Chapter 19

Colin Morgan in the last episode of Merlin.

Khondiel is a scrubby urchin who has risen to the very top of the Fallen Angels gang because no matter what trouble sha gets into, sha never seems to actually get into trouble. This is mostly a matter of har connections. Sha is, after all, the daughter of King Melchiyahu and the sister of Prince Melchizedek.

In the country outside of Salem the prophetess Haziel brings a new doctrine to the people, and knowledge of Chokhmah begins to take root in the land, yet it does not rise to the level of worship. Haziel preaches to the yin of the city who are har primary audience, but many yeng come to listen also. And since it is a large gathering of people, Khondiel’s Fallen Angels show up as well, but their focus is on picking pockets.

But all of them (even the members of Khondiel’s gang) are astonished at Haziel’s teachings, for many of them run contrary to what the people have always been taught to believe about the gods. Haziel confirms the divine origin of har doctrine by healing the sick using knowledge of the bodies of the world-dwellers that Chokhmah has obtained through long study. Khondiel witnesses Haziel healing many people with medicines prepared from fireweed and the bark of vogul trees, and sha speaks of Haziel to har father the King, but it is more than Khondiel’s words that impress him. For hyz daughter has suddenly stopped dressing like yeng, and is seen much more frequently inside the walls of his castle, even during night time.

Thaumiel hears tidings of Haziel (he does not yet know that Chokhmah is walking among the people in the body of a yin) and he commands his servant Zadkiel, a nobleman of Family Gerash, to appear before his fearsome black avatar. Thaumiel says, “You alone have done all things according to my will. Therefore I name you the Voice of Thaumiel. Go unto the people of Salem in the uttermost west of the Middle Lands and preach what I will tell you.”

Zadkiel is forced to travel the entire distance to the city of Salem on horseback, for the avatar of Mastema is not configured to provide life-support for any passengers like the avatar of Chokmhah is, which often moves Haziel about Barbelo, even to the West and East Lands. Thaumiel is not remotely interested in the comfort and convenience of his slaves.

When Zadkiel arrives outside the city hy begins to preach. “Thus says Thaumiel, ‘Chokhmah! My wife! For your bride price I created all things, land and sea, beasts and and growing things. But this I have against you, that you have accepted all the praise for your healings, and your followers do not recognize me as the power and ultimate source behind all such healings. And you allowed your followers to believe that you are like me, having no beginning, and also no ending. Because you permit your followers to believe I did not create you I appoint a day when you will no longer exist. Behold, I make you mortal and cast you out of the paradise of Anabas. For only the uncreated can never be unmade. Therefore I now unmake you, that all Creation shall know it is I alone who is the uncreated Creator.’”

And this preaching confuses many of the people, because Haziel has already told them that Chokhmah is the daughter of Thaumiel, not his mate. But Zadkiel continues to dig Thaumiel’s hole deeper. Hy says, “’Thus says Thaumiel, ‘Haziel! Daughter of Jophiel the glassblower, you have instructed the people about Chokhmah and have served her well in your own way. But this I have against you, that you claim the spirit of Chokhmah rests within you, and that you are united with her in body and soul. Because you do not affirm your station as a commoner who carries only human blood, behold! I have pronounced the penalty of death upon you. You are doomed to die, for perpetrating the lie that you are a demi-goddess. But to the people of the city of Salem no judgment rests on you, unless you persist in holding Haziel to be a prophetess and continue to worship Chokhmah as divine; for I, Thaumiel, am the only true God. There is no other.’”

King Melchiyahu hears that this Zadkiel interloper has pronounced the death penalty on Haziel and this offends hyz sovereignty to no end. Hy commands that Zadkiel appear before the throne to give an explanation. And when hy answeres the summons, Zadkiel counsels that King Melchiyahu hymself move against Haziel and immediately put har under arrest. But the King is reluctant to agree on account of the popularity of Haziel among many, even among hyz own kin. At this, Zadkiel grows angry, and insists that the King comply, for hy comes in the name of Thaumiel himself.

King Melchiyahu says, “On that point I have only your word, but know that I was made king of this city by the Gerash High Lord Patriarch Kirodiel, and by the laws of our House the giving of the scepter is without repentance. An errant king may only be held to account to the Patriarch by war.”

Zadkiel says to hym, “Consider the alternative, Sire. Yin-centered rituals and devotions! Haziel is cutting at the very heart of god theory!”

But King Melchiyahu is a far more practical yang and he asks Zadkiel to lay out the real danger.

Zadkiel says, “The danger is two-fold, Sire. First is the Patriarch’s over-reliance on income from pilgrims to the temple of Thaumiel. We, that is Thaumiel (Peace Be Upon Him), could lose a third of the revenue base overnight! The second and truly frightening part is the long-term danger of actually destroying the sacrifice-atonement system. Our entire religious structure is based on the proven fact that Thaumiel’s aim is not too good. As long as someone is punished, never mind who, Thaumiel is happy. But now this Haziel comes along saying even the gods are to be judged according to an objective scale of good and evil!”

Melchiyahu says, “I see where you are going, Lord Zadkiel. Instead of merely atoning for our crimes, we might have to start actually being nice to one another.”

“Then will you move against this Haziel yin, Sire?”

The King notes that the idiot failed to discern hyz sarcastic snark. “Not in haste, self-described Voice of Thaumiel. My daughter Princess Khondiel admires this new prophetess, which gladdens my heart in a way I cannot tell. I will invite Haziel to an audience and judge for myself whether har teachings are dangerous to the peace of my realm. As for yourself, Lord Zadkiel, get thee hence from my city and return to the capital. Messengers will be sent with word of my decision, yea or nay.”

After the audience with Zadkiel, King Melchiyahu sends hyz daughter as a messenger to Haziel to say that hy would have the prophetess visit the court to teach what sha would, if sha was willing. Yet it was to be no sovereign command or decree.

Haziel agrees to come, if the encounter is open for any of the people to witness if they chose. So King Gordiel prepares to receive Haziel in an open-air gallery outside of the palace itself, with much seating for spectators, for this is where the king often entertains visiting nobles with exhibitions of personal combat. Khondiel comes also, dressed for once like an actual princess.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rides at Xenaland

maxresdefault

Pirates of the Aegean

Rides of March (First aid station manned by Eli)

Bumper Chariots of War

Amazonland Spinning D-cups

Country Bard Jamboree

Lava Pit Bungee (with Joxer standee captioned “You must be *this* stupid to go on this ride.”)

The Gauntlet

Xenadu Pleasure Dome

Medieval-themed Tommorrowland

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chapter 18

britannic-lusitania

Wanica’s people return to their encampment at the 4,650 foot level of Green Dome, on a wide bench on the eastern side of the hill. Aided by the Whites they begin to turn it into a permanent village. Eight sod houses are constructed within the first month, and these are gradually improved as time goes by, but many of the Kaleetan continue to dwell in their tipis.

Gary Bergin, his wife Marge, and their four children Dale, Owen, Hester and Grace choose the valley of Indian River due south of Green Dome and begin pulling up dead stumps of burnt trees to establish a farm, aided by the eager labor of some of Wanica’s men, once it is explained what they are trying to do. The Bergins propose to their new friends a life free of any reliance on roaming herds of animals. It would not be imposed on the Red Wing, who traditionally relied on hunting, but it was available to any of them who accepted it freely.

Alfred Porter, his wife Caroline, and their four children George, Edwin, Rachel, and Lucy establish their farm near the place where Chief Wanica slew Smalley, Morrison, and the others, a little to the north of the river ford. Water is plentiful and they grow a wide variety of green stuff as though they had an extended backyard garden. Something about the Porters putting down roots makes the Kaleetan People forget all about the Northern Raiders.

Thomas Hilling, his wife Melanie, and their five children Lee, Kenneth, Jane, Faith and Susan choose a spot for their homestead at elevation 4,400 on the slope of Green Dome just below the village of the People. At first they grow livestock, taken from the animals that accompanied them on the pilgrimage, but they also plant rows of apple trees, and in years to come their orchards spread all over the eastern slopes of Green Dome and their cows and sheep graze in the shade.

Theodore and Sarah Wustner, with their crowd of eight children Harry, Ida, Brandon, Coral, Louise, Emma, Lukas, and Judith settle to the south of the river ford and there they take to raising horses, having taken back most of the horses they loaned to make the pilgrimage. The younger Wustner children became great friends with the younger Kaleetan children, forming bonds that would carry on through the decades.

The rest of the Whites plat out the town of Greendome on both sides of the river crossing. In the beginning these are Paul and Pamela Krause with their three children, Douglas, John, and Katerina, who build and run a general store. Johann and Anna Zinter with their two children David and Janet build and run a blacksmith shop.

Mark Lange and his wife Joanna are childless, but not for much longer. In 1869 Janet would be born, followed by David in 1872. Mark builds a tabernacle on the summit of Green Dome, which is just under 5,000 feet above sea level, but only about 900 feet above the plains. From there he can see nearly seventy miles out over the grasslands, in every direction. The tabernacle is built over the cairn of the Artifact, commemorating the very place where Wanica and Jashen came face-to-face with God. The white clam shell thing is considered a holy relic to be hidden and protected by the altar, not for outsiders to gawk at.

Lange declares himself the first Prophet of Green Dome, and his growing family dwells in a modest home near the tabernacle. Wanica also lives near the summit of Green Dome, for he remains the Chief of the original inhabitants and he is also called the Apostle of the Church. If Mark Lange passed on before he did, Chief Wanica would become the Prophet of the Church and choose a new Apostle from among the Whites. Thus the leadership would alternate between Red and White wings.

The Green Dome Tabernacle is the gathering places for all the people, Red and White, every Sunday and Wednesday morning. With each homily the Prophet and the Apostle establish the wall of Church doctrine steadily, like laying bricks. One of the doctrines, which is really a concession to the Kaleetan people, is that everyone, both male and female, must wear their hair long and tied into a pony tail. So after a time, the members of the Green Dome Church are called Ponies by outsiders, and later even by themselves. The Kaleetan are also introduced to the Western concept of surnames. Jashen remembers his original given name of Shy Bear and chooses the single name Shybear to be his surname.

In 1869 the rumor of gold is heard tell in the headwaters of Indian River and Greendome swells with the influx of prospectors hungry for the shiny yellow stuff. Some get rich, but many of the Sixty-Niners strike out. Some of these stay in Greendome as converts to the Church. After the rail line connects Greendome to the new Union Pacific line running across the country it is easy for cousins of the new converts to make their way west to new lives as wives of the former prospectors.

Gradually the tabernacle on Green Dome is expanded into a large wooden and whitewashed edifice called the Green Dome Temple. When it is complete Prophet Mark Lange is fifty-three years of age. Secondary tabernacles are established throughout the United States but all Green Dome funerals still take place at the original site.

Chief Wanica dies in 1906 at the age of 84. He lies in state in the Temple sanctuary for fourteen days. Many Endomites scattered across the country journey by train or even by the newfangled horseless carriages to pay their last respects. When the Prophet Lange commits the Chief’s body directly into the hands of God it is a sight that few but the oldest members present have ever seen, for the Church has grown beyond the dreams of her founders. At the funeral, Lange announces that a young man named Peter Twofeathers is the new Apostle to replace Chief Wanica, although Jashen Two Pricks becomes the new Chief. For most of the attendees it is a ceremony they would not witness until they were well into middle-age when their parents died, and of course everyone prayed they would never have to attend. But the Green Dome Church has grown so large that every day except Wednesdays and Sundays the Temple is booked for farewell Rites.

Not everything is so grim. During the fair held in honor of the Prophet’s 65th birthday a barnstormer comes to town, offering rides in his biplane. Fearless, Mark Lange steps up to be the first to fly, to the delight of everyone present. Few religious leaders have been so beloved, at least among his own faithful. Outsiders, however, consider Greendomism to be a dangerous cult, on the same order as Mormonism, Satanism, or even Catholicism. Critics think them to be non-Christian sun-worshipers who preserve the commandments of the devil (Thaumiel), thought Jesus to be both male and female, and marry their close kin. And the critics are absolutely right.

Two years later the Great War breaks out in Europe and many Green Dome tabernacles in France and the Low Countries are destroyed by stray shells. At the bidding of the Prophet a special collection is taken up to bring succor to the wartime mission field. With these funds in hand, Prophet Lange boards the steam liner Reina Regenta in New York with about a quarter-million dollars in gold bullion to aid the faithful in nations torn by the conflict, the first truly industrial war on Earth, which has grown to rage across much of the world.

Survivors of the voyage across the Atlantic tell of the implacable patience of Prophet Mark Lange as he is dogged day and night by a newspaper reporter named Rupert Keller, a grandson of Carl Keller, who obviously has a personal beef with Lange’s “cult”. When the ship is in the frigid waters almost precisely in the center of the ocean far from any help she takes two torpedoes from a German U-boat. The Reina Regenta lists sharply to the side, drowning half her lifeboats. Frantically, the lifeboats on her port side are laden with passengers and released but there are not enough for everyone and no chance of raising the floundering ones on the starboard side. Women and children go first, and then old men are allowed to board. Prophet Mark Lange is placed in the last lifeboat, but before it is lowered to the sea he spies Rupert Keller standing on the deck of the doomed ship, contemplating death. The Prophet bounds out of his place and offers his seat to the reporter. “Happy birthday, son,” he says with a gentle smile.

Lange is not without fear, for all living things fear death as part of their natural defense mechanism, but he is encouraged by his memories of the Land We Know and the Golden Gift, physical evidence of the existence of God which he has been so fortunate to witness. He spreads his encouragement around to the rest of the doomed passengers on board. In this way he makes their passing a little bit easier. There is just enough time for the last lifeboat to get away before the ship rolls completely over and takes everyone aboard down to the frigid and murky depths of the ocean. His body is not found again until the sea is drained.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Synthony – Track 17: Northsound

arctic_sunset

Northsound.mp3

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chapter 17

4542259457fef545

The avatar of Chokhmah flies in a curving path high over the northern Ice. The narrow pale yellow and blue belt that is the inhabited portion of Barbelo drops well over the horizon and out of Haziel’s view. During the flight Chokmah speaks to Talishi of many things, and patiently explains the meaning of terms when the doll fails to understand them.

Haziel learns that almost the entire world of Barbelo is covered in at least a thousand feet of ice. Precipitation is greatest at the poles, where the two world-glaciers are miles thick. And the giant icecaps move very slowly, grinding the surface and underlying bedrock flat. Only at the narrow equatorial belt are temperatures warm enough to melt the ice. The great glaciers of the northern and southern hemispheres came to an end there and huge chunks of ice shear off, fall to the ground, and melt. This is the source of water for many rivers and freshwater lakes.

After the Great Deluge on Barbelo the unfrozen belt is only three hundred miles wide and the northern and southern ice sheets now form three bridges of ice across the equatorial zone where before there had been none. A full generation of nephilim lived trapped in the ice in arks or in caves, feeding on stored provisions if they had been foresighted enough to lay them aside. Family Kulsu and Ornis had not made such arrangements and perished.

The original Really Big River was now separate streams flowing through three separate lands along the equator, each land walled by miles of ice cliffs on every side. The hills and valleys of the world have been re-sculpted to the point of being unrecognizable to those who lived through the catastrophe.

The ones who survived among family Antero and family Bellon settled in one of the three new lands, while the remnants of family Sala and family Larund settled a second land. Family Gerash, which was entirely undiminished by the catastrophe, came out of their cities of ice and settled the entirety of the third land.

All five families now stock and maintain supplies and caves in the ice against the next large impact. After a world-destroying flood the remaining people of Barbelo have a renewed respect for the divine oracles of Thaumiel.

As the twin ice packs slowly retreat they leave behind long ridges of loose undifferentiated till piled in terminal moraines. And rarely, active volcanoes form under the ice and burn their way to the surface. Mount Anshar is one of these. The northern ice gives way around the bulk of Mount Anshar and closes back up again many miles to the south, forming a small territory of land in the shape of a teardrop which is free of ice. And it is here that the avatar of Chokhmah reaches landfall once again with Haziel safely carried aboard.

Thermal features abound in the land of Anshar, keeping the many lakes and ponds from freezing despite the extreme northern latitude of the place. So far was Anshar from the inhabited places along the equator that not even Family Antero had discovered it when they roamed the northern ice before the Deluge. Anshar is the name Haziel harself chooses for the place and the mountain after she surveys it in the days following landfall.

When Haziel climbs back down through the central pillar and reaches the ground again, sha is startled, because someone is waiting for har outside the avater. It looks like a slender human being, perhaps female, encased entirely in featureless white, even the face, which remains perfectly smooth with not even eyes to see or mouth to speak. Yet see and speak it could still do, for it says, “Welcome, Haziel. Behold yet another avatar of Chokhmah.” And it held its arms out for inspection.

“Another fish hook,” Haziel said.

The second avatar of Chokhmah has no means to smile, but it can make the same strange sound the flying avatar made when Haziel amused her before. The figure points across the treeless landing flats to a large dwelling of glass and wood perched on a low rise. Chokhmah says, “Haziel, there is only one structure in all of this land and it belongs solely to you. Accompany me there. We will go inside, and then I will tell you many things.”

The house is more glass than wood, with an outstanding view of the ever-changing fire torrents of Mount Anshar only five miles away across a pumice plain. But there is no danger of the lava engulfing the house, for a great chasm intervenes.

The main living section of the house is a single room, well-heated by geothermal means, well-furnished with food, with an alcove above the kitchen where Haziel can sleep with some degree of privacy. But there is not a living soul anywhere for thousands of miles around. On the main level are plush cushions and a glass table of superior make. It is all far more luxurious in terms of comfort than anything found in the most lavish palaces of Barbelo, yet the decor is simple, with a stark beauty in a minimal way. Haziel is already planning to make some changes harself.

The avatar of Chokhmah, requiring no cushion for comfort, simply seats itself on the floor to put its head on a level with Haziel’s head and begins to speak. “We elohim call ourselves the Watchers. Thaumiel calls you world-dwellers the Servants. But I call you the Students. And despite what you have been taught in your scriptures, I did not make you. I found you. And world-dwellers are the most important discovery the Watchers have ever made.

“But this is Thaumiel’s world and here at least he has assumed full authority for the discovery process. He has even changed your bodies somewhat from the original Earth stock, to the point where we can say you are the nephilim rather than human, but you are not yet separate species. You can still interbreed.

“To me Thaumiel is a fool. Early on I suspected that he would seek any justification he can find to have human beings and nephilim destroyed. But Thaumiel cannot prevent me from sharing many things the other Watchers know with world-dwellers as your capacity to understand it grows. You might even say I was made to teach you. So I have started an independent stream of research.

“I considered how the elohim could interact with world-dwellers, but there is a severe limitation because as you have seen our flying avatars are taller than the trees of Barbelo and they cannot move about on the surface of the world without burning everything in their path. Or they are like this one, with the vague appearance of a human only, but no ability to smell and taste and feel.

“I desire to experience Barbelo as though I were a nephil and there is a way to do it, but unfortunately it would work a grievous change in the subject, a change that could never be undone. The change might, for lack of a better word, be called possession. In this change the mind of the eloah would be joined to the mind of the human, and in the joining there would emerge a new mind wrought from the twain, yet the greater portion, seven parts in ten, would reflect the elohim who possessed rather than the human who was possessed.

“And it would also be a physical change involving the same link that allows elohim to communicate with each other instantly across great distances, such that the eloah would be immediately aware of whatever was experienced by the person who was possessed. Likewise, the body of that person would instantly respond to the will of the possessing Eloah.

“To my mind, such a change ought to be made only to a yang or yin who was appraised of all these things, and understood them, yet remained fully willing to continue. So now, Haziel it is time to make my proposal to you. I would join with a young yin of Barbelo and live among the people, to teach them. But the thing cannot be done out of obedience to a divine commandment, but only as the free will choice of the yin who receives the call and answers, because once the joining takes place, we can never be unjoined.”

And Haziel asked, “If I accept this thing, what will become of me?”

Chokhmah answered, “You shall no longer be fully yourself, but neither shall I be fully myself. Instead, you will be a new person who is simultaneously both yourself and myself, and we will both come to understand, as though we always knew it, everything that is known by the other.”

Still Haziel hesitated, so Chokhmah goes on to say, “Also, when your body dies one day, as it must from old age or accident or violence, you shall continue to live where I am, and that life will endure so much longer than the span of human life that I cannot express it using symbols that you would understand. Your culture doesn’t yet have the mathematics.”

Then Haziel was aware not only of the huge gap in her own knowledge, which was expected, but of the equally large gap in Chokhmah’s knowledge, which was not expected. And she did assent to the divine proposal. But Haziel did not say yes to Chokhmah in return merely for the promise of long life, but that both she and the eloah, together, would come to know many things.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top 10 Rejected Names for the Show “Xena: Warrior Princess”

bcfbebe74875121c0a983a3cc4c629b6

10. Xena: Malicious Maiden

9. Xena: Battling Bimbo

8. Xena: Gory Goddess

7. Xena: Villainous Vixen

6. Xena: Barbarienne

5. Xena: Leggy Looter

4. Xena: Guerrilla Goddess

3. Xena: Mercenary Mistress

2. Xena: Badass Lass

1. Xena: Skirts and Skirmishes

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chapter 16

badlandssunset2

Jashen Two Pricks follows hyz father’s command to harry the bulk of Paul Morrison’s cattle herd, knowing it will keep the men driving them from doubling back while Wanica and his men prepare the carcass of the downed cow for transport. But the herd is driven far and fast to the northwest and Jashen deems they will not return. Also there are stray cattle left behind that he thought should be gathered together and brought back to the People as surety against lean times. Hy and all the hunters with hym brandish whips.

But soon they are discovered by the main body of the Fort Shiprock cavalry under Lieutenant Welles, who have followed the hoofprints of Morrison’s herd. Jashen and hyz hunters abandon their little group of salvaged cows and flee singly or in pairs to the four winds. Lt. Welles looks through his binoculars and sees the main herd is safe.

“These locals aren’t going anywhere, gentlemen,” he says. “We have time to mete out justice on them one after the other.” So he does not not order his thirty cavalrymen to split up and ride after each man, but instead they all ride hell-for-leather after just one pair fleeing to the northeast, into the badlands.

Jashen Two Pricks flees alone to the southeast, witnessed only by passing pronghorns and badgers and coyotes and prairie dogs jumping up to check out the passing hoofbeats.

Jashen begins to smell something funny.

After a time Two Pricks grows filled with wonder when hy sees the ten wagons of the pilgrims of the Five Corners Free Congregation plodding west along the north bank of the Indian River. “It’s not a respectable wilderness anymore!” he mutters to hymself using the English hy learned to use in a mere instant when hy was taken to the Land We Know.

The settlers see Jashen approach and point rifles at him, but then Jashen sees the lead wagon is driven by a man hy recognizes from his vision quest three years prior. Jashen takes off hyz headdress and hy is recognized in turn.

“We meet again at last, Pastor Mark Lange,” Jashen says in a loud voice, “just as Chief Yeshua prophesied.” The settlers are thrilled by hyz words, the first third-party confirmation of Lange’s personal Road to Damascus experience.

“Jashen!” Mark Lange brings his wagon to a halt and jumps down to embrace the young yeng. The rifles are all lowered and put out of sight. Lange points to the prominent butte a few miles upriver to the west and asks, “Is that Green Dome?”

“Green Dome, yes,” Jashen affirms. “That’s what the white settlers call it. My father has named it the Island in the Sky.”

“Then we have reached our destination!” Lange says triumphantly. “God be praised!”

“As fate would have it, Mark Lange, “we are in plenty trouble right now. The United States Army is hunting the hunters of the People. How this came to be is a long story. Can you hide me for a short time?”

Lange doesn’t hesitate for an instant. “Crawl into the back of my wagon.”

Lt. Welles pushes his men and horses to exhaustion as they ride through the dunes and dry ravines of the badlands, thinking all the time they are drawing nearer to their prey, but they are chasing a phantom, and as dusk settles in the cavalry itself becomes the prey. In an arroyo they come to a halt, having found the bodies of the two Kaleetan hunters they were chasing bristling with arrow shafts like a pair of cactii, and their horses gone.

A rock slide of curious origin blocks any further advance, and another rock slide cuts off any escape. Then arrows sing out from hidden nooks among the boulders and from behind sharp ridge lines, answered by gun-fire as the cavalry shoots wildly at any perceived movement.

The battle seems to go too easy for the Northern Raiders, and at first they suspect treachery, but in truth the Dakota are fighting in land they know intimately while Welles, his other men and all their horses are blind, exhausted, lost, frightened, and in no condition to put up much of a fight.

Only the five men who were left behind to hold Fort Shiprock remain alive of the entire company. A few weeks later a sergeant arrives with orders cabled from the War Department to break up the fort and cart the essentials away to Fort Robinson using the dozen or so remaining draft horses.

Night falls and still the soldiers do not come looking for hym, Jashen begins to relax a bit. The wagons are set in the traditional circle, and Jashen relates as much as hy can of the People’s history to Lange and his congregation using their own language, which they find flawless, though perhaps with a touch of snootiness from back East.

In the morning the wagons arrive at the base of Green Dome. Jashen is reunited with hyz parents, Wanica and Yuha, and hy is filled with joy to see them alive. But the four fallen warriors of the People, Left Hand, Half Yellow Face, Kill Eagle, and Hairy Moccasin, are lying on a bier of branches drawn from woody shrubs. And it is on this solemn occasion when the Kaleetan People and the settlers of Mark Lange’s group are first gathered all together.

In full view of everyone Wanica lights off the Golden Gift and makes the bodies of his dead men disappear.

Lange and the other whites are struck speechless. Coming as they did from a religious background, such a display could be nothing other than the power of God made manifest. “This is a sign!” they exclaim. They recognize the Golden Gift as the same weapon wielded by Prince Melchizedek when he first encountered father Abraham.

 “God has brought us together,” Lange declares, “White man and Red man alike, in this land of His choosing, flowing with milk and honey.”

All the people look around and take in the barren, mostly treeless grasslands.

Lange clears his throat. “Here we all shall remain, and prosper with God’s blessings!”

Lange couldn’t just take the weapon outright, for it was holy, a godly gift, and so it could never be defiled by base theft. Obviously the People of Wanica and the remnant of the Five Corners Free Congregation would have to be permanent and equal (but separate) partners. The doctrine of matrimonial consanguinity, or cousin-marriage, would prevent any joining between the two sides, thus salving some of the other settlers’ horror at any race-mixing.

After the funeral there follows a good old-fashioned revival featuring the mass conversion of the entire Kaleetan people, followed by their assembly-line baptism in the cold silty waters of the Indian River. Three times using total immersion, mind, since Lange was at heart still a Dunker. So a new congregation is born, the Church of Green Dome, with a White Wing and a Red Wing, “Two lungs by which the united people of the Creator draw new breath,” Lange says in his high-fallutin’ way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment