The crowd went mad. The city in Israel had become the central hub for all religions worldwide. The leaders of every religious sect in the world were gathered to hear the Prince and the Pope on the momentous day. The world had all gotten the message: God was on Their way. There would no longer be any need for division once the Prince greeted and introduced what mankind had long thought of as ‘God’ to the world.
“If there is a word that all of humanity can claim any familiarity with, no matter the continent, nation, border, language, or ethnicity, it is ‘God.’ Today, we will meet God, and all of the world will unite under Their banner! There will no longer be any need for war. No need for struggles between religions as to whom the real god is from this day forward! The unity that all of mankind has for so long now sought shall be ours!”
The Prince waited as the applause went on for over a full minute. He smiled wide as the people praised his words.
Cade put his hands on the angel’s wrist and lifted himself upward. He twisted his head back and forth a few times in order to loosen the grip.
“It isn’t allowed yet.”
The black angel squeezed only slightly harder.
“Doesn’t it irritate you,” Cade said, “that you still have to obey Him?”
Eyes ablaze, the angel pulled Cade closer to his grotesque head and face, and squeezed his neck until Cade was sure it would pop. Then its hand opened and Cade fell to the floor. When he stood, the black angel was gone.
Cade whirled on Dr. Caleb, still visibly shaken.
“You son of a bitch,” Cade said. He pointed at the gigantic, synthetic bodies. “You’re planning to put Legion into these.”
Dr. Caleb started to laugh.
4 Years Ago
When they appeared to the world, the beings of light struck awe in the hearts of all men who saw them. The scene was broadcast the world over, nearly all who saw could not take their eyes away from the spectacle: an ancient temple newly rebuilt, a new center for all governments, the beings shining brilliantly, and, to the side, the Prince and the Pope.
Humanity was silent.
When the final being stepped into the scene, everyone knew it was the King of these gods. It stood nearly three feet taller than the rest, and all that beheld it saw the most beautiful thing their eyes had ever witnessed. The angelic being was androgynous; beautiful in every way to every human being.
Mankind had finally met God. And They were beautiful.
The King called the Prince and the Pope to his side. All of the world heard the words in their minds, they would find later their video had recorded none of what they’d all so clearly heard.
The King led the Prince to the new Throne of the World. The new birthplace of what would finally be real and true democracy, a place where humanity would be allowed to finally evolve, to become that next stage of its own evolution. God had returned to restore and heal its progeny. To restore a rule of unity, all peoples united, under one order, an order led by a Prince with blood that had passed through ages of time, never losing itself, merely remaining dormant until its designer returned.
As he took his seat, the Prince nearly radiated.
Now I give to him power, the King said. I give to him you, my children, to lead you until We return.
The voice that humanity heard inside its mind was at once soothing and terrifying. It had power, age, wisdom, and charm. Yet to everyone it was familiar in some odd way. Like the Prince had done previously, the King spoke to all in their own tongue, possessing utterly fluid knowledge of every language. As if They truly had both facilitated the rise of man as well as had given that evolutionary leap the gift of words.
Most of the people on earth, for the first time, agreed that whether the beings of light and their King were actually aliens, angels, or any other conjecture or theory, they were God. There was no reason to argue. Humanity understood that it had been created but that this creation had been an act of evolution.
We must leave again for a short time. We offer no riddles this time, the King said, Our return will be within the next five years.
The King walked behind the throne and put his hands on the top of it. The Prince sat dwarfed. Yet he seemed to radiate more now that the King stood closer.
With a sound like a giant flag being whipped in the wind, huge wings swung outward from the King. Their wingspan was at least twenty feet. Made of a material so white that it blinded anyone that looked directly at them, they were at once like a great bird’s wings and yet wholly unique in their design.
The King, wings wide and pointed upward in a curve, stood above the Prince who sat upon the World Throne. The symbol that all of the world saw in the scene was something everyone, no matter their religion–historians, archeologists, extraterrestrial enthusiasts, theologians, down to layman and those who had only attended a service on a religious day–recognized.
We made certain that you were lesser. Some thought they had seen the King’s face register something akin to a smile, then it was gone, the world again enraptured with the light. It was our goal that you improve yourself, learn to evolve on your own, but though you have struggled mightily still there remains so much discord, strife, hate, and rage among you. We can afford to wait no longer.
We have sent other messengers. And all of them were killed by your hand.
Billions of people, the world over, were overwhelmed by a darkness that none of them understood. Something leaked in, guilt had struck them, the King’s words tore something in their minds open.
Your will always bends toward hating members of your own species. You kill your own kind. Mistreat those who look different, act different, are different. So close you’ve come this time. So close. And yet as We have watched your for two centuries now, you seem incapable of eradicating your bloodlust for your own kind.
4 Years Ago
A Small but Clean Apartment Across from Dr. Caleb’s Facilities
Dr. Lucious Caleb sat on a couch in his apartment. The only light was from the four holoscreens that hovered in the air in front of him. He watched the whole thing, and his mind had been overturned. Everything he’d ever known finally went sideways for him. Nothing made any sense.
The creatures he was looking at were beyond what his mind wanted to accept. What he saw in Jerusalem was god-like. That was the only phrase that would work to describe them.
Their leader, larger than all of them and beautiful, began to speak again. Dr. Caleb hated himself for being unable to pull away from it all.
One is coming, the leader said, who will claim ownership of you. He wishes to unify all of you as well—but unto Himself alone! We wish for you autonomy and enlightenment. It is why we have stepped into your lives before.
Dr. Caleb felt his pulse quickening. He recognized the sentiment from Cade’s book. The book that terrified him.
He demands your servitude, your loyalty to obtain His love. We demand not that you become servants to us. We wish to grant you power, to allow you to become what you were intended to become. He wishes to transform you merely into Himself. To be His copies, like Him, and in eternal servitude.
Dr. Caleb listened as the people gathered at the Temple made sounds of disapproval. The leader gave them time to grumble before continuing.
But do not be fooled by His arrogance: He is powerful. Moreso than even We can contend with. That is why we can no longer afford to tarry, and we are putting out plans in place to further your own evolution, to bring you into this war that you will have no choice but to fight, for He is coming. It will require all of us united to face Him, and even then, we will face a Mighty Foe!
Dr. Caleb willed himself not to shake with fear. Such a Being could not be possible. To ponder it sent his mind reeling and running away. He remembered again the book and how ruthless that Being had been at times. Dr. Caleb simply could not contend with the notion with any rational thought.
We will meet with your leaders and we will give to them some of our wisdom. We will show you how to do what is needed to fight in this war. To the Prince, we give power and authority. He will unite all people of the world. There will be accountability for those who make waste and do not give their part toward humanity’s final stage of evolution, where he will finally gain true power and freedom! Your Prince will see to true Justice until our return!
Dr. Caleb heard someone in his own apartment complex cheer as the world applauded. He watched, almost bemused, at the Prince radiated with light. He tried to convince himself to write it off as a visual effect added to sensationalize the moment.
He was unable.
Dr. Caleb turned off the holoscreens. He sat in the dark and cemented his plans.
“How can it all be true,” Dr. Caleb said through somewhat manic laughter. “How can any of it be true?”
Cade rolled his eyes. He was beyond angry. “How can what be true, Luke?”
“Four years ago, everything I believed was up-ended. Since that time, I’ve been dealing with things from some other world, Cade. Is it another dimension? Some other place in the vasstness of space? Hell, I don’t know where they come from. But they are dark and dangerous, with power I can’t seem to grasp.”
Cade watched Dr. Caleb catch his breath. He waited.
“In all that time, I still cannot believe it all. And if it is true, then yes, I will put Legion itself into those damnable bodies, because your so-called God terrifies the Hell out of me!”
Cade almost felt pity for the man. His friend was broken. Utterly unable to cope with what his mind was being forced to accept.
Dr. Caleb stood and faced Cade. “You know how your book says that when your God returns, there will be people even then who just despise Him?”
“I know,” Cade said.
“I think I might be one of them,” Dr. Caleb said.
Cade walked toward Dr. Caleb. He watched his old friend flinch and it bothered him. He put his hands on the man’s shoulders and smiled at him.
“Luke,” he said, “that is entirely your choice. I wouldn’t dare try and take it from you. But you’ve been dealing with some very, very bad things. And you are in a lot of trouble. I don’t think you understand, Luke: you’re worried about the wrong god being your enemy.”
Dr. Caleb raised his left eyebrow.
Cade turned slightly and pointed at the synthetic bodies. “This is your mess. I’m not going to clean it up for you. So please get me the hell out of this overlarge sardine can.”
The two men got on the golf cart and Dr. Caleb drove them to the helipad.
“They’re coming back within the next year,” Cade said.
“How did you know that,” Dr. Caleb asked.
“I’m a cyborg, remember? I can get information while I’m talking to you. Besides, I also read that book of mine you stole.”
“Do you have any idea what’s going to happen when they get back?”
“Yeah,” Cade said. He laughed. “The most absurd war in the history of the entire universe. And you’re providing weapons.”
Dr. Caleb said nothing.
The flight from the submarine was one of silence.