Lily made an Indian-style backpack to carry the baby, which she wove from lilies. Meribah helped by taking care of Petal while Lily worked on the tote. The two boys packed everyone’s belongings hoping that they would not lose precious daylight hours.
With Petal in her tote, and tied to Lily’s front they started off. They were met by a warm, muggy day which made progress slow.
Instead of continuing their climb up the mountains, they walked through the valley. At the end of the valley, a narrow pass led to another which in turn led out of the chain of mountains.
A few hours before midday and an hour out of the mountains, they came to a large field. A field filled with televisions. Marc explained what they were to Lily, Meribah, and Petal.
“Moving pictures,” said Marc. “Or at least that’s how they were described in books when they were explained to people who had never seen them.”
“It’s a way to view moments in the past,” added Marc.
“Why are the…” Petal stopped to remember the word, “The televisions placed in that way?”
“Which way, honey?” asked Lily.
“Small ones in the front, larger ones in the back, and the ones at the far back are way up on stands.” Petal said matter-of-factly.
“I would assume that they’re like that so someone can watch all of them at the same time. We had a TV that could play three stations at the same time. Why not more?” said Joel.
“Really three channels?” Marc frowned. “It was probably time for me to get a new one. Only had one channel, but it did have stereo.”
“Stereo?” asked Petal and Meribah.
“Some other time.” Joel waved to the televisions. “Let’s have a closer look.”
In front, where the smaller televisions were lined up, sat a Sorom. He sat in a tall wooden desk, with a desk light swayed to the side. He would not need the light for another ten or twelve hours. In front of him sat a stack of clean, unused, parchment paper. He scribbled frantically on the top sheet, with a long feathery quill. He would stop for a fraction of a second after each line to freshen the ink for his writing. Beside that stack of paper stood another four times as high, which lay as only paper that had been written could, the scribbles causing the paper to be thicker in some areas.
The five travellers stood before him, waiting for him to acknowledge their presence. Marc felt sure that he knew they were there, as he would glance up at the televisions when he dipped his quill in the ink.
The Sorom looked up and cleared his throat, nodded at Meribah as said, “Miss, you are in the way. I cannot see Japan, and they move so fast. Who knows what I could have missed.”
Meribah blushed and moved quickly away, “Terribly sorry.”
The Sorom mumbled something under his breath, and returned to his frenzied penmanship. He looked up at a television and snorted, “Those Canadians! Hard to figure.” He continued for another five minutes without lifting his attention from his writing and watching. “How can I help you Dorom? You are Dorom aren’t you?”
“That would depend on exactly what a Dorom is,” said Joel.
“They don’t teach you as they should. I’ve told them before.” He looked over at a television which, to Joel, looked to be of a Chinese family. “A Dorom is an earth-angel, any child of Adam and Eve.”
“Then yes, I am a Dorom and so is Marc. The ladies are all Soron.” Joel said, as Petal smiled at being referred to as a lady.
“I suppose you want to know what it is I do?” asked the Sorom. “I’m Danial, the Historian. I’ve sat here since I was created, writing down what goes on. TVs have cut down on the eye strain. Do you know how weary it can be looking down on earth all the time? Your next question is ‘what goes one where?’ And my answer would be what goes on on the planets, what goes on in heaven, what goes on in your head.”
Marc chuckled, and said something about Danial having watched too much television.
“You’d be surprised, Marc.” Danial said.
“Hey how’d you…” started Marc.
“..know my name?” finished Danial. “My friend I’ve watched you for six lifetimes, and a fairly short afterlife. Oh, congratulations on the promotion to Guardian Angel.”
“Promotion to what?” asked Joel.
“I didn’t know how to tell you,” explained Marc to his friends, “I’m a Guardian Angel to the boy who I saved.”
“Sorry.” Danial kept on writing and dipping his quill. “I have a habit of doing that. Is there anything I can do for you?”
Meribah, having thought of a fruitful idea, stepped forward. “Well sir, since you are aware of our quest, it would probably be helpful for us to look at your documents of the beginning and anything else you have on God.”
“Oh you think?” Danial looked over at a television. “These papers are just this mornings. My apprentice comes by every twelve hours with fresh paper and takes these away to be filed. Besides, these papers are for God alone, I can’t let Dorom and Soron look at them.”
“I see,” said Meribah taking a step back.
“But, I could arrange for you to watch a television. Everything that I have written can be rewatched on the TVs. All you would have to do is ask the TV to play what you would like, and it will.” Danial looked up and was pleased to see that Meribah was smiling again.
“But sir,” Lily said cautiously, “with your TVs busy reporting the happenings of the universe, how can you possibly spare one? And which one would you spare? It would seem a heavy choice for anyone to make.”
“Actually it’s not that difficult. I’ll give you New Zealand.” Danial continued his writing.
Joel led them through the televisions to the one marked New Zealand. Although Danial had joked about it being a small and boring country, its television was not small and it was in colour, where many others were not.
The picture was of an ewe eating some grass. Lily shrugged her shoulders and said, “TV, show us Adam and Eve at the beginning of consciousness.”
The television flickered and a picture of two humans standing by an apple tree materialized. In the apple tree, a snake was coiled around a thick branch, like and unlike any earth snake.
“Son-of-a-gun.” Joel pointed to the tree. “Look, it’s Povit.”
“So, he wasn’t lying.” Marc rocked back on his feet. “Lucifer had nothing to do with it.”
“Guilty by association,” said Petal. Everyone looked at her with wide eyes. “What? What?”
They sat down around the television. Meribah looked at everyone else and decided that she’d better start things, “TV show us the earliest moments you can.”
The Picture became …
… that of God in all his Glory. A young God, without the slightest wrinkle, but he had the wisdom behind those black eyes that would make the brightest of men feel mentally handicapped. With him stood two Sorom, one was archangel Michael and the other was Danial, or archangel Danial.
“Welcome,” said God, “to the beginning. I am your God, I am your creator. Together we shall finish what I have started. It will take eternity to end it, so I ask you: Will you finish what I have started?”
“Your Majestic Grace,” said Danial kneeling down, “I am Yours. I know not what You would have of me. I know not what You want Your Kingdom to be. I know not what You saw in me. But I would not have the audacity to say yes to You. Instead, I beg and pray that You would let me be Your subject.”
“Your, Your Grace,” Michael knelt, “I am not as good with words as my brother. But I would have You know that I am as deeply in debt and adoration as he. I too, ask You to let me serve You.”
God nodded to Michael showing that He appreciated his acceptance just as He did Danial’s. “Good. Michael you shall be my right hand, and you shall carry my sword.” A brilliant flash of light expanded across the screen, then it condensed into a sword to fit Michael’s hand. “And you, my wordy child. You shall be my left hand, and you shall carry my quill.” Again the light came, but this time it condensed into a quill in Danial’s hand.
“Let us awaken your brothers and sisters.” God smiled. “If they knew, they would grow impatient. I have need of many. This will take some time.”
Joel looked down at his sword. It was the same sword. What did this mean? Had Michael lost it? Everyone else studied the sword also. Joel cleared his throat and resheathed the sword.
The picture showed …
… God greeting Sorom after Sorom. A line that stretched out of sight. A line that helped one imagine a line many times that of what could be seen. A line made up of a google of angels.
“TV, pause,” said Marc. “This is worse than Genesis five and ten put together. TV scan lineup for Lucifer.”
“There he is.” Joel pointed toward the young angel who he had once met. “He’s pretty far in that line, must be over five hundred in front of him.”
“He is six-hundred-and-sixty-fourth,” said Petal.
“How did you? Oh never mind.” Joel waved off his question before she could answer it. “Shouldn’t he be six-hundred-and-sixty-sixth? I mean if the label fits.”
“He is, you forgot Michael and Danial.” Lily held up two fingers.
“Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.” Meribah inched closer to the television. “TV skip past the ‘Angel Introduction’.”
The picture became …
… that of God conducting all of His angels in the making of planets and suns. When God was not looking a thousand planets collided and shattered into meteors.
“Let them be.” He called to His angels, “Perhaps they are for the better. We’ve other things to do.”
Some angels were experimenting with frozen water, in hopes of making planets of ice. They had lined up five hundred large planets to show God for approval. A meteor shower came too close to them, and the rocks crashed into and shattered the ice planets making comets.
“Let them be.” He called to his angels, “They will be travellers.”
When He had adjusted all of the planets into solar systems, He called His angels and said, “Let this be the first day. Let us rest for tomorrow we will make our home.”
They gathered on a large planet that still had no name, and God called to one angel. “Lucifer, with your tongue of gold, sing to us that we might relax. For heavy is the toll of making a universe.”
And Lucifer sang, and his songs eased the weariness of his listeners.
“You there,” Danial called. “Maybe you should turn off that TV for tonight and continue in the morning.”
“TV pause. What do you mean? It’s only …” Marc looked up at the night sky, “It’s late. When did the stars come out?”
Danial continued his writing. “Dorom,” he laughed to himself. “If I had not switched you over to fast forward, you’d still be watching the first hours of creation. You must remember that our days are not the equavalent to the first Six Days. Remember we are still in the Seventh Day. If I had let you watch all of the First Day, you would be there until the Eighth Day. Tomorrow I suggest that you watch the abridged versions.”
“That’s a good idea,” Meribah agreed. “I think our kind host is right. We should sleep and continue to watch tomorrow.” Meribah bowed to Danial. “Goodnight, Quill of God.”
“Goodnight, brave one.” Danial shook his head. “And goodnight to you all.”