Thursday, January 10, 2008

Chapter 4C

Chris shrugged and told her “Well we seem to have run out of ways we can try to get you home at the moment, so I figured it would help to relax for a bit so we can think of something else after having some fun for a while”

Minerva tilted her head and pondered that for a moment then commented “That’s probably true and you still haven’t given me all the reasons you thought you had to bring me here. We should take some time out for that as well”

Chris headed the car down Ocean Street in direction of the beach where the entrance of the Boardwalk was. He pointed out the Giant Dipper roller coaster that was one of the best known landmarks in Santa Cruz. When they arrived they leaned on the railing next to the beach.

Chris turned to Minerva and announced, “This world isn’t just about people rushing around struggling to survive. It also has it’s beautiful spots also” He pointed out to the ocean “Some of them are how the expanse of the ocean stretches out to the infinity of the horizon, the soothing rhythm of the waves as they crash upon the shore and the harmony of nature as it blends life between the land and the sea.”

Minerva gasped in awe at the marvelous scenery with a blissful smile on her face “I see what you mean, I suppose it’s more of a mixture here than where I’m used to”

They walked down the boardwalk, trying out the some of the rides, like the Freefall, Typhoon and Space Race. Minerva was thrilled by the sensations. She shivered and exclaimed, “Maybe I spoke too soon when I told you that you didn’t know what it was like to soar with wings. This is pretty close to the feeling I get when I’m flying!”

Chris beamed with satisfaction that his idea seemed to be working and she looked like she was starting to relax. He declared, “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself. Here is the Giant Dipper. It’s over a hundred years old, one of the few wooden roller coasters left in the country and very famous. They showed it the movies Sudden Impact and The Lost Boys.”

Drawn by her curiosity Minerva went over to the Water Race game and asked Chris “How does this work?”

Chris handed her the pistol attached to the hose and explained “You use this to shoot water into the clown’s mouth and the more you get in, the more it fills up the balloon. The first person to make the balloon pop wins a prize. Did you want to give it a try?”

Minerva nodded and bounced with girlish glee when she won. Chris was transfixed by how adorable her kittenish enthusiasm was. They played the Milk Bottles next and though she didn’t look that strong or athletic, she was able to knock down all three pyramids in a row.

The strain on probability started bothering Chris. He helped her carry all her prizes and told her “That’s quite a haul, I had no idea you were that lucky.”

Minerva winked and giggled as she hugged her stuffed toys. She claimed, “This is the first time I’ve been allowed to do anything for myself instead of for others. Thank you so much for this opportunity!”

When they tried the Dime Toss, Chris knew it was something more than skill or luck. He plainly saw one of the dimes slide off the plate and then hop back on, although he doubted anyone else did. After they had collected their winnings, he figured out the best possible conclusion for what was happening. He expressed his speculation to her, “It looks like to me that even though you lost your wings and halo that you still have at least some of your powers. There is nothing else but Angelic Influence that can account for your winning streak. Dimes don’t just hop back onto plates by themselves.”

Minerva considered this and frowned She asked woefully, “I didn’t know I was using them at all. If I was, how does that help me get in touch with Odin?”

Chris pondered this as they walked by throngs of people. He ventured an opinion, “Maybe you’re doing it subconsciously and just need to find other ways of tapping into them than you’re used to. It might just take a little practice in getting hang of the new ways.” Chris could see by her body language that Minerva needed more distractions so he suggested, “How about we go to the concert they’re having on the beach? The Drifters are singing and the vibrations from the music reach right down into the sand where you can feel them.”

Minerva brightened a little at the thought and followed him down to the bandstand on the shoreline. She swayed in time to the music and inquired, “So are you ever going to go into the details of why you had to go to all the effort to bring me here?”

The rhythm of the song Under the Boardwalk pulsed through the sand where they sat, sending soothing waves that washed away cares, through them. Chris gazed into Minerva’s luminous blue eyes and saw the compassion evident in them. That helped him summon up the courage to dredge up such a personal and painful subject. He said shyly, “I’ve never fit in very well with other people, I guess I never got the hang of knowing how to behave in groups. I wasn’t any good at sports, instead I used to play Dungeons and Dragons as a half elf ranger character called Argon. It gets very lonely with no one around that wants to share the same interests you do.”

Minerva clapped her hands to the beat of the music and looked bewildered. She asked innocently “Why would that make other people not like you? I met a knight named Argon just before you brought me here. He seemed very romantic and honorable to me. Maybe it was the kind of people that you were trying to associate with that was the problem?”

An incandescent glow shined off of Minerva’s golden hair that enhanced her numinous qualities and her kind words gave Chris the strength to go on. He commented, “That’s possible, but it all depends on the social group you’re in on what is normal, and I was a bald gorilla. So I dreamt of attracting someone that would be compatible with me and want to share my life with me. I guess my big mistake was thinking I could create my fantasy out of nothing and expect the reality to live up to my whims without respecting her free will to make her own choices”

Chris was so ashamed at his failure and afraid of showing his vulnerability that he got up and walked down the beach to the mouth of the San Lorenzo River. He stared out at the houses on the hills of Capitola and wondered how he could have ever been so crazy to think that his fantasy would ever work out.

Soft strains of the music could still be heard wafting down the beach from the concert as the Drifters started their hit This Magic Moment. Minerva walked up behind him. She was glittering with little sparkles of light as her shapely curves moved to stand beside him. She put her hand on his shoulder and whispered gently, “It’s alright, I forgive you for what you did, since I don’t think you ever intended to selfishly enslave someone. You only wanted to get a chance at happiness in any way you could.”

Chris felt the waves of compassion radiate from her and was amazed at the way she could affect the ambiance apparently without even trying. He told her “That’s very nice of you to say, you seem to be a natural at being a Guardian Angel and comforting people that have problems. I just hope we’ll be able to get you back where you belong.”

Minerva bowed her head and looked sheepish. She said timidly “I appreciate the compliment, but I still have a lot to learn about the job. Most of my experience has been as a servant catering to others physical needs. You’re the first person I’ve ever met that has been concerned about my needs, that’s why I think you meant well, even if you just didn’t think it through all the way.”

All of a sudden, Chris and Minerva heard some whistles and catcalls from a group of young guys approaching, one of them leered and called out “Hey babe, wanna get LUCKY!?” another sneered and taunted “Are you free tonight or will it cost me?”

Chris shook his head sadly and told Minerva “It’s always some in every crowd that don’t know how to behave with any respect. I’m sorry that you had to see the dregs when we were having such a great time.”

The leader swaggered up to Minerva and asked her “Do you spit or swallow?” Then he kicked sand at Chris and said “Ditch this loser and let’s go get busy! Should we use your face or MINE!?”

Minerva shuddered with revulsion and exclaimed “Ewww! You are the nastiest person I’ve ever experienced!”

Which didn’t deter the delinquent at all, he kicked sand at them again and assumed a defiant stance. He pleaded, “C’mon bitch, what do I have to do to be your booty call?”

Chris stepped up in front of Minerva and raised his hands. He demanded, “Let it go and get a clue! What is this, an old Charles Atlas commercial with the sand? Leave us alone and go prove you’re Alpha Male to your dog pack somewhere else!”

As the whole gang of thugs surrounded them, the leader snarled, “You’re gonna wish you never heard of us when we rip your balls off, dude!”

Minerva screamed in terror as the hoodlums lunged at them. She waved her arms in defense and a flash of light spread over the ruffians. They stopped in their tracks and fell over unconscious. She stood there shivering in shock while Chris put his arms around her and stroked her lustrous hair to comfort her.

Chris tried to convey his sympathy for her. “I guess you still have a lot to learn to be able to handle less evolved people. But at least your instincts are still good, since you were able to tap into your powers in a crisis. Don’t worry, I’ll try to help you through it while you’re learning new ways to use them.”

Hope filled Minerva’s eyes and she whispered softly “Do you really think you can do that? I’d be so grateful if you could.”

Chris hugged her close then lead her away from the fallen hooligans so they wouldn’t be connected to what happened to them. He assured her, “Really, really. I think I can, I have some ideas and I’ve studied some techniques.”

The concert wound down to close and the Drifters left the stage to thunderous applause. Chris didn’t want to lose the mood, so he suggested, “It’s hard to dance on the sand, did you want to go to the Cocoanut Grove at the base of the pier?”

Minerva did a little curtsy, and waved her arm expansively. With an impish grin, she replied, “Why thank you kind sir, I’d be delighted to attend.”

As they entered the main ballroom the mirror ball spinning above them shone multicolored patterns over the whole place. Minerva gasped in wonder at the harmony of all the people moving in rhythm to the beat of the music. She moved down the steps to the dance floor like iron filings attracted to a magnet. Minerva smiled and held out her hand for Chris to join her. They slid into each other’s arm and started strolling.

Minerva blushed as she confided, “That was a very brave thing you did standing up to the awful people. I never would have imagined the wide variety of the good and evil in the way people behave or the beauty and ugliness of this place. I’m glad to have the assistance of such an adept magician to guide me through this.”

Chris flushed with embarrassment of her flattery. He stammered awkwardly, “Well it’s hardly magical, but I do have some experience with the people in this society so I know how to deal with it sometimes.”

Barely avoiding colliding with another couple, Minerva pulled Chris upright and scolded him, “You may be an expert in many things, but you have a lot to learn about how to dance properly. It’s a lot more than draping yourself around a woman’s shoulder and shuffling your feet.”

Chris bowed his head in ignominy and said sheepishly “It’s a lot harder than it looks on TV to do it right, but I’m doing pretty good for someone with two left feet aren’t I?”

Minerva patted Chris on the shoulder and told him “There, there, it’s not so bad. I suppose I’m just going to have to show you how to improve.”

Up on the stage, The Jeff Healey Band finished the warm up set and started playing the big hit Angel Eyes. Minerva began to instruct Chris in how to do the Foxtrot correctly. With such a capable teacher, Chris caught on quickly.

At the end of the dance Chris looked at his watch and saw that it was getting late. He hated to have such a fabulous night end, but Minerva looked she was getting tired. He announced, “It’s too late to drive back tonight, so we had better stay at the Days Inn Motel down the street.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chapter 4B

They went inside the temple and gawked at the ornate furnishings that decorated the hall. At one end there was a dais with a replica of the Trundholm sun chariot with the Golden horns of Gallehus on either side and the Nebra skydisk behind it. Minerva walked up to it in reverence while Chris examined the rest of the room.

He declared "This looks like it's the focus of the temple, maybe that would be the best place to pray to"

Minerva knelt down and bowed before the chariot. She raised her hands high and intonted "Almighty Odin, hear the prayers of your handmaiden and grant me your wisdom so I may carry out your tasks. Father of All, give me guidance to find the way to restore my wings so that I may rejoin you in Elysium"

Chris peered around to find out if anything had changed and inquired "Any sign of him? How do you know if it is working?"

Minerva straightened up and answered "I don't know, I've never done this before. I'm not getting any inspiration."

Chris ran his hand through his hair and advised her "From the research I did on him, it looked pretty gruesome what the people that worshipped Odin made a lot of sacrifices to gain his favor in battle. Even Kings were sacrificed to try and influence the situations. I sure hope we don't have to go to those extremes to get his attention."

Minerva considered this and dispelled the idea "That doesn't sound like the Odin I know, maybe those people were just looking for a way to get rid of the unpopular ones. How about this horn? Maybe if I blow on it, it would help to get his attention?"

Chris waved to it and told her "Give it a shot, you never know, it might help."

Minerva walked up to the horn and stood on her toes to reach the mouthpiece then blew into it with all her ability. The horn rang out with a resonant sound that had a melodious timbre. It echoed through the room and reverberated off the walls.

Minerva prostrated herself on the floor and beseeched Odin again "O God of Wishes, hear my plea, return the powers of my halo and let me continue with your grand design. Much Loved Odin, give me the strength to carry on with your assigments by blessing my endeavors with your knowledge of how to proceed."

Chris heard a noise and movement behind him so I turned to investigate. Through the entrance walked a short man in emerald robes. He surveyed the room and bowed to them.

He queried them "Is there something I can help you with? I am Zakita, the caretaker of this temple"

Chris contemplated the monk with his pony tail and sandals. He addressed him "I'm suprised that you would be the caretaker, I would've expected someone with more of a Viking manner about them to be interested in this sort of thing."

Zakita smiled and radiated tolerance for that assumption. He told them "I represent many faiths here since it is part of what people consider sacred. I heard the horn, so I came over to see if I could render some assistances. What is it that you wanted here?"

Minerva got up from the floor and approached the newcomer. "Greetings, we've been trying to contact Odin on a matter of utmost urgency. Do you know a way to do that quickly?"

Zakita bowed and grinned at her. "For a woman of such surpassing beauty, it would be a pleasure to share my knowledge. It all depends on how quickly you can pierce the veil of Maya and achieve Bodhi. If you let go of all illusion, then it can happen in an instant. But if you hold onto your solid ego, then it may take many lifetimes."

Minerva frowned at that, since it didn't sound like particularly helpful advice She asked "Then how do you propose to pierce the veil of Maya and let go of illusion? The clouds hide the sun, but it's hard to move them from the ground."

Zakita shrugged and inquired "Isn't that just a different frame of reference? Is the flag moving, is the wind moving or is the mind moving? Take your pick since it depends on wherever you are experiencing it from."

Chris stroked his chin and questiond his methods "So what you mean is, just as there is no spoon, there are no clouds. I didn't expect Enlightenment to be delivered by Fed Ex or get a cell phone with a direct line to Odin, but how about some more practical suggestions?"

Zakita kowtowed in front of them then he rose and begged "Forgive me for being too vague. Maybe if you followed some of the instructions in the Bardo Thodol, it would be more effective than the prayers you've been using. The chikhai bardo has a lot to say about the evolution of consciousness and the sidpa bardo deals with the involution."

Minerva perked up and said hopefully "Odin mentioned those in my assignments, he told me that Involution was greater than Evolution equals Eros less than Thanatos. Do you know what he meant by that? Does the Bardo Thodol give any instructions about that?"

Chis shook his head negatively "Well Eros and Thanatos are Greek names for Life and Death so I wouldn't expect them to be in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, but the same concepts might be. Could we see a copy of it?"

Zakita led them into a library room and took a large manuscript from a shelf. He set it on the table and advised them humbly "As it says here to the wise 'O nobly-born, these realms are not come from somewhere outside thyself. They come from within the four divisions of thy heart, which, including its centre, make the five directions. They issue from within there, and whine upon thee. The deities, too, are not come from somewhere else: they exist from eternity within the faculties of thine own intellect. Know them to be of that nature.' take heed to those words and ponder the meaning of them to you."

Minerva opened the book being careful with brittleness of parchment. She browsed through it until she came to this passage "O nobly-born, now the signs and characteristics of the place of birth will come. Recognize them. In observing the place of birth, choose the continent too. If one is to be born as a deva, delightful temples built of various precious metals also will be seen. One may enter therein; so enter therein."

Chris stood over her shoulder and scanned the book for something useful, he read "O nobly-born, if thou hast not understood the above at this moment, through the influence of karma, thou wilt have the impression that thou art either ascending, or moving along on a level, or going downwards. Thereupon, meditate upon the Compassionate One."

Minerva looked perplexed and pouted her lips. She addressed her concerns by stating "This is too cryptic and mystifying to me, how does that help me contact Odin or explain what he meant by Evolution, Involution, Eros and Thanatos?"

Chris "I think it's more that the monks that wrote that were from a time where they expressed thing more esoterically and profoundly than simply. I guess in the culture they were in was the style to be that flowery and overblown in the language like that. What I'm getting from it is that, it's like having to judge what your senses are telling you to determine what's real from what's illusion like in The Matrix or Virtual reality programs. I don't see how that's relevant to our situation though, it doesn't seem to be much help."

Minerva returned the book to Zakita and declared "I couldn't find anything in here that would benefit me in solving the problem, but thank you for your effort, it was kind of you."

Zakita took the large tome graciously and nodded to her congenially. He informed them "If prayer isn't aiding enough in your search, then maybe the path of action might be more effective. How about the practice of Kundalini Yoga?"

Chris considered the idea and told him "We'll give it some thought, thanks for the advice."

They walked back to the car and Minerva looked disappointed. She said bleakly "Well that was a let down. I'm still no closer to finding my way back or getting on with my job."

Chris grabbed his laptop from the back and opened his web browser. He tried to express some more hope by telling her "We did get a few leads though, and a better idea of the problem. Here is what it says about Eros 'Eros wants perpetuation of its own existence, to transcend its obvious physical fate. So it creates a series of symbolic substitutes for that Self, and pretends to be cosmocentric, independent and immortal. Eros also causes the fervent drives to achieve wealth, fame, power, knowledge.' Does that help?"

Minerva shook her head and declared with discontent "No, that's what Odin said the purpose of the Guardian Angel Branch was to find methods to help people give up symbolic substitutes. But that doesn't tell me why Thanatos is less than that"

Chris puzzled over that while looking up the other definition "Maybe this will shed some light on it. 'Thanatos is the pull of Wholeness, that would tear down the boundary between self and other, the primary dualism, which would lead to death, dissolution, transcendence. So the Atman Project seeks to avoid all that threatens the separate self's dissolution. It finds substitute sacrifices for the lost Whole: if you won't surrender, you need to find substitute sacrifices, ie death to others. In other words, the desire to kill is Thanatos extroverted. That sounds like the flip side of the coin and that's why they're related. If you have more Eros, then you have less Thanatos and vice versa."

Minerva vented her frustration by exclaiming "That doesn't tell me how to balance them or how to apply it to Evolution and Involution."

Chris tried to calm her down by stating "I figure that means that if you accept ego death and give up some sustitute sacrifices then you evolve more. But I don't know what methods you would use, since I expect it's different in every situation. Since we're so close to the beach anyway, why don't we go to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk? That would cheer you up and take your mind off your problems for a while"

Minerva gave him a blank look, like she had stared at a basilisk. She requested "What is that? Why would it cheer me up, especially now?"

Chapter 4A

The shock of discovering she had lost her wings and halo had been too much for Minerva after being pulled through the particle beam. When she had fainted, Chris took her back to his apartment and laid her on his bed. He could readily believe that she was an angel since she looked so divinely innocent and breathtakingly celestial lying there.

While Chris was waiting for Minerva to wake up, he wrote in his journal. He thought the shoe seemed to be on the other foot from when he considered the offer Belle made wasn't in his best interest.

Now it seemed like Minerva was paying the price for his shortcuts and had all the downsides that he had wanted to avoid. He felt very guilty for rushing into his plan without considering the the full effects of everything that he had set in motion.

He should've known that something doesn't come from nothing, since even the laws of Thermodynamics showed that energy could only be transformed not destroyed, not to mention the laws of Karma where every choice has a reaction and has to balance out somewhere.

Even if he had created the template of the chakras and the blueprint for what he wanted, he wasn't creating the person that fit the template. He had only made the map and not created the territory that it described.

Apparently she had been ripped away from her job and the shock of that had taken it's toll on her when the heaviness of the material plane hadn't allowed her wings and halo to emerge in the particle beam.

He was going to have to do something to help her get out of the mess he had gotten her into with his selfish desires and back to where she was supposed to be.

Chris heard Minerva stirring from her sleep and brought her some water to drink. She awoke with a start and cried out "No! It wasn't a dream!" She started sobbing uncontrollably.

Chris tried to console her by saying "There, there it'll be alright, it all works out eventually. As they say, all's well that ends well" Minerva pulled away from him and asked "It will? How will it work out?"

Chris tried to cheer her up by smiling and telling her "I don't know, it's a mystery" He winked and grinned at her.

Minerva wailed even more at this and tried to convey her sorrow "You've been grounded all your life, how can you know what it's like to have the freedom to soar where ever you wanted to? How am I going to get out of this mess without the powers that my halo grants me? This was my first assignment as a Guardian Angel and it's gone down in flames! I'll be considered as a failure and never be able to continue the job!"

Minerva curled up into a ball on the bed and resumed her bawling. Chris had never been very good at dealing with women crying and he didn't know any guy who was. It broke his heart to see someone so stunningly beautiful, looking so desolate and especially since he knew it was his fault, it made him feel even more guilty. He vowed to her "I'm very sorry that my mistakes got you into this chaos. I promise I'll do everything I can to help you get back to where you belong."

Minerva wiped the tears from her eyes and inquired tremulously "Your apology doesn't do much good about repairing the damage to my career, what can you do? Send me back the way I came?"

Chris shook his head and scratched his chin in thought. He declared "No that would be too dangerous, you never know where you could end up, maybe in even worse trouble and maybe just as scattered sub-atomic particles floating around in space. There has to be some other way, do you think that if you can get in contact with those that sent you on this assignment that they would help you get what you need to finish the job?"

Minerva stopped her sobbing while she considered this. She blew her nose and stated "Well Odin was the one that sent me and his power is undeniably monumental. If anyone could help he would be able to, but then I would have to admit that I couldn't handle my duties. Beside how would we contact him, without my angelic influence working?"

Chris tried to reassure her, but wasn't very well versed in this area "I could try to put in a good word for you with Odin and tell him that it was all my fault that you had to call for help. But I don't know much about getting in touch with Gods. Most people here pray to the gods for help, but getting any answers from them is very rare and hard to tell if the ones that say they have gotten them are delusional. The only thing in your favor is that you know Odin personally and are directly doing what he has told you specifically to do. Not many here can say that, so that might be an advantage that will facilitate getting in contact with him."

Minerva wiped her eyes while she mulled this over and verbalized her thoughts "I suppose if I were able to get to a place where Odin was worshiped he might pay attention to my prayers if I was sincere enough to make the dire circumstances I was in known to him. Where would that be and how would we get there?"

Chris turned to his laptop and opened his web browser. He told her "I'll do a search and look up the closest temple of Odin. Let's hope we don't have to go all the way to Norway to find one or it's going to be a lot harder to get there. I'd hate to have to explain you to any kind of customs or immigration officials"

He wasn't very suprised to find that there was a Norse Temple relatively close by in Santa Cruz, since that city had a long reputation for the bizarre and outrageous going on there. As the saying went California was the Granola State, it was full of fruits, nuts and flakes. San Francisco was reputed to have a higher concentration of fruits, Santa Cruz tolerated a lot more nuts, and Los Angeles attracted extra flakes.

Chris had heard of Wiccans, Druids and Pagans of all sorts setting up shops in Santa Cruz to flourish in the New Age trends. He printed out the address and driving directions to the Temple. He went over to give the good news to Minerva while she was relaxing in the jacuzzi.

Chris conveyed the plan he had come up with to her "We're in luck that we don't have to go to Norway, I found a Temple only about an hour away in Santa Cruz. We can take my car and drive down there, then you can try to contact Odin. Hopefully we can get this mess straightened out in short order."

Minvera had regained enough of her composure in the jacuzzi that she could reclaim some hope that the situation might be able to be salvaged. "I don't know if it'll do any good, but at least it's performing a task that might have some chance of helping."

Chris showed Minerva the way to his car and helped her get in. Minerva squealed with delight at the colorful candy apple red paint and soft leather interior of his Chevy Corvette, then gasped in awe at the way he started the engine and pulled out of the driveway. She uttered her words with amazement "I knew you were a powerful wizard from the way you summoned me here but I didn't expect that your magical chariot would be so marvelous!"

Feeling somewhat sheepish, Chris smiled with embarassment. He informed her "Well I'm flattered at your estimation of my abilities, but it's only magical if you don't understand the principles of science involved in it. I suppose that magic and miracles are a matter of course for angels, but in this place anyone can use the benefits of science without having the natural talent that magic is believed to require."

While weaving through the traffic flow, Chris glanced at the confused look on her face and figured he wasn't getting through very well, so he told her "I might just be making some more assumptions since I don't actually know what it's like where you come from, why don't you tell me some more about it?"

Minerva pondered this as she gazed out the window at the city gliding by. When they stopped at a traffic light, she beamed her radiant smile at a man driving the car in the next lane. He was so stunned by her ethereal beauty, lustrous hair and incadescent smile that he sat entralled by the sight long after the light had turned green while traffic backed up behind him and people honked their horns angrily.

Minerva tried to convey her dismay "It's much different than here, more peaceful, a lot greener with meadows and lots of trees. People seem in such a rush here, where are they all going so fast? Don't they have time to enjoy life? I guess that's why they call Elysium a Paradise"

Chris replied "They're going on with their daily lives mostly, I guess getting a jump on surviving in this world takes some quick actions and speedy decisions, it certainly is no paradise for most people" He marveled how she was so innocent of her effect on people like that guy at the light.

Chris smirked and winked at her then teased her by saying "Except for the driver of that car that you mesmerized. He's too spellbound to make any quick decisions. If you have that effect much more, it'll be a real traffic hazard and we'll never get to Santa Cruz."

Minerva rubbed her chin with a puzzled expression on her face "In Elysium they take a lot more time for feasting, celebrating and carousing. I suppose just trying to survive doesn't leave much time to appreciate the simple pleasures. No wonder the people don't look happy, they're too busy just trying to making a living. How long until we get to the temple?"

Chris merged into the fast lane of the freeway, and traffic was light at this time of day. He told Minerva "We're lucky that this isn't the height of the summer, since this stretch of Highway Seventeen between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz becomes a parking lot when everyone is trying to get to the beach, it can take four hours. I can usually drive the thirty miles when it's clear in about fifteen minutes. I've had a lot of practice with all the curves and weaving through the lanes like a race at Laguna Seca. But with you here just to be safe, it'll take about forty minutes this time."

Minerva shook her head with that deer in the headlights look again and admitted "I don't know what all that means, but you obviously are skilled at your art, so I'll let you take care of the details. However, I still don't understand how or why I was brought here, could you explain that?"

Chris thought about that while he wove his way up to the summit. He told her "Well the how is easier to explain than the why because I'll have to give more background on my life for you to understand why I thought it was necessary. But I can start with the how to lead up it to. Have you heard of the chakra system of energy in the subtle body?"

Minerva nodded and replied "Odin mentioned them in the assignments I was given for my job as a Guardian Angel. He said something about raising the chakras here from Vishuddha to Sahasrara. I wasn't sure at the time what that meant though it sounded complex. Do you know what he was talking about?"

Chris passed the Cloud Nine motel at the summit and noticed they had replaced some of the neon that burned out in the sign. He offered a guess "I know that Vishuddha is the Sanskrit name for the throat chakra, it is the interface between the thyroid gland and the sound frequencies of the subtle energies. Sahasrara is Sanskrit the name for the crown chakra that connects the pituitary gland to the highest frequencies of energies to the rest of the cosmos. In that context you mentioned it sounds like he meant that it was part of your job to increase the level of consciousness from only communicating by language and symbols to a more pure understanding of the whole and communion of the parts with that whole."

Minerva squirmed in her seat and heaved a deep sigh. She turned to Chris and with a wide eyed expression and asked "Wow, that does sound very complex. How do you think I'm supposed to do all that? What does that have to do with how you brought me here?"

Chris shrugged and stated "I don't know what they expect of you since that sounds like a very tall order or how long you have to do it because that kind of thing could probably take several generations. You'll probably have to ask Odin about that since He should know more about it. I was just guessing and giving you my opinion based on what you said. It has to do with how I was able to get you here by the same frequencies in the chakras. You see, each one has a specific range and I was able to calculate them to match a template that corresponded to the glands they are associated with to get a blueprint of how to assemble the molecules that make up your body and even more, the levels of the subtle energies that form your personality."

It was a lot for Minerva to digest, so she took some time to gaze out the window at the trees and mountains rolling by. The scenery of this place was very beautiful as the mountains gave way to a view of the deep blue ocean. A thought occurred to her and she spoke up "There is no doubt that you're a mighty sorcerer to accomplish such a feat. So what you're saying is that you cast your spell to attract someone like me intentionally? That leads to the question of what was your purpose?"

Chris consulted the map and the directions he had brought to guide them to the temple. Scanning the street numbers he found the place he was looking for and pulled up to a building with runes engraved on the walls and horns adorning the columns. He parked in front and shut off the engine.

Then he turned to Minerva and told her "Well that's the more complicated part that requires some personal history. Did you want to go into it now or wait until you've tried to get in touch with Odin here?"

Minerva shook her head and replied "No, it can wait, we had better go do what we can to settle this matter."

Chapter 3

Minerva studied the selection of cases that Odin had shown her to try and decide which she could best handle during her first assignment as a Guardian Angel.

Stopping Doomsday devices and rescuing warlords sounded way out of her league, so she discounted those immediately. Arguing with village elders and coaxing out shy people didn't sound like any fun either since they would probably be way too stubborn to help without more experience in the job, so it might be best to help with a marriage. Minerva thought she could be a good matchmaker and a woman's problem was something she could relate to better.

Minerva went to Odin to tell him of her decision "I'll take the second case where I help Lady Blue choose who to marry, since I think I'd be more in touch with her point of view"

Odin considered this and said sagely "There is much to recommend this case to you since your empathy would serve you well in that instance, but so would it in the case of helping a young man gain self confidence also"

Minerva shook her head and pouted sullenly, then she whined "But males are a lot more set in their ways and pigheaded about changing their habits!"
Odin frowned and told her "But it would help both of you grow more and that's the whole purpose of the job right?"

Minerva bowed and said contritely "Yes, but piling on too much at once won't help me learn the ropes. How about taking baby steps on this case until I'm more experienced with the routine?"

Odin sighed and relented "Alright, since it's your first case, we'll see what you can do for Lady Blue and evaluate your progress then."

Minerva was eager to get a start on her new life and adventures so she bade farewell to Odin and leaped into the sky in search of her assignment. To find her way she focused her will and let her angelic influence guide her past the planets in the cosmos to the correct worldline where Lady Blue was to be found. She marveled at the awesome spectacle of the swirling galaxies and jewel-like nebula, they certainly were a lot more breathtakingly beautiful than she had ever expected.

Minerva descended to the planet where she was supposed to be, then performed loops and figure-eights over the Fruited Plain in exhilaration as she headed toward the Silver Palace of Lady Blue. So far this was a delightful change from being a houri but she reminded herself it was the easy part and hadn't even started the difficulties in dealing with her assignment. She swooped over the Silver Palace and landed in the courtyard then went in to meet with Lady Blue. Blue robed courtiers and servants in blue livery bustled about in the blue marble halls while one of them led her to a room with blue orchids where the lady was conferring with her suitors.

Minerva glided in and curtsied to the Lady then introduced herself "I'm Minerva, your Guardian Angel. I've come to give you some support and advice about your marriage"
Lady Blue bowed and answered "With all the difficulty choosing between these two, I certainly could use some divine guidance to make this important decision." She gestured to the knight with roses emblazoned on his armor "This is Argon, a noble ranger" then waved to the other man with red hair and a slight build "And here is Nwonknu a merchant of considerable influence."

Nwonknu was so startled by Minerva's wings and halo that he dropped the goblet he was drinking from and exclaimed "Merciful heavens! What divine vision is this that appears before us?"

Argon ran his hand over his thin black mustache and leveled his emerald gaze at Minerva. He ventured an opinion, "This might be a sign that a marriage such as this maybe of more significance than we realized"

Minerva radiated calm reasurrance and told them gently "I'm mostly here to offer guidance and avenues for growth, not to make any absolute prophecies that would impose a fate over your free will. Have you considered the merits and assets of each balanced by their shortcomings and quirks?"

Lady Blue rose from her seat and paced across the floor. She reviewed the points as she walked, she concluded by stating "That's the problem, they both have so many fine qualities, that it makes it so hard to choose between them."

Minerva pondered this for a while and then offered a bit of advice "I see, sometimes in these situations it's best to listen to what your heart tells you since your instincts can be a better judge of what's right"

The Lady shook her head sorrowfully and replied "Unfortunately for the nobility, following your heart is not always a luxury we can indulge in since the demands of family and other responsibities get in the way."

Argon buried his head in his hands and heaved a sigh "Sometimes duty imposes a cruel fate on romance, so that what we would wish is supplanted by what we are sworn to do."

Minerva wasn't getting very far with her advice and was running out of ideas of what to do for the moment. Apparently this problem was a lot harder to solve than it appeared at first glance. She told them "I don't know, it seems like some people are making this more complicated than it has to be. But I'll try to come up with some other way to resolve the problem."

Nwonknu pushed back his plate and suggested "Why don't we get some rest and resume when we're in better shape to concentrate on this?"

Lady Blue smiled graciously "That's a fine idea, we'll all be better able to come to some agreement after a night's sleep" She summoned some servants and told them "Show our guests to their rooms and see to their needs"


Meanwhile in another worldline, Chris Amestrly works in a machine shop at Lockheed Martin Advanced Techology Center. Chris is on the team that is working on fabricating the Gravity B Space Probe and he's assigned to making the gyroscopes that will perform the measurements of the geodetic effect and the frame-dragging effect to verify the Theory of Relativity. It is important work that Chris feels he's contributing to the advancement of science and furthering the developement of the Grand Unification Theory of Elemental Forces. But all the corporate politics could be draining to deal with and interfere with production.

Chris was dealing with an extreme tolerance of nanometers in machining the metal to make the gyroscopes if the lathe that cut the titanium was off even a micrometer he would have to scrap it. He was concetrating of getting it right when his foreman Blake Collins walked up behind him and scoffed "The way you act, I bet you would fit right into the cast of that movie Revenge of the Nerds"

Chris stopped the lathe to change the blades and then turned to Blake and winked "Well with the way the plot was written and how they won in the end, that sounds like a compliment to me."

Blake scowled at his failure to make Chris feel inferior and walked off in a huff. Chris worked without any other interuptions until lunchtime. When he walked into the cafeteria, Blake was sitting with a bunch of his friends regaling them with another one of his fanciful tales.

Chris took his tray and headed toward another table since he didn't think he'd be welcome there. Blake shoved a chair into the path of Chris, which he didn't see while the tray was blocking his view of the floor, and Chris fell over it spilling his food all over.

Chris tried to get up and wipe the food off of his clothes while the crowd roared with gales of laughter.

Blake was doubled over and howling He brayed "How's that for grace eh? Even the French Olympic Judges wouldn't give him any point for style"

Beverly Wright giggled "Thas was so priceless! I even heard that he was the one that made the mistake in polishing the lens of the Hubble Space Telescope to be out of focus!"

Chris was shocked! Where had she heard that? He hadn't even been assigned to that part of the project. Blake must be spreading all kinds of rumors about him and his tight little clique probably believed them without questioning the facts. He slunk out of the room and went to find a quiet corner to sulk. It was a shame that Beverly had to be taken in like that since he had been attracted to her for some time. Apparently she wasn't as good a judge of character as he had thought if she couldn't see past the surface of Blake's propaganda.

That made Chris consider how well he had thought he knew her and what he had admired her for was just as shallow. Anything for a pretty face he supposed, since he had deluded himself into think that there was more to her than just a beautiful blue-eyed blonde. Chris spent the rest of the day in the doldrums doing his job disconsolately until finally it was time to go home.

At night in his bedroom, Chris tried to sort out his feelings by writing in his journal. It didn't make much sense, he tried to do the best job he could, but those who indulged office politics were more successful than he could be and with greater popularity. There had to be other women out there that had better qualities and more depth to them why couldn't he ever meet or attract any of them?

He heaved a sigh and lamented "I'd give anything to find the perfect woman share my life with and give it meaning!"

Suddenly there was a flash of light and the smell of brimstone filled the air. A shadowy figure rose from his bathtub and pointed to him. She had long red hair, horns on her head and a red forked tail. She gave him a long seductive look and drawled in a sexy voice "So? What would your first wish be, you little maniac?"

She wiggled her shapely figure down the steps and winked at him fiendishly. She flashed a devilish grin and told him "My name is Belle and I have a wonderful offer for you that will make all your dreams come true. You can have wealth, power, respect and the perfect women at your side adoring you all for the paltry sum of giving up your soul."

Chris was suprised that a demon would actually make this offer in person since he had only heard of this kind of thing in stories, but maybe this was where the stories had come from and not just the imagination of fiction. He thought Belle was certainly attractive and spurred a lot of lustful thoughts but he was wary of her offer since the ones in the stories never worked out well.

Chris crossed his arms defensively and said "As they say the devil is in the details, how do I know that your offer is genuinely in my best interest?"

Belle swayed her buxom breasts and ran her hands down her over her exotic tattoos She assumed a provocative pose and asked "Do you doubt my abilities? Just take a good look at my formidable assets and trust me"

Chris felt a wave of desire flow over him, and had to pinch himself to clear his head it was probably some satanic pheremones he thought. He marshalled his resolve and retorted "Isn't that the same way they mean trust me when Hollywood producers say it? Given the track record I've heard of those kind of deals then I wouldn't trust you as far as I could throw a fit since the deals always have some catch in the fine print that makes them go sour."

Belle undulated over to the bed sensuously and sprawled onto it displaying her lascivious charms to their full erotic potential as an aphrodisiac in an attempt to further her diabolical plan. She purred in a silky voice and declared "But wouldn't it be worth it for all the pleasures you could enjoy? Just think of it, you could have all the women you want throwing themselves at your feet, get revenge on Blake Collins for his treatment of you, rise to the top of the corporate ladder, have wealth that moves mountians, and more fame than Donald Trump! All for something you never think of and don't even need."

Chris walked over and shook his finger at her expressing his disdain for her methods of trying to manipulate him. He conveyed his scepticism for her offer "The soul is mostly just a symbol of my submitting to your domination to let you make all my decisions for me. It's not much of a deal to have those things you offer when your mastery over my fate wouldn't let me enjoy them. The temporary pleasures of the flesh would pale in short order and then hellish torment would set in, so it's no deal"

Chris pointed to the door and demanded "Go peddle your snake oil somewhere else, you infernal imp!"

She slithered around sinuously so that she was on her hand and knees then wiggled her curvy bottom at him. She said soothingly "Sure you won't change your mind? I can throw in a free sample here. How would you like to plumb these depths of sinful delight? C'mon, it's always the quiet ones that are into all the freaky stuff"

Chris gazed at her voluptuous body and lush attributes, he was sorely tempted to throw caution to the wind and partake of her passion, but the cost was too high and the consequences too dire to be worth the risk. He tossed a glass of water on her and exclaimed "That might cool your jets. Now get out of here, I'm not being deceived by your sales pitch. As Shakespeare wrote, it's one to be tempted but another to fall for it."

The water steamed off Belle in spirals. She scowled at him and said disapprovingly "You'll be sorry you didn't accept me, and spend the rest of your life as a nobody stuck in your dead-end rut. I could've been your genie to grant your desires and put your life on the fast track, but you wouldn't listen." With that she faded out of sight in a puff of sulfurous smoke.

Chris thought "That certainly livened up a dull evening" He went back to writing in his journal as he considered the events of the night. It wasn't that he was against taking shortcuts to achieved his goals, he just was doubtful of the motives of the demon. A deal like that was bound to have a lot of downsides that he didn't want to pay the price for. But what was the alternative to the rut he was in? He sure wasn't going to let Belle be proven right about him being a nobody. He thought, if shortcuts like that exist that why couldn't he take advantage of them, with the deal being full of downsides? But how would he tap into that something like that? He didn't know the answer to that so he put away his journal and tried to relax for a while.

Chris turned on the TV just in time to hear Kelly LeBrock say "Those guys really need some self-confidence, a challenge.. Something that'll bring out their inner strength and courage." He recognized that movie, it was one he had always admired especially the way Lisa had the best interest of the guys that created her at heart.

That gave him the idea of the perfect shortcut he could take. After all computers had evolved immensely since that movie was made and he had access from Lockheed to much vaster resources than those high school kids had. He took out his laptor and started surfing the research databases that Lockheed had and was connected to in order to see what was in there that might serve his purpose.

Over the next few months of nights and weekends Chris amassed a lot of research that pointed to the answers that he sought. If he used the Standford Linear Accelerator to configure a beam of charged sub-atomic particles and focused the energy of it into a collector that filtered and assembled it into larger molecules. Then he could use the massively parallel processor power of the Cray XT3 Supercomputers to calculate the correct arrangement of the matter being converted from the particle beam. He fed a lot of biochemistry, anatomy and medical files into the database so the system could have something to work with in assembling the molecules from the beam. Plus a lot of neurochemistry, MRI and CAT scans of the brain to help organize the relevant data and help complete the process.

Chris drove over to the SLAC facilities to install relays to his lab at Lockheed, it was lucky it was only seven miles away, so it would be easy to divert the beam and channel it from the accelerator. Because he was working on the Gravity Probe Project it was simple to gain access to the equipment since both were run by Stanford University. After finishing work on a scanner and the appropriate control panel, he was finally ready to test it out.

Chris checked out all the power converter connections and the system programming to make sure everything was set and then entered the commands to start the sequence. The beam powered up to emit a brilliant blue light and phased in the matter from the molecules, the assembly process was proceeding well until Chris saw what was materializing in the beam.

She had grey leathery skin, a large snake tail, and cybernetic implants in various parts of her body. "You will be converted to serve our needs!" she hissed.

Chris dived for the controls and reversed the polarity of the beam and turned the matter back into energy. He breathed a huge sigh of relief and reviewed the programming He muttered "At least most of it worked that it was able to assemble the anatomy. I just need to fine tune it to get more specifically what I want out of it."

He reset some of the parameters and added more files to try align the system toward a better fit for him. Chris engage the beam again to find out what would materialize this time and in the brilliant blue beam there appeared a round yellow being with a huge smile, halo, wings and shoes. It looked like a living version of an angelic emoticon from a web forum post.

She said "We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds." It was more of the temperment that Chris was looking for but not so much the form since she had no arms or legs just hands and feet stuck to her circular body. He reversed the polarity of the beam and converted her back into energy.

Chris went over the programming again and couldn't find any obvious flaws, so it must be some principle in the design he was missing. He grumbled "It could took forever doing this by trial and error to get it right. I had better go back to the drawing board until I can figure what the problem is"


Minerva spent more time getting to know Lady Blue and her two suitors so she could come up with a better solution to complete her assignment. She walked in the lush gardens around the opulent palace talking with the Lady.

Lady Blue showed Minerva some of the poems that Argon had given her in their courtship:

How can my Muse want subject to invent, While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse Thine own sweet argument, too excellent For every vulgar paper to rehearse? O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me Worthy perusal stand against thy sight; For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee, When thou thyself dost give invention light? Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth Than those old nine which rhymers invocate; And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth Eternal numbers to outlive long date. If my slight Muse do please these curious days, The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.

Minerva was impressed by the effort and told her "That certainly seems heartfelt with deep passion. I would long for such romantic feelings to be expressed if I were you."

Lady Blue blushed with the rose color of it spreading over her creamy skin and responded "In truth it did touch me deeply, but Nwonknu also has powerful alliances that would bring stability and prosperity to the land" She showed Minerva the sizable star sapphire bracelet with inlaid gold and silver engravings that Nwonknu had given her.

Minerva mulled that over and answered "They do seem fairly balanced in the question of benefits, maybe you need something else to judge them on. Where I come from heroes have proven their worthiness by performing accomplishments that earn their rights to rewards. You could give each of them some task to execute and the first to pull it off and return is who will win your hand in marriage."

Lady Blue stroked her long dark locks of hair and twirled it around her slender fingers while she comtemplated that. She uttered "That sounds like a good idea, I can send them on a quest to win my hand, and the one that performs the best on it will be the one I wed."

Minerva was glad to have reached a conclusion that would satisfy all the parties concerned. "Lets go inform the others that we have a way to settle this once and for all."

They summoned Argon and Nwonknu together and announced to them "We have arrived at a settlement on how to proceed with choosing a proper suitor among you. Each of you will go on a quest that I will provide so that by your actions you can prove which one of you is most qualified to win my hand in marriage."

Argon stood up and wiped his armor off with a cloth then knelt in front of his Lady. He kissed her hand and vowed "It will be my greatest honor to fulfill this brave deed for your heart."

Nwonknu had been having some trouble with one of the palace dogs jumping up on him to grab some table scraps, but he kicked the dog away. He bowed and declared "It's a bargain, I'll perform whatever task you come up with to earn the most valuable of rewards."

Lady Blue smiled graciously with her red full lips glistening and her dark eyes sparkling. She patted Argon's shoulder and told him "For your quest I want you to find out the origin and meaning of the phrase 'May U Live 2 see the Dawn' bring me proof of the legend and you will have your heart's desire. Good luck to you noble knight." She turned to Nwonknu and exclaimed "Your task will be to find the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything! Put all your vast resources into researching it and bring me all the evidence you find that supports your answer and you will have your rich reward. May the best man win!"

Suddenly a brilliant blue beam of light appeared around Minerva engulfing her in its radiance. It intensified until it blocked out all else. She cried out in alarm "By the Gods! What lunacy is this? What is going on here?" She felt paralyzed and unable to control anything. Minerva was shrinking and fading out from the scene, in a blink of an eye she was gone completely.

Given the miraculous way Minerva had appeared in their midst, her disappearance wasn't as much as a shock to the others as it was to her, so Argon remarked "She certainly is an expert on dramatic exits and entrances isn't she? I'm sure that it'll be fabled in song and story for generations to come."

Lady Blue was surprised at the speed of her departure but wasn't too dismayed at having her gone. She replied "At least she gave us a method to solve our dilemma before she left, I suppose that's all she needed to do. Guardian Angels tend to work in mysterious ways I've always heard"


As Chris continued his investigation into troubleshooting how to control what the particle beam was going to materialize, he kept running into the problem of creating a template to follow, like a blueprint for the kind of person he wanted to create. One day he was walking past the reception area to his work station at Lockheed when he saw something flash in the sunlight coming through the window. It caught his eye, so he stopped to look closer, it was a crystal pendant on Beverly Wright's necklace. He was intrigued by the way it reflected the light and had seven colors of the rainbow arranged in a spectrum.

He asked her "I haven't seen a necklace like that before, it's very beautiful, does it symbolize something?"

Beverly giggled and flipped her long hair. She answered "I'm glad you like it, it's very expensive. I heard it's supposed to represent the chakras. I don't know about all that stuff, but it's pretty"

Chris had heard of chakras from somewhere but wasn't sure where. He told her "Thanks for the info, you've been a big help"

He walked off deep in thought, when he got to the lab, he looked up chakras on the Net and found a lot of similarities to the template idea he was seeking. Chakras were spinning disks of energy that were the interface between the gross anatomy of the body and the subtle anatomy of the aura. Essentially they were the bridge between matter and energy in the body.

That would give him a way to make a blueprint for the particle beam if he could find the right frequencies for the chakras that would align them into the correct conduit to flow down the Ida and Pingala channels. As the particles formed the molecules of the anatomy, the chakras tuned to the resonance needed would provide the hormones in the pineal, pituitary and other glands for the biochemisty desired in his program. With that template, Chris could match the subtle anatomy of the aura and the chakra with the gross anatomy of the body and the brain. Since Stanford University had one of the premiere medical schools in the country Chris had access to their database of knowledge and cutting edge research. He studied the relationship of the vibration rates of light, sound, matter and energy how they all fell into octave ranges of frequencies. The principles of resonance, harmony, and tuning found in music and electronics applied to all the electro-magnetic phenomenon he researched.

Chris adapted the formulas found in electronics to find the right matches for the frequencies and amplitudes of the chakras to the octaves in the electromagnetic spectrum and put them into the template he was forming for the particle beam. He accessed more and more of the massively parallel processor power of the Cray XT3 Supercomputers to integrate all the data and calculations for the system programming so they were networked over a substantial array of computers.

With the new principles, formulas and more programming added, Chris was ready to try again to materialize the perfect woman. He engaged the beam and a warm yellow glow emanated from the scanner that outshone the blue brilliance of the particle beam.

Then the seven spinning wheels of energy formed the chakra system in the shape of lotus blossoms. "So far, so good" Chris thought. He started the sequence for the next phase and the energy of the chakras intensified and coalessed into the form of a blonde haired woman with luminous blue eyes.

She looked disoriented and grabbed onto the sides of the scanner to steady herself. Then peering at her surroundings, she demanded "What happened? How did I get here? What is going on?" She staggered down the steps and Chris went over to support her.

She was so stunningly beautiful that it took his breath away. Chris sat her down in a chair and told her "Easy now, that must have been quite a shock, do you want something to drink to calm you down?"

She stared at Chris in amazement and shook her head with her long golden locks swaying back and forth. She anwered in a daze "Yes thank you, that might help. Then you can explain where I am and who you are."

He got her some water from the fountian and handed it to her. "My name is Chris Amestrly and I used a particle beam to materialize you here. You're at the Advanced Technology Center of Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto California, if that means anything to you."

None of this was in her experience and she was completely confused, she had better start with the basics since had only understood a single thing he had said. She responded "The only thing I could recognize from that was when you said your name. So let's start with that, my name is Minerva. I am a Guardian Angel and the last thing I remember was trying to help someone get married when I was pulled away by a blue beam."

Now it was his turn to be dumbfounded, that was something he should've considered, after all energy couldn't be destroyed only transformed, so that it followed from the Laws of Thermodynamics that he was only transporting a template not creating an entirely new one by matching the blueprint of the chakras.

Chapter 2

The next time Minerva had a break in her scheduled duties, she went to the Elysium Administration Center to make an appointment with Odin.

Minerva flew over the rolling hills and watched the guests who resided in the luxurious paradise stroll along the winding paths and lush gardens. She saw them picking the ripe fruit, eating it and relaxing in the perpetual springtime.

Minerva wondered why all those people were allowed to spend so much leisure time with all the pleasures, while she and her sisters were required to do all the work to make it happen. Was it only because they had already done the deeds to earn it? If that was the case then she was determined to excell at the Guardian Angel job so she might accomplish enough to deserve it herself. All her time performing her duties as a houri didn't seem to be doing it.

Minerva crossed the crystal bridge and landed at the entrance to the building with the classical Greek architechture. She passed through the collossal marble columns and entered the receptionist office. She walked up the her desk and asked "I'd like an appointment to speak to Odin about a matter of extreme importance."

The receptionist looked up from the paper she was writing on and said "Hello, my name is Ishtar, let me see if I can fit you into his schedule"

Ishtar hummed a tune as she worked, her voice was melodic and mesmerizing. She looked like she had been sculpted out of marshmellow and honey. She had sparkling emerald green eyes and several Egyptian symbols tattooed upon her body that gave her a very exotic appeal.

Minerva fidgeted and fretted over the delay, so to put the time to better use she asked "How did Odin come to be put in charge of the Guardian Angel Branch?"

Ishtar beamed with pride and replied "It was from his long experience with coordinating the efforts of the Valkyries. He did such a splendid job sending them out as the Choosers of the Slain to pick the best warriors for the battle of Ragnarok that he was given the opportunity for a wider range of responsibilities."

Minerva considered this then inquired "So what are the responsibilities of the Guardian Angels?"

Ishtar handed her a brochure and explained "The GAB maintains the balance of all the worldlines in the Omniverse and raising the vibration rates of the people in them by evolving their states of consciousness. Giving the Guardian Angels assignments to experience certain situations and circumstances in the Grande Game motivates them to grow to the next level and expand the limits of their consciousness."

A gong sounded and Ishtar informed Minerva "Odin will see you now, good luck"
Mivera made her way back to where Odin was seated on his throne and knelt before him. She saluted and said "O mighty Odin, I have a great boon to ask of you, I want to serve you better as a Guardian Angel and be able to help more people in this way."

Odin waved her to rise and intoned "Peace my child, that is a task that requires a deep commitment. Being a guardian angel is a heavy responsibility, is that what you truly desire? The duties of a houri are filled with much more ecstasy."

Minerva bowed and pleaded "But what I do is so superficial and makes me feel so empty. I want something that is more rewarding and challenging,"

Odin frowned and rubbed his beard in thought. He asked her "Do you even know all that is involved in the job of a guardian angel?"

Minerva pouted and said sullenly "Not completely, but I'm eager to learn and very dedicated to doing the best that I can at it."

Odin rose and led her over to a display screen that was hanging on the wall. He started a presentation and narrated the images it showed to illustrate his points. "The Guardian Angel Branch is dedicated to bringing unity back to the Omniverse. Since wholeness is what is real and all that is real. A radically separate, isolated and bounded entity does not exist anywhere."

A representation of a tapestry of worldlines woven into that fabric of space-time showed on the screen that made of the Omniverse. "It follows, then, that to erect a self-boundary or barrier, and hold a separate-identity feeling against the prior Wholeness, not only involves illusion, it requires a constant expenditure of energy, a perpetual contracting or restricting activity."

The map of the Universe Cube displayed on the screed "This of course obscures the prior Wholeness itself, and this is the primal repression. It is the illusory repression of universal consciousness and its projection as an inside-self vs. an outside-world, a subject vs. an object."

Various symbols were shown on the screen "Because man wants real transcendence above all else, but because he cannot or will not accept the necessary death of his separate-self sense, he goes about seeking transcendence in ways, or through structures, that actually prevent it and force symbolic substitutes. And these substitutes come in all varieties: sex, food, money, fame, knowledge, power - all are ultimately substitute gratifications, simple substitutes for true release in Wholeness. This attempt to regain Wholeness in ways or under conditions that prevent it and force symbolic substitutes is what the assignments of the Guardian Angel Branch are all about."

Odin turned back to a confused Minerva and finished "We provide the motivations and set up the best conditions for encouraging growth and the expansion of consciousness toward a greater unity. Is that clear enough for you?"

Minerva was overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar concepts but was determined to put her best into it "It sounds like you just want help people fulfill the most potential they can right? Could you give me some examples of the assignments?"

Odin smiled "Well I admire your enthusiasm, that is indeed an asset to the job. Here are some samples" A list of the cases flashed on the screen.

Case #1 Universe #6990 T= -8: TAU= 5: TEH= -2
Given: STATE= Mythic Membership: CHAKRA= Manipura: CIRCUIT= Emotional-Territorial
Known: Eros less than Thanatos: Involution greater than Evolution
Find: BW=(FO/Q) Solution: f=(1/2µ)x: STATE= Solar Ego: CHAKRA= Visshuda: CIRCUIT= Metaprogramming
Assignment: Assist Pobak in dealing with his village elders and arrange to settle their diffences in the status quo.

Case #2 Universe #7678 T= -5: TAU= 2: TEH= 0
Given: STATE= Typhonic: CHAKRA= Svadhisthana CIRCUIT= Sociosexual Known: Evolution less than Involution Thanatos greater than Eros
Find: FO=0.159/LC Solution: BW=(FO/Q): STATE= Biosocial: CHAKRA= Anahatta CIRCUIT= Neurosomatic
Assignment: Support Lady Blue in making her decision between two men in search of her hand in marriage

Case #3 Universe #7807 T= -1: TAU= 1: TEH= 0
Given: STATE= Mental Egoic: CHAKRA= Visshuda CIRCUIT= Semantic Known: Eros less than Thanatos: Involution greater than Evolution
Find: BW=(FO/Q) Solution: f=(1/2µ)x: STATE= Causal: CHAKRA= Sahasrara CIRCUIT= Neurogenetic
Assignment: Assist Chris Amestrly come out of his shell and interact with people easier.

Case #4 Universe #7820 T= -2: TAU= -1: TEH= 0
Given: STATE= Pranic: CHAKRA= Muladhara CIRCUIT= Emotional-Territorial Known: Evolution less than Involution Thanatos greater than Eros
Find: FO=0.159/LC Solution: BW=(FO/Q): STATE= Subtle: CHAKRA= Ajna CIRCUIT= Neuroatomic
Assignment: Stop the Eastern Bloc from setting off a doomsday device.

Case #5 Universe #7823 T= 0: TAU= -2: TEH= 0
Given: STATE= Uroboric: CHAKRA= Manipura CIRCUIT= Biosurvival
Known: Eros less than Thanatos: Involution greater than Evolution
Find: f=(1/2µ)x Solution: FO=0.159/LC STATE= Solar Ego: CHAKRA= Anahatta CIRCUIT= Neurosomatic
Assignment: Aid Princess DT in her plans to rescue Warlord JC.

Odin stared at her intently and inquired "Which of those do you think you're best suited for?"

Minerva felt that she was in way over her head but it was either struggle to cope with the demands of the job or forget the whole idea and go back to the old "bump and grind" She tried to stall for time and told Odin "Let me consider it since it's a serious decision"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chapter 1

I figured since the web page I had with the YouTube version to show flow of the action and the music, the Revver version to show how the text relates to the action and the text to show the details and the emotions that covered all the bases together is down I was thinking that I could have this blog as a backup until I get the web space again. It won't be as good as doing it in Flash but at least if I do it like I had it at City of If, then I don't have to worry about it being deleted for lack of activity.

Minerva awoke on her cloud, and stretched languidly; as she did, her wings fluttered shaking out any loose feathers. She sighed, another perfect day in the Elysium Paradise. As she walked down the long spiral steps, Minerva surveyed the crowd in the Feasting Hall of the Heroes Reward and contemplated her morning duties.
After serving the hordes of warriors food and drinks, she proceeded to give them the rewards they so richly deserved for their brave accomplishments. Those deeds must have been unusually glorious since the new crop of heroes were very vigorous in expressing their valor repeatedly for them. It was very good thing she was quite limber to withstand all the positions they requested and the stamina they revealed stretched the limits of her endurance. Passion was a virtue most heroes possessed in abundance and they expressed it very deeply for Minerva in a very physical fashion.

By the time the end of her shift arrived Minerva was exhausted and headed to the baths to soak and relax her aching muscles. When Minerva arrived at the spa tubs, her friend Circe was there sprawled in the Jacuzzi with the jets going.
She lowered herself into the soothing waters with a blissful sigh and said "That's just what I needed after all the gymnastics I've been put through today!"

Circe squeezed out her long, lustrous black hair and replied "I know I certainly did after all those Greeks that insisted on that many water sports, it's hard for me to feel clean again!"

Minerva pouted and told her "I'm not sure that opening up Elysium to all those who had performed sufficiently heroic deeds was a good idea, Just because you're brave or skilled enough to accomplish something like that, doesn't mean you've learned manners or wisdom."

Circe winked at her and said "But it sure provides stamina, and that's got to count for something, right?" Suddenly she frowned and asked "Somehow I'm sensing that you're not taking all the pleasure, you should in your job, is there something wrong?"

Minerva's halo dimmed and her wings drooped. She shook her head, she lamented "I don't know, I'm not feeling the ecstasy I used to over my duties. Servicing others needs in that way just doesn't seem to be enough anymore. I feel like I'm just going through the motions and it's lost all the intimacy for me."

Circe leaned over and hugged her. She told her "There, there, how bad can it be with all the pleasures, you enjoy? Elysium is the most beautiful paradise on the Ethereal Plane, you're providing a very useful service that is necessary to the all the functions of the operation of this place, you're one of the most enthusiastic and seductive houris here who is the best at her job. What more could you ask for?"

Minerva sighed and rested her chin on her hands "Well some more variety for one thing, it's getting so mechanical, like going through the day by rote. I want something more challenging that will stretch my abilities"

A faraway look appeared in Circe's hawklike eyes and the temperature of the water rises in the tub. "I'm having a vision of a vacancy appearing in the Guardian Angel Branch. If you really want something challenging you could apply to Odin for the position, but that would mean giving up all the comforts and pleasures of your duties here."

Minerva frowned as she considered "It would be a challenge alright, but Guardian Angels get such tough assignments under the most difficult conditions. I'm not sure I'm qualified or could handle such responsibility"

Circe nodded "I would consider very carefully what you truly desire before giving up all the advantages of your life here. You don't want to get involved in all the pressures of being a Guardian Angel and find out how cushy you had it here. Why risk all those regrets?"

Minerva contemplated her decision and told her "I'll think long and hard about it before I do anything"