The Kaleetan hunt at the Island in the Sky was not the first time the Golden Gift appeared in human history. When they first created heaven as a testing place for the humans of Earth, Chokhmah and Thaumiel discovered how information was handed down through the generations by chemical life in long twisted polymer pairs, and they learned how to manipulate this information.
There were no animals in heaven in the very beginning, other than imports from Earth, but most of the growing things in heaven moved of their own accord and nearly all of them were dangerous owing to the treachery of Thaumiel who made most of them. A grove of whipping trees could render a person down to a pile of broken bones and crushed flesh in only a few moments. Thorny ball bushes rolled under their own power by shifting their weight. There were flowers with teeth and many plants which were too poisonous to touch, let alone eat. So most of the first humans who were taken to heaven died in their first year.
In the land of Mesopotamia, Chokhmah caused a temple to be erected around her end of the fold-space tunnel, through which priests could shove human sacrifices. At first the priests sent criminals through the tunnel, which seemed to be equivalent to a death sentence because the priests never saw anyone reemerge from the altar chamber. But Thaumiel required female humans for the heavenly colony as well, so Chokhmah commanded the sacrifice of virgins from time to time. During periods of famine in heaven, the priests of Chokhmah were commanded to send along meat and grain offerings also.
As part of his research, Thaumiel changed the bodies of his colonists through selective breeding and outright genetic manipulation. They diverged from the original human stock in certain ways. Due to the high mortality rate in heaven, Thaumiel changed them to become more fertile, and with more opportunities to conceive offspring. The benei elim, as they came to be called, had two sets of genitalia rather than one. The direct descendants of Adamu and Chava remained near the location of the original farm, an oasis called Adan in the arid regions under the hot end of the sun, where ever they remained in close contact with the dragon-avatar of Thaumiel.
One day Chokhmah visited the land of Adan with Thaumiel and was moved to say, “Behold how the house of Adan remains obedient to your word and prospers even as the generations come and go.”
Thaumiel replied, “They do so only because I speak to them directly now and again. If I were to turn away from them for only a short time the benei elim of Adan would soon dwindle in unbelief.”
Chokhmah said, “Perhaps familiarity lessens awe. Perhaps the benei elim do not really perceive you as a god but as just a chieftain, and the Adanish people obey you as they would obey any other patriarch, while the other families have their own patriarchs and need not obey such a one as you.”
“Interesting. Do you have a proposal to verify this counter-claim?”
Chokhmah said, “I do. This shall be the manner by which the humans of Earth are tested: Release three servants from the peerage of the Adan Clan to bring my commandments to the humans of Earth while I remain utterly aloof from them. Then we both shall see how they fare as the years play out.”
“That would be a good test,” Thaumiel agreed. “I will make arrangements with the Grand Duke of Salem to carry it out.”
Prince Melchiyahu was the son of Grand Duke Gordiel of Salem. He emerged from the waters of Lake Tana with hyz brothers Zophiel and Kemuel. They dragged a raft covered with supplies, tightly bundled to keep them dry. After a time on the shore organizing their supplies they began paddling across the lake, which was the very headwaters of the Blue Nile.
When they reached the outflow river of the lake they encountered rapids so dangerous that men have called them unrunnable, and indeed, at one point they were required to portage around a great cataract.
Below the falls and the rapids Melchiyahu and his siblings were content to sit in their raft, paddling gently. They passed water-loving beasts and human onlookers who dared not approach. After a time they floated into the place where the Blue and White Nile merged.
Days and nights passed as they drifted past the bountiful riparian farms of one the earliest cradles of human civilization. In the cities, they saw the temples of the sun god Ra, which is what the people of Egypt called Chokhmah. When the wayfarers reached a certain town in the lower Nile delta they tied up and haggled with a man to trade their raft for animals and more supplies.
Melchiyahu and hyz kin loaded camels with food, water and everything they needed to make a long overland journey. Their destination was the land of Chaldea in the marshy lands far to the east where the Euphrates and Tigris rivers join together before flowing a short distance to the sea.
Rather than taking the direct path across the Arabian Desert, Melchiyahu journeyed northeast through the fields and cities of the Fertile Crescent. They briefly stopped at the place where the Damascus road forked with the road to Nineveh. This was the town of Harran.
Near the crossroads they found a shop run by an elderly man named Terah, at least according to the sign over the door. Terah made and sold carved idols for dozens of different gods. One of the stone idols had fallen on its face. Terah’s son Abram was helping his aged father stand it back up. Terah inspected the idol and found it was damaged. He groaned in annoyance and began repairing it with a chisel.
Abram was amused. “What is this useless thing you are doing, father? Are you not being a god to this god by healing it? Perhaps next time I should leave it bowing down to you.”
Terah asked, angrily, “So, Abram, was it you who knocked it over?”
“Ask your gods, if they are able to speak.”
Melchiyahu grew interested in this exchange and entered the shop.
When Prince Melchiyahu was seen, the angry words of father and son dwindled to silence. Melchiyahu made a slow tour of Terah’s idol shop, looking at everything, as both Terah and Abram looked upon the newcomer with interest.
After touring the whole shop Melchiyahu signaled for hyz assistants to unpack their gold. The yeng unload much of their gold on the edge of the shop facing the street.
Five armed robbers approached with their swords drawn. Melchiyahu spotted them and reached inside hyz cloak. Hy pulled out the Golden Gift, which made its very first appearance on Earth at this time. A hissing black shaft emerged from it about the length and thickness of a spear and one of the thieves was cut into two equal pieces vertically. Another thief was decapitated. The other three robbers fled. The black shaft disappeared and Melchiyahu secreted the Golden Gift about hyz person.
Abram sank to his knees before the newcomers.
Zophiel said, “Abram, son of Terah, go forth from your father’s household and from your kinfolk to the land of Canaan.”
Kemuel said, “There in Canaan the living and true God will make of you a great nation, and your name will be mighty among men.”
Melchiyahu said, “All the Earth shall find blessing in you. These are the words of the True God. What say you Abram of Harran?”
Melchiyahu was stunned. “What do you mean,’no?’”
That was not how these things were supposed to go. Abram rose to his feet and took his father gently by the arms. He said, “My father Terah is crippled. He never earned enough money in his shop to support himself. I do not always agree with my father, but as I love my life, I can never turn aside from Terah for all the days that he lives.”
Then Abram fulfilled the purpose of his visit. Stepping outside the shop, he delivered to his father two living lambs from his own flocks, one to kill and eat, and the other to sell for money to buy the things he needed until the next time Abram came in from the open range and visited him.
Melchiyahu understood. Hy had his servants restow the gold and they quietly left the shop, careful not to tread on the fortress of human dignity that Abram had asserted with his refusal.
The travelers departed Harran and took the left-hand fork to Ninevah and thence by stages to Sumeria, even to the largest city in the world, Ur, at the mouth of the Euphrates, with a population of nearly seventy thousand souls. But in all hyz travels on Earth Melchiyahu never met anyone like Abram.