Daniel. 'I have a challenge for you now.'

'What is that?' asked Alison.

'Get Matthew going on a study program at CIT. He's just not university material at this stage.'

'Will do kemosabe.'

'Very funny,' replied Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, and laughed.

The End


God mused. Alison Daly. Somehow the combination of Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly and Taylor Alison Swift worked well. Produced a rather remarkable child. Strict, disciplined, authoritative, polite and of good intent. Remarkable. Legendary recent observations from God, and the Heaven and Earth project had proceeded and now, so it seemed, from the said Alison Daly herself, ambitions for the planetary bodies. That could be the making of the girl. God mused about this and he mused about that and he settled down to snooze a bit before arranging the Sandman to give him some discount special's on some dreams for God he had his eye on. The heart of God went through some motions, getting ready for another sleep, and as the divine settled down, so it seemed, people throughout the realms seemed to sigh at the end of another escapade of life, and the father of Glory, giving a quick look here and there, settled down in his divine spirit, appointed certain Guardians to Emergency Notifications, and closed his ever observant eyes, found the Sandman ready, willing and able, and smiled his divine smile. All was well in the world. For the most part anyway. All was well.