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D I R E C T O R Y

A N D

L I N K I N G

P A G E

RETROSTAR, OR, THE CIRCULAR WEB:

Chronicles of a Twin Earth, Sun, and Solar System Under Siege

Dedicated to Gabriel Tall Chief who first blew the horn and to M.G.Y. who couldn't hear it...

Vol. I, Fatal Convergence by Gabriel Tall Chief, Vol. II, Cloud and Avalanche by Gabriel Tall Chief, Vol. III, Battles of the DUBESOR (mostly on-line, with CHRONICLE FIFTY-NINE, "The Blind Man Who Could See," now available) by Gabriel Tall Chief, Vol. IV, Lost Chronicles, Mystery Chronicles, and Unchronicles by Horace Brave Scout, Vol. V, Beyond the Rapture by Horace Brave Scout, Vol. VI, Natal Convergence by Horace Brave Scout Vol. VII, Final Wars...Convergence at Orion by Horace Brave Scout


Retro Star

WELCOME TO THE TWIN EARTH(S)!

AND WELCOME TO VOLUME I, FATAL CONVERGENCE!

Gabriel Tall Chief and Horace Brave Scout greet you as an honest friend and candidate for Retrostar challenger! This is a narrative by CP-challenged Gabriel and his cousin Horace that chronicles the struggles of humanity enlisted in a genius's computerized zero sum wargame against the global invasions of unknown superior entities. The Twin Earth chronicles record these battles with relentless waves of alien power which cause the reversal of technology and culture. Mankind sustains one attack only to be blasted by another. How many onslaughts will come? How will they appear? How long can people cope? Or can they? In today's society that has come to question the ability of world powers and leaders to solve catastrophic problems, the struggles of people on Earths I and II will speak to all those who are searching for a winning strategy in a seemingly no-win dilemma.

Our RetroStar Chroniclers:

Gabriel Tall Chief, a Lakota Indian prophet in Holland House, a private children's care center and hospice, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, in the 1990s. As his chronicles for Earth II show, years in advance of the developments he revealed that there would be a catastrophic tsunami, a world-wide network of terrorism and use of conventional explosives to disrupt government and society, the confrontation of the Arab bloc with the West involving the threat of chemical-biological WPM (Weapons of Pestilential Murder), a decline in NASA and the secret intelligence services, catastrophic weather changes, and the discovery of artifacts of Atlantis (much larger pyramids than Giza's have recently come to light in the former Yugoslavia); he also predicted a total collapse of computer-based Western society and the reversal of technology, not to mention, the reversal of cultural development, the rise and fall of a world government based on the European Union, and a Dutch takeover of America and the Caribbean as an Ice Age, ignited by Global Warming, clamps down on most of the Northern Hemisphere.

Gabriel's disciple and dream-weaver and dream-rider, Horace Brave Scout, who gathered the "fragments" of the chronicles that remained after Gabriel died and made a great leap for mankind.

Back in the 1700s the Lakota got a little prophetic recording the tribe's events, foreseeing ANNO STELLAE 1912's Sinking of the Big Canoe:

Later, Horace Brave Scout journeyed back to the same event, and the others that followed it in quick succession:

The Kiowa, too, had their recorders:

The best cushy job in his life--working for Wolff and Harland in the Belfast shipyards--turned sour for Marty Yeager, so sour he drew a star that, one bitter-cold, black night, answered his call for bloody revenge from across the universe.

Did you get the impression from the calendars that Earth got into some kind of big trouble sometime around ANNO 1912? Your impression is absolutely true to the facts. But that was just the beginning--the first tiny baby step to what we now are facing. What is causing all this havoc and mayhem and unannounced terrorism in the Universe, the Solar System, and the Twin Earths that follows close on the sinking of the White Star Line's greatest ship? Nobody seems to know, and the right questions aren't even being asked--not for a long time anyway, thanks to the opposition of all-powerful vested interests, and by then it may be too late to save Earth(s) from the unknown Alien(s). But the gate of RETROSTAR and THE CIRCULAR WEB is lying open before us--and someone wise said it is better to do the right thing late than never.

The Series of the Twin Earths is available on disk or can be electronically transmitted. The series consists of: RETRO STAR, Vol. 1, Fatal Convergence, Vol. 2, Cloud and Avalanche, Vol. 3. Battles of the DUBESOR, Vol. 4, Lost Chronicles; Part Two, Unchronicles, Vol. 5, Natal Convergence, Vol. 6, Beyond the Rapture, Vol. 7. Final Wars...Convergence at Orion

A "Letter to Agent, Outlines, and Overview and Marketing Strategy" of the Series":

Agent Letter, Outlines, Strategy

A Last Word Count in ANNO STELLAE 1997: 1,400,000

Outlines for VOLUME I, RETROSTAR:

CHRONICLES 1-24--WHAT'S IN THEM?

CHRONICLE ONE--WHAT'S IN IT?


CHRONICLES TWO TO SIX--WHAT'S IN THEM?


CHRONICLES SEVEN TO NINE--WHAT'S IN THEM?


CHRONICLES TEN TO TWELVE--WHAT'S IN THEM?


CHRONICLES EIGHTEEN TO NINETEEN--WHAT'S IN THEM?


CHRONICLES TWENTY TO TWENTY-THREE--WHAT'S IN THEM?


CHRONICLE TWENTY-FOUR--WHAT'S IN IT?


OUTLINES, CHRONICLES ONE TO FORTY-FIVE


OUTLINES, CHRONICLES FIFTY-EIGHT TO SIXTY TWO


Main Game Players (Earth II):

1. The Titans (Atlanteans) who lost Atlantis, on both Earths; then tried repeatedly to re-assert their rule over Earth II; they are a superhuman species that has turned vampire and lives almost indefinitely.

2. The Ten Stones of Fire (Starlike, Jeweline, Super-intelligent, Alien Entities), each performing as OP, or, Opposing Player, with the aim of conquering and destroying the Earths, I and II, and their respective universes.

3. Dr. Pikkard's Computer Wargame, represented by Wally, an electronically-created, free-roaming butterly who fights for humanity's survival against the Alien(s)

4. Human "Alphabetic" or A-Z Champions, also a subgroup called DUBESOR, or the Rosebud Champions

5. Yeshua, the A and Z, the Alpha and Omega, and the Aleph and Tau (also known as FC, the so-called "Forbidden Category")

EVEN BEFORE THE TITANIC'S SPECTACULAR MAIDEN VOYAGE DIVE TO HADES IN CHRONICLE ONE, SOME CLUES ARE GIVEN US. FOR INSTANCE: ON BOTH EARTH I AND EARTH II A CERTAIN CHOICE OF A YOUNG RUSSIAN ARISTOCRAT'S FIANCE (UPPER CLASS, KREMLIN-BORN AND BRED DAUGHTER OF A COURT PHYSICIAN, KNOWN LATER AS ONLY THE "OVERLY POSSESSIVE" WIFE OF THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNER COUNT LEO TOLSTOY) PREPARED THE WAY OF THE ALIEN ENTITY ON EARTH II AND THE DRAGON ON EARTH I: FOR THIS CHECK OUT SCENARIO I. THEN RETURN FOR SCENARIO II, WHICH REVEALS THE GREAT RECORDER HIMSELF, CHRONICLER GABRIEL TALL CHIEF. FINALLY, SCENARIO III, WHERE A KREMLIN STARETZ REVEALS YEARS BEFOREHAND WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE ILL-STARRED 20TH CENTURY OF BOTH EARTHS, WHEN SOMETHING WORSE THAN THE H5N 1 STRAIN OF THE BIRD FLU VIRUS IS INFECTING THE TWINS, SO THAT THEIR INTERTWINED FATES ARE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO SEPARATE FROM EACH OTHER.

(Chronicles Completed unmarked; Chronicles Not Yet Available Marked IP, In Progress)

Volume I Fatal Convergence

Retrostar Contents

Scenario I: CHRONICLE OF SOFYA'S CHOICE

SCENARIO I

Scenario II: CHRONICLE OF THE MEDICINE SPEAR

SCENARIO II

Scenario III: CHRONICLE OF THE KREMLIN STARETZ--EARTH I

SCENARIO III

CHRONICLE ONE, A. S. (ANNO STELLAE, Year of the Star) 1912 1. The Belfast Colossus 2. Night of the Tornnarsuk

PART I, CHRONICLE ONE, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

3. "What, have we hit anything?"

PART II, CHRONICLE ONE, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

4. Pursuit 5. Mystery Stone

PART III, CHRONICLE ONE, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

The Carnelian/Sardius

CHRONICLE TWO, A. S. 1918 Visions from Space

CHRONICLE TWO, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE THREE, A. S. 1924 1. The East Gate 2. Carter's Pill

PARTS 1-2, CHRONICLE THREE, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

3. Carter's Royal Sphinx Turkish Cigarettes 4. G-EAOU

PARTS 3-4, CHRONICLE THREE, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FOUR, A. S. 1939 1. The Polar King 2. Convergence in Tinsel Town

CHRONICLES FOUR AND FIVE, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FIVE, A. S. 1967 1. "Act of God" 2. Letter to ANNO 5931 3. The River of Time's End

CHRONICLE SIX, A. S. 1969 1. The Chevy Chase Inscription 2. A Different Drum 3. Signature of the Drum 4. Miracle at Project M

CHRONICLE SEVEN, A. S. 1985 1. "Switched off?" 2. Epitaph for a Lost Ship

CHRONICLE EIGHT, A. S. 1986 1. "Roll Program." (Challenger) 2. STS 51-L Sequence of Main Events 3. Dear Mr. President:

CHRONICLES SIX, SEVEN, AND EIGHT, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE NINE, A. S. 1987 1. Black Tuesday II 2. Spackle in the Sky with Diamonds 3. Tempest in a Teapot? 4. Mouse or Lion? 5. "Now you see it..." 6. Skylab II: the Year of Sol 7. Enigma of the Gleba 8. Catamaran and Mouse 9. Last of the Great American Icons

CHRONICLE NINE, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TEN, A. S. 1994 1. "And so if he sign rosebud. It just a game." 2. "A lot of 'mind games,' yeah?" 3. Kamamoto's Mind Game 4. Butterfly's StartUp

CHRONICLE TEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

5. "It's All in the Frequency."

"It's All in the Frequency," CHRONICLE TEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE ELEVEN, A. S. 1996- 1. Flyby of the Blue Centaur 2. Hantsbo's Main Chance

CHRONICLE ELEVEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

3. The Thief in the Night (Earth I) THE THIEF IN THE NIGHT, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TWELVE, A. S. 2024 1. A Question of Any 2. A Matter Under Advisement: The Triliths of Orion--Part I

CHRONICLE TWELVE, PART I, RETROSTAR

A Matter Under Advisement: The Triliths of Orion--Part II CHRONICLE TWELVE, PART II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE THIRTEEN, A. S. 2113 1. A Childish Phase 2. Reformed 3. Q.U.I.P.

CHRONICLE THIRTEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FOURTEEN, A. S. 2145 1. Fresh Ice 2. The Ultimate Weapon 3. The Unstoppable Chill 4. Nils the Red

CHRONICLE FOURTEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FIFTEEN, A. S. 2146 1. Head #41 2. Plots and Counterplots

CHRONICLE FIFTEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE SIXTEEN, A. S. 2155 1. "First Citizen" 2. Red Bladed II, Retrenchment, and the Mole

CHRONICLE SIXTEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE SEVENTEEN, A. S. 2165 1. More Crowns for the Emperor 2. Convergence of Kings

CHRONICLE SEVENTEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE EIGHTEEN, A. S. 2170 1. Convergence in Greece: Beyond the Roche Limit 2. Marching Trees 3. Workin' for the Man 4. First the Foie Gras, Then... 5. Old is In, New is Out! 6. Another Domecraft Scratched! 7. Homecoming to Chillingsworth-opolis! 8. A Mongolian Interruption 9. Bisbee on Alert! 10. Chillingsworth's Zombie

PART ONE, CHRONICLE EIGHTEEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

11. Crisis Control at the Olde Guildhall 12. "Sorry, folks, no Tube today" 13. Visions and Portents 14. Last Breakfast at the Chillingsworthies 15. Fleeing Birds, Floundering Fishes 16. Chillingsworth's Contingency Plan 17. Chillingsworth's Personal Test 18. Black Death II 19. Our Lady of the Angels--Vacancy 20. Palms, More Palms, and Fire Jaguars

PART TWO, CHRONICLE EIGHTEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

21. "What, has the plumbing been hit too?" 22. "Hull bloody world's fallin' apart!" 23. Final ESCape 24. 19.9999999999999...Chthonic Complications 25. The Arctic Fox 26. Seemingly Doomed 27. Death of the Rose? 28. Counterclockwise 29. Birdman of Our Lady's 30. Cause: Unknown

PART THREE, CHRONICLE EIGHTEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE NINETEEN, A. S. 2171... 1. Hermon's Folly 2. Crazy John from Ivujivik

CHRONICLE NINETEEN, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TWENTY, A. S. 2251 1. Ice and Fire 2. Singer of the Stone

CHRONICLE TWENTY, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TWENTY-ONE, A. S. 2382 1. A Plain Dutch Boy 2. The Good Ship Argo 3. A Mill Worker! 4. Shafted CHRONICLE TWENTY-ONE, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TWENTY-TWO, A. S. 2390-91 1. "Work, woman!" 2. Wooden Wings 3. The Big Little Apple

CHRONICLE TWENTY-TWO, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TWENTY-THREE, A. S. 2392 1. Leamis's Good Turn 2. The Mountain Climbed! 3. The Contract 4. Dendrochronology--the Professor's Folly 5. Just What the Doctor Ordered 6. Decline in a Dutch Paradise? 7. Vent and Rip

PART 1, CHRONICLE TWENTY-THREE, RETROSTAR

8. The Perfect Getaway 9. "A River flowed out of Eden..." 10. "Discoverer of Lost Atlantis" 11. Cave of Cannibals 12. Visitors to Earth 13. The Mary Celeste Avenger 14. "We three kings of Orient are..."

PART 2, CHRONICLE TWENTY-THREE, RETROSTAR

15. The Paper Chase 16. Outings with Anne 17. The Kilpaison Female Temperament 18. King of Ellis 19. The Break 20. The Treasure Room 21. The Professor's Wargame

PART 3, CHRONICLE TWENTY-THREE, RETROSTAR

22. The Gray Fox Speaketh 23. "Was it in his contract?" 24. A Dream and a Face 25. Atlantis--will she ever come? 26. Four Cents Saved, Four Cents Earned 27. "Low bridge! Everybody down!" 28. Rebirth of the Atlantis

PART 4, CHRONICLE TWENTY-THREE, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TWENTY-FOUR, A. S. 2393 1. Convergence in Wioteheka Wi 2. Fool's Day 3. A Good Deal 4. Losers, Weepers 5. Fritz the Farmer 6. Cloaks and Daggers 7. Escape of Department 13 8. No Ordinary Day 9. The Tramp CHRONICLE TWENTY-FOUR, PART I, VOL. I, RETROSTAR

10. Dr. Pikkard's Papers 11. Van Donkt to the Rescue 12. A Charmed Life? 13. Black Tuesday III 14. Fritz, Loti, the Domine, and Plenty of Nothin' 15. Choices 16. Dead Man's Cheque 17. Star of Jamaica 18. The Trouble with Wednesday II 19. Battle of the Atlantis PART TWO, CHRONICLE TWENTY-FOUR, VOL. I, RETRO STAR

20. "Ship up!" 21. Reunion Amidst the Stars 22. "Nach Palestine, Reno nicht!" 23. The Open Porthole 24. "Ship down!" 25. Ship Across! 26. Taken for a Ride 27. The Mystery Youth 28. Second Thoughts 29. Visitations in the Night 30. Angels! 31. A New Olson? 32. "Who will stop it?" 33. Hodgkins the Magnificent 34. "I've failed!" 35. The Plain People 36. Anna Invicta 37. Pieter and the Blue Centaur

PART THREE, CHRONICLE TWENTY-FOUR, VOL. I, RETROSTAR


(Chronicles completed: unmarked)

Volume II Cloud and Avalanche

Contents Book One

CHRONICLE TWENTY-FIVE, A. S. (ANNO STELLAE, Year of the Star) 2415 Breath of the Red Star

CHRONICLE TWENTY-SIX, A. S. 2433 Star Song

CHRONICLES TWENTY-FIVE AND TWENTY-SIX, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TWENTY-SEVEN, A. S. 2444 1. Three "Pearls" 2. The Dragon and the Dragoman 3. Farewells 4. The Liverpool Express 5. The Sphinx and Lady Anne 6. Letter of Marque 7. The Enchanted Islands 8. The Compleat Angler 9. Anne's Discovery 10. Pluto's Ball 11. Deliverance 12. The Reverend's Journey 13. Nemesis III 14. The Devil Man's Medicine 15. La Calaca 16. The Mail Bag from La Boca 17. Change of Administration

CHRONICLE TWENTY-SEVEN, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE TWENTY-EIGHT, A. S. 2457 1. Diana's Expedition 2. Dr. Celman and the Papers 3. The New Atlantis 4. Artiste with a Gun 5. The Captain's Cross 6. Artiste at Work! 7. The Scarlet Woman 8. Madmen and Savages 9. Island of the Moon 10. Jaguars, and Glyphs

PART I, CHRONICLE TWENTY-EIGHT, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

11. Day One 12. Day Two 13. Day Three 14. Papadoc 15. Dzong kunu! 16. The Shrine in the Square 17. Celman's Escape 18. John Canoe's Discovery 19. The Fatal Asterisk 20. Convergence on the Lago Negro 21. Homecoming in 3C 295 PART II, CHRONICLE TWENTY-EIGHT, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

RE-LOCATION OF EARTH II

Book Two

CHRONICLE TWENTY-NINE, A. S. 2458 1. Much Ado About a Key 2. Much Ado About Moons

Chronicle Twenty-Nine included in link below

CHRONICLE THIRTY, A. S. 2460 Terra 2, Alpha Centauri

CHRONICLES TWENTY-NINE and THIRTY, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE THIRTY-ONE, A. S. 4130 The Blue Chair

CHRONICLE THIRTY-TWO, A. S. 4133 The Sixth Hour

CHRONICLE THIRTY-THREE, A. S. 4146 The Dreaded Day

CHRONICLES THIRTY-ONE, THIRTY-TWO, THIRTY-THREE, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE THIRTY-FOUR, A. S. 4148 1. "Have you ever heard such nonsense?" 2. The Power of Life and Death 3. Thirty Silver Pieces 4. A True Diplomat!

CHRONICLE THIRTY-FOUR, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE THIRTY-FIVE, A. S. 4149 1. A Dish of Rue 2. "God go with you, dear Auntie!" 3. One Major Hindrance 4. Higher Ground 5. The Trial

CHRONICLE THIRTY-FIVE, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE THIRTY-SIX, A. S. 4150 1. Street Women 2. The Golden Bowl 3. The Miracle 4. Noahdiah's Daughter 5. The Widow's Mites 6. Convergence on the Viaduct 7. Tower Ghosts 8. The Lustration 9. Falling Towers 10. The Tablets of Destiny

CHRONICLE THIRTY-SIX

CHRONICLE THIRTY-SEVEN, A. S. 5909 The Tower of Eder

CHRONICLE THIRTY-EIGHT, A. S. 5913 The Road to Enaim

CHRONICLES THIRTY-SEVEN and THIRTY-EIGHT, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE THIRTY-NINE, A. S. 5918 1. The Many-Colored Robe 2. The Pit of Dothan 3. Twenty Pieces of Silver 4. The Iron Collar 5. The Wilderness of Shur 6. Visions of the Night 7. The Beak of Nebel 8. City of the Moon 9. The Cobra's Den 10. Thief in the Night 11. A Fruitful Bough

CHRONICLE THIRTY-NINE, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FORTY, A. S. 5920 Woes

CHRONICLE FORTY-ONE, A. S. 5923 Joseph the Steward!

CHRONICLES FORTY AND FORTY-ONE, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FORTY-TWO, A. S. 5926 1. War! 2. The Gold Harp 3. Daughter of the Desert 4. The Voice of the Pomegranate 5. The Scorpion's Sting 6. Sleepless in Paradise 7. The Road to Babelen 8. The King and the Prophetess 9. Angel of Death 10. The Gray Dove 11. Horsemen in Pairs

CHRONICLE FORTY-TWO, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FORTY-THREE, A. S. 5927 1. Rising Waters 2. The Death of Heaphes 3. More Falling Gods 4. Into the Pit 5. "Will you and your god slay him too?"

CHRONICLE FORTY-THREE, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FORTY-FOUR, A. S. 5929 1. Signet, Cord, and Staff 2. Joseph's Prison 3. "Forbidden Vases"

PART I, CHRONICLE FORTY-FOUR, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

4. Judah's Return

PART II, CHRONICLE FORTY-FOUR, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

5. Two Prodigals 6. Zenobia's Return 7. A Ring of Red and Black 8. The Lowest Pit

PART III, CHRONICLE FORTY-FOUR, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FORTY-FIVE, A. S. 5931 1. The Per-aa Dreamed 2. The Per-aa's Secret 3. The Ka of Narmer 4. Doors of Brass

PARTS 1-4, CHRONICLE 45, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

5. The White Lady PART 5, CHRONICLE FORTY-FIVE

6. Tamar's Children 7. Imhotep's Signet 8. The Sinking Ship 9. M.G.Y. Calling PARTS 6-9, CHRONICLE FORTY-FIVE, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

Book Three

CHRONICLE FORTY-SIX, A. S. 6098 1. A Second OP? 2. Pher's New Army 3. The Two Serpents, Part I

The Topaz

CHRONICLE FORTY-SIX, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FORTY-SEVEN, A. S. 6286 1. Waters of Blessing 2. Mosheh's Fire-Chariots 3. The Rod of a Ready Deliverer 4. The Pen of a Ready Writer

CHRONICLE FORTY-SEVEN, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FORTY-EIGHT, A. S. 6679 1. Lightning over Kedesh 2. Under the Tamar Tree 3. Tinker's Nail

CHRONICLE FORTY-EIGHT, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FORTY-NINE, A. S. 6688 Greener Pastures

CHRONICLE FIFTY, A. S. 6699 The Gleaner CHRONICLES FORTY-NINE and FIFTY, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FIFTY-ONE, A. S. 6700 Two Wives and an Attitude CHRONICLE FIFTY-ONE, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FIFTY-TWO, A. S. 7074 1. The Dove 2. The Fish 3. The Ship 4. The Worm and the Vine

CHRONICLE FIFTY-THREE, A. S. 7504 The Topmost Twig CHRONICLES FIFTY-TWO and FIFTY-THREE, VOL. II, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FIFTY-FOUR, A. S. 7506 1. The Lost Dream 2. The Colossus 3. The Fourth Man 4. "O God, how long?" CHRONICLE FIFTY-FOUR, VOl. II, RETROSTAR

(Chronicles Completed unmarked)

Volume III Battles of the DUBESOR

Book One

CHRONICLE FIFTY-FIVE, A. S. (ANNO STELLAE, Year of the Star) 7537 Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin CHRONICLE FIFTY-FIVE, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FIFTY-SIX, A. S. 8033 Iskander's Secret CHRONICLE FIFTY-SIX, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE FIFTY-SEVEN, A. S. 8507

Notes on Algol, Gorgons, and Nergul

1. U the Dire Knight PART ONE, CHRONICLE FIFTY-SEVEN, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

2. Lords of Ahpikondia PART TWO, CHRONICLE FIFTY-SEVEN, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

3. Molu and the Gorgons PART THREE, CHRONICLE FIFTY-SEVEN, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

4. 02K05 00340 00000000000150000000001000000010 5. Peninah's Comeuppance PART FOUR, CHRONICLE FIFTY-SEVEN, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

6. Molu and the Gorgons, Part II 7. The East Gate Regained? PART FIVE, CHRONICLE FIFTY-SEVEN, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

Book Two

CHRONICLE FIFTY-EIGHT, A. S. 8732 1. Chiron's PQ Plan 2. Elektra's Comeuppance BOOK TWO, CHRONICLE FIFTY-EIGHT, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

3. Mink and the Flying Horse 4. Uwe's Last Farewell 5. The Wandering Paiute PART TWO, CHRONICLE FIFTY-EIGHT, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

6. Wally and the Nano-Queen 7. Michael's Last Trump PART THREE, CHRONICLE FIFTY-EIGHT, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

(Chronicles in Progress marked)

Book Three

THE LOST CHRONICLE, A. S. 9117 The Goatherd Who Turned King BOOK THREE, VOL. III, THE GOATHERD WHO TURNED KING, Retro Star

Book Four

CHRONICLE FIFTY-NINE, A. S. 10, 272 The Blind Man Who Could See BOOK FOUR, CHRONICLE FIFTY-NINE, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE SIXTY, A. S. 10,282 1. The Shadow Line 2. The Lacquered Wardrobe 3. A Pilgrim's Heart BOOK FIVE, PART ONE, VOL. III, CHRONICLE SIXTY, RETROSTAR

4. Talulah's Star PART II, VOL. III, CHRONICLE SIXTY

IP 5. South by Southwest IP 6. The Gray Wolf IP 7. Lux ex Tenebris IP

CHRONICLE SIXTY-ONE, A. S. 10,995 1. Five Stars for the Long Road

CHRONICLE SIXTY-ONE, PART I, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

2. ARGO Unrequited 3. Pilgrim, Bluebird, Starboy CHRONICLE SIXTY-ONE, VOL. III, PART II-III, RETROSTAR

Part III,

CHRONICLE SIXTY-ONE, VOL. III, PART III CONTINUED, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE SIXTY-ONE, VOL. III, PART IV, AND CONCLUSION

4. Zu the Birdman IP 5. The Tiger of Hagi IP 6. The White Stone

Book Five

Just as a classical Greek epic does not begin at the beginning but in the middle, so the Retrostar chronicles of Gabriel Tall Chief and Horace Brave Scout do not end at the ending--no, they finish exactly here: This is the Last Piece of the Whole Puzzle, Ariadne's Thread for the Labyrinth, Alexander's Sword for the Gordian Knot, the Checkmate, the Royal Flush, the Golden Key in Quinn's search for the meaning locked into his father's sand painting game...all rolled into one grand finale, one classical drama's catharsis and denouement, and...you must join the ARGO and decide for yourself if you really want to find what all men want but are maybe seeking in the wrong places and even dead-ends:

CHRONICLE SIXTY-TWO, A. S. 10,999 Voyage of the ARGO V: Quest of the Cybernauts PART I, CHRONICLE SIXTY-TWO, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

Part II, CHRONICLE SIXTY-TWO, VOL.III, RETROSTAR

PART III, OPTION NUMBER THREE, CHRONICLE SIXTY-TWO, RETROSTAR

PART IV, CHAMPION DAVID WILKERSON, CHRONICLE SIXTY-TWO, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

PART V, NONE OF THE ABOVE, CHRONICLE SIXTY-TWO, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

EPILOGUE I EPILOGUE I, "LAST TO LEAVE...," EPILOGUE FOR VOLUMES I-III, VOL. III, RETROSTAR

(Chronicles Completed unmarked, Chronicles In Progress marked)

Volume IV Lost Chronicles, Secret Chronicles, Mystery Chronicles, Unchronicles, Twin Chronicles with Appendix by Horace Brave Scout

Book One CHRONICLE OF THE INUNDATION, A. A. S. "Year of the Metamorph" How a small, big-winged, thirsty creature with only a sip of water on its tiny mind set in motion events that created the lake-like Mediterranean Sea--the vital body of water around which most of the earliest and greatest civilizations of mankind were birthed.

CHRONICLE OF THE INUNDATION, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

SECRET CHRONICLE A. A. S. (Ante Anno Stellae, Before Year of the Star) 100,000 The Flamesteeds of Ara How the cherubic magistrate and Mercy-seat guardian, Uran, joined forces with Michael against the take-over of Universe I by the rebel archangel. How the other two cherubs fought to quarantine the equal threat to Universe II that was posed by the corrupted star-stones.

SECRET CHRONICLE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE CRYSTAL BRIDGE A. A. S. 9, 500, Battle For the Bridge How Lucifer, the fallen archangel, fails to seize the vital Gate of Ara, which controls access to the twin Universes; how he makes up part of this loss with vindictive destruction, and goes on to attack the new species the Enemy has planted on what he sees as his exclusive domain, a planet in his allotted sector, Universe I. How going up against Michael a third time, for the control of the interplanetary bridge connecting Earth I and II, he is worsted by the loyalist forces commanded by Michael. It is a terribly humiliating and painful setback (almost as bad as being thrown out of heaven by the triumphant Michael and his armies!). Yet human beings, taken in by Lucifer getting them to rebel against the Enemy, remain his to control and manipulate any way he chooses. He has succeeded in stamping out all fearers of God, except for one man named Noah. That one man should be no problem, Lucifer reasoned. What could one man do against him? He, Lord Lucifer, had won the battle for Earth I--or so it seemed to him.

CHRONICLE OF THE CRYSTAL BRIDGE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE STAR ORACLES (EARTH I) A. A. S. "The Day of Enoch" The Man Who Was Taken Up How Enoch, son of Lamech, cultivated a relationship with the Most High God when most men of his generation worshipped many gods and lived immorally and violently. How the Most High God was so pleased with Enoch that He reached down one day and took Enoch bodily into heaven, but before that day Enoch was given divine signs that signified the meanings God had put in the stars to guide all men back to the truth and to warn them of the coming of His Son, the Dragon-Destroyer.

CHRONICLE OF THE STAR ORACLES, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE HARVEST TIME, Part I A. A. S. 3,301, Year of the Sky Reaper, Harvest Time How no serpent can change its stripes and how a simple shepherd-farmer is confronted with an Atlantean plasma-harvesting expedition. How Lime Flower, Yew Tree's wife, and family coped with being dragged off from their village to slavery in Crooked Tree Village far down from the mountains and on the river plain, and how they were rescued by a God who was unlike all other gods of woods and trees and stones and brooks they had known and worshipped. VOL. IV, CHRONICLE OF THE SKY REAPER, PART I, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE

(EARTH II)

A. A. S. 1230-1200, Voyage of the Argonauts How the now extra-terrestrial, vampire race of the Atlanteans, working behind a convenient screen of (to their perspective) petty geopolitics of humanity, sought to stop Jason of Iolkos, also called The One-Sandalled, from gaining the Golden Fleece and returning a hero to Greece. All it needed was such a man of this caliber to unify the whole country of Achaea (at present a hodge-podge of rival city-states and kingdoms ruled by lesser men), which would then be a major setback to the expansion of Ilios and its snake goddess, the major player the Atlanteans had chosen to promote in their grand strategy to regain an Earth II recontructed to their liking.

PART I, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

PART II, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

PART III, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

PART IV, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

PART V, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

PART VI, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

PART VII, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

PART VIII, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

"NONE OF THE ABOVE," CONCLUSION, CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE

CHRONICLE OF THE TWO SERPENTS, PART II A. A. S. 1230-1200, The Horse of Tenedos How two serpents were released to cause havoc in the Upper World. How two ways of life, two sets of gods, two worlds collided at Ludim's chief city, Ilios, later called Troy (Troas) by the Romans. How the poets, chiefly Homer, celebrated the conflict in terms that glorified the heroes on both sides and capitalized on the abduction of a beautiful queen that supposedly sparked the conflict. How Atlanteans, continually meddling in human society for their own advantage, paid a prior visit with a burning "stone" that could have, if finished in construction and put to great effect in the war, have finished the Achaeans in their bid for mastery of the ancient world centered on the Aegean. How, then, the Two Serpent-Armed Goddess was deposed in the bud by the "Horse of Tenedos" and a new world was free to take shape that was not the one the Atlanteans would have chosen. How these vital affairs played out in the coming of Yeshua, and the Good News of that coming was able to be spread universally by the Greek language (not the mother-goddess's language of the Ludim, which would always be spoken locally, not universally like Greek).

CHRONICLE OF THE TWO SERPENTS, PART II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF HORSES OF ISRAEL, A. A. S. 984, The Budding Sopetet How a prophet of Israel, destined to be one of her greatest, was born in Tishbe of Gilead, a village so small it was a flyspeck on the map, and how he suffered early hardship and rough training in Life's School of Hard Knocks, and how he came to confront the king of Israel, Ahab, because he took a foreign, idol-worshipping wife from the wicked heathen city of Sidon.

CHRONICLE OF THE HORSES OF ISRAEL, PART II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF LION-KING, A. A. S. 686, The Wounded Lion, How the king of Assyria, though he was styled "King of the Universe," was badly mauled in a campaign against a tiny kingdom called Judah, and how he returned home without his army (which had mysteriously perished in camp in a single night) only to find his country stirring with rebellion against his tyrannical and disastrous rule.

CHRONICLE OF THE LION-KING, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE VISIONS OF DIVINE MEMORY A. A. S. 537 How the prophet of Israel, grown old, took ship from Joppa to the Iktis, the port city of the Isles of Tin in the Extremity of the West, taking not only his loyal servant Uthai but the Good News of the holy name and saving goodness and almighty power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to idol-worshipping tribes who burnt people as sacrifices in tree-high haystacks. How the prophet shared with them his divine visions of things and worlds to come.

CHRONICLE OF THE VISIONS OF DIVINE MEMORY, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF LIMERICK II A. A. S. 270 A Cruise on Joseph's Canal How two Irish Celts from the Gaelic Kingdom of Limerick serving as mercenary soldiers in Ptolemy II's army encountered a late and fading memory of a Great Deliverer who kept the land of Kem, Mizraim, the Land of Red and Black, from starving to death in the "Years of the Fat Hyena" when all crops failed for seven years in a row and the hyenas and other scavangers grew fat on the multitude of dead and dying animals and even the bodies of people left unburied in abandoned villages.

CHRONICLE OF LIMERICK II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF CLEOPATRA A. A. S. 31, The Horse of Antirrhodus and the Burning Eye How the last ruler of the royal Macedonian line of Ptolemy in the Land of the Red and Black sought to stop Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus, the grand-nephew of the late Julius Casesar of Roma, from seizing her kingdom so that she could reign as Empress over East and West, with herself deified as the Goddess Isis's incarnation, thus heading the world's state religion. How she retrieved from the world-famed Museum of Alexandria's archives certain old books that contained plans for a super-weapon invented by a race of "Orthrysians"--reputed to be demi-gods from the distant past who had paid her predecessor, the Macedonian pharaoh Ptolemaeus II Philadelphus a state visit with this all-powerful weapon as a "gift" in exchange for certain concessions.

CHRONICLE OF CLEOPATRA, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE STAR OF THE ROSE A. S. 4 -, Wan Li and the Star-Men of the Zoziash How Wan Li, a wealthy merchant of the kingdom of Kuo in the lands of the East, met a prince of stargazers, and together in a caravan they followed the star of the coming King of the Jews--which first appeared in the Sign of the Fish set in the heavens by the Creator of heaven, the earth, and all things and creatures int them; how they met the wicked king in the West, and yet found the young Child born King of kings and Lord of lords, Whose star led them to his house in the little town of Bethlehem of Ephratah-Judaea; how Wan Li and the Star-men worshipped the divine Child, and gave Him royal gifts, then returned secretely without telling the wicked king the whereabouts of the precious Child, and how all their lives were changed forever by the mere sight and Presence of the holy Child.

CHRONICLE OF THE STAR OF THE ROSE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE NATAL STAR A. S. 1-30, The Naked Brave How the Light-Bringer, Lucifer the Covering Cherub who hovered above the Throne of God and kept the Stones of Fire, lost his place in heaven after seeking to be Supreme Deity and was cast out by Michael the archangel and his loyalist forces. How the Messiah, only Son of the Great Father Spirit, leaving the Great Council Fire to live and fight for his Father on Earth (lost to Lucifer and his allies), stripped off his skin and scalp, leaving them shining in his Father's sky-lodge, and how like a star they went seeking for him on Earth.

Reunion How the Messiah, the Bright Morning Star, was rejoined by His stellar glory after his great Victory, and how one of the thieves crucified beside him on a cross shared in the Yeshuas' incomparable splendor.

CHRONICLE OF THE NATAL STAR, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE RIBBON-BEARER A. S. 30, Part I, Tsedahh's Quest How heaven's most insignificant angel was given the task of finding the Universe's most significant tree.

CHRONICLE OF THE RIBBON-BEARER, PART I, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

2. Secret Sharers How two secret disciples of Yeshua, the condemned and executed Messiah-claimant, were unwitting participants in the greatest drama of the ages, and how one, Joseph of Arimathea, took the news of that Event to the Earth's far corner, the coasts and isles of Britain, and how he gave a lasting apostolic blessing to safeguard the land against heathen barbarians after his departure.

CHRONICLE OF THE RIBBON-BEARER, PART II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

3. A New Name How Tsedahh the Ribbon-Bearer retrieved the ribbon and after loosing it above Jerusalem was appointed Keeper of the Tree of Life for eternity, and how he received a new name and a glorious, bright make-over.

CHRONICLE OF THE RIBBON-BEARER, PART III, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE SUFFERING SERVANT A. S. 33, The Forsaken Stream How Yeshua took a towel and wash basin of the lowest household slave and taught his disciples what the Messiahship truly meant on the eve of his trials before the Jewish Council, Pilatus Pontius, and Tetrarch King Herod. CHRONICLE OF THE SUFFERING SERVANT, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF SAUL IN SELA, (OR, PAULUS IN PETRA) A. S. 35, The Eighth Pillar of Wisdom How the budding apostle (who would change his name to Paulus) received a revelation about God's grace directly from the Source, and how it changed his entire perspective on life and the course of his life, not to mention the direction and whole ethos and spirituality of Western Civilization and even the world at large.

CHRONICLE OF SAUL IN SELA, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE THIRD HEAVEN A. S. 49 How two apostles, Paul and Barnabus, reached Lystra in Asia Minor with the Good News of Yeshua, but were hideously stoned when the people, incited by anti-missionaries, turned against them after first proclaiming them gods, Zeus and Mercury (Barnabus called Zeus because of his substantial size and Paulus, being small, called Mercury). How in death (for Paulus was killed) Paulus was taken to view heaven, but was restored to life and sent back to finish his mission on Earth by Yeshua Himself.

CHRONICLE OF THE THIRD HEAVEN, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE HORSE OF TROAS A. S. 50, Philippi Calling How Paulus and two companions, Silas and Lucanus, all believers in Yeshua the Messiah, paused at Troas Alexandria on the coast of Asia Minor (Ionia) to rest and pray. How this epic site where two world-views and their respective gods and goddesses had fought for supremacy 1,180 years before became an even more epic launching point for Paulus's Gospel, for from this jumping-off point to all of Europe a new world was launched at the same time that would overturn the seemingly all-powerful, pagan Roman Empire itself.

CHRONICLE OF THE HORSE OF TROAS

CHRONICLE OF PAULUS AND SILAS IN PRISON A. S. 50, Birth of a Church and a New World How Paulus received a vision in the port of Alexandria Troas (a city near ancient Troy on the NW coast of Asia Minor) of a man of Macedonia urgently calling him to cross over with the Gospel, and how he and Silas were treated in Phillipi of Macedonia and how the city's jailor and his whole family were converted, which was the start of not only a new church but a new world.

CHRONICLE OF PAUL AND SILAS IN PRISON, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

UNCHRONICLE OF THE CHAINED APOSTLE, A. S. 63, Paulus in Britain How Paulus and Silas journeyed to the Estremeity of the West, also known as the Isles of Tin, to bring the good news of Christus to the pagan (and sometimes Jewish) inhabitants. CHRONICLE OF THE WEARY ANGEL A. S. 65 "Welcome, O Sweet Angel of Death" How Paulus, summoned back to court in Rome by the magistrate (a cynical man and Roman pragmatician) handling his case, found the innocent man somehow deserving of death, and how the condemned apostle greeted death by beheading in such a way that the unjust judge could hardly believe his ears when he questioned his aide about Paulus's last words.

UNCHRONICLE OF THE CHAINED APOSTLE and CHRONICLE OF THE WEARY ANGEL

CHRONICLE OF THE FOUR CROSSES A. S. 289, 1. The Theban Insurrection, 2. The Tenth Man How a chief killed his best warriors out of pride, but in doing so made them even greater warriors in the country of sky lodges, where they held the river ford against the raiding Red Dog Star while he suffered everlasting shame for his deed.

CHRONICLE OF THE FOUR CROSSES, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE M-Q WILD GOOSE A. S. 349, Wan Hoo the Kaikonaut and the Rocket Chair How a son honored his ailing, aged mother and went to find the potent herb on the moon to cure her and make her live forever, thereby becoming the first man to attempt to fly there on a "wild goose" (the rocket-propelled chair he invented).

CHRONICLE OF THE M-Q WILD GOOSE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF EIRE'S MESSIAH A. S. 362, The Slave's Gift How Magonus Sucutus Patricius, a young, licentious, shallowly-believing Christian Briton of the noble Roman curiale class, was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders, then later escaped from slavery in Ireland and returned home by a ship trading Irish wolfhounds, only to be accosted in a dream by an Irishman begging the noble youth to return and bring the light and deliverance to the lost and despairing people of the Emerald Island.

CHRONICLE OF EIRE's MESSIAH, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF THE PAY-BACK A.S. 410, The Fall of Roma, A.S. 1453 - Lamentations with Sacqueboutes How the Burgundians reaped what they sowed; how when barbarians they first shared in the destruction and sack of Western Roma, then benefited by the very civilization they helped destroy, becoming rich and powerful and even Christian in the formerly Roman territory they seized; how the East Roma emperor came to them seeking help against the Moslem Turks attacking his capital city, all that was left of his empire; how he went back to Constantinople without the Burgundian's aid, and how later the Burgundians lost not only their once glorious realm (full of music and feasting and courtly manners) and shining destiny but were reduced to Dijon, a brand of mustard.

CHRONICLE OF THE PAY-BACK, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE BLACK-ROBE A. S. 735, Herald of the Parousia: Bede of Wearmouth-Jarrow How a young brave of the Anglo-Saxons found refuge in a great stone tipi filled with holy men, and how he became a recorder of great things, and how he saw even greater things at the end of his life, which when written his frightened scribe thrust secretly, he thought, into the fire, only it refused to burn--things such as a future world ruler with his throne in London, a royal family renamed Windsor, and even a "people's princess, the glossy Cow Bird beauty called Diana.

CHRONICLE OF THE BLACK-ROBE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE BROKEN EAGLE FEATHER A. S. 878, A Refuge from the Storm How a mighty chief of a tribe fought tribes that came from the east stealing his people's horses and burning their tipis, and how, led by the wisdom of an old woman on the Isle of Athelney, he found a way to save his country, Wessex, which grew and became the mighty nation called England--a nation which came to possess power to obtain a vast realm and change the world. CHRONICLE OF THE BROKEN EAGLE FEATHER, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE WASICHU'S COMING IP A. S. 1620, The Mayflower How pale-skinned, strange newcomers who sailed a great canoe named for a flower and who wore many thicknesses of buckskins settled in a place with bad spirits but learned from us the Vanished People how to plant and produce plenty to eat.

CHRONICLE OF THE BLACK PRIMSTAV A. S. 1707, Chronicler of the Messiah How a rather ordinary Norwegian dairyman, Dreng Bjornsson, began a new Norwegian calendar stick, carving it to replace the old one that had been handed down to him. How the calendar stick became the opportunity for the enlargement of Dreng Bjornsson's vision of the world and the future as well, in the most unexpected way.

CHRONICLE OF THE BLACK PRIMSTAV

CHRONICLE OF THE WASICHU GHOST DANCER A. S. 1755, Bullets That Turned to Raindrops How a young chief trained his spirit with such wisdom and prudence that even bullets could not touch him (and later he would lead the new nation that formed after he achieved victory with arms over the superior forces of the British).

CHRONICLE OF THE WASICHU GHOST DANCER, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE DIVER'S CASQUE A. S. 1768, Angel of the Lake How Gouveneur Morris, a great leader of the Wasichu who helped write the Great Covenant of his people, when a young man was rescued from drowning in a sporting dive in a lake located on the Morrises' Manhattan island estate.

CHRONICLE OF THE DIVERS' CASQUE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE ASSASSIN A. S. 1775, The Lieutenant's Aim How a British sharpshooter had the commanding general of the break-away American colonies's arm dead in his gunsights, but, despite all his training and the 1,000 pounds paid him, could not bring himself to pull the trigger on what he saw to be a true king and a man of noble soul.

CHRONICLE OF THE ASSASSIN, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE GREAT WHITE FATHER'S PASSING A. S. 1799 How George Washington, who could have ruled the brand-new United States of America as a king but declined a third term and everything else smacking of kingship, spent his last day of life busily inspecting his estate and the well-being of its servants and workers; how he fell ill from a chill caught from five hours exposure to the raw weather, and how the unscientific medicine of the day not only failed to help but hastened him to his death; nhow the Dream he had dreamed was reviewed by an aged black woman of devout faith, and how the Dream fared along with the great one who dreamed it.

CHRONICLE OF THE GREAT WHITE FATHER'S PASSING, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE GARDENE OF DESTINYE A. S. 1850, Holiday at Castle Edzell How an eight year old girl from Abbotsbury solves the castle's greatest mind-game, a puzzle left over from the Age of Titans and later amended by Joseph of Arimathea and the 17th Century Tradescant brothers that was reputed to hold a key to the future well-being, even the preservation, of the British Isles.

CHRONICLE OF THE GARDENE OF DESTINYE, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF THE WASICHU BROTHERS' WAR A. S. 1863, Christmas at Andersonville How the white brothers of the North and South fought, and how the brother of the North, after terrible setbacks administered by the South's genius in war-craft and chieftainship, finally prevails--but in a Christmas play in a prison camp, not on the battlefield.

CHRONICLE OF THE WASICHU BROTHERS' WAR, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE BELZONI EXHIBIT A. S. 1865, Part I, The Colossus of Thebes, Part II, Twenty Minutes After Ten, Part III, "Where are you taking the Colossus, my good fellow?" How the reputed Colossus of Thebes representing the Pharaoh of the Hebrew Captivity came to Washington and was given a Presidential visit, and how the dying President, a Colossus to come, came to view the end in turn of the future Washington City. CHRONICLE OF THE BELZONI EXHIBIT, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF TWO BROTHERS A. S. 1865-, Giant Footprints How the Wasichu flooded the land of the Lakota, and how a young pioneer Wasichu "sodbuster" on a Dakota Territory homestead saved the life of a Rosebud Lakota chief who was Gabriel Tall Chief's great-grandfather.

CHRONICLE OF THE TWO BROTHERS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE BLACK SHIP'S CREW A. S. 1877, Escape from Wolverton How two delinquent boys escaped from a rural Californian reform school and were enlisted in a computerized wargame far in the future after one of them killed the other.

CHRONICLE OF THE BLACK SHIP'S CREW, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF THE GREY DOVE A. S. 1878, Wings over Te Aute How Te Hapuku and Karaitiana, two of the greatest warriors and chiefs of the Island of the Long Cloud, who had fought a bloody war over selling land to the white Europeans and opposed each other as bitter enemies for twenty five long years, were finally brought together by a compassionate intermediary, Sir George Grey, Premier of New Zealand, as Chief Te Hapuku lay dying in his lodge; how the wonders of the far future were unveiled before the amazed premier as he was given the secret meanings of the wonderfully intricate wood carvings of the Maori people--carvings that, to the Maori, contained not just the future but the power, the mana, of the world.

CHRONICLE OF THE GREY DOVE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY BRIDGE A. S. 1889, Norton's Grand Vision How a self-crowned "Emperor of the Americas and Protector of Mexico" in San Francisco envisoned a great bridge spanning the Bay, that not only would carry the commerce of men but their hearts' forgiveness and reconciliation. CHRONICLE OF THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY BRIDGE, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF THE LISTENING HEARTS A. S. 1912, 1. Wrestlers at the Brook How a Welsh miner left his home and job and followed a divine call to Swansea to establish a training camp for prayer warriors.

CHRONICLE OF THE LISTENING HEART, PART I, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

2. The Premonition How a mother in Second Class aboard a luxury liner on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic could not sleep because the ship had been called "unsinkable," and spent most of three days voyage sitting up and praying.

CHRONICLE OF THE LISTENING HEART, PART II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

3. "Sweet dreams, Mademoiselle!" How a rich, little girl in First Class aboard the doomed ship dreamed what was going to happen, and how her French governess calmed the girl and wished her sweet dreams only a few minutes before the vessel was fatally struck and sent to the bottom of the sea.

CHRONICLE OF THE LISTENING HEART, PART III, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE TIGERS' FEAST A. S. 1919, The Mirrors of Versailles How a Paris peace conference of the victorious Allies after the Great World War brokered a total disaster of a treaty at Versailles that, unforgiving and punishing Germany beyond any nation's endurance, automatically produced the Second World War, and how the famous mirrors of Versailles framing the conference room, being totally objective and honest, reflected a far different scene than Clemenceau, Wilson, and Lloyd George wished to portray to the anxious, watching world.

CHRONICLE OF THE TIGERS' FEAST, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE RAT STAR AND THE EXODUSTER A. S. 1919, Convergence in Kansas How a young black Kansas farm girl, Pearl Shoey, painted barn rats red to get rid of them, and saw then a red-glowing star that afterwards she thought must of changed her beloved Pa, because he seemed never the same after the red star touched him with its light. CHRONICLE OF THE RAT STAR AND THE EXODUSTER, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE ICE BIRD--PART I A.S. 1922, Shackleton's Third Expedition Continued How Sir Ernest Shackleton, famed polar explorer, on a solo day trip doing reconaissance for his third expedition south to the Pole by way of McMurdo's Dry Valleys--a 1,500 square mile tract of ice-free terrain--finds a strange, mastless ship, which he enters just as a polar cyclonic storm strikes, rndering the area uninhabitable. Christening it ENDURANCE II, after his last ship, the three-masted barkentine ENDURANCE that was crushed in the ice of the Weddell Basin, he sails on a pre-determined curse to the stars in the north, the Constellation of Orion, with a mission he does nt know until he reaches his destination.

CHRONICLE OF THE ICE BIRD, PART I, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE TRAVOIS A. S. 1919-1939, The War Between Wars How the First Horse, Ian "Breaks Eggs, " learned many things from Second Horse, until both could pull the travois together to the place chosen for the Great Council Fire of the End-Time.

CHRONICLE OF THE TRAVOIS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF YELLOWSTONE DAYS A. S. 1928, Song of the Golden West How the rollicking, high-spirited, hard-working girls and boys serving the crowds at Yellowstone, easily the premier national park of America, enjoyed a moment of innocence and beauty so rare in the world, not realizing it was all over for them and their generation in but a few months, with the Wall Street stock market melt-down of '29 just one incident in the long road backwards to the Stone Age.

CHRONICLE OF THE TIME ROCKET, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF RAGNAROK A. S. 1937, Singer of the Ancient Seer How a bard left the Emerald Island to look at old vellum books and paintings preserved by the Benedictines in a monastery in Padua, Italia, and how they warned him about a second great world conflict of the Wasichu nations, which would usher in the new world order and the rise of a lion-bodied, man-headed Beast, the False Messiah, who would seize world power and crush out all the light of liberty and decency in Civilisation. CHRONICLE OF RAGNAROK, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE MOUNTAIN TOMB A. S. 1938, Eugenio's Secret How a Basque fighting with the Loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War found ancient scrolls and artifacts in a tomb that were older than even Eskual Herria, the Basque homeland that predated every other nation and nationality in Europe.

CHRONICLE OF THE MOUNTAIN TOMB, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE OSLO TAPESTRY A. S. 1938, Katrine's Secret How a Norwegian woman, living alone, grew so desperate about her bone-dry spiritual condition that she would do anything, even take pictures of simple leaves and shadows in her garden, if it would help restore her faith--pictures forming a tapestry portraying events to come that would have astounded the world if all of them had been made public.

CHRONICLE OF THE OSLO TAPESTRY, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE RUINED CATHEDRAL A. S. 1940, Winter of the Soul How Coventry was sacrificed, along with its ancient cathedral and much of its population, by a decision of Churchill who aimed to let the bombers through without any warning to Coventry in order to make the Nazis believe their secret code had not been cracked by Britain's code breakers at Bletchley House. How a half-literate scrubwoman in the smoking ruins of the Cathedral found the means to confront the unspeakable tragedy of losing practically everything in the bombing and firestorm that destroyed Coventry; that is, her husband, children, neighbors, city, cathedral, even her house and job.

CHRONICLE OF THE RUINED CATHEDRAL, VOL. IV. RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE SEA LION A. S. 1940, 1. Convergence at Abbotsbury How a pious, elder daughter caring for an aged, ailing mother, prayed the right prayer, effectively throwing a switch to a most powerful blessing 1,900 years old.

CHRONICLE OF THE SEA LION, PART I, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

2. Winter's Grace How a Welsh "College of Intercessionary Prayer-warcraft and Fasting," founded by a former coal miner, succeeded in turning the major events of World War II, starting with the Battle of Britain.

CHRONICLE OF THE SEA LION, PART II, RETROSTAR

3. No Wings But a Prayer How Sir Francis Cecil, hereditary Lord St. Aubyn of the Mount of St. Michael, Cornwall, while squadron commander of Spitfires in the Battle of Britain, was struck wingless by enemy fire but continued flying, and how he was taken out over the coast where he witnessed an even greater event taking place off the notoriously stormgirt Chesil Banks.

CHRONICLE OF THE SEA LION, PART III, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

4. Ivy's Grand Slam How a little English girl in Portsmouth changed her bedtime prayer and turned back an incoming V-2, setting it on a trajectory that almost took Shickelgruber out of the war.

CHRONICLE OF THE SEA LION, PART IV, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT, A. S. 1940- , How on Earth I Elijah, a Romanian boy growing up in a brutalM Communist-ruled country, found a miracle-producing faith just like Jason the Argonaut's to stand up against the impossible odds of confronting a militaristic, atheist dictatorship destroying his beloved homeland, and how he made a new life for himself, succeeding after tens of thousands before him had been slain in the same attempt to win freedom.

CHAPTER 1, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 2, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 3, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 4, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 5, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 6, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 7, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 8, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 9, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 10, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 11, CHR0NICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 12, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 13, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 14, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 15, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 16, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 17, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHAPTER 18, CHRONICLE OF THE PILLAR OF LIGHT

CHRONICLE OF THE ORACLE OF MENO A. S. 1938-1941, St. Roderick's Secret How a Basque patriot, deserting the Loyalist army in the Spanish Civil War, became a free lance secret agent for the British side against the Nazis, luring Shickelgruber into the race for a Super-Bomb while withholding vital information that would have made the Nazi project a success.

CHRONICLE OF THE ORACLES OF MENO, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE RAG DOLL A. S. 1943, Christmas at Auschwitz How a young, brilliant, blind chemist, soon to perish in a gas chamber, afraid it was all for nothing, was given unmistakable proof her life was divinely touched. CHRONICLE OF THE RAG DOLL

CHRONICLE OF THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY'S SECRET PANELS A. S. 1944, Questioning the Sphinx How nuns guarded what came to be known as the world's most famous tapestry, the one detailing the Norman invasion of England in 1066, and how an American nun, an expert in tapetries, discovered additional panels that had not been sewn onto the masterpiece--panels that had been kept secret for the obvious reason they were found so disturbing because they were so prophetic about the world to come.

CHRONICLE OF THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY'S SECRET PANELS, Vol. IV, Retro Star

CHRONICLE OF THE BROKEN GLASS A. S. 1945, 1. Legacy How the victorious chieftains at the Potsdam council meeting from Britain, the U.S., and the Soviet Union, in the name of peace started the "War of Ice," and how Britain's "Tube Alloys" nuclear project came to nothing with suppression and disappearance of vital M-2 intelligence, and President Truman's ace in the hole, the Manhattan Project's Super-Bomb, fizzled at Alamagordo--apparently forcing America to join forces with Britain and Stalin's Russia to fight on to the finish with conventional forces against Premier Hideki Tojo's best troops and, unknown as yet to the Allies and their war planners, a whole nation swept by Kamikaze, the "Divine Wind".

CHRONICLE OF THE BROKEN GLASS, PART I, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

2. The Pack Rat How a peddler of information, selling whatever he dug up to the highest bidder, happened on a deadly superweapon--one of three that Senhor Averinata had offered the British--that later would be used to help tip the scales against America in favor of the United Nations and a world government. To the Jews the crushing of the wine glass in a Jewish wedding recalled the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in ANNO 70, but to the Basques, it meant the whole universe was shattered--never ever to be put back together as it had been. (How could he barter and trade the destinies of whole nations as if they were trinkets and trifles? Peddlers, like foraging rats, consider only the present moment, and the penny or two gained or lost--never the long haul, which is, for a peddler, far to frightening to even consider in a rodent-type mind. Without the ship, the rat would drown in the open sea. Yet it infests the ship, spreads its diseases with its own dirt, and gives the crew a deadly plague, and the ship, without anyone to guide it to safety, strikes a rock and sinks, drowning the rats who caused the disaster. This has happened countless times. Their own nature, thus, gnaws off the rope that holds them above the pit. Pity the civilization where such men, such vermin, proliferate and gain high office! And you can always tell the end is near when such are numerous and run free, from deck to deck!).

CHRONICLE OF THE BROKEN GLASS, PART II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

3. The Angels of USS Indianapolis IP How on July 29, following the successful test of a new death ray in the first week of July, that dissolved atomic structures and could fuse human flesh to metal, a battleship was loaded with the deadly "gadget" and sailed for Tinian, an island in the Marianas Chain. Locked in a steel box bolted to the deck of the captain's cabin, the weapon that would knock the Japanese on the home islands to their knees would be assembled in the secret facility at North Field on Tinian, then deployed by aircraft over the first test cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, the two most revered cities in Japan and the centers of Japanese cultural life. How the best laid plan of the war came to naught, with details of immense tragedy and even angelic intervention that were so explosive in nature they could never be revealed to the American public.

CHRONICLE OF THE BROKEN GLASS, PART 3, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

4. The Divine Wind How Operation Downfall, the invasion of the Japanese home islands, ultimately succeeded but without superweapons proved so costly to America and Russia that they had cause to recall King Pyrrhus of the Greek kingdom of Epirus, who conquered Roman armies on their home turf but sustained such heavy losses he complained in his famous statement known for its unforgettable pathos, "Another such victory and I am ruined!"

CHRONICLE OF THE BROKEN GLASS, PART 4, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE WINTER SACRIFICE A. S. 1947, 1. Winter's Child How deeply the alien star's rays penetrated postwar America, and how an old farmer's beloved son was killed in the Wioteheka hi, Month of Terrible Moons. 2. Plain View Farm How two deaths in a fiery plane crash were needed to thaw the frozen hearts of two other men.

CHRONICLE OF THE KILLER BEAR'S DESCENT A. S. 1951, The Bear and the Lamb How Djugashvilli fared, while on the operating table in the Kremlin, as a small army of surgeons desperately tried to preserve his life after a massive sroke; how they failed and Djugashvilli, an atheist, found himself still alive, imprisoned in an Afterlife cell which could only be described as hellish. How things got progressively worse for him, as he encountered a strange Jew wearing a prayer shawl and next faced a Judge sitting on a throne so immense it couldn't be anyone less than God sitting upon it, and how he was judged by the testimonies of thirty or so millions he had had tortured and slain, and how after that he found himself shunted into a burning lake of blast furnance intensity, and how he, like all the others in it, were forgotten.

CHRONICLE OF THE KILLER BEAR'S DESCENT, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE MAN LIKE A BRIDGE A.S. 1956, The Search How a young woman of the First World discovered the way back to her lost childhood faith, a faith that carried her all the way to Third World Cameroon wilderness in West Africa where it finally set its roots deep and briefly bloomed. CHRONICLE OF THE MAN LIKE A BRIDGE

MYSTERY CHRONICLE OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY A. S. 1962 The Phantom Ship How Lt. Greg Culpepper's life and career took a radical turn and plunge to the bottom of society after a storm at sea and his sighting of the R.M.S. TITANIC going down as he was inspecting the lighthouse facilities at Cape Disappointment and North Head on the mouth of the Columbia River, Washington State. MYSTERY CHRONICLE OF THE 50th ANNIVERSARY, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF EDYTH'S GOLDEN CROSS A. S. 1963, A Truth Not Told How Miss Edyth Hamilton, humanist, classicist, and world-renowned authority on Greek and Norse mythology, was strangely confronted on her deathbed with certain false premises that undergird her whole life-work.

CHRONICLE OF EDYTH'S GOLDEN CROSS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE LADY OF THE SPARROWS, A Tale of Old New York and Central Park A.S. 1964, Lucky's Big Strike How Lucretiza Tisdale, a spinster lady in her nineties, fed the sparrows of Central Park faithfully every day and how her death under the wheels of a beer truck brought changes, through the very sparrows she had given soda crackers, that she could not otherwise have achieved at her age and with her insignificant, sparrowlike strength.

CHRONICLE OF THE LADY OF THE SPARROWS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE FIGHTING ANGEL, PARTS I AND II A. S. 1963 How the Swensons, a young American newlywed couple, in training for the mission field, took a break from language school in Paris, and came to a crisis of their relationship and a man's faith in God on and beneath the Mount of St. Miguel, the Fighting Angel.

CHRONICLE OF THE FIGHTING ANGEL, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

PART II: How the Swensons came to share their Christmas with the Fulani Tribe in Cameroon, West Africa, and how their cheer spread from there as far as the stars to a lost tribe of the Alpha Centaurii.

PART II, CHRONICLE OF THE FIGHTING ANGEL AND CHRONICLE OF THE LOST TRIBE (VOL. VI, NATAL CONVERGENCE, "A FULANI CHRISTMAS," RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF THE REVIVAL OF HAGIA SOPHIA A.S. 1968 How Lidia, a Greek Orthodox nun, ventured from her safe refuge in a convent in Athens, to return by tourist boat to her lost homeland in the Turkish nation that had forced her family to flee for their lives in the savage. almost genocidal war that broke out between the Greeks and Turks after World War I. How she learned things she did not expect from her day trip and contact with the enemy occupying her people's chief city and seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople and East Rome. How she received a gift she would always treasure--and ceased feeling herself robbed by the Turks though they had taken her Greek homeland as their own and pushed out virtually all her fellow Greeks.

CHRONICLE OF THE REVIVAL OF HAGIA SOPHIA, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE SHOW ME STATE'S PROPHET (EARTH I) A. S. 1966, Elijah's Mantle How young and aspiring Brad Bright Jr. dreamed of becoming a prophet to "Holy Spirit-led, on-fire" Pentecostal churches in Missouri, his home state. How his promising life was cut short by a fatal collision with a tree when he was driving his truck home from a church youth meeting, and how his dream of ministry was defeated only temporarily, as a bit later he was brought back to serve with Elijah's mantle in the war against the AntiChrist Beast and his prophet during the post-Rapture Tribulation Period.

CHRONICLE OF THE SHOW ME STATE PROPHET, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE GIANT CHIEFS A. S. 1972, Two Sayings of Uwe Hantsbo Regarding the Atlanteans: Elektra's Sad Fate, and Atlantis on the rocks, anyone? How the Earth's tribe of original giants that stood like the tallest trees on Earth lived in a vast land that sank beneath the Eastern Sea.

CHRONICLE OF THE BLUE BRIDGE SALIENT A. S. 1973-1978 Even while the armies of France, Britain, and America struggled unsuccessfully in southern Asia to push back the communist forces from the north, a greater battle was being fought among the stars. How Atlantean star fleets combined with the red star and other star-stones to force an entry into the Great Nebula in order to destroy the protective forces centered at the Blue Brige. How, nearly successful, they were rebuffed, forcing an Atlantean subcommander to retreat to Earth.

CHRONICLE OF THE BLUE BRIDGE SALIENT, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF HANTSBO'S NOTES A.S. 199?, On the Bipedal Workforce of 1994tk66--A Flying Texas How Uwe Hantsbo discovered on a planetoid a most interesting cache of mutants, freeze-dried specimens of the very kinds that had been proposed by a Washington geographical society in its magazine to be authentic human prototypes proven by science and archeology. The only problem, as Hantsbo points out, is that they were found all mixed together, obvious contemporaries, not separated by millions of years or mere hundreds of thousands as was said to be the case by the East Coast Brahmin evolutionists entrenched in the powerful, elitist geographical society.

CHRONICLE OF HANTSBO'S NOTES, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE ICE BIRD, PART II A. S. 1973, Voyage of the PRION Inspired by Shackleton's legendary heroism, how an exlorer from New Zealand set out to be the first to circumnavigate Antarctica in a small boat solo, and stumbled into an unknown "Devil's Triangle" of ancient Atlantean orgin just off East Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf that changed his course so radically he was propelled in space and also time as far as an ancient Atlantean outpost opposite the gate of the Great Nebula of Orion--the very site of what Tennison the Poet Laureate of Britain described as holding a "vast mystic charm." CHRONICLE OF THE ICE BIRD, PART II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

MYSTERY CHRONICLE OF THE WHITE CANOE A. S. 1977, Fairwind in Deep Waters How a young electric plant operator of mixed working class and New England blue blood background takes a cruise into the unknown mysteries of time and space aboard what had first seemed a New York based cruise ship on its way to Peru.

MYSTERY CHRONICLE OF THE WHITE CANOE, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF THE ICE BIRD, PART III A. S. 1978, Cavendish in the Sky with Diamonds A somewhat crusty curmugeon of a retired journalist, in remission from cancer but angry over the recent loss of his wife to the same disease, reflected on the supreme irony of his life. He had planned his retirement so differently! He had just begun writing poetry, meditations, and music under a nice nom de plume when his new, promising, third career of letters and music was stopped right in its tracks by a disaster in his own home: his wife had taken deathly ill. Cancer! Now he was too sick to go on writing and composing--even though the time to do it was his again, lying heavy on his weak, trembling hands. Feeling like the icy, polar coulds of Global Freezing would hang over his head until he died, he goes out into his ruined and half-frozen back yard and changes places with a Prion, a polar bird that has wandered into his garden and died. Somehow the bird in death becomes him, giving him wings of a starship that can touch the farthest stars and Orion, Gateway to the Morning, where something bright and shining with destiny for everyone on earth seemed to open to him.

CHRONICLE OF THE ICE BIRD, PART III, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF FOXY PASSES A. S. 1983 How Skip Cavenish, alias Stuart Hawkins, wrote a poetic tribute and, drawing upon his first career in vaudeville, made a last and notable performance of it at the Capitol theatre before a packed house of Washington State socialites, government leaders, and the wealthy. How the very people preyed upon by his former schoolmate, Franklin Delano "Foxy" Benedict, the capital's foremost "facilitator" and master of the government patronage system, watched in growing disgust and anger as the bizarrely costumed Hawkins tore Foxy's mask off in verse after verse; how the old fox could still run (or at least roll) from his pursuers, but he still could not escape his and his enemy Cavendish-Hawkins' destinies being woven together in a strange, future cyber-world that neither could have imagined, long after Foxy and his nimble "smarts" had suffered an Ichabod-like fate.

CHRONICLE OF FOXY PASSES, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE LADY OF THE ANCHORED A.S. 1983 On the Trail of St. Paul How Prunella, a sedate altar guild woman from the Midlands, England, on tour with a cruise ship company in the Middle East, finds release from a crushing depression over the accidental death of her daughter.

CHRONICLE OF THE LADY OF THE ANCHORED, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE SURVEYOR OF THE QUEEN'S PICTURES A. S. 1983-, The Knight of Darkness How Sir Anthony Blunt and his fellow Cambridge-educated colleagues became involved in a secret spy ring inside the British secret services, serving not Fascism but Soviet Russia during part of the Second World War and for some years of the following Cold War with Soviet Russia. How Sir Anthony "retired" from being a double agent to being the Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, with the responsibility for all the Queen's artworks in the royal palaces, but how he was exposed as a spy and found guilty but was allowed to retire with some dignity to his home, while his co-conspirators fled to Soviet Russia. How in dying they singly and together discovered an Afterlife their Darwinistic beliefs had denied was possible, which delegated them to a new venture just as exciting as betraying their own country and serving her arch enemy--a contest involving the Golden Fleece and a rival ship called the Argo.

CHRONICLE OF THE SURVEYOR OF THE QUEEN'S PICTURES, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE SACRED COWHIDE PAINTER A. S. 1987, Ira's Letter to the 11,000th Century How an artist's paintings for a B.I.A.-Lakota Christmas arts and crafts competition were preserved for a tribe of Wasichu lost seemingly forever among the lodges of the stars.

CHRONICLE OF THE SACRED COWHIDE PAINTER

CHRONICLE OF THE LION'S DESCENT, A. S. 1995, "The Lion's Descent," Part I, "The Lion's Legacy," Part II, How a U.S. Supreme Court Justice who was a very nice and likable gentleman became responsible for a once great and godly nation's descent into self-destructive depravity and violence and also for more deaths of Americans than were slain in the death camps of Himmler and Hitler (Earth I), and how he fared in Hades (Hell) after his death.

CHRONICLE OF THE LION'S DESCENT, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF UWE HANTSBO'S NOTES A. S. 199?, On the Bipedal Workforce of 1994tK66, A Flying Texas How Uwe Hantsbo points out certain rather glaring flaws in the evolutionary timeline and evolutionary theory after seeing the flaws in question with his own eyes, frozen specimens of hominids and so-called human precursors, flying aboard a Texas-sized hunk of rock; how their existence supports his own view that highly intelligent, highly terrible ante-humans he names as the Atlanteans were responsible for the Dachau-like work camp on the asteriod.

CHRONICLE OF UWE HANTSBO'S NOTES, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE GREAT WEAVER PEOPLE A. S. 1997, The Secret of Dream Catching How Horace Brave Scout wanders the Southwest and finds his life-guiding vision among the caves and baskets of an extinct tribe. CHRONICLE OF THE GREAT WEAVER PEOPLE

CHRONCLE OF THE UTERO-NAUT A. S. YEAR OF THE CHILD, PART I, Orientation How Shawnta, a 19 year old wannabe careerist like her single mom, was processed at the local abortion mill newly opened in her black neighborhood.

CHRONICLE OF THE UTERO-NAUT, PART I, RETROSTAR

PART II, The Argonaut How Shawnta's unborn child (no such thing as "fetus" ever existed on earth), genius that he was, got going with the name of Jason on a very promising career that might well have benefited the whole society and probably the world, but was rudely interrupted by an abortionist's foreseps, scizzors, and vacuum--but also how the Master Plan created by the FC kicked in with a contingency plan to restore Jason's life and future.

CHRONICLE OF THE UTERO-NAUT, PART II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE PEARLY GATES A. S. 1998, How a Pearl Was Made How a farmer's daughter's experiences in life and her decision to be forgiving came to form one half of a gate of heaven.

CHRONICLE OF THE PEARLY GATE, PARTS I-II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE GRAND PUZZLE--Earth I A. S. 2001- How Anatoly, a survivor of a notorious Nazi death camp where Anne Franke and her sister perished along with tens of thousands of other Jews, spent his convalescence and waiting period to go to Israel by playing the lottery after the camp was in the hands of the Allies; how he shattered the laws of probability by never losing and always managing to win back his stake; how this impossible gambling feat came back to haunt him in the last minutes of his life as he lay dying in a Denver hospital, but how the Hound of Heaven led him to win the Jackpot of life, the greatest prize of all.

CHRONICLE OF THE GRAND PUZZLE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE LOST CITY A. S. 2002, Last Breakfast in the West Wing; Melt-down on Pennsylvania Avenue How the Wasichu of the U. S., in moral and political decline over against the British Commonwealth ever since Potsdam despite the highly-publicized moon and space programs of NASA, are struck by an invisible enemy and lose all their chiefs at once, and chiefs from the rest of the world come and set up a new council fire for the nation on Manhattan Island.

CHRONICLE OF THE MILLION MAN FLESH-EATER, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE DEAD MOVIE QUEEN A. S. 2003, The Burning of Coburn How a Hollywood legend found that all her fame, fortune, and feisty feminism couldn't erase the incredible after-death reality that was evidently turning against her--not only did she find she existed when she should have dissolved into nothingness, but all sorts of strange, powerful beings seemed intent on judging her and then throwing her into what appeared to be a Pacific Ocean set on fire.

CHRONICLE OF THE DEAD MOVIE QUEEN, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF MOSHE, HONORGUARDSMAN A. S. "Night of the Iguana" How on Earth I, Moshe Benlevi, a young Israeli soldier, a freedom-loving Sabra, was chosen to be a part of Michael Jayson's honor guard in Israel when the EU President arrived there for the signing of his "eternal peace" accord he had brokered with the Palestinians and the Israelis. How Moshe tasted sour grapes in the deal and decided to stop the world (at least his slice of it) and get off, but how he was intercepted by someone he hadn't included in his life's equation.

CHRONICLE OF MOSHE, HONORGUARDSMAN, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF DJUGASHVILLI'S SERVANTS A. S. 2024 The Titan of CNNC A hostile takeover by Ted Hunter of a competing Christian network, Alpha-Omega, backfired tragically for him when his wife, converting to Christianity right in his own penthouse on top the CNNC Towers in Manhattan, took A-O's side in opposing him. A takeover that was supposed to be routine, thanks to his billions and an army of corporate lawyers, became a living nightmare when he met a world-class power player in A-0 that more than proved his match.

CHRONICLE OF DJUGASHVILLI's SERVANTS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE FALLEN GIANT A. S. 2024, How the Dominion of Canada, like the Humpty Dumpty the ill-starred egg man in children's nursery tales, broke up due to the disastrous effects of resurgent glaciation but could not be put back together; how it gained an ephemeral capital called Flin Flondia, once called the "Sunless City," in a book by that name.

CHRONICLE OF THE FALLEN GIANT, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE LAST CAMELOT A. S. 2170-, 1. Idylls of the King

CHRONICLE OF THE LAST CAMELOT, PART I, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

2. The Panther's Jaws

CHRONICLE OF THE LAST CAMELOT, PART II, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

3. Women and Children First!

CHRONICLE OF THE LAST CAMELOT, PART III, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

4. Le Morte D'X-2914000?

CHRONICLE OF THE LAST CAMELOT, PART IV, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

5. "Merry Christmas from Lyonnesse"

CHRONICLE OF THE LAST CAMELOT, PART V, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

6. Wotoo's Black Box; The Duck King

CHRONICLE OF THE LAST CAMELOT, PART SIX, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

7. Last Wagon Train to Avalann How the Royal Tribe of Windsor fared in exile on a base off Charon, Pluto's moon, and how they adapted to the loss of Earth and the dissolution of the monarchy

CHRONICLE OF THE LAST CAMELOT, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE STAR CHAMBER A. S. 2363, Christ in Atlantis? How Professor Pikkard was tried before a university panel for his heretical views and found guilty without evidence to refute his case.

CHRONICLE OF THE STAR CHAMBER, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF CHRISTUS TRIUMPHANS, Parts I, II, & III A. S. 2392, The Christmas Factor How Dr. Pikkard, meditating on the mystic Teilhard Chardin's visionary commentary on a medieval painting portraying a "standing" not a "hanging" Christ on the Cross, went on to reflect as well as the Incarnation of Yeshua, and how he concluded that a mystic thread connected all things, even to the blood of the human body, but that he had to wait for a "later" and "younger" talent to make it known scientifically. How, unknown to him, that younger visionary came to be his own predecessor, a Darwininian Establishment-challenging young man named Behe in the 20th-21st centuries, along with his contemporaries, Gabriel Tall Chief and Horace Brave Scout, who traced golden threads and lesser threads in a grand "blood cascade" of their own in the chronicles they brought forth.

CHRONICLE OF CHRISTUS TRIUMPHANS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

Re-Location of Earth II

Book Two

CHRONICLE OF YOSEF'S PILGRIMAGE A. S. 4117, Flight to Avaris How Yosef and his young wife Maryam, with Maryam's newborn Yeshua the Promised Messiah of the Jews, fled from troops and spies of Herod the Great to safety in Mizraim, and how they journeyed back to Nazareth, their natal city, once Herod was dead.

CHRONICLE OF YOSEF'S PILGRIMAGE

CHRONICLE OF THE SECOND RESURRECTION A. S. 4150, Secret Sharers, Part II How the Second Zechariah the prophet, slain in the temple courts alng with many other prophets and saints, rose from the dead as a sign of the resurrection of the Messiah way back in A.S. 30, and how he went into the holy city and appeared to many, after which he was triumphantly escorted by angels to heaven's paradise--a spectacle first recorded, with certain new additions to the Resurrection Rolol, by Secret Sharer Josheph of Arimathea.

CHRONICLE OF THE SECOND RESURRECTION, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

UNCHRONICLE OF THE CHRISTMAS PLAY A. S. 4 6 5 ?, "Merry Christmas from Lyonnesse," A Play, How a miserly, cruel banker seeks to destroy a whole town he has foreclosed on, closing down the only means of employment, the town mill, and how a small girl, Emily Cogwell, revives faith and hope in the people by refusing to give up her own in the bitter circumstances of poverty and homelessness, and how she turns and saves the banker when he experiences a change of heart after seeing her standing alone in the town square holding the Nativity Scene's Christ Child doll.

UNCHRONICLE OF THE CHRISTMAS PLAY, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE DRIED SPRINGS IP A. S. 4760, A Chief's Son Named Laughing Waters How an old chief and his old wife who had no children were promised a son by God, and the old woman laughed, yet later she conceived and gave birth to a beautiful son she named Minnehaha.

CHRONICLE OF THE PEARL DIVER A. S. 5927 -, Shipwreck of Dreams How a despised half-breed, part Keftiuan and part Myceneaean (both nations bitter enemies in the world) and Prince Daedalus do not get along and almost come to blows over the pretty orphan girl Theseus runs off with, and later after the girl's death (and the shipwreck of Theseus's dreams) how they find a way past hatred and revenge. CHRONICLE OF THE PEARL DIVER, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE FIRE WATER MAKER A. S. 5931, The Chosen How a brewery malt masher got herself a mighty warrior as a husband, and how her head was knocked in by other poor women, and left to die, but a great chief's prayer gained her the ear of the Most High and she was healed. CHRONICLE OF THE FIRE WATER MAKER, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE BLESSINGS OF THE BREASTS A. S. 5932-, The Wayward Vine How the births of two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, comforted and cheered Joseph in the land of his bondage, but how his beloved wife and companion's heart turned toward her people and away from her husband.

CHRONICLE OF THE BLESSINGS OF THE BREASTS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

TWIN CHRONICLE OF THE AMBUSHED MAIDENS, TWIN CHRONICLE OF THE AMBUSHED BRAVE A. S. 5934, 1. Dawn Flower

TWIN CHRONICLE OF THE AMBUSHED MAIDENS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

2. The Prince of Gilead

TWIN CHRONICLE OF THE AMBUSHED BRAVE

How a chieftain's daughter and her maid-servant fought for their virtue; how the maid-servant escaped to safety and found a young man she could make her husband; how a prince, robbed of all his wealth, was left for dead in the desert, and how he found a greater wampum.

CHRONICLE OF THE BITTER ROOT A. S. 5938, Abdullah's Return How good times fattened Abdullah but did not improve his character, and how resentment and blood revenge took root in his heart, and how he could not rest until he avenged his brethren's deaths on the head of the chief of those he held responsible--Joseph. CHRONICLE OF THE BITTER ROOT, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF FAT WOLVES AND HUNGRY PEOPLE A. S. 5941, Part I, A Bruised Reed and a Broken Staff; Part II, The Return of the Brothers How the little family tribe of Joseph's father began to starve in their desert hogans and needed to go for provision in another country where there was said to be abundant food and water, thanks to a most far-seeing ruler in it who had set aside one fifth of the harvest for seven straight years of abundant harvests.

PART II, CHRONICLE OF THE FAT WOLVES AND LEAN PEOPLE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE FAR-SPEAKING VASES A. S. 5931-, 1. Secret Diary of Ipu-Pheres (cont. by Benohe-Pheres); A. S. 5942, 2. Letters of Ipu-Pheres, Jonathan H. Thompkins, and Bertha Mae 3. Letter to Reader by Editor of the 23rd Edition of RETRO STAR series. How spirit-house shamans who have not yet been born could talk to people in stone tipis which had long since vanished under the ice. CHRONICLE OF THE FAR-SPEAKING VASES, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF THE BLESSINGS AND CURSINGS A. S. 5957, Jacob's Last Testament How all his sons received their future shares in the Promised Land and how his blessings in some cases seemed more like curses; how Jacob's embalmed body was carried back to Ken'an and buried with his father's bones. CHRONICLE OF THE BLESSINGS AND CURSINGS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE BLESSINGS OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS A. S. 6011, The Kingdom Pledge How Joseph, on his deathbed at age 110, prophesied that his bones would not lie forever in Mizraim, but they would be gathered to his fathers in the Promised Land by his people. How seventy five years of great blessing followed Joseph's death, but then enslavement of the Hebrews began. How blessed was the one piece of ground, the field outside Shechem, owned by the people of Jacob and Joseph. CHRONICLE OF THE BLESSINGS OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF A CLOUDY AND DARK DAY A. S. 6719, A Mighty Chief Called Barley Cake How one young brave was chosen by God to fight tribes of thousands of enemies that oppressed and starved his people, coming every year and taking all their food away. CHRONICLE OF A CLOUDY AND DARK DAY, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE GIANT-SCALPER A. S. 6852, The Runt of Ephratah How a tribesman of tiny Ephratah, smallest portion of a small country, he himself youngest in his family and despised by his brethren, killed and scalped a giant warrior and became the chieftain of the whole country and one of the most famous kings in human memory and whose second name is spread over the whole earth.

CHRONICLE OF THE GIANT SCALPER, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

CHRONICLE OF THE CHIEFTAIN'S DAUGHTER IP A. S. 8732, Elektra's Contingency Plan--Implemented How a chieftain's daughter lost her last sky-canoe and seemingly all her people but found a tribe who didn't know better and took her along with them.

CHRONICLE OF THE CHIEFTAIN'S DAUGHTER

FROM THIS CRUCIAL POINT ON, COMES THE FINAL WRAP-UP CHRONICLES, WHICH INVOLVE BOTH TWIN EARTHS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE UNIVERSES, AND EVERYTHING INHABITATING THEM, PLANTS, ANIMALS, HUMANITY, DEVILS, LUCIFER, WALLY AND HIS LONE SUPPORTING CRAY...THERE IS NEW MATERIAL YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS, ALREADY APPEARING.

CHRONICLE OF THE SEVEN STARS, THE GREAT WHITE CHAIR, AND THE END OF EARTH'S SKY-TRAIL AND THE GREAT LAST COUNCIL FIRE (EARTHS I AND II) Z-Point II

GREAT LAST COUNCIL FIRE, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

1. Z-Point Deferred: Battle of the Seven Stars How, on Earth I, the "Light Bringer" Lucifer attacks the Seven Agensl of the Seven Cburches, determined to gain absolute control of Earth I, and how he uses this attack as a feint in order do the most damage he can to his true objective: the Blue Bridge of Orion that contains, he senses, to the Plan of Restoration for both Earths and their Universes.

CHRONICLE OF THE SEVEN STARS, VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

2. Part I: The Sentencing Trial: The Great Assize Part I How all the people who had done bad things were shown what they had done and were cast alive into the mouth of a Star-Eater along with all the spirit-creatures that lodged inside the enemy stars. Part II: City of Destruction How the cities and nations were judged and then their names and official seals and insigne cast into the Pit, and all memory erased in the mind of God of their former existence.

CHRONICLE OF THE GREAT WHITE CHAIR, VOL. IV, RETRO STAR

Part II, CHRONICLE OF THE GREAT WHITE CHAIR, "CITY OF DESTRUCTION, the "Emerald City", VOL. IV, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE OF THE BLUE BRIDGE LINKING CHAMPIONS--EARTH I AND EARTH II How the Bridge once linking the Twin Earths was restored in the Cavern of the Great Nebula of Orion, a work that spanned the ages and completed the destiny of both worlds; how the choice to forgive by one wounded human being, a pioneer Exoduster's daughter from a farm in Kansas, joined the two half-spans together forever.

CHRONICLE OF THE BLUE BRIDGE LINKING CHAMPIONS

2. Homecoming of the City of the Great Chief IP How the council gathering of the Lamb of God, finished after an eternity of careful construction, came down from heaven and set upon the center of restored Israel, where the Nail-Pierced One and his tribes would rule the Earth's nations for a thousand years until the Final Reaping of the Earth.

Volume V Beyond the Rapture--An Eschatology Lived,

Chronicled by Horace Brave Scout

CHRONICLE OF THE GREAT CHIEF'S RETURN A. S. 200? How Yeshua comes to Earth I, unexpectedly to most people, gathers those few "Wise Virgins" who are prepared, and leaves those who were tremendously successful followers, they thought, only to find themselves lumped with the ungodly in a world society racing toward the abyss. How Heloise Turnbull, the televangelist, lost her world-wide organization and wealth along with her husband and family but found new life and a new ministry in Israel where she fled to escape the collapse of everything she had achieved.

PART ONE, JACOB'S TROUBLE, "THE VOICE FROM THE GROUND"

"Thief in the Night," Part Two, Beyond the Rapture

"The Spin Shamans," Part Three, Beyond the Rapture

"luv heat and the marcyz boyz," Part Four, Beyond the Rapture

"Hard Choices, Part Five, Beyond the Rapture

"The Wailers at the Wall," Beyond the Rapture

"Shelter from the Storm," Part Seven, Beyond the Rapture

"A Covenant God," Part Nine, Beyond the Rapture

"The Lion Unleashed," Part Nine, Beyond the Rapture

"Retreat to Petra," Part Ten, Beyond the Rapture

Please return for Book Two of Beyond the Rapture, "Yom Kipppur"

(Chronicle completed)

Volume VI Natal Convergence

by Horace Brave Scout

CHRONICLE OF THE LOST TRIBE A. S. 1,136,786 How the Alpha Centaurii discovered an archive of Late Twentieth Century artifacts in a time capsule, and information revealing a Magnum Mysterium that revolutionized everything, to the point where they chose the dreaded White Martyrdom, a final search of the Universe for what they had lost, in which they discover what Ira Sulkowsky has already shown them in.... "The Christmas Factor" 61000202A-Z, Subfile A1, "Dogon Star Child"

61000202A-Z, Subfile A2, "Lakota Nativity" 61000202A-Z, Subfile A3, "A Victorian Christmas" 61000202A-Z, Subfile A4, "Christmas with James Dean"

"Subfile A4: Christmas with James Dean, A Requiem with Poinsettias" 61000202A-Z, Subfile A5, "A Fawn in Winter" 61000202A-Z, Subfile A6, "A Fulani Christmas"

"A Fulani Christmas," Vol. VI, CHRONICLE OF THE LOST TRIBE, RETRO STAR

61000202A-Z, Subfile A7, "Street of Dreams" 61000202A-Z, Subfile A8, "Winter Rose"

CHRONICLE OF THE LOST TRIBE, WINTER ROSE, VOL. VI, RETROSTAR

61000202A-Z, Subfile A9, Act III, "Christmas from Lyonnesse"

61000202A-Z, Subfile A10, ACT III, "Joseph's Letter"

CHRONICLE OF THE LOST TRIBE, VOL. VI, "Joseph's Letter," RETROSTAR "Natal Convergence!"

Volume VII Final Wars...Convergence at Orion by Horace Brave Scout IP

How two major battles fought for Orion and its secret "Skunk Works" resulted in the destruction of the chief project, the Blue Bridge, to the point where only half survived in each Universe; and how a single act of an individual was strong enough to unite the two halves into one whole, thereby completing the bridge and defeating the opposing players.

Epilogue II EPILOGUE II, "THE HARROWINGS OF HADES AND HELL," RETRO STAR

NOTE OF FRIENDLY REMINDER TO DOWNLOADERS: THIS CONTENTS PAGE DOES NOT LIST A GREAT MANY COMPLETED CHRONICLES, SO THERE IS NO WAY DOWNLOADING CAN OBTAIN THE COMPLETE RETRO STAR SERIES. WHAT IS GIVEN TO PUBLIC DOMAIN HERE IS JUST ENOUGH TO OPEN A WINDOW ON THE SERIES AND ITS POSSIBILITIES TO WHOMEVER IS SERIOUSLY INTERESTED.

FOR THE CHRONICLE OF THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE, PARTS I-VIII, AND CONCLUSION, GO TO VOLUME IV AND THE JASON AND THE GOLDEN FLEECE CHRONICLE, ANTE ANNO STELLAE 1230-1200.

The Greeks, starting with their predecessors, the Minoans of Crete (or Keftiu, the Princes Island), and continuing with the Mycenaeans, then the Achaeans (the mysterious Dorians), and then the world-conquering Macedonians led by Alexander the Great, finally on to the classical Greeks of Pericles, Socrates, Demosthenes, Plato, Aristotle, and others too numerous to mention--a race of epic deeds and epic character flaws immortalized by Homer and continuing on to the decadent, pleasure-loving, inebriated, crumbling-from-within Greece the Romans knew and conquered--this entire calvalcade of many-splendored peoples missed the whole point about their own stars, constellations, and the matchless, wonderful accounts they had inherited from more ancient times and peoples. Encapsulated in one moment, perhaps, that lost greatness, that Magnum Mysterium, that was only later to be lived and explained in word and deed by a certain carpenter's son from a nothing of a town in northern Israel--until then, there was for succeeding generations only the fading brightness of the glory Jason and his Argonauts and the four grandsons of Phrixus (all destined orphans, like us!) once bore home triumphantly on the bow of their ship the Argo:

But what price glory? All the surviving Argonauts, as well as Jason and his four adopted sons, the grandsons of Phrixus, carried home the memory of Mopsos and his pyre burning far into the night as they lifted their weapons in salute and sang victory songs fit for champions in his honor.

But before turning toward the isles of home, the Argonauts had one last duty to perform, which Jason could not ignore or cast aside. He had promised Honan's mother her dying wish.

Was she still living? It did not matter, they were going to return to Honan's house.

As they came to the house, the Argonauts found that they were not a moment too soon. The old one was, indeed, on her death bed--clinging to life only so that she might set her remaining eye on the Golden Fleece promised to her by Jason.

How sad, though, that she became blind in both eyes just hours before Jason arrived.

She had no hope now, but Jason brought the Fleece of the Heavenly Ram in to her anyway. He held it out, calling to her.

Miracle in itself, the old woman revived, and struggled to sit up, with a granddaughter helping her.

She was weeping from both her blind eyes as she felt the fleece with her trembling fingers. Finally, too exhausted to sit any longer, she sank back onto her bed. She was whispering something, and Jason bent close to hear.

"I am at peace! At last! All is well with my soul! All is well!"

Jason could hardly believe what he heard her say, but she had repeated it, and she really did think all was well with her--despite her murder of a rival. Could it be? he wondered. Could it be a mere touch of the Heavenly Ram's fleece had brought her release from her crime of murder and all the guilt of her sin?

Honan and his family now gathered round the old woman as she breathed her last, and Jason and the Argonauts waited outside, while the family mourned.

It was time for them to go--and so Jason told Honan, when he came out of the house, that they were due back in Achaea's isles. Would he mind if they departed now?

Jason had a gift for Honan, however. He cut off a part of the Fleece and handed it to Honan. "Perhaps you will remember us when you look at it," he said. Honan nodded, then remembered his guests' needs on their long voyage, and had them brought bread, and smoked veal, and other foods for their journey, and the Argonauts thanked him, and then set off down the path, with Honan accompanying them. Honan's son was there already, waiting for them.

Surprised, Jason looked at him, and the boy glanced at his father determinedly, and Honan sighed. Honan turned to Jason. "He wants you to take him as an oarsman, and I cannot keep him here any longer against his will. Will you take my son along on your voyage? I know you will keep him well, as he grows to manhood. I have taught him all I knew to teach him. He is bright. He can learn many more things from you, if you think him of possible use to you and your ship, Captain. Perhaps, someday he will return here with a ship of his own!"

Jason saw that the boy was nearly a man. He needed something more than the life this dying part of Colchis had to offer--and truly, the Argo was the only chance for him to find a better life.

"He may join us," he told the father. As Jason spoke, the boy's glum face (as if he had been expecting a crushing disappointment) broke into such a wide grin of delight that it nearly cracked his lips.

The father and son gave each other parting embraces, and then said their farewells in their own language.

Soon Honan was a speck on the shore as the Argonauts (now including Honan's son who was plying, or trying to ply, an oar) looked back at him. They caught a good current and were moving swiftly toward Aea, passing many landmarks in the time it had taken many hours to reach on the way upriver. Only then did Honan's son realize this was a complete separation from his former life and his family, and he forgot he was a man, dropped his oar, and shed t tears.

Even as the fire and smoke carried the eulogies and songs honoring the the great Mopsos up into the sky, far off from razor-peaked Colchis the beggar of the Mountain Gate in Iolkos stood vigil, for he had appointed himself keeper of the sandal of the champion, Jason, who had set sail with fifty heroes to go and win the Golden Fleece in the legendary land of gold, dragons, and sacred groves--Colchis.

How did he come to be the keeper? For days after Jason departed the port and city ruled in his absence by his uncle, Peleus, the beggar paid little attention to the sandal Jason had left hanging by its lachet on the name post of the city. Life seemingly was going on the same--but then the beggar's thoughts returned to the sandal. The more he looked at it, and thought about it, he began to see its significance in regard to himself and his own meagre, not very promising prospects.

If he fell too sick to care of himself, what then? He was doomed to perish right there, uncared for, in the street. The street dogs, a wild bunch, would soon find his body and do what such brutes always did, devour him, starting even before he was completely dead if they saw he was too weak to resist. They were always ravenous--sneaking in toward nightfall from the dumps outside the city where they scavenged the refuse and garbage--to see what slops--fish heads, bones of lamb roasts, or even contaminated meat-- might be thrown out the kitchen windows by lazy slaves or wives short on servants who didn't want to make the trip to the dumps outside the city.

Yet along with this dark thought of his certain end, a light began to shine in an unexpected quarter--even this corner of the city by the Mountain Gate. Since Jason had come through and dropped his sandal on top of the old name post, things were, indeed, no longer the same. Only now was the beggar discovering this fact, as he pondered the sandal, and the one who had left it.

Why this one sandal? What good was one sandal on one foot? Two were needed to protect a man's soles from the rough rocks of the paths and streets one travelled from childhood to the grave. Yet Jason had done the unthinkable, shed a sandal--a finely-made one at that, the beggar could see--and gone away unshod on his left foot!

How strange! But how thought-provoking! A man had to have a reason for doing this! the beggar concluded. Unless he were a lunatic, he had a reason--but what was it?

The beggar thought and thought. He even asked a few passers-by, who did not show much interest in the question, and soon left to go on their journeys or business--without another thought about the beggar and his odd question.

So the beggar was left to his own resources. His sleep was even not so good, as the question churned round and round in his dreams. He saw the sandal in those dreams, spinning, turning, even walking up and down the street--and so he could not avoid the question, whether by day or night.

Somehow, this man and his sandal are destined to some great exploit, that even the likes of me has a part in somehow--the beggar began to surmise. With his slight crack in the darkness of his mind, a golden light began to dawn on the dark horizon. He who had nothing really to look forward to--just the present day in which he hoped for a thrown petty coin or two of little value with which to buy a boiled fish and a few olives and maybe a sip or two of poor, vinegarish wine to slake his hunger and thirst, as well settle his poor digestion.

One day his whole life was overturned in a few moments. Peleus's men came to inspect the Mountain Gate, taking the measurements, and when he heard them talking, he realized the king had some major changes in mind for it.

"That's nice, with the work men present to eat their lunches, they will throw the discards of their bread, olives, and fish to me--and I will feast for days no doubt, without any care for the next day."

But as he eavesdropped on the king's men he realized the changes might not all be so good for himself. They were going to widen the roadbed, double its width in fact, so that the king could drive two chariots abreast in and down the road without going single file. Apparently, the king had grander prospects than waiting for Jason to return to take the throne from under him. He was not going to give up the city and throne after all? How could this be? the beggar wondered, staring at the important officials and architect who were on the site, stirring up the dust in a cloud with their horses.

A chariot from the king's palace was even brought, then two, and they were positioned at the gate. This gave them an even better idea how much of the street beyond the wall needed widening. One official said, or, rather commanded, "That house has to go--and that garden wall--and that house on the other side too! We can't let them obstruct the way, as the king has ordered the street be straightened as well as made wide enough for two chariots run abreast."

The beggar didn't like the sound of this at all. Must these houses and walls be torn down? What then? Where was he to move now? Where he was had been so convenient, up against a wall that shaded him from the withering eastern sun. Even if he was to hot in the late morning, relief came soon after that as the shade of the wall lengthened and covered him. Then if some cool breeze came down from the mountain slopes above and entered the street, he was made even cooler--and so he had got by in the heat that way. But now the wall was to go! His shade had evaporated. Where was he to find a similar wall against the eastern sky if the street were widened and the wall knocked down?

The officials and builders and architect paid the beggar no attention of course, and if they saw him, they viewed him with pity and contempt--not throwing one coin his way.

The beggar did not care about it--he didn't like Peleus nor his court and his servants--they were all so high and mighty, and cared nothing for the poor like himself.

The very important men and their horses went away and the beggar was left viewing the street. It looked the same, but all had changed for him. He was losing his place, and with it perhaps his last bit of comfort in this world. What would happen to him, if he had to sit so far away from the Mountain Gate that the passers-by wouldn't give him anything--thinking only of reaching the markets or their places of business or their homes? Peleus did not permit beggars in the markets and among the shops--he couldn't go there. Only here at the Mountain Gate was he left alone--and now that was over! He was like the garbage and refuse to the king, worth nothing, worth no consideration. How he fared after the street was widened and the gate was enlarged for two chariots to enter abreast, that was of no consequence to the mighty king, Peleus!

The beggar's whole countenance fell, and he sat in deepening despair. "Woe!" he moaned. "I am undone by the cruel king!"

The only thing he could hope was for Jason to return and set things right. But when would that be? Would that ever happen? The king did not seem to think, shown by his actions, that Jason would survive the hazards of his long sea voyage to Colchis, much less survive the dragon that guarded the Fleece itself. Peleus, in fact, was enjoying great banquests and festivities in the palace, paid for by the new taxes he levied upon the city and the kingdom.

The city's rich--who supported the king--were growing richer, and the poor were more oppressed than ever.

No one anymore seemed to have a little extra to give the beggar, and he was beginning to starve, going whole days, then several days in a row, without a bit of food. As for wine, that was completely out of the question--he had a hard enough time trying to get some water in his jug. Yet he knew that soon the hired workmen with the slaves and criminals under the king's power would come--which meant some food for him, or did it? Would they keep everything to themselves, having less than before given them by their wives?

Even that looked for boon was drying up, as he considered the new changes at the gate.

What was he to do? He was, he knew, helpless, utterly unable to do anything.

A wave of fear and dread swept over him, and he was drowning in it, unable to swim and rise to the top!

It was at this point, when everything seemed so hopeless, that the beggar went to sleep in the heat of the day. He was so weak--he could not keep awake now to call out to any of the passers-by in his thin voice.

As he had seen before in dreams, the sandal of Jason the champion appeared, shining with gold, but something else, very golden appeared with it--the fleece of a golden ram, complete with huge curving horns and four hooves! Together they flew from the harbor up to the palace, where he saw men running out to fight, but they threw down their weapons and fled, leaving Peleus--for the king himself had come out with his royal guard--to fend for himself. Peleus then fell down, his robe was swept off him by a big wind, and he ran away down the street naked, the crowds cheering and catcalling, as he passed through them.

This strange dream ended, and the beggar was jolted awake by the sound of many voices. The cracked open his red, heat-swollen eyelids and saw the workmen newly arrived, together with chained criminals and a gang of slaves led by a taskmaster. They were carrying implements to dig and break down the walls and gate and the unwanted houses. The houses were set upon by the king's men, who drove the people out, and there was much screaming, crying, and protesting, but it did them no good--the king had issued his royal command, and the Mountain Gate and street leading from it would be widened according to his royal architect's measurements and design!

The next couple days passed while the beggar viewed the first work accomplished on the Gate, demolishing it, while the stones that could be used were set aside for reuse. Carts were taken from owners in the city by royal demand and used to transport the rocks from the quarry outside the city that the quarrymen had already prepared for the Gate and the stone work of the street--for the whole work was to be a splendid sight, just as the king intended to be done to the waterfront and the agora and the acopolis (a small outcropping, to be sure) where his palace stood commanding the heights over the city.

Iolkos was going to be made worthy of a king, the great king Peleus!

The beggar watched two criminals approach the name post of the city. What now? the beggar wondered. He called out to them. "Are you taking that away too?"

What business is it of yours, you dog?" the men laughed at him. We aren't taking it away, we are going to break it and throw it with other rubble from that wall behind you into the harbor for the new breakwater the king ordered laid. Now let us work--or we will get the lash if we aren't seen working!

"No, no! Don't take it away! What is the king thinking of? It is the name of the city, and it is sacred--given us by our forefathers!"

The criminals looked at him with disbelief, and then roared. "What are you crowing about, you silly old bird? The king's order must be obeyed--and the name--don't you know this city has a new name? Are you crazy?"

"New name?"

"Yes, this city is now Peleos, after the king's own royal name! Now shut your mouth and don't bother us again, or we will knock your head with a rock and throw you in the cart and dump you in the harbor along with the rubble!"

The beggar looked at them and knew they meant their threat, for they were brutes, their crimes well worthy of the lash and the boot of the jailor.

Slaves and carts lined up along the wall, and then the beggar saw he was going to have to move that very day? But where? Where?

The name stone was struck with mallets, which broke it into handy pieces the criminals threw into the first wagon. A sandal was sent flying--Jason's! Crawling toward it, the beggar seized it, and continued. He tried to keep just out of the work area, so he didn't have to move again that day. In that way he tried to stay as close as he could to his own haunts, but he saw it was fast disappearing. The street bed itself was hacked up, dug out, and the unusble stones of no value were thrown into the carts for hauling to the king's new breakwater at the new port he was constructing.

The beggar clutched Jason's sandal and moaned, as he thought of the troubles to come.

When the workmen left and the king's men left, he crawled back through the mounds of dirt and hewn and shaped quarry rocks, searching for some scrap of castaway lunch. But he searched in vain, for the dogs always got to the area first, even before the workmen left. Some of the workmen had dogs themselves along with them, and fed them scraps they threw them to make the men laugh as how they scrambled for them.

The beggar was starving--his rags were hanging on his bones, with scarcely anything covering his bones anymore. His eyes sunk in, the beggar began to see death's Grim Reaper approaching him slowly from the end of the street. As the dark shadows joined and it became dusk, then night, he felt the breath of the Reaper on his neck and his forehead. Soon he knew he could not draw his breath--it would be easier not to fight on any longer--he no longer had the strength to struggle to keep alive any longer.

Into a troubled sleep he fell and then dreamed. The golden sandal and the golden fleece which had joined together to drive the wicked king Peleus out of the palace now resumed their journey and passed down the street to the Mountain Gate. Here they hovered above him, shining with all their glory.

Without even thinking about it being a strange to do, the beggar began mumbling a cry, even a prayer, to the God of his forefathers. He had not thought about him since his childhood, when he was still cared for by his aged parents. His mother had taught him about this God of All. Somehow he had forgotten it, lost in all his miseries since he had been forced to go out on the streets to seek a beggar's livelihood (if it could be called a livelihood). That was all he had known--want, and begging to stay barely alive! But now he prayed! He prayed to God--"O Great Father of All, have mercy on me, a dying beggar without any food nor drink! Hear the voice of the oppressed and do justice to the poor and afflicted one. Have mercy on me, and I will serve thee alone!"

The moment he prayed this, he felt a great peace fall upon his trembling, shivering shoulders, and his rags grew warm and kept him warm all night as if they were the finest wool blanket from the bed of the king in his fine palace bedchamber. In the early morning, at cockcrow, the beggar awoke, surprised, for one thing, that he had not been attacked by the wild dogs roving in through the demolished gate, and, next, that there was a jug and a basket lying beside him covered with a fine linen cloth.

He could not believe the sight of them at first. Was it a cruel dream sent to torment a famished, dying beggar? Or was it real? He reached out his trembling hand and touched them. He gasped--they were real!

He laid aside the linen--and saw loaves of fresh baked bread, a cheese, two fine broiled fishes, and olives and grapes. He tore into the bread first, then was so dry in his mouth he lifted the jug--and it was cold, watered wine--he had never tasted so fine a vintage!

His weeping could not stop him from eating at the same time--and any passers-by must have glanced twice at the beggar, wondering what he was up to, and how he had come by so fine a meal--a veritable banquet for a beggar.

The beggar was not even finished with his wonderful banquet--given him by unknown benefactors in the night--when the unfinished street and gate were filled with people, all talking loudly and gesturing and casting angry looks back toward the hated palace of the oppressor, the tyrant Peleus.

It soon looked to the beggar that the whole city had gathered at the wrecked Mountain Gate. What were they saying?

"It was good the way it was, so why this expensive change!" said one man. "Yes, he's taxing us to death for this needless building of his!" said another. A woman wailed, "I cannot buy my own children food enough to feed them, after these new taxes and levies of the king! What will I do--feed them grass and bark?"

Other women joined her, wailing and beating their breasts. The men grew all the more excited and angry, shaking their fists. Some held pitchforks, knives, and clubs, anything that could be used as a weapon.

After the noise grew even louder, and the clamor increased with new additions of citizenry--people even coming in from the country to join the crowd--the king's men came on horseback, shaking their fists, commanding them to disperse at once. "The king orders you back to your homes and work places at once! A whip for the back of every man, and forty lashes, if you don't go immediately!"

The crowd, which was now in the hundreds, jeered, united in one voice and in anger against the tyrant and his men.

They surged forward as if to pull the king's men from their horses, and the king's soldiers, lashing at the hands that grabbed at them and their horse, suddenly galloped away back to the palace, dozens of men running after them and pelting them with rocks.

The crowd continued its gathering for quite some time, but when the king did not send any more soldiers, their anger began to wane, for there was nothing to take their anger out on. Within another hour the whole area emptied, leaving the beggar alone with his thoughts, Jason's sandal, and his strange and wonderful provision.

The beggar was happy as a awallow in springtime. He now had enough for several days--and could forget starvation for a time. He had no idea how he had been spared a most miserable death, and being devoured by the wild dogs, but he was thankful. A thought came to him: why not thank God for his miraculous repast?

So he did, right there in the daylight hours--he raised his clasped hands toward heaven and thanked the Father of All.

After that day, there came news via a passer-by. The king, badly frightened by the uprising of the whole city, had called back his levies and new taxes. He wasn't going to enlarge the Mountain Gate and widen the street after all. What was done would be repaired and returned to its former condition.

As for the king, he had heard something else--that the beggar at the gate was the reason for the disturbance that nearly cost him his throne. The people were defending the beggar, who had been cast from his begging post, along with the post!

Then, just as this welcome news came to the beggar, even better news reached his ears. He had been declared the king's ward! The same day, mats arrived from the palace for him to rest upon, together with a canopy to shelter him from the sun's burning rays at noontide and during the long afternoon. Food as well arrived, via the slaves and cooks of the palace kitchen. He had more than enough now--and again the beggar clasped his hands toward heaven, and no matter who was present, poured out this thanks to the Father of All as His great provider and benefactor.

That very night as the beggar slept like a baby beneath the clean, warm, fine-smelling woolen blanket brought from the palace, he heard a voice call him: "My son, your prayer is heard, and I have answered you. You have been faithful in little, and now I will put you over much. Your affliction is comforted, and I will bestow even more favor upon you. I will send another benefactor to take you to the palace of the king, where you will abide until your end. Be at peace! Rest in my hands!"

And it was so as the Voice promised the beggar. Jason arrived at last one fine day (which was the end of Peleus, to be sure, who had reigned most wickedly and cruelly all the time Jason had been absent from his kingdom). The false king was routed out by the one carrying the Golden Fleece on his mighty shoulders, his adopted sons, the grandson of the great Phrixusd, holding the train of the Fleece. Laughing and jeering and rejoicing the people of Iolkos jeered and hooted at Peleus as he ran, barefoot, down the street to get away. No one of his former court or any his rich friends lifted a finger to help him, for they were afraid now of Jason being king and holding them responsible for their part of the king's misrule and oppression of the people.

Justice and judgment, along with mercy, were restored by the kingship of Jason. The crimes that Peleus had committed against many innocent men were rectified as much as possible. Widows who had been defrauded (and their husbands or sons murdered by the king's order) were given their property back.

He also retrieved his sandal from the beggar, sending for him and bringing him to the palace in a royal chariot! In a royal audience, before all the assembled Argonauts and the people, Jason said to the beggar:

"I heard of you from the people! You were the one I first met in my city, for you guarded the Mountain Gate, did you not? You kept my sandal safe--and now, as reward for your faithfulness, I fulfill my vow I made when I left it at the name post--that whoever honored me in this city from the time I hung my left sandal on the name post would be richly rewarded! Well, you are the man! You are the man!" You honored me, a stranger to you, and now I will honor you in return!

King Jason offered the beggar a place for life in the palace, and his own rooms, and all his food and drink and clothing. The beggar, knowing a good thing when he saw it, immediately accepted.

Nothing was spared his needs, and unlike many ungrateful men blessed with suddenly improved fortunes, he was most thankful to the giver, but also giving thanks to God, the Father of All, to the end of his remaining days.

Now and then he would go by chariot or litter to see the Mountain Gate where he formerly resided for many, many hard years of dearth and suffering. But Jason had made it most beautiful, building it with fine stones and carvings of the Golden Fleece, the Ship of the Argonauts sailing across the lintel--even a figured carving of the exploits of various Argonauts, and a saying that the wise Mopsos would have approved, which said for men of that time and succeeding ages:

"O Wayfarer Passing Through the Narrow Gate, Seek First God and His Righteousness, and All Things Good and Happy will be added unto you!

It was a popular gate from that time on. People who passed through it felt a blessing fall upon them--unless they were wicked, bent on committing some evil deed either in the city or out of it. The old name fell away. It began to be called "Happy Gate," and so it remained for as long as the gate stood there.

Jason, moreover, returned it to its narrow state as a gate for only one man to enter or exit at a time. He did this purposely, not to make it inconvenient for the city but because he remembered that Mopsos had once told him, "Narrow is the gate that leads to life, and few there be that find it. But broad is the way that leads to a man's destruction. Many, alas, many go to destruction, taking the easier way in life, thinking they are safer travelling together, like fish in a school!"

So this single-file gate leading to and from the mountains overlooking Iolkos, as long as it stood, would teach that wise lesson and the wisdom of Mopsos to all men who would listen, to all men who wanted to live and not die.

After Jason returned to rule over his kingdom, all was well in heaven and earth? Well, not quite yet. When Elektra heard what had happened in Colchis, that her amusing little pet dragon (which she had planned to use on hostages for entertaining her at royal functions) had been slain by none other than Jason, and the slayer gotten clean away too, she was determined that heads would roll. And heads did roll, literally, around her. Then she set out personally, in pursuit of Jason. He must be stopped, she thought, from spoiling all her plans for Ilios and its goddess-worship. Achaea, with the likes of Jason to make it succeed, was to be smashed, and Ilios was to rule supreme, under her scepter, of course!

.

In Part II, the cause of the world's coming cataclysm by nuclear melt-down, is the this little pinkie ring's gemstone, a particularly evil and powerful topaz, seen last on the pinkie of a poisoned Publicatexan seated by Homer at a luncheonette in Port Andros. Recognizing it as Talulah's, Homer grabs it off the dying man and runs, thus serving as its courier to deliver it to the very centers of power that are now locked in a struggle for world domination. Atlanteans, humans, even a Georgian ferret, are unwitting participants and allies in the Gotterdamerung of Atlantis II.

In the upcoming Park III of Chronicle Sixty, Talulah lands in more trouble than even she can handle. Her comeuppance is as cruel as the way she had treated others in order to win a beauty pageant crown.

FOR MORE OF PART II, CHRONICLE SIXTY, TALULAH'S STAR, TELLING HOW HOMER'S QUEST FOR IDENTITY WAS FATALLY CONNECTED WITH A TEEN BEAUTY QUEEN'S POWERFUL JEWEL OF EVIL THAT IN COMBINATION WITH A SECOND ALIEN ENTITY BROUGHT THE CONFRONTATION OF ATLANTEANS AND HUMANS THAT PRECIPITATED A FULL-BLOWN NUCLEAR WORLD WAR. GO TO CHRONICLE SIXTY IN THE DIRECTORY. THIS CHRONICLE IS IN PROGRESS, WITH PART III TO COME ON-LINE IN THE NEAR FUTURE ON THIS PAGE.

"PART II, "TALULAH'S STAR, VOL. III, CHRONICLE SIXTY, RETROSTAR

CHRONICLE SIXTY, VOL. III, PART III, THE GREY WOLF:

When do you know the Shadow Line, dividing your former life and the advent of sheer nightmare, has passed over you? Homer had already experienced some terrible things and even his near death several times in the last day or so--but he was now to find out that all that had been mere preparation. Yet it wasn't preparation enough, he would soon find as he made his way slowly into the darkened, silent Cayman mansion.

He turned and closed the door behind him carefully, then moved toward the light that was coming in from the upper windows of the first room.

His nerves were on edge already, for the house struck him as too quiet somehow. It was now growing dark, and less light was coming in, which didn't lessen the sense of foreboding he felt.

He came to the curved archway leading to the rest of the mansion's many rooms, a staircase leading to upper floors as well as doors opening to the terrace.

Here his eyes fell upon a strange dark stain on the tiled floor.

He did not realize it at the time, but he was in deepening shock before it mentally registered just what he was seeing. He leaned over and picked up something, a woman's shoe! Or was it a child's? It was so small and dainty.

He was staring at it dumbly when he noticed it was half full of the same liquid that lay in a big puddle on the floor. He set the shoe back carefully, and didn't notice that his fingers were now bloody.

The big puddle of stuff on the floor--blood? He knew it was, but his mind was protesting all the while. Things like this didn't happen to someone like himself. He was a small-town Georgia boy. There weren't people being murdered in his town like this--maybe in big cities, which he sometimes heard about. And sometimes things went wrong out in the logging camps--but that was to be expected, with all the drinking and fighting that went along with the rough and tumble types that did the work. But it had never touched his life, what went on in such places. But now--here it was--smack in front of his face. First Ugur, then someone in the Cayman household! Maybe his head wound was acting up a little too. He still couldn't grasp it, or think that it was actually happening to him. He had been raised to be a part of respectable, quality society--as far as Makon knew respectability and quality society, that is.

Nevertheless, he had to continue what he had started. He had to find the Caymans, or at least a servant, before he could decently get back to his own reason for coming to Multan. There had to a a good reason for the dinner being put off like this and the house left unattended, he thought.

He took the staircase, an ancient, creaking flight of mulberry-wood steps. It led to a number of small rooms, narrow halls, all elaborate and decorated in a centuries-old style. Some had chandeliers and were filled with books and art objects. Others looked as if they had never been opened--not for years-- for cobwebs were thick on everything in the rooms.

He opened a door to one of the larger rooms, and it was a master bedroom, he could tell.

In one end stood a crib decorated with colored beads. Was it the Cayman baby's? he wondered.

He went over to it and saw the baby was in the crib, but something was wrong. The baby was lying too still. The baby wasn't even breathing, as it lay with eyes gazing up without any flickering of eyelashes. It was then he noticed the oxygen tank, lying on its side under the crib, and attached to it a long plastic line for feeding air through the baby's trachea.

The shoe with blood in it, the puddle of blood on the floor, now this dead, suffocated baby boy. Homer, staring at it, slowly backed away. He was still backing away when he ran into the open door, which moved and almost closed, shutting him in, but he turned suddenly by instinct and flung out of the room. He rushed toward the stairs, and was down to the ground floor without using most of the steps. He almost slipped right into the blood, but jumped and missed it.

He had to get some air and clear his mind if he could of the sight of the dead baby.

The terrace doors were not shut, he saw they were open, and he pushed through and went out onto the terrace. A cool breeze hit his face at that moment, and he drank it in for a moment as his mind whirled with thoughts he could not control. What was he to do? Where were the parents? Who had done these terrible things to the Caymans? Who would kill an innocent, helpless, sick baby by pulling out its oxygen tube? What kind of monsters would do that? What had happened to the servants and the Caymans?

He took only a few steps and saw a pool in front of him under an elevated wing of the house.

What were those dark objects lying in the water?

He went to the pool's edge and looked. The bodies----Mr. and Mrs. Cayman? Who else could it be? But why? What had they done to anyone to deserve death like this?

Homer did not think from that point until he was standing in the street. He had burst running from the front door to where he now found himself in a street of the Old City. His running had disturbed his companion, for Rainy had climbed out and was clinging to his shoulder. Looking wildly around, Homer wondered what the best way would be leading to the airport. All he wanted was to take the next flight out of this nightmare world he had stumbled into. As for finding Talulah and returning her valuable topaz ring, he had forgotten all about it.

As Homer looked around and wondered which way to proceed, home in stuffy, little Makon never seemed a more welcome thought. Nagging, old Higgins, his ailing, secretive grandmother, the challenging questions of Faye about his religion--he couldn't think of anything he wanted more at the moment than his former life, lost as he was in a city that was literally tearing itself apart.

It is a strange thing how absolutely life can change, and quickly, all because a seemingly insignificant thing is done or said which turns out to be the catalyst of a something far greater, or, more closer to the reality, the spider that pulls in a struggling fly caught in its web.

Likewise, when Homer came to a crossroads, and finally began going down a street--really no more than a cobbled lane or path--that led down beneath a high retaining wall that formed the western boundary of the Capitol District, his destiny was set in a kind of suddenly congealed concrete.

The massacres that had begun hours earlier had not stopped, they were just spreading as the demonstrators broke and ran into other parts of the city, with the Grey Wolves in hot pursuit.

Unknown to Homer, a band of Leftists had surprised a lone Grey Wolf who had run too far ahead of his companions, then stoned, stabbed, and thrown him over the wall only a few minutes before they themselves were all shot and killed.

Homer came to the body--and he saw he was looking at a dead man--lying where he had fallen on some rocks, fallen head first. His neck had to be broken, at the very least, Homer realized. Then the idea struck him, what he had to do. The man's uniform--it was his ticket to the airport. He had to remove it, and change clothes immediately, or risk being treated as a Leftist demonstrator!

The uniform fit! Yet there was something else he had to solve quickly. He had a problem. What was he to do with Rainy? He knew he couldn't leave Rainy to his fate in a strange place--he had to take him back home with him.

Fortunately, the unform had a lot of pockets, the ones on his pants large enough for the ferret, if only the varmint would stay put. As soon as Rainy was in his new home, and the flap down over the pocket and clasped, Homer was on his way.

He had just stepped out of the alley at the other end when he saw a big army truck being loaded in the street with Grey Wolves. A sergeant, standing duty at the tailgate, spotted Homer just as he tried to shrink back into the alley before he was seen.

Whatever the sergeant was saying, Homer could not mistake the man's eye on him and his barked command.

He had no choice, as the sergeant kept motioning and yelling angrily at him to join the convoy. When Homer reached the truck, the sergeant raised his club as if he was going to hit him for being so slow to obey, but then he dropped his arm, hearing an officer's command summoning him further down the convoy of trucks. Homer saw his chance now to run for it. But he hesitated. The sergeant would probably see him high-tail it, and would pursue him--and deserters, he knew, would be shot.

Homer did what he had to do. He climbed aboard.

The moment he was scrambling to find a place to squeeze into on the jammed troop transport, the tailgate was slammed up into place by the sergeant who had just returned and found Homer out of reach of his club. He yelled curses at Homer as the truck roared away down the street, throwing them all against each other and then up and down on the bare floorboards the rest of the way.

Homer, trying to hold on to his place, thought about his predicament, nhow it couldn't be worse. He was trapped!

Homer knew that for a little while the trip lasted he wouldn't be closely inspected and found out--the Grey Wolves around him were too exhausted and covered with blood to care about anything else and paid him no attention as the truck, its klaxon horn blaring to clear its path, careened full speed through the crowded streets on its way through the city. Then, after crossing a bridge, it was across suburbs of the city and out into the countryside, taking gravelled roads full of potholes.

Where were they going? To some den of the Grey Wolves? He knew he would soon be finding out. What would he do then? Would he have a chance to slip away as the troops got out of the truck? He had no idea. Perhaps the sergeant would see to it he went with the others. Well, there was nothing else he could do except hope he might have a chance to escape when the truck stopped moving.

It is strange that thoughts come at times like Homer's last minutes before the truck pulled up its destination--the Grey Wolf's den where his paramilitary force had their quarters and training camp. Of all people, Faye came to his mind. She was asking him once again the question that was the most difficult for him to try to answer. He could even see her asking it--with that unwavering, eye-to-eye contact she maintained, making him squirm a bit as he struggled to put her off.

"Just think of the strange god you believe in, compared to the wonderful one I know--and why don't you want to see yourself if He is real or not by calling to Him by His Name--rather than just holding blindly on to the old tales you have been fed since birth?"

"But I'm perfectly satisfied with mine, the Only True God!" he shot back, trying not to turn his eyes away from her smiling stare.

"Oh--then why aren't you at peace inside? I'm at peace! You can see that for yourself! A God who can't give his people peace, what kind of a God is that? Homer, you really have nothing, not even faith, just a lot of rules and trusting in your own good deeds--admit it! If you had peace, real peace, you'd be a completely different person inside. You'd be happier than you've ever been--and stay that way too."

Homer couldn't think of anything to counter that. Despite the fact his religion taught him she was an infidel, she had him nailed, and he could not deny the fact that no one in his religion, not even the iman, had real peace in his heart--Ismani--despite all their fasts, giving to the poor, prayers and prostrations on prayer rugs, etc.--were always uncomfortable, always wondering if when they died whether they would go to the hell-flames or not, since not one person--not even the Prophet of Isma--had been assured he was spared and would go to heaven.

Just as he was thinking this, the truck slowed in the convoy, and stopped abruptly, throwing everyone forward. They had arrived, and the hangar with the nuclear-sub hunting dirigible loomed overhead--the headquarters and training camp for the Grey Wolves.

The transport's tailgate was thrown down. The whole group bolted out the back, glad to end the torture of the ride and put feet back on the solid earth.

Homer, his fears rising as he realized he might soon be spotted as an alien--particularly when he was forced to say anything--which would get him shot--was standing there only a few moments with the other Grey Wolves when a limoisine pulled up.

A major opened the door and a general stepped out. He said something to the major, who stepped back and followed as the general strode forward. The whole platoon snapped to attention, and Homer did the same, imitating them as best he could, his eyes cracked to see the others in order to do the same as they did.

The four-starred Grey Wolf general poked Homer's chest with his gloved finger, then swung round and returned to his car. The major, giving Homer a push when he just stood there gaping at the general, said something which Homer couldn't understand, except that he realized he was meant to follow the general into his vehicle.

As he opened the door to get in front with the driver, the general shook his head--rapping the seat beside him with his whip.

The major scowled as Homer slid in, and then closed the door. The limoisine shot off.

The moment they were moving, the general turned to Homer. "They believed I had to be the Grey Wolf's brother at least, I look so much like their leader--and it worked. I got you away from there. They would have killed you a few minutes later--after you had been found out."

Homer just stared. The general was speaking to him in Georgian--and what he said was no less stunning.

"Who are you?" he blurted out, when he finally got his breath back.

The man smiled, tapping the glass in front of them that separated them from the driver. The driver turned, and the man slid the window open and gave a command in Multanese, then shut the window.

He turned to Homer. "I just directed him to take us directly to the Capitol. The collapsing Parliamentary Government is having a last emergency session. The Grey Wolf, Zeki, is on hand in the same building, for taking over the government. In an hour the supreme power will be handed to him officially by the out-going parliament, which doesn't dare side with the Leftists anymore, since they are crushed and powerless. But this is not what I want to tell you. You must do what I now tell you. This is your purpose in coming here--"

"Wait!" Homer protested. "I don't have to listen to you, a person I've never seen before in my whole life! I have my own reason for coming here--and it has nothing to do with your stupid politics. I am getting out of this mess of yours--stop this car--I won't bother anyone--I am leaving for home!"

The man in the general's uniform shook his head and smiled. "It's too late for running away to the safety of your grandmother's home in Makon. You came here seeking your father, didn't you? That was a right thing for you to do as you became of age. But he is dead--the Grey Wolf executed him just a few hours ago, along with his wife and child--your step-brother. I'm afraid your father and his family couldn't be saved from their fate. He was in a battle with his own brother for the throne--and he lost."

Homer's blood ran cold. Was he hearing what he just heard? he wondered. Or was he dreaming all this? His father--Dr. Cayman? Dead? His infant step-brother dead with him! Hearing this, Homer's whole quest in life collapsed into utter ruins. What was the point in going on? His dream of finding his father was shattered. At that moment all Homer wanted to do was stop the world and get off. But the big car continued to speed swiftly back toward the Capitol, only with far more ease than the convoy truck, gliding along the road without any sound or the slightest feel of the rough road.

Homer was beside himself. He felt close to panic. He had to try to handle this situation, one last time. "I won't do anything you or anybody tells me to do. Let me out of this car, or l'll jump out!"

He had his hand on the door handle--and meant it. But the "general" smiled. "No, you won't. The doors are locked, until you hear me out, that is.

And this is what you must do when we arrive. Are you going to listen before you decide to go along with it or not?"

Homer realized she had no choice at the moment, so he nodded.

"Very well," the "general" sighed. "I look just like the Wolf's brother, as I said, though the officers we just met don't know his twin brother altered his looks a long time ago, and now is dead, slain by his own brother. The guards at the Capitol too will not know the whole story. They will be impressed enough to let me and you into the building. Once in, I'll lead you straight to the Wolf. I repeat, his name is Zeki in Multan, but his real name is Zeto. I am so sorry, you have to hear this, and soon you will be setting eyes on your father's murderer, but you need to know the circumstances, otherwise you won't know what best to do about it. This man of blood is not even human. Neither am I. You are only half a human--part of you is the same as Zeto. You are carrying a ring, are you not? It accounts for at least half of the trouble the world is experiencing right now."

Indeed he was carrying a ring! He had forgotten it, along with Rainy, but now he wondered, "What does that have to do with all the rest he had just been told? Now he recalled something more--whose it was. But where was she?

As if the "general" could read his thoughts, he commented, "She's being held in the Wolf's den, close to where you first landed when you got out of the convoy truck. I couldn't set her free just then and make a disturbance that would have involved you, but I will do it later. She is in a torture room. They have been trying to obtain her topaz ring and punish her for what she did to Miss Multan, and they haven't finished with her. But they are too busy right now with the demonstrator organizers they hauled in, and won't be hurting her anymore--and they have more important matters on their minds after taking over the government and the country. This is just the beginning of the killing and purges they have planned, as they follow the dictates of the Fiery Stones."

Homer's head was spinning with all this absolutely astounding information, most of which he could not grasp, since he had no prepartion for any of it. Who and what was this man? How was he going to set Talulah free? What kind of power did he have anyway? He wasn't human, he had said--so what on earth was he anyway? A devil? An angel? And what were these "fiery stones," that had such power they could lead the Grey Wolves to do what they were doing? He had many questions, but the "general" kept speaking.

"I'm sorry I cannot answer all your questions right at this moment. We will soon be at the Capitol, so you must listen carefully, Homer. Just this much more--will you do it?"

"Not until you tell me exactly who you are!"

"I am the White Angel," the man replied, "sent to guard you!"

YOM KIPPUR, BOOK TWO, OF VOL. V, BEYOND THE RAPTURE.

Over on Earth I, the Rapture has taken place just as the evangelicals believed and said it would, but Heloise Turnbull, one of the most successful televangelists, has been left, unaccountably, since she had built her whole message around the doctrine of the Rapture. It takes her a while to adjust and realize the cause for why she was left behind is herself--and meanwhile, she has to flee the U.S. to Israel, where she hopes she can sit out the collapse of her empire and all the legal wranglings over her ministry's immense assets. When the Anti-Christ attacks Israel, which has identified him as an imposter and not Messiah and pulled away from his dictatorial control, Heloise is forced to flee Jerusalem with a Jewish family where she has served as a caregiver, maid, and whipping post for a tormented old harridan who could not forget the nightmarish abuse she had suffered as a young girl in the Nazi death camps--and had to take it out on somebody, even her own family, if there was nobody else available.

Heloise, of course, being a foreign goy, was ideal for the abusive old woman to take out her inner pain on. And she wasted no opportunity to make life an absolute hell for Heloise--as if the Anti-Christ Dictator wasn't making life hellish enough for the inhabitants (and particularly the underground Christian believers) of earth.

It was the last straw, however, for the Jews when their World Union "Premier" invaded their new temple and declared himself Messiah and God in one person, and even set up a golden holographic image of himself for people to worship when he wasn't on the premises sitting on his throne.

As one man, the Israelis forgot all their differences, sectarianism, and secularism, and politics, and revolted, staging mass demonstrations outside the defiled temple, seizing the image which they called "the abomination of desolation" and destroying it, pulling to pieces the World Union guards who had already opened fire on them.

The World Union could not let this revolt go unchecked. It was a most sensitive, faith-based issue--which could quickly boil over Israel's borders into the neighboring Moslem Arab states which were keenly observing it. They too had a deity, Allah, and would the World Leader do the same to them as he had just done to the Jews at their own temple. Was he going to march in to the Dome of the Rock or Al Aqsa Mosque or even the Shrine of the Rock in Mecca and declare himself both Allah and Mohammed returned to earth? What would stop him from such sacrilege, after what he had already done to defile Israel's temple?

This fear was already running rampant in the Arab bloc of nations, and adding to the tension everyone felt in Israel the moment they cast the detestable holographic image out into the street and ran a tank over and over it until it was ground to dust.

Watching this happen from his headquarters in Rome, the world's ruler decided finally to act in order to keep the Arabs from joining the revolt in defense of their own god and prophet. The world dictator finally turned on his once trusting but not outraged ally, Israel, with the same fury he had used on Christians--giving the Jews a rerun of the Holocaust. His armies fell upon Israel, disarmed of its nuclear defenses according to the treaty they had signed with him in exchange for a World Union-guaranteed peace with the Arab bloc, and quickly overran the tiny country--carving it up and letting the Arab nations in his empire devour the Jews to their hearts' content. The rapes, the executions, the beheadings of rabbis, the destruction of synagogues, the leveling of whole areas of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the sheer joy of destroying anything Jewish--it was barbarism that had not been seen since the days of Titus and Genghis Khan and the Spanish Inquisition. And what had the Jews done to warrant such ferocity and extermination? Nothing except settle on and develop a small strip of land nobody wanted--not until the Jews had sweated and slaved and used their ingenuity to turn it into some of the most productive land on earth. That was just too much an effront to the Arab neighbors of Israel. They had possessed it for centuries, and the land was virtually worthless, unable to support only a low population with subsistent lives--so to witness these few Jews transform the barren wilderness of Palestine into a cornucopia, into a lush, blooming oasis full of plenty--that was more than Israel's Arab neighbors could take. Moslems were superior, as they were taught since earliest childhood, and yet these inferior Jews--not any better than swine in their opinion--had surpassed them in a mere generation, and on the same tracts of rocky, arrid land where they had scratched a bare existence for centuries--since their Prophet had ascended on horseback to heaven. How did the wretched Jews do it? It had to be Satan's trickery--the Jews could not possibly have performed such a miracle. Everyone knew they were too stupd, lazy, and

And so the Arabs, in taking part in the dismemberment of Israel and the genocide, were wiping the slate clean, they thought, when they joined the world leader at his invitation in the conquest of Israel. There would be no more Israel, and no more shame either--everyone would soon forget what Israel had been like-- and people would soon adjust to the howling wilderness and the lack of food and the hardscrabble existence they had always known in this area before the upstart Jews had invaded to upset everything by improving the entire area under their control.

Heloise had been one witness of the second Shoah, or Holocaust, and she would never forget the sight of Jerusalem bombed and burning. Then the armies roaring in--sacking, raping, burning, blowing up this building and that building, bulldozing whole neighborhoods, attacking and defiling churches and synagogues--doing all the things barbarian hordes do. She really could not tell any difference between the Anti-Christ's soldiers and his Arab allies--they acted exactly the same and possessed the same venom against the Jews and all things Jewish.

Yet she knew it wasn't really inhumanity she was witnessing--it was something far more sinister--it was the Evil One himself, wreaking vengeance for all he had suffered at empty tomb of Christ, when it dawned on him that he had won a battle, killed Christ, but lost the war.

Heloise could easily imagine how he thought about the events of the Cross and the Resurrection. The Cross had been a defeat of God, in Satan's book. His victory, and Christ's death. But the Resurrection reversed it entirely, he soon found out. The Resurrection defeated him, the mighty Satan, and make Yeshua the lowly carpenter, the Son of God and Messiah, the victor! That victory had stolen everything he had thought he would possess forever--the keys to death and hell--the prisons above and below the earth where he held the whole of humanity in shackles of fear and guilt and condemnation. Forced to give them up to the risen Christ, he was shorn of all his power. Now all he could do was bluff and intimidate and deceive and distract--for he was, essentially, powerless, now that humanity had been given a way to escape his kingdom and enter Yeshua's--by choice. That was the only weak chink in Yeshua's new armor--choice! Humans still had to choose--and so he realized early on, if he could deceive them enough to think the choice wasn't worth making, or would cost them too much, or was meaningless, or could be put off to a more convenient time--he had them suckered! He could still populate hell with all his conquered human souls--and hurt God in the only way he could still hurt him.

It was a harrowing experience being a witness of Israel's destruction. The Moslem Arabs, Turks, and various Central Asian cohorts had shown their true colors--their irrational, pathological hate for Israel had turned them into utter beasts and they were no longer human beings--they only looked human. As for the Anti-Christ, he was acting true to form, no longer keeping up any pretension or claim to human compassion or civilized humanity. Of course, with her looks she was relatively safe--as the good-looking Jewish women were the most sought after. But as the days passed, the armies turned to raping even the elderly and the mentally retarded and children. Nothing was beneath them! Men and boys were raped as well--those who were still alive, that is, after the first massacres when all the male population was herded together and shot. The Anti-Christ's concentration camps were packed with survivors, but these were convenient places for the soldiers of the Antichrist and the Arab allies to come on their nightly rampages, as they looked for more men, boys, women, and girls to rape and torture.

One night, however, there was a terrific shock for everyone in her compound, when IDF, dressed as world government troops, burst in, killing their drunken guards and herding them out to waiting jeeps and trucks. Thehy were given a wild trip into the Judaean wilderness, and they all wondered if they would not all die there as soon as their captors realized what had happened and came in hot pursuit.

Yet, unknown to them, the IDF's breakaway units had done their prep work well--they had sent mortars and missiles into the communication centers of the Antichrist and his allies--and created enouch confusion that their raid on the Hillel compound was not reported for hours--giving them the critical window of time to get scot away.

Ahead of the jeeps and trucks, the Gideon Task Force (the secret name for the remaining units of the IDF) had secured the area where they would be picked up and flown to the secret base outside Israel's territory. Nobody has any idea where it is, except Heloise, who knew from her own Bible prophecy teaching that it was probably Petra--and she would be proven correct.

Weeping with relief, exhausted from the bone-numbing ride in vehicles with little or no shocks, the refugees fell into the arms of the waiting Gideon Task Force and were loaded onto the helicopters.

At the time she flees via an Israeli army chopper belonging to the breakaway units of the Israeli Army, she is ripe for reconciliation with her family and the husband who divorced her for her loveless treatment of him and her two daughters and son--sacrificing them all for the sake of building her ministry up to Forbes 500 status.

Aloes, her son, is the most angry with her, but he lands at the secret base of the lost city of Petra, set deep in the south Jordanian desert rocks and canyons, to join the hidden base of Israelis who are trying to escape extermination, a Second Shoah in Jerusalem, inflicted by the occupying armies of the World Dictator and his allies.

Heloise goes to meet Aloes as he lands.

It goes better than she has hoped, after she admits to him everything she had done that had separated them. He forgives her. The painful, festering breach between them is healed. She becomes his mother again, even though he is now a grown man.

The days following Aloe's arrival were chiefly ones of getting to know one another, in the whole family, for everyone had changed dramatically, not least of all, Heloise.

Aloes was very restless, however. Despite his "confession," he fully intended to enlist to join the Israeli Army, if they would accept him after he told them about it.

Heloise did not like the sound of his enlisting, but respected his decision enough not to argue with him. She did not think the Israelis would take him, as he was not Israeli in nationality, and there were other counts against him too--his lack of any military training and the course he should have taken in high school to prepare him for it. The Israelis, she knew, were very exacting in their requirements--and they didn't budge on them either. She hoped Aloes was not setting himself up for a big disappointment so early in his life--one which he did not need at this point, she felt. But what was she to do? She had to let him become a man--for this is what this move of his signified, she instinctively, as a mother, knew was happening with him.

Aloes seemed a brand-new person, the old sullen expressions utterly gone, and his face and movements full of purpose and anticipation, after announcing his decision to his family. He wasn't asking their approval, but they all knew he badly wanted it. It was a hard thing--to appear to support him in something they realized couldn't possibly result in a change for the better.

He had to wait, however, before General "M," commander of the army of resistance, the Gideon Task Force, as it was called, arrived. There was no set time for his arrival--as there probably were informers among the refugees--and they weren't going to risk an assassination of the only general of Free Israel's GTF that they had left.

Aloes could hardly sleep at night, Heloise noticed, for he was living for the moment on the one thought that he could run and enlist as a mercenary--as he assumed that was the best way for a non-national to be accepted in a unit strapped for bodies.

In the daylight hours he was studying some obsolete but still helpful war and basic training manuals he had scavenged from a firebombed library and brought along--hoping to glean some kind of knowledge of guns and maneuvers that would help a little.

He offered to clean the rifles the army men had--but was refused, of course. He could only examine them visually, and try to imagine how they worked.

Doing anything he could to make himself useful around the Israeli army camps, he did learn some things, and also was able to practice on his budding Hebrew with some of the more patient soldiers who thought he was almost too friendly an American but appreciated his helpful ways, always on hand to volunteer for the dirty, sweaty, time-consuming jobs of housekeeping and off-loading trucks and--hardest task of all-- digging trenches for various defenses which they didn't have enough men to do as quickly as they needed.

The trenches were unspeakably gruelling--the temperatures well over 100 degrees--and without a breeze blowing on him it felt like an electric frying pan turned on high. He endured it, but wondered sometimes after hours sweating and slaving away, how much longer he could hold out before he collapsed right there in the trenches.

To cool off at nights, he took his thin army-issue sleeping bag and slept outside the tomb entrance, hoping to be the first to spot the general's chopper. He searched among the glittering stars--which were more like jewels than stars--they were so brilliant and faceted. Would the general ever come? Had he been assassinated somewhere back in the secret installation outside Jerusalem where the Anti-Christ's forces were pounding away with all their firepower, using air strikes and field artillery and bunker-busting missiles to finish his mop-up of the last crack units of the Israeli army? Would they have to wait weeks more, only to hear the crushing news that the general nicknamed "Mac the Knife" because he preferred a Swiss knife on his belt to a gun wasn't coming after all? What would they do then? They might as well surrender! But he knew he wouldn't even as he considered the thought.

The Anti-Christ would behead them all before an arena packed with his cheering slaves, after torturing them to get all the information he wanted. That was what he always did to anyone who dared to resist him.

No, there would be no surrender, general or no general.

Aloes continued thinking about it. After they heard the general had been taken and executed, would Free Israel have to move again? And where? This was the safest place in the world--an almost inpenetrable maze of thousand-foot-deep crevices and boulder-strewn wadis. The Siq that led to Petra wouldn't permit anything but a single jeep at a time--and so they were safe--no big armor could ever reach them. Only by air was the site militarily accessible, yet it was hidden--the tombs and buildings of Petra overhung by the high cliffs--which all looked the same by air. Anyone firing at them had to fire blind--for they would see nothing from the air. Nothing!

And the Israelis had make it even more difficult to spot their missiles and motor pools, depots and supply camps. They were covered with thorn bushes and netting, so thick they were perfectly blended with the terrain and invisible from the air. Trenches and detection lines set with sensors made it impossible for anyone to approach them on foot either without alarms being set off--and then there were the land mines further out, both anti-personnel and armor-piercing--a double barrier, if you didn't count the highly trained, ever watchful commandoes of Free Israel, who were constantly on guard, and at night too with heat-sensing scanners and night vision goggles.

Petra was as good as impregnable--or at least, in the area Free Israel's last units of the IDF had dug into, made so costly for any attacker that he would probably lose 80-90% of his forces and their equipment in a full assault. It was also an official UN World Heritage Site, which was supposed to keep it neutral and off-limits for bombing, at least on paper.

Aloes was amazed at the thoroughness--the Israelis had the best techniques and gear in the world--and the training needed to make it work superbly, in second-by-second precision timing. To belong to such a fighting force--small as it now was--was the highest calling he could think of. It was called the Gideon Task Force, he knew, but though Gideon was a brave Israelite commander who fought the invading armies of camel-ridng Midianites raiding Israel in the time of the tribes, David seemed a better way to picture them, to Aloes's mind.

Just the thought of the shepherd boy David hoisting his slingshot and taking on the swaggering, blasphemous, nine-foot-tall, heavily armored Goliath was the perfect way to describe the tiny Gideon Task Force taking on the seemingly invincible massed armies of the Anti-Christ and World Dictator with all the armed might of the world at his disposal--surely, that was defying the worst odds imaginable! Was it more than the lottery's 8 million to one?

Yet the thought of the astronomical odds arrayed against them was enough to thrill him to the core and make him want to do anything to get in on the action--even if it resulted in another Masada.

If he had to shine all the shoes and boots of the entire brigade and dig latrines and trenches and the dugouts for the missile launchers to hide in, just to get their good opinion of him, he would gladly do it! Never had he met such a dedicated bunch of men (and women too!)--all fiercely individual as only Israeli-born Sabras could be, but bonded to each other to the death--and each would give his life for the other if that was called for, rather than live and see a teammate get hit. But they weren't fighting for themselves and each other as much as for freedom. Never would they accept being boot-licking slaves to the World Dictator and bow down to him and his government officials. They would fight him and the whole world's armed forces to the death--and count it a pleasure! He even called himself God when he started to stamp on Israel, to cow them into submission with all the rest of the nations. But he had not known what he was dealing with when he touched Israel--Israel was different--Israel would not accept tyranny for any reason and by any man, however wonderful he seemed or how hopeless it may have looked to defy him. Israel--Aloes thought about it for a few moments, trying to get his impressions together in a single thought, a single unified conception--and he couldn't--for he was still on the outside, looking in. Would they open the door to him? He felt he would fling himself off a cliff above Petra if they refused him. His family would take it hard, he knew, but he wanted in that badly.

Hanging around the Israeli camps as he did, Aloes was the first in his family, or even among the refugees, to hear the news. Asher, an Israeli lieutenant who had taken Aloes under his wing, winked and took him aside. "No, don't put down your shovel, yankee, just listen!" said Asher. "Turn your face and don't look at me, and then I'll tell you."

Aloes obeyed.

"The big man has turned east, to stop the Asian armies!"

The moment he said that, Asher walked off.

Aloes, glancing at Asher's back just once before turning back to his work, felt cold in the burning sun. It was easy to figure out what Asher meant with his code words, needed even among the Israelis of Free Israel, since the Dictator had his informants everywhere. Who else could be the "big man" but MJ, who despite his effeminacy was proving to be the world's most tyrannical and ruthless leader ever known. By eliminating all possible rivals, he had made sure he was the only "Big Man" left in the world (at least the Western half of it, and including the Middle East)--the Antichrist, the son of the giant, heathen, uncircumcised, blaspheming Goliath who defied the armies of Israel. But if he turned east, had he forgotten little David in his rear? Or was he more concerned with the threat from the East and didn't have time to deal with David at Petra?

Aloes's thoughts whirled at the possibilities of this action. The whole course of the war was turning--Israel's way, for the first time since the opening attacks of the Anti-Christ on Israel. China, Myammar, Laos, Combodia, Viet Nam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Afghanistan and Iran--their combined armies of tens of millions, even hundreds of millions, were heading west on the Chinese-made road to lock horns with the Anti-Christ! This was exactly what his mother had preached and warned about in the days of her television ministry, wasn't it? She had quoted Revelation, which told of an army of the "kings of the East" who would lead a force of 200 million men against the Anti-Christ in the last days--and now it was actually happening! They would see it happen!

Now there was a chance--a tiny glimmer of a chance--this tiny remnant of Israel would survive to regather the scattered pieces of the shattered nation that the Big Man had crushed underfoot. There had to be thousands, hundreds of thousands, interned somewhere in his prison camps awaiting execution with his state-of-the-art laser-guillotine. The women raped, the men beaten and tortured, the children starved while Amnesty International, Humanity-Watch, and other human rights organizations looked the other way--they would be in terrible pain--surely, the Israelis would make their first offensive move, since retreat, to help them! Surely!

Aloes knew he was right about this, having spent enough time with Israelis to know how they thought and felt about their own. Now Free Israel's only mobile, offensive force could do something about them--if the right combination of surprise and brilliant strategy could pull off a rescue attempt. It would be the same as the Israelis had done back in the 20th century, when they freed a plane full of Israelis kidnapped by a particularly brutal Ugandan dictator called Idi Amin--a man who had already slaughtered two hundred thousand of his own mainly evangelical Christian people without a tear in order to rule over the country with his army of rapists and murderers and thieves. That rescue had been written into all the army manuals--it was so daring, so brilliant, and so impossible--yet only one poor elderly lady had died--the one so sick Idi Amin had taken her from the airport to the hospital and later executed when he heard her countrymen had all slipped from his net.

Prime Minister Netanyahu's brother, heading the rescue operation, had also died, catching a stray bullet at the airport--he too had been sacrified just when he was about to gain a very high position somewhere in the army or in the government, but the whole thing was glorious even with these deaths--and the world--at least the freedom-loving part--had never forgotten the utter courage and self-sacrifice of the rescuers who put all their lives on the line for those of the captives.

Aloes knew this had to be his main chance--and Israel's too, just when the world dictator was being distracted by the approach of the Asians. It was his time to apply for some part in the rescue. He knew Israeli practice in rescue operations. They would take only volunteers for such a suicide mission--and maybe--just maybe--they would accept a friendly foreigner like him, and take him along to do a particularly daring job not even an Israeli would do. Would he be coming back? Probably not! Probably not! But how else was he going to get in? He had to take this one main opening--short-handed, they might just take a volunteer. He had to see--or never know what could have happened if he stuck his neck out.

Aloes finished the trench, then threw it, and sat down. He was sweating gallons, the salt getting in his eyes, but he didn't care. He had to figure out how he was going to volunteer for a mission he shouldn't have known about. Asher had tipped him off, but he couldn't compromised his friend. They would be sure to suspect anyone who had shown the least bit attention to him. No, he had to think of something to divert them first.

Then he knew! His task done, he ran back all the way to the tomb. He was gasping and covered with grime, his hair hanging down over his eyes, when he staggered into the tomb and surprised his family gathered round a small table (an army cot laid with piece of armor for a smooth surface). Everyone dropped what they were eating--Israeli army k-rations Heloise and Esther tried to make as palatable as possible by removing all the wrappers for everyone--to stare at him.

"What is it?" Heloise cried, springing up. She rushed to him.

He dropped down, trying to get his breath.

"I've got some really important news, but you have got to let the other refugees know before you tell any Israeli solder--let it come from someone else, rather than any of us--what I am going to tell you. It's the strategy I had to think up--so that they won't think we have spies in their camps. You wouldn't want them to think bad of us, would you?"

Aloes hated to think he was deceiving his own family--but he knew he couldn't tell them everything--not just now anyway.

Getting their cooperation, he continued. "Don't ask me how I learned this, just listen to me. We're safe here! The Anti-Christ isn't going to bother with us after all--not for a while anyway. That'll give us a time window to do some more diggin' in."

Aloes's parents both gazed at him thunderstruck. "How do you know this?" Heloise said in a quiet, strained voice.

"Like I said--take my word for it, I know! He's not coming down here after all--he's got more important business to attend to than attack us and lose most of whatever he sends to root us out!"

"He's not coming?" his sisters chorused. "He's not going to attack us?" They looked round at their parents and also Esther and her family, who we re just as shocked, since they had heard about this "Anti-Christ" before from the evangelical Christian Turnbulls in their midst and were now more than inclined to believe he really was the monster of blasphemy that the word "Anti-Christ" signified.

The whole group began to celebrate when the reality finally sank in--they were saved! saved! The terrible dread of weeks had suddenly been lifted off them all--they were going to live and not die!

Aloes's sisters began to weep, their arms around each other, and even Esther's mother's eyes were shedding big tears of relief and thankfulness--she who had never wept for anyone, not since her tears had dried up after the first time she had been gang-raped as a little girl at the Nazi concentration camp.

Heloise went and pulled Aloes outside the tomb entrance. She could not have been more grim. "Aloes, do you know what you are doing? This could be the cruelest thing a man could do to us--give us all hope when it isn't true. Are you sure? Are you really sure about this?"

Aloes was held her gaze, and nodded. She reached and swept the hair away from his eyes and forehead and she looked deep into his eyes. Then she stepped back, and began weeping quietly. "I believe you," she said. "I can see you are convinced, and that is enough for me. You're not playing with us!"

She turned away and began laughing. Then stopped abruptly. She turned to him. "I thought I was going to go mad, waiting with the others for the attack, knowing it could come any minute, and this was the last place on earth we could run. Now...can you tell me anything more?

Aloes' father came out, and looking at them, paused and stood looking at them.

Aloes looked off toward the Israeli positions. "I can only add, that the Anti-Christ has gone to stop the Asians, the armies that are coming at him from the East. I guess his peace treaty with them fell through after all--they need the oil bad, and have had enough of his power grabs and aren't going to let him have the Middle East for his private fiefdom after all. That's all I know."

Before his mother could ask anything more, not trusting himself to keep back his intention for telling them this much, he turned to leave. As he took a couple steps away from the entrance toward the path leading down, his mother noticed and winced as if he was leaving them for good.

Aloes glanced at her, wondering if he had already been betrayed by a mother's intuition. Had she sensed what he could not tell her? He was still going to go through with his plan, whether she had guessed it or not.

Her face full of anguish, she still didn't call him back. "Do you want us to tell the others?" she said weakly. "Isn't that what you wanted us to do?"

"Oh, yeah!" he said, as casually as he could. "I don't want them suspecting my source, you know, and so if everyone knows, that will cover my tracks a bit. Just mention it to someone you know you can trust to spill the beans to the others--and it will soon get around. You women know what I am talking about, don't you?" He smiled, and that broke the tension, for his mother laughed.

"Yes, I think we gossipy old women with wagging tongues can manage it for you!"

She paused, then was serious again. "And thanks, Aloes! It's been a great relief to hear. You lifted a big heavy cloud off of all us! Thanks for telling us first before the others--thanks!"

She turned to his father. "Dad, do you have something?"

"No, he's grown--he can make his own decisions--but I'll be praying with your Mom, Al! Prayin' hard too!"

"Okay, I'll accept that as your vote of confidence!" he laughed. He gave them both a salute and then made it back down the goat track as fast as he could--his heart in his hand now he was on his way to seeing his dream come true. "Wow!" he thought. "I'll soon be pulling on an Israeli commando's uniform if I can pull it off the right way!"

The thought was so thrilling he was not looking very carefully at what was ahead. He never did see the rock that he stumbled over on the almost vertical slope, and found himself flying without anything under his feet, and the next thing he knew someone was bending over him, dampening his head with a wet towel.

Where was he? he wondered. It took him some time to figure it out. He was lying down on a cot, and overhead there were no stars, just a dark tent sunk halfway into the ground and some criss-cross netting showing where the entrance was, letting in some light from ground level.

Then he recognized the face--Asher! "You're got to take this," Asher said, holding a canteen to Aloes's mouth. "I laced it with some strong aspirin--you know, the high proof kind you can drink--for your head. Then rest. You got a bad knock, but I think you'll be all right--your skull is pretty thick. When you're better, the medic said he'd come and give you another checking out--but he didn't seemed too concerned."

Aloes drank almost the whole canteen, then sank back on the cot. It was so hot in the tented dugout, but he was used to the heat of Petra by now.

He was vaguely aware that Asher was spreading his bedroll and kicking off his boots and peeling his clothes down to his underwear to be more comfortable. Was Asher his nurse? That was quite a step down for a lieutenant, wasn't it? How come nobody else but Asher? Were they that short-handed? What was going on?

He turned around and lay on his stomach so he could face Asher.

"Thanks for looking after me," Aloes said, his head beginning to hurt for thinking so much. "Guess I fell back there on the trail, huh?"

"Shut up, big mouth Yankee!" said Asher, his eyes smiling but his face deadpan. "We can talk later. There's something big coming. But you may not want to hear it!"

Aloes drifted off, wondering what Asher was alluding to--could it be General Mac was coming at last to take command of Petra's forces? But if it wasn't good news, did that mean he wasn't coming, and something worse was headed their way? He had already told them what Asher had told him in confidence--so was the Anti-Christ coming after all to pounce on them with all the hardware he had massed together? It was a nightmare to think of--but sleep mercifully stopped the questions rattling around in his head.

When he awoke with a cracked throat and dry lips and felt like he had to drink something or dry up on the spot, Asher was waiting, evidently, holding a water bottle out.

After gulping all he could, Aloes sank back on the army cot with its ridiculous excuse for a matress.

He turned around again to face Asher, who liked to squat on the dugout floor because it was a couple degrees cooler than his cot.

"Hey, Asher, tell me a couple things, won't you?"

Asher said nothing, so Aloes continued.

"What is the news you got? Is MJ coming after all, or is it General Mac?

Asher didn't even blink. "Nothing I already said has changed. We still gotta wait for the general. He doesn't need to be here to give us the orders we need. Why should he expose himself to this stinking dump if he doesn't need to? He has more than this place to see to anyway--a lot more!"

Aloes's eyes felt like huge iron plates and began to close, but he struggled to keep them open. "Okay, okay. Glad to hear it. But you said there was big news--or something like that. What did you mean?"

The sabra--for he had been born in Israel--turned his eyes to the ceiling and then blew out his breath. "I don't know why I am telling you this. But maybe you need a big brother--and who else but me would fill in? I know you want to join us--and it is impossible. You're not Jewish, and we don't take mercenaries. That leaves you out for good. Yes, we're short of bodies--we are purely defensive in our condition. But there's a mission General Mac wants to do, as soon as possible too. Don't bother asking. I'll tell you a little about it right now."

Aloes was suddenly, completely, alert. He saw that the sabra's whole manner had changed. Asher was rigid all over his body--not a muscle wasn't twitching with the anger that was coursing through him.

"It's a rescue mission. The dictator is slaughtering our people, all those who are left, torturing them first in those hellhole camps he had set up outside Jerusalem. He isn't bothering to go to the expense and trouble of "re-educating" them as he promised the UN and the human rights organizations, now that he has got them to keep their mouths shut about his genocide. He really intends to wipe us out to the last man. He had destroyed our country, now he is going to kill every Jew on earth! We are waiting now for word on who is to go--and when--but first, they're calling for volunteers. If that's sufficient, they'll not order anyone to go."

What could Aloes say to that? His heart leaped at the word about volunteers. Here was his main chance, just as he had hoped! As for the genocide in Jerusalem, his ears burned with the report, though he wasn't entirely surprised. After all, his mother had taught the Bible for years and years, and the Book of Revelation had warned of things like this, hadn't she made that plain? But Asher--being a secular Jew--probably was facing it for the first time, and hadn't been warned. Like most Jews and Israelis, he was completely in the dark about why all these things were happening to his country and his people.

"I'm very sorry to hear what he's doing to your people, Asher. My mother taught the Bible's Book of Revelation, how there would come a world dictator who would try this very thing you are describing--to wipe you all out after he had defiled the Temple with his image. She said--"

That was as far as he got. Asher cut him off as he was just about to describe Armegeddon, the last great world war by the nations, when all these anti-God forces would be defeated and a Reign of Christ would begin.

"Don't you spout your Christianity on me! This is just politics, and has nothing to do with your beliefs and your Bible! Nothing!"

"Okay, Asher, have it your way!" Aloes replied, gently as he could, trying to soothe the sabra. Just the same, he had to risk offending him for the sake of truth, so he added, "You're the authority on this whole world--you don't need what the Bible or the Prophets--which are Jewish, by the way!--have to say to us on these events!"

That, Aloes knew, was the equivalent of looking a lion in the mouth!

Yet the dread moment passed, and then another, and still Asher didn't spring up and grab him as Aloes expected and throw him bodily out of the dugout, head first. Instead, Asher was sitting, thinking something through! Aloes dared to look over at him--the man was obviously struck by something he had said--and running it over in his mind.

Should he say anything more? Aloes wondered, his chest heaving with relief. Or just let Asher sift it through first?

Hee decided to wait and see what Asher made of it.

Asher shifted closer to Aloes's cot. "All right, all right, you made a point with me, Yankee! And so I will listen to you after all on the Bible and the Prophets--which are Jewish, I admit! But don't you lecture me on politics--that's my area of expertise--and my training was in solid facts, not visions and prophecies and mumbo jumbo like that! I'm not about to argue about the real facts I know! I'm nobody's fool.

Neither was Aloes going to argue religion with anyone! He knew his head wouldn't take it. But he had a sudden idea.

"Hey, Asher, you tell me your "facts," and I'll see if anything I learned from the Bible has something that can shed some light on them, for more understanding. Would you be adverse to that kind of approach? That's not a lecture. This way, we can express ourselves in a way we've comfortable with--agreed?

Asher nodded. "That sounds all right to me--so, anyway, where should I begin?"? Aloes thought for a moment, then had another thought. "Why not tell me how we got into this current mess and turmoil the world is in? How did Israel come to such a terrible state where you don't even have a country anymore and the dictator is about to kill off the whole Jewish race? Why is the whole world going head-to-head against Israel? What is the great crime Israel has committed to deserve that? Is Zionism such a terrible, unforgivable crime as they make it out to be?"

At his mention of these events and the questions they raised, Aloes sensed the mood in the dugout grew very strained, sober, and somber, all at the same time. And Asher--never one to move quickly except for defense or offense--took his time considering.

The sabra finally must have decided, for he fixed Aloes in his gaze, and began. "Okay, here are the facts. There is one main cause for allthis. It was the whole idea of land for peace that got us to this point of total destruction if Israel and the Jewish race--the land for peace idea was totally unworkable and mistaken from the beginning--but once we were committed to it--we never were able to stop it--and even when we wanted out--the world ganged up and kept forcing us. They must have passed a hundred UN resolutions condeming us, when all we were doing was trying to protect ourselves after being attacked by all our Arab neighbors, again and again! Even your country's presidents forced us to give up more and more land--though our enemies kept fighting us, even after we gave them everything they asked. Then each time after they attacked and we fought back in self-defense, we were blamed. It was impossible for us--four or five million against 100 to 200 million--until finally there came a world leader who promised to end this hopeless, deadend process of being eaten, piece by piece--and we bit, and it was turned out to be a poison apple!"

The sabra fell silent. Aloes wondered if he should explain to Asher that the land for peace idea was wrong because of one thing: it was land God gave to Israel in an everlasting covenant, and giving it away for any reason was breaking that holy covenant, something God could never overlook or sanction. Not only that, breaking the Covenant brought some terrible consequences too. Should he explain this? Asher needed to know the spiritual reason for the utter failure of land for epace--sooner or later. But Aloes sensed the Israeli had not said everything, so he waited.

Sure enough, Asher continued, slowly, each word forced out, as if he hated to say anything more on the subject.

"It wouldn't have gone so bad for us if our leaders hadn't lost their testicles. Oh, they looked like good, fighting men on the surface--Begin, Sharon--but the people, despite our victories, eventually were getting tired of fighting, tired of having to go to war so many times, and then came a change in our leaders, Prime Mininster Omert, who reflected what people were asking in their secret hearts--a man who wouldn't be a man. We all know what he did. He was too careful, way too afraid of world public opinion and wouldn't let us go and win our battles like real fighting men who love freedom, in the way we had been allowed in the past by better, stronger leaders who still had testicles. Our enemies then saw we had lost them--and along with them our will to fight--and pressed us all the harder. And so Omert and the others after him caved in all the more! Finally, all we had left on the table was our last card, our arsenal of nuclear weapons--for we weren't allowed to use our conventional military forces anymore by these crazy leaders of ours, who would sell our very land from out under us for a peace that nobody would guarantee! And, no surprise, they demanded we give them up too--for peace--peace at any price! Surrounded by Arab states that had nuclear weapons, we refused to be completely disarmed and then gobbled up, of course! But MJ came along, and he solved the crisis--and we then made our very biggest mistake--we believed him and his guarantees were real. Of course, now the proof is in--we were completely duped--and so now all we've got left of our country is this arse on the backside of the Jordanian desert!"

After this speech, Aloes could tell how bitter Asher was. He felt it--the whole dugout was full of Asher's bitterness over the mistakes of Israel's leaders in trading land for peace with enemies who would never hold true to the treaties they made with Israel. And there was a tinge of dispair--for what real hope was there, if all there was left was Petra? They were dug in to a place full of tombs--the tombs were testimonies that this was a place of death, not life. The rich, sophisticated, and proud city that once flourished in Petra had been left lying abandoned and silent, a dead city for many centuries, with desert sand blowing through its ruined markets and down its empty streets and across the foundations of once grand temples and mansions. It was a ruin that only Western tourists wanted to poke into--it was the last place where anyone would want to live or call home. And so Aloes could understand Asher's attitude and feelings toward the place. It was for him only good as a temporary haven for desperate Jews trying to elude the world dictator's tentacles, but as a home, it could never be that--and all Asher wanted, evidently, was to shake off the goatshead burrs and red dust of Petra from his feet, as soon as possible--only there was no place else for a Jew, or Israeli, to go. They were trapped! Cornered! With no way out!

What kind of hope could he possibly give to this Israeli soldier who had befriended him, who was struggling with an immense despair that he could not possibly handle?

It waa a tall order for him, Aloes realized. Could he help Asher? Yet, when he needed it most, memories of his mother's Bible prophecy teachings flooded back into his consciousness. He had been forced by her to listen in to some of her teaching sessions, and had resented it greatly at the time--and had half-listened or tried to concentrate on a book he took along (since she had ripped his headphones and music away from him).

It all hinged on the Messiah and his coming kingdom and restoration and reconstruction of the earth, he knew. That was the whole point of the prophecies of the End-Times, according to his mother, he remembered. The Messiah would come and conquer all opposition and make the world over as it was intended to be--for the people and their dishonest, self-serving, power-corrupted leaders had all failed the task miserably. Let do whatever they pleased, and they eventually destroyed the world fighting each other and treating each other worse than savage animals. But war, violence, sectarian strife, murder, rape, abuse, drugs, and immorality aside, the last world leader, the Anti-Chrirst, was the straw that broke the camel's back. He was destroying the entire planet with his insane policies and wars against Christians and believers in God, beheading every one he could identify. He wanted everyone to obey him and give up every last shred of freedom at the same time. Most people (except evangelical Christians and some of the Jews) were willing to do that--just to keep from starving to death. But that didn't save them, even after they took his chip implant and became his slaves for a food ticket. He was really the Devil incarnate--once he had total control, he had to make everyone worship him as God. How was the world to survive with such a madman at the helm? Obviously, it could not. And so now the world was about to erupt in a total war between East and West, thanks to the megalomania of a man who aimed to be God and rule with absolute power while lacking all justice and mercy to make his reign support and enhance human life!

Aloes knew all this, but he wondered how he could get it across to the likes of Asher. How could Asher accept the idea of a Messiah who was the only way the process could be stopped and the earth turned around, back to the right direction? If earth did not turn back to the right road, everyone on Earth was going to perish. Earth (at least the human portion of it) was finished! The Anti-Christ had led them all to a dead-end. But how would Asher see events according to this view? He wasn't religious in the least way. He had no training in Judaism, or any knowledge of the Jewish torah. All he knew was the socialism of the kibbutz and practical Israeli politics. For him the troubles Israel were experiencing didn't signify a titantic, age-old struggle of good and evil in the world. It was just politics--and good or bad decisions of the leaders and the various political parties.

That, Aloes knew, was a totally mistaken view. Man wasn't just a political animal. Every person on earth had a unique, divine role to play and a destiny, created by the Creator God. And God had left a divine Blueprint, a divine Roadmap leading to that destiny--His Word, the Bible. The Bible's sixty-six books, written over a course of thousands of years, told the whole, painful truth about the world--while offering the only real solution--whether the world accepted it or not. This was the absolute truth about the world, not just little Israel and the Jews. But how was he to get Asher to bite on that--a wholly religious view of the world--especially after he had already bitten MJ's poison apple and was bitter about it?

"Funny," Aloes thought, getting a self-realization, "how I am seeing and believing all this really for the first time! Up to now I was arguing with my mother's views--but now, in response to Asher, I am taking up all her positions, and seeing she was absolutely right on!"

A sudden, chilling thought came. How much exactly of the poison apple had his Israeli friend bitten off? Had Asher--?

Aloes had to know before he said anything more. It made all the difference. He had come to see Asher as more than a friendly Israeli who had taken an interest in him and his welfare. This man was a man after his own heart--somehow he sensed it, that he was knit to this man in a way only time would reveal. But the man's pain was real--and Aloes couldn't avoid it any more. What was the root cause? It really was hopeless for Asher--if he had already taken the Beast's "mark" in either his forehead or his hand.

"Asher?"

"Yeah?"

"I need to ask you something personal. Okay?"

"Go on."

"Did you get the chip implant the government was demanding everyone get a while back?"

Asher didn't answer right away. Aloes thought he was going to die, waiting. Finally, Asher got it out.

"Naw, we had a choice, unofficially, in the army--and the records were cooked by Personnel for those who didn't want it--so I opted against taking it--even though they said I wouldn't ever be promoted beyond lieutenant if I didn't go along. When they said that, I told them to stick it. Nobody tells me stuff like that and I smile for them!"

Aloes felt pouring sweat on his forehead, and wiped it away with his bed sheet. He was so relieved, he couldn't think straight for a few moments. "Boy, am I glad--Asher, you did the right thing that time! I almost thought for a moment that you had buckled under!"

"Oh, really?" Asher laughed. "I ruined my chances to get promoted though. That was pretty stupid, wasn't it? I just didn't want anyone forcing me to take it--that was the only reason I had for rejecting it at the time. I like to eat just as much as anybody else. But being in the army, I wouldn't starve--long as I stayed in, of course. So why was it so right for me to do, as you put it?"

Aloes then saw his first real opening with this battle-hardened Israeli sabra. He still saw things only in terms of power, politics, and whatever a man could handle and accomplish. That had been enough in the past--but it wasn't enough now--not nearly enough to get him any further in life, not with the world dictator breathing down every Jewish neck! Even Asher, big and strong and experienced as he was, was at his wits end--and knew it, even if he wouldn't admit it. As for Aloes, he knew he had an opportunity to open this man's closed mind and open his eyes for the first time. Asher needed to know there was another world, another dimension, that he had not dreamt of. It was his window of escape--if he would take it.

Aloes stared at Asher, who was still looking at him, waiting for his reply. Would he bungle it? Aloes wondered. He prayed to God he wouldn't!

A couple days later Aloes was feeling much better. He couldn't stand the cot anymore, and was walking around. He wasn't yet planning a visit to his family, but they came and paid visits instead. Myrrha, Casia, his mom and dad, even Esther who could leave Anna for short periods, had to come to see how he was doing. They hadn't heard about his fall right away--so he was left in peace until now.

Aloes assured them he was feeling his old self, and they believed him, since he looked it, even if he was a bit pale even in the glaring sun outside the dugout.

After they had gone, Aloes's volunteer big brother returned from a meeting.

Aloes followed him inside the dugout, and watched as he went to his cot and pulled off his boots, his shirt, etc., and made himself comfortable. He checked the water jug, noticed it was getting low, and glanced up at Aloes.

"You could at least go fill this! Do I have to do everything, wait on you head and foot?"

Aloes heard the gruff tone used, but didn't believe it went very deep, as he could see the same old "Irish twinkle" in the sabra's eyes.

Aloes went and got the jug and headed out. He paused. "Sorry, I didn't notice it was so low. Guess I didn't notice a lot of things lately. The general coming in, for instance. That was what the meeting was for, wasn't it?"

There was a significant silence in the dugout.

"I said," Aloes began repeating in a louder voice, "the meeting was for--"

Aloes hadn't expected to hear that order to pack up quite so soon from his friend. He didn't know what to do. He dropped the plastic jug, and it rolled away down the slope. He went back into the dugout and confronted his big brother.

"What do you mean, return to my home?"

Asher, stretching out on his cot, didn't look at Aloes, and settled down, looking toward the netting instead. "Just like I said. Fill the jug, then beat it. These quarters are for soldiers, not civilians--and foreigners at that!"

Aloes didn't like this at all, and it was hurting him now.

He sank down on the edge of his cot. "But I can't go now, Asher. You know what I am looking to do, and I don't have any other plan for my life. This is important to me, so how can you treat me like this?"

Asher rolled over, put his feet down on the dugout floor, then fixed Aloes with his steely eyes, no twinkle in them this time.

"You don't belong--you are not qualified! We don't take civilian volunteers in our army. So get out of here, kid, before I throw you out."

Aloes's ears burned, but he could tell Asher fully meant to carry out his threat.

He could not believe Asher could turn into a complete stranger, yet there was no mistaking what Asher had said--fill the jug and then beat it.

Aloes, left with no alternative, left the dugout and went and retrieved the jug and headed down to the water depot--a hidden site where the water supplies were kept. If there was another, no one had told Aloes. It was disguised with netting, and looked like just a bump in the terrain until Aloes got right up on it--but he knew how to find it because of various rocks and column fragments that lay along the route.

Water is life, and the depot was under guard day and night. Aloes went and presented himself at the entrance, which looked like a hole in the ground, and he called down. If he had just dropped into the hole, there was no telling what would have happened to himp--but he knew better than to surprise an Israeli on guard duty.

There was a burst of Hebrew that sounded to Aloes like cussing, and then a face appeared--followed by a hand beckoning him to come closer. The guard then leaped out, his rifle on Aloes.

"I'm the American with Asher--I mean, Lieutenant Cohen--and he wants more water."

Aloes held out the jug.

The guard nodded, then indicated he could go and fill his jug, and while Aloes was doing this, the guard stayed at the entrance the whole time.

His jug filled at the big tank, Aloes climbed back out and thanked the guard. Unsmiling, his eyes still suspicious, the guard indicated with a flick of his rifle to get moving.

Aloes paused, however. "Maybe you don't recognize me. I'm the drudge who digs your ditches for you, can't you tell? I dug this place out too."

Without waiting for the guard's response, Aloes hoisted the jug to his shoulder and walked away. He was mad, for he felt all the Israelis were against him. He had never been treated so unfriendly. What had he done to them?

He arrived at Asher's dugout and thought of throwing the jug down the entrance, but decided that wouldn't help him any, so he went down in and set it in its place, then turned to Asher.

"Your water, sir!"

Asher didn't even indicate he had heard him. He was sitting, reading his copy of a Gunter Grass novel--for he knew German from his grandparents, once teachers at Nuremberg's university, who had fled Germany and didn't want to let Hitler destroy the language and culture of Germany because of what he had done to their people.

Aloes hesitated. He just couldn't let his last opportunity go without one more attempt.

"Asher, please speak to me! I gotta hear from you how the meeting went. I know the general is here--even if you won't admit it. I didn't hear a chopper come in--but he must have come some other way. If you see him again, can you speak for me? That is all I am asking--just say there's a volunteer for the rescue mission you told me about."

Asher's lips turned downwards, which was all the expression Aloes could detect.

"I'm not leaving until you tell me whether you will say a word for me or not to the general."

The moments passed, each more awkward than the first one, as Aloes stood there waiting, and Asher kept reading.

How many minutes passed like that, Aloes had no idea. He noticed Asher had stopped turning the pages, however, and his eyes were fixed on one point of the page he had been reading. Slowly, the Gunter Grass novel lowered to Asher's belly, and then Aloes's eyes caught a slight movement as something was flying at him--the book!

The hefty, thousand page book hit the netting roof and kept going, breaking right through without any loss of speed.

Ducking just in time, Aloes crouched down. "I told you I'm not leaving!" he shouted. "All you have to do is say you will speak for me, and I'll go, if that's what you want. I wanna go on that mission! I intend to be on that team!"

Asher grinned. "You're a dead man then! Nobody who signs on is expected back here, do you know that? Or are you one stupid Yankee who thinks he will live forever. Still wanna go?"

Aloes gulped, but found his voice. "Tell me, will you speak for me or not? Or should I find someone else who will?"

Asher shook his head, as if he couldn't believe it. "Well, at least I tried. I thought I could discourage you--but I guess not." He blew out his breath, and then sat up on the edge of the cot, which immediately cracked as if the frame would break under him. "The general signed you on, after I spoke for you, and wants to meet you tomorrow at 0400 hours sharp. If that goes well, you'll be flying out at 0430 hours. Do you feel up to it? I wasn't quite sure you would be--and maybe you better sit this trip out and go on the next, if there is a next one."

Aloes was staring at Asher by this time--wondering if he heard right. He shook his head slowly. "No, I'll go now. I'm not waiting."

Feeling almost overwhelmed, he went and sat on his cot, and Asher didn't object but left him to sort things out in his head.

"How about some k-rats, Yankee?" Asher said, throwing a package at Aloes.

Aloes at his, saying nothing while Asher drank about a half gallon from the jug. Asher lay back down his cot, and then glanced over at Aloes, who was still sitting amazed as ever at the thought of his being accepted on the special rescue operation.

"What'll I wear? I got no uniform or boots or any gear."

"You'll be issued whatever you need at the general's quarters. Well, aren't you going to go say goodbye to your family? It'll probably be the last time they see you."

The grim sound of that, the finality, wasn't very pretty to Aloes's ears--but he couldn't deny Asher was telling the truth--the plain, unvarnished truth--for that was Asher--a realist, a man of facts, a man of action--who despised philosophy and religion, even if he did like intellectual and philosophic German novels.

"No, they were here while you were gone. I don't have anything left to say anyway. It's best this way, if they don't have to worry about me. Best not tell them."

"As you like," said Asher.

The two men fell silent, and it was time to get some rest for the next day, only there a question running through Aloes's mind. It was not more than a hunch.

"Asher, are you going too?"

"I have to! They got my parents and my sisters and two aunts and an uncle in those death camps! I'm not going to sit and rot here, while they are starved, tortured and beheaded!"

Aloes could see Asher's mighty fists clench, even in the gloom of the dugout, even if he couldn't see his face. He couldn't think of anything else to say or ask, so he settled down for the brief night and the next day's momentous events. What was he going to do for the Israelis? He wasn't trained--he didn't even know how to handle a rifle or use a mortar or do anything but use a pick and shovel. But he knew they had already thought of something. Maybe he was going to serve as the decoy--the first commando running in to test the waters and throw the enemy off with a distraction.

Aloes, lying back on his cot, could easily imagine what it might be like. Would he be sent in with a backpack of explosives strapped to his back? No, that wasn't the Israelis' way of making war. They always had a neat plan, if there was time for it. He was certain there had to be a master plan--probably created by the general himself, who knew the death camps best, having stayed in Jerusalem and its vicinity posing as an Arab (and his father was Arab, it was said, so that made it easy to carry off his disguise) after sending out his troops with as many of the refuges they could transport from Hillel.

The somber Jordanian desert had a haunting quality of its own, made all the more intense by the dead city's still living presence of its people. It was like ghosts of the past inhabitants of Petra all came out of the hundreds and thousands of tombs and ruins. Jackals began to yip as the moon climbed high, and now and then Aloes could hear a lone wolf join in. Asher was silent, and Aloes was just about to drift off when he was brought back to consciousness with a jerk. Asher was speaking, full voice to him!

"I can't sleep! How can you? We might as well talk."

Asher wanted to talk? Aloes was astonished.

"Sure, what about?" he muttered, hoping that Asher would soon forget the idea and let him rest.

Asher got up and went to the entrance and stuck his head out. Then he turned, paced back and forth, and then sat on his bed, drumming his fingers on his knees. The sabra really wasn't able to sleep, Aloes realized. What could be bothering him? he wondered.

"What kind of a God do you Christians have?" Asher asked out of the blue, startling Aloes.

"What do you mean? He's--ah--Triune, Three Persons in One--is that what you want to know? God is Love, and His Son is Jesus Christ--the one called Yeshua in Hebrew, and--"

"I don't want your dusty, old theology," interrupted the sabra from the secular, atheistic kibbutz. "Tell me, little brother, what you really know. What kind of God do you Christians have?"

"He really wants to know!" thought Aloes. Right away he began to describe Yeshua, who came to show men the Father in heaven by all he said and did, just as he had told his disciples repeatedly. Yeshua and the Heavenly Father were one, as He said, so he tried beginning with this point.

"God is the One we call the Father, and God is Christ, the Messiah, whom we call His Son. But we Chrisians did not make this up. This is not religion. This is what Yeshua himself revealed to people, to Jews, who wrote down his words not long after he was crucified and ascended to heaven."

Asher sucked in and then blew out a gust of air that swept Aloes's hair. "Baloney! You really believe all that? What about his so-called virgin birth? And how could he rise from the dead? These are just stories cooked up about him after he was crucified."

Aloes didn't know until this moment how deeply Asher's skepticism ran--but why was he asking him about God, if he had it all figured out? He wasn't sure, so he was at a loss how to answer or go on.

"Look, Asher, I don't have all the answers. I just have what the Bible tells us happened. If you disagree with that--I have nothing more. I believe it--maybe not understanding it all--but it makes more than enough sense to me. Man sinned against God. God is a God of justice, and so he has to hold the law-breakers responsible and punish them for what they did. The good news for us is that, though we are all guilty before God, Yeshua, the Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God, took the full penalty of our sin and rebellion on himself and paid for it all with his crucifixion, suffering and death--so now we have peace--"

Asher wasn't about to listen to a sermon, and he broke in, "You don't need to preach at me! I wasn't being completely open with you. I guess if there is a God who created this Universe, he could manage a virgin birth for his Messiah, or Christ as you call him, and also raise him from the grave after he was crucified."

Aloes was astonished, hearing Asher answer so beautifully for him, just as he would have liked to do.

But Asher, though admitting this much, had another question to hang on Aloes. "I heard you say he brought us peace--right? But he didn't bring peace to this world, did he? What kind of peace did he bring anyway?"

For once, Aloes could think of a good answer. "Your rabbis didn't accept him, did they, Asher? They rejected him, the One who is the Prince of Peace. So then how could He bring peace? By force? That isn't peace--as we know from experience with the World Government and MJ, right? Seems to me, Asher, this objection isn't a very good one. And anyway, Yeshua came not to bring peace so much as to suffer and die. Universal peace would come after that, at the time of His Second Coming, when He sets his foot down on the Mt. of Olives."

The next minutes went fast, as Asher, once begun, couldn't stop until he had vented all his remaining objections to Yeshua as Messiah of the Jews. It was all Aloes could fire off an answer gathered from his years of forced Bible teaching under his mother's ministry before Asher fired off another objection.

"Christians hate Jews!" Asher protested. "Don't skip over the Christian Crusaders. On their way to the Holy Land they slaughtered more Jews than Moslems in many cities, and burned a whole synagogue full of Jews in Jerusalem when they captured the city, don't you ever forget! What kind of Messiah could have followers like them? They were scumbags, they were filthy barbarians, all wearing crosses like they were supposed to be saints. And the Nazis--they wore swastikas with crosses set right in the middle. My grandparents showed me ones in pictures taken at the camps. Nazis were Christians too, and they killed six million of us!"

This objection was a tall order for Aloes. But now he was so thankful for having been made to sit through endless sessions of his mother's Bible teaching. It was all coming back to him, just when he desperately needed it!

"But Asher, just because they take Yeshua's name and wear a cross on their uniforms or set in their Nazi insignia, that doesn't make Yeshua guilty or responsible for their crimes against the Jews and millions of other people. Yeshua rebuked Peter his disciple for drawing his sword to fight for him when the temple guards and the Romans came to arrest him. "Those who take up the sword will die by the sword!" he warned his disciples. That should have stopped the Crusaders in their tracks. His name was misused, but he cannot be blamed. Can you really blame him for what those criminals did with his name?"

"No, I guess not! I also see that I can't reject what He had to say either, just because his followers weren't all good men."

"Wow!" thought Aloes. Impressed by Asher's candor, transparency, and self-criticism, he waited.

"I happen to know that some rabbis I knew when I was growing up were not all good men," Asher went on. "That doesn't mean I should reject everything in Judaism, just because they weren't worthy, and cheated on their wives, and beat their kids, and stole. Even if I lived on a secular kibbutz, we were surrounded by many religious Jews, so I know. Actually, I know that there were just a few that did wrong, or I would have been told. We all knew everybody else's business. That is the way we are in this country, Arab or Jew--we know each other's business!"

"The New Testament," Aloes replied, "teaches love, not hate and persecution. "Love your enemies, and bless those who persecute you," is the teaching. All the Apostles were Jews, Yeshua is a Jew, and the New Testament was written by Jews--so those who persecute Jews have nothing to stand on in the scriptures, though claiming that they have scriptures to justify their persecution of Jews!"

By this time, Aloes thought Asher was so open, he could easily pull this fish in to the net, but Asher was full of surprises tonight, and he fired off yet another broadside of an objection.

As if to give his objection a little more thrust, Asher struck his fist into his palm. "But Judaism rejects Yeshua as the Messiah, for the rabbis reject any man who claims to be God."

Aloes thought furiously. Here were two charges in one. He decided to take one at a time. "Ah, you're saying two things here, right? First, the Old Testament, the Torah, did teach that God would have a Son, who is the Messiah as well. Second, Judaism and the rabbis are right--no man can become God. But Yeshua is not a man. He is a God-Man, both natures bound together in one person. Thus, the New Testament teaches that God became a Man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Biblical Judaism taught that God is all-powerful and can do anything. So what is the problem with God becoming a Man, making a God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth? Biblical Judaism would have no problem with a God-Man. Man cannot claim divinity, as the rabbis rightly teach. But a God-Man can be divine and human at the same time, in the same person. This is what Judaism does not want to deal with, even though it is totally Biblical and even foretold in over three hundred prophecies about Yeshua."

The silence on the other end of the line was so thick that Aloes could have cut it with a knife. Then Asher spoke, his voice raised as if he were going to throw something more than a book at Aloes. "But the rabbis don't believe He was the Messiah, even if you say he wasn't a mere man, but this 'God-Man'! How can Yeshua be accepted by any reasonable Jew if Judaism doesn't accept him? Answer that, little brother! Got you there! You can't possibly shoot this one down!"

Aloes could have cried at this point. He had the answer right in his mouth, before he even thought it. It simply rolled off his tongue. "But the Jews and their leaders had their royal opportunity, day-to-day, personal access to him and his life you can't find equalled in any book, not even the Bible! They saw him hourly and daily going about in their midst, and observed all he said and did, including the mighty miracles, including raising people from the dead, and thus they had every opportunity and should have believed, though they refused at the time. The majority rejected him, we know, but many did accept him--his mother and his family, his disciples and about five hundred others. Just because the majority did not accept Jesus as the Messiah doesn't disqualify him. After all, all through the Bible, it is just a minority who choose to follow God and obey His commandments, right? Was God disqualified as God because Israel chose to worship idols? The majority is almost always wrong. Israel fell many, many, times away from God, and became idolatrous. Elijah--"

But Asher wasn't interested in the fiery Prophet Elijah's fight with the false prophets of Baal when he forced the Israelites with a stupendous contest atop Mt. Carmel to decide between the God of Abraham and the heathen fertility god, Baal, whose obscene image was commonly one big uncircumcised phallus carved in stone and stuck into the earth. Aloes could hear Asher moving his feet from side to side restlessly on the dusty floor. "But it's just not Jewish to believe in Yeshua," Asher muttered. "How can we do such a thing as to deny our own Jewish identity and race and heritage?"

Aloes could think of many Messianic Jews he had met and known--and so he told Asher about them. He gave him names and where they lived, too, and some details of their coming to believe in Yeshua as their Messiah. "They believe in Yeshua as Messiah and Son of God, but they haven't stopped being Jews! Believing in Yeshua just makes you more a Jew than you were before, since you find your life, your forgiveness, your whole reason for living godly, in knowing Yeshua as your Lord and Savior--not because you are a good Jew or a good soldier or anything like that. Knowing him makes all the difference, don't you see? You don't turn Gentile when you accept Yeshua, you remain Jew, only you are now a completed Jew!"

Asher's last objection was so lame, that he didn't try to defend it. "Yeah, yeah, I see. I tell you what! We'll continue this talk later--when we get a little sleep first. On our way out of his hole, there'll be a few minutes! I still need to iron out a few things with you--before I accept this wonderful God-Man, Yeshua, of yours!"

Asher was mistaken. Issued World Government army uniforms, they were given a briefing that lasted, shockingly, fifteen minutes, and that was all. General Mac (still a mystery man, who wore reflective mirror sun shades and was dressed like a Bedouin with a big Swiss knife in his belt) couldn't give them more time. He had purposely revealed his plan at the last moment like this to make sure nobody, no embedded mole from the World Government secret services, leaked information to the enemy that would compromise and stop the mission.

Still pulling on parts of their uniforms and grabbing their weapons as they were issued, it was time for the rescue task force to hightail it to the two choppers that would take the fifteen volunteers to their target.

As Aloes ran double time beside Asher to the loading site, his heart beating almost uncontrollably with the excitement of it all, he thought about the incredible talk he and the sabra had the night before--but there was no time now, they had their various assigned duties in the rescue plan to think about, and could rehearse them in their minds as the choppers took off and flew eastward before cutting across certain virtually uninhabited areas where the eyes and ears of the World Government weren't so prevalent. If they made it all the way, they would come up over the Mount of Olives on Jerusalem's east flank from the Mountains of Moab at about 0445 hours.

That gave them five minutes to land and disembark and run, geared up, to storm the first camp at the predesignated strike points. It was a masterful, simple plan of attack. But the timing of each phase and component was critical. If they succeeded in taking out the guards and breaking into the camp, the rest would probably dovetail. They had fifteen minutes then to load the refugees onto the next wave of choppers, which were to fly in from an opposite direction, from the north, where they had flown from another hidden base in the mountains of Cyprus.

Once the choppers were loaded, the GTF was to escort them out and as they split into three groups, follow them to their chosen rendevous point, where they would then fly as one group the last leg of the journey home to Petra.

The mission proved a phenomenal success. Mac the Knife had been absolutely right about the timing and the situation that confronted them. He had counted on the major distraction of the approaching Asian juggernaut to draw away most of the world tyrant's forces as well as turn his attention away from Jerusalem and the flight of the breakaway elements of the IDF. The Gideon Task Force found the camps defended by only a skeleton staff, with most of the guards gone, and the few that remained were easily overcome. No one even made an attempt to follow them as they sped away with the survivors of the Jerusalem holocaust. Without any need to split up and re-converge, they had headed directly for Petra and had arrived back earlier than scheduled. This gave the medics more time and better facilities to attend to the serious health needs of the people. A medical camp had been set up especially to receive them where they disembarked.

Asher left his parents and relatives, all rescued, with the medics, and decided to go himself and find Aloes's family.

Though he hadn't been there, he knew the general location, and happened to take the right trail up which led to the tomb entrance with the two pillars and the arched doorway that Aloes had once described to him.

At the entrance, he paused, wondering what to say. He had never had such a message to deliver, and there was so much about it he still didn't understand. Fighting was nothing to this duty he had taken upon himself--which he felt he must do, rather than let the family receive it from others who didn't know Aloes well.

He called out, and his voice echoed in the high pillared tomb. He heard movements of someone coming toward him, and he stepped inside the open portal. There he found a woman with questioning eyes, her mouth hanging open, and a smile on her face as if she was going to greet a family member.

"Al--is that--" she began, then her voice died as she saw Asher.

His eyes and expression must have told her something, for she stepped back, and put her hand to her stomach. "Yes?" she said.

"Are you Mrs. Turnbull? I am Asher, Aloes's friend."

Her eyes, growing alarmed, searched his face. "Yes, I am. But where is he? We think he left with the others to go rescue the refugees--but where is he? What has happened to him? Is he all right?"

Asher, before he could answer, heard a shuffling sound, and saw a large-bodied, old woman coming out from the shadows where the family had set up its domestic arrangements with curtains and beds and makeshift table and stools.

"What is it, Helly? Who is this?" the old woman demanded, carrying her thatch broom like she was going to hit him with it if he proved an intruder.

Heloise turned, shaking her head. "Anna, he has news of Aloes! Please leave us alone!"

She turned back to Asher, with an anxious face. "Where is he? How is he?"

"Where is your family?" Asher said. "Perhaps they should hear this too."

Even in the tomb's dimness, Asher could see all color drain from the face of Aloes's mother, while the old woman dropped her broom and moved to Heloise's side.

"I would rather tell the whole family, but I can't keep it from you," Asher began. "He isn't coming back. We could only take the living. I was with him when he was shot--and he died instantly and didn't suffer."

Before he had finished this, Heloise's eyes shut and she tottered and then sank backwards, caught by the old woman.

For several moments the old woman comforted Heloise as Asher stood, wondering what else he could say that might be of comfort.

Just as he was thinking this, the father and his two daughters, followed by a family friend, returned from the day outing, a picnic in one of the side canyons, and they seemed to understand from Heloise and Anna's conditions that the worst had happened.

Silently, they stood while Heloise recovered enough to open her eyes.

"Can you tell me anything more?" she whispered.

Aloes now had a very hard time gathering his words. He could not understand it himself. "We had just broken into the compound and had dispatched the two guards on duty and had their keys the rest of the facility when a a third guard came out of another room and Aloes went down. I got the guard, then found Aloes was beyond any medical help. I had to leave him at that moment, to see about the refugees. When we had liberated them, and they were being taken as quickly as possible to the choppers that had landed in the courtyard, I returned for Aloes. I couldn't leave his body among the carcasses of those barbarians--"

A long wail broke out of Heloise that echoed in the tomb horribly, and her arms thrashed about in Anna's grasp, but she quickly subsided, and Asher, nudged by Harry Turnbull, continued.

"It was the strangest thing, sir! I smelled something like perfume--a fragrance like some kind of rare flower--and the whole room was full of it. And there were two medics in white uniform, and they were carrying him with a gold colored sheet over him."

'Lieutenant, we will take charge of him,' one said to me. He had a major's rank, so I couldn't argue with him."

He looked at the Turnbulls and the old woman with his eyes full of the many questions he still had.

"I didn't know we had any medics like this along, but how couuld I know if the General hadn't sent them in for taking care of any casualties? So I just stepped aside as they took him out the entrance. I followed them out, covering their backs in case some other guard in hiding attacked our rear.

"As I stepped outside, there was no sign of them and Aloes--just the refugees and our own men! I tried to get someone to answer me, but they were so busy, as they were frantically loading everyone on.

"Finally, just as I jumped on board with my parents and relatives, someone answered my question. 'No, they hadn't seen any white-uniform medics. There were no medics!'

"I couldn't argue with them then though I wanted to slap them around. I knew what I had seen! White-uniformed medics carried Aloes away, sir! I can't imagine who they were--but this is what happened exactly as I observed it. I hope you believe me, sir! I have no reason to give you a story!"

Asher turned round to each of Aloes's family and their two women friends, and they stared at him even as the tears ran down their faces. Finally, Harry gave him a nod. "We believe you, son. We think we know what happened. But anyway, thank you for coming to tell us this yourself. It must have been difficult for you. We will let you go now to your family. They are no doubt anxious to see you again and rejoice with you over their deliverance. Thank you."

Harry Turnbull went to show Asher out. But Asher paused. "I just want to say one thing more. Aloes was a little brother to me--my parents were old when they had me, so I never had a brother, and I tried to help him like he was my own blood. He was brave--and was not sorry to give his life for us, so that we Jews could be free. We owe him a lot, for he is a true friend of Israel! I am sorry you--we--have lost him, and--"

Asher, biting his lip, ducked out of the tomb entrance, then turned and ran back down the path, almost losing his footing as he scrambled down the cliff.

Later, after he had done all he could for his parents and relatives to make them comfortable in their new quarters, Asher went out to get some air and to think.

He was ashamed that he had not told the Turnbulls everything. But how could he? He knew he would have lost control if he had gone further than he did. How would they have taken hearing how Aloes had jumped in front of him, taking the shots he would have gotten?

As Asher walked past the guard doing duty at the entrance to the dugout of the refugee camp, he let the sentry know that he was going for a walk and would be back at that particular spot in about twenty minutes. He was wearing only his civie shorts, not his uniform, and had to make sure the fellow would not mistake him for someone hostile trying to sneak up to the camp to throw a grenade or something.

Further up the slope, still in sight of the guard, he stopped and sat down on a big rock. He had to get something straight. Why did Aloes do what he did? It made him so angry, to think that Aloes had shown without question that his religion was greater than his liberal, extremely watered-down Judaism. All his family observed was a Gentile-tailored Hannakah, so that they could enjoy a Christmas tree and exchange of presents and listen to Christmas music--the whole bit, which was hardly Jewish.

Now what was he to do? He had to make some kind of decision.

Asher hated the idea that Aloes had, by his sacrifice of himself, forced him to come to grips with the Christian God, with Yeshua in particular--if not for that, he could have gone on with his life as before. He had been comfortable enough with being a sabra and Israeli without any real commitment to Judaism, since he had been raised on a secular kibbutz out of reach of any serious-minded rabbis.

Thanks to Aloes, that was now over, a thing of the past. Where was he going from here? Where?

Asher swore, smacking his fists to together. He wanted more than anything to forget the whole thing--but he could not. Aloes had challenged him to the utmost--and there was no going back--he had to decide one way or the other. Was Yeshua for real as the Messiah, or was he not? Aloes had believed in him, and his life had proven that out beyond any question. What did he, Asher, believe to that extent? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! He could not equal Aloes in any significant way.

Asher's head dropped into his own hands. Never had he felt so wretched. Why must he give up his Jewishness? But no, Aloes had shown that he didn't have to do that. But what would his friends, and his commander, think if he became a Christian? But that shouldn't matter to him--since to follow the truth was the best thing a man could do--and what people thought was not the determining factor. He knew he could never respect himself if he lived his life according to people's opinions and not according to his own knowledge of the truth. But what was the truth? Was Yeshua really what Aloes had said he was? Or was the Christian faith a fiction, mere nonsense, and a hoax?

He was just about to leave when suddenly he felt strangely lucid. The murky tangle of thoughts, feelings, doubts, and misgivings were gone. It all came clear in his mind and something like scales fell from his eyes. He saw himself a guilty and condemned sinner, appearing before a great Judge seated on a high white platform, and the gavil was descending on his already declared conviction--but someone stepped up and took the penalty for him--and the Judge gave the death sentence to him instead! As the man was led away to death row and his execution, Asher realized who the man had to be--Yeshua! Just as Aloes had said!

Trembling, feeling exhilarated, Asher was unable to stop what his whole being cried out: "Yeshua! Yeshua! Forgive me all my sin! I will serve you. You are my commander-in-chief! I will follow you from this day on!"

Unknown to Asher as he hurried off, the Turnbulls, and Anna and Esther, were visited by a strange kind of miracle. The tomb filled with scent, and only Heloise knew exactly what it was, since she had gone to the trouble to research it before she gave names to her son and two daughters. It was aloes!

Amazed, Heloise told the family and her two Jewish friends, and they all sat in a kind of stunned awe and wonder. How could this be? No one had any explanation--but sometimes none is needed. Minutes later, the unmistakable fragrance was gone, but they would never forget it--and Heloise, particularly, was comforted. It was almost as if Aloes himself had paid a brief visit, it occured to her. When she mentioned this thought later to Harry, he smiled. "I was thinking the same thing!" he replied. "Could it be he did?"

Heloise dropped her eyes, then spoke slowly. "If he did, I think he did it this way, to tell us that it was all right with him--and he meant us to be happy again. Do you think we can be happy again, Harry? Her husband put his arm out, and she melted into it, and they sat for a long time, thinking how they had never been closer than this moment--here in Petra of all places, one of the strangest places you could ever find yourself marooned in, with no prospects but a sudden attack of World Union helicopter gunships and cruise missiles! Heloise got up after a while and went to see how their daughters were doing. She spent some time with them, then returned to Harry's arms. Together they waited for the dawn.

Please return for more of Book Two, Volume V, Beyond the Rapture: Yom Kippur

Retro Star and Twin Worlds Timelines


Brief Account of the Twin Earths

The Black Crystal and the White Stone


Bridges of Destiny


The Algol Invasion & Client Species


Universe Terminator: The Sardius, Carnelian, Red Star, Stone of Fire, Fiery Stone, the First Alien Entity, OP, Wormwood, Wormstar, Retrostar


Map of Holland America


Extraterrestrials and Terrestrials


The Topaz


Star Map of the Re-Located Earth, Twin Earth Atlas, Stellar and Terrestrial


Argo, Ships of the Line


Volume IV, Appendix, Part I


Volume IV, Appendix, Part II


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