Eons ago, long before remembered time, a great civil war was waged in the celestial realm. Two factions of celestial hosts clashed in a cataclysmic conflict that shook the cosmos. One faction, led by the usurper attempted to snatch the celestial throne and take dominion over the universe. The other stood in defense of it. While the usurping horde numbered only a third of the entire celestial host, the defenders numbered twice as many. Thus, by sheer number and might, the defenders prevailed.
Because of his impudence, the usurper thenceforth took on the title of Adversary, and for their rebellion, leader and horde were banished to a far flung sector of the universe, trillions of worlds away to await their final destiny. The banishment was irrevocable and the Adversary sought to find for them in the meanwhile, suitable habitations. Thus he declared, “Inhabit therefore any realm that you fancy. There are billions scattered all over the cosmos. Go, and spread your ilk to where you best desire. But remember, keep in touch with your brethren – the better for them to know what mischief lies afoot elsewhere in the universe!”
The Adversary visited the worlds his horde inhabited, and – by some unfathomable purpose – was even allowed entrance to the celestial realms from time to time, at which excursions he reported the doings of his banished band.
Thus were the third horde dispersed throughout the galaxies, taking with them the celestial knowledge and powers bestowed upon them at their creation.
Not since their rebellion had they exercised choice – a gift they once thought was not for them to possess. But the Adversary had opened their eyes to this possibility, and they had chosen – wisely or not – to follow him. Now they are forever banished, never to abide in the celestial glory of the Eternal El Whose Power of the Spoken Word crafted the cosmos.
Tucked in the farthest quadrant of the universe was a newly born galaxy, still swirling in the juices of a spiral nebula, and in that galaxy a miniscule family of planets around a pulsating sun. The infant third planet appeared very promising. It had just been spoken into being; a few celestial eons old; sucking still from the breast of the universe; drawing the milk of life from the power of the Spoken Word. It was beautiful, fertile, teeming with firmament, sea and land; fish, birds and animals of every magnificent kind.
There were other worlds to inhabit, and many of the third horde sought banishment elsewhere. But two hundred chose to stay in this miniscule infant world. It was exquisitely innocent – and temptingly fresh for seduction.
The two hundred, ruled by twenty chiefs of ten, began to inhabit the planet; on mountains and valleys, rivers and seas, caves and caverns; in dimensions within their powers, both in common or parallel space, wherever their fancy led them.
“Let us watch, my brothers.” Semjaza, the chieftest, said, “as this infant world emerges. Perhaps there may still be hope for our redemption if we do well by its inhabitants.”
Azazel smiled wryly. “Are we to hope for redemption still? Have not the Eternal El predestined us for destruction at Their appointed time?”
“Hush, my brother!” Rameel admonished. “It is not for us to speculate thus. They are sovereign.”
“Surely, we might amuse ourselves in the meanwhile,” Ezeqeel remarked as he formed the clouds into animal shapes.
“I have been doing that for eons,” Baraqijal agreed, “with stars.”
“We are doomed to watch for eternity,” Azazel morosely said .
“Are you bored with all those experimentations?” Armaros quipped. “Tampering with the Created Order?”
“We watch!” Semjaza shouted. “That is all the master requires of us – for now.”
Eons passed. Nothing escaped the Eternal notice. The El especially observed the infant world – which They fondly called Gaia. Moving over Gaia’s face, the El were visibly pleased. Spoken into being only five eons long, Gaia was very beautiful indeed. But something was missing. The El required a suitable caretaker for this new creation. Thus the Essences conferred.
“Let Us make a creature that will oversee all these.”
“We have already made many creatures.”
“Each takes care of itself.”
“Yes, but let Us make one who will take care of all.”
“A creature of creatures.”
“A creature greater in knowledge.”
“One who will be greater than the rest.”
“A creature perhaps like the banished?”
“Just a little lower.”
“This new creature will not be like them.”
“It will be like Us!”
“The banished will not like it.”
“We will see.”
“It is a matter of will.”
“Then, let Us will it.”
Thus was the prized creature created – formed in the likeness of The El; endowed with knowledge and understanding, with beauty and purpose, a little lower than the glorious creatures of the celestial realm. By Their Will the prized creature was crafted from the dust of Gaia, and its crafting was the pinnacle of all creation. A magnificent machine!
As soon as it was given breath, the prized creature began to do the very purpose for which it was created. It named all the creatures of Gaia, on land, sea and air. It called them by name, and The El were greatly pleased with the prized creature of Their creation.
Meanwhile, the covens of ten met in conclave.
Azazel spoke first. “Shall we allow this prized creature to take dominion over this world?”
“It was created for this very purpose by The El.” Semjaza explained.
“The El also banished us here!” Arakiba rejoined.
Ramiel was in agreement. “Now we must force ourselves to co-inhabit with it.”
“An inferior creature.” Kokabiel observed.
“Take care.” Tamiel remarked warily. “ Its likeness is uncannily… familiar.”
“Only on the outside.” Added the observant Asael. “ The inside may be a lot different.”
“Perhaps!” Turel blurted excitedly. “But remember, all the Essences participated in the crafting.”
“In Their image the prized creature was crafted.” Ananel added.
“Only the visible.” Zaqiel rejoined.
“Nothing can be like The El in Their entirety.” Said Samsapeel.
“One cannot create oneself.” Satarel said under his breath.
“The El is uncreated.” Danel declared.
Jomjael had a different perception. “The creature has an anomaly.”
“It is flawed?” Asked Sariel.
“Let us observe and discover in due course.” Batarel concluded.
(to be continued)
Josie Tejada is a published writer, actress, and directress member of the Guild.