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In August when Robyn received word that Lee Hansen (the self-proclaimed Prophet of the Reformed End Dome Church) had died of natural causes, she sent a letter to the elders of that body, in her capacity as the actual Prophet of the Church of End Dome, requesting a face-to-face meeting to address concerns of mutual interest for both sides.

When she received a cordial reply accepting her proposal (provided the meeting took place in the rectory of the Reformed Church in Vancouver, Washington) Robyn went there, along with Jill, and no others.

Jill was the successor of Jerry Shy Bear and the inheritor of his office of the Apostle in theory, but in practice the question was still on the table.

Robyn considered Jerry to be deceased as far as being her husband was concerned, even though she knew full well Jerry was inside that freckle-faced Nordic beauty who had once been Inge Hahn. Since 1947 she had said nothing to affirm or deny Jill's status as the Apostle of the mother Church of End Dome.

The Prophet of the Reformed Church was Paul Bergin, who had been chosen as the Apostle when the two sides went into schism. Upon the recent death of Lee Hansen, Paul Bergin chose Larry Porter to take his place as the new Apostle.

Bergin and Porter were directly descended from families who had settled Franklin in the very beginning. Both men were white, of course, which was a departure from the tradition of the mother Church that the Prophet and Apostle would always alternate between the Red and White wings of the Church, but for the Reformed Church it was unavoidable.

Robyn wanted to continue the tradition of Alternation, which is why she found it such a conundrum when her Red husband died, and a White girl (Jill) claimed to be everything that Jerry was. So far the only true member of the Red Wing in the tight WDF circle was her own daughter Joy, and even she was both Red and White.

There were other men with Robyn and Jill in the wood-paneled meeting room, and Robyn remembered their names, but they hardly spoke. Most of the business was between her and Paul Bergin anyway. She introduced Jill to them as a good friend, and she said a prayer before beginning the negotiations.

May El Shaddai bless this gathering of his believers today, and may the peace that passes all understanding fill the hearts of everyone here, in the name of Yeshua, El Shaddai's only Son.

They all responded with Amen and Robyn asked Paul if he had any questions before she began.

What happened to the Peter Two Feathers and his wife? he asked first. There has been no news for eight years.

They are both in a better place, Robyn said, and that was the complete truth. Peter was resurrected after his death and lived far over the Upper Sea in the Land We Know. His wife lived comfortably in Menkal in the keeping of the jen King, but she longed to join her husband. Two Feathers appointed me the Apostle after the Schism, and I succeeded him upon his death.

Paul could make no objection to that. After all, he had to admit, the Reformed End Dome Church did walk away. And who did you appoint to fill the office of Apostle when you moved up?

My own husband, Jerry Shy Bear.

We hear he is dead also.

Thanks in no small part to Lee Hansen! Jill snapped off, but Robyn put her hand over Jill's hand to hush her up.

He is dead, Robyn affirmed. The office of Apostle has gone unfilled since then. Jill said nothing at this revelation. Robin finished with, It has been my hope to offer it to one of you and heal the rift.

What is this Green River Church in Franklin?

That is what's left of the Red Wing of the mother Church. I have as little contact with them as I do with you, but I hope to change that as well. Perhaps the sight of the Golden Gift will bring them back to me.

When she said "back to me" she was speaking as Binah.

Paul gasped in shock at the mention of the most holy relic of the Church. Where is the Golden Gift?

The Golden Gift is kept safely in Israel. I pray that all our brothers and sisters, Red and White, will see it again someday.

And Jill felt the lump that was strapped to her thigh under her dress, which was her own copy of the Golden Gift, but she said nothing to the men. Robyn had one as well. Jill might have come alone with Robyn to this meeting in the heart of Reformerdom, but they were both quite safe from any attack.

Paul shook his head. You must know that we do not recognize Peter Two Feather's authority to change the laws of the Church to allow you to marry Jerry Shy Bear. That is the heart of the argument we have with the mother Church.

Robyn wanted to tell him he was engaging in a bit of revisionist history, since Lee Hansen approached the FBI before she was married, but she controlled herself. Instead she said, And I will tell you what argument the mother Church has against the Reformists. Lee Hansen said things to Roland that should never have been mentioned, things that no outsider should have ever known to exist. Our temple lies in ruins atop End Dome Hill because Roland wanted to find the Golden Gift!

Paul countered with, We hear that you associate with women of unnatural affections.

Are you referring to Sofie Krause and Dory Fuchs? Jill asked, just to make sure.

Bergin nodded. It is an ancient sin. The apostle Paul explicitly condemned that moral defect in Romans chapter one.

Listen to me carefully, gentlemen, Robyn said, for it is not I who speak, but Binah. It is unfortunate that Paul of Tarsus considered homosexuality a defect. He was ill-informed...

And she proceeded to lay out the conclusions of her own (that is, Binah's) research into the phenomenon of same-sex attraction. They listened to her, but they did not understand a single word. It was so far over their head, however, they could make no mistake that Robyn was indeed a direct conduit to Binah, and that was precisely what Robyn intended to do, in order to grab their undivided attention.

She continued. This racist streak of yours that has divided the Church, but it is all just a lot of silly nonsense over nothing. There are no races. There is one human species. The Bible and the Buron acknowledges only ethnicities. In the Sacred Scriptures we read only of peoples and kindreds and tongues, not Whites and Blacks and Yellow Menaces and the Red Man. The nephilim are called the White Beards and Red Beards and so on, but they are all the same race, and indeed they are the same species as humans, because they can breed with us, and thus we have the jen.

Paul Bergin recovered somewhat. There are races. I can see them with my own eyes!

You can? Then how many races are there?

I say there are three races: Caucasian, Negroid, and Mongoloid.

Really? That makes people in India and Pakistan the same race as people in Scandinavia. And what about aborigines in Australia? They have Caucasian and Mongoloid genes, but they are as dark as Negroids. If you go by appearance, Jews are identical to Arabs. Mexican people are a mixture of Mongoloid and Caucasian, just like my beautiful daughter.

Brother Paul is right, Larry Porter said. I see three races as well.

Robyn told them, The same thing happens with the colors of a rainbow, it all depends on who looks at it. Some see three colors, some see seven, some see more. But it's really a smooth continuum, you know. And arguing about where to set the dividing line is the biggest waste of time there is in this universe.

We see evidence in the Bible that dark skin is the Mark of Cain, Paul said, who was cursed for killing his brother.

Prophet Bergin, there are different levels of pigments in human skin and that is a good thing. A ginger would not fare so well on the savanna in Kenya. Traits like color, or the epicanthic fold of Asians, are a vestige of the isolation of human settlements in ancient times. But now with the advent of air travel, and the lessening of social taboos against interracial marriage which we are just beginning to see today, I confidently predict that the entire human population in 2500 AD will have olive skin and dark hair, just like my daughter. Consider that a sure bet from the Prophet of the End Dome Church.

So what is our meeting all about, Bergin sneered, just airing our grievances and going home? How do you propose to seal the breach?

Robyn said, My daughter Joy Shy Bear is six years old but someday she will be of an age to marry. I will ask her to marry a cousin from the White Wing. I would ask her child in turn to marry a cousin from the Red Wing. In only two generations there would be no more wings!

It was, Jill thought, a beautiful dream, but it was precisely the sort of thing that would most offend these men. They could never admit the Native American branch was composed of beings who were fully human, because that would mean their hatred of them would disqualify them as God-fearing believers.

Paul was rendered speechless, his face more red with rage than the faces of the Red Wing he refused to associate with. His mouth twisted up in a sour expression of disgust, for he had not taken to heart a single thing Robyn had said about race. How little he knew he actually was in the presence of his own goddess, and Binah was not amused by his attitude.

Larry Porter spoke up for him. Is that all you have to offer us today, Mrs. Shy Bear?

Perhaps I reached for too much, Robyn told him. She looked around at the rich, finished hardwood of the room. This is a nice tabernacle you have built here, but why did you never rebuild the Temple?

For the same reason the Red Wing built their tabernacle at the base of End Dome instead of the summit, Larry explained patiently. The title to the land there is disputed.

Paul found his voice again and explained further. The deed is in the name of the End Dome Church. There is now some ambiguity about which faith assembly is legally the successor to the mother Church, and the county refuses to issue a build permit.

All the more reason to seek a re-union of the two sides, Robyn told them. Roland is dead, the official persecution of the Church is over. We can rebuild the temple greater than it was before, or we can let it lie in ruins as a monument to human religious pride that does nothing to glorify the elohim. I tell you this exactly once, and now the choice is entirely yours. Will there be a reconciliation?

Paul looked around the table and got a shake of every head from his elders. He said to Robyn, with finality, There will be no reunification of the Red and White wings, not now, and not ever. I make this binding upon the Reformed End Dome Church for all time.

Robyn suddenly stood up apart from the table, and ignited her silver copy of the Golden Gift. Jill followed suit, and the two woman stood there, defiantly, with hissing purple blades the men could not mistake, for they had all seen the original Golden Gift in action in the Temple sending the bodies of their blessed dead to the elohim.

Robyn said, Then it is Binah who curses you with a curse that will outlive your own oath, and it is Binah who pledges perpetual warfare upon you who have gone out from us, for you were never part of us.

Then she and Jill carved holes in the wall and departed from the Reformists. Two Silver Gifts! They dared not chase after them.

Robyn went home across town, taking Jill with her, and sat down with Joy as she was playing with two of her dolls, which she had propped up before a small table. Joy was getting ready to serve them lemonade in little tea- cups.

Would you like some tea? Joy asked Jill and her mother formally, in imitation of an adult woman, which was, of course, the purpose of her play. Robyn and Jill both said yes, and each woman asked for one lump of sugar after Joy poured the lemonade.

Before they drank, Robyn said, Honey, you know momma's got a job in our church, don't you?

You are the Prophet!

Do you know what I do?

Um. You listen to God?

That's right! But there's another job in the Church called the Apostle. Do you know what the Apostle does?

Joy shook her head no, and she could not be faulted for failing to know, for the position of Apostle had gone unfilled for most of her short life.

Apostle means 'one who is sent'. After I listen to God, the Apostle goes to many places to tell people what God told me. Your father Jerry was the Apostle of our church before he died, and now I need another Apostle. And Joy, you are six. You old enough to understand these things now.

I'm six and a half, Joy reminded sternly, and yes, she understood exactly what her mother was asking. I will be your Apostle.

Jill, you and I will do many wonderful things together in our time, but nothing, nothing, will ever be greater than what we have made right here. Robyn leaned over to kiss her daughter, and sat back with tears of happiness in her eyes.

Jill said, I heartily agree.

Drink your tea, Joy prodded them.

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