The high-velocity axial flight made Rybys Rommey deathly ill. United Spaceways had arranged for five adjoining seats for her, so that she could lie outstretched; even so, she was barely able to speak. She lay on her side, a blanket up to her chin.
Somberly, as he gazed down at the woman, Elias Tate said, "The damn legal technicalities. If we hadn't been held up --" He grimaced.
Within Rybys's body the fetus, now six months along, had been silent for a vast amount of time. What if the fetus dies? Herb Asher asked himself. The death of God ... but not under circumstances anyone ever anticipated. And no one, except himself, Rybys and Elias Tate would ever know.
Can God die? he wondered. And with him my wife.
The marriage ceremony had been lucid and brief, a transaction by the deepspace authorities, with no religious or moral overtones. Both he and Rybys had been required to undergo extensive physical examinations, and, of course, her pregnancy had been discovered.
"You're the father?" the doctor asked him.
"Yes," Herb Asher said.
The doctor grinned and noted that on his chart.
"We felt we had to get married," Herb said.
"It's a good attitude." The doctor was elderly and well groomed, and totally impersonal. "Are you aware that it's a boy?"
"Yes," he said. He certainly was.
"There is one thing I do not understand," the doctor said. "Was this impregnation natural? It wasn't artificial insemination, by any chance? Because the hymen is intact."
"Really," Herb Asher said.
"It's rare but it can happen. So technically your wife is still a virgin."
"Really," Herb Asher said.
The doctor said, "She is quite ill, you know. From the multiple sclerosis."
"I know," he answered stoically.
"There is no guarantee of a cure. You realize that. I think it's an excellent idea to return her to Earth, and I heartily approve of your going along with her. But it may be for nothing. M.S. is a peculiar ailment. The myelin sheath of the nerve fibers develops hard patches and this eventually results in permanent paralysis. We have finally isolated two causal factors, after decades of intensive effort. There is a microorganism, but, and this is a major factor, a form of allergy is involved. Much of the treatment involves transforming the immune system so that --" The doctor continued on, and Herb Asher listened as well as he could. He knew it all already; Rybys had told him several times, and had shown him texts that she had obtained from M.E.D. Like her, he had become an authority on the disease.
"Could I have some water?" Rybys murmured, lifting her head; her face was blotched and swollen, and Herb Asher could understand her only with difficulty.
A stewardess brought Rybys a paper cup of water; Elias and Herb lifted her to a sitting position and she took the cup in her hands. Her arms, her body, trembled.
"It won't be much longer," Herb Asher said.
"Christ," Rybys murmured. "I don't think I'm going to make it. Tell the stewardess I'm going to throw up again; make her bring back that bowl. Jesus." She sat up fully, her face stricken with pain.
The stewardess, bending down beside her, said, "We'll be firing the retrojets in two hours, so if you can just hold on --"
"Hold on?' Rybys said. "I can't even hold on to what I drank, Are you sure that Coke wasn't tainted or something? I think it made me worse. Don't you have any ginger ale? If I had some ginger ale maybe I could keep from --" She cursed with venom and rage. "Damn this," she said. "Damn all this. It isn't worth it!" She stared at Herb Asher and then Elias.
Yah, Herb Asher thought. Can't you do anything? It's sadistic to let her suffer this way.
Within his mind a voice spoke. He could not at first fathom what it meant; he heard the words but they seemed to make no sense. The voice said, "Take her to the Garden."
He thought, What Garden?
"Take her by the hand."
Herb Asher, reaching down, fumbling in the folds of the blanket, took his wife's hand.
"Thank you," Rybys said. Feebly, she squeezed his hand.
Now, as he sat leaning over her, he saw her eyes shine; he saw spaces beyond her eyes, and if he were looking into something empty, containing huge stretches of space. Where are you? he wondered. It is a universe in there, within your skull; it is a different universe from this: not a mirror reflection but another land. He saw stars, and clusters of stars; he saw nebulae and great clouds of gases that glowed darkly and yet still with a white light, not a ruddy light. He felt wind billow about him and he heard something rustle. Leaves or branches, he thought; I hear plants. The air felt warm. That amazed him. It seemed to be fresh air, not the stale, recirculated air of the spaceship.
The sound of birds, and, when he looked up, blue sky. He saw bamboo, and the rustling sound came from the wind blowing through the canes of bamboo. He saw a fence, and there were children. And yet at the same time he still held his wife's weak hand. Strange, he thought. The air so dry, as if it comes sweeping off the desert. He saw a boy with brown curly hair; the boy's hair reminded him of Rybys's hair before she had lost it, before, from the chemotherapy, it had fallen out and disappeared.
Where am I? he wondered, At a school?
Beside him fussy Mr. Plaudet told him pointless stories having to do with the school's financial needs, the school's problems -- he wasn't interested in the school's problems; he was interested in his son. His son's brain damage; he wanted to know all about it.
"What I can't understand," Plaudet was saying, "is why they kept you in suspension for ten years for a spleen. For heaven's sake, a splenectomy is a normal and regular type of surgery, and there is frequently a splenolus that can be --"
"Which hemisphere of his brain is damaged?" Herb Asher interrupted.
"Mr. Tate has all the medical reports. But I'll go to our computer and ask for a printout. Manny seems a little afraid of you, but I suppose it's because he's never seen his father before."
"I'll stay out here with him," Herb said, "while you get me the printout. I want to know as much as possible about the injury."
"Herb," Rybys said.
Startled, he realized where he was; aboard the United Space ways XR4 axial flight from Fomalhaut to the Sol System. In two hours the first Immigration party would board the ship and make their preliminary inspection.
"Herb," his wife whispered, "I just saw my son."
"A school," Herb Asher said, "where he's going to go."
"I don't think I'll live to be there," Rybys said. "I have a feeling ... He was there and you were there, and a noisy little ratlike man who babbled on, but I wasn't anywhere around. I looked; I kept looking. This really is going to kill me but it won't kill my son. That's what he told me, remember? Yah told me I would live on through my son, so I guess I will die; I mean, this body will die, but they'll save him. Were you there when Yah said that? I don't remember. That was a garden we were in, wasn't it? Bamboo, I saw the wind blowing. The wind talked to me; it was like voices."
"Yes," he said.
"They used to go out in the desert for forty days and forty nights. Elijah and then Jesus. Elias?" She looked around. "You ate locusts and wild honey and called on men to repent. You told King Ahab there would be no dew nor rain these years ... thus says the Lord. According to my word." She shut her eyes.
She is really sick, Herb Asher said to himself. But I saw her son. Beautiful and wild and -- something more. Timid. Very human, he thought; that was a human child. Maybe this is all in our minds. Maybe the Clems have occluded our perceptions so that we believe and see and experience but it is not real. I give up, he thought. I just don't know.
Something to do with time. He seems able to transform time. Now I am here in the ship but then I am in the Garden with the child and the other children, her child, years from now. What is the true time? he asked himself. Me here in the ship or back in my dome before I met Rybys or after she is dead and Emmanuel is in school? And I have been in cryonic suspension, for a matter of years, It has to do or had to do or will have to do with my spleen. Did they shoot me? he wondered. Rybys died from her illness but how did I die? And what became or will become of Elias?
Leaning toward him Elias said, "I want to talk to you." He motioned Herb Asher away from Rybys and away from the other passengers. "We are not to mention Yah. We will use the word 'Jehovah' from now on. It's a word coined in 1530; it's all right to say it. You understand the situation. Immigration will try to tap our minds with psychotronic listening devices, but Jehovah will cloud our minds and they will get little or nothing. But this is the part that is hard to say. Jehovah's power wanes from here on. The zone of Belial begins soon."
"OK." He nodded.
"You know all this."
"And a lot more." From what Elias had told him and from what Rybys had told him -- and Jehovah had told him much, in his sleep, in vivid dreams. Jehovah had been teaching all of them; they would know what to do.
Elias said, "He is with us, and can address us from her womb. But there is always the possibility that very advanced electronic scanning devices, monitoring devices, might pick it up. He will converse with us sparingly." After a pause he added, "If at all."
"A strange idea," Herb Asher said. "I wonder what the authorities would think if their intelligence- gathering circuitry picked up the thoughts of God."
"Well," Elias said, "they wouldn't know what it was. I know the authorities of Earth; I have dealt with them for four thousand years, in situation after situation. Country after country. War after war. I was with Graf Egemont in the Dutch wars of independence, the Thirty Years War; I was present the day he was executed. I knew Beethoven ... but perhaps 'knew' is not the word."
"You were Beethoven," Herb Asher said.
"Part of my spirit returned to Earth and to him," Elias said.
Vulgar and fiery, Herb thought. Passionately dedicated to the cause of human freedom. Walking hand-in-hand with his friend Goethe, the two men stirring the new life of the German Enlightenment. "Who else were you?" he said.
"Many people in history."
"We engineered the American Revolution," Elias said. "A group of us. We were the Friends of God at one time, and the Brothers of the Rosy Cross in 1615 ... I was Jakob Boehme, but you wouldn't know of him. My spirit doesn't dwell alone in a man; it is not incarnation. It is part of my spirit returning to Earth to bond with a human whom God has selected. There are always such humans and I am there. Martin Buber was one such man, God rest his noble soul. That dear and gentle man. The Arabs, too, placed flowers on his grave. Even the Arabs loved him," Elias fell silent. "Some of the men I sent myself to were better men than I was. But I have the power to return. God granted it to me to -- well, it was for Israel's sake. A hint of immortality for the dearest people of all. You know, Herb, God offered the Torah, it is said, to every people in the world, back in ancient times, before he offered it to the Jews, and every nation rejected it for one reason or another. The Torah said, 'Thou shalt not kill' and many could not live by that; they wanted religion to be sep arate from morality --they didn't want religion to hobble their desires. Finally God offered it to the Jews, who accepted it."
"The Torah is the Law?" Herb said.
"It is more than the Law. The word 'Law' is inadequate. Even though the New Testament of the Christians always uses the word 'Law' for Torah. Torah is the totality of divine disclosure by God; it is alive; it existed before creation. It is a mystic, almost cosmic, entity. The Torah is the Creator's instrument. With it he created the universe and for it he created the universe. It is the highest idea and the living soul of the world. Without it the world could not exist and would have no right to exist. I am quoting the great Hebrew poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik who lived from the latter part of the nineteenth century into the mid- twentieth century. You should read him sometime."
"Can you tell me anything else about the Torah?"
"Resh Lakish said, 'If one's intent is pure, the Torah for him becomes a life-giving medicine, purifying him to life. But if one's intent is not pure, it becomes a death-giving drug, purifying him to death.'"
The two men remained silent for a time.
"I will tell you something more," Elias said. "A man came to the great Rabbi Hillel -- he lived in the first century, C.E. -- and said, 'I will become a proselyte on the condition that you teach me the entire Torah while I stand on one foot.' Hillel said, 'Whatever is hateful to you, do not do it to your neighbor. That is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary; go and learn it.'" He smiled at Herb Asher.
"Is the injunction actually in the Torah?" Herb Asher said. "The first five books of the Bible?"
"Yes. Leviticus nineteen, eighteen. God says, 'You shall love your neighbor as a man like yourself.' You did not know that, did you? Almost two thousand years before Jesus."
"Then the Golden Rule derives from Judaism," Herb said.
"Yes, it does, and early Judaism. The Rule was presented to man by God Himself."
"I have a lot to learn," Herb said.
"Read," Elias said, "'Cape, lege,' the two words Augustine heard. Latin for 'Take, read.' You do that, Herb. Take the book and read it. It is there for you. It is alive."
As their journey continued, Elias disclosed to him further intriguing aspects of the Torah, qualities regarding the Torah that few men knew.
"I tell you these matters," Elias said, "because I trust you. Be careful whom you relate them to."
Four ways existed by which to read the Torah, the fourth being a study of its hidden, innermost side. When God said, "Let there be light," he meant the mystery that shone in the Torah. This was the concealed primordial light of Creation itself, it being of such nobility that it could not be debased by the use of mortals; so God wrapped it up within the heart of the Torah. This was an inexhaustible light, related to the divine sparks which the Gnostics had believed in, the fragments of the Godhead which were now scattered throughout Creation, enclosed -- unfortunately -- in material shells, that of physical bodies.
Most interesting of all, some Medieval Jewish mystics held the view that there had been 600,000 Jews who went out of Egypt and received the Torah at Mount Sinai. Reincarnated at each succeeding generation, these 600,000 souls continually live. Each soul or spark is related to the Torah in a different way; thus, 600,000 separate, unique meanings of the Torah exist. The idea is as follows: that for each of these 600,000 persons the Torah is different, and each person has his own specific letter in the Torah, to which his own soul is attached, So in a sense 600,000 Torahs exist.
Also, three aeons or epochs in time exist, the first in order being an age of grace, the second or current one being of severe justice and limitation, and the next, yet to come, being of mercy. A different Torah exists for each of the three ages. And yet there is only one Torah. A primal or matrix Torah exists in which there is no punctuation nor any spaces between the words; in fact all the letters are jumbled together. In each of the three ages the letters form themselves into alternative words, as events unfold.
The current age, that of severe justice and limitation, Elias explained, is marred by the fact that in its Torah one of the letters was defective, the consonant shin. This letter was always written with three prongs but it should have had four. Thus the Torah produced for this age was defective. Another view held by Medieval Jewish mystics was that a letter is actually missing in our alphabet. Because of this our Torah contains negative laws as well as positive. In the next aeon the missing or invisible letter will be restored, and every negative prohibition in the Torah will disappear. Hence this next aeon or, as it is called in Hebrew, the next shemittah, will lack restrictions imposed on humans; freedom will replace severe justice and limitation.
Out of this notion comes the idea (Elias said) that there are invisible portions of the Torah -- invisible to us now, but to be visible in the Messianic Age that is to come. The cosmic cycle will bring this age inevitably: it will be the next shemittah, very much like the first; the Torah will again rearrange itself out of its jumbled matrix.
Herb Asher thought, It sounds like a computer. The universe is programmed -- and then more accurately reprogrammed. Fantastic.
Two hours later an official government ship clamped itself to their ship, and, after a time, Immigration agents began to move among them, beginning their inspection. And their interrogation.
Filled with fear, Herb Asher held Rybys against him, and he sat as close to Elias as possible, obtaining strength from the older man. "Tell me, Elias," Herb said quietly, "the most beautiful thing you know about God." His heart pounded harshly within him and he could scarcely breathe.
Elias said, "All right. Rabbi Judah said, quoting Rav:
The day consists of twelve hours. During the first three hours, the Holy One (God), praised be He, is engaged in the study of Torah. During the second three He sits in judgment over His entire world. When He realizes that the world is deserving of destruction, He rises from the Throne of Justice, to sit on the Throne of Mercy. During the third group of three hours, He provides sustenance for the entire world, from huge beasts to lice. During the fourth, He sports with the Leviathan, as it is written, "Leviathan, which you did form to sport with" (Ps. 104:26) ... During the fourth group of three hours (according to others) He teaches schoolchildren.'"
"Thank you," Herb Asher said. Three Immigration agents were moving toward them, now, their uniforms bright, shiny; and they carried weapons.
Elias said, "Even God consults the Torah as the formula and blueprint of the universe." An Immigration agent held out his hand for Elias's identification; the old man passed the packet of documents to him. "And even God cannot act contrary to it."
"You are Elias Tate," the senior Immigration agent said, examining the documents. "What is your purpose in returning to the Sol System?"
"This woman is very ill," Elias said. "She is entering the naval hospital at --"
"I asked you your purpose, not hers." He gazed down at Herb Asher. "Who are you?"
"I'm her husband," Herb said, He handed over his identification and permits and documentation.
"She is certified as not contagious?" the senior Immigration agent said.
"It's multiple sclerosis," Herb said, "which is not --"
"I didn't ask you what she has; I asked you if it is contagious."
"I'm telling you," he said. "I'm answering your question."
"Come with me." The senior Immigration agent motioned Herb Asher to follow him up the aisle, Elias started to follow but the agent shoved him back, bodily. "Not you."
Following the Immigration agent, Herb Asher made his way step by step up the aisle to the rear of the ship. None of the other passengers was standing; he alone had been singled out.
In a small compartment marked CREW ONLY the senior Immigration agent faced Herb Asher, staring at him silently; the man's eyes bulged as if he were unable to speak, as if what he had to say could not be said. Time passed. What the hell is he doing? Herb Asher asked himself. Silence. The raging stare continued.
"Okay," the Immigration agent said. "I give up. What is your purpose in returning to Earth?"
"I told you."
"Is she really sick?"
"Very. She's dying."
"Then she's too sick to travel. It makes no sense."
"Only on Earth are there facilities where --"
"You are under Terran law now," the Immigration agent said. "Do you want to serve time for giving false information to a federal officer? I'm sending you back to Fomalhaut. The three of you. I don't have any more time. Go back to where you were sitting and remain there until you're told what to do."
A voice, a neutral, dispassionate voice, neither male nor female, a kind of perfect intelligence, spoke inside Herb Asher's head. "At Bethesda they want to study her disease."
He started visibly. The agent regarded him.
"At Bethesda," he said, "they want to study her disease."
"It's a microorganism."
"You said it isn't contagious."
The neutral voice said, "Not at this stage."
"Not at this stage," he said aloud.
"Are they afraid of plague?" the Immigration agent said abruptly.
Herb Asher nodded.
"Go back to your seat." The agent, irritably, waved him away. "This is out of my jurisdiction. You have a pink form, form 368? Properly filled out and signed by a doctor?"
"Yes." It was true.
"Are either you or the older man with you infected?"
The voice inside his head said, "Only Bethesda can determine that." He had, suddenly, a vivid inner glimpse of the person whose voice he heard; he saw in his own mind a visage, female, a placid but strong face. A metal mask had been pushed back from that visage, exposing wise, impassive eyes; a beautiful classic face, like Athena; he was staggered with astonishment. This could not be Yahweh. This was a woman. But like no woman he had ever seen. He did not know her. He did not understand who this was. Her voice was not Yah's voice, and this could not be Yah's visage. He did not know what to make of it. He was perplexed beyond the telling of it. Who had taken on the task of advising him?
"Only Bethesda can determine that," he managed to say.
The Immigration agent paused uncertainly. His exterior harshness had evaporated.
The female voice whispered again, and this time, in his mind, he saw her lips move. "Time is of the essence."
"Time is of the essence," Herb Asher said. His voice grated in his own ears.
"Shouldn't you be quarantined? You probably shouldn't be with other people. Those other passengers We should have you on a special ship. It can be arranged. It might be better ... we could get her there faster."
"OK," he said. Reasonably.
"I'll put in a call," the Immigration agent said. "What's the name of this microorganism? It's a virus?"
"The nerve sheathing --"
"Never mind. Go back to your seat. Look." The Immigration agent followed after him. "I don't know whose idea it was to send you on a commercial carrier, but I'm getting you off of it right now. There are strict statutes that haven't been observed, here. Bethesda is expecting you? Do you want me to put in a call ahead, or is that all taken care of?"
"She is registered with them already." This was so. The arrangements had been made.
"This is really nuts," the Immigration agent said, "to put you on a public carrier. They should have known better back at Fomalhaut."
"CY30-CY30B," Herb Asher said.
"Whatever. I don't want any part of this. A mistake of this kind --" The Immigration agent cursed. "Some dumb fool back at Fomalhaut probably figured it'd save the taxpayers a few bucks --Take your seat and I'll see that you're notified when your ship is ready. It should -- Christ."
Herb Asher, shaking, returned to his seat.
Elias eyed him. Rybys lay with her eyes shut; she was oblivious to what was happening.
"Let me ask you a question," Herb said to Elias. "Have you ever tasted Laphroaig Scotch?"
"No," Elias said, puzzled.
"It is the finest of all Scotches," Herb said. "Ten years old, very expensive. The distillery opened in 1815. They use traditional copper stills. It requires two distillations --"
"What went on in there?" Elias said.
"Just let me finish. Laphroaig is Gaelic for 'the beautiful hollow by the broad bay.' It's distilled on Islay in the Western Isles of Scotland. Malted barley -- they dry it in a kiln over a peat fire, a genuine peat fire. It's the only Scotch made that way now. The peat can only be found on the island of Islay. Maturation takes place in oak casks. It's incredible Scotch. It's the finest liquor in the world. It's --" He broke off.
An Immigration agent came over to them. "Your ship is here, Mr. Asher. Come with me. Can your wife walk? You want some help?"
"Already?" He was dumbfounded. And then he realized that the ship had been there all this time. Immigration was routinely prepared to deal with emergency situations. Especially of this kind. Or rather, what they supposed this situation to be.
"Who wears a metal mask?" Herb said to Elias as he drew the blanket from Rybys. "Pushed back up over her hair. And has a straight nose, a very strong nose -- well, let it go. Give me a hand." Together, he and Elias got Rybys to her feet. The Immigration agent watched sympathetically.
"I don't know," Elias said.
"There is someone else," Herb said as they moved Rybys step by step up the aisle.
"I'm going to throw up," Rybys said weakly.
"Just hang on," Herb Asher said. "We're almost there."
Big Noodle notified Cardinal Fulton Statler Harms and the Procurator Maximus, and then, to all the heads of states in the world it printed out the following mystifying statement:
ON THE STANDARD OF FIFTY THEY SHALL WRITE: FINISHED IS THE STAND OF THE FROWARD THROUGH THE MIGHTY ACTS OF GOD, TOGETHER WITH THE NAMES OF THE COMMANDERS OF THE FIFTY AND OF ITS TENS. WHEN THEY GO OUT TO BATTLE, THEY SHALL WRITE UPON THEIR WPSOX TO FORM A COMPLETE FRONT. THE LINE IS TO CONSIST OF A THOUSAND MEN MEN MEN MEN MEN EACH FRONT LINE IS TO BE SEVEN SEVEN SEVEN DEEP, ONE MAN STANDING BEHIND THE OTHER STOP REPEAT ALL OF THEM ARE TO HOLD SHIELDS OF POLISHED BRONZE REPEAT BRONZE RESEMBLING MIRRORS THESE SHIELDS
The statement ended there. Technicians swarmed over the A.I. system in a matter of minutes.
Their verdict: the A.I. system would have to be shut down for a time. Something basic had gone wrong with it. The last coherent information it had processed was the message that the pregnant woman Rybys Rommey-Asher, her husband, Herbert Asher, and their companion, Elias Tate, had been cleared by Immigration at Ring III and had been transferred from a commercial axial carrier to a government-owned speedship, whose destination was Washington, D.C.
Standing at his no longer pulsing terminal, Cardinal Harms thought, A mistake has been made. Immigration was supposed to intercept them, not facilitate their flight. It doesn't make any sense. And now we've lost our primary data-processing entity, on which we are totally dependent.
He rang up the procurator maximus, and was told by an underling that the procurator had gone to bed.
The son of a bitch, Harms said to himself. The idiot. We have one more station at which to intercept them: Immigration proper, at Washington, D.C, And if they got this far -- My good God, he thought. The monster is using its paranormal powers!
Once more he called the procurator maximus. "Is Galina available?" he said, but he knew it was hopeless. Bulkowsky had given up. Going to bed at this point amounted to that.
"Mrs. Bulkowsky?" the S.L. official said, incredulous. "Of course not."
"Your general staff? One of your marshals?"
"The procurator will return your call," the S.L. functionary informed him; obviously they had orders from Bulkowsky not to disturb him.
Christ! Harms said to himself as he slammed down the phone mechanism. The screen faded.
Something has gone wrong, Harms realized. They should not have gotten this far and Big Noodle knew it. The A.I. system had literally gone insane. That was not a technical breakdown, he realized; that was a psychotic fugue. Big Noodle understood something but could not communicate it. Or had the A.I. system in fact communicated it? What, Harms asked himself, was that gibberish?
He contacted the highest order of computers remaining, the one at Cal Tech. After transmitting the puzzling material to it he gave instructions that the material be identified.
The Cal Tech computer identified it five minutes later.
QUMRAN SCROLL "THE WAR OF THE SONS OF LIGHT AND THE SONS OF DARKNESS." SOURCE: JEWISH ASCETIC SECT ESSENES
Strange, Harms thought. He knew of the Essenes. Many theologians had speculated that Jesus was an Essene, and certainly there was evidence that John the Baptist was an Essene. The sect had anticipated an early end to the world, with the Battle of Armageddon taking place within the first century, C.E. The sect had shown strong Zoroastrian influences.
He reflected, John the Baptist. Stipulated by Christ to have been Elijah returned, as promised by Jehovah in Malachi:
Look, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will reconcile fathers to sons and sons to fathers, lest I come and put the land under a ban to destroy it.
The final verse of the Old Testament; there the Old Testament ended and the New Testament began.
Armageddon, he pondered. The final battle between the Sons of Darkness and the Sons of Light. Between Jehovah and -- what had the Essenes called the evil power? Belial. That was it. That was their term for Satan, Belial would lead the Sons of Darkness; Jehovah would lead the Sons of Light. This would be the seventh battle.
There will be six battles, three of which the Sons of Light will win and three of which the Sons of Darkness will win. Leaving Belial in power. But then Jehovah himself takes command in what amounts to a tie breaker.
The monster in her womb is Belial, Cardinal Harms realized. He has returned to overthrow us. To overthrow Jehovah, whom we serve.
The Divine Power itself is now in jeopardy, he declared; he felt great wrath.
It seemed to the cardinal, at this point, that meditation and prayer were called for. And a strategy by which the invaders would be destroyed when they reached Washington, D.C.
If only Big Noodle had not broken down!
Glumly, he made his way to his private chapel.