Little Cherine Book 04 - BPost001
The girls taking their cue from her all faced in the same direction so Andrew joined them, a smile on his lips. The air began to shimmer and in the haze columns of white marble could be seen. For a second it seemed to become clearer and a building could be seen and then it vanished. Andrew stood there stunned, unable to believe it while the girls acted as if nothing special had happened. Cherine came over to us.
“Robert. He should be a Cherinian.”
“Your choice love, go for it.” She walked away, her back very straight, proud that she is to be allowed to handle the bringing of Andrew into our group. I called out to her, “Cherine, be careful of his friend. He must never tell him, that Carl is not a nice person.”
There was now great excitement among the children and they made way for Cherine to sit in front of Andrew. Not one adult spoke a word, all of us watching and listening through the kids as the first ever Cherinian is brought in by only the young ones.
...and so Book 03 ended and now their story continues in
LiTTLE CHERiNE, Book 04
I hope you enjoy it
Local Cherinians have now reached over one hundred, with perhaps another twenty to thirty waiting in the wings, so to speak - more if I count Feizal and their group. Alki, Elia and Themi brought in friends and family; Cherine brought in Andrew and, this really pleased me, Socrati brought in young relatives, a daughter and son of a cousin. The gifts he was born with lay dormant in them and the awakening of them added to the richness of our gifts. Actually, the relatives of Socrati have turned my theories sort of topsy-turvy. I had believed that those who have inborn gifts, do so because of the previous life experiences of the soul, whereas these two, and Socrati I suppose, seem to have genetically inherited theirs. What if it is possible through both routes? Not that I understand how a soul which is not evolved enough can be naturally gifted with psychic abilities. Still, it would definitely be proof that nature wants us to evolve into Cherinians - if I can solve the problem of over-populating the universe.
The new (alternate) Natalie had to come, our Sam is a sort of daughter of hers. That meant our wealthy Robert, Cherine with Pamela and Dominique also came. They pleased us by turning up with their Alki and Nicko. At last they are beginning to grow also. When the other worlds also wanted to come I had to place a limit. Not more than seventy five people from each world. That does not include our alien friends from those worlds.
Apostoli came to my table and pulled over a chair to sit for a few minutes. “Becoming a Cherinian has turned out to be very profitable for me. Perhaps I should change the name of my club, call it Le Cherine?”
“I think not Apostoli. Though we thank you for the suggestion, we don’t want her to start getting swollen-headed.” She sent me a rude gesture and a promise that she owes me one.
He grinned. “I hope I am soon forced to double the size of my club, maybe I should hire you to design it for me? On the limited size of land I have, you’ll have to pull off the same kind of miracle you did with your own home.” His eyes are always flitting around, checking on his staff and customers, so I was not surprised when he added, “I think my waiters are beginning to talk about us Roberto. On nights when there are no other customers there are too many strange things happening. Not that they need anything more miraculous than hearing Wendy. They have kept quiet about it because they earn much bigger tips here than they can at any other club, but I worry what they might say to a friend or neighbour.” I passed on the warning, but was feeling too happy and relaxed to be as concerned as I normally would be. I might be in a day or two, but right now I only want to enjoy the birthday of my darling daughter and wife.
Sam is perhaps the brightest of my daughters, in a practical way. In some ways she is already more advanced than me. She sits reading books that would make my eyes go all teary with boredom, yet I sense her mind responding to what she is learning with a keen interest and even, at times, excitement. Political science, psychology, economics are a few of her interests. It does not mean she doesn’t enjoy books written for little girls or those terrible love stories all women read. It seems that when it comes to emotional stuff, she is younger in her outlook. By the way, I wonder how many men also secretly read the romance stories.
There was not much I could do to make this party a special one for her, as we have to be fresh the next day for an extended stay in the void. After midnight, once all had sung Happy Birthday, the cake had been cut and she had been kissed by all, I found a moment when she was not on the dance floor and taking her hand led her outside. Soon as we were alone, I wrapped us in a cloak of energy so that we cannot be seen and rose straight into the sky. The airport is close by, so I was careful to avoid hitting a plane. We rose past the cloud levels and went on into space. She calmly stood by my side watching, but I could sense she was enjoying the experience.
“Where are we going daddy?”
“Nowhere. I have been looking at you all evening and the feeling in my heart just made me want to soar. So I decided, why not do it literally with you at my side.”
We were past the moon when I stopped and looked at the stars. My mind strayed for a moment.
“How far do you think we can jump love?”
She giggled nervously. “You’re not thinking of jumping to the stars are you?”
“Why not? If we can jump to whatever we can see, why not to another star?”
She shivered. “Please don’t Robbie.”
I grinned, “Wasn’t going to my love, not tonight at least. Shall we go back?”
“You bring a girl all the way out here to see this fantastic view and you are not even going to kiss her?”
* * * * *
I had asked that every Cherinian be welcomed; I also advised them to arrive prepared - they had to first eat, relax a while and have their healers energise their bodies so that they will not suffer from being without their souls for so long. I was worried about the babies and the unborn. I asked that all expecting mothers and infants, including those not fully Cherinian yet, such as Lucy, lie together in one room. They all thought it was my intention to set the protector to watch them.
We went to the void and were impressed by the sight. The Worlds of the Anadir have moved, they are all close to either our Worlds or else among the Sparklers. That is a sight to warm any heart. Hunted for so long, losing so many loved ones and friends to the Sparklers and now quite happily floating within them. I followed the others to the ‘beach’, which was no beach today, but an immense plain filled with flowers. Solomon must have been impressed by the sight of fields of poppies and some other yellow flowers in Cyprus and used them, plus my white star flowers, to give us a strange beauty which seems to stretch out to infinity.
“I want all you girls to form a circle. Hold hands and move out as far as possible. Fine. Now stay there and do not allow anybody to come within the circle - not even any Sparklers.”
I jumped back to the void, became one with it and drawing from it’s immense energies shot back home. I wrapped the bodies of Solomon, Ordinx and Ashiir in my energy and shot back to the void, straight into the circle. I left the bodies there and returned for the others. It took three trips. I then saw to it that our area has as much energy as may be needed and returned to my loves.
“Why did you bring their bodies here, Robert?”
“Being close by we can watch over them and if necessary the souls can return into them quickly. They are all protected my loves, no need to feel any apprehensions.”
Cherine asked, “Why should they use Sparkler made bodies, since their bodies are here?”
I felt uneasy at the idea. “I’m not ready to experiment with our real bodies, love, plus, I have enclosed the bodies within an energy cocoon. All this,” I waved my arm to include the fields and everyone, “what if all we see is only an illusion, just energy formed to mimic the forms we see? If it is so, does it mean that if I let go the bodies, they will explode?”
Solomon, Ordinx and Ashiir came and stared at their bodies. It was not long before the bodies were surrounded by Anadir and the sky over them was green with the light of Sparklers. To actually see bodies made of matter here was a first and amazing to them.
“Are you now able to break the laws of nature Robert?”
“No. I am using them to suit us. It is the same thing I do to carry my Gilli to my world, the only difference is that they are staying here longer. I have encased all of them in energies that prevent their bodies from being in contact with the void.”
“What would happen if the void did touch them Robbie?” Jade asked.
“The bodies would explode.” She shuddered and did not want to know more about it.
“Come.” Solomon led us to a rising. We stood on it and saw a sea of faces. The place was filling up fast. “We could not fit all the Anadir within a space close enough that they can see you. Please look over there.” He pointed. “You see another rising there? And there and there? There are a few thousand such ‘stages’ so as to keep the events intimate for everyone. On each one, at this moment, there are copies of us. As you move, as you speak, so do your copies move and speak. We are the only ones who know which rising has the originals. That way all can feel they have been present and a part of your wedding.”
The sky began to darken. “Do not fear. Give us a little time and then you will see again.”
“Solomon, the Anadir I recognise. What species are those? Have you been releasing a new species?”
“You are more observant than your father Meli. No, those have bodies that are half Anadir and half human of Earth. They are our Thinkers and their choice of appearance is meant to honour both our friends and allies. Is the sight of them pleasing to you?”
“Solomon, please mention to them that they have exquisite taste. They have taken whatever we consider most attractive of each species and melded them into an unearthly beauty. I would love to paint a portrait of one. We are very honoured and touched by their gesture.” Sam insists I have to say things like that. The fact that it was true made it more palatable - plus I think I will create a painting of them. If Normals see the painting, they might find the forms disturbing, or else praise me for my imagination, I will enjoy both reactions. (I’m adding this note later: I did paint a field of them, showing them running, dancing and chatting, and waited for comments of surprise or excitement when the picture was put on line - my expectations were created by my knowledge that what I painted is real, that they exist. I’m still waiting. It seems everyone has grown blasé about artists creating aliens and I only had a few comments about my talent having settled on a plateau and was admonished, reminded I must keep striving to grow.)
The sky above was totally black, not a Sparkler could be seen and yet down where we were, at ‘ground level’, there was enough light for us to see comfortably. The other two species obviously knew what was about to happen and they all looked at us in the hope of seeing our reactions. I warned all of the Cherinians of all Earths, telling them to look very impressed. Hah!
There was a sudden darkness all over and immediately the sky filled with lights. It stunned all of us. I think some almost ended on their knees with the wonder of it. The sky was filled with Worlds, as the moon would appear on ours, with the Sparklers in between looking like stars. We saw our own Worlds among the Anadir ones. They have been placed at intervals around the horizon. The Worlds are not static, they are moving, doing a dance of their own, changing places with other Worlds behind them. Even with the immense area provided by the Sparklers, there are just too many Anadir Worlds to fit. What a tiny handful our Terran Worlds are.
“Robert Teller, look upon them and marvel. This is your kingdom.”
“I have no kingdom.” I snapped. More gently I continued. “Solomon, say that they are Worlds of Cherinians, say they are friends, but please, never say kingdom - unless we speak of ourselves as being a kingdom of love and empathy. The way you meant it, a kingdom would need a king and we do not have a suitable one.”
“I told you Ordinx. He will not bend.”
“My people asked for it Solomon. At least you tried.”
“I thought we came here to get married, not to play political games.” I said it with a smile and they did not take offence.
Sam chose this moment to warn me, “Robbie, you cannot ask for just a quick wedding and bang it is all finished. Solomon and Ordinx have to have some ceremony to keep their people happy.”
“You mean we are the circus for the masses love?” I was grinning at her tone, making her sound as if she is telling me off.
She waved at everything. “Would you want they did all this just so that a small bunch of people stand here, say do you, I do, and it is all over?” Cherine was giggling, hiding her mouth with her hand.
“Solomon, they can all hear what we are saying?”
“Yes. I thought I said so.” That wiped the grin off Sam’s face (I realised she had thought she was teasing me) and sobered Cherine.
I decided to change our topic of conversation. “Where is Alki, I don’t see him?”
“He is walking through the people, collecting their blessings for you. He is also flying through the void collecting blessings from the Sparklers for you. He will be here soon.”
“I think that is beautiful Robbie.”
“It is and talking of beautiful, where are our brides?”
“They will come Robert. You are a very impatient man,” he chided me.
“Me!? I was only curious!” There was a sound, which I took to be muted laughter.
My father stood with us, my mother too, as family. He stared as if this is all a dream and he expects to awaken soon. I spoke to him. “Dad, here is where you see the true magic of Cherine. All these faces you see, all those Worlds and Sparklers in the sky, every one of them, they are all Cherinians. On our world we may be a tiny minority, but what a multitude of loving hearts we are up here!”
In a trembling whisper he asked. “They wanted to crown you their king?”
“No Teller will ever be called a king.” I whispered back. “All we need is to know that we can care for all of them and lead them to a bright future. I think Alki is arriving.”
Alki walked through the last of the faces before us, all lightly touching his head. I hoped it was not sore by now. He walked up the rising and stood in front of me and I knew I had to bend my head to him. I did so and he placed his hands on me.
“My son, accept all the blessings bestowed upon you by all those who love you and may they bring all the love you and your family yearn to feel from your brides.”
I may be small in size, but I stood tall and proud while my heart was humbled. “Our brides are of the Sparklers, the Gillians and of the Anadir too. Such a heritage that they bring, can only be of love. May all who sent their blessings also feel in their hearts the love we do and rejoice.”
Alki pointed at the sky. “The brides are coming.”
I did not need to be told that the idea had been borrowed from Greek mythology. A flame appeared in the sky and as it approached we saw it was a chariot with two white horses, flames fluttering around them and trailing behind - actually, there was a multitude of them, one, I guess, for each ‘stage’. As they came to land on the rising we stood on, the flames died and I saw the chariot appears to be made of gold with inlaid gems as large as fists. Sam was asked to collect her brides.
Sam had not been told of our intentions, so when she arrived with them, she was surprised to see me with the wives and by gestures and some mental nudging, she realised she is to stand in front of Alki with the two brides. Solomon, Ashiir, Ordinx and Daniel stood behind the brides.
“We are gathered here to join Orshiir and Solace in matrimony to Samantha Teller and her family. Those who are here to give the brides away, please raise your hand and say aloud, ‘We give Orshiir and Solace with love and our blessing’.”
They did and then moved to the side. The rest of the ceremony was the same as it had been for all our other brides, with the only other difference being that I gave my vows in exactly the same manner my wives did.
*Dommi, I hope this is the end of the ceremonies. You don’t think they expect us to de-flower our brides up here do you?* The wives all giggled.
*Shh. If they can hear you, they may think it is a good idea and ask us to.*
My sweet brides turned and looked at me and I saw their faces filled with joy while their eyes filled with tears. I went to them and they came into my arms.
“Both of you look radiant. Do you think it is proper for the two of you to be so beautiful? I mean, just looking at you two makes me feel like my heart is exploding.”
I took their hand and with them to either side of me we stood and facing the sea of faces we bowed to them. As far as I was concerned that was the end of the ceremonies. It seems that was not their intentions though. An Anadir came and spoke of the happiness this ceremony has brought them, that it was not only the joining of those who love each other, but also a symbol of how the humanity of all species can reach across their differences and make us all one. Then a Thinker came and spoke and then Daniel as representative of his people. They wanted an Earth spokesman so I sent Luigi. Once that was over, huge tables appeared among the people laden with fruits and a lot of other foods I did not recognise. Music began to play and I recognised the touch of my Wendy. They all ate, drank and enjoyed themselves while we also had our table with foods of our world with some fruits of the Anadir (that Ordinx thought we would enjoy) and those of the Gillians. We did not have to worry whether alien foods can affect our bodies and enjoyed ourselves.
A change in the sounds around us made us look to the crowds and we realised they were calling out for something. Ordinx was the first to understand.
“Robert my friend. If you are not all weary, they ask that you give them your storytelling and then a golden circle of love.”
“With pleasure Ordinx. I would ask of them that they continue with their party and allow us to withdraw for a short time. We need to return to our bodies, strengthen them and return, otherwise we will lose our bodies.”
With Nicko joining me we collected all the bodies in one trip and woke up at home. The rest of the Cherinians were in our hall. I explained to our girls and jumping to the hall explained to them also.
We needed to be in our bodies for at least a day. What I proposed was that we all jump to another Earth, stay there for a day or two and return to within minutes of our departure. That way we can all stay in the void for the storytelling. They all agreed to come with us.
“Do you think it is necessary for us to jump with you Robert?”
“There is something else you prefer to do? Why take chances Ordinx, come with so that we are certain your bodies are healthy. We will be back in the void in less than an hour.”
We jumped to the penal world, but chose another island. We ate, slept, gossiped and told jokes, as if our presence here is but an extension of our celebration in the Sparkler World. Refreshed, we returned home and appeared on the rising(s).
The girls decided that the words of Meli and the pictures of Jade will not make the true meanings clear to this mixture of people. Wendy was given a stronger role to play, in the hope that her emotive music can touch them all.
I will say it again, with risk of being chastised by Wendy. Her music was weird almost to the point of being awful. And yet, we all felt it speak to us and her meanings came across clearly. When they finally ended I realised we had already stayed for the length of time our bodies can survive our absence. From now onward there would be damage. I decided to risk it. I knew my protector would force us to leave if it becomes serious.
“Cherine, do not take it to the extreme. If they all join in, this could end up being far too powerful for any of us to bear.”
“Do not worry Robert. They will not join in. Our people only wish to feel your circle.”
I accepted what Ordinx said and let the girls put on the best and most powerful performance they could. The blend of Cherine taking our love and revolving it until the golden halo appeared, the singing of Wendy, Candy and Lua that helped to build on it and keep it from getting out of control and exploding - it was all just too beautiful, for we had not considered one thing. We were all souls only and did not have the physical matter of our bodies to filter and mute what we felt. When the girls let go and golden ring after golden ring sped out from each rising we all collapsed, overcome by what we had felt.
Being the son of my father I saw to it that we fled the scene as quickly as possible, leaving total chaos behind us.
Once we had returned to our bodies and I had checked that all those in the other homes were well, I returned home, free now to feel my unease. “Cherine, I sense you did something, but I do not know what. Is it a secret or will you tell me now?”
“You could have seen it if you had looked. We actually made two golden circles. The second one we sent up into the sky for the World entities and Sparklers to feel. We were just wondering whether it went that far. Can you imagine the reaction of Adam if he did feel it?”
“Thank you my love. It was a good idea and if he did not feel it, we can do it on the emerald island.”
Lynda has still not found a love (I have a feeling she is not searching too hard), and with so much time spent in the void we could not leave her to suffer. The need was urgent in all my girls, including those three cheating monsters, so I had to do what I’ve done before. I became twelve Roberts and each one took at least two of them to love. The feelings were running so high that Cherine of her own initiative promised to see to it that we do not hit the whole neighbourhood with our lust.
“Are you happy Natalie?”
“I’m not just happy Roberto, I am in love.” She was glowing. “I love them all. I thought I would feel strange if I loved another woman, but I see now there is nothing wrong with loving anyone.”
“I’m glad. Are all of you ready for a Samantha of your own?”
They were and very excited about it. They thought they would be going home with a walking talking little girl. I did not do it that way. I wanted to try something new and it worked. We took a part of her soul, some of her tissue and placed the foetus within Natalie. She will have the pleasure of giving birth to her Sam and feeling the baby is truly hers. It also solves the problem of editing memories.
When the alternative Cherinians left, only Rob and little Cherine and their family stayed behind. Their Nicko is over the moon about our Nicko expecting babies and the way his wives looked at him I guessed he will not be taking that long to become a father himself. Rob ‘introduced’ his father and mother to mine and then came to sit with me. He told me the tissue banks on his world are doing well and that Wing, though not a Cherinian yet, is doing a great job.
“Our Alki seems to be harder than yours Robert. We don’t even dare tell him about us. We met him through Dominique and her parents, but he is so forbidding and stern we dare not try to win him over - in case we fail. We need help.”
Alki was amused and promised to go with them. Little Cherine sat up, gave her Rob a kiss and climbing off his lap came to me.
“What Rob is talking about, I still sometimes feel the fear you gave me. Can I sit on your lap to remind myself that you love me?” I could not sense the fear she spoke of, not even a hint of it, but I was eager to play along, so I agreed.
We sat for hours and when Rob arched an eyebrow at me in amusement I realised he was stuck here because of his parents and my father. They were still talking, had even taken a walk and were sitting at the coffee shop. I reached out to my father and felt a pang. I lifted Cherine to give her back to Rob, changed my mind and jumped with her.
“Mother, I need your help.”
“What? Don’t tell me you are in love with this Cherine now?”
Little Cherine and I looked at each other and grinned. “No, that is not my problem. You and dad are.”
I told her of my problem, or his rather, and asked for her opinion and permission. “That Rose will be taken from another world, a copy of her I mean.”
“What you are doing frightens me Robert. It feels to my old Irish heart as if you are playing at being God. You need a copy of this person or that to make someone happy, so you go ahead and do it.”
“But what does Rose the woman say?”
“That Rose, who is a Cherinian, says go ahead and do it Robert.”
I gave her a kiss and went back home.
“So what have you been doing with my little girl?”
“I just had to go spend a few months of making mad passionate love to her. Don’t tell my Cherine.”
“That won’t be a problem, I’ve just being doing the same with yours. Don’t tell her I told you.”
My Cherine looked across the room at us and smiled at our tomfoolery. She saw what I was thinking of and excusing herself came to me. “Now Robert!?”
“Any reason to delay love?”
“Yes. You have not thought of how that Rose might feel. If she is still religious she will feel that she is being unfaithful to her real husband. I would.”
I tried a number of scenarios in my mind and none of them worked out. I was not in a position, even if I’d wanted to, where I could say the ends justify the means, for if I lie to the Rose I bring, as a Cherinian she will soon know. I thought of the possibility of going into the past, get a tissue sample of my mother of that time, make a true copy of her mind and from the present Rose a sliver of her soul. Even if I do it with the permission of my present Rose - does she have the right to decide for the Rose of that time? With each idea I reach for, I find my schemes become more and more complicated…and they make less and less sense. I bounced my latest thoughts off Rose and where she had seen no problem in agreeing, once I had presented what are either the ethical or moral dilemmas confusing me, she agreed I have a real problem.
Noelle is such an endearing little waif that she is becoming spoilt by all. She has the same feeling to her that Irene has, a giver of peace, but her life has been different and it is reflected in the way she acts. Irene is quiet, whereas Noelle can often be heard throughout our home, as she will squeal with pleasure at the slightest thing done for her. She is quick to smile and usually just shrugs off things that would hurt Irene. I think that she has learnt from Irene, trying to emulate her ‘hero’ in many ways, but Irene has also learnt from her.
Eddie was talking to us about hypnotism and how the African witchdoctors use it to help them cure certain problems. He asked if anybody would like to try it. Noelle cried ‘me, me’ so we let her be the test subject.
She went into a trance easily and Eddie did the usual things, like making an arm float, by saying it is getting lighter, so that it rose into the air. He then said he will take her back in time for her to relive certain moments. None of us were thinking and I did not stop him.
She was a toddler playing at home when a Sparkler attacked her. She began to scream. Too late I realised what had happened, but told Eddie not to stop, to take her through it. He sees hypnotism as a tool and suggested that afterwards he takes her back again, but this time substitute the memories by altering the painful aspects.
We listened and shared from her mind as she described the excruciating pain of being ‘eaten’ by an unmodified Sparkler. We heard how her voice and way of speaking and thinking changed as parts of her died, leaving only the core of a soul existing in terror.
Solomon sat through this with tears running down his face.
“Eddie, before you change anything, bring her back and wake her. Make certain she does not remember any of this session.”
When she woke up she was smiling and giggled with pleasure at having done something none of the other girls have. We let her go and play with Irene, who took her a distance from us.
“Eddie, I am puzzled. She was damaged, no doubt of that. And yet, looking at her now, I see a normal little girl of her age. She should have been like a baby after that experience and the death we felt in parts of her mind. This suggests to me that she was able to adapt and heal herself. If you took her through those memories again and changed them, making them less unpleasant, could that also affect the way she adapted?”
“She may have adapted Robert, but she has also lost certain parts of herself. We could bring those back.”
“I’m not convinced. Look at Ashiir.”
Solomon intervened. “It is not the same. For the Anadir the only trauma was their ignorance of what was happening, they experienced a welcoming, not the pain this little girl went through.”
“I dislike changing anything unless it is absolutely necessary. She is bright, has a quick enquiring mind, sometimes almost too curious. She shows no abnormal fears, accepts and offers love easily. I cannot see how we would be enhancing her by altering her past for her.”
“You wish to leave all that pain buried in her mind?”
“Not a case of what I wish Eddie. A case of, I am scared of messing with the mind. What may seem a change for the good could have unexpected results. I’ve been through too much, especially with my Wendy and Candy, for me to agree to anything like this lightly. If we see over the next few years that she has been handicapped in any way, I’ll ask you to help.”
“May I make a suggestion Robert.” Ordinx asked. “When next in the void, show her a Sparkler from close up. Explain what they do, how they try to save souls. Tell her what a lovely feeling it is and offer to let her experience it. If she does, the new experience should help the part of her mind which felt the terror.”
“I can try it, but only after I have let a Sparkler take me in first. I should have done that long ago. It is not right that I have asked the Sparklers to save souls from our world without knowing how it feels.” I looked at Solomon. “My friend, please do not grieve. Your people will be saving lives and helping all of us for an eternity. You will be remembered for that, the rest will fade away, even in your own memories.
I better tell you of some thoughts I have been examining, for they might provide your people with a small degree of comfort. To start off, I better explain a potential problem, for us and for all species - nearly all; it is something I consider of vast importance, if I am right, and I am certain all the species will agree with me. I believe that our scientists theorise that each species has a limited life, whether the period be in millions of years or less and then their civilisations collapse and they themselves disappear, first losing their sentience and then dying out.
It may sound selfish, but I am pleased the species you hold have all been preserved and will be a part of our new life. The bigger the diversity and the closer we all are to each other as Cherinians, the likelier it is that we can avoid the collapse and extinction of any species. I think that they also will count what happened as a blessing when they realise their species will now also be immortal.”
“Are you trying to tell me that we have saved species that would have become extinct by now?”
“I think so.” I gave a small smile. “Why not ask the Anadir? Ordinx?”
Before Ordinx could give any sort of reply to my implied question, Solomon left us with his body, rushing off to tell his people, leaving behind only the broadcasting of his emoting of the overwhelming joy and excitement filling him, which by now must be affecting all the Sparklers. I sat there like a statue, for just one moment not even needing to be touched, for I was so pleased with myself. It feels good knowing that by seeing just one more truth, I have strengthened their will to live.
To digress a moment. I have noticed that many of my Cherinians try to understand me, extending their minds in the hope that by feeling me they will understand. This even applies to some of the other Roberts and Cherines. One person seems to be the exception; Alki. I cannot describe the feeling he gives me when he sits there rock-solid in his acceptance and belief in me. This also makes me open up and explain myself to him more often. He will discuss any such explanations, but rarely probe as to my motives, unless he senses I need it of him. Our family could never have found anyone else as important to us as him and it is one of the reason I attach so much importance to all Roberts and Cherines having an Alki in their lives.
He smiled as Solomon left. “I can see you are not a politician Roberto mou, you should have kept this news for later. They are already rejoicing because of the wedding.”
“If they remember it as being a truth learnt at the time of our wedding, it will make our brides even more important to them. With three new children coming, I do not want them to ever forget how important these two loves of mine are.”
“I hear Socrati is calling together the committee to discuss your ruling about how Cherinians should bear children.”
“I had already changed my mind. Alki, it was not a ruling for the others, only my family.”
“Your family are also Cherinians.”
“I distinctly remember saying no government has the right to interfere with families! Alki, as I was saying, I had changed my mind and was going to suggest that each family decide, on each pregnancy, according to their circumstances. If Socrati is organising to defy me on this, then I better keep quiet. I must prepare my defences so as to give them a good fight. They must win, but not because I conceded the point.”
“You are trying to create a, what is the word they use in English courts?”
“A precedent. Exactly. They must also realise how important they are as protectors of the people.”
Marian explained to my father. “Robert fears that some leader or future government of the Cherinians may begin to make laws that infringe on human rights, as we see them, not as Normal humans do. He set up a committee who have powers greater than him or any future leader. Their power is only to veto any new law or ruling passed, they do not have the right to make laws or approve of them.”
“You have tied your own hands Robert?”
“If I am able to live a thousand years father, who is to say that within that period a day will not come when I begin to believe these idiots and start to think of myself as being infallible. It may amuse you to know that I made myself a member of the revolutionary council. I did it to get them started, but I will resign as soon as I feel they are strong enough.”
“I have the greatest respect for Law, as most of the British have, but I also detest Authority when they begin to interfere in my personal life…”
“I have no per se respect for the Law father. Theoretically I see the laws made by us as an attempt to find a just way of holding a society together. Unfortunately the governments and rulers throughout the ages have seen themselves as being ‘fathers’ to their people and have added a tremendous weight of laws that infringe on our rights as human beings and adults. For example, in the United States a law was passed, Megan's Law, because of one man abusing a child. The result of that law is that thousands of people who do nothing to harm a child are now labelled criminals, are put in prison, raped and brutalised by the inmates and even if they survive and are released, they cannot rent a home or get a job. All this can happen to them because they saw a picture or read a piece of fiction. Even a painting of a nude or semi-nude child could earn you a sentence, even if the original of that painting has been exhibited in some national art gallery for hundreds of years; it all depends on how narrow minded the prosecutor is.
For the Cherinians I want laws that stop anyone from doing something that would or could harm others. That is all. Adults should not be coerced to obey any laws that some self-important do-gooder wants on the books so as to increase the stranglehold governments have on their citizens.”
“I should have guessed you would find laws about child sex repulsive.”
Before I could reply, Alki spoke. “You are very wrong Mr Teller. Your son wants extremely strict laws for dealing with those who abuse children. What he is saying though, is that the abusers and molesters should be punished, not the unfortunate ones who find themselves attracted to children, just because the majority of people cannot extend any empathy for them and their compulsive needs. He has put his case to us a number of times, claiming that a true lover of children would find it impossible to harmfully molest a child. It is those people he worries about, as he does not want them to bear the brunt of the law, going to prison because they are easier for the law enforcement agencies to find, while those who hurt the children, damage their bodies and minds, are left in relative safety. Roberto has already taken the law into his hands and often at night, when you and I are sleeping, he is searching for the worst of those people, finding and removing them from our society.”
“The penal world. I remember. How many have you sent there Robert?”
“It is not the important point father. What you should be asking is, how many children are going to have a chance to live a normal life because of them being found and removed.”
“Once someone is sent to your penal world, they can never return?”
“I was going to kill them dad. Marian forced me to change my mind. That question of yours, it brings up another matter I feel strongly about. I’ve grown up believing that as a civilisation we are maturing. As an adult I see the opposite. Intellectuals argue we should send people to prison for the purpose of turning them back into model citizens. It is why they are now called correctional institutions. How many times though have we heard even judges saying, as part of delivering their sentence, that the person is being sentenced harshly as an example to others. That means the law, our justice system, the officials and the criminal themselves in the prisons, are all still viewing prison as a revenge of society against criminals. Make them pay! We even say, once a person has served his sentence he has paid and should be given an opportunity to start over with a clean slate.
Why is there hardly any talk about using their time in prison to counsel them, train them if they cannot hold a job? What is done is far too little. The worse our systems, the fuller our prisons. The more prisoners we have the less we can afford to redeem them. A true catch-22 situation. Perhaps it is no longer as valid a point or an important one, thanks to the changes which have occurred over the last few years - you do know that public companies have been formed for building and running such prisons, and that the shareholders number among them people in government who find it more profitable to increase the laws which can justify a judge sending more people to prison?
Let me give you an example of how a very small country handles the problem in a more humane manner. The population of Cyprus, on the Greek side, is about six hundred thousand. A few years ago I was told they are holding in prison about one hundred and forty people, of which a number of them are foreign terrorists who hijacked an aeroplane. Do you know what most of the prisoners do all day? They go to work! Companies are asked not to fire persons convicted, even if they are in prison because they stole from the company itself. Every morning they are bussed to town. They have to report at their workplace and at the end of the day they are collected and returned to prison.
The idea is that it is not fair to punish the family of the prisoner by leaving them without an income while it also would not be fair to punish the tax paying citizens by social services supporting those families. The criminal himself has to support them. If a close family member, such as a son or daughter, is getting married, the prisoner is given a weekend pass so that he can be at home with his loved one for that special occasion. If a family member passes away they are allowed to go to the funeral.
A point which is rarely mentioned; even highly trained people have difficulty in finding jobs when they come out of prison, but in Cyprus their future is not threatened. They truly have a system which is fairer and more understanding of the fact that anyone can stumble and make a mistake. Dad, remember that Cyprus Law is based on the British system and Law which they inherited - but, it seems, they adapted. Can you imagine British prisons being run this way?”
“I had always thought we have the most humane system - I did not know about Cyprus.” He grinned. “I would rather go to prison in Cyprus I think.”
“Are you certain dad? In our country, if you go to prison you do not have to work. Your family has social security so they do not starve. Perhaps the Cypriot system does not make sense when dealing with the hardened criminal, but for the ordinary person who got tempted or acted thoughtlessly, I think the system in Cyprus is by far fairer to the criminal and to the law abiding.”
“Perhaps they have such few hardened criminals because of their system, Roberto. How do they handle the dangerous ones, murderers and rapists.”
“They are the only ones I think who are not allowed out. I’m not certain, I think that if it was a crime of passion and the danger of it being repeated is not high, they are allowed out for funerals and such.”
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
23rd September, 2019
* posted on Steemit: 23rd September, 2019