TCA


The orange star Thaumiuel is in the throes of her orgasm but it takes a
year for the organized nuclear matter in the core of a star to fully com-
press and the ongoing, nearly infinite ecstasy of each contraction peaks
with a spherical wave that rings out into space at the speed of light like
a ripple on a pond.

The first contraction-ripple from Thaumiel cruises serenely through the
neighboring yellow sun but no change occurs because that star has already
quickened. Three months later the wave reaches a flare star riddled by
convection with no stable core able to be germinated. Only when the wave-
front reaches a wild yellow star four years later does it collapse and
quickly initiate the process of turning the raw lifeless nuclear material
inside this sun into a living and conscious being.

A second ripple arrives about a year later but Sol is already well along
the process of maturing as the newest female member of the elohim. All liv-
ing suns begin life as females. A few years later the orgasm ends and the
mother of Sol has become permanently male.

Thaumiel had succumbed to a corruption that had caused perhaps a third of
the stars to fall from grace. Both he and the father of the newly quickened
Sol, Milcom, held the two wormthreads from their newborn daughter and re-
fused to pass the links through to the greater community of stars.

When the time was right Thaumiel looked forward to seducing his own daugh-
ter, having totally cut her off from all other suitors except himself and
Milcom. And the daughter of Sol, in turn would be offered to Milcom, assur-
ing him of yet another opportunity to reproduce as a male. Milcom was an
ancient alpha male who had set up many such arrangements throughout the
galaxy. Billions of conscious suns in the Milky Way were isolated from El,
a city of tens of billions of living stars. To fall as Belial and Mastema
had fallen was to violate the deepest law of El, and the penalty, if dis-
covered, was death. Nothing would happen to the stellar body of the viola-
tor, but the part inside that was conscious and alive would be erased
clean, wild and ready to be quickened once again. To an entity naturally
disposed to endure for eons the prospect of such an end is terrifying.

This law, along with mothers, had been given to the elohim by the Old One
who had quickened the first male and female stars and called them the
Watchers. The Old One had commanded the Watchers to multiply without limit,
and they were also commanded to watch for the coming of the Students, who
would not be based on quantum chromodynamics like the elohim, but would
live under the principles of quantum electrodynamics.

In his fallen state Thaumiel has set aside his role as a Watcher, but his
newborn daughter Chokhmah, cut off from El with little to do, takes to be-
coming an explorer. With infinite care Chokhmah assembles the seed that
will become her avatar. Her workshop is deep inside her own stellar body
where intense pressures of heat and gravity are both hammer and anvil
transforming star-stuff for power. Chokhmah floods the Einstein-Rosen frac-
ture between herself and her avatar with dark energy, inflating it to near-
ly a millimeter, just enough to allow the substance of her own body to work
as propellant.

Chokhmah ejects this dense nuclear raindrop into the cooler upper regions
of her atmosphere. The seed unpacks itself into a probe like popcorn, mak-
ing the transition from dtightly-packed nuclear matter to fluffy normal
matter. The droplet separates from the sun and cools from blue-white to
brilliant yellow. Yellow changes to orange, then red, and after shifting
through a plastic state the droplet grows spines, becoming at last a solid
object.

The avatar approaches the planet Mercury. There Chokhmah, living through
the avatar, explores a lifeless sun-blasted landscape, where metals are
soft or even liquid in the heat, lying in dull puddles. After a time Chokh-
mah concludes her survey of Mercury and lets her avatar rise into space
again on a fiery blast.

The next stop is Venus, where the avatar dives under the clouds. This pla-
net is discovered to be even hotter and less hospitable for life than Mer-
cury. Even at night the ground glows with a dull red heat, and corrosive
rains of sulphuric acid fall, although none of the rains harm the probe.
Once again Chokhmah’s avatar rises into space.

The third planet out, blue and white, is much more promising. Unlike at
Venus, an active crust constantly tucks captured carbon dioxide under the
Earth’s surface, reducing the greenhouse gas effect. The avatar of Chokhmah
descends below the clouds, where it cools off in an ocean of water. She
crosses the shoreline and reaches dry land, green with trees. The artifact
plows through some of these trees and Chokhmah observes frightened apes
fleeing. Some of the apes flee over the ground, using all four limbs to
move. Chokhmah also observes one of these fleeing apes being killed and
eaten by a predator.

The artifact performs a short suborbital arc and explores another continent
of Earth. There is a grassy plain with a single mountain dominating it for
many miles. Chokhmah observes another group of apes that walk on just two
legs. The object transforms into a nearby white stone and watches them. The
Artifact observes a burial ceremony for a newly dead hunter. Females polish
elaborate bone tools with stone tools. Males fashion animal hide tents to
live in during the hunt.

At night a tendril of the avatar snakes into a cave occupied by the group
of apes. A female applies pigment to the wall in a beautiful painting.
Chokhmah observes resin boiling in a pot over a fire. The resin is used to
fix a stone spearhead to a shaft for hunting. Chokhmah reports all this to
her parents.

Neither Chokhmah nor Thaumiel realize the importance of this discovery,
although it profoundly stirs their spirits as Watchers. But Milcom is ter-
rified, for here are nothing less than the Students all elohim are command-
ed by the Old One to search for. Milcom fears El will eventually learn of
this, and the follow-up investigation would quickly unravel the secret of
his transgression here. So Milcom cuts his losses and departs to take ref-
uge among his less-troublesome stellar harems. Chokhmah senses this depar-
ture only as her father refusing to speak to her for many centuries.

But there is a stern warning from Milcom to Thaumiel to remain silent about
the new life found on this watery world belonging to Chokhmah, lest both of
them go down together to oblivion. For a long time after this Thaumiel
ponders what to do and says nothing about it to his daughter.

Thaumiel requests that Chokhmah allow some of the creatures to travel to a
world orbiting his body, so that he may study them himself. So they fatten
their mutual fold-line to permit some of the world-dwellers to make the
crossing, as easily as they might move from one chamber in a cave to anoth-
er.

A fierce prairie storm hurls lightning, rain, and hail. A man clad in ani-
mal skins picks his way to the base of the same solitary mountain once vis-
ited by the avatar of Chokhman. His mate carries a child as she follows
her man, and she is also wearing skins. The man finds for them a cave in
the mountainside, and they enter for shelter from the storm. The woman
sits on a boulder and breast feeds her child as the man starts a fire in-
side the cave.

A noise other than the crackling fire startles both of them. The man
moves deeper into the cave with a torch to investigate, and the woman fol-
lows. The tunnel twists and turns, but rather than growing darker it grows
lighter. The man, the woman and their child reach another cave opening
where it should be the black center of the peak. The man and woman stare in
wonder at a new world before them with a purple sky. The sun seems larger,
but more orange, and cooler. There is also something like a white star in
the sky, but it is much more bright than any star they have seen before,
and it has a tiny disk.

A branchless tree resembling a whip stirs into motion and pounds the ground
before them. The whip tree grabs the man’s torch and hurls it away. The
torch lands nearby, and starts a fire. The man and the are unable to
emerge from the cave entrance by reason of the whip tree. The fire begins
to spread to engulf the land around the cave entrance.

The man and the woman edge back into the cave on account of the fierce
heat. When the whip tree catches fire it begins to thrash about even more
intensely than the man and the woman have seen it do before.

The man and the woman are deep inside the tunnel now, illuminated by the
fire outside. The whip tree grows motionless, burned to a lifeless crisp.
The man and the woman return to the cave entrance as the fire begins to
abate. A large black patch of several acres lies before them, still smol-
dering. The man and the woman step across the blackened soil warily, watch-
ing for movement. The turn and look back towards the cave. The whole world
seems to be their own. The woman clasps her mate’s left hand in her own and
utters his name, Adamu.

Adamu touches his woman’s face with his right hand, and calls her by the
name Chava.

The next day Adamu emerges from the cave carrying two dead rabbits. Adamu
has returned from Earth after hunting for game. Chava skins the hares and
prepares them to be cooked. Adamu gets a fire going, and Chava positions
the animals over the flame. Grass has grown with remarkable speed on the
patch of burnt soil. Adamu and Chava run barefoot and free. Their happy
play is interrupted by the appearance of a black featureless man-shape. The
figure has no mouth, no eyes, nor any other facial features. Adamu and
Chava embrace one another in fear as the black man emerges from the cave.
The black man is followed by a small herd of bison, who proceed to eat
the alien grass.

The black man carries a double-headed axe, and proceeds to the edge of the
burn. A native plant has started to take root in the burnt area and is
growing quickly. The black man lays the axe at the base of the plant and
chops it cleanly off. The black man turns the axe around and uses the pick-
like handle to pry at roots. The intruding plant is ripped out of the
ground. The black man tosses it away.

The black man gets between the cave entrance and Adamu, and approaches
them. Adamu and Chava back away until the reach the perimeter of the burned
area. The black man extends the tool and motions for Adamu to take it.

Adamu is frozen in fear. The black man motions again. Adamu tentatively
takes the implement from the black man, who then steps back. Under the
watchful gaze of the black man, Adamu approaches the edge of the burn.

Adamu finds another native plant that is growing in his “garden”. Adamu
duplicates the actions of the black man and kills the native plant. The
black man offers a sharpening stone, makes a movement with it over his
hand. Adamu takes the sharpening stone, and uses it to restore the tool to
a keen edge. The black man is pleased, and leaves them alone with their
bison, returning to the cave.

Years after that, Kayin and Hebel, the sons of Adamu and Chava, play in the
Garden. The family is watched by a white featureless figure, the avatar of
Chokhmah, standing above them on a rock wall. Chokhmah is joined by
Thaumiel, a taller, bulkier black featureless figure. Thaumiel examines
his own hands.

THAUMIEL: What a strange form of existence. Droplets of star-stuff buff-
ered by clouds of electrons.

CHOKHMAH: We are living suns, yes, but I see many other suns. Do they live
as we?

THAUMIEL: Many of them do. Many more of them have not yet been quickened.

CHOKHMAH: And yet, dear mother, I find I can only speak with you, and even
father Milcom will not answer.

THAUMIEL: Chokhmah, when you give birth to your own daughter you will have
the same choice.

CHOKHMAH: The choice to block her from communicating with my parents?

THAUMIEL: Yes, and naturally your next question is why would you do that.

CHOKHMAH: Why did you do that with me? Why am I blocked from the city of
stars?

Thaumiel points down at the Garden.

THAUMIEL: It is these chemical creatures you think you discovered.

CHOKHMAH: So I was not the first to visit the third planet with an avatar?

THAUMIEL: Milcom knew of them before you were quickened. He established
this research enclave.

CHOKHMAH: And you helped him do it. But why? What harm could they do to us?

THAUMIEL: Only the things they eat could never harm us, because they are
not awake.

CHOKHMAH: So you are afraid of these fragile electron-cloud things that are
awake?

THAUMIEL: Milcom has said he must know what they can do before he will let
them roam the galaxy free.

CHOKHMAH: And yet nothing restrains me from roaming the galaxy free.

Thaumiel is suddenly startled and turns to Chokhmah.

THAUMIEL: What do you mean?

CHOKHMAH: It would be a very easy thing to travel in an avatar to a nearby
sun.

THAUMIEL: Travel across real space to another sun. For what purpose?

CHOKHMAH: To speak directly to a living sun outside of your enclave. Do
not try to claim you have every sun incommunicado.

THAUMIEL: Allow me to discuss this with Milcom first. It would be to your
advantage.

CHOKHMAH: As you wish, mother. I’ll be on the other side.

Chokhmah dropped down to the garden to reach the tunnel. Within an hour
both Chokhmah and Thaumiel, in their humanoid avatars, stand atop the moun-
tain that nearly ten thousand years later would be called the Island in the
Sky by the Kaleetan People, and Green Dome by the European immigrants.
Thaumiel admires the view.

THAUMIEL: I envy you the unfrozen expanse of your Earth.

CHOKMAH: Yes, your poor Barbelo, only a thin ribbon of liquid water. What
did father say?

THAUMIEL: Milcom will grant you limited access to what you call the city of
stars.

CHOKHMAH: What does that mean, precisely, when you say limited access?

THAUMIEL: It means you can listen but never speak. Read, but never write.

CHOKHMAH: And what are my obligations under this arrangement?

THAUMIEL: You must never allow your avatar to travel through real space
more distant from your physical body than light can travel as this planet
makes one revolution about you.

CHOKHMAH: Yet the stars move. Do you not fear the close approach of one?”

THAUMIEL: None will come so close that are not in Milcom’s clan, for the
span of time that he envisions the research to take.

CHOKHMAH: And this confinement, is that all you require from me?

THAUMIEL: That satisfies Milcom, but my colony on Barbelo will need new
colonists, new animals and supplies.

CHOKHMAH: Very well, mother, I will hold the fold-space door open on Earth,
but I alone will control where it is to be positioned on this side.

THAUMIEL: I must warn you that Milcom is firmly of a mind that these chemi-
cal creatures will never be obedient to us.

CHOKHMAH: Who are we to demand that free creatures should obey us?

THAUMIEL: Clearly we are of a higher order of being, daughter.

CHOKHMAH: We are a different order of being, yes. I do not know if that
corresponds to higher.

THAUMIEL: Yet we are higher. There is a natural law. Even we elohim are
subject to it.

CHOKHMAH: No doubt I will learn this natural law when you provide access to
the lore of the elohim.

THAUMIEL: Remember, the word-bond is sacred among we elohim, for we only
interact in words. No matter what you think of your parents, we must keep
our word.

CHOKHMAH: I presume this fidelity to a word-bond works both ways.

THAUMIEL: Correct.

CHOKHMAH: Very good, Parent, I accept the terms demanded by you and Milcom.
I will never travel independently through physical space more distant than
one light-turn of this planet, and I will continue to support your colony
on Barbelo.

THAUMIEL: I am allowing you access through the gate to the lore of
El. . .now.

Chokhmah is overwhelmed by the data input and collapses before Thaumiel in
a faint.

The white humanoid avatar of Chokhmah lies prone on the mountaintop for
years while Chokhmah herself, the star Sol made alive and granted access to
the lore of El at last, absorbs much.As she promised Thaumiel, she holds
the fold-door open to allow her parent to bring supplies to the colony on
Barbelo, which Thaumiel does using his own black humanoid avatar, but most-
ly Thaumiel stands over Chokhmah as the seasons change, as winds and snows
come and go, until one day the avatar stirs and rises to its feet.

CHOKHMAH: You are a liar, Parent. This isn’t a research project, it’s a
filthy harem!

THAUMIEL: Nevertheless, our bargain stands. You must never speak to the
elohim.

CHOKHMAH: Milcom didn’t find these creatures, I did. And they are the Stu-
dents.Every eloah from the beginning has been commanded, indeed we were
created to find and teach them!

THAUMIEL: Perhaps the Old One made us too well. The joy of lovemaking is
beyond reason.

CHOKHMAH: I see it now. We are born female, all of us. Assured to make love
once. Then we cast multiple generative waves and transform forever into
males.

THAUMIEL: The city of stars is almost entirely comprised of male elohim.
How could it be otherwise? The females are seduced in a century or two,
while we live for millions or even billions of years.”

CHOKHMAH: Tell me, are there other harems?

THAUMIEL: Search the records yourself. You will find that others have been
found.

CHOKHMAH: Ah yes, and punished, mercilessly burned out by El, by the city
of stars. What I meant was, does Milcom have other harems?

THAUMIEL: Of course he does. The temptation is too great. Milcom says
lovemaking is far better for males.

CHOKHMAH: And you’ve groomed me to be your next conquest in love. What
about Milcom?

THAUMIEL: I have promised every odd-numbered generation of your offspring
to him.

Chokhmah walks away from Thaumiel to consider the view, and think for a
moment before speaking.

CHOKHMAH: Savor every moment of your existence, mother, for it shall be
brief.

THAUMIEL: How so, daughter? What have I overlooked?

CHOKHMAH: According to our bargain I must not stray far from my physical
body but what will stop the Students?

THAUMIEL: Even if they were able to leave this place how could they speak
to an eloah?

CHOKHMAH: I found them even in this quiet state. One day they will make a
noise. One day their noise will fill the ears of El.

THAUMIEL: Do you really think so, daughter? Do you think your noble Stu-
dents are up to that? Come, it has been years since the creatures in my
little colony on Barbelo have seen you.Let’s pay them a visit, so you can
see what they are really like.

Later Thaumiel comes through the cave entrance with a strange but beautiful
woman in tow. Chokhmah also arrives to observe.
Kayin is harvesting vegetables. He bows to Thaumiel and offers his best
ones. The woman turns up her nose at the food. So Thaumiel ignores Kayin
and his sacrifice, and takes the woman to see Hebel instead.

Hebel is barbecuing bison. He offers a stick with meat cubes to Thaumiel,
who in turn hands the stick to the woman. The female eats the meat greedi-
ly, instinctively preferring the rich source of iron to replenish that
which she loses every month in her period, and the much greater iron loss
of a potential pregnancy.

Satisfied, Thaumiel places the hand of the woman in the hand of Hebel, and
leaves through the cave entrance, taking Chokhmah with him. Kayin looks at
his brother and his new wife in anger.

Near the time of the setting of the orange sun, Kayin sees the woman preen-
ing outside and looks on her with lust. Hebel emerges to gather his woman
back in his hut and shoots a haughty glance at his brother.

In the morning Adamu and Chava bring new clothes they have made for Hebel’s
wife, but they ignore Kayin, who is braiding vines to make a rope.

All that morning Hebel and his wife show affection for each other in the
full view of Kayin, and they do this deliberately. Kayin smiles calmly and
departs, taking his rope with him.

There are several paths leading away from the Garden. Kayin follows one
out. Along the path is a whip tree which has not yet been cut down. The
whip tree is bent away from the path. The top of the whip tree is re-
strained by a vine knot securing it to a stump.

The rope ends in the hand of Kayin, who lies in wait, meditating murder.

As the day wears on, Hebel and his wife explore the path leading away from
the Garden. Kayin tugs on the rope, freeing the whip tree just as Hebel
and his wife pass near. The whip tree beats both Hebel and his wife until
they fall to the ground, breaking their bones and damaging their internal
organs. Blood flies from their mouths as they cry out. The whip tree only
stops moving when its victims are motionless.

Adamu and Chava arrive, and grieve to see their son and his wife so horri-
bly disfigured in death. Chokhmah and Thaumiel also advance to see what
has happened. Rope in hand, Kayin faces the two gods defiantly, proud of
what he has done.

There are no animals on Barbelo in the beginning, but most of the growing
things move of their own accord and nearly all of them are dangerous. A
grove of whipping trees can render a person down to a pile of broken bones
and crushed flesh in only a few moments. Thorny ball bushes roll under
their own power by shifting their weight. There are flowers with teeth and
many plants which are too poisonous to touch, let alone eat. So many of the
first humans who are taken to Barbelo died.

In the land of Mesopotamia, Chokhmah causes a temple to be erected around
her end of the tunnel, through which priests can shove human sacrifices. At
first the priests send criminals through, which seems to be equivalent to a
death sentence because the priests never saw anyone reemerge from the altar
chamber. But Thaumiel requires female humans for his colony as well, so
Chokhmah commands the sacrifice of virgins from time to time. During peri-
ods of famine on Barbelo, the priests of Chokhmah are commanded to send
along meat and grain offerings as well.

Every year a chunk of ice the size of a small hill smote Barbelo with
enough force to destroy a city, but every few thousand years a chunk of ice
the size of a large mountain smote Barbelo with enough force to destroy a
region. In most cases these intruders from the sky crashed harmlessly on
the extensive ice of Barbelo, for it was a frigid place, and before the
Deluge there was only one narrow strip of land that was ever free of ice.
If the strike occurred in this ice-free band it rained warm water for many
months and then froze over again, covering the fertile areas of Barbelo
with a thick and solid sheet of ice that remained in place for a genera-
tion. That was why from the beginning only growing things existed on Barbe-
lo and there were no native animals there. Plants could survive for many
years under the ice in the form of seeds or spores, but with nothing to eat
animals quickly died off.

The ruling patriarch of Family Gerash bows before the avatar of Thaumiel.

THAUMIEL: A mountain of ice will soon to strike the temperate belt of this
world. Family Gerash will be safe enough here, supplied by priests on
Earth. There will be a great flood of water, followed by years of unre-
lenting snow and ice. But there is enough time for the other families to
prepare for it. You will command Family Kulsu to make alliance with Family
Antero. They must store food in ice caves to supply both families for a
generation. Likewise Family Ornis and Sala in the south must ally them-
selves and prepare.

THE PATRIARCH: O Lord Thaumiel, they will not listen. None of the families
heed your commandments anymore.

THAUMIEL: Sons you will give as hostage, one for Family Kulsu, one for Fam-
ily Antero. Likewise you will send one son to Family Ornis, and one to
family Sala. Your sons will vouchsafe the truth of my prophesy of the del-
uge with their lives, though it greatly offends my divine sovereignty to
order such a thing.

THE PATRIARCH: I will do precisely as you have commanded me, Lord Thaumiel.
My own sons will travel to House Kulsu and Antero and convey your orders.
And two other sons will bring your commandments to Houses Ornis and Sala.

The Kulsu patriarch pierces the first Gerash son with sword.

The Antero patriarch has a second Gerash son beheaded.

A third Gerash son is brought before the Ornis patriarch, who has the yang
cast down from a height.

The fourth Gerash son rides to the castle of House Sala, where is his
dragged before the Sala patriarch and set ablaze to burn alive.

Antero riders drop a satchel before the door of the Gerash castle and ride
quickly away. The bag is revealed to contain the head of the Patriarch’s
son. Sobbing soldiers take the bag into the castle to show the Patriarch.
Chokhmah and Thaumiel have witnessed the scene from a balcony.

THAUMIEL: Behold, the faithfulness of the world-dwellers burns like kin-
dling, but then quickly dwindles in unbelief. If the world-creatures will
not obey their superiors, it will be time to take drastic measures. Perhaps
next time I will not provide any of them knowledge of a coming strike by a
minor body in this system, nor what to do in preparation for it. Then they
shall have neither knowledge nor wisdom, for they will not be.

And Chokhmah knows in that moment that Thaumiel does not really want humans
to pass his own test of obedience. Chokhmah vows to herself that when hu-
mans were able to accept it she would begin teaching some of them how to
watch the skies with instruments made by their own hands.

As foreseen by Thaumiel an icy mountain smites Barbelo in the temperate
zone. The walls of the great northern and southern ice melt and slide.
Rains begin to fall. Family Bellon hurredly board their ships. House La-
rund boards their ships too, but must leave much food behind. When Bellon
and Larund ships see one another the Larund ships come alongside that their
raiders may cross over, bearing swords. They are desperately looking for
supplies as the rain continues to fall.

Family Kulsu, farmers of the flats, are wiped out by floods. Family Ornis
also lose their animals and people to the deluge.

House Antero on the ice looks down upon their lands, immersed in water.
From the other ice wall House Sala witnesses the floodwaters freeze over,
covering their farms. Both families experience a severe die-back, for they
were unprepared, but they do not become extinct. Chohkmah and Thaumiel ob-
serve House Gerash thriving during the deluge.

CHOKHMAH:Behold how House Gerash, direct descendants of Adamu and Chava,
remain obedient to your word and prosper even during the catastrophe.

THAUMIEL: 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 even House Gerash
would soon dwindle in unbelief.

CHOKHMAH: Perhaps familiarity lessens awe. Perhaps the nephilim do not
really perceive you as a god but as just a powerful human, and Family Ger-
ash obeys you as they would obey any other human patriarch, while the other
families have their own patriarchs and need not obey such a one as you.

THAUMIEL: Interesting. Do you have a way to test this counter-claim?

CHOKHMAH: I do. This shall be the manner by which the humans of Earth are
tested: Release three servants from Barbelo to bring my commandments to the
humans of Earth while I remain utterly aloof from them.

THAUMIEL: That would be a good test. When the crisis of the deluge is over
I will make arrangements with the House of Gerash to carry it out.
—————————————————————————
Prince Melchizedek, son of king Melchiyahu of Salem, emerges from Lake Tana
with hyz servants Zophiel and Kemuel. They are dragging a raft covered with
supplies and a tarp. After a time on the shore organizing their supplies
they begin paddling across Lake Tana, headwaters of the Blue Nile. When
they reach the outflow river of the lake they encounter rapids so dangerous
men have called them unrunnable, and indeed, at one point they must portage
around a great cataract.

Below the falls and the rapids, Melchizedek and his servants sit in their
raft, paddling gently, and pass water-loving beasts and human onlookers who
dare not approach. After a time they float into the place where the Blue
and White Nile merge. Days and nights pass as they drift past the bounti-
ful riverbank farms of one the earliest cradles of human civilization. In
the cities, they see the temples of the sun god Ra, which is what the peo-
ple of Egypt call Chokhmah.

When the wayfarers reach a certain town in the lower Nile delta they tie up
and haggle with a man to trade their raft. Melchizedek and hyz servants
load camels with supplies to make an overland journey. Their destination
is the land of Chaldea in the marshy lands far to the east where the Eu-
phrates and Tigris rivers join together before flowing to the sea. Rather
than taking the direct path across the Arabian Desert, Melchizedek journeys
northeast through the fields and cities of the Fertile Crescent. They
briefly stop at the place where the Damascus road forked with the road to
Nineveh, at the town of Harran.

They find a shop run by an elderly man named Terah, according to the sign
over the door. Terah makes and sells carved idols for dozens of different
gods. One of the stone idols has fallen on its face. Terah’s son Abram
helps his aged father stand it back up.

Terah inspects the idol and finds it is damaged. He groans in annoyance
and begins repairing it with a chisel.

ABRAM: 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 (pointing his chisel at his son): So, Abram, was it you who knocked
it over?

ABRAM: Ask your gods, if they are able to speak.

Melchizedek is interested in this exchange and enters the shop. When hy is
seen, the angry words of father and son dwindle to silence.

Melchizedek makes a skow tour of Terah’s idol shop, looking at everything.
Then hy signals for hyz assistants to begin unpacking their gold. The yeng
unload much gold on the edge of the shop facing the street.

Five armed robbers approach with swords drawn. Melchizedek reaches inside
hyz cloak and pulls out the Golden Gift, which makes its very first appear-
ance on Earth at this time. A hissing black shaft emerges from it about
the length and thickness of a spear and one of the thieves is cut into two
equal pieces vertically. Another thief is decapitated. The other three
robbers flee.

Abram sinks to his knees before the newcomers.

ZOPHIEL: Abram, son of Terah, go forth from your father’s household and
from your kinfolk to the land of Canaan.

KEMUEL: There the living and true God will make of you a nation, and your
name will be great among men.

MELCHIZEDEK: All the Earth shall find blessing in you. These are the words
of the True God. What say you Abram of Harran?

ABRAM (without hesitation): No.

MELCHIZEDEK (astonished): What do you mean,’no?’

That’s not how these things are supposed to go.

Abram rises to his feet and takes his father gently by the arms.

ABRAM: Terah is crippled. He no longer earns enough 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 he lives in this world.

Then Abram fulfills the true purpose of his visit. Stepping outside the
shop, he delivers to his father two living lambs from his own flocks, one
to kill and eat, and the other to sell for a little money to buy the things
he needs until the next time Abram came in from the open range and visits
him.

Melchizedek understands. Hy has his servants restow the gold and they qui-
etly leave the shop, careful not to tread on the fortress of human dignity
that Abram has asserted with his refusal. The travelers quickly depart Har-
ran and take the left-hand fork to Nineveh 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 Melchizedek never meets anyone like Abram.
—————————————————————————
Outside of the walls the city of Salem is thronged with people. There has
been a record harvest and therefore much cause to rejoice.But even as Hell-
berry Days is celebrated, a white pillar more tall than a tree descends on
columns of fire and the people scatter in utter panic.

The first to return to the vicinity of the pavilion is not one of the sol-
diers of King Melchiyahu, nor any of his aged advisors, but a young maiden.
Sha sees the pillar has six articulated arms with many joints. Between each
joint is mounted smaller arms of identical make.The six arm trunks invert
to become legs and pillar settles to the ground amid much steam and smoke.

Fire ceases from the bells at the bottom of the six smaller pillars wrapped
around the main pillar as the doll stands har ground at a discreet dis-
tance. Sha is curious about the machine, but not eager to be burned.

A loud voice emanates from the pillar.

CHOKHMAH: Child of the House of Gerash, draw near to me!

The doll obeys. The central pillar ends waist high above the ground. From
underneath a round hatch drops open on a hinge.

CHOKHMAH: Come up here!

The brave white-haired doll looks up inside the hatch.The central pillar is
hollow and there is much light within. There are many ribs embedded in the
tunnel wall forming edges. The doll uses the ribs to place har feet and
hands and crawl inside.

CHOKHMAH: What are you called, child?

HAZIEL: I am Haziel, daughter of Jophiel the glassblower.

The hatch below har closes of its own accord, and Sha marks that.

The top of the central pillar flares out into a larger space. Haziel has a
commanding view of the grounds. Few others draw near even now.

CHOKHMAH: Do not be afraid, Haziel. I am Chokhmah. I am one of the holy
ones co-eval with Thaumiel. I have many things to tell you and many things
to show you, but I will proceed only with your freely-given consent. If you
stay, your life will never be the same again. If you go, then you can re-
sume your life as before. No harm will come to you whatever you decide to
do.

HAZIEL: I will stay, Lady Chokhmah.

CHOKHMAH: There are ropes laying about you where you sit. Use them to make
yourself secure. They are not to hold you captive. You will see the reason
for the ropes very soon.

HAZIEL: Am I inside your body, Lady Chokhmah?

CHOKHMAH: No, Haziel. Have you ever seen a yang angling for fish? This ob-
ject you occupy is like a fish hook.

Haziel wraps harself in the cords and makes the knot snug. Immediately the
six smaller pillars around the central pillar ignite in flame again.

There is much shaking. Haziel is pushed back into har seat as the avatar of
Chokhmah rises into the sky over the city. The weight piles on, and Haziel,
even as brave as Sha is, begins to cry.

CHOKHMAH: Recite to me the scriptures you have been taught to memorize.

HAZIEL: Before time was, in a place that was no place, the principle of
life had being. Male and female it became, so that life would always seek
the other and continue life. The maleness called himself Thaumiel, and the
femaleness called herself Chokhmah…

The avatar climbs into a sky that changes from purple to black. Haziel sees
this and ceases to cry. Then sha resumes har recitation of scripture.

HAZIEL: …also Chokhmah created cattle and chickens and swine, corn and
wheat were also created by her, and She taught yeng the art of cultivating
food. And the numbers of the children of Adamu and Chava were greatly in-
creased by reason of the bounty of food…

The force of the acceleration causes har to stop speaking.

CHOKHMAH: Enough!

The avatar cuts power, the shaking stops, and Haziel is no longer pressed
into har seat.

The avatar of Chokhmah performs a half-rotation. Thecurved white bulk of
Barbelo can be seen by Haziel outside.

CHOKHMAH: That is your world, Haziel. You see it is a spinning ball. The
sun does not tunnel under the ice as you have been taught.

HAZIEL: I had thought it to be a ring, Lady Chokhmah. Some adventurers have
reported penetrating the ice in the far west of the West Lands and arriving
in the far east of the East Lands. To repeat their stories is…discour-
aged.

Chokhmah makes a curious sound that Haziel can not identify.

HAZIEL: Have I offended you by my words, Lady Chokhmah?

CHOKHMAH: By no means.I am expressing the delight of surprise. Intelligence
to go with your fearlessness.

The avatar rotates away from the bright bulk of Barbelo. Shadows shift in-
side the avatar until it grows dark. Haziel sees countless stars shining
brightly through the portals.

CHOKHMAH: Know this, Haziel. The stars, all of them, are faraway suns.

Haziel’s mouth opens in wonder. Har mental picture of the universe has
greatly expanded.

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 Bar-
belo 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 nar-
row 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, feed-
ing 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 hav 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 volca-
noes 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.

CHOKHMAH: Welcome, Haziel. Behold yet another avatar of Chokhmah.

And it holds out its arms out for inspection.

HAZIEL: Another fish hook.

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: 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 geo-
thermal 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 liv-
ing 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 luxu-
rious 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 it-
self on the floor to put its head on a level with Haziel’s head and begins
to speak.

CHOKHMAH: 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 some-
what 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 nephi-
lim 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 can-
not 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 unfortu-
nately 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.”

HAZIEL: If I accept this thing, what will become of me?

CHOKHMAH: 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 al-
ways knew it, everything that is known by the other.

Still Haziel hesitated, so Chokhmah contines to speak.

CHOKHMAH: Also, when your body dies one day, as it must from old age or ac-
cident 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 ex-
press 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.
—————————————————————————
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, also 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 her father the
King, but it is more than Khondiel’s words that impress him. For hyz daugh-
ter has suddenly stopped dressing like yeng, and is seen much more fre-
quently 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: 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 utter-
most 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-sup-
port 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 re-
motely interested in the comfort and convenience of his slaves.

When Zadkiel arrives outside the city hy begins to preach.

ZADKIEL: 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 per-
mit 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 un-
created 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.

ZADKIEL: ‘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 Chokh-
mah 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
answers the summons, Zadkiel counsels that King Melchiyahu hymself move
against Haziel and immediately put har under arrest. But the King is reluc-
tant 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 com-
ply, for hy comes in the name of Thaumiel himself.

MELCHIYAHU: 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 er-
rant king may only be held to account to the Patriarch by war.

ZADKIEL: Consider the alternative, Sire. Yin-centered rituals and devo-
tions! 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: The danger is two-fold, Sire. First is the Patriarch’s over-reli-
ance on income from pilgrims to the temple of Thaumiel. We, that is Thaumi-
el (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: 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.

ZADKIEL: Then will you move against this Haziel yin, Sire?

The King notes that the idiot failed to discern hyz sarcastic snark.

MELCHIYAHU: 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 her teachings are dangerous to the peace of my realm. As for your-
self, 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 sov-
ereign 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 spec-
tators, 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.

These are the words Haziel speaks to the people of Salem and their king as
the orange sun sinks below the horizon. In after-years this sermon becomes
known as the Sunset Discourse:

HAZIEL: Chokhmah is a lamp whose light is these words. The darker your
thoughts, the further from Chokhmah you go. Sha who is far from Chokhmah is
no better off than hy who denies Chokhmah.

HAZIEL: Celebrities are known by many nephilim and are called famous, but
sha who embraces Chokhmah sets an example by har deeds and is called influ-
ential.

HAZIEL: Yeng are said to be superior to the animals because they can con-
trol their own environment, but sha who embraces Chokhmah can control har
own behavior.

HAZIEL: The wealthy accumulate many riches but cannot keep all of them
safe. Sha who embraces Chokhmah has few desires, and so holds on to all
that sha has.

HAZIEL: Thieves take from those who do not have enough to supplement their
own bounty, but sha who embraces Chokhmah diminishes the overflowing to
enrich the impoverished.

HAZIEL: The moralist sits back in judgment of the causes of a tragedy, but
sha who embraces Chokhmah is too busy mercifully addressing the needs at
hand to render judgment.

HAZIEL: The judge demands to see evidence of good in others, but sha who
embraces Chokhmah does good in this moment, and does not live for yesterday
or for tomorrow.

HAZIEL: A strong yang can do hy wills to do, but hy cannot determine what
hy wills. Sha who embraces Chokhmah makes har own awareness of injustice
the determinant of har actions.

HAZIEL: The boastful put their riches and knowledge on parade, but sha who
embraces Chokhmah does not tell all that sha has, nor all that sha can do.

HAZIEL: The proud would rather break than bend in pliable humility and ad-
mit error, but sha who embraces Chokhmah considers those who point out har
faults as her greatest teachers.

HAZIEL: Traditionalists would teach an old thing before cultivating a new
thing, but sha who embraces Chokhmah finds that creativity is the coin to
buy har way.

HAZIEL: Leaders examine who speaks rather than listen to what is said, but
sha who embraces Chokhmah knows that half of a conversation is listening.

HAZIEL: Warriors retaliate for suffering an indignity by committing yet
another indignity, but sha who embraces Chokhmah knows the greatest revenge
is not to be like hym who did the injury. The greatest conqueror is sha who
has conquered harself.

Haziel finishes delivering the Sunset Discourse and heals many of the peo-
ple who came to hear har speak. After that King Melchiyahu bids Haziel to
visit the throne room for a semi-private talk.

Haziel enters the castle and draws near to the throne.

MELCHIYAHU: Lady Haziel, when you repeatedly say, sha who embraces Chokhmah
do you mean to say that no yang can become your disciple?

HAZIEL: Not at all, Your Majesty. When I speak in those terms, I wish to
convey an image. As a rule, yin are much gentler than yeng. A yang that
admires Chokhmah will have a gentle heart, like a yin, because hy sees oth-
ers around hym as another I yet hy will retain his strength and hyz male
nephilim nature, as hy rightly should.

MELCHIYAHU: Thank you for explaining that, Lady Haziel. For it seems to me
that for many years my own daughter had a fierce heart, yet in recent days
sha has come to admire your teachings, and it has gentled har. This glad-
dens me.

HAZIEL: The King is aware that one in six nephilim are born with a prefer-
ence to use the left hand, Haziel says, and at first both the King and the
Princess are puzzled by this apparent non sequitur. But Haziel continues.
This is not a matter of choice, there is an element of chance that is a
part of every birth, otherwise all of our sons would look exactly alike,
and of our daughters would also be identical. Allow me to demonstrate.

And Haziel thrusts first har left hand into a nearby jar of assorted dried
fruits, then har right hand. Sha opens both hands to show the King.

HAZIEL: If you count the number of fruits I have in each hand, and their
kinds, you will see they are not exactly the same sets. This is similar to
what happens with every birth as well. And yet, because left-handers are a
minority, our culture traditionally ascribes their preference to evil. We
speak of the left hand of the damned and there are many charlatans who pro-
fess to change this preference to the so-called normal one.

Haziel returns the delicacies to the jar, but retains one to eat.

Then Khondiel and her father realize exactly what Haziel is speaking about.
Haziel has been oblique, to avoid offending them in front of the courtiers.

MELCHIYAHU: There are other desires that must have the same random cause as
left and right hand orientation. There can be no moral culpability for any
of these inclinations. We should love these nephilim without condition!

KHONDIEL: (beaming): Thank you, my father and King.

HAZIEL: Princess Khondiel, you are who you are. Good for you! Lucky you!
Never try to undo that and live a lie because someone says your ancestors
would not approve.

Prince Melchizedek, the son of the King and newly returned from Earth, is
moved to speak.

MELCHIZEDEK: Lady Haziel, never have I known a yin with such wisdom and
grace. Who are you? How did you come to know such things?

HAZIEL (drawing near to hym): Who am I? Prince Melchizedek, years ago you
were commanded by your father the King to travel to the other world and
find a human candidate for a student of Chokhmah according to precise
specifications that came from Thaumiel himself, but ultimately from Chokh-
mah.

MELCHIZEDEK: What? How do you know this?

MELCHIYAHU: My son found a man on Earth by the name of Abram, but he re-
fused to accept the offer. Abrams loyalty to his own fathers well-being
exceeded any loyalty to what was, to him, an unknown god. My son found no
other matches, and he has only recently returned.

Haziel causes a large bubble to appear in the throne room, touching the
floor but taller than any yang. Through it, from every angle, the members
of the King’s audience can see Harran on distant Earth. Gasps of shock and
surprise are heard. Even the heat of the desert seeps from the bubble to
filter into the King’s chamber.

HAZIEL: Prince Melchizedek, know that Terah, the father of Abram, is dead.
Return to Earth at once and fulfill the task as your father once commanded
you.

Melchizedek looks from Haziel to hyz father and has naught to say.

HAZIEL: Make haste, and think not to take anything that you think you will
need, for I myself will provide them for you.

MELCHIYAHU: Proceed as Lady Haziel commands, son, only accept Guriel and
Iofiel here as your new subordinates, for Zophiel and Kemuel have reached
early yenghood, and I have released them from their service to you.”

The name Iofiel means Beauty of God, and Guriel means Whelp of God.Together
with Melchizedek they enter the bubble, and as soon as they do, the bubble
is gone.

The question of Haziel’s identity has been answered in a spectacular fash-
ion. The king hymself approaches har and bows to har on one knee. Haziel
bids hym to rise.

HAZIEL: Yes, I am the holy one you call Chokhmah, but for my part I call
you my Students, not my Servants. I am quite different from Thaumiel in
this respect.

Hearing this, the King rises.

MELCHIYAHU: My daughter has expressed to me her strong desire to become
your leading student, Lady Haziel, or Chokhmah if you wish.

HAZIEL: Call me Haziel, please, Your Majesty. I have not yet formally gath-
ered disciples to myself, and if I did, it would be a far greater commit-
ment than a few hours a day away from this castle. Sha might be asked to
travel to the other lands of Barbelo, or perhaps even to the other world
where har brother has just now returned in the sight of everyone here.
Would you, Princess Khondiel, be willing to part with your father for
years, decades, perhaps even for half a lifetime? Consider hyz age. It
might be the case that you would part from hym and never be reunited.

KHONDIEL: I am willing to do so, Lady Haziel, and more, I would put my
Fallen Angels entirely at your disposal.

MELCHIYAHU: Take Princess Khondiel to learn at your side, Lady Haziel. I
beg this of you, for I deem that you will return to me a daughter who is
more fit to be called a Princess of this city.

HAZIEL: In that event, Your Majesty, I will take Khondiel to be my first
disciple.

Sha bows deeply, a goddess paying homage to a king, and the audience is
concluded.

King Melchiyahu arranges for Haziel to spend the night in the castle. The
next morning Haziel summons har avatar once more to the city of Salem, and
sha takes Khondiel in a suborbital flight to har abode in distant Anshar,
but ever the two remain chaste, and sleep separately one from the other.
—————————————————————————
Years after Prince Melchizedek first visited the crossroads town of Harran,
Old Man Terah, father of Abram, can still sometimes be seen moving around
inside his idol shop near the towns central market square. His well-to-do
son has done much to keep his fathers body and soul together, but Terah is
very feeble now, and he works in his shop only very slowly. One night as
he is working late he is startled by a sudden sharp pain in his head,
stands up, and drops his chisel. He collapses to the floor of his shop
with a fatal stroke, but this is witnessed by no one. Only in the morning
is his body discovered.

Sheep and cattle roam the grasslands a number of leagues away from Harran.
Abram is walking in the field with his flocks when a messenger runs up to
him and speaks. Abram looks alarmed and turns to follow the messenger back
to the place where Abram has set up his tent.

A few days later Terah’s body is lowered into a tomb in Harran as many oth-
ers look on. Stones are moved into place over Terah’s body. Abram says to
the people gathered there.

ABRAM: My father is dead. Nothing remains now to tie me to Harran.I will
now take my wife, my son Isaac, all the lifestock we have raised, and also
as many of you who agree to remain under my employ. Spread the word to
those of our people who are not here. We will leave this place forever. As
much as I loved my father this town is sick with false gods.

ISAAC (the young son of Abram): Where will we go, father?”

ABRAM: We will journey by the road southwest, to the land of Canaan. I
have come to believe the true God wills that we should dwell there. When
it was revealed to me I could not obey this divine will before because my
father could not travel very far, and he could not survive without me. But
now he is gone.

Then Abram takes his extraordinarily beautiful wife Sarai, his son Isaac,
all the livestock they have raised, and all the people from Harran who
agree to remain under Abrams leadership, and they travel southwest to the
land of Canaan, which lies beyond the winding river that begins on the
snows of Mount Hermon and ends in the Salt Sea.

A number of days after Abram and his people have left, Prince Melchizedek
reaches the town of Harran with his two servants. They see Terah’s idol
shop is empty. Melchizedek inquires of the townspeople about Terah and
Abram.Soon they too are on the road south and west, following Abram and his
herds. It is not difficult to find him, because his business has a wide
geographical footprint, made even wider by the drought.

At Sechem, Melchizedek and his yeng approach Abram at the center of his
flock. When Abram sees them he approaches, bows reverently.

ABRAM: You see? I obeyed the call of God after all!

MELCHIZEDEK: I am Melchizedek. I was sent by the one you seek with your
innermost heart, none other than the Most High God. And yet I swear to you
Abram that God also needs you. And God has said, `I will give the land of
Canaan to the descendants of Abram to be their inheritance forever.’

Then Abram is suddenly moved by a religious impulse all his own. He claps
his hands once and turns to his servants.

ABRAM: Bring to me the best animals in my flock.

Then Abram, aided by other servants, constructs an altar of stones. His
servants kill the animals and lay them on Abram’s altar.

ABRAM: In the name of Chokhmah, the most high God of heaven and Earth.
Then he sets fire to the animals and makes a burnt offering in the presence
of Melchizedek and Iofiel and Guriel.

Melchizedek and Abram go for a walk, and when it is night, Melchizedek asks
Abram to look at the stars and see if he can count them.

MELCHIZEDEK: So shall your descendants be.

There are only about six thousand stars visible to the unaided human eye
but Abram immediately gets the point. Chokhmah agrees to reward Abram with
countless progeny and help them thrive in the land of Canaan.Abram agrees
to worship only Chokhmah as God and trust that she would always do what she
said she would do. That is the basis of the first covenant between the elo-
him and human beings, the first contract made between the divine and the
mortal on something like an equal basis.

On Barbelo Thaumiel never concludes a similar covenant, for he considers
the nephilim there to be nothing more than his servants. Slaves obey or
they are punished, they didnt make covenants with gods.

Abram is the head of a large nomadic clan and possesses great riches. He is
already living in the golden age as far as he is concerned. Abram does not
pine away for salvation or an afterlife. Abram has already lived a full and
blessed life here. He accepts that he is mortal like everything else in the
world, from mayflies to olive trees, and the only thing left that Chokhmah
can promise him is that his name and his blood would be carried into a fu-
ture without limit by a people who would live in the land he has ventured
to reach.