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Grand Valley Times Masthead

The Avenging Angel

"My dear Lillian, always so worried. I always say Lillian then as is now, things will always work out, and am I ever wrong, mon cher?"

It was a question posed on the borderline of reason and chaos, of things being ordered according to their precepts or the precepts of those who knew what and whose answer was more ridiculous than the question itself. He let go of her hand.

"Many years ago, before initiations and planet regenerations, before the over engineering of everything and mostly before the agency existed to reinforce all this order, just as we were emerging from the first major chaos," he paused here to let his words sink in because he was about to reveal details about something that could be dangerous to them both, and by pausing, allowing Lillian to gauge on her own the confidence of the information about to be revealed



Chapter 2

"Certainly, it is still celebrated on earth." Petra grew very distant. She felt the wave of nostalgia that had momentarily swept him up and they both remained suspended in that moment. It was the appearance of the waitress, with more green tea that quickly ushered them both quickly back to reality. "Any way I was about a half-way home, a journey in those days that took about six weeks ECAUT, and was scanning the depth of space as far as my scanners in those days would allow, more out of boredom than anything else and I notice this blip way off in the edge of a quadrant about a week away using our then maximum speeds." "I watched if fast approach, it being on top of me in about an hour, quite beyond anything our current technologies could match. I immediately understood that anything that could travel that fast was so far beyond our current technologies that I would be at its mercy. "I put up all my defensive devices and prayed that whatever it was, it was benevolent and stood by, watching and waiting to see what its intent may be."



Chapter 3

"It wasn't long before it made an effort to communicate. I felt no threat and after finding a common language we started to converse. Finally, whatever it was, convinced me to lower my defenses, which is retrospect was probably foolish, but being curious by nature and perhaps a tad reckless, I did so."

"Whatever it was soon overwhelmed me, more by its sheer force of intelligence and had soon assimilated all my databanks, learning everything about the earth it could glean, our various stages of civil evolution and had soon bypassed all my security systems to begin sucking everything up from our earth based data banks.

"Still, I felt no threat. I was marveling at this technology which could so easily achieve this from its ship to my ship as al link to the earth based databases. I was merely performing a linking function for its massive download. It hadn't physically introduced itself, and only as I was trying to rest that first night did I realize that it was communicating with me on a purely psychic level.

It wasn't long before I realized I had succumbed totally to its will and yet felt surprisingly unthreatened, even at this point. It was the ultimate and perfect parasite, so silent and so stealthy, yet absolutely relentless, that by the time I realized that I was under it's complete control, it was far too late to do anything about it.

"It finally made the transit from its ship to mine, but I could only detect a kind of quantum plasma that seemed to bend ever so slightly time and space in harmony with its own. At times I would determine it to be a female presence and it would make love to me from time to time in the most mysterious of manners, as if it had figured out that was probably the best way to control me while it needed me. It seemed to have a voracious appetite for it as well."



Chapter 4

Petra looked up at Lillian, who was now totally captivated by the tale.

"Yes, my dear Lillian, it was particularly enthralling at first, thinking to myself that this was a rather pleasant way of spending the time on the way home and seemed so perfectly natural that it didn't even raise a doubt in my mind that it wasn't perfectly all right, and no one would believe me anyway, so I thought to enjoy it all the way back to earth.

"Of course she was providing a rather simplistic smoke screen for her true activities, but even today, thinking back and knowing what she really was up to, I am almost positive there was nothing that I could have done to prevent it. If I had become too much of a burden on her for her particular mission, she would merely disposed of me, so now I rationalize my survival in the "makes no difference to the outcome" category.

"I knew it was accumulating vast amounts of data through my direct links to the earth databases, and I was beyond resisting it.

"I even deluded myself into thinking that is was at best, a benevolent alien or at worst a curious one. Even the messages I was getting from my control centre, although sounding concerned, were certainly not of an urgent nature at first, so I explained them away that I was getting unknown electrical surges from some kind magnetic field and was trying to resolve them. This satisfied my masters the first day.

"I don't know if the thing ever rested, but seemed to go into some kind of stasis mode from time to time where I would become completely lucid reading the dispatches coming back from the control centre. As time quickly passed I realized that they were becoming increasingly panicked and that earth seemed like it was under some kind of attack, although what kind it was, was never communicated to me with absolute clarity.

"It was at this point I became aware of whatever this entity was, it was powerful beyond anything I had ever known or studied. Our experience with other civilizations at that time was limited but any encounters had been mutually beneficial. Most of earth was aware that they had taken place but had no direct experience with them so it didn't really affect most of the earth's inhabitants."



Chapter 5

Lillian was now leaning directly back in her chair, trying to put some distance between herself and Petra. The horror she felt just beneath the surface of Petra's persona was being communicated directly to her and she was responding as only an empath could, trying assimilate as much as she could without going crazy, a task she confronted most days of her increasingly tiring existence.

He looked up at her and saw the mirror of horror reflecting back to himself.

Petra could not help but smile.

"Relax my dear Lillian, we all make it through this, after all it was 500 ECAUT ago.."

"You know me, Petra, I live in the shadows of these things. And your words have a hauntingly familiar ring to them and seem far too current to have happened that long ago."

She took a deep breath, still not thoroughly convinced. She quickly poured herself another tea so that she may concentrate totally on Petra ‘ s narrative.

"This went on for a week ECAUT (Earth Calculated Auxillary Units of Ttime) or more. There was very little communication between myself and this thing in that time. The dispatches I was receiving from earth were becoming more urgent so I put up some minor resistance, more because I felt it was my duty than hoping to achieve any success in stopping this thing, whatever it may be.

"My attempts were so ineffectual that it almost treated them kindly, certainly patronizingly, and had absolutely no ill intent toward me. I knew it could have swatted me down as I or you would a mosquito.

"If I ever got close to interfering with it in anyway it would simply seduce me and that would be it for me for the next little while each time taking me closer and closer to the edge of death by sucking all the life force from me in such a way that, as I sat on that cusp between life and death, I would beg it to kill me so that I could finally understand.



Chapter 6

"That's when it would whisper in my ear that it was going to be my responsibility to live through this so that I could explain to fellow inhabitants on earth what had transpired and that it was good."

He looked down in absolute sadness, at this point, as if the burden of his failure was more than he could bear, and Lillian knew he was far beyond any kind of comfort that she could offer.

"It would then let me rest, for short periods, and I would read the increasingly alarming memos from earth, trying without success to divorce myself from them and the horror that they represented.

"As the best I could decipher the memos, this Being had indeed sucked all the data from earth's computers using the internets as the communications port inside our system. She didn't know or care if they knew this because she knew that there was nothing they could do to stop her. She had garnered enough information to take over the planet, a goal she seemed to have achieved.

"But somehow this entity had separated me totally from the horrors it was creating back on earth. Towards the end of the journey my sense of foreboding was so extreme as to be paralytic, mixed of course with the typical human desire to witness this horrible event whatever it may be.

"A leaden anxiety hung over me as a dark cloud, fortunately an emotion that had only now become sustainably familiar.

"My only temporary relief was to go to the gym and float there after disabling the gravity generator. I would float there in utter darkness, for hours at a time trying to run from the reality that now engulfed me day and night.

"Then one day, as I floated in the gym almost mad with despair and agony, retreating into an infantile catatonic state, beyond thinking about the consequences of what I had done, or perhaps worse, what I didn't do to prevent this thing that was unfolding around me, she suddenly appeared in all her glory. Her physical beauty was beyond anything I could have imagined, or even did imagine in all our previous sexual encounters.

"When I first noticed her, she stood at the door between the control room and the gym. She stepped into my gravity free zone and for the first time I sensed a vulnerability about her. Of course being what she was she could have created that emotion in me for her own purposes, which was closer to the way she operated, but to this day, I like to think she did have an ounce of such an emotion within her.

"She looked over at me intently. I felt her grabbing me without physically touching me, seizing my breath for a good 45 seconds before releasing me, gasping for air.

"She was warning me, I thought, that she could snap me at will and for me to act accordingly, which was very fallible of her because she should have already understood that. I neither had the desire nor the capability of resisting her now, after finally reaching this moment in time."



Chapter 7

"Unlashed from the mast too early unlike Odysseus, I fell into the black hole that was her life energy, in all its destructive glory, remaining conscious and focused enough to determine, as best I could, as much about her in case I survived this tidal wave I was apparently causing back home, in case there survived some kind of structure that may want to debrief me.

"It wasn't that I was past caring. It was just that caring was meaningless at that moment as it would have no bearing on the outcome. I was as a surfer, riding a level of life so acute as to be on the crest of this breaking energy wave about to crash on the shores of earth and thus having a rather unique perspective.

"After a brief hesitation, she floated up to me where I sat in some dumb trapeze that some space recreation engineer back on earth may have thought useful entertainment on long journeys. It didn't work well with the gravity turned off. Which was the only time I used it, to sit on it and swing my legs.

"She approached me with such love and affection, that even if I had known at that moment how much destruction she had already caused and was about to cause including the death of my own family, I still would have been unable to resist her.

"I felt absolutely no fear.

"She sat in the adjoining swing and stared at me for sometime until I realized that she was attempting to communicate at such a subliminal level that I had to relax completely to understand her and receive her energy.

""You are not afraid?"

"Obviously she had become very familiar with our language by this time. I did not need to respond to her because she would know my answer before I could respond and it would have been a waste of energy.

"I remained transfixed by her overwhelming beauty that had enslaved me as much as the song of the sirens had enslaved all who dared to hear it. I recalled the words of Homer:

"Once he hears to his heart's content, sails on, a wiser man. We know all the pains that the Greeks and Trojans once endured on the spreading plain of Troy when the gods willed it so-- all that comes to pass on the fertile earth, we know it all!"

"There was one question that I had to ask so simple and basic and yet whose answer I dreaded.

""What are you doing?

""My name for now is Evangeline. What is yours?"

"I knew she would have known it. However, in the interests of this little ritual we were performing, I readily told her.

""Petra".

""Well it is nice to meet you Petra."

"She said this in such a way as if rehearsing for a personality she would adopt for a stay on earth. I didn't really care one way or another.



Chapter 8

""So what are we up to Evangeline?"

"I finally could not contain all my pent up frustration of being so helpless. I noticed that my tone had caught her a little off guard. She must have picked up the antagonism in my voice, because she turned and smiled at me with increasing intensity as if to say "don't care how angry you may feel, there isn't anything you can do about it".

"And then with a wave of her arm we were suddenly transformed into a country garden where we were now both sitting on a garden swing, she sitting opposite to me on my left.

"She was attired in I long loose skirt that fell between her legs, with her feet up on my part of the bench revealing a most wonderful pair of legs I shall ever see. She knew exactly my weaknesses and seemed to exploit them at every turn.

"I wanted to make love to her on the spot, which of course would have been her choice because we both knew she was in absolute control of the situation.

"Considering what resulted from the actions of that Being, I feel ashamed to admit that I wished I had at least tried but, of course, this was not something that she had planned for our outing that day. She suddenly got up and I followed like the little love sick puppy I had become out the gate at the back of the garden, across a field, past a herd of cows grazing placidly on the grass staring at us inanely as only cows can, down a hill, up a dale, like reliving a child's fairy tale completely forgetting that I was on a vessel somewhere in space near Earth, I, returning from some mission on Enceladus, with Evangaline causing some serious disturbances back on my home planet and I not caring one wit.

"Finally she slowed down as we approached a river's edge, where it so happened, a red canoe awaited on the shore, two paddles laying on the bottom of it.

"She climbed in the front, grabbing her skirt, in a tomboy kind of way, putting the life preserver between her back and the wooden strut and sitting heavily on the floor.

"I stood on the shore and watched her, knowing I had no choice but to follow her, pausing long enough to take the wonderment of our surroundings, as the sun formed a golden highway along the water, staring into the eyes of this strange Being, so immaculately had she enamoured me that if she had commanded me at that instance to chop off my own head I would have. "

Petra stopped here. He stared out the window at a scene not unlike the one he was describing 500 years previously.

Lillian was so engrossed in the story that this return to the present was jarring. She followed Petra's eyes out the window gazing at a river beside the tea house, the harmonic of the two moments inescapable. It made her intensely uncomfortable.

Petra continued, a slight cloud beginning to form around his entire being as the chord washed over him as well.

"I approached the canoe, having had experience with them in my youth on Earth and one of the few things that I had always enjoyed.

"I kept eye contact as I approached and suddenly felt such a violent emotion pass between us that caused me pause. It contained within it a compassion I not thought possible, followed by a tremendous tornado of vengeance and hatred, on such a deep and passionate level that analogies to the vengeful God of the First Testament immediately came to mind.

"The term a God of Vengeance suddenly made absolute sense.



Chapter 9

"I sucked in my breath and carried on, the old saying that when you are going through hell, keep going. We both knew that I had no choice.

"It passed quickly enough as I gently pushed off from the shore and began to paddle downstream. The river was a beautiful place, its shores lined with a high canopy of very ancient trees, through which one could catch glimpses of lovely quaint English country side cottages, all varieties of song birds, otters, the occasional fish jumping, an ancient beaver, even a blue heron, images I now realize she was picking from my very mind.

"In the turmoil of those earlier ominous premonitions, a thunder storm was threatening and I took shelter under the sweeping protection of a weeping willow.

"She had one leg over the gunnel of the canoe, dragging her foot in the calm waters of the gently flowing river, as she lent back against the cushion of the life preserver, her head tilted up as she watched the storm form above dropping down torrent of rain, none of which touched us as we stayed in the shelter of the willow tree.

""How long have you lived on earth, Petra?"

""Most all my thirty years."

""And what do you think about it?"

""Haven't really given it a great deal of thought to it , Evangeline. I mean from what point of view?"

"She suddenly titled her head back in my direction, a flash of anger distorting her features just long enough for me to remember that this was her illusion and that it could change the instant she wanted it to change.

""Oh I don't know, why don't you try from say a human point of view."

"It was a pertinent question, I guess. We, as a race were just beginning to emerge and were starting to intermingle with the wider known universe, through a contact with other civilizations.

""I guess we're making progress, what ever that means."

"She threw back her head with a contemptuous laugh.

""You call what you are doing progress?"

"It was a rhetorical question. Still, I felt compelled to answer it.

""Well, you know, we are providing the basic necessities of life to our peoples'"

""You call what you are doing providing the necessities of life? That is not what I have observed."

"Her voice was tinged with anger. I was feeling a little hurt as I began to realize any affection I felt for this Being existed solely at her pleasure.

""Well yes I've been meaning to ask you about that."

"She looked over at me.

""It doesn't take long to assess your civilization, Petra. In case you haven't noticed that is exactly what I have been doing since we met. It is a savage, stupid, un-evolved piece of work stuck on the most basic of emotions that your species is apparently incapable of evolving above - the lowest three energy centers that you have been endowed with. One of the most unintelligent, stagnant ones I have ever been sent to assess."



Chapter 10

"There was no emotion at all in her statement, merely a clinical assessment by a higher Being sent to judge our planet, and to render a judgment on it, although why now, was and still is, a mystery to me. I knew whatever counter argument I tried would be ripped to shreds by an intellect so sharp that I knew better than to challenge it.

"I had the sense that she had made up her mind, and my opinion would make little or no difference. As much as I tried to deny it, I knew that her judgment was now a pre-gone conclusion and felt that a defense would have no consequence.

"Deep within all this conversation, I felt within it a churning of a primal, destructive force of the universe that was solely at her disposal.

""That predominantly simplistic and mercantile philosophy down there..."

""Capitalism." I spouted someone ashamedly but by this point in our conversation. I had to admit, I did agree somewhat in her assessment.

""Yes, that stinking, stupid, may I say in-humane, Darwinian crony-capitalism, war mongering, repressive mercantilism, unfit to control a tribe of baboons. It has trapped you in a anti-evolutionary quagmire."

"And then I remembered the words as if you had said them to me now sitting across from me at this very table.

"Evangline said: "Which, were it up to me on my own, wouldn't bother me all that much. However, your race has reached an evolutionary turning point that you refuse to acknowledge and it is beginning to affect those around you more than you know and must be dealt with. That is why I have been sent."

""It is our job, like or not to force change on stagnated societies. It doesn't happen often, in fact this is the first such assignment I have personally been sent on. It's a stage of most great civilizations, but one they quickly evolve out of. "

"She continued: "It has its benefits, but one must move on. Yours has been stuck in this one place far too long and its time for some intervention."

""We've had enough of you killing your righteous and good people to oppress this truth and its time for your race to move up the evolutionary ladder so that others may."

""And you people," she spat this out with the most utter contempt, "You pre-evolutionary ape monkeys on earth, you have turned this to the most virulent to all; that creative and good to life doctrines have been mutated into a religious-based materialistic bunch of philosophical gobbledygook, beyond anything we could unentangle."

""Any other society I have ever witnessed with an opposable thumb would have and have dismissed this utter nonsense in less than a nano second of simple applied logic into the gumbo mash of inconsistencies and false premises that it is."



Chapter 11

""And yet, down there on your planet, the very spirit which is supposed to do this has been twisted and counter imposed with such a brutality on itself and has created such a tumour on the totality of a growing quadrant of the universe that I've been assigned to correct it."

""The evidence I have amassed is massive and has been forwarded to our civilization for judgment. I cannot act alone in these matters, the consequences are too great. Ever time a hint of progress on your world has been realized, that the next evolutionary step is about to taken, a giant force within your world rises up with such force to oppose it, is an anomaly that is worth studying and will be in the appropriate time.

However, the decision has been made that it is too dangerous to let it continue and steps must be taken."

"Evangeline had finished her statement."

"I noticed that the rain had stopped and the setting sun, in all its pink glory had returned.

"I knew now that nothing that was occurring here was without Evangeline's consent, so I took this a signal to push out from under the tree and carry on down the river. In the dying light of that day, where ever and when ever it occurred, I noticed Evangeline had suddenly aged greatly. She looked at me with a love and compassion that caused me to loose my breath momentarily.

"I knew whatever judgment, she and her people had made was final and I knew that it was about to be executed.. Her attention was focused on her mission at hand, I could tell from the aura that emitted from her being that she dreaded the outcome but was acting on such a level of supreme duty that I felt the righteousness of her mission was beyond doubt. We paddled on in silence.

""Do you remember Petra," her voice suddenly filled with kindness and a profound sadness, "the Buddha, Jesus, the great saints of your religions, the secular actors, Kennedy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King in the 20th century and the later ones like Livingstone, Hariiri, Ben-Zaler, and I could go on, because, as I said before, you came close at times, killed, assassinated, destroyed by these counter evolutionary forces, stupid, old, calcified, greed infested, prostate cancer ridden, mostly males exploited at the most base of levels corrupting the populations of your entire planet by their weakness and sickness."

""Your planet has been under observation for sometime and there were those amongst us who thought that the good would triumph eventually, as has happened under every other circumstance, and join us in the next evolutionary process of all life, which is beyond anything that one could wish for as a civilization. And guess what Petra, my friend..."

""Yes but, you know.." which was the last defense uttered to the great destruction of the third millennium by me in the defense of humankind. Not the most eloquent defense, you must admit my dear Lillian, but it was all I could muster at the time."



Chapter 12 Lillian reached out clasping Petra's hand in hers.

"Evangeline carried on, about to carry out the sentence on our civilization that nothing could have stopped, this juggernaut disguised as a canoe with me at the helm, as it drifted slowly down that lazy river, way back when.

""No I am sorry my friend. The facts have been considered the judgment is in, it is final and it my duty to carry it out. "

"She looked directly at me as I felt an energy impossible to bear surge through my body. Despite all efforts to the contrary could not do anything but shake with an intensity that left me praying for death. Through this I heard a voice and to this day I am not sure whose it was, explaining my fate from that day forward, which is this what I do now, remaining alive until my mission is done.

"Evangeline had suddenly taken on the body of the avenging angel. Her attention needless to say was no longer on me.

"She stood up in the canoe and with the wave of her hand tossed me from it to the shore, as if I were a rag doll. I sat where I landed waiting for a thunderous noise which never came. It was the silence of deep space. An abyss appeared as she floated up and beyond the canoe as it toppled over the edge. The abyss was upon us but I was trapped in all this and could not move.

"It was miles wide and infinitely deep. The beautiful sunset had turned blood red, the light spilling forth in all directions. Bodies of people were spilling forced down into that abyss as I witnessed this from an energy and physical level at the same time as if these souls had suddenly lost all material reference points.

"I watched Evangeline from behind as she turned into the beast incarnate, destroying with impunity everything she must and as was her duty. I finally could move and stood up at the edge of this abyss waiting for it to digest me as well but did not as she said it wouldn't. The landscape she had created, the river and the country side flowed into the abyss all around me.

"Surprisingly I felt none of this force, which was beyond my comprehension as it swirled around me without touching, contained as I was in some protective bubble.

"I looked around at the chaos surrounding me, as everything disintegrated into space.

"As she had promised, I was in a protective bubble, but the scene that stretched out before me was so fearful, that I shuddered uncontrollably nevertheless.

"The scene, with that beautiful meandering river that unfolded behind me remained unchanged. I suddenly felt non-existent, an innocent witness to this massive apocalyptic destruction, although directly comforting me I refused to comprehend.

"A strange satisfaction started to well up inside me and I suddenly I began to realize that I had a lot in common with the beliefs of Evangeline and her alien ilk. The fundamental religions of the world were finally getting their fucking apocalypse. I hope they were enjoying it. The only thing I wasn't seeing, which gave a greater satisfaction, was their nude ugly fat bodies rising in the rapture.

"There was no fucking rapture, just the overwhelming stench of burning flesh.

"I was now positioned directly behind Evangeline, and watched her silhouetted in the bright red sun.

"Around her body there was a blackness of infinite depth, a concentration of the dark matter of space, and then outlining that a narrow strip of what I could best describe as a golden mercury like substance, a shimmering and ever changing plasma that followed the contours of her form.

"It was in that form that I felt the power of her dominion.



Chapter 13

"Gradually, the fear drained away as I felt myself indestructible and removed from all this. It was however, replaced by a sense horror, but also a marveling at such a destructive power.

"For some reason, I had been chosen from all civilization to witness this moment, perhaps more due to timing than anything, for what purpose, it was up to me to determine. The lessons were over. I watched intently, having no doubt that I might wish to take something away from all this, to be assembled at a later date. I'm supremely glad, up to this day that I had no choice of any kind of action. I guess, thinking back, it was Evangeline's last gift to me.

"And then the sound began to penetrate. I had been watching all this unfold in the vacuum and utter silence of space. As an atmosphere began to penetrate this scene so came the sound.

"It began as a gentle thunder, but soon was joined by the cries of agony, fear, the death throes of a violent civilization being reflected back upon its self.

"I began to witness the scene through Evangeline's eyes, whom I could see was also totally separated from what was happening before her. The screams, the thunderous roar had no effect on her to such an extent that I could not determine whether she too was just a witness or the perpetrator.

"The enormity of the destruction was complete and absolute and I had no idea at that precise time whether I was witnessing something metaphoric, or in fact real, or happening is some parallel reality that described this thing as I witnessed it. These questions seemed of little importance and I knew they would be answered soon enough when I finally did step on to Earth.

"I watched her glance left and whatever would engage her consciousness would sink deeper, eventually collapsing upon itself from the centre outwards. I would catch glimpses of things, archetypes, symbols rise up from the remains of the destruction, flying directly at her, through her and then through me as if she directed them that way.

"Others would flutter around me for what seemed like hours and still others would communicate things to me, making me feel so uncomfortable that I wanted to run but could not move.

"It reached a crescendo both visually and aurally until it became unbearable and then would dissipate into a kind of grey fog. I remained transfixed.

"And then as suddenly as it all had begun, it ended. The last thing I remembered was a hawk, flying downward over my brow with rat in its talons and could feel the wash of its wings on my face.

"My next memory was awakening on my cot, the ship having returned to normality, with the communications systems braying loudly in my ear full of static, between calls of panic.

"Beside me was an envelope with my name written on it lying on the pillow beside me.

"I turned the volume down. I tracked my position and discovered I was about three days out from earth which I was happy to see still existed. I opened the note:



Chapter 14

""Dear Petra:

I hope you are OK. You were needed purely as a witness so that your physical condition should remain unchanged. Prepare yourself for the chaos that will confront you when you land back on your planet.

I tried to explain to you the best I could to your level of understanding of what has occurred. No matter, rest assured that it was necessary, and do not fault yourself for not preventing it, as there is nothing you could have done.

It had to be done (these matters are not taken lightly, you can rest assured) because the evolutionary capacity of your planet far exceeded its reality and I think that you understood that much of it anyway.

The resistance to this evolutionary requirement is far beyond any one person's or indeed any counter evolutionary force in the universe to stop it. It did not emanate from me, I merely directed the forces. I was strictly carrying out orders, as it were.

As a civilization, it is what we do. I think you will find that, over time as your planet reconstructs itself, it will become what it has been resisting all these millennia. You have been chosen to witness this process and thus have been granted an extra long life so that you may or may not join us in future assignments.

That will be your choice.

You may wish to condemn us or come to understand our logic. That again will be your choice. One thing that you will be aware of from this time forward is that no one is alone in this.

This you must surely communicate any way you wish to do so.

Its time to listen to the wisdom of the ages and act accordingly. This process is not some side show performed for its entertainment value to be ignored, for, as you have just witnessed is ignored at great peril.

We shall most likely meet again, knowingly or not. In love peace and union.

Evangeline C."

"I put down the letter and put in back in the envelope. As soon as I had, it disappeared and yet its words have become forever etched on my memory, even after that just one reading.

"So now I await with great anticipation the end of my existence but I am continuing to discover that I serve at their pleasure, which is a particular combination of my hell and their heaven all wrapped into this being that you see sitting across from you currently known as Petra. "

He paused here, staring across at Lillian. In the context of what he had just told her, she was finally was having an insight into his inner workings and this tale and it explained to her a lot that she hadn't understood about Petra until now.

She couldn't help herself as she grabbed his arm as he attempted to leave.

"What had happened on earth, Petra?"



Chapter 15

"Oh yes well that was rather anti-climatic. "

"But it coincided with the great Apocalyptic moment."

"It was and it did. But not exactly as you might think. What Evangeline had me witness as compared with result was different. I was witnessing the destruction on a different level in a different dimension if you will. The results took about 10 Earth years to manifest and though the loss of life and tragedy was no less real, the actual events took a great deal longer to realize on earth than from where I witnessed them from

"It was done slowly so that the results could be felt with less shock than happening that quickly. When I returned there had been a number of cataclysmic events that caused that civilization to collapse. I had witnessed the first domino being felled.

"After she unplugged the drain, the whole earth civilization spiraled down the whole, quickening with each moment, until the events that are now common knowledge took place.

"But my dear Lillian, it all began with the complete destruction of the symbols and archetypes of that society which I witnessed first hand. That is what you must look for because that is what is at the essence of all this"

He made a sweeping gesture with his arm releasing it from her grip.

"More than that I cannot help you with my dear, I've done my bit. Now do yours, so I can finally get some rest. I really am longing to be somewhere other than where I am."

He put his hat on and with a rakish movement, slid his hand along the brim. From her readings of the old detective stories, he was the essential private eye that seemed to have existed through out all times, the lone figure standing up to the forces that no one could control

"Oh Petra I am suddenly afraid beyond fear. You cannot leave me now."

"I must my dear, you know far more about all this than I ever did. I could not possibly go through something like that again."

He looked down at the suddenly, very fair and gentle Lillian, looking like a young fawn trying to find her legs for the first time.

As he turned the left side of his face was consumed by the darkness cast by the shadow from the brim of his fedora.

"You have all the tools Lillian to do what you must. It is the judgments that you must take that are the hardest."

"Did you ever see Evangeline again?"

Petra just smiled his enigmatic smile.

"Perhaps."

"Did you ever find out what the C stood for?"

"What C?"

"The C in the note, you said she signed the note Evangeline C."

"Oh that yes... apparently it stood for Christ"

And then Petra quickly walked away.