аЯрЁБс>ўџ BDўџџџAџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџьЅСG ПŠBbjbjŽйŽй PьГьГŠ>џџџџџџ]’’’’’’’ІІІІІ В$І—Жтттттттт\^^^^^^$MєA n‚’ттттт‚ъ’’тттъъътЮ’т’т\ІІ’’’’т\ъrъ\’’\тж &ѕ™єУІІА:\ 610000202A-Z Subfile A9 Merry Christmas from Lyonnesse Act III A young, heavy-hearted POW wading through the human cess pool of Andersonville after a heavy rain, trying to get to everyone who had volunteered for doing the Christmas pageant, a mother of this same POW praying night after night, day after day for his safe return from the war, who, lacking writing paper, takes papers from an old trunk handed down in the family to write him a letter, not knowing they are pages from a very ancient manuscript composed by Joseph of Arimathea and transcribed by a Welsh monk, a half-drunk Lakota at the end of his wits and at the apogee of his creative powers, struggling to save his best thoughts and visions on cowhides he intends to show at a competition, an off-planet colony cut free of the Earth and experiencing an identity and soul crisis that could only be touched by the Christmas Event chronicle in something called “Christmas from Bedford Falls,” then gulfs of time, blackness upon blackness settling upon the golden thread that stretched all the way back to Andersonville, Sumter County, Georgia. Would the thread hold or snap irretrievably? How long could it sustain the immense pressures of nothingness and darkness? Whole civilizations of the past, glorious beyond any chronicler’s ability to describe them had perished utterly in the Night of the Ages, a Night that had descended upon not only the Solar System of Earth and the Sun but upon entire sectors of the Black Hole-bedeviled Universe. At the end only the Alpha Centaurii were left in the Universe. All others had been harrowed into hell or gathered into the Celestial Regions reserved for them. And then the Ira Sulkowsky archives came back to the light of “day”--artificially produced as it was by a geo-dome on the latest A-C terra-base. The lost tribe had not idea what it had found, nor imagined its transforming and regenerative powers. But vast energies poured forth from the material as the files were absorbed into the cinematic and theatric society of the A-Cs. They changed tremendously, from file to file, as the material was produced on vast sets. Cross-overs from the Secularist side increased to the point where the power balance was permanently upset--but by that time few--the few secularists--cared. What did the balance of powers mean anymore to a people who were discovering whole worlds of meaning for their lives that they had not dreamed existed. They had awakened to the majesty and glory that had birthed them in the mists of the first creation. Truly, men and women had been created in the image of the Divine Majesty--though no one as yet could put it in exactly those terms. One change, however, remained, a change on which all future progress and transformation hinged. Ira had suffered all the effects of unchanged society, all the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune--rather, the misfortune of being chosen the scapegoat of those who put one race above another, and one race below another--and this file came from his heart, the core of his being. It was his heart cry--My brothers, love one another, forgive one another, respect one another, help one another, enjoy one another, walk with one another...!” And who were his brothers? It would be hard to tell, looking into his own experience. He had been scorned, spit upon, kicked, fought, nearly killed on many occasions, shunned, shut out, turned down, oppressed in every sense of the word since his birth as a Lakota, a “Native American.” What “brothers” could he possibly mean? He must have meant, not his own fellow tribesmen, but the Wasichu who had excluded him just becauee the Almighty had put golden brown skin upon his bones and flesh. The Wasichu! The very ones who did not consider that he even existed! Their cities ringed and filled the American continent, andall its riches were in their hands, but they did not consider that they had everything and the Lakota and other tribes had nothing--they were nothings, merely empty spaces on the map, places like Rosebud and Pine Ridge. To these Sulkowsky turned in his pain, reaching out his hands for brotherly contact. He reachedout through his cowhide paintings, reached out so far, in fact, he touched the 11,000th Century, and, unwittingly, brought into communion not only Daniel Webster Whittle and his Christmas players in the hellish swamp of Andersonville but his own people’s best hopes and dreams for brotherhood with all men with the lost tribe of Alpha Centaurii who had all but despaired of ever finding life’s meaning. This was the golden thread that never quite was extinguished or broken by the oceans of Night and Time. Strands flowed into it, strengthening it when most needed--threads from a rag doll in Auschwitz in 1943, threads from other miracles in the midst of death and hopelessness. It hardly mattered where exactly the threads came from anymore--who could tell now?--but the threads had survived and become so strong a cable that the A-Cs could not have extricated themselves from it even if they had wanted to try. Just as the colony of Windsors and the service personel circling in icy exile off Charon and Pluto, just as they had been transformed by the message of Christmas at Bedford Falls-Lyonnesse, so the A-Cs were captivated and changed. The Stones of Fire--remember them?--had wreaked havoc on the Earth and the Universe, and nearly overcame every vestige of the divine order on the terrestrial level. Yet, though destruction reigned, Christmas was never quite conquered and annihilated. The Nativity of the One-Who-Villages-With-Us was never quite forgotten. As long as any record existed, there remained the possibility of renewal and renaissance. Time after time, attacked by the star-jewels, mankind was crushed, nearly out of existence, but now, even in its last gasp, the A-Cs and their colony teetered on the edge of revolutionary rebirth of the spirit. The CCRP had done the usual expert job of prior construction of the sets for the production of Subfile A-9. Indeed, the transition was smooth, with actors taking their new roles with hardly a hitch in the schedule that experienced stage managers could not iron out. Act I was produced successfully, and the second as well as the first. Ira’s painting had given the computer system no real problem, and an excellent ending was contrived. The curtain for the third act was drawn. Everything was in place, the scene began at the director’s cue, and... Forty five minutes later, the concluding Scene 6 was rapped up, and the cast assembled and took curtain bows before hundreds of millions viewing the performance. It was a wild success. Innumerable parties were breaking out all across the colony, and everyone on the cast was anxious to join in with the fun and celebration. Everyone, that is, but the main child actress, the girl who played Emily Cogwell. She refused to go out and bow. Something was wrong, she was weeping behind the curtains, and no one could drag her out. Her parents rushed back to get her, and found out no one could induce her to take a curtain bow with the others. But the rest of the cast made the best of it, and with much backslapping, kisses, and botttles of bubbly broken out, the celebrations began. The set was soon one big party, with no one caring about the fire hazard of people tripping over all the electrical gear. “Emily,” still upset, was taken home, and the parents had no idea what to do, and quizzed her. “Your performance was wonderful, Twiggy,” her mother, Lonestar, comforted her as they took the long trip home from the set. Her father looked on, he had no idea how to deal with Twiggy, for she had never been so withdrawn and depressed to his memory, always having been a most outgoing personality among the family of two older sisters and an older brother. The baby, she had been spoiled, but, then, she had never thought herself neglected, nor had she sought to rival any sibling out of envy. She had been most confident and self-assured, and with her talents had shone in her class, so much so that she had been voted most likely to succeed, and, indeed, she had done so, winning the talent contest that propelled her into the choice role of Emily Cogwell in the very last production of the Ira Sulkowsky series. Her parents, Lonestar and Tran (for this was a cross-cultural marriage, which had gone surprisingly welll compared to others), stared at their youngest, and the pride they felt was mixed with dismay. They had never seen her so upset--she seemed to be in the worst stage of a withdrawal syndrome of some kind. They could see, without saying anything, that she was due for a checkup, first thing in the morning. They knew they couldn’t afford to let her sink in a damaging disorder. It would be months then before they could get her back to normal, and she would lose a lot of momentum in her schooling. Exchanging worried looks, Lonestar and Tran sat on either side of Twiggy, the mother holding her hand, as they journeyed the last hundreds of miles to the main base. “Once she is back home, with her own things and dolls, she’ll perk up,” Tran whispered. But Lonestar shook her head and eye-signed for him to keep his mouth shut. He turned away, sighing. The three were greeted at the door by a wild bunch of friends of the family joining with Twiggy’s brother and sisters for the fun of welcoming her back home from a tremendous success. Everyone had heard the ovations coming from every household viewing the performance. The flowers thrown at the cast had buried the stage several feet deep. The commentators and newscasters had covered the whole exciting production from beginning to the climax whend Emily stood in the town square by herself, holding her Christ Child doll, while she sang “John 3:16.” Before the cast, joining in with the son, “Christmas is for all the year,” could finish, the theater audience was cheering and climbing up with flowers to the stage. It was absolute chaos from that point, and no one had noticed that Emily had broken and run, tears streaming down her face. The parents were mistaken. The homecoming did not help one bit. Twiggy had to be taken to her room, and the mother shut the door, shutting out even Tran. “Darling, tell me, what is wrong?” She had Twiggy in her arms, but the girl struggled to get free. Giving up, the mother stood back, gasping with surprise. What had gotten into her daughter? She had become almost a stranger. Twiggy walked a few steps, then paused at the portal, looking out. Her face then pressed against the crystal. When she put her hands up, they stroked the surface, but seemed to have no life, no ability to push through whatever was holding her against her will. “Let me go!” she whimpered. “I hate you all!” “Hate us all?” Lonestar was thunderstruck. Twiggy had a few more things to say, none of which made sense at first. “No, I forgive you! You don’t mean to hurt. You don’t understand.” Lonestar knelt before her daughter, though Twiggy didn’t turn around. “What don’t we understand, darling?” Twiggy turned round. Her eyes told the whole story now. In them was an understanding behyond comprehension, and peace, and goodwill. Whatever her problem had been, it was totally resolved--resolved beyond the power of mere words. “I love you!” she cried, throwing herself with her arms around her mother. Startled, Lonestar could only cry, “I love you too!” But that wasn’t the right response for Twiggy. She gazed into her mother’s eyes, shaking her head. “Mother! Where--where is the Christ Child born?” Dumbfounded, Lonestar was speechless for a moment or two. “What do you mean? In the play production? Where was he born--why I guess you mean the Christ spoken off in the play, who was suposed to be born in a stable, somewhere in a long-lost city on our planet-mother, old Earth. But that means nothing now, dear? Why were you so upset with us? Is that what’s troubling you?” Twiggy seemed beside herself. She seized her mother’s hands, and pressed them. “Where was he born?” she repeated. “Where?” The door pushed open, and Lonestar flew to her husband, and after some talk he came to try to make sense of what Twiggy was demanding. “Twig, it’s time for bed. You’re a very tired little girl. It’s been a very long, busy day for you. Please let your Mommy get you ready for bed. You’ll do that for Daddy, won’t you?” He tried to give her a hug, but she drew back. “Where was he born, Daddy?” she said, and the mother turned her eyes up with despair. Twiggy’s household got little rest that night, and the next day was no better. Twiggy was kept home from school, and a psychologist-pediatrician was called in. He got nowhere with her, since she kept insisting she answer the same question she had put to her parents. Further sessions were arranged, and Twiggy was left alone in her room with her mother to look after her. Twiggy, having shown no improvement, was a major concern for her parents. Lonestar’s eyes were haggard, and she glanced up from time to time from her video to see how her mentally-disturbed daughter was doing. Having shown no interest in her games and studies, Twiggy was sitting in a chair looking out at the terrace. Lunch had been brought in, and it sat, uneaten on the stand. Lonestar tried some of it, but she too had no appetite. Suddenly, Twiggy began humming a tune, and her mother nearly fell out of her chair as she recognized it, the same melody that went with the song, “John 3:16”. Then, before she could hope to see her daughter return to the same state she had been before the “post-manic withdrawal” took her daughter from her” the melody was joined by halting words. “....for God so loved.....so loved the--the world.... that He gave his--his, he gave his only, only son...” The child’s voice grew stronger. ...that whosoever believeth...” Lonestar stared at her daughter, seeing her for the first time. Twiggy had changed, she discovered, but in a way that was utterly new to her understanding. A world of new and unknown meaning seemed to pass over Lonestar like a great wave. It was a glorious Edenic world bursting out from her daughter’s eyes, and face, and singing. Lonestar felt her heart pierced, and then her mind began to grasp the meaning behind the great question of the ages, that a baby had put to her already many times without success--”Where was he born?” “Oh, my God!” Lonestar whispered as her daughter continued singing. She stood up, and put her hands over her face, realizing for the first time that she was Nativity’s stable. Turning, she ran from the room to tell Tran, and then, after him, everyone who was open to listen to her. For she knew, led by a mere child. She knew now not only where the Christ was born, but where Twiggy had taken up residence as a full citizen. She had found a better country, all by herself. And then, not forgetting her loved ones, she had invited them too to join her. Once the word got out, countless thousands joined her and her family in that new dimension. 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