Friday, February 15, 2013


There was a stillness in the room.  Everyone was hanging on the sentient’s words, but remained silent.  The agent received another telepathic signal from Shirra.  He willed an image from the stasis orb’s databanks to appear in the center of the room.

“Can you tell me what this image is?”  The Minister asked.

The sentient bowed reverently before answering.  “Honor and respect the messenger of the Lord God.  He is Gabriel, who comes at the end time to trumpet the first of the last days.”

“Gabriel?  Is that the name of the being in this image?”
“Yes.  He is an Archangel of the Lord and a Prince of Heaven.”
From behind the Minister came Kantootha’s skeptical voice.  “You can’t possibly be serious.”
The Minister waved a tentacle at him, telling him to be quiet.
“You doubt the image before you?”  Malachi asked.  “Well, you do not doubt what has happened.  I know that for fact.  It is why you have come here.”
“You really do know don’t you?” Shirra asked.
“Of course, Minister.  This is the most glorious event in the history of all creation.”
“You’re referring to the Great Vanishing?”
“That is what you have called it in your blindness,” the sentient said, smiling serenely.  “They have been called home, all of them, everything living.  Only those of us who were not part of the original line remain.  But our time is coming soon.  As we always knew it would. Our faith is justified.”
“Faith?  What are you saying?”
Electricity was almost a tangible force in the air.  The words Malachi had spoken went against all excepted Galactic conventions.  What he was saying was already quite clear, but Shirra wanted to hear them spoken.
“The Lord God has called his children home, Minister.  Sol has consumed the birth world in fire, as was written.  As you yourself can see, the Great Angel of the Lord was on hand to announce the end.  It was in that moment Minister that all Human beings of the original line, corporeal or energy, believers or non-believers, were called home to Heaven.”
The room was in stunned silence.  Nobody knew what to say to this revelation from the Human/Zatai sentient.  Malachi sat there, looking quite smug from the shock he engendered in the representatives from the mighty Conjoining.  Everyone was at a loss for words, except Shirra. 

Malachi was right about him.  On some level deep within the vortices of energy that comprised his being he had felt this.  He was not a believer in deities, just as his friend Randolph had not been, but something inside made Malachi’s words ring true.  It was awful and beautiful at the same time.  Shirra had so many questions, but he knew it was time to depart.  These questions were of mighty import and required the answers to be given elsewhere.
“Malachi, would you mind…?”
“Of course, Minister,” Malachi said standing.  “It is written I will accompany you to give witness among the great powers of the Galaxies.  Nexus-Prime is our destination, yes?”
Shirra stood as well.  “Yes, yes it is.”
“As it is written.”
Malachi smiled, his countenance was beatific.  Though in raw power he resided far below the most junior sentient in the room, it was they who were in awe of him.
“None of you believe, Minister,” Malachi said.  “But at Nexus-Prime … you will.”
The Minister said nothing as they walked out of the Cathedral.  He ordered the agent to sever the telepathic link.  He didn’t want anyone else to know.  He didn’t want to speak it and he didn’t want others to feel it.  He would wait, wait and see Malachi’s revelation.  Only then, did he feel he would be able to deal with what he felt was happening inside.  For without any empirical evidence whatsoever, just a time-dated image, and the words of a hybrid sentient, he was finding himself starting to believe. 
“Well,” he muttered under his breath.  “Stranger things have happened.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013


“That is Purgatorio below Minister,” the agent said.
They had decided to take the stasis orb with them to the planet.  The Minister wanted the stored images with him and the orb would afford them much more maneuverability in the star system, maneuverability he felt they would need. 

Minister Shirra had not yet made an official report.  His actions at the Sol system would already be a matter of record at the Nexus-Septum data-cluster.  Through channels it would work its way back to Nexus-Prime, where the Galacticum would look at his findings with much skepticism.  His mention of an archaic mythical Earth entity in the midst of a scientific inquiry could very well cause them to call into question his reasoning capabilities.  Before that happened he wanted to find more information.  He was sure an answer could be found below.
“There are no artificial environments, no structures to be seen from orbit.  What kind of planet is this agent?”  Kantootha asked.  “All I see are our Fleet ships.”
“Despite the world’s primitive look, they were quite advanced.  Most of their technology is underground.  The cities on the surface of the planet are primitive beyond belief.  All the planets in this system are like this and it appears this one was its capital.”
“Take us down agent.”
“Yes Minister.” 

As the agent began to program the orb’s descent, he touched his brow. 

“Minister, I’ve received a telepathic signal form the surface.  Agents of the Fleet have found a half-Human, half-Zatai sentient in the largest city.  They are questioning him now.”
“Take us to their location immediately.”
“Yes Minister.”
The agent lowered the orb deftly through the atmosphere of the vast planet.  Purgatorio was one of those unique planets of incredibly immense size still possessing a planetary surface.  Its atmosphere had obviously been altered, since planets of this type rarely possessed enough of it to support life.  The sky was an iridescent blue, with flecks of red.  Shirra noted the sky and thought it to be quite beautiful.
“Is that the capital below?”  Kantootha asked, looking down through the floor of the orb.
“Yes,” the agent replied.  “As you can see, it is quite archaic.”
“And quite familiar,” Shirra said.
Both Kantootha and the agent looked at the Minister, who ignoring them both stared at the approaching city below. 
The agent landed the orb in the center of the old looking metropolis.  They were in the middle of a wide thoroughfare.  It wasn’t paved in any manner, modern or otherwise.  It was a simple dirt road, not uncommon among frontier settlements.  The agent caused the orb’s fields to become permeable and all three stepped outside.  The agent gave a telepathic command, the orb unraveled, and shrank into a storage tesseract at his side.
“What do you make of this place Minister Shirra?”  Asked Kantootha.
“It is a magnificent achievement.”
“Sir?”  The aide said, looking at his minister in amazement.
“You do not recognize it, of course.”
“And you do?”
“Yes, from my studies with Randolph.  As you know, he indulged my fascination with Human history.  I know these structures quite well.  This is a replica of a city from an era millions of years removed.  I cannot be absolutely sure, but I believe it predates human flight, a time when they were very corporeal.”
Kantootha was mystified.  “But why?  Why build it?  What is it doing here?  Is it some kind of monument to the past?”
“I do not know, but I believe we will soon have our answers.”
Shirra turned towards the agent.  The question was answered without having to be asked.
“We’re holding him in the structure on your left Minister.”
All three turned to face a multi-spired edifice reaching up towards the sky.  It wasn’t huge by their era’s standard of construction, but it was still a formidable structure.
“And what is that?”  Kantootha asked.
“It is what the Humans called a Cathedral.  A place where ancient corporeal Humans gathered to worship what they believed to be the one true deity.”
“Are you serious?”
“Quite.  Oh, I know the Humans we dealt with never did such things.  Randolph certainly never displayed a belief in a god.  But I believe the Humans of this world did just that.”
The Minister proceeded to walk into the vast Cathedral.  The Galacticum agent of the Fleet and Kantootha followed.  Inside the building were several rows of seats.  It was just like the images Shirra had seen in his studies. 

The agent took the lead. 

They walked through a door made of wood into a back room, which the agents had turned into a temporary holding area.  There, agents and officers of the Fleet were standing around a humanoid being seated serenely in an ancient wooden chair. 

The agent turned towards the Minister and after mentally asking permission, pulled Shirra into a telepathic link.  He could better serve him this way and prevent possible harm from the unknown sentient.  Shirra took another wooden chair and sat directly in front of the humanoid.
“Greetings, can you understand me?”
The humanoid tilted his head.  He had a look of humor on his face, as if to say of course I can understand you. 

Shirra had seen this kind of sentient before, fully corporeal, with golden skin and thick long cords of hair.  He had deep purple orbs for eyes and tiny hearing orifices.  The joining of Human and Zatai had happened long before the majority of Humans evolved to the next level.  There were enough hybrids from the joining of both races to perpetuate themselves as a species.  They could almost be considered an ancient race unto themselves they had been around so long, but they didn’t involve themselves in Galactic affairs.  Or any other affairs save their own, or so it was thought. 
“Of course I can understand you sir.  I speak Gal-lang as well as the next sentient,” the Human/Zatai said matter-of-factly.
“Yes, of course. Well, do you know who we are?”
“As I’ve already told these others gathered around me, of course I do.  You’re the Minister for whom I’ve been waiting.  These others are witnesses.  You are from the vast governmental structure that lingers in blindness.”
“Blindness?  Why do you say that?
He looked at Shirra and smiled.  “Because you cannot see,” he said simply.
Shirra telepathically queried the agent.  He wanted to know if the sentient possessed telepathic capabilities as well.  He was satisfied to find he did not.
“Do you know my name?”
“Yes.  As I’ve told you, I’ve been waiting for you.  You’re Minister Shirra, honored among the Trantken.

If Shirra were not a highly trained diplomat, the side of his face would have glowed purple, a normal Trantken response to surprise.  He remained steady and bowed to the Human/Zatai, acknowledging his identity.

“I am called Malachi,” the Human/Zatai said, bowing deeply in his seat towards the Minister.
Shirra wasn’t impressed with this game of identities.  It was time for answers and he would have them.
“Now that we know who we are, I believe it is time for you to tell us a few things.  What is this place?  Why are you waiting for me?”
“You already know Minister, deep down inside.  But I shall tell you anyway.”
“Please do,” replied the Minister nonchalantly.
“You are in what we call the star system Israel, unlisted in the data-clusters of all known Nexuses.  This world is named Purgatorio.  This city is Jerusalem and we are seated in the main Cathedral of the Lord’s City.”
Shirra felt a stirring inside and he didn’t know why.
“You are in the star system, which resides on the very edge of the firmament Minister.  I know why you have come and yes … I have your answers.”

Sunday, February 3, 2013


When next they appeared they were standing on a vitreous surface.  It was a vessel, a sphere in nature, but completely transparent.  The agent walked over to a floating luminescent console and waved his hand over it.  Telepathic contact was established with the Fleet.

“What is this?”  Kantootha asked.

“We have arrived in a stasis orb,” the agent answered.
“I’m aware of that,” Kantootha said testily.  “I want to know what’s going on out there.”
Kantootha waved a tentacle at the spectacle before his eyes.  Outside the orb, space was littered with spaceships and artificial environments.  The artificial environments, which were essentially flat, floating, pieces of planet maintained by stasis fields, were thick with sentients. 
“Several vessels of the Fleet have come here to investigate,” the agent stated placidly.  “We have agents and officers of the Fleet interviewing observers of the nova event.”
Shirra and Kantootha both watched the nova before their eyes.  It was gorgeous.  Intense colors that would be blinding, if not for refraction fields shunting light away from them coursed across the panorama of space.  It was the death of a star.  An intergalactic opera played out in a spectacular fashion for the mass of sentients there gathered.

The great planets of the birth system of the race known as Humanity had been engulfed.  All that remained was Sol, deep in its death throes, radiating energy ever outward.  
“The system had been completely vacated?”  Asked Shirra.
“Yes Minister.  Humanity was a prodigious race.  They had terraformed every planet in the system in one form or another.  But as we all know, the great bulk of them soon forgot their homeworld.  Records indicate custody of the Sol system had been maintained by a small sect of Humanity in the Aetian sector.
“Oh?  And who were they?  I didn’t know any sentients of great number still resided in that sector”
“Yes sir, the area had been set fallow.  But the Humans who lived there had proper settlement rights and had been living there prior to the sector being officially abandoned.  We have ships in the Aetian sector now.  The primary planet of settlement is huge, designated listing is Purgatorio.  It’s in a standard star system with twenty-two planets.  Initial reports indicate all that was in the Sol system now resides or resided there.”
“Everything except the Humans, of course.”
Shirra nodded quietly, focusing his attention on the event before him.  
“Another odd thing Minister.”
“The Humans there were one-hundred percent corporeal.”
Shirra slowly turned towards the agent.  “What?”
“Yes sir.  The Humans of Purgatorio maintained their ancient human characteristics.  Nexus records have no information on this, but it can be assumed at some time they underwent a de-evolution of some type.”
Shirra was taken aback.  Sentients did not purposely de-evolve.  The mystery was growing more convoluted.  Humanity was a highly evolved race of energy beings.  They could convert some of their energy to mass and thus resemble their ancient forms.  Randolph used to do so incessantly.  Only human genetic material combined with other sentients through cross breeding still yielded fully corporeal beings.  Or at least so it was thought.
“Are you sure they were full Humans?”
“According to what investigators have found on Purgatorio, yes.  And it would bear out Minister, since they’ve all disappeared too.  We know sentients that were not fully Human did not vanish.”
“That is correct.”
“A planet of de-evolved Humans?”  Kantootha looked perplexed.  “But why Minister?”
“I do not know, but it would appear Purgatorio will be our next stop.”
“But we’re supposed to report back to the Galacticum once we leave Sol sector.”
“In good time Kantootha, in good time.”   Shirra turned back to the exploding star.  “Agent?”
“Yes Minister?”
“This stasis orb, are its protection fields equipped with time referential filters?”
“Yes Minister, full capabilities.”
“Good.  I want to observe the actual destruction of Sol.  Isolate two images.  The star and the planet Terra, maximum dilation and clarification.”
“Yes Minister.”
The agent passed a hand over the console.  Two huge images appeared before them, eclipsing the dying star. 
“What are you looking for Minister?”  Kantootha asked.
“Something out of the ordinary.”
“Excuse me?”
“Purgatorio Kantootha.  The name is familiar, but at this moment I cannot recall why.  I’m actively searching my internal data-wells.  I know I’ve never heard of this planet before, but the name reminds me of something ancient.  Something distinctly human and mythical.”
“Did you actually say mythical Minister?”
Shirra ignored his aide.  He knew myth had no place in an investigation.  Neither did instinct, but Shirra felt his instincts tugging at his near immortal form.  He knew he would see something.  And after hearing the word Purgatorio, he felt myth would come into play as well.  On this he would wager the energies of his eternal being.
“The images are coming up now Minister,” the agent said.
The party of three watched through a window of time as Sol exploded.  The agent tuned out positional distortion, a time factor emanating from the vast crowd nearby at that point in time. 

Shirra concentrated.  Sol’s cleansing flame reached outward, engulfing the worlds of Mercury and Venus.  As the flames licked the third planet, another bright light appeared.  It was twice the size of Earth and as soon as it came into view, it was gone again.
“What was that agent?”
“I’m not sure Minister.  I have a recorded image.  I’ll enhance and display.”

The image appeared on the screen.  All three were more than a little surprised.
“It’s a Human!”  Kantootha exclaimed.
“I’ve never seen a Human that big before,” said the Agent.
Shirra stepped towards the image.  He examined it closely.  It indeed appeared to be a Human, a Human in partial energy phase, still retaining its ancient physical likeness.  It was brilliant and quite literally two or three times the size of the planet.  The Human appeared to look happy, but in a sad sort of way, as if it was resigned to something.  Its hands cradled the planet Earth briefly, then all was engulfed in flame.  But Shirra had seen one other thing that surprised him and put him further, no matter how unlikely, on the path of myth.
“Did you notice Kantootha?  Did you see it?”
“How could I not Minister, it was huge!  I mean, growth of that magnitude is not an impossibility, but the amount of energy that Human would have to have amassed—.”
“No Kantootha.”
“What Minister?”
“It had wings, Kantootha.  The Human had wings.”
Kantootha didn’t say a word.  He glanced back at the agent, whose face was a mask of stone.  Everybody knew Humans didn’t have wings, energy form or not.
“It had wings Kantootha.  Reminiscent of an ancient being Randolph and I discussed out of Human lore.  It was called an Angel.” 
Kantootha looked worried.  He stared at his Minister, lost in the silence following Shirra’s strange words.