Civil War Transcendence, part 373

 

The next morning, I heard a rap on the door to our room. I came instantly awake, and pulling a Colt from under my pillow, ventured, “John Lee?”

“Yeah, it’s me,” was the answer from the other side of the door.

“I’ll meet ya down stairs in a few minutes,” I said.

I heard John Lee’s footsteps as he made his way toward the second floor landing.

Daphne stirred and wearily asked, “It isn’t time to get up, is it?”

“Yep, it is,” I returned.

“But we just got to sleep,” she whined.

“Yep, we did,” I laughed.

She giggled and said, “Okay. I’ll get up.”

We both vacated the bed and got dressed for our journey to Shepherdstown. Going across the hall, we gingerly stepped on the window glass strewn over the floor while we accumulated our clothes and possessions. Pulling the top sheet off the bed, we dumped the glass refuse on the floor and utilized the bed to pack Daphne’s bags and boxes. Once we finished, we transferred the baggage to the room we had confiscated for the night, locked the door and went down stairs to find John Lee.

When we entered the lobby, we were flabbergasted that Mrs. Douglas and Hattie were already awake and in the lobby waiting on us with John Lee. We greeted the assembly of fellow travelers and discovered our group was the only hotel guests ready to eat breakfast.  The desk clerk told us the dining room would be open momentarily, but we would have to endure no front glass windows to shield us from the elements.  We nodded our acceptance of the consequences from the rogue tornado and stood in silence until Daphne boldly asked Mrs. Douglas, “What name did William say would be the name of our baby?”

I was so surprised by Daphne’s question that I had no time to stifle Mrs. Douglas’ reply of, “Jamie Lee.”

Hattie, John Lee and I stood with our mouths open in astonishment, while Daphne grinned from ear to ear and nodded her approval.

I gave Daphne a “there ain’t no way” look, but she just raised her eyebrows and, much to my alarm, smiled inscrutably.

At just that moment, the cook came toward us and asked, “Y’all want tha helpers’ table in tha back as usual?”

I nodded that we did.  She turned and marched toward the small room. We followed and evaluated the main dining room as we moved to the back of the building. The dining room had been cleaned of all the glass and furniture debris. However, there weren’t as many tables as normal and the front windows were missing, which allowed wind to send dust to mingle with any food stuffs on the tables.  I was grateful that we would be ensconced in a windowless room for breakfast.  Food tastes much better without a layer of grit.

Breakfast proceeded without any mishap. John Lee and I ate in silence while we were privy to stories about the guests who attended the wedding and reception. It never ceases to amaze me the conclusions that women reach from the minute nuances of individual tones of voice, facial expressions and body language.  I was amused by the whole pantheon of human frailties, vanities and dispositions that were provided for our edification.

All the amusement ended when Daphne described a man who came through the reception line with features like an eagle, holding a brown hat with a silver heart on the hat band.

I suddenly demanded, “When did he come through tha line?”

Daphne was surprised with my adamant question. “He came through when ya went in tha dining room to talk with Tom. Ya were gone for just a moment,” she explained.

“Did ya see him again?” I snapped.

“Not that I remember,” she answered in a fearful voice. “What’s wrong?” she asked as all eyes at the table became fixed on me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Civil War Transcendence, part 372

 

When I showed up in the hotel lobby, the desk clerk fixed me with a bewildered stare. He seemed to want to ask what I was doing down here when I had this beautiful wife in a room upstairs, but was afraid to do so.

I gave him an embarrassed smile and walked out on the front porch of the hotel.  The wind had picked up, and dark clouds were beginning to gather overhead.  Suddenly, I heard what sounded like a train in the distance coming toward us.  The only thought that permeated my mind was “tornado.”

From the porch, I raced through the lobby and up the stairs to the second floor. I beat on our door until it was abruptly opened by Daphne, who was attired in what would have passed for the 19th century version of Victoria’s Secret apparel.

She must have been surprised by the ferociousness of my ardor, but still gave me a ‘come hither’ stare.

I quickly yelled, “Tornado’s coming. Get a robe on and get down stairs as quick as ya can into the cook’s pantry. I gotta get the rest from upstairs.”

I left as fast as I could and yelled down the hall, “John Lee, tornado’s a-comin’. Get Daphne downstairs.”

I turned and raced up the stairs and began to beat on all the doors on the third floor.  Because I didn’t know the room number for Hattie and Mrs. Douglas, I kept yelling, “Hattie, tornado’s a-comin’. We gotta get downstairs.”

I had proceeded down to the middle of the hall when, about two doors back toward the landing, a door opened, and Hattie stuck her head out in the hall.

“Whatcha want?” she cried.

“We gotta get downstairs. There’s a tornado comin’!” I shouted.

She immediately went back in the room, and a few seconds later, she emerged in the hall with Mrs. Douglas in tow. She made for the third floor landing and the stairs. Other hotel guests had vacated their rooms and were moving toward the stairs as well.

By the time I got to the third-floor landing, there were about ten people on the stairs leading from the third to the second floor. I leaned over the third floor banister and saw John Lee and Daphne on the stairs to the lobby. They were leading a charge of about eight other hotel guests

I was the last person to start down the stairs from the third floor. I herded the hotel guests down the stairs like a cow puncher; cajoling, cussing and praising them all the way.

When I hit the second floor landing, I could hear the freight train sound increasing as the nemesis of fair weather rampaged toward us. I increased my urgings until the last of the hotel patrons were in the lobby. All the guests had gathered in the lobby, which was a dangerous place to be.

I yelled, “Everyone follow me,” and began to head toward the kitchen and the cook’s pantry.

Once I made it to the kitchen, I began to push the guests into the kitchen and into the cook’s pantry until everyone was squashed together like commuters on a New York subway car.

The kitchen was the safest place in the building. It was on the back wall of the hotel, and there were no windows.  With the last of the guests crammed in the make-shift storm cellar, I stepped into the last remaining niche available and closed the kitchen door, just as glass from the front windows of the hotel was blown into the lobby and dining room like shrapnel from an exploding bomb.

Some of the shards of glass from the dining room front windows hit the kitchen door with such force that they penetrated the door about two inches.  Gratefully, none of them came completely through the door, or else, I would have been lacerated.

We heard roaring as the cyclone ripped through the town and headed off into the distance. Once the freight train noise had completely dissipated, I opened the door and warned the occupants of our panic room, “Be careful. Tha door is full of glass shards that’ll stick ya.”

I waited at the edge of the door in the darkness and helped everyone exit the kitchen. Finally I said, “If anyone knows where a lamp is located, please light it.”

After a few moments, a lamp was lit in the lobby, and then a few more were illuminated in quick sequence.  The hotel patrons were in shock at the destruction of the lobby. Glass shards had pierced the furniture and the front of the desk register.

As the last of the people filed out of the kitchen, Daphne appeared, and when she saw me, she ran into my arms.

I hugged her to me, and seeing John Lee behind her, I released Daphne with my right hand and shook hands with John Lee.  “Thanks,” I said. He just smiled and nodded.  I looked down and saw that Daphne had evacuated our room so swiftly that she had failed to put on any shoes, so I picked her up in my arms to prevent any foot lacerations.

We began to survey the destruction to the hotel, which wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought it would be.  Windows were blown out of the front of the hotel, and trees were down close to the Potomac, but that was about the extent of the damage. While many of the guests milled around the lobby or went to check out their rooms, I carried Daphne upstairs.

Our room window had been blown out, and glass was strewn all over the bed and floor. I set Daphne down in the hallway to prevent any foot cuts. Once I had lit the lamp in our room, which had been knocked over but not broken, I retrieved her shoes, which she quickly put on.

John Lee peeked out from his room down the hall and reported that his room hadn’t been damaged. I waived an okay. He waived back and closed his door for the night.

Daphne came into the room, closed the door and sighed dejectedly. Revealing her erotic choice of nightwear, she said, “Well, I guess we’ll never have that last night of frolic, will we?”

“Wanna bet? Wait here!” I commanded.

I ran down the stairs as swift as a thoroughbred race horse and returned with a key to an empty room across the hall. Turning the key in the lock, I picked up a giggling Daphne Hager and kicked open the door to our newly-anointed frolic room to the amazement of the meandering second floor hotel patrons.

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Civil War Transcendence, part 371

Once the dessert was wolfed down by the ladies and John Lee, I proposed that we all turn in. We would be up at the crack of dawn to begin our trek back to Shepherdstown in the morning.

Reluctantly, everyone rose from the table and ambled back upstairs to the upper landings of the hotel.  As we began the climb to the second landing, Daphne tried to get next to Mrs. Douglas, but Hattie had positioned herself at Mrs. Douglas’ elbow as if she were at the beck and call of the so-called prophetess.

Daphne and I were behind the two ladies, and they were chatting away about Mrs. Douglas’ deceased husband William.  Daphne leaned forward trying to hear the conversation, but apparently, she could only catch snatches of what was said.

At the second landing, the two ladies continued up to their room on the third floor, and we turned down the hall to go to our room. However, once we got a few steps down the hall, I turned to John Lee, who had been behind me and asked, “Could ya see tha ladies safely to their room?”

He nodded and turned back to be the body guard for Hattie and Mrs. Douglas.

I added, “Tha room down tha hall from us is still yours for tha night. We need to get up at dawn, so if ya get up before I do, please wake me.”

Again, he nodded.

Daphne and I proceeded down the hall, and I opened the door to our room. We walked in, and Daphne quickly lit the two lamps that provided adequate illumination for the meager room.

Turning abruptly she demanded, “Why didn’t ya want to know what my cousin learned from tha spirit of her husband about our baby’s name?”

I was so shunned at her outburst that I just looked at her for a few seconds to recover.  Then I answered, “’Cause I don’t believe it.”

“Why not?” she demanded.

“Because I have helped spirits that were trapped on earth move to tha Other Side, and I don’t remember them being able to appear in dreams to tha living,” I explained.

The answer made her gasp. She looked at me with a tinge of fear and stammered, “Y, y, ya’re a spiritualist?”

I took a deep breath and answered, “No, but, once I used to receive words about tha spirits of soldiers killed in battle, which I turned into poems. Some of tha poems created such an emotional burden that I employed a spiritual medium to help me find out what tha problem was. We didn’t solve my problem, but we did release soldiers stuck in an in-between realm to move to their just rewards. It was very gratifying to help them.”

As I related my spiritual experience, Daphne’s demeanor changed from one of fearfulness to one of astonishment and tenderness. She walked across the room and entwined her arms around me.

I wrapped her in a gentle embrace. I could feel her crying and ask, “What’s tha matter?”

“Nothing,” she sputtered. “It just seems that each day I get to see another part of you, and I am amazed at tha wonderful things you have experienced in one lifetime,” she added.

I was moved by her devotion, but felt guilty that she didn’t know my true identity.

Once she had stopped weeping, I could feel her body tense as she asked, “So ya don’t believe my cousin?”

I answered, “Daphne, I don’t really know. It’s just that I’ve never heard of tha departed spirits of family members appearing to tha living in their dreams. It’s up to ya, Liebchen. I would just treat it with a grain of salt.”

I could feel her body relax in my embrace. Then she gave me a mighty hug and slyly suggested, “Ya know this will probably be the last night of our honeymoon.”

“Probably,” I agreed.

“Well, don’t cha think we need to make it memorable?” she proposed.

“I certainly do,” I granted.

She moved her lips next to my right ear and whispered, “Well, why don’t ya go downstairs for just a minute and let me get into something more comfortable?”

I gulped and stammered in a love induced stupor, “I, uh, I’ll be right back.”

I turned and walked to the door. Opening it, I looked back at the women of my dreams. She had the most devilish and wanton smile for me. I knew I was in for a night of passion and wild abandon.

I suddenly felt weak in the knees. I took a very deep breath and walked out the door.

 

 

 

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Civil War Transcendence, part 370

 

I looked at Daphne and she looked at me. We both had stunned looks on our faces.

Turning to Mrs. Douglas, we said in unison, “What baby?”

Mrs. Douglas answered in a very nonchalant voice, “Tha one that y’all will be having. She’ll be tha spitting image of Daphne. Her name will…”

I held up my hands and uttered, “Wait, wait, wait!  Where’d ya get all this information?”

“It was William. He lets me know in dreams any extraordinary events that will occur,” she purred.

I must have looked at her like a slacked-jawed imbecile because she remarked, “I know that ya don’t believe me, but he told me when ya would show up, that ya and Daphne would fall in love, and just last night, that y’all will have a baby girl.”

I turned to look at Daphne and she was as dumb-founded as I was. Finally, her expression changed from one of shock to one of curiosity and she asked her cousin, “What was tha baby’s name?”

I immediately intervened by paraphrasing from 1st John 4:1, “Darling , let’s not test the spirits too far, okay?”

Daphne looked at me and frowned. Mrs. Douglas shrugged. I looked at Hattie, who was looking at Mrs. Douglas as if she were the herald of the Second Coming. John Lee was nodding and smiling from ear to ear.

I looked back at Daphne and her expression was now one of being thwarted a very important fact that she wanted to know. I gave her a pleading look, which made her roll her eyes.

Mrs. Douglas’ bombshell sort of brought all conversation to a close. I could tell that the ladies were just waiting for a chance to get Mrs. Douglas alone and pump her for information.  I understood that I couldn’t stop it and also that I would be excluded from any and all of the pertinent spiritual palaver that had occurred between Daphne’s cousin and her deceased husband.

I sighed and turning to John Lee asked, “How long do ya think it will take us to load up tomorrow?”

He thought a moment and answered, “Probably less than an hour.”

I smiled and added, “Great. We should be in Shepherdstown by nightfall.”

The ladies never heard our exchange. All their eyes were on Mrs. Douglas, who was enjoying her sudden importance of being a messenger to the spirits.

The cook broke the silent adoration of the ladies when she entered our small dining room and asked, “Apple or blueberry pie?”

As if coming back to consciousness from a coma, the ladies blinked and began to give their dessert orders.  I opted for another cup of coffee.

Finally, Daphne asked her cousin, “Does William come to ya quite often?”

I gave her a stern expression, but she quickly stuck out her tongue and turned to wait for Mrs. Douglas’ answer. So much for being the head of the household.

Looking at Daphne, Mrs. Douglas confessed, “Not really. He only started to talk to me…” at this moment she paused in her explanation and turned her head to look at me before continuing, “just before you arrived.”

I was taken back by this revelation. My eyes opened wide at the possible characterization of my arrival being an infectious event.  All eyes were on me as I answered in an offhanded way, “Really.” Then I continued to sip my coffee.

The arrival of the pie broke the charged atmosphere of the tiny enclosed space. Everyone heartily plunged into their dessert choice, except for John Lee, who still continued to look at me with a curious expression. Reluctantly he broke his gaze and began to eat his pie.

While they continued eating, I surreptitiously analyzed all the dinner meal participants out of the corner of my eye and marveled at how each one had been instrumental in helping me to survive on this earth. They might think of me as an evil omen, but I loved each one and considered them a member of my family.

 

 

 

 

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Civil War Transcendence, part 369

 

We galloped into town at the double quick, as we use to say in Civil War Reenactments, which seemed like a million years ago and literally in a galaxy far, far away.

I halted Stonewall in front of the hotel and jumped down out of the saddle. I saw the backs of a squad of cavalry men just turning the corner, at the far end of the street, opposite to the direction from which I had come. I guessed that Colonel Daniels had already instituted a form of Martial Law until the town could elect another town marshal.

I bounded up the stairs to the second floor and found Daphne with Hattie Gray and Mrs. Douglas, hard at work packing my new bride’s paraphernalia. John Lee stood at one end of the room with a dazed look on his face, but ready to do any manual labor required at a moment’s notice.

Daphne drew her hand across her face and fixed a strand of hair behind her right ear. She was all aglow with the process of packing and she looked adorable. If I could have gotten away with it, I would have crossed the room, pulled into an embrace, and kissed her until she yelled for mercy. However, that was not an available prerogative at the present time.

Daphne saw me, gave me a quick smile and said, “Tha clothes packing is done. We just need to get everything in tha carriage now.”

Not taking anything for granted, I turned to Hattie and Mrs. Douglas and asked, “May we go back to Shepherdstown with ya?”

The two ladies looked at each other, and Mrs. Douglas said, “Of course, John Lee will drive us in my carriage back to Shepherdstown.”

I bowed and said, “We thank ya so much.”

Mrs. Douglas smiled and so did Hattie.

I ventured, “Do ya and Hattie have a room for tha night here in tha hotel?”

“Yes, we are sharing a room on tha third floor,” she informed me.

I nodded and thought, “I betcha that makes for quite a different cohabitation, a blue nose aristocrat and a yeoman farm woman.” I was able not to show any surprise at the amazing information, which led me to mentally pat myself on the back.

“Well, ladies, ya have performed a miracle of rapid packaging, wrapping and boxing,” I uttered in admiration.

Daphne smiled and said, “If it hadn’t been for John Lee, I don’t believe we could have gotten all tha cases and boxes closed.”

I looked at John Lee, who smiled and sort of rolled his eyes. I smiled back and then said, “Well is everyone ready to eat supper?”

The ladies all looked surprised, but finally after they had shared a glance at each other that holds an enormous amount of information that we men will never understand, the consensus was favorable for supper.

It was then that I broached a taboo subject. “I hope y’all don’t mind eating in tha kitchen with Daphne, John Lee and me.”

Mrs. Douglas nearly choked. Hattie looked shunned. Daphne gave me a “I’m gonna shoot you when I get you alone” look. I didn’t even look at John Lee.  I knew he was embarrassed, but this was one part of my plan to get him away from Mrs. Douglas and in my employ.

To alleviate the situation, Daphne piped in, “Auntie, tha quarters are cramped, I admit, but we get better service and tha food is hotter.”

Mrs. Douglas sighed and said, “Alright. Let’s get to it. I’m hungry.”

With that last declaration, we all trooped down to the kitchen. The cook looked at our gaggle and just shook her head. We followed her to the employee table, and even though we were cramped, we all fit in around the table. I put John Lee between me and Daphne.

It was an awkward few moments, but momentarily I asked, “Mrs. Douglas, do ya know where Daphne and I could take up residence in Shepherdstown?”

She looked at me with a shocked expression and said, “I thought it was settled. Y’all are gonna stay with me? At least until tha baby comes.”

I nearly fell out of my chair.

 

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Civil War Transcendence, part 368

The Mentor smiled and looked expectantly. The Assistant frowned and looked dubious.  I took it as an omen.

“Y’all said something about raiding Washington City?” I questioned.

They both nodded simultaneously.

“What’s yar plan?” I requested.

“We thought you might be able to provide a plan that we could enhance as needed for its successful conclusion,” the Mentor suggested.

“Uh-huh,” I responded in a sarcastic voice. “So, I gotta do all tha figuring out how to make this work?” I carped.

“Jim, we are used to enlisting local inhabitants to execute very important actions that will spawn a change in the political, cultural and social fabric of a country. We can provide the results of any action based upon the dictates of the plan. That’s why we suggest the best possible action, and you provide the plan for implementing that action. Once you give us your plan, we can plot the end results based on the myriads of information we have archived. As I stated before, the proposed action of raiding Washington can possible lead to the North suing for peace. We believe you are the only one that can direct and survive the raid successfully. We are here to help, but we definitely need your input,” the Mentor explained.

I looked at the two aliens for a long moment digesting what the Mentor said.

Finally, I said, “Sir, a long time ago I did a very hurried study of tha protecting forts around Washington City. I don’t remember any of thar positions, tha armament or tha number of soldiers in each fortification.”

As an afterthought, I added, “Also, I don’t have tha expertise to conduct a raid.”

“Jim, you displayed every attribute necessary for a great cavalry commander on the ambush of the Union force that came out of Boonsboro and the raid on Frederick City. You definitely have the qualifications, and we can supply the information in regard to the forts around Washington City,” the Mentor contended.

“Okay, what kind of deadline are we under?” I responded.

U.S. Capitol, Civil War era

“We need for the raid to be implemented in the next six weeks. After that, the action of the Union forces in Georgia and Tennessee will negate any action we would take in Virginia and Washington City,” answered the Mentor.

“Okay. I need to get to Shepherdstown and work on tha plan. Can ya provide protection for Daphne and our helpers, while we travel nawth, plus our friends when we get therah?” I asked.

“Yes, we can do that,” the Mentor promised.

“Okay, I’m going back to tha hotel and get us packed and on tha road,” I declared. “Can ya provide tha necessary information about tha forts in some kind of clandestine way,” I asked.

Both the Mentor and the Assistant nodded.

“When will I see ya again?” I asked.

“When you have the plan ready, all you have to do is say out loud that we need to meet,” he informed.

I cocked a scrutinizing eye his way and said, “How close are ya gonna monitor us?”

He raised his hands in a calming gesture and stated, “Not that close.”

I looked at the Assistant and added, “Make sure ya don’t.”

San Cirr Ray slyly smiled at me, which produced a wicked leer due to her elven facial features.

I began to feel a deep-seated anger, but before it could manifest itself, Kann Mer Ray promised, “Your family’s privacy will not be violated.”

Then he looked at his assistant with a reproachful glance. She immediately looked down at the ground and didn’t challenge his authority.

I went to Stonewall, grabbed what acted as a saddle horn and swung myself into the saddle. Once my feet were in the stirrups, I pulled my hat down to fit snuggly on my head. Then I gave a nod to Kann Mer Ray. He nodded back. I clicked at Stonewall and we took off like a shot.

San Cirr Ray watched as the Earthling rode away. Then she looked at the ageless Director of the Earthen Project and asked, “Can he be trusted?”

“I don’t know, but he is the last hope for this Earth to attain peace without more bloodshed, and we need the peace to prevent the decimation of a whole American generation,” he replied.

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Civil War Transcendence, part 367

 

Again, I was shocked beyond belief.  I must have fainted, because I suddenly discovered that I was being held in a standing position by San Cirr Ray. She had wrapped her arms around me to keep me from falling, and we were face to face just a few inches apart when I came back to full consciousness. She smiled in her belligerent way, indicating that she had complete control of me and that I was a creature beneath her dignity.

I quickly regained my composure and put my weight on my legs again. She smirked as she let me go and took a step back. However, she did keep one hand on my arm until I had fully recovered my equilibrium. It took me a minute, but once I felt steady, I shook her arm loose. I believe her distain for my existence helped me recover quicker than normal.

I searched for Kann Mer Ray and found him stroking Stonewall, who seemed to enjoy the alien rub down. I made an attempt to speak but could only cough a few times before my speech faculties returned.

“W-wh-when will be joining this union?” I stammered.

“When humankind is ready,” he answered.

“How long will that take?” I retorted.

“Only the Creator knows,” he claimed.

“How long has your work, your guidance, your manipulation been going on?” I demanded.

“Since your planet was born,” he chimed as he kept his attention on Stonewall with his back to me.

Speaking to myself in a low voice, I uttered, “Then it has been in process for millions of years.”

“Correct,” he affirmed.

“Then why do you have so many Earths on which you are working in parallel? You should be able to accomplish your mission on just one,” I quipped.

This got his attention. He turned from Stonewall to face me, which caused Stonewall to give me a disagreeable snort. Apparently the alien massage was highly enjoyable, and he wanted it to continue.

Both Kann Mer Ray, the Mentor, and San Cirr Ray, the Assistant, faced me and fixed me with rather severe gazes. Then the Mentor explained, “Because your species has been one of the hardest to influence. For your planet, The Creator wanted the highest intelligent species to evolve from the elements of your Earth, plus the random influx of basic components from meteors to augment your line of development. As you know, it has taken billions of years to reach the present stage of planet and human progress. Multiple Earths were really implemented in the last 20,000 years to hasten humankind’s advancement. We have been inserting specific people to modify certain events in different historic ages to see what might accelerate humans to attain their best attributes on a continuous basis.”

“What has been done on other planets?” I asked.

The Mentor smiled and retorted, “That, as many of your human governments cite, is on a need to know basis.”

I grimly smiled back and said, “So you leave me in the dark, the same as our governments do. Why should I believe you? You might be trying to fatten us up to eat us, for all I know.”

The Mentor laughed wholeheartedly, while the Assistant scowled. Once the Mentor had fully enjoyed my attempt at levity, he added, “Ah yes. We have watched Mr. Serling’s TV segments with much interest. However, I promise you that we aren’t trying to raise humans to butcher and eat as indicated in Mr. Serling’s ‘How to Serve Man,’which was one of his better TV programs on your earth.”

I was surprised that the Mentor was familiar with Rod Serling and understood my jab at his reason for dealing with mankind.  I let out a long breath that I didn’t know I had been suppressing. The Mentor had supposedly been truthful with me, and it had rocked my world. I finally let go of all the worry, distrust and fears I had been carrying. I suddenly felt like a millstone had been lifted from my body.

With a new perspective I offered, “Okay let’s discuss the mission that you proposed.”

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Civil War Transcendence, part 366

 

For the second time, I was so shocked that my eyes seemed to bulge out of their sockets. I became slack jawed and must have gone into a semi-catatonic state. The next thing I remember was being gently shaken by Kann Mer Ray.

“Jim, are you alright?” he queried in a concerned voice.

I was laying on the ground with Kann Mer Ray kneeling over me and Stonewall looking down at me.  Apparently, when Kann Mer Ray observed that I was no longer a threat, he had dropped his hands to his side, which released Stonewall and me from our paralytic condition. However, when released, I was so out of it that I had dropped to the ground.

Kann Mer Ray helped me to my feet. I was wobbly, but able to keep upright. After a few minutes, he let go of me, and I felt more stable.  However, when Stonewall extended his head toward me and gently nuzzled my chest, I tried to reach up to touch him, but it felt as if there was a 100 pound dumbbell strapped to each of my forearms. It was all I could do to move my arms up to waist level. After a few more tries I finally got my arms high enough to take Stonewall’s head in my hands.

It took what seemed like hours before I had enough strength to gently rub his jaws. I think he really appreciated it because, when I initially touched him, his body felt as hard as granite. I believe he had experienced some of the same trauma I had.  Yet after a few minutes of massage, he snorted a few times and began to relax. I also began to gain more control of my body and strength returned to my core being.

Once we had some semblance of normalcy, Kann Mer Ray and San Cirr Ray approached us again.  I turned from Stonewall and positioned myself in front of these beings. I nodded at them with a new understanding of the power they had not only had over me, but over our whole planet.

The Mentor, as San Cirr Ray called him, began, “I’m sorry that I caused you such dismay. I was hoping that you were more…ah…ah. What is the word I am looking for? Oh yes, ‘uncaring.’  I was hoping that you were so uncaring that the knowledge we imparted wouldn’t affect you as deeply as it did. However, you are a person that is intensely concerned about his fellow humans. I should have realized this trait because your Animal Spirit Guide couldn’t have bonded with you so profoundly if you hadn’t been such a loving person.”

I was shocked by his apology and his analysis. All I could do was stare at him with an unemotional expression. I was so drained of all feeling that I couldn’t respond to his soliloquy. I just raised my hand and then dropped it to my side to acknowledge that I had heard him.

I had to clear my throat a few times before I croaked out, “What did ya mean that you had to find the right paragon of the human race?”

The Mentor looked intently at me for a few seconds as if forming an answer that would make sense to a mere human.  Then he began, “When I mentioned we want the best and most peaceful paragon of the human race, you need to understand our meaning of paragon. It is kind of like wanting the best attributes of the human race to evolve. We consider compassion, intelligence, ability to love, and imagination to be the ones we highly value.”

I considered his answer for a moment and then asked, “On how many Earths are you shaping these attributes?”

“Why…all of them!?” he blurted.

I held myself in check and didn’t let my emotions run away with me again. Then I asked again, “But how many Earths are there?”

He nodded toward San Cirr Ray, who had remained silent for some time. She looked me in the eyes and answered with the same tolerant voice that a human would bestow on a dog, “There are over 25 parallel Earths.”

I couldn’t hide my shock and uttered, “Wow!”

I turned back to the Mentor and probed, “I take it you want to reach the point where all humans are imbued with these attributes? Right?”

San Cirr Ray answered, “Yes.”

“Why do you have so many Earths you are influencing in this manner?” I questioned.

“Because evolution is a very finite procedure. The most minute action can trigger a total change to a planet’s evolution,” the Mentor answered and then continued, “We are constantly recruiting human beings to implement specific actions to see what outcomes will occur.”

Standing to my full height and looking the Mentor eye to eye, I finally got to the $64,000 question I had wanted to ask, “What gives you the right to foster your own agenda on our evolution?”

He returned my eye to eye contact and without hesitation explained, “Because your species is slated to join our union of habitable planets, and we are not going to accept a rogue or contentious member. To have a serene universal co-existing union, your planet must evolve to reach its highest level of peace and tranquility by all its inhabitants. Our task is to help you accomplish this ultimate transition.”

 

 

 

 

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Civil War Transcendence, part 365

 

Finally, I stuttered, “How in heaven’s name could we do that? The U. S. capital is so heavily protected with forts that we wouldn’t get anywhere near Washington D.C., let alone raid it.”

“We can provide a way,” Kann Mer Ray promised.

‘Listen, I can’t be a part of changing history with advanced technology,” I declared.

“Well, you’ve done it before,” San Cirr Ray said with a smirk.

“But that was different. I was trying to save people’s lives,” I argued.

“Isn’t shortening the war, saving people’s lives?” Kann Mer Ray probed.

“But what will it do to the history of this planet or universe or whatever ya call it?” I retorted.

“It will bring about a different result to the conflagration that happened in your universe,” he disclosed.

I looked at him in stunned silence for what seemed like hours before the parts of the puzzle came together. Anger transfused my being. I took an aggressive step toward the alien, who didn’t seem intimidated in the least, and through clinched teeth, hissed, “Do you mean to tell me that you are in control of history, and we are nothing but guinea pigs for your entertainment?”

San Cirr Ray smiled and then quipped, “Mentor, I believe the human finally has seen the light.”

I transfixed her with a gaze of such hate that, for a split second, her mirth was stymied as she became aware of a possible physical attack.

Kann Mer Ray’s eyes never left my face as he raised his hand for his assistant to remain silent. Then in a matter of fact voice informed me, “We have to know what historical evolution will produce the best and most peaceful paragon of the human race.”

I was shaken to the core of my essence.  I turned my back to the aliens and took a few steps away until I was on Stonewall’s left side facing the terrain behind us. I grabbed his saddle horn with my left hand to keep from falling and began to shake my head.  My heart was beating like a drum at a marching band concert. My breath was ragged and coming in gasps.  I couldn’t believe what I just heard.

It took me a few minutes to get my act together. Once I had my heart rate under control and my breathing wouldn’t cause me to hyperventilate, I turned and looked back at the aliens. Through eyes that had a difficult time focusing, I could barely discern that Kann Mer Ray’s face displayed no emotion at all, while San Cirr Ray had a smirk on her face. She was really enjoying my trauma.

The anger that welled up inside me, due to her arrogance, helped bring me back to a normal state of being. The only thought that ran throw the reptilian part of my mind was retaliation.  I reached for my Colts. I really didn’t care what happened to me anymore.

Before I could clear the Colts from my belt, Kann Mer Ray lifted his hand and pointed the index finger on his right hand at me. I couldn’t move.  He took a step toward me, and Stonewall tried to rear up and bring his front hooves down on the alien. Kann Mer Ray simply pointed the index finger of his left hand at my faithful friend, and Stonewall was held in place without his front legs ever leaving the ground.

The alien, with his ever present assistant, came to stand in front of me. Kann Mer Ray continued to hold us in a paralyzed state. Looking at me with eyes that seemed to sear into my soul, he began, “You are one of only a handful of humans to whom we have revealed the motive for our presence on this earth. I know this is hard to believe, but there are other parallel Earths.”

I had figured out the parallel universe concept, but I didn’t understand that there could be many possible Earths out there in different dimensions. My face went slack as the importance of his words hit me with another thunderbolt.

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Civil War Transcendence, part 364

 

I could see the greenish teal glimmer in the roadway before she ever appeared. In an instant, San Cirr Ray materialized about five yards in front of us.

Stonewall halted and whinnied a warning to the alien.  His ears were laid back, and I could feel that his body was tense.  His last meeting with her hadn’t ended on a very friendly note.

San Cirr Ray looked at Stonewall and then at me.

“Looks like I don’t have a friend in this world,” she determined.

I didn’t say a word, but instead queried, “I thought both of you were supposed to be here when we met?”

Suddenly, a brighter greenish phantasm appeared and then flashed into the personage of Kann Mer Ray.

Stonewall started to back up, but I said, “Whoa boy.”

Kann Mer Ray bowed and apologized, “I’m sorry to be late. I was running behind. I didn’t mean to startle your steed.”

Stonewall gave one of his snorts and displayed laid back ears and a tense body.

Kann Mer Ray began to raise his hand.

“Don’t even think about it,” I challenged.

He gave me a resigned look and let his hand drop to his side.

“Alright, I’m here and ready to talk. What is your proposal?” I demanded.

“You promised to do our bidding in return for the safe deliverance of your men, not just listen to a proposal,” San Cirr Ray blurted.

“I originally said I would listen to your proposal. You took it to mean that I would do your bidding,” I retorted hotly.

Kan Mer Ray said, “I believe that once Jim hears our proposal that he will give it his full attention.”

I turned to look at the male alien with a frown.

Kan Mer Ray proposed, “Why don’t you dismount and let us talk face to face?”

I nodded, dismounted and came around to face the aliens. Stonewall gently nudged me to let me know he had my back. I grinned in response.

Kan Mer Ray noted, “Your steed, or should I say your incarnated animal spirit guide, is very protective.”

I looked at him with a shocked expression. “What do ya mean?” I declared.

The alien smiled at me and asserted, “Surely you knew your rapport was more than usual?”

I still looked at him with a stunned countenance.

Slowly, I turned to look at Stonewall. His eyes looked straight into my eyes without flinching. Then I swear his features seemed to be smiling. I uttered in a fascinated voice, “Well, if that don’t beat all.”

Suddenly, I laughed and hugged his neck. He let loose with one of his famous whinnies, and I laughed even harder.

“Okay, you’ve had a great revelation. Now how about we discuss why we came here?” San Cirr Ray expressed in a derisive voice.

I turned swiftly with a disdainful utterance readily available, but looking at Kann Mer Ray, decided against it. Instead I asked, “Okay, what is it?”

“We want you and Mosby to raid Washington. We believe the action will incite the populace of the North to bring enough pressure on the U.S. President that he would sue for peace,” proposed the alien.

My lower jaw literally dropped so hard that I thought I had unhinged my jaw. My eyes popped open so wide that they hurt. Lastly, my ears jerked backward so far that it affected my hearing. I maintained these exaggerated bodily positions until Stonewall nudged me.

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