“Perhaps his reality is different, not just an alternate to ours?”
“All that stuff he told us, I can’t sense any of it.”
“Perhaps his reality is different, not just an alternate to ours?”
She sounded angry. “If we are an alternate reality to his, how can his not be to ours?”
Robbie said, “Lynda, if it is troubling you, then stop. We’ll find him some other way.”
Her voice was now really angry. “I’ll find him!”
There was no point in allowing the conversation to continue. Robbie was edgy and Lynda in a stubborn mood for reasons of her own. Cherine nudged Coral and she went to Robbie.
“Are we going to the void to dance with Latreia?”
“Can I have a few hours to recover first my love? Why don’t we go for a walk, this old body of mine needs some exercise.” She nodded shyly, happy he had asked her. She reached out for the hand of Latreia and the two of them walked off with Robbie. We enjoyed watching them point out to Robbie all they find interesting. He sat on his haunches for a good fifteen minutes as the girls concentrated on a line of ants busy carrying food, stocking up for a Winter that will never come. Robbie wondered whether they will alter their habits after a long time on this world. How many mutations will there be? The light in Freddie does not come from a sun with rays similar to those that bathe Earth. Will that cause changes in our plants?
“Freddie, are you going to get tired of running this world after thousands of years?” I asked.
His answer was a laugh. “Not if I have the family aboard now and then. You keep me interested all the time. Without you here, without the other Cherinians, I think I would grow tired of playing god.”
Cassie asked, “After millions of years?”
“And you Cassie? What will you be like after millions of years? Why don’t we both wait and see?”
That set me off on a different train of thoughts and I withdrew into myself, thinking. I came to, startled to see Robbie and the girls back again. He was staring at me.
“You are very strange sometimes.”
Gina piped up. “She was thinking it might be better for her that she won’t live forever. She is afraid of changing and not being who she is today.”
“I caught that my little sweetheart. I wonder what the Sam of ten years ago will think of the Sam of today.”
I nodded, hiding the grin I felt inside myself. “Thank you. You just made the point for me.”
“You don’t like who you are today? You do realise you are the only one?”
“You did not like the way I was ten years ago?”
He laughed. “You girls!” Serious again he answered me. “I liked you as you were, but you also were a mostly white sheet of paper with a zillion possibilities and potentials to be discovered. All you’ve done baby is fill in a handful so that the sheet of paper now has a few lines of colour on it. By the time that sheet is full, I think it will be a beautiful painting.”
I pretended a disappointment. “I thought I already was.” I stuck out my lower lip and looked at him through my lashes. He only grinned back, too wise to us to fall for it.
Our little Candy is growing up. That night Robbie was in a sweet mood, his tenderness far stronger than his passion despite his time spent in the void. Candy had a beautiful night of being adored more than all of us. The next morning she found a moment alone with Wendy.
“Why have you let me take over Wendy?”
“You always used to be the first when returning from the void, now you let me be first. It is you he should have loved special last night.”
Wendy emoted so much love for Candy that it made us all emote love for Candy too. Tenderly she pulled Candy into her arms. “Candy mou, in many ways you are my daughter and I love you very much. If I could have chosen to let you be first I would have. Before you separated from me, it was you who brought me back so quickly, not the other way around my baby. You see, it was you who gave me the happiness of watching him open his eyes and look at me with that moment of special love. It is your gift and you deserve all the love he sends you.”
“But then I stole your happiness by separating from you!”
Wendy laughed, a sound of pure joy. “Oh my Candy, how can you even compare those short seconds with my joy at having you to love forever?”
After a night of tender love from Robbie and witnessing the love in our two special girls, the gentleness of both of them so nakedly emoted, we were all put in a daze of tender love for each other. Because of that, we emoted to Shiyra similar feelings when she appeared. As she felt us she closed her eyes and stood still, slightly swaying on her feet.
“I cannot talk to you when you do that to me.” She turned around and walked away, turning to look at us from a distance before walking off into the trees. Robbie stopped us from trying to convince her to stay and tell us what is worrying her.
He grinned, “Whatever answers she is looking for are less important than what she learnt from you crazy girls. Give her time to recover and she will be back."
That night, at nearly five in the morning Freddie woke us up. “Robert, we have a visitor. Do not go to the void, join me.”
That alerted us that something is wrong, Freddie must have sensed a threat. “All of you, stay awake and be ready to help Freddie.” He spared a moment to let each of us look into his eyes and then he was gone.
“How can he go to Freddie without going into the void first?”
“Same way he comes into our minds Maria. I wonder if it is the Ii?”
“No, I don’t think it is - Freddie would have said so. It must be a stranger. Sam, Robert spent so many hours yesterday searching…how can anything get here so fast?”
“I have no idea Cher…unless…”
My reactions to my thoughts will worry them more than telling them, so I did so. “Unless it was here all the time.”
Not one of them was willing to even consider the possibility, their faith in Robbie absolute. Sol suddenly looked up, the movement of her head sharp. Urgently her thought came to us. *Warn Freddie and Robert, the visitor is in here. Defend yourselves, put up a shield - I’ll be back immediately.*
She let her body fall to the ground, but did not dissolve it as she usually does. We formed a circle around her and Robbie while we did as she’d ordered. The protector appeared in response to the urgent call by Cherine. None of us felt great surprise that he still exists, but we let him feel our joy.
“Go to Robert and help him. The visitor must be at the top with the Sparklers.” She flared up, her voice angry. “How the hell did Freddie allow it to enter our world without him noticing!?”
“Robert and Freddie are aware, but have to deal with the visitor in the void.” His voice turned dry. “Do not blame Freddie for what Robert did. He brought the intruder in. There is danger for you and the girls, Cherine, I may not leave you, Robert has to handle his side of it while I help you.”
Cherine was about to argue, but she was torn between wanting to protect Robbie and fearing she might expose us to danger. Robbie will not forgive her if she does.
I took over. “Protector, you will go to Robert right now! Tell him the intruder is a decoy, it is meant to divide his attention and strength. Jesus! Quickly, first go get Shiyra and bring her to us. We will have to protect her while you and Robert take care of the danger from outside.”
It was almost instant. We shepherded a dazed Shiyra to the center, making her stand with the two bodies. Urgently I explained to her and the girls my thoughts.
“I think it is here to get Shiyra. I was wrong, it is not a decoy. We were meant to think so, that is why it did not attack. It expected us to protect ourselves by forming a shield against it. It means we would have blocked ourselves within our group, making it impossible for us to protect Shiyra, so it would have been free to attack her. Cherine, Jade, no shield, we must not protect ourselves. Place Shiyra in a shield. We must be free to attack it if it tries to cause damage.”
Even as I spoke we were surrounded by thousands of our friends. Ordinx and Ashiir joined us, their son by their side.
“Do you know what the danger is?”
“Not exactly, we are only guessing. What we think we do know is, there is a visitor outside and an intruder up amongst the Sparklers. Sol has returned, let’s wait for her to tell us.”
Cherine said that because of the look on Sol’s face. We have never seen fear in her eyes before and her white face was a shock to us.
“Whatever it is, sentient or not, it has already killed a number of Sparklers. I have to return, but I came to warn you. The intruder is made up of negative energies and it does not need to touch you - proximity to any positive energy life form is fatal.” She took Cherine’s hand in hers. “I do not have any powers to help you as Sol, but my people and I, as Solomon, wish to come here to stand as barrier between you and the dark destroyer. We will be here soon.”
I ordered, “You will not! I demand you leave right now Solomon. Take your people to another reality or back home.”
She turned to Cherine. “We cannot do that Cherine.”
I spoke more softly now, “Sol, do you accept that I speak as leader of the Cherinians?”
“Not if you order us to desert you Sam.”
“I don’t want you to desert us. Sol, I want you to do the opposite of what you planned. Do what you can to lead it to us without losing any more lives. Before you leave, give to the protector part of your soul. The same for everyone else. Protector, take a part of all of us, including Shiyra if you can. Carry those parts to an empty reality where no other species can be at risk if it follows you. Create a stasis field for the souls and return here immediately. Freddie, we need daylight, please do it now.”
The protector cannot carry a part of the souls of the Sparklers and their charges, so it was crucial that none of them are placed at risk. Because of their duty to their charges, I managed to force Sol to agree with me. If her people are attacked, they have to withdraw from this reality. When she closed her eyes to return to her people, her cheeks were wet with her tears. This time she dissolved her body so as to reduce our load to caring for two bodies and Shiyra.
“It might be better for me to let this body go also. I can defend myself as pure energy.”
“If that thing can kill Sparklers, then it can kill you too Shiyra. I have an idea, give me a second.” I thought furiously, not liking my idea, but I saw no alternative. “Shiyra, dissolve your body and then split yourself into as many parts as there are bodies here. Come into us where we can protect you without having to concentrate on you. Freddie.”
“Is Robert the void or is he with you still?”
“He is the void.”
I became brisk, almost abrupt in my urgent need. “Tell him to send a part of himself here to collect his body. Let him hide it there within a stasis shield. We cannot afford to drain our energy protecting his body.”
“I have advised him of all your plans till now. He has not made any comment, but I sense he is pleased, more at peace. The visitor has not responded to him yet.”
Robbie appeared as a spear of flame, enveloped his body and it swiftly disappeared. We were perturbed, for he had not bothered, as he almost always does for our sakes, to take on his form.
As if attracted by Robbie, a tiny sphere of darkness, no more than a dot, like a minute blindspot, floated down to us. It hovered for a time while we watched it, not clear what we should or can do to defend ourselves. It moved and we realised it was aiming for Cherine. Jade jumped in front of her and Cherine put her hand on Jade’s tiny shoulder to push her away. As they touched, the dark spot moved back. Without anyone saying anything, those who can reach touched Cherine and the others touched them. It did not make a move again and it was obvious we were either at a stalemate or else we have badly misunderstood.
Fast as lightning it darted at Shiyra but Cherine was just as fast, augmenting the power of the shield. Shiyra collapsed and we felt her enter our minds. We sent a brief welcome, but also tensed as we thought it likely we will now be attacked. Our alien friends closed in and touched us so that we became one organism of thousands.
I called out to my family, “Everybody, without breaking our link, move back, always touching others. Disperse among our friends. Jade, Maria and I will stay with Cherine.”
“What for Sam? You have no special fighting powers. Move back with them to safety.”
I was terrified, but I pretended to obey and turning to Cherine gave a tight grin. I pulled away and broke the physical link with everyone. Cries followed me as I stepped forward. I raised my arms to the sky, sending an order to the Sparklers that they withdraw. There was no way I can project a sense of friendliness so I used what I had - I emoted my fear.
*You are an offering?*
I could have yelled with glee at my success, if it was not so important I do nothing to frighten it. *No, you sense my fear, but I come in an effort to understand. Why have you attacked us?*
*They had to be taught to keep their distance. Release the Ii and you will be spared.*
I could not agree, it was not an option, but neither should I refuse; I needed to keep it talking. *I think you are the ones they told us about. They attacked your worlds, destroying all your people and now you seek revenge?*
*You understand. Your refusal to obey will force us to punish you.*
*We fought great battles with the Ii and they have submitted to us, so we are responsible for them now, we cannot betray them by letting you destroy them. If you had arrived during our battle we might have welcomed your assistance, for they were a formidable enemy, but you have arrived too late. Would you like to know why we did not destroy them?*
*Battle? With what can they battle you?* I sense the disbelief.
*They had created a shield out of a dark energy from the void to hide in. They used that energy to try and destroy us.*
*You lie. No force can withstand that energy - not even ours. You waste our time for a purpose?*
*Of course. I am telling you the truth, but we do need time if another miscarriage of justice is to be averted. The Ii are sick - they have been ever since they attacked you.*
*You dare ask we pity a people who destroyed us without reason!?*
*They had their reasons; their reasons were stupid and made out of fear, but…*
*Fear! We gave them no reason to fear us. We welcomed them and their response was to destroy us!*
*You welcomed their bombs, by that time it was too late for them to stop the destruction. They have looked at themselves and seen the wrong they did and it is killing them. They did it because they were at the end, facing the death of their civilisation, and feared you will find them and destroy their children.*
*Their deaths, the destruction of their souls will not give us surcease. We demand the right to do to them as they did to us. Stop this talking and release the Ii within you or we will destroy you.*
*You see the others behind me? They love me, I am their beloved. You will bring them great sorrow - not because I deserve to die, but because you refuse to listen and understand that it is too late for your revenge. Either you open yourselves to us and learn or else kill me. Those are your options - be as the people you were, who did not deserve to die, or else do exactly as the Ii did, become the same as them.*
I thought to myself, I am the only one that can be sacrificed, the others have eternity, they must not lose it, so I did not flinch when it shot down and stopped within a metre of my forehead - my hearts did think they were going to stop though and it took a lot of control not to pee in my panties. Even at a distance I could sense a power pulling at my life forces.
Without speaking to my mind it shot off, withdrawing to the distant top of the dome. We can sense it there so we cannot relax, it is still within Freddie, but a little of the tension drained out of us. My knees became wobbly and I thought I will collapse. Gina jumped and put her arms around me. I saw the look in her eyes and I pulled myself together.
Freddie spoke to us, “Cherine, Samantha, the visitor has spoken to Robert. It told him we are foolish and though it did not destroy Sam, it will destroy me if we do not yield Shiyra, the Ii as it thinks of her. Robert says it does not realise she is not part of the Ii anymore.”
As I felt it, so did all the girls. We fought her and held on to Shiyra - it did not take a genius to guess why she wanted to be freed. We cannot afford the distraction of having to fight her and if she appears out of us, the dark spot will attack her.
“Just a crazy idea Cherine. What if we do a golden circle - do you think it might affect this black thing?”
Meli’s idea was worth trying and since the protector did not protest Cherine tried. Do you know how much love you are broadcasting when you are afraid? I guess you will say ‘none’, but I’ve got news for you. All our loved ones (for each of us) was in danger and Cherine was soon spinning our love around and she drew on whatever she can from our friends. When it reached our peak she let it go, but directed the blast at the top of our dome.
It came rushing at us and we sensed a cold hard rage - it thought we’d tried to attack it. Quickly we touched and projected a shield. It hit the shield and the explosion tore at our minds. We screamed and collapsed. Cherine and Jade clung to each other and Cherine desperately reached out for Maria. As she touched her, a monster reached for the dark spot and swallowed it. Whatever it is Cherine had done, whatever her power, it met the same fate and this time the three of them had to bear the brunt of the destruction of her power. They collapsed and our link to Cherine was cut off.
Shaken, in agony, we instantly used our faint abilities to link ourselves, keeping Freddie intact. The spot, just a damn pinprick of darkness. dove for Cherine. Before we could scream, the protector appeared, neatly intercepting it. There was another explosion and the blast threw us tumbling, bodies slamming into bodies, but the protector held on and wrapped it within a stasis field. As time stopped inside the pod all movement ceased.
Weakly I managed to call out, “Protector, take it to Robert and go get us a Cherine - we can’t hold on for long.”
It did not leave. A blanket of light spread out from it and settled over us and our bodies tingled. It helped energise our healers and within seconds we were recovered, shaking from the excess energy. Now it obeyed and left us.
As one we sent our healers to the three. Cherine was damaged the worst, her body barely alive. All three of them were blackened by their burns and we watched as the healers struggled to heal the gaping, oozing wounds in their skins. We suppressed our grief when we felt the absence of the foetus, it had been killed. Tears will have to wait for later.
We felt Freddie lurch. Suddenly the ground shot away from under us and we were slammed, thrown into the air and then onto the ground. Cries of pain from broken limbs filled the air. As one, us girls, our friends, all, we realised what should have been apparent all along and there was a terrible silence as we waited for Freddie to be breached. We knew death will be instantaneous. It had finally occurred to us that Robbie must be fighting a foe billions of times larger and stronger than the dot of darkness which had invaded our world.
Candy cried out, “I don’t want to die here, I want to be with Robbie.” We all felt the same, but we could not abandon our friends. Never have our hearts been so badly torn.
Ordinx got to his feet. “My friends, my beloved daughters, go to your Robert. Give him your strength. We will still either all live or die together.”
Urgently I shouted, doing all I can to stop the girls. “If we go to Robbie he will have to use part of his energy to protect us also. We will weaken him.” I grabbed hold of Candy. “Stay here my love, do it for our Robbie.”
We became aware that all the Eminixx are badly hurt. Their soft bodies are not made to withstand the crash back onto the ground, which only broke limbs for the rest of us. I grabbed Claudia and we jumped to them.
“Leave your bodies…oh god! Claudia, Solomon is not here to give them new bodies.”
She also seemed stumped for a moment. “We must also leave our bodies and take their souls into us. Their souls must not go into the void Sam.”
“We are better suited to help them, let us help.” We were surrounded by Inguel. I had the feeling they were right and we let them take the souls of the Eminixx.
Hesitant, afraid, I spoke. “Claudia - Cherine, Jade and Maria can’t use all our healers. The bodies of the Eminixx were made from our DNA. We must get a few healers to repair their bodies.”
Both of us weeping, we ordered a number of healers to do as I’d suggested. We watched as we saw the first changes and jumped back to our three dying loves. I saw the skin, the surface damage was healing, though fingers, toes, ears, noses and eyes had still not been regenerated.
Freddie shook again and trees already loosened toppled. I saw my loves, the three bodies damaged again, and I screamed with a rage that seemed to burst out of me and reach out...and out. I grabbed Allan, worlds, realities and distant in time, high on the mountain still at the wedding. I ripped at his soul and brought him to us. As we arrived I melded with him.
His scream was cut short as we became one and he felt me. He also saw what is happening and what I planned. He gave a last moan of despair, convinced this is the final time, we will not be able to return. My rage was in control, icy cold and hard, there was no place in me for fear.
This time there was no godlike detachment from our family, no interest in an overview of the totality of life and time. We stayed focussed and remained/mostly were within Freddie. We reached into the fabric of time and finding the foetus we protected it, blocking it off from everything. We reached in and saw the life this daughter of Robert and Cherine is to live and it is a good life. We saw the Sparklers that were to die and removing them from their time placed them within their future. We stood by the side of Robert, saw him as the void and learnt that he is more, far more than he knows, but pity held us back and we let him stay ignorant for this time. We saw the dark souls and wondered at the tolerance of the universe. We saw the way to repair them, could have done so within an instant, but knew it was not the right way and hid the knowledge from Allan and Samantha. We twisted the very nature of the void and created a pocket for the dark souls, placed them within and guided Robert so that he places it all within stasis.
We looked upon the tiny dark point of souls trapped in their own stasis by the protector and removing it we returned it, placing it within Freddie. We made the last change we had to, found the parts of Shiyra and removing them from their refuge returned her to her body.
We looked upon the three and saw they will not need us to interfere. As a final gift we opened within Jade a link to the protector. My rage was fast dissipating and Allan wanted us to look to the future of Samantha, so I forced Allan and Samantha back into their separate souls.
Even as I lay on the ground sobbing, we can sense the foetus is alive and the Sparklers swooped down to us in joy, their lost ones returned to them. I briefly thought of Allan. How he must have terrified all those waiting on the mountain for us to return. I thought of his grief and pain as he aches to return and I wept for him.
Remembering, I stood up and went to the three. “Dommi, take a few girls with you and go into their minds. They are inside, hiding from their pain. Take their souls to the void. Make them dance with Robert, he will heal them.”
“What about you Sammy?”
“We have two traumatised girls, I have to speak to them.”
“Who is the other one? What did you do to Shiyra?”
“They are both here as normal girls, no powers.”
“Oh Jesus! The second one is the black dot?”
I nodded. “It is actually made up of a number of souls - just like Shiyra. We must learn to do that also.”
There was awe in her eyes. “You brought the baby back to life?”
“She never died Dommi, we blocked her, keeping her safe. That made us think she was dead. Please tell Robbie I love him very much.”
“He knows koukla mou, he knows.” She hugged me and then stood watching me as I walked away.
Dommi, Meli and Solace took the three to Robbie and the rest of the girls joined them there. I was pleased that Sol went with. As I walked to the two girls, the appearance of the surroundings was disturbing to me. All the girls bodies lying on the ground; some of them their healers mending broken limbs or caressing away bruises. Our darling Cherine still a sight to break any heart and poor Jade and Maria slowly being healed. So many of our alien friends lying on the ground too as their own healers help them; trees lying on their sides and the walls of our home cracked. We have a lot of repairs and cleaning up to do afterwards.
I stood over the two girls. Shiyra had recovered first, leaning on her arms as she raised herself, ready to stand up. The other one still seemed asleep.
“Shiyra, you are well?”
“Not damaged.” She stared up at me and coming to her feet she grabbed my arm. “Samantha, what was that? What took me out of your minds and brought me back here?”
“You did not recognise it?” I teased, keeping my eyes on the new girl. She was quite a sight and will draw the eyes of all if we take her back to Earth.
“No, it felt as if the whole universe took hold of me…you know what it was?”
“Yes. Later Shiyra. We have a more pressing matter. This girl, she too was brought here by the same force. Do you know who she is?”
“Your enemy, the one that caused all this destruction.”
She was shaken. “I am to be sacrificed, that is why all my powers were taken?”
“No. The same was done to both of you. She is waking, I’ll explain to both at the same time.”
I sat on my haunches and touched the new girl. Her eyes opened, but I sensed she did not recognise what she saw. I let her lie without moving, giving her time to adjust. When I saw her eyes on me I spoke.
“You have been returned to a material body. It is unfortunately a body of my species as yours cannot survive here. I am Sam, Samantha, the one who spoke to you earlier.”
“You did not do this to me, you are weak.”
“Are you certain? You can sense an emptiness where the rest of you should be?” I gave her the time to try and find them. “You will not find your way back to them, not at this time. First of all, let me explain, you have lost all your powers. You are in the body of a child, immature and not able to go to the void or do anything a normal sentient being cannot. If and when we decide you are deserving, we may teach you again, help open the doors in your mind.” I stood up so that she had to look up at me and spoke in a stern voice (you try sounding stern as a little girl, I had a nibbling feeling that I sounded like a pretentious child).
“You are filled with hate. You have known nothing but hate for a long time. I know you are struggling because a number of souls have been merged into one mind. Learn to work together because you have a lesson to learn and you will not be released until you have learnt it. Until then you will be one mind and locked within this body. It is a beautiful body so do not abuse it.”
I turned from her and without looking at Shiyra walked away. She ran after me and stopped in front of me.
“You expect me to stay with that?”
“With her, not that. She is just as human as you are and just as vulnerable. Physically you both have the same strength. I suggest you learn how to live together.” I pushed her to one side and walked past. I stopped by the three bodies and sat down to watch over them. I hoped all of them will stay a while in the void as I needed to cry.
An hour passed, but no tears flowed. I felt as if I had been frozen, my emotions blocked. My only pleasure in seeing the three bodies being returned to their normal appearance. Softly I let my fingertips touch their cheeks. I was in a thrall; I’d known I deeply loved them all, but nearly losing them has made that love become unbearable in strength.
“The others are waiting for you to dance with us Sam.”
I felt a tremor go through me as I heard his voice and felt his presence and I was glad my hair hid my face and eyes as I shook my head. “I can’t come, not now Robert.”
I felt him kneel behind me. His arms came around me. “The danger is past Sam, come dance with me.”
“I can’t. Please Robert.”
He did not try to come into my mind and I was grateful. “Are you blaming yourself my baby?”
“Allan will understand Sam. I am certain he is glad you used him. Do you think he would have refused to save our girls?”
“I did not ask dad, I tore him out of his body. I was an ugly beast, just like those two.”
He was silent for a while. I sensed his eyes rested on Cherine mostly.
“Will you do it again if you have no other choice?”
“I’m glad, your guilt has not made you blind then to the good you did?”
I did not reply. What could I say?
“Will you let me come in and see your memories? Let me feel what you felt. As your father Sam, but also as the man who loves you more than you can imagine?”
“Please don’t, you will hate me.”
His hands moved to my shoulders and turned me around. Fingers under my chin he forced me to look at him. “Take the chance.” I’d wanted reassurance, not these words and I shrivelled inside, my fear a certainty now. In despair I opened myself to him.
For most of it his touch was so gentle I felt nothing. When he arrived at my fury his control slipped and I re-lived it all with him. He was too close, too much a part of me. Before either of us knew what was happening we found ourselves outside our bodies, gods looking down and within us, at the universe.
It was a fluctuating existence, sometimes Allan was the ghost and at others it was Robbie; only I an ever present god. Both called to me to join them, transform ourselves and become eternal. I’d entered this realm torn by guilt and carrying the anger of my previous joining with Allan. It made it difficult for me to be what I was and something in me fought it in ways I did not understand. Part of me though, oh how it fought for me to let go and become the god I felt it was my birthright to become.
I came to, still seated by Cherine and with an unconscious Robbie before me. I felt his soul and mind and knew he was alright. I shut my eyes and hugging myself tried to stop the trembling. I felt his fingers touch my lips.
“It is over baby. Thank you for letting me see.”
I waited for either words to reassure me or his condemnation, but he did not speak. I looked into his eyes and he flinched.
“God! I’ve failed you so badly. Sam, I know what is in my heart and you know it too. I think it is the words of Allan you need to hear not mine.”
Sadly I acknowledged the truth and shuddered. “Robert, they are going to kill each other. There is too much fear and hatred within them.”
He smiled. “I’ll bring back the girls. We’ll see about the two after we have our loved ones back with us. Sam?”
“What you did, with the unborn child, will it carry a part of you and Allan?”
“Nothing of our souls dad.”
He gently brushed my lips with his and closing his eyes returned to the void. I turned to look at Cherine and only then realised how much time had passed. She and the other two were totally healed! Seeing their calm faces, as if in a deep sleep, looking at the perfection of every feature, I finally felt the tears run down my cheeks.
PART THIRTY FIVE
Chapter One Hundred and Sixty One
Sam is rather tied up at the moment and for the foreseeable future, but we’ll come to that in chronological order or else she’ll accuse me of ‘messing’ up ‘her’ diary. I have enjoyed watching her involvement with the diary; it has done much for her - enabled her to see beyond her own fears at times; made her more analytical, helped mature her and my list could carry on for a while, but my real pleasure is in seeing how she sees us and even myself at times.
Being the only male in our family has problems or causes them and I’m not talking about sex. The lack of male companionship and the permanent sharing of my mind with my girls has, I think, forced me to grow more sensitive in some ways, perhaps even becoming more female than male in the way I look at many things.
It has been so long since I wrote here and I’m feeling a little bit self-conscious about my writing. I suppose the best way to do this is to just tell the story of our family and forget about myself for a while.
I would like to say that when Sam/Allan interfered I was already winning the battle with the dark souls, so I’ll go ahead and say it. Not that I was not grateful to them; stopping them from harming Freddie was not my problem, as the void I was able to manipulate their perceptions so that after their second attack I was able to create an illusion, making them sense Freddie as still close behind me while he had already moved away. My problem was in enclosing them within stasis. It is very difficult to do so when the other party is able to alter their shape to extremes. Sam/Allan got past that problem by twisting the void until they were locked within a pocket (or separate reality) and using me they created stasis, imprisoning them within time and space.
I have no argument with what they did, but I am puzzled as to what they hoped or foresaw they will achieve by bringing the invader part and giving it a Terran body. Why the body of a young girl? We did discuss it and the girls were amused.
“The point is they must learn to forget hatred and become friends Robert. What chance of that happening if they had male bodies? They’d be more aggressive and spend all their time fighting.” Not an argument I can win so I let them have an easy victory.
Now we come to the part about Sam being so busy. Shiyra is not aggressive, more defensive actually. Dark Cloud (as the girls named her) has turned out to be a monster in disguise (sorry for the play on words). Since discovering who Shiyra is, she has spent her time looking for opportunities to hit, hurt or kill her. When she can do neither, she uses words to wound her or else stares at her with a face contorted into a mask of hate.
I appointed Sam as their guardian. I told her both of them are as daughters to her and it is up to her to control them and teach them the lessons they are here for. I told her of her appointment just after spending a night of love with all of them. Talking of which…
I guess in many ways I must be living a paedophiles dream, though in other ways it could be said that having a harem of little girls would frighten off most sensitive men. They are a handful at times, but being Cherinians I have not known one day of pain, anger or suffering because of anything they’ve said or done. There are advantages to having a girl in my arms who transforms herself exactly in accordance to my needs. If I am not feeling desire for sex and just want the comfort and sweetness of holding a baby or toddler in my arms, that is what I get. Going to the other extreme, if I need an adult, a woman who does not need me to be as tender and careful as a child does, then that is what I have. All this is remarkable, but what is truly amazing and unbelievable in any other context is that all my girls love each other so deeply and there are no fights or grudges - just little spats that are soon kissed away and that is the worst of it.
For these reasons it was doubly difficult for my girls, especially those born Cherinians to understand or bear calmly the constant battle between Shiyra and Dark Cloud. With Shiyra we can at least talk sometimes, but Dark Cloud reacts to us with equal hatred and viciousness, as if we are part of Shiyra and the Ii. Perhaps she sees us that way?
Sam arrives to eat or sleep with a weariness seldom seem in any Cherinian. I’m having second thoughts about her assignment. I wanted her as a leader to learn how to deal with hostility, but I have not been fair. I never learnt that lesson myself, so how can I ask it of her. I think it is because I see a strength in her that I do not have.
The girls saw what I wrote last night and they are angry with me - they are also angry with themselves. Cherine, Maria, Aganthi and (strangely) Goldi joined Sam today. At lunch they appeared together, sat at a table and talked as they ate.
Dommi asked, “Roberto, you say Sam is strong? Why is that a good reason to test her while Cherine who is stronger you protect?”
“Their strengths are different Dommi. Just as yours is.”
“Dominique, maybe he protects her because without Cherine you will not be Cherinians?”
I stiffened at the words of Fe’jene but Dommi only smiled at her. “Why not suggest he does so because he loves her more than any of us? Fe’jene, neither is true. He protects her because she is dangerous.”
“Dangerous? I do not understand.”
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
3rd December, 2019
- posted: 3rd December, 2019
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