TC2E

TC2E-ROAD TRIP

Robyn, Jill, Hunky and Dory are wandering around in the tunnels underneath Greendome when a strange woman appears before them wearing some sort of army uniform none of them recognize. The woman also has a young black man in tow.

Jill assumes they are some of the DECON bastards who are looking for Robyn and Hunky, She draws her macro and lets the beam out for about a foot.

JILL
Who the hell are you people?

LILITH
I am your God, but you may address me as Lilith, dear Jill, who until recently was both Jerry Shybear and Rebecca Roland.

Hunky is a woman of faith and easily offended.

HUNKY
Sure. God is an English woman dressed like a meter maid.

LILITH
Dressed as a Lieutenant Colonel, rather, Miss Hunky, not a meter maid. And I am no longer English, I’ll have you know, but my new country doesn’t quite exist on this timeline, alas.

And when Jill doesn’t stow her macro, Lilith draws her own version and lights it off. It’s exactly like the original Golden Gift.

ROBYN (growing angry)
Where did you get that?

LILITH
There are times in the past when the Golden Gift is idle. I plucked it from there, temporarily.

DORY (growing angry in turn)
How do you know our names?

LILITH
I already told you how I know, Dory, but you must have a problem listening.

Dory hears Lilith’s words both vocally and in a more direct way that can be heard by Dory’s mind at the same time. And Dory sinks to her knees.

DORY
Haziel, I didn’t know it was you!

Robyn and Hunky sink to their own knees as well. Jill isn’t sure what to do.

LILITH (irritated)
Do stand back up, children, and do not drop to your knees before me again unless I command you to do so. Time is far too short for any of that fooferaw. I’m God. I already know I am great. I do not need the reminder.

JILL (incredulously)
Unless you command us to do so?

Lilith draws near to Jill.

LILITH
All of you children have been running loose toying around with the Golden Gift, and you have stumbled onto a very unproductive path in my opinion. Rats living under people’s houses, is it? It’s far past time you had a little supervision. Your little club, your little group that you call the Boda, we shall have to step that up a bit.

DORY
Who is the young gentleman that you brought along with you, Lilith?

MIKE
I’m Mike Morrich. Lilith tells me we share something in common. Che turns hez back to them and moves hez hair out of the way to reveal his connector.

HUNKY
We all seem to have some special power, now. What’s yours, Mike?

MIKE
Lilith says I’m a healer. Sha says I’m filling a role that we lost when we lost Haziel.

JILL (gasping)
We lost Haziel?

LILITH
Sha’s gone forever, but gone in the best way you can imagine.

Robyn has been in a very mellow mood for several minutes. Her babies Ariel and Edgar are safe with Mom. With the arrival of Lilith all the visions of immanent doom dropped out of her mind. Lilith senses this. Sha smiles at Robyn and nods.

LILITH
Sorry about the delay, Robyn, and for shaving things so very close to the time when DECON was to come in here and take you all into custody, as you correctly foresaw, but I had to fetch Mike, and Freddy too. He will join us presently, or rather, we will join him.

Lilith turns back to face Jill.

LILITH
Yes, Jill I do issue commands and I expect them to be obeyed, yet none of you are my slaves, and each one of you is perfectly free to stay down here in the dark and snatch a few morsels from the homes above until DECON scoops you up. Or you can take your rightful place as demigods in my project. The choice is entirely your own.

They all agree to take the first step, at the very least, which is to evacuate Greendome.One by one, Haziel embraces them and takes them instantly to a forested area south and east of Seattle, Washington, where the one Lilith named Freddy is waiting for them.

They are all assembled near an old wooden gate blocking access to an overgrown forest road. A police car is parked right there, and Freddy has the keys in his single hand. They see the other arm is just a stump.

Lilith introduces Freddy to everyone.

LILITH
We are going to work to reverse certain evil deeds of an eloah named Thaumiel. You might have heard of him. He also goes by the name Satan.

ROBYN
The devil? He’s real?

Robyn finds that a little hard to believe, even knowing that God is real.

LILITH (nodding)
He is quite the fucker, and lives up to his reputation. But here’s where you make your final choice. Follow me down this dirt road and we’ll go very, very far from here. Or you can stay here in America, take this car to town, maybe use your new powers to build a new life for yourself.

ROBYN
I’m in.

Simply because Lilith is so fun, Robyn thinks. And Hunky and Dory immediately side with Robyn, because after all, they are the original Boda.

Mike Morrich accepts with no hesitation at all, because Lilith has already saved him from a painful death.

Jill takes a longish pause to consider it.

JILL
I’ve always felt like I was the one on the outside looking in. Not even marrying into the Boda worked. Well, now I’m going to make it official. Deal me out, Lilith.

Robyn and Hunky and Dory look at Jill with exasperation, but they say nothing. Lilith nods, letting Jill go without an argument, because if she did raise an objection then her claim of a choice was void. But when this choice is made by Jill and accepted by Lilith, Robyn sees a mountain of events well up and focus around Jill, a very strange future indeed, a kind of alternate, darker, unhappier b’nei elohim that nevertheless serves Chokhmah and Binah well.

So that leaves Freddy Aspin, who ponders things for a bit as well, knowing that hy has a lot more options now with his new talent to start fires. And Jill isn’t half-bad looking to hym at all, especially considering how hy hadn’t been with a woman since hy was arrested for killing Oboe Man. But Freddy knows that the path hy is considering would only be extending hyz old life. Here was a clean break, a good way out, free of charge. So hy tosses the keys of the cop car to Jill and goes with Lilith.

LILITH
Stay on this dirt road until we get to where we’re going. There’s many intentional and unintentional booby traps around here. Mine shafts and that sort of thing. Very dangerous. This land has been royally abused.

Everyone casts a wary eye at the woods all around them.

HUNKY (genuinely curious)
How does one become a living star?

Haziel had never taken the time to explain.

LILITH
Didn’t you get the mummy and daddy talk, Hunky?

HUNKY
Please, Lilith. You know what I mean.

LILITH
Well, stars don’t get around a lot, so we’re really just talking about phone sex. What happens to the female at the climax of star phone sex is some ripples go out from her, like on a pond, but the ripples are spheres, not circles, and they move at the speed of light. Months or years go by. If a ripple finds the core of nuclear material in another star that is hot enough, but not too hot, and isn’t already a living star, then it fertilizes the part of that core that is the right temperature. A layer of the core organizes itself into a girl eloah. Mom can do this exactly once, because she is transformed permanently into a male eloah. And we live for absolutely eons. That means ninety-nine point nine nine nine nine nine percent of elohim are male.

ROBYN So it must needs follow that the competition for female elohim is terribly fierce.

LILITH
You pegged it. This competition leads to all sorts of bizarre behavior from the males, and some of that is illegal and immoral. So we get our Thaumiel’s. I have a daughter myself, named Binah. We’re actually going to meet her now.

They arrive at a pond of calm water surrounded by a berm of earth in the shape of a ‘C’ ring. Lilith jumps in without further ado, fully clothed, and the others know sha expects them to follow. The water is icy cold, but counter-intuitively it gets warmer and lighter the deeper they go. The group follows Lilith head first and the water grows comfortably warm. The bubbles change direction. They break the surface and can see varnished wooden decks, towels, plus a dozen striking women to help them out of the water and offer to dry them off.

LILITH (to Yeshua)
I’m using this body.

Simultaneously, Chokhmah says the same directly to Binah.

YESHUA
I’ve met one of your people before.

Freddy sits hymself down at Yeshua’s feet, and the others are shocked at the transformation of hyz swagger into genuine humility.

FREDDY
I apologize for what I said here before, Lord. I didn’t think you were real. I thought it was the drug.

YESHUA
No offense was taken, Fred Aspin. Forget it ever happened.

FREDDY (standing again)
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you, ah…Jesus Christ.

YESHUA
The one and only.

LILITH
I can’t say she came into this universe out of love, Lilith says, but yes, Yeshua is the nephilim incarnation of my beloved daughter Binah. I changed him into a jen, like Mike.

MIKE
How did we get to this place?

How is hez main thing. Mike has been left totally in the dark as to exactly how che had escaped Hanford and che is still sensitive about that.

YESHUA
Does the concept of a wormhole mean anything to you?

Mike just shakes hez head.

YESHUA
Einstein-Rosen bridge? No? It’s a natural facet of living suns. We are endowed by our creator, the Old One, with links which go from daughter to mother star, bringing point A and point B close together no matter how far apart they really are in actual space. We usually just let them remain microscopic webs and use them to talk to each other. But we can fatten them up a little bit with the repulsive force of negative energy and move things through them. You just swam through one such tunnel linking that pond on Earth with this pool.

LILITH
The link between myself and Thaumiel goes between his capital city and the headwaters of the Indian River at Greendome. But that place is too hot for us now. DECON is swarming all over it. So we’re using Binah’s link now.

ROBYN
What is this place?

Har talent is precognition so sha is all about what. Finding what combination opened the door, or what blackjack deal would pay off. The purple sky and second sun told har this wasn’t Earth.

YESHUA
We’re on Barbelo, which is a mostly icy planet circling the cooler member of the pair of stars that are nearest to your sun, Sol. This land called Haaretz is a little colony my parent Chokhmah wrested from Thaumiel as part of this deal or that.

DORY
Why did you make this place?

Dorys question was about the relationships between elohim and humans, a question that harmonized with her new clairvoyance.

YESHUA
It’s a transfer station between worlds. Travel between Sol and Centauri would take at least two years of ship’s time and five years of real time if you didn’t want to flatten your passengers. Even light takes four years. Keeping people happy that long takes a very large ship.We don’t have ships yet but we soon will. And there’s also a third place called the Land We Know that serves as a transfer station between times.

FREDDY
Are any of these ladies available?

Freddy Aspin has spent years in prison locked up with men. At least hy knows what hyz own priorities are.

YESHUA
These women and yen are my priestesses. My alleged followers do not permit females to perform ritual tasks on Earth so I try to compensate here. Others like Miss Ambe Omphal here are begotten in the Land We Know and have been between Earth and Barbelo many times. Occasionally I send begotten men or nephilim to the State of Washington and you get your Bigfoot stories.

LILITH
The history of human beings on Earth is a painting, and Yeshua is putting the final touches on it.

YESHUA
As for their availability as a date, don’t ask me, Freddy, ask one of them. It’s none of my business, really. And my sex life is none of yours. Besides, the Roman church always misquoted me. I never said celibate, I said celebrate.

A set of waterproof luggage is brought to the Sacred Pool by the priestesses. Lilith invites Robyn to have a look through them.

LILITH
See if any of this gear won’t fly.

Robyn holds up one minidress, which looks more like just a blouse.

ROBYN
Where’s the rest of it?

LILITH
That is the whole thing.

Robyn figures Lilith is joking and wonders why sha even asked har to look. The rest of the stuff in the luggage is what two women would need for an extended trip, packed very tightly. Yeshua’s ladies also set out a great deal of paper money. Robyn doesn’t recognize the design of some of the bills. Some of the dates are in the 1960s and 1970s, and Robyn is certain Lilith is joking now.

Jerry Aspin is mostly just admiring the priestesses themselves, especially Ambe Omphal, who looks very exotic to hym. Sha is very fair, as a yin of an ice world would be, with white hair, but hy cannot pin down har ethnic background. Later hy would learn that sha was a Fallen Angel from ancient Salem, and har origin therefore was simply Barbelo and nowhere else.

LILITH
I’m taking Robyn with me back to Earth. Mike, Freddy, Hunky and Dory will go to Nath and to points beyond. We will be in touch.

HUNKY
Who will show us the way to go?

AMBE
I have been given the task of accompanying you overland to the temple of Chokhmah.

Freddy makes a victory fist with hyz one fist.

When Robyn and Lilith traverse the wormhole again from warm water to cold, and commence to dry themselves off, Robyn looks around.

ROBYN
The trees look different, Lil, are you sure this is the right place?

LILITH
It is different. Look up.

Robyn follows the line of Lilith’s extended hand directly overhead and sees a yellow-orange sun, as though they were standing on the equator at equinox at noon. And behind that is a sky made of green and blue patches that is actually land.

LILITH
Welcome to the Land We Know, where we change busses, or rather, wormholes. When we get back to Earth the trees will look different there too. We’re skipping April and May and going right on into June. We will also go forward in time twenty-six years to 1973.

ROBYN (to God)
You’re shitting me.

LILITH
I’m not. Wormholes from here bridge locations in space-time, not just space. And so far that is something Thaumiel has not pieced together. I’d like to keep it that way.

ROBYN
He’s a full-blown eloah. How can he not know?

LILITH
You’re right Robyn, he’s an eloah, but he’s too stupid to understand most of the Lore of El. He relies on me for all his technical stuff. And Thaumiel doesn’t have improving human history for a modus operandi. He’s more interested in making ever more arcane rules until someone commits an error in ritual so he point it out. Thaumiel thinks planet-dwellers will be a threat to the elohim someday and he wants any excuse he can find to destroy them. But neither myself nor Binah will accept his premise that humans ought to obey us, although we did at first, and that’s why we have the Torah, and that’s why Yeshua died in Jerusalem. That malformed question has been answered.

Lilith’s drivers’ license says it was issued in 1974, which is ridiculous in 1973, and Robyn has none. So they can’t fly aboard an airline, and they can’t write checks, but they can buy a used car with cash on the barrel head, and using Robyn’s talent of precognition they can avoid being pulled over by the police.

ROBYN
But you just whisked me from Greendome to Washington State. Why not do that again, here to D.C.?

LILITH
I want to take time to explain things to you, and let you see how things change over two and a half decades. Otherwise, when you try to use your precognition it will just be a flood of images that you won’t understand.

ROBYN
I’ll try to help, but why did you give me this power? It seems more fitting for yourself. Why am I tagging along?

LILITH
It’s hard to explain, but I guess the way I could put it is I can’t see the forest for the trees. Yes your power ultimately comes from the elohim, but by necessity you are looking at time as though through a small pinhole. Am I right? Tell me, Robyn, what is it like for you, your power?

ROBYN
There’s this big…canvas, but every time I do something or even say something, I can see a ripple run up that canvas and change the paint that’s on it. Sometimes it’s a big ripple, like when you showed up with Mike Morrich, and the whole painting changes.

LILITH
That’s why you’re tagging along, Robyn. I have too much information of all the different ways things can go, so I have no information. But you, with your pinhole view, can help me find the pivot points where we can do tiny changes and make big improvements.

ROBYN
So you can see that canvas also, you and Binah?

LILITH
We’re painting that canvas, my daughter and I. And do you know something else about our art, Robyn? We are perfectionists.

From the Seattle area they head back East on the same road Freddy took from Hanford, but it was decked out as a freeway now. Lilith said they would probably end up getting some cheap motel in the Tri-Cities because of their late start, but that bothered Robyn. She remembered the precarious time when Hunky and herself made their way home to Greendome from there.

LILITH
Do relax, Robyn, it’s a quarter century later. Doc Troch and Earl Roland are still around, but they have your dead body after raiding Greendome on your original timeline, so they’re not looking for you or Hunky anymore.

ROBYN
So if Haziel took possession of you, that means you’re just like us, right?

Lilith flips the hair from the back of her head to show Robyn her connector.

LILITH
My talent is shapeshifting, but when I’m in REM sleep I can’t hold that shape. It’s like when you try to sleep sitting up, when you dream you sag against your seat belt. When you see me then, I’ll look like I’m fifty years old, because that’s how old I really am. And you’ll see scars.

ROBYN
You look like a million bucks right now, Lilith.

LILITH
Okay, twenty-six years later, President Truman is out, General Eisenhower went in. There was a bad war in Korea with China and the Soviet Union involved, America fought it to a draw with about thirty thousand GIs dead, and ever since then the Americans and the Soviets have kind of squared off for what they call the ‘Cold War’ where they just sort of growl at each other, or use proxies to fight.

ROBYN
So no third World War?

LILITH
Not until later this year, and that will be a very bad thing, Robyn, because both sides have the same weapons that were used on Japan at the end of the last world war. It doesn’t do human civilization a bit of good when the Cold War goes hot. You and me, we’re going to change that.

ROBYN
I don’t know how people could stand it, not knowing.

LILITH
It’s not all bad, Robyn. The Cold War is a big contest to see whether a planned economy is better than an unplanned one, and competition leads to innovation. Ten years after your time the Soviets put a machine into orbit around the Earth, just above the atmosphere, and that scares the Americans into doing the same. A few years after that they start putting men into space too, which is something Barbelo already did about sixty years ago. In fact, I was on that first flight.

Later they check into some no-name hotel in Kennewick, Washington and Robyn discovers the miracle of television, which sha heard was coming in 1947, but sha has never seen one before. This one was in color.They watch Columbo for an hour and a half, which they both enjoy a great deal (although Robyn knows how it is going to end before it gets over) and after that Robyn turns to Lilith and says, Shapeshifter, huh?

Lilith stands up and removes har military panties and bra. Robyn sees that sha has retracted har somewhat ample breasts to something less than even modest A cups, and there is new body hair, not just between har legs but on har legs and abdomen as well. In a deeper voice, with now looser vocal cords,

LILITH
How do you like your fellows, Robyn?

ROBYN
I like lean, lanky men.

So before Robyn’s eyes the soft subcutaneous fat-layer on Lilith thins out to reveal the underlying musculature, and Lilith becomes an angular male specimen of extraordinary beauty, like a cut diamond. Her cock starts to stand up in anticipation. The second pussy is closed by skin.

ROBYN
I guess you’re the first female to know what it’s like on the other side of the great barrier reef. My husband Jerry was the first man to know.

Lilith nods har head and smiles.

LILITH
I certainly understand a lot of very strange behavior by men and yeng now, not so very different from male elohim. And the star part of me understands a lot of very strange behavior by people in general now.

So Robyn opens har arms and legs to gather Lilith in to harself, going crazy under har, and bringing forth to the Haziel part of Lilith sweet memories of Khondiel.

Yellowstone Falls is the most beautiful place Robyn has ever seen. Sha thinks it looks exactly like an abstract painting made real and three-dimensional before her very eyes. There are so many things to see in the park that the mere two days Lilith allotted for them to do so couldn’t possibly do it justice.

At Rapid City, after seeing Mount Rushmore, Lilith drives south and east on rural roads through the Great Plains, passing very near to Greendome again, crossing Nebraska and Kansas until they reach Route 50, which Lilith says they will take all the way to Washington DC.

Lilith speaks of how the young President who followed Eisenhower was assassinated and how the world came very close to World War Three when the Soviets tried to set up intermediate range nuclear missiles just ninety miles away from Florida.

Still, twenty-eight years after World War II things aren’t all that different. Robyn can still cope. Sha does notice that men no longer wear hats. Lilith says that was a trend started by President Kennedy. Some women wear their hair piled up in what Lilith calls a beehive hairdo, and Robyn thinks it’s funny. Sometimes in the sky sha hears a loud roar. Lilith says the jet engines the Germans first put on their Messerschmitt-262 Swallows had finally trickled down to the public, replacing propeller motors on airliners.

ROBYN
Ariel and Edgar would be all grown up now.

LILITH
Don’t worry Robyn, you will see them both again, soon. As babies. And your mother as well.

Approaching Kansas City Robyn hears her first Beatles song, Ticket to Ride and she starts tapping her feet.

LILITH
Do you like it?

ROBYN
It’s incredible, who is it?

LILITH
Four chaps from my home country who call themselves the Beatles, Robyn smiles at how Lilith drops the ‘t’ and says Bea’les. They no longer record music together, but when they did, they seemed to have stumbled onto something timeless, all right?

Robyn smiles at how Lilith drops the ‘t’ and says Awroi?

LILITH
I mean a hundred years from now small children might listen to this song and say just what you just did, ‘It’s incredible, who is it?’

ROBYN
Only that they might listen? You’re not sure they will?

LILITH
No. I can’t see very far into the next century. But then, that’s precisely what we’re running about trying to remedy, isn’t it?

In the morning, in a hotel in Kansas City, Kansas, Lilith lays out the clothes they are to wear now they are out of the sticks and back East.

LILITH
You’ve been getting away with wearing your stuff from the Forties without too many second looks, but you can’t get away with it anymore.

ROBYN (puzzled)
I see the blouse but where’s the skirt?

LILITH (with a wicked grin)
The blouse is the skirt

ROBYN
You’re kidding!

LILITH
No I’m not, look.

Lilith opens the window curtain of their second floor hotel room to look down on a busy street on a sunny morning in the Nineteen Seventies. Robyn sees that Lilith definitely is not pulling her leg. Many of the women down there wear dresses so short their white knee boots cover twice as much skin on their legs than their hemline does. And many of the men in the city have hair so long they’d be mistaken for women back where and when Robyn came from.

So Robyn dutifully puts on the clothes and gets into the car, but sha feels funny about it, like in one of those dreams where you’re speaking in public and wearing only your underwear.

LILITH
In Israel, or Palestine to you, I did wear these kind of clothes in the Sixties before everything went to hell. Tel Aviv is really something. I had a lot of fun in my time.

After that they are on the road again, making for St. Louis. Carly Simon sings about how vain her boyfriend is. Steely Dan wonders aloud if his college acquaintance is reelin’ in the years.

LILITH
We’re on the other side of another war like the one in Korea. This one wasn’t fought by World War II vets, but by their sons. Most of them didn’t have a choice and they weren’t very happy about it. As you might have guessed from the clothing I’m having you wear the attitudes of many of these young people towards sexuality would shock the older generation, and I rather think that is precisely their point.

As they cross the Appalachian mountains Lilith tries to explain how Robyn’s precognition works. Sha explains that a particle, like an electron, isn’t just a little dot moving through time, it’s more like a long line, growing like a crystal, and the exact point where it crystallizes is the present. From that point going forward, many other lines exist in a ghostly form, including the Primary, the most probable future, which is almost firm enough to be a crystal itself. Time is a fire, Lilith tells har, and history is ash.

After Robyn understands all that, sha wants to know how they can possibly loop back in time.

ROBYN
Wouldn’t we be walking into the middle of a bunch of hard crystals? sha asks. Even just the very air we breathe?

LILITH
It’s like our bodies can dissolve the crystals of anything we touch, and set even the ashes of the past afire again. I myself looped back from 1978. But I can’t put the whole world in play again just by being back here. I’m looking for a crucial event that can give us leverage. That’s why we’re headed for Washington, D.C. I think I found just the thing. But I need you to help me pin it down.