TC2C

TC2C-Six Days and Six Years

Nineteen years after the creation of the State of Israel, Lilith Gervasi (having been advanced from seren to rav seren, or Major) is crucial for her nation’s success in the Six Day War. This is the third major conflict between Israel and the Arab nations that comprise the bad neighborhood of the Middle-East. Geopolitically this war would have greater ramifications than any other tussle in the Arab-Israeli conflict except on one timeline when the 1973 Yom Kippur War with its use of nuclear weapons would prove much more fateful.

The cause of the 1967 war is exactly the same as the cause of the First Suez War in 1956. President Nasser rolls the dice one more time. The Strait of Tirin is once again blocked by the heavy guns of the fortress at Sharm el-Sheikh, choking off the southern Negev town of Eilat from access to the open sea.

The biggest factor in the war is the destruction of nearly two hundred Egyptian warplanes while they are still parked on their runways. In just a quarter of an hour on the morning of June 5 many Egyptian planes which had been prepared to bomb Israel are mortally crippled by the Israeli Air Force, and powerful cluster bombs tear up the airfields where the planes were parked. Bomblets shatter the concrete of the runways down to the foundations and make them temporarily useless.

The IDF retains most their fighter planes orbiting on CAP (Combat Air Patrol) in Israeli airspace to defend from any counter-attacks in case the bombing attack fails, but some of these are dispatched to Egypt after the attack to evaluate the damage. They report that 180 Egyptian planes have been destroyed, and all the communications facilities of the Egyptian air forces are also out of operation. The operation is considered to be a spectacular success.

President Nasser tells King Hussein of Jordan nothing of the sudden loss of his entire air force. He tells the king it was the Israeli air force, rather, that has been completely destroyed. Proceeding on the basis of this misinformation the king orders his troops to cross the border and his planes to begin bombing targets in Israel. Syria and Iraq attack at precisely the same time.

Within two hours, Israeli warplanes drive back the invading forces and destroy the bulk of Syrian and Jordanian air assets with aerial dogfights and ground attacks. A grand total of four hundred Arab aircraft are destroyed in the first day of fighting, leaving only 280 operational planes, but there are very few runways left operational from which to launch them. That fact alone decides the outcome of the war in favor of Israel. The rest is just icing on the cake

On June 6th, Nasser makes another phone call to King Hussein to tell him American and British planes destroyed his entire air force on the first day. Nasser half-believes that lie himself. To admit the Israelis had somehow decapitated his entire air force would imply that mere Jews were militarily superior to Arabs, which was, of course, utterly unthinkable. So it must have been the Anglo-Americans went his muddled thinking.

On the morning of June 7th Major Lilith Gervasi receives orders to report to General David Elazar at his Northern Command, based out of Galilee, where she is given command of a full battalion. She spends the rest of that day and most of the night evaluating the readiness of her troops and briefing her staff.

On June 8th General Elazar drives to Tel Aviv to get permission from Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin to attack the Golan Heights, lest the Syrians be left in a position to shell settlers from there after the war draws to a close. At first the proposal is rejected, but overnight it becomes clear the Egyptian army is in a state of disintegration. Moshe Dayan, the Minister of Defense, overruled Rabin and authorized the Golan attack.

By June 9th Lilith and her battalion are in bitter hand-to-hand fighting against Syrians manning fortifications in the Golan Heights, which their enemy defends with impressive tenacity. But future President-for-life Hafez al-Assad, then the Minister of Defense in Syria, begins to fear for his own hide. He orders the Golan defenders to withdraw to reinforce his forces along the route to the capital city of Damascus, which lies only forty miles away from the front line.

As the Syrians give ground through the night, Lilith’s battalion advances, but the fighting remains fierce and exhausting. By the evening of June 10 it is all over. After only six days of hard fighting, Israel possesses three times the territory she did before the war.

No Egyptian forces of any strength remain to prevent the IDF from reaching Cairo even if they chose to do so, which they ultimately do not. Egypt’s infantry has been reduced to thousands of thirsty, barefooted stragglers walking west to cross over the Sinai Canal. As long as they keep moving west, the IDF lets them go. Israel is already burdened with 7,000 Egyptian prisoners as things stand.

The whole Sinai peninsula is annexed by Israel, which completely isolates the Gaza Strip. Sharm is abandoned by the Egyptians in the face of a strong amphibious assault. A chain of IDF fortresses designed to block any future Egyptian attack is built along the east bank of the canal. This was called the Bar-Lev Line, but it was never staffed by appropriate numbers of Israeli troops, and this foolish policy allowed Egypt to attack once again in 1973.

The ancient capital of Jerusalem falls completely into Israeli hands after nearly two thousand years. Jordanian forces are driven east across the Jordan River, leaving the entire West Bank, also called Judea and Samaria, under IDF occupation. The State of Israel now controls the lives of a million Palestinian Arabs, and this was to come with its own host of problems well into the Twenty-first Century on every timeline El Shaddai and Yeshua established.

Syria loses their territory in the strategic Golan Heights. A helicopter takes IDF soldiers to the summit of snowy Mt. Hermon to take possession of the radar facilities there. This broad and tall mountain, whose snows are the source of the Jordan River, becomes the eyes and ears of Israel.

Total Israeli losses are about 700 dead. This butcher’s bill is far smaller than had been feared on the eve of the war, but it is still a heavy burden for their families and communities to bear. Arab losses are much higher. In the Sinai alone there are 15,000 Egyptian corpses left unburied on the desert sands.

Israel, despite her relatively small population, has stabilized as the regional superpower of the Middle-East. A roughly equal number of Jews dwell in the United States, where they lived in conditions much safer than in Eretz Yisrael, but they were still of the Diaspora. They weren’t home, in the land that had been promised to Abraham, and if the Jews had learned anything over the previous three thousand years it was that seemingly favorable conditions abroad were liable to change precisely because they, as a tribe, as a people, never changed. Something buried deep inside the rest of humanity could never accept that.

The lesson had to be learned all over again just five years later.
Early in that five years Lilith develops the same bony knob at the back of her head that is the mark of the Boda in Greendome. The knob opens to become a 55-pin connector. At first Lilith is quite alarmed, but she knows it has something to do with being pierced by that white figure in Ventnor, and that Haziel must be responsible.

In the middle of the five years between wars Haziel meets Lilith and brings the Purple Cable with har.Sha plugs one end into the back of har head, and holds the other end out, requesting that Lilith do the same.At no time does Haziel force Lilith to do anything.Lilith accepts the invitation and her mind is flooded with a storm of images.

I am not the one you worship as God but I seek that one even as you do. Thaumiel stands between us and the Old One who created the elohim in this galaxy and who also created humans on Earth. This planet alone has the combination of a stable sun, a self-moderating climate, a magnetic field to shield it from cosmic rays, a large moon to dampen wobble due to precession, a large gas-giant planet to vacuum up most stray comets and asteroids, the optimum rate of spin to moderate both temperature extremes and stormy weather, an active geology to rebuild eroded lands, and a fully functioning water cycle.

Lilith sees the thick planetary accretion disk forming around Epsilon Eridani. Haziel takes her to the Hyades star cluster in Taurus, and then to the Pleiades cluster further on. There Lilith looks back to see how the Earth’s sun is snuggled in along the outskirts of what Haziel calls Collinder 285, a formerly tight star cluster which is widely scattered now, but a few core stars remain close together, and men called it the Big Dipper.

Next Haziel takes Lilith far above the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. The sun dims far below and is lost among the interstellar clouds which give shape to the spur of the Orion Arm in which it lies. Haziel points out Rho Cassiopeia, four thousand light years away from Earth, a huge supergiant star 100,000 times more luminous than the Sun. Behold Milcom, my absent eloah father.

Lilith learns there are 2 billion trillion stars in the visible universe, but only a tiny fraction of these are alive and awake. Then Haziel takes her further out and up, until she is looking at the forty galaxies of the Local Group, dominated by the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. We count ten billion large galaxies like our own, and a hundred billion lesser galaxies.

Haziel takes her even further out, and Lilith sees that the Local Group is just a satellite of the Vega Supercluster, which had one hundred fifty large galaxies and a thousand dwarf galaxies, all bound together by gravity. It is a meta-galaxy made up of galaxies, with a core thirty-five million light-years away. And it was only one of 300,000 superclusters in the universe. But the whole Vega Supercluster is moving toward the Great Attractor near the Centaurus supercluster. Meanwhile the Sculptor and Phoenix superclusters form part of a long wall of thousands of galaxy groups stretching across a billion light years of space.

Finally Haziel shows Jill the Bootes Void, 300 million light-years across with no clusters inside it at all, only a few lonely galaxies scattered within. This is the structure at the largest scale of the universe: Walls of galactic superclusters, which form the surface of large voids. The universe is built like a vast sponge.

Haziel judges that sha has shown Lilith enough for now, and departs for a time.

Egypt crosses the Suez Canal on October 6, 1973 while Israel is basically shut down for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Egypt’s attack consists of 240 warplanes and two thousand pieces of artillery, followed by eight thousand troops crossing over the Suez Canal. At the same time, six hundred Syrian tanks advance across the uplands known as the Golan Heights.

Mobilization orders go out to the reservists and regulars of the Israel Defense Force while the soldiers are at home, or attending synagogue, or even living overseas. Lilith Gervasi, now an adjunct professor living in the United States, is notified by telegram and arrives in Israel Oct. 8, in uniform as a sgan aluf or Lieutenant Colonel.

Lilith reports for duty once more at General David Elazar’s Northern Command. At forty-five years of age she is a little long in the tooth as combatants went, but Lilith, who spends much of her time between Arab-Israeli wars conditioning herself for the next Arab-Israeli war, is actually in excellent physical shape.

By Oct. 10 the Israeli counterattack in the Golan reaches the line from which Syria launched their attack on the first day of the war. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan wants to halt right there, thirty miles from Damascus, to avoid drawing the Soviet Union into the war. General Elazar, by contrast, wants to advance another twenty miles into Syria to set up a strong defensive line and stabilize the northern front. Prime Minister Golda Meir, who has been assured by the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that Nixon had her back, sides with Elazar.

The Israeli thrust east from the Golan Heights into Syria begins on the 11th and pushes the Syrians back after fierce fighting. Early that evening, Lilith’s brigade is already six miles over the border into Syria. A few days later, the Christian commander of Syria’s forces in the Golan is executed before a firing squad in Damascus for ordering the withdrawal.

Moshe Dayan goes on television at 2200 hours and reminds the Syrians that the road from Damascus to Israel is also the road from Israel to Damascus. But the next day Iraq enters the war, with fifteen thousand Iraqi troops shoring up the Syrian front. King Hussein of Jordan resists Arab pressure, however, and refuses to move against Israel in yet another war.

In Syria, all eighty tanks of one Iraqi brigade are destroyed by Israeli tanks and planes with absolutely no losses to the Israelis. Another Iraqi tank brigade is blocked by Lilith and a demolition crew who arrived at two bridges the tanks needed to cross and slice partway through their support structures with blow torches, letting the weight of the tanks do most of the work. There are no tell-tale explosions. When the bridges collapse, fifty of the eighty tanks were stranded on a dirt “island” with fewer than ten tanks able to advance, which the IDF Air Force quickly takes off the board.

On October 16, sixty Iraqi tanks are hit on the Golan Heights and they withdraw. The Israelis hold their position just eight miles outside of Damascus and Lilith’s brigade of infantry is an important part of this strong offensive line. The IDF also halts five miles west of the road from Damascus to Amman, Jordan, ready to block any late-minute entry of Jordan into the war with a flank attack. The Soviet Union finally grows alarmed at the setbacks experienced by their Arab client states.

At that point the Israelis begin to breathe a sigh of relief, particularly when equally spectacular results are starting to come in from the southern theater of war. But the religious extreme right in Israel, with none of their own boots on the ground (as usual) prevail upon the female Prime Minister Golda Meir to withdraw all female combatants from the front lines of the conflict. In the event she refuses they threaten to take Likud out of the temporary power-sharing arrangement of her Alignment party, which would in turn drive her from office. Meir quickly caves in, and Lilith Gervasi is relieved of duty.

When she makes formal protest, General Elazar, demonstrating an extraordinarily short memory of Lilith’s legendary accomplishments for Israel over the years, barks at her, “Give me one reason why I should not carry out these orders rotating you back home?”

She bares her arm with the six tattooed numerals. But it is not enough and she is immediately demobilized.

As the 1973 Yom Kippur war rages on, President Nixon orders an airlift of military supplies to allow Israel to keep fighting. The Soviets supply their Arab client states continuously throughout the war. To keep Lilith away from the temptation to wage war against the Arabs by “unofficial” means, she is placed on an empty C-130 Hercules cargo plane on it’s way back the United States.

In the Sinai, Israel loses two hundred tanks right away, but a pair of extra tank divisions are rushed forward to halt the Egyptian advance. Eighty percent of Israel’s entire inventory of armor that is still operational is sent into the battle, but Egyptian troops using Soviet-supplied anti-tank weaponry hold the Israelis to a line five miles east of the Suez Canal. Meanwhile more Egyptian tanks and infantry massing on their side of the canal are protected from Israeli air attack by a tough shield of anti-aircraft missiles guided by radar, again courtesy of the Soviet Union.

On October 13 the Egyptians try to break through two mountain passes in the Sinai. What follows is the largest tank battle on Earth since the 1943 battle of Kursk between Germany and Russia and the second largest tank battle anywhere, ever, involving nearly two thousand tanks. During the battle a total of 264 Egyptian tanks are knocked out, to Israel’s ten. On the 14th another Egyptian attack on the Suez Canal is stopped with the destruction of 200 tanks and a thousand Egyptian soldiers killed.

The following day a third battle is fought at the meeting point between the Egyptian Second and Third Armies that serves as an administration area for both armies and headquarters for the 16th Infantry Division. Tanks fire at practically point blank range. Egypt loses 150 tanks to Israel’s eighty. Overnight an IDF parachute brigade establishes a toehold on the other side of the Canal. Two forward-deployed Egyptian anti-aircraft missile bases are taken out, allowing Israel to establish air superiority over the western bank of the Suez Canal.

A veritable conveyor belt of Soviet war supplies move by air to Egypt and Syria, while the Americans supply Israel from their own endless abundance. But when the Soviet Union sees the Arabs checked in the Golan and now in the Suez, and Nixon refuses to pressure Israel to allow the trapped Third Army to escape, Leonid Brezhnev begins airlifting Soviet troops to Cairo to supplement the Egyptians.

Passing through the strait of the Dardenelles, Soviet naval forces in the Mediterranean reach a total of 97 ships, including 23 submarines, while the US adds a third carrier battle group from Spain for a total of 60 ships. Three carriers in a theater always heralded war.

Nixon takes the US to DEFCON 3 and sends the 101st Airborne into the Sinai to counterbalance the Soviet troops, but events are moving fast and there is insufficient time to match the Soviets troop-for-troop. Nixon tells Brezhnev that sending any more troop transport planes would be crossing a red line, but Brezhnev calls his bluff.

Fighters from the USS Independence shoot down the next cargo plane hauling Soviet troops. Brezhnev replies with a nuclear-tipped torpedo round fired at the Independence. The United States didn’t even know the Soviets had nuclear torpedoes. The weapon didn’t even have to be close. The blast takes out the carrier, several support ships steaming alongside, and even damages the Soviet submarine that fired it. The Cold War has just gone hot.

Nixon orders weapons red and free on all Soviet forces in the Mediterranean, and the two sides slug it out. Both remaining US carriers are taken out, but the Soviet naval forces definitely come off much the worse.

This hardly matters at all. An exchange of ICBMs takes out the American and the Soviet capital cities, killing ten million people instantly and many more people after the fact. Then the two superpowers go back into their own corners to assess what is happening and see if the other side is willing to escalate.

A few more items on each side’s laundry list are nuked, such as the Hanford site in the US where Robyn and Hunky were once held, and the Sevastopol navy base, but Brezhnev and Nixon are both dead, and cooler heads don’t think losing more millions of lives would be worth what either side has gained by the war, which is precisely nothing.

Haziel appears to Lilith one final time after she has returned to America, while the country is busy tearing itself apart in the wake of the limited nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.Sha knows har own adopted nation of Israel is a radioactive shambles. It is December of 1973. Haziel brings a coat to bundle up Lilith. The yin seems to be sad and listless, and says nothing, letting Haziel whisk the two of them to wherever sha wishes to go.Certainly the novelty of traveling in this way has worn off.

In a flash the two yen are looking across the steep gully of Indian River at Greendome, covered in snow.Even as they watch, the water of the very upper reaches of the river slows to a mere trickle.Haziel leads the way down an icy footpath to the edge of the river, and Lilith follows, still not speaking any words.

Ever since sha was pricked in the finger by the white walking avatar of Chokhmah just before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Lilith has been radically changed. A bump at the back of har head grew and opened up like a flower, revealing a hard little cup. It was difficult for Lilith to see it, but sha could feel the growth with her fingers, and sha wore her hair in a way to cover it. But other changes happened.

Over the course of the short war, Lilith developed a second set of female genitalia just above her original organ. Most radical of all, Lilith found that sha had the power to change the shape of any part of her body at will. Sha could become very large, like a piece of furniture, or very small, like a purse, but sha could not alter her total body weight.

Using this strange new ability, Lilith causes both of har genitals to close under a layer of skin, leaving only a small hole in her original organ for urine to escape. In this way sha enforces physically the celibacy she has chosen for herself since the camps. When from time to time she feels the need for sexual relief she can still touch both of her clitorises through the skin. Lilith soon finds, as every yin eventually does, that having two orgasms at the same time is almost as amazing as alternating between the two for continuous bliss.

Haziel has somehow turned the Indian River off like a spigot. This exposes a wet but walkable ledge of rock that acts as a trail leading into the cave that was the very source of the stream.Inside, Lilith can see a pool of water. Haziel says, “Were you to go for a swim, Lilith, and dive to the bottom of that pool, you would find you had swum right out of this world into another one.But I wanted to show you another thing.”

They crouch at the far end of the cave and enter another chamber that would have been blocked by the water had the river been flowing as it usually did.There Haziel flicks a switch and lights come on, for the room has been prepared with electric power, yet the floor and walls and ceiling remain stone.

On a long blue table that nearly fills the space from end to end, a white scroll lays completely unrolled. Haziel turns to Lilith.

HAZIEL
I call this the Scroll of Lael, after the name of the author who has penned a portion of it. Please give me your first impression of the scroll, Dr. Gervasi, as an academic, of course.

Lilith emerges from her silent sulk.

LILITH
It looks fake. It doesn’t look like any scroll I’ve ever seen. It’s as white as a wedding dress for one thing, and the thing’s shiny, like a sheet of plastic.

HAZIEL
Yet it is not plastic, it is biological in origin. Under the microscope you would see plant cells, but no one on Earth would be able to identify them for you. If you were to cut off a corner of it, say about the size of a postage stamp, and submit that fragment for carbon-14 dating the labs would report that it is 2,600 years old, plus or minus fifty years. Please take a closer look here.

Haziel steers Lilith to a section of the unrolled scroll in the middle of the long table.

Lilith examines the characters written there and says, “This is Paleo-Hebrew, from before the Babylonian Captivity, when it was just a variant of the Phoenician alphabet without contamination from Aramaic. And yet I see a smooth evolution of the characters consistent with a natural progression across many centuries. I cannot even detect Samaritan influences.”

HAZIEL
Then if it is a forgery, would you not say it is one of exquisite subtlety?

Lilith nods her head in the affirmative.

LILITH
Okay, but who ever heard of a scroll that was more white than modern paper? What kind of plant looks like that?

HAZIEL
If you were a shrub on a dog-eat-dog planet that was all ice and snow, and you didn’t want to be dinner, what color would you be?

Lilith examines a part of the scroll a little more than a quarter of the way from the left end and after reading it for a time, gestures for Haziel to look. It is that cowboy story with Chief Wanica and Mark Lange, written in English in a neat hand. Lilith says, “Unfortunately, Haziel, someone has vandalized your scroll with some western pulp fiction. Actually it reads more like science-fiction than a Zane Gray yarn.”

HAZIEL
For your entire life your story has unfolded separate from the story on this scroll.

Haziel unwraps the Purple Cable from around har waist.

HAZIEL
I think it is time you were grafted in.

Sha plugs one end into har own head, and offers the other to Lilith. After much silent deliberation, including moments when sha stares at the empty walls of the cave anteroom, Lilith accepts the other end of the cable and plugs in.

Haziel speaks to her directly, mind to mind.

HAZIEL
This planet alone has the combination of a stable sun, a self-moderating climate, a magnetic field to shield it from cosmic rays, a large moon to dampen wobble due to precession, a large gas-giant planet to vacuum up most stray comets and asteroids, the optimum rate of spin to moderate both temperature extremes and stormy weather, an active geology to rebuild eroded lands, and a fully functioning water cycle.

Each one of these things are shown to Lilith in turn. After that sha sees harself plunge into the sea.

HAZIEL
In the beginning the ocean of Earth was saturated with the ingredients of life. These are the amino acids and nucleic acids which form naturally on many planets or even in deep space following to the exquisitely tuned laws of chemistry selected by the Old One for this universe.

And Lilith watches some of the amino acids slam into each other and stuck together for a short time, forming random shapes, but these rickety structures are soon torn apart again. Floating underwater in the sunlight of a new star, buffeted by chains of wiggling crystal maggots that were amino and nucleic acids, Lilith watches the Old One assemble an enzyme Haziel calls ‘replicase’ from raw amino acids.

The Old One grabs a handful of hydrogen end caps from one amino acid and tears them away, preparing it for assembly into a larger structure. As the Old One adds amino acids together one at a time, the object folds up like a long phone cord tying itself into a knot.
Lilith watches the Old One busy itself for a time making a few dozen identical replicase enzymes, and soon it has all the hardware it needs.

HAZIEL
The Old One turned to making the instructions that control the hardware. The shortest strand of RNA that can reproduce itself is a mere 4119 nucleic acids long. Omit a single one, and the strand is worthless.

Haziel goes on to tell Lilith the only thing the strand codes is replicase and also smaller molecules that deliver stored solar energy for breaking and forming chemical bonds. But there is something rather like a ‘Catch-22’ because even with the little energy-providers on hand it takes replicase to read the old strand and build the new one. So Lilith watches the Old One turn one of its hand-crafted replicate molecules loose on the strand and away it goes, zipping along in fits and starts, powered by second-hand solar energy.

If the replicase machine finds the nucleic acid it is looking for in the ambient soup floating all around, it adds it to the growing child RNA strand. If it find the amino acid it needs, it adds it to the growing child replicase structure. Two structures emerge from this process, a second, identical RNA strand, and a second, identical replicase enzyme.And along the way, dozens of energy providers are also spit out to gather sunlight.

Two becomes four, four becomes eight, eight becomes sixteen. Life on Earth had begun. Random thermal collisions still destroyed the fragile structures, but now they could replace themselves with identical children faster than they could age.

HAZIEL
In just a few years the entire ocean was filled with copies of these RNA strands floating in a soup of replicase.

Lilith watches competition begin. Replicase is hoarded and these hoards are raided by eating. The single-strand RNA creatures gradually give way to more sturdy double-stranded DNA creatures with a kind of error-correction that can resist mutation and aging. And after the sea has filled with life even the land is colonized by them.

HAZIEL
Here on this planet, alone in all the universe, did a species evolve whose natural gait was to walk on two legs, leaving two hands free to manipulate its environment. It is a tragic misfortune that the first meeting of elohim and humans took place under the cloud of sequestration, but Milcom and Thaumiel set up a community of elohim isolated from the greater community as a kind of harem.

HAZIEL
I am committed to reversing that and restoring humans, nephilim, and the other elohim in this bubble to full union with El, and even one day with the Old One who is father of all. I am a living star, but I must become one with a planet-dweller again. As Chokhmah I did this once before with a brave and intelligent yin of Barbelo named Haziel, but now the time has come for myself, as Haziel, to lay down my life to discredit Thaumiel once and for all, and also to save the people on Haziel’s home world from extinction. And yet, to bring Thaumiel to utter defeat I must unite with the flesh and mind of a planet-dweller once again, this time with a human being of Earth who is fully willing to make such an eternal decision. Will you be that human being, Lilith Gervasi?

Lilith thinks long on the dark wreckage of her life and of her whole world, and at length comes to a decision.

LILITH
Let it be as you have said, Haziel. You not only have my freely-given assent, you have my eager willingness to do this thing.