Ithuriel

From CleanPosts

Jump to: navigation, search
The ancient world war on Barbelo united the Middle Land under House Gerash and brought House Bellon under their direct rule. House Antero became tributary to the Empire of Mastema while House Sala, at the recommendation of Lady Talishi, radically decentralized themselves over their entire land to become a uniquely undesirable target. Only the Black Beards of House Larund remained defiant and vulnerable to assault from the avatar of Mastema.

But Mastema learned to his great consternation that the more he assailed House Larund, the greater their impetus to resist. He realized his attacks were only stoking the fires of a relentless technological advance as the Black Beards focused on solving the problem of stopping the air attacks. So Mastema relented and took his avatar out of the equation. The pace of innovation among House Larund cooled to smouldering embers, but never truly went out.

In time the pre-space faring inhabitants of Barbelo developed an elaborate Techno Age culture which began under House Larund and spread gradually to the other lands along the equatorial belt of the planet. The so-called Techno War broke out some forty years later, abruptly ending the three centuries of the Long Peace. Houses Sala and Larund fought Houses Gerash and Bellon head-to-head, with House Antero caught in the middle as the objective and the Red Beard lands as the primary battle ground.

The Techno War began as a brutal “railroad war” accompanied by hostile action between self-propelled wooden and iron steam ships on the various rivers and seas of Barbelo. Mass production using standardized parts rapidly equipped both sides with arms and war materiel.

In terms of weaponry Family Larund and their Gold Beard allies had a clear qualitative edge, but a temporary superiority of defensive weapons technology over offensive weaponry soon brought movement to a complete standstill. As the conflict dragged on, the introduction of chemical warfare and rapid-fire weapons made the battle fronts intolerable. A generation of young men on both sides were chewed up like so much paper in a shredder.

Analog computers were developed to aid in the direction of cannon fire and Barbelo ran into a rut where the digital electronics paradigm never occurred to them. Telephone and wireless radio were developed for more effective command and control of the battlefield. Eventually submarines preying on supply ships ultimately decided the war in favor of the Empire of Mastema.

Since Barbelo was a highly militarized society, there was little in the way of civilian applications driving the advance of technology. Barbelo never experienced a golden age of radio and television, nor did they ever construct a global computer network. The film industry of 20th Century Earth would have been considered a decadent waste of time. Human creativity on Barbelo tended to be expressed solely through printed literature and live performances. Science progressed solely as a spin-off of military research.

New weapons were developed to keep a second and far worse industrialized civil war from breaking out between the families. This process reached a pinnacle when nuclear technology was developed, as well as rockets capable of delivering them to any point on the planet. After that, there was no possibility of the Gerash patriarch (the human extension of the Eloah named Mastema) being unseated from the throne by a direct assault.

But this was a temporary victory at best. For the way had been cleared that led to Mastema’s ultimate doom as a living sun. It was now only a matter of time and a matter of who Mastema would take down with him. And so matters stood when the Academy at Canterwood in the land of Haaretz was established.

“You had a good mix going with that class, Rabbi,” young Edgar Shybear told Yeshua Bat-El after all the other children in the class had already been sent home. “So your over-reaction to the tree house thing has me puzzled.”

“And your willing participation in the tree house thing has me puzzled,” Yeshua replied. “You are an extraordinarily intelligent member of the B’nei Elohim. At Taurus City you had unfettered access to images in the Swarm. Certainly there can be nothing of basic human anatomy that remains a mystery to you.”

“You are absolutely correct, Rabbi, and yet the investigation was something undertaken by the whole class. Should I have absented myself and damaged our group dynamic?”

“Rather, you should have argued that the inquiry not proceed at all.”

“But why, Rabbi? I have never detected a Puritanical streak in you, despite what might have been retrojected upon you by your alleged followers on Earth.”

“There is a thing you don’t know about Hope,” Yeshua said, “a thing that not even Hope knows about herself, and it is important that she doesn’t learn that thing just yet. But no, I am not a Puritan. Your inquiry in the tree house would have been commendable under any other circumstances.”

“Can you tell me what this mysterious thing is that you withhold from Hope, Rabbi?”

“I cannot do so, but the fact that you still have not sorted it out tells me we might still be able to salvage something from the Hope project. Your mother will arrive soon to take you home to Taurus.”

“Actually, Rabbi, I have decided I will not go home,” Edgar declared.

“And why not?”

“Nothing less than self-preservation, Rabbi. When my father died Jill saved him with the Purple Cable. Jill essentially became my father. But now when I see Mike with Jill, or Chayn with Jill, or Mike with Chayn, or the three of them all together they just creep me out. All of their movements are coordinated. They finish each other’s sentences. I’ve thought about it and thought about it, and every time I do I come to the inescapable conclusion that my father’s personality is like the flu and he’s spreading to take over all the B’nei Elohim.”

“I completely understand,” said Yeshua. “And if you can accept it, Edgar, you were not the first to discern these problems. The Hope project is actually intended to address that very thing. But I see you are not convinced, so I will only ask, where will you go?”

“East, Rabbi. Up the Wall of God and beyond to the lands of House Larund at first. After that, it’s up for grabs.”

“But you do not know the secret way up the Wall, Edgar.”

“I’ll figure it out, Rabbi. Everyone tells me how clever I am.”

“Then I will not hinder you in any way. I would only ask that you would accept a new name from me, so that I can follow your subsequent career. I have no doubt you will have a very large impact on things going forward.”

“And you will say nothing to my mother when she arrives, Rabbi?”

“Robyn will know only that you are no longer to be found, and when she probes the future she will not mark the passage of a son named Edgar. But only if you accept a new name.”

“Then choose an new name for me, Rabbi, and I will accept it with gratitude.”

“Edgar Shybear, henceforth you are Ithuriel, which means Brilliant One of God. Go in peace with my blessing, but go quickly, for Robyn will soon arrive expecting you to return with her to Taurus.”

Personal tools
Strangers In Paradise