I evoked riversmooth before picking up the telephone and dialling the only number I knew, that of our house Assay, John Eldrich 3rd.
“This is Adela Bach,” I told the answer machine and the line immediately switched and only seconds later, I heard Mr Eldrich, his voice hoarse but his mind most instantly awoken by my use of the password that identified me as being one of this house.
“How can I serve you, Madam?” he enquired most politely.
“I need a selection of food delivered immediately,” I tell him, “It is to include fresh black coffee and whiskey.”
There is a momentary silence, then Eldrich asks carefully, “To serve how many? And should this be a dinner or buffet food?”
I can’t think about these things, I can’t be going to that far into a past to even begin to engage in this conversation. “Bring a selection, enough for three …” and I swallowed the word “humans” from the end of the sentence as that would have been in breach of the very strict regulations that pertained to telephone conversations with the house Assay in the middle of the night.
“Bring it as soon as possible and with all speed,” I tell him and can feel that he bowing, even though he is at the end of a telephone as he says, “Yes, of course, Madam. Right away.” I put the telephone down and considered that strictly speaking, this was no longer Adela Bach’s house and therefore, Eldrich was not the assigned Assay any longer either. No transference ritual had taken place on Lady Adela’s leaving – just another minor infraction, irregularity to add to all the major ones.
I am sure the Segar and Lord Markus will sort it all out, and all will be well.
With all speed, I return to Lord Markus’ room but as I am about to enter, I become aware of a very strange energy inside, emanating from the room.
It is very strange indeed, and it is disturbing. It makes me shiver, it makes me insecure and at the same time, it is fascinatingly attractive – I carefully phase through the door but remain unmanifest so I can observe without causing a disturbance.
Something very strange is happening here.
I seen Lord Markus near to dreaming above the bed, and on the bed lies the human, or half human, or whatever he is, Burrows, and there are colours rising from him, strong colours, curtains of colours rising up towards my Lord, who so it seems in turn is folding in and around and stretching towards the colours at the same time – I freeze inside and out as I understand that I am in the presence of a union!
I should not be here, should not witness this, for this is a most private moment, yet I am too fascinated and appalled, I cannot move, I cannot leave and furthermore, I’m being drawn to this which is a fascinating spectacle on every level and in every way. There is a wave of resonance arising even though there is such an inordinate difference between the two who are attempting a connection and a union here; it is as though two opposites have found each other, two things that can be neither here nor there, and they are getting closer and they touch – I fear the worst but what happens next is quite impossible for me to talk about or even understand – where there were two approaching systems, in an instant they implode into each other in a starbust flare of purest white that blinds me on all levels, wipes out every sense of any kind and yet it isn’t painful or explosive, but liquid – that is all I can say, the movement is liquid, liquid living light of transformation and I am left with that brightwhite sensation for a time unknowable, before slowly, slowly, my receivers come back on line, feedback from the environment, from myself, slowly I can sense again, straining through mist and resonance of whiteness, and until it does recede, becomes fainter, I can see again, and I can hear, and I can know the Segar has returned, called to this extraordinary union of unfoldment, and I can see just one, a single system flowing liquid white and light between the space that once had been Steve Burrows, and Lord Markus.
I look to the Segar for help and draw to him more closely, step more closely into his field of strength and power and try to see through his eyes, try to understand what happened here, what or who that is now, because I don’t know, I’ve never seen or heard of such a thing.
The Segar is riveted, absolutely fascinated; I can feel wavelike motions phasing in and out as he tracking levels and layers which I don’t understand, to which I have no access; but he isn’t understanding this either, and his sense of surprise, awe and wonderment does not alleviate in any way.
Far away, like hushing, rushing whisper I can sense the community; they too all know that something has happened but no-one knows what it is. I tune closer to the Segar still and am comforted that he is not disturbed or fearful; he is just observing so it might not be yet another disaster, yet another disturbance, yet another thing forbidden and to fill me with more shame and terror still.
The Segar has become aware of me and he steps back so that he can be focussed both on me and on that alien creation still hovering in purest opalescence just above the bed; it shifts in shape in smooth and liquid motions, ripples like slow mist now and then.
It is very beautiful.
I can sense the Segar speaking to me, to himself and all who might be listening, “You are right, young Cestra. It is beautiful indeed.”
“What is it?” I ask as I am more and more drawn to this … being? existence? unfoldment? I can feel the Segar smile as he responds most kindly, “It is precious.” I look to the white and radiant existence and I must agree. Yes, it is precious. It is also unfolding, it is in evolution.
But is it loved? The Segar turns to me in preference, and his most powerful existence takes my attention away from the being of white and focuses me entirely on him instead.
“Is it loved?” he asks me and his voice and meanings resonate throughout my structure, make me vibrate, fine and finer still until like mist the fear, uncertainty and all things past arise and disappear and leave me clear and bright as a landscape in the morning sunshine.
There, I can see, and I can see far and wide.
And there, I know the only answer can be, “Yes. Oh yes, it is beloved.”
“It is of the Covenant,” the Segar says and even though I am not sure precisely what he means by that or could explain it, was I asked, I know deep down in every fibre of my structure that he is right, and more than that – it may not be just of the Covenant, but in the strangest sense, I feel this being is the Covenant itself – manifest, and come to us, as it was promised long ago.
The Segar stills as my idea, my intuition strikes him straight and true right at his center; then he expands and comes to me, comes closer and closer still and offers me a union.
I am spun in all directions; I am overwhelmed and gratified; terrified and honoured; and with a breathless grace I rise to him, I bow to him and offer all I am to him.
He picks me up and raises me, raises me higher and higher, far above and beyond any place I have ever been, up and up, higher and brighter, and with every rising so expands my freedom, expands my power and expands my choice to see him more and more, to now be able to perceive just where I need to touch him, want to touch him, want to give to him and take from him in equal measure.
It is exquisite and unlike any union I have ever known; it is fantastic, sky blue, rose hues, opalescent purples intertwining richest emerald greens and azure, colours like I’ve never seen and songs, and sounds I’ve never heard – are they mine, are they his, it matters not, they flow and we are one in dance, in joy, in ecstasy.
Gaius is lovingly surrounding me when I awaken to him, holding me gently and loving me most deeply at the same time.
I know his times, I know his spaces; I know him intimately and thus I know that he held nothing back, and gave me everything he was, everything he had to give and oh! what treasures did he give me! How did he change me! How did he awaken me! My gratitude is such that is breezes through him like a fair storm, sweeping from the mountains and into the valleys, telling of heights above and far vistas, gladly enfolded, and hope, and the first fine grass of spring.
I feel as though it wasn’t until now that I was truly chosen, that my transformation had truly become complete, or that I truly understand our kind, or our relationships.
Of course, I think that is because I am so young but Gaius sends me a negation and he tells me that it is the same for him, that all and any time and any union never did compare to what had happened there between us, in the presence of … Instantly, we manifest more tightly and begin to think now in a different way. We are still deeply bonded and one thought will travel through us both; this causes us to resonate in joy once more as patterns and appearances, cause and effect, the future and the past become so clearly now defined and interlaced, and we can read it all, and easily.
The white being, it caused this. It catalysed us.
Being in its presence, we undertook a union in a different way; there was no thought of levels, of propriety; there was no care or cautious holding back the flow for fear of losing far too much or being burned or doing wrong – it was a union that was natural and as it always should have been between two of our kind … and more.
And more? I try to track that fascinating thought but it disappears swiftly and there is too much of Gaius that is too delicious and to wondrous still; I snuggle to him and let him stroke me, let him celebrate me, me, Alexandra, no longer Cestra, no longer anything, just me, and I am … “Gaius, what are we?” I ask him in all sincerity, for I no longer feel that I am comfortable with the designation of what I used to think was “my kind”.
Gaius doesn’t answer because he doesn’t know; but he agrees with me that we are no longer that, but other than.
We are other than other than.
It is an unfoldment. It is absolutely derived from love. And it is precious.
We smile in harmony for we both know that not only did the Covenant allow for the coming of our kind, it predicted it inside its very structure.
There is a transformation beyond the transformation – who ever was to know? Who ever was to guess? “The Cardor know,” he tells me and directs my attention to the place within himself that holds that information and I let that stream to me, a delightful union in and of itself, satisfying, tingling, it makes me giggle.
“Ah! But if you think my love, such little things, and how joyous they are, and how many of our kind live for eternities and never feel this pleasure?”
“It has been written and foretold that one would come who would be our saviour, who would set us free.” There is no doubt in either of our minds on any level that the one did come.
They did not come from far away, but they arose by union right from those we knew amongst our midst – who would ever have guessed? For all these unknown time spans we had searched and waited for a special potential who alone would be the one.
It is understandable how such a mistake might have been made.
But was it a mistake?
I am wondering …
Gaius tells me lovingly, “We should return to our unfoldments, many layers, many levels, and there is the physical as well. There are unfoldments there just the same, and important they are, even if they seem mundane.”
I agree with him. So one many levels, we remain interwoven and in a standing, radiant harmony of union that hasn’t ended just because we became aware of who we are once more; and on some other levels, we regain our material manifestations of choice, and re-enter what the humans call reality.
Gaius and I are standing at the foot of what used to be my brother’s bed, and then my Docem’s.
I try to get a sense of mourning or of loss but it is hard to do; I feel as though what once was Mark is still here, that it isn’t gone at all and even that I might converse, communicate with that essential center that is so uniquely he once more.
The beautiful and unknown alien entity is shimmering and touching all the room, the house and surroundings with its radiance.
Gaius says very softly, “It is new. It is becoming.” I am in agreement. It has a feeling of Arada in a way, a dreamy drifting that is necessary to conserve energy as one thing turns into another, a metamorphosis unfoldment, a very magical thing indeed.
“Do we need to guard it?” I ask him just as softly for I would not wish to disturb the entity or distract it from its proper course.
Gaius sends me a half balanced negation and unknowingness; I think we both feel strongly that this entity does not need our protection, and yet we feel a sense of caretaking towards it, a parental responsibility of sorts.
The entity and each other is absorbing us altogether, and it is not until we notice a shift in the entity’s existence that we too become aware of a disturbance not too far away.
Both Gaius and I immediately sweep across and down to where the center of events that have disturbed our entity is located; and I feel a moment’s brushing guilt sensation when I realise it is the human Assay I had called I don’t know when or just how long ago.
He has been standing outside our door for a long time.
The man is in a high state of disturbance; he is suffering from numerous physical symptoms and is near to collapse.
Action needs to be taken, and immediately so.
Gaius and I both manifest ourselves just inside the second door, take on a suitable shape and I open the doors physically to find old Mr Eldrich, half doubled over, shaking with cold, behind a pile of boxes in the pouring rain.
My heart goes out to him in every way.
It literally goes out to him, and wraps him in a warming cocoon, I draw him inside towards me and then physically place my arm about his shoulders – he is shaking hard and is finding it hard to breathe.
I bring him inside and Gaius physically collects the boxes, drenched wet they are and some have collapsed into themselves, and I take Mr Eldrich to the drawing room, sit him down on the sofa.
This is not enough.
This old man came when I called him in the depth of night, for no reward other than to serve what used to be my kind.
True, his payment was received upfront – once he had been a potential, and had been given the conversion gift as is the law. But that was long ago; indeed, so long ago, that he and I might have been at the self same festival and I was chosen, when he was not.
He is old, he is tired, he is cold and he is in bitter pain.
There is a resonance of warnings, of forbidden things, but that is just a shadow. In my mind, there is the entity upstairs, and there is Gaius and our union, and the new of all of that; and so I reach inside myself and offer the old man a union – I will take your pain, your cold and all your burdens, and in return, I’ll give you of my fire, warmth and love.
His lack of strength is such that he but crawls toward me; so I don’t even wait to meet him halfway but instead, I bring myself to him and gently make the first connections, and I let his suffering come to me, and invite it in, I draw it to me and I drink it, bitter wine, old wine, old times, all the times remembered; it does not hurt me and it is just as it is, and carefully I then begin to feed him me, the new me, the shinier, stronger me, the other me and here it is delightful to see him grow to that, and grow with that, and change with that as well.
This union has a natural conclusion.
When his tastes and textures become smooth and free in flow, light and easy, and relieved of all the staleness and the old, I gently disengage from him and just before I let the last of the direct connections go, I use it to transmit a loving, an acknowledgement and a gratitude for all his years of service.
On the couch before me, the old man whose hands I hold in mine is still wet through and through, and he is still old; but he is clear and smiling, he is present and he is in love.
Gaius directs me discreetly to tune to the entity above to notice what my actions had achieved, and it is most delightful to feel it being happy too, it has receded to its previous state and it is satisfied.
The old man shivers again and draws my attention; I have restored his systems at that level but he can still quite easily get unfortunate repercussions from his physical states. “It would be best if you took off your wet clothes and rested in one of the rooms tonight,” I say to him and listen with some wonder to the echoes of a voice that seems not mine, it is gentle and different, or perhaps I just experience it differently now.
“Your clothes can dry while you – sleep.” The old man looks up and around the room in shock, then at me and asks curiously, “Are you sure? Are you sure this would be acceptable?”
“I am sure,” I say and smile, hold out my hand and he takes it immediately.
I lead him upstairs and find him an empty bedroom on the second floor. He is amazed that the stairs hold no challenge and he can walk and breathe so easily. He wants to thank me, but I send him a knowing that there is no need for that, which widens his pale eyes and he falls silent.
Before I leave him in the room, I tell him that when he awakes he should leave right away and without delay; he promises me fervently that he will do as I asked and so I bid him a good night.
Gaius appears at my shoulder outside the human’s room.
He is curious to know more about the union I had made with the human; and he wonders if there will be any side effects.
The only unions between humans and our kind that we’re familiar with is the first union, when a potential becomes Arada; after that, we have no congress with these others any longer.
I remember that I questioned the validity of that the night I sat with Burrows and I watched him breathe, and dream, and move and turn in his sleep, and all his many emanations.
Together, we tune to the old man who is stripping off his clinging garments, wrapping himself into a bed sheet and looking around in wonder.
The union has left a resonant connection that through me, Gaius is sharing. We are fascinated by this close contact, this insight into another, and it is another, not just one of them, far away and immaterial, a single beast from a herd of billions – this old man is one, and he has unfoldments; he is loved, and he is precious.
Gaius and I breathe a sigh of sorrow that we should have so long failed to realise the truth of that, how we walked in blindness, more so for him who walked for so much longer than I ever did.
The old man is thinking of the past.
He is remembering his festival.
His recollections are so clear, so vibrant and so intense, it shudders us both through and through and it brings to us the reality of our own festivals, and the fact that we were absolutely once what he has been, we were the same – how could we have forgotten? How could we have forgotten stepping down and down, down and down the beautifully laid out, enormous stairwell that is a well indeed, and we are going to its center, deep down into the Earth.
Many others step down with us, and we are all entranced; we are all afraid; we all vibrating with our own hopes and passions.
The stairs seem to go on forever, impossibly endless long and deep and finally, there is the emergence through a great vaulted arc of shining gold into the theatre, and that is too much to take in all at once, and here, the images become flashes, unconnected scenes of the high vaulted stands all around, the sensations of presence, faces at the balconies, you must keep moving, you are caught in a stream of others like you, you are a part of a river stream that flows towards the sea, the central space; and then, there is the music, felt not heard at first, and I saw musicians playing alien instruments on a low stage, impossible waterfalls of velvet curtains behind them, and the music began to take me over, take me away, make me sway and turn me inside out, it makes me feel like singing, singing the song of my heart, of my soul for this is my music, come to give me wings this night, allow me to release all shields and all illusions and be here, just myself, be me, sing me, call out, call for the one …
And here, the path of our shared recollections divides and thus, I come back to myself and our close and triple union, Cestra, Segar and human has unwoven but it was, undoubtedly it was.
Gaius and I are too overwhelmed to communicate at first, but soon enough we stabilise and then we understand that we had taken back our human lives, we had bridged back and through, and now, our time was healed.
The great divide had been broken.
The truth is this.
We are one, and the same.