TC-Nyduly

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GFA: When Shy Bear reached air again there was much more light than the alcove at the source of the Squaw River. Many hands reached down offering to pull him from the water, as his ceremonial dress was soaked and weighted him down greatly. Two of the hands were those of Leliel.

GFB: Shy Bear saw that he was standing next to a large pool of water surrounded by a surface of polished planks of wood, and beyond this, a circle of small hut, Behind the huts was a lush forest. Shy Bear could see the sky through branches in these trees, and it was purple.

GFC: But it was also rather cool, and Shy Bear, being soaked, began to shudder with a chill. Leliel was just as wet as he. Sha took his hand and led him into one of the huts on the perimeter of the pool. Shutting the door, she disrobed both Shy Bear and harself.

GFD: This sha did one garment at a time, first his, then har own. Leliel opened the door once to pass through his ceremonial dress to waiting hands. Shy Bear saw that har legs were sculpted far more than he would expect a woman's legs to be. She was obviously a runner.

GFE: Yet as he let his eyes drink in the rest of har he saw that sha was also obviously female, even doubly so, and this surprised him: Sha had two organs of joining. Leliel in turn took in the sight of Jashen as sha thoroughly dried both harself and him with linens.

GFF: Sha held a ribbon with strange markings against Jashen's body, here and there, then opened the door to speak some words to those were waiting outside. There were dry clothes folded neatly inside the hut, specked with green and dark purple, which Leliel donned.

GFG: By the time sha was fully dressed, the servants outside passed another set of identical clothing through the door of the hut, but they were cut smaller, selected to fit Jashen perfectly. Taking mute encouragement from Leliel, he slipped into the new clothing.

GFH: And Shy Bear saw there was wisdom in the color and pattern of the clothing. With face and hands painted, a warrior would be almost invisible in the forest. He wondered if Leliel was a warrior. He wondered if the women in this strange place were accepted as warriors.

GFI: Shy Bear had seen powerful magic since he first saw Leliel, but outside the hut was the most powerful magic yet. A ball of broken timbers rose out of the pool and moved to hover over an empty part of the deck. It touched the ground gently and was allowed to collapse.

GFJ: Two persons approached the pile of wreckage. One was nearly as tall as Leliel, but Shy Bear could not tell if this person was male or female. A much shorter man spoke to the other, and this was the greatest magic of all: Shy Bear could understand his strange words.

GFK: The short man said, "Take great care, Anael. There is a man alive in this pile and he is injured." i

"Yes, Teacher," said the other. Then the short man touched a beam of wood. Anael lifted it from the pile and set it aside, though it looked to be very heavy.

GFL: Thus they did until the stack of wreckage was halved, and Shy Bear could see the injured fellow mentioned by the short man. He grunted with pain.

"Do not be afraid," the short man told him with compassion. "You have a large splinter of wood in your kidney."

GFM: All he could manage to say in reply was, "Hurts!"

The short man went on to say, "You also have a broken leg you cannot feel because a beam of wood is pinching. I can't help you until we lift the beam, but when we do you will most assuredly feel it."

GFN: The injured man could only manage to say, "Help!"

The short man told Anael to lift the beam. The injured man later said everything seemed to turn red when he did that. His face was frozen in astonishment at the pain, and he fainted from the overwhelming cascade of it.

GFO: When the good Samaritan had access to the man's injuries he removed the splinter from his back and closed the wound with merely a touch. With the same effortless ease he made Lange's leg, with a compound fracture, straight and whole again. And the pain was gone.

GFP: Then the unfortunate man was carefully bundled into a litter by Anael and Leliel, who bore him away. The healer turned to catch Shy Bear's gaze and smiled. Shy Bear couldn't explain it, but he had a deep feeling the man was even more important than his talents hinted.

GFQ: The man said to hym, "Welcome, Shy Bear. I am called Yeshua, and I am also called Teacher by some. You may call me Chief Yeshua, if you wish. Everything you see around you, even the sky, is the lodge of my father, who is known to your people as Wakan Tanka."

GFR: Shy Bear said, "Chief Yeshua, you speak strange words, yet somehow I know what they mean. How can this be?"

Yeshua replied, "It happened after you were pierced by the white egg. It has already changed your mind, and there are changes to your body which will come.

GFS: Now you can speak and understand many tongues, such as the tongue of the whites, which you heard me speak just now to the man who was healed. The changes to your body that can be seen will not be great. Perhaps even now you can feel a hard lump behind your head."

GFT: Shy Bear touched the back of his head to confirm this, and said, "I did not want to be changed in these ways, Chief Yeshua."

"It is a consequence of touching the Artifact. Those changes are not a matter of your choice. Yet you are free to choose to return to your People.

GFU: I would ask you to teach the Kuwapi the language of the whites that you now know."

Shy Bear said, "But they will grow afraid, and flog me, or try to put me to death, thinking I am Coyote come in a human shape."

Yeshua replied, "Do not fear those things, Shy Bear.

GFV: Your father Wanica will protect you. After you return he will become chief of the People."

"All of these things, Chief Yeshua, the changes to me, what is the purpose? Is there a purpose to them?"

Yeshua said "A group of whites will meet the People in three years.

GFW: I want them to live among you. My mother Chokhmah wants these white settlers and your people to live together in peace."

Shy Bear said, "You spoke of a choice, Chief Yeshua. What then will become of me if I do not return to my father and my mother and my people?"

GFX: Yeshua said, "If you do not return, Shy Bear, you may stay here for the rest of your life, and you will be treated well, but your parents and your people are very far away. If you do not choose to return to the lands of your birth they will never see you again."

GFY: Already Shy Bear had seen wondrous things beyond any of his dreams, and he longed to stay in that place and experience even more wonders, and here he stole a quick glance at Leliel. But his desire to see his father Wanica and mother Yuha again proved the greater.

GFZ: Hy said, "I will return, Chief Yeshua, and teach the People the tongue of the Whites as you bid."

"I am very pleased," said Yeshua with a smile. "No more shall you be called Shy Bear. Now you shall be called Jashen. When you go home Jashen shall be your name of manhood.

GGA: Yet do not think I will send you home very soon, Jashen. The angel you have met, named Leliel, has written many words upon a white scroll in the words of har tongue. I would have you copy these words in the tongue of the whites for the man you saw me heal today."

GGB: "Are there many words on this scroll, Chief Yeshua."

"A great number of them, Jashen. It will take perhaps ten or twelve moons to complete this task."

"But if I do not return home soon, Chief Yeshua my father mother will think me to be dead."

GGC: "Take no thought of that, Jashen," said Yeshua. "No matter how long you remain here, when you return to the land of your people it will seem to Wanica and Yuha that you have been gone for less than a single moon. One day you will know how this is not even magic."

GGD: "Such a thing would always be strong magic to me, Chief Yeshua."

"Others have been changed like you, some were Begotten, and some were Made. They call me Teacher. And when I teach, great magic becomes small, and small magic becomes a known thing, not even magic at all."

GGE: When Mark Lange become well enough to walk he was invited to meet Yeshua, who was seated near the pool where Jashen had emerged. Yeshua invited him to sit on one of the chairs arranged around a small table on the a deck of dark wood, and they were outdoors.

GGF: As Lange became comfortable Yeshua stared at him intently and aksed, "Mark Lange, whom say ye that I am?"

Lange recognized the question from scripture. "You are the Christ, the son of the living God." He stood up out of respect, but Yeshua waved for him to sit.

GGG: Yeshua said, "You do well to say so, and you are to be praised for correctly identifying me on so few cues. There was a Pope who foisted the face of his bastard son Cesare Borgia upon the faithful as me and ever since then most people look for a beard and long hair."

GGH: And white skin, thought Lange, but he dared not mention it. "Say what you will have me do, Lord Jesus."

"Yeshua, please. Not Jesus. The Greeks thought 'Yeshua' was too girly and made it Iesous. Much later the English thought Iesous was too girly and made it Jesus.

GGI: There is so much I could tell you, Mark, but perhaps it would be too hard to accept. You wouldn't believe it. Saulus, the fellow you call the apostle Paul, was sitting right here after I picked him up from the Damascus road and not even he could take it all in."

GGJ: "If my Lord is willing," said Lange, "I will try to understand."

"Very good, Mark," said Yeshua. "You spoke truth in your prayer when you said understood I wanted your flock to go west. I have a specific place in mind. Please examine the map that lies before you."

GGK: Lange followed Yeshua's finger as he traced out a line west down the Ohio River to streams far in the west. The map was made as one might expect one to be made in heaven, with no political boundaries, only rivers and mountains. Yeshua's finger stopped at one mountain.

GGL: Lange saw that the feature was marked with words he could read: Green Dome. Yeshua said, "I would that you traveled to this place, Mark. You and your wife and all others from your new congregation who would freely choose to go with you." But Lange seemed puzzled.

GGM: "Then, am I to go back into the world, Lord? I thought I was dead."

Yeshua smiled. "No, Mark, you are not yet dead. But you will be returned precisely to where, and even precisely when, you were taken on the last day of the largest battle in the American Civil War.

GGN: When I send you home, take care you do not linger so close to the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge, nigh to what remains of your church, or you might be right back here, but to stay. You will take with you this map and a codex, a book that is being written for you.

GGO: When you first came here and were injured you did not notice that a young man witnessed your healing. His name is Jashen and he was brought here from the mountain labeled Green Dome on this map. I have given him a...talent. He can now understand many languages.

GGP: He, too, will be returned to his home near this mountain, where he will prepare his people to receive yours. And there is an errand he is doing for me. He is translating the whole history of heaven into a book, in English, that you will bring with you.

GGR: I caution you, Mark, that this book will contradict the Bible on very many points. You will find it hard to accept, even after being brought here. Those who remain in your small flock will find it even more difficult to accept but I will send signs to strengthen them."

GGS: "How did this come to be, Lord?" asked Lange. "That the very word of God is not to be trusted?"

Yeshua smiled with compassion and said, "There are few places in the Bible that record the words of God. I will not say there are none. But it is mostly words of men.

GGT: One book describes the conversion of Saulus three different times and each description differs from the others, because it was written thirty-five years after the event by someone who never even met the man. The only trustworthy description was by Saulus himself.

GGU: But you know all these things already, do you not, Mark? If you were not entirely immersed in scripture you would not have been accepted by your people to lead them. I never told my followers to make their own pale imitation of the Torah. They went astray at once.

GGV: Yes, this new book, perhaps, Mark, you will call it the Book of Green Dome, contradicts the Bible, but not nearly as much as the Bible contradicts itself. In days to come I will tell you how much history was shaped by the fools' errand of trying to harmonize it.

GGW: Yet you will recall the Bible in many places records the promise that I will return to Earth again, and this at least will hold true. Mark Lange, I cast you in the role of the Baptizer, who prepared the way, though he himself did not live to see it come to pass."

GGX: The translation of the White Scroll was not a task that Jashen could do alone. Yeshua had chosen not to give Jashen the ability to read the marks Leliel had made corresponding to the tongue of the Adanites in the time of the war in heaven. This was by design.

GGY: Yeshua told Leliel in secret that he thought to put har and Jashen in close proximity to one another and let nature take its course. But sha had already recited the White Scroll to him up to the death of har mother and Jashen had shown not the slightest in har.

GGZ: When he translated the passage of the refugees trodding west from Rumbek he asked, as though in unbelief, "Were you really this running girl?"

Sha told him to fetch his bow in one hand, took his other hand, and led him through the woods to a large flat clearing.

GHA: The place served as a kind of parade ground in Nyduly. Leliel stood twenty paces from Jashen. "Fire an arrow at me," sha said, and when Jashen howled in dismay that sha was wasting his time she said, "I'm serious. Do your very best to try to kill me."

GHB: He released the dart. Leliel's muscles seemed to explode into motion. Sha ran backwards across the grass of the clearing faster than the arrow could follow. It fell at har feet, and she turned and disappeared into the wall of trees at the far side of the open space.

GHC: In short order Leliel came to Yeshua by woodland paths well-known to har. He was alone, and when he saw Leliel he made a gesture of welcome and bade har to sit.

Sha said, "Teacher, this man, Jashen, is he really the one for me? I see no sign of it."

GHD: He said, "What are your feelings on the matter, Leliel? Do you find Jashen pleasing to your eye?"

"He is a vision to drink in," she replied. "I could imagine spending more than a lifetime with him. Yet I do not think he feels the same way about me."

GHE: Yeshua replied, "Try to imagine how Jashen feels. It's like he's swimming in water over his head. He's felt that way ever since he jumped in after you at Green Dome. I've given him a new name to acknowledge his manhood, but he lacks the full confidence of a man.

GHF: Jashen was whisked from the land he knows to this place, which is surpassingly strange to him, just as I imagine Earth would seem alien to you. He has been given abilities he never dreamed of, but they are used in a task I ordered, not one that he set for himself.

GHG: : But soon he will reach the place in the White Scroll where it was given into the hands of the Laelites who were brought here from downfallen Judah. You cannot read their writings, but Jashen can. When he gets there ask him to read these things aloud to you.

GHH: He will read in the White Scroll accounts of other B'nei Elohim who were sent to aid the Laelites in Haaretz. None of these emissaries really spoke their tongue, they merely echoed the sounds that I passed to them with no understanding of what the sounds meant.

GHI: Jashen will begin to see the agency enjoyed by a b'nei eloah who truly can understand many tongues. Such a one could impose his own meaning on what the other party is saying, and even impose something of his own will on anything to be passed along to them in response.

GHJ: Later he will see the words and deeds of his future self written in the scroll, and then he will grow interested indeed, and commit these things to memory, to see if he can change them when it is time to replay the event, but of course such a time will never come."

GHK: "I wish I could see my mother again," Leliel said. "Take heart, child. Things are rushing to the point where my parent will bring her back again, although as a human woman, not as an angel. But she will rejoice to see again you as well, and regret the missing years.

GHL: And perhaps Jashen will come to you now, as he did on the other path. Your own son and your grandchildren make appearances in the White Scroll. But I cannot say of a certainty that he will come to love you on this path. You always have the freedom to act as you will.

GHM: "But Teacher, what if Jashen seeks to impose his will even in this small thing? Knowing the name of his child from the White Scroll, what if he gives then hem another name? Will there not be two B'nei Elohim who are the same in being, but with different names?"

GHN: Yeshua said, "I cannot be certain, but he will most likely follow the tradition of his people and name his child after an animal. If he does, then in years to come I myself will give Gabriel hez right name, just as I recently gave Shy Bear the name of Jashen."

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