Friday, March 09, 2012


SOL OCCAXUS (Sunset) Monday, 19 September, 2011

CREPUSCULUM (Evening Twilight)

I. Friday, 23 September, 2011
II. Thursday, 29 September, 2011
III. Thursday, 29 September, 2011
IV. Sunday, 16 October, 2011

VESPER (Evening Dusk)

I. Sunday, 23 October, 2011
II. Sunday, 30 October, 2011
III. Wednesday, 9 November, 2011
IV. Monday, 14 November, 2011
V. Monday, 14 November, 2011

CONCUBIUM (First Sleep – Coitus – Rest)

I. Thursday, 17 November 2011
II. Sunday, 20 November, 2011
III. Friday, 25 November, 2011
IV. Thursday, 1 December, 2011
V. Thursday, 1 December, 2011
VI. Thursday, 8 December, 2011
VII. Sunday, 11 December, 2011


I. Sunday, 1 January, 2012
II. Thursday, 5 January, 2012
III. Saturday, 7 January, 2012
IV. Monday, 16 January, 2012
V. Sunday, 29 January, 2012
VI. Sunday, 29 January, 2012
VII. Friday, 3 February, 2012
VIII. Friday, 3 February, 2012


I. Sunday, 12 February, 2012
II. Saturday, 18 February, 2012
III. Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

MATUTINUM (Dawn Goddess)

I. Monday, 27 February, 2012
II. Sunday, 4 March, 2012
III. Sunday, 4 March, 2012
IV. Friday, 9 March, 2012

DILUCULUM (Dawn Twilight)

SOLI ORTUS (Sunrise)



Charles Alexander warmly greeted the new arrivals to the house once the front door was closed, kissing the Afghan in an Arab fashion before shaking Sancho’s hand. Isabella said nothing and pulled away to one side. Sancho seemed upset at her coolness. “What’s wrong, Isabella?” he asked.
“You did it, Sancho. Didn’t you?” Isabella accused, as she glared at him.
The erstwhile waiter looked down at the small case he carried and then at Isabella. “Yes, my sister. It was my duty. I do not fail,” he growled, his eyes defiant and scathing of her question.
“You bastard. Alonzo was no threat to us,” Isabella spat out as she moved forward to slap Sancho’s face.
“Enough!” Alexander instructed as he grabbed her wrist and pulled it down. “The decision to kill Aldahrze was mine. He was a threat. It is done, Isabella.” Alexander tried to place his hand around her waist but she recoiled away. He ignored her and walked down a short flight of stairs to a closed door. He stopped, looked back at her and without smiling said, “We have much to do. Come on.”
“Ok,” Isabella reluctantly agreed as she continued to glare at Sancho.
Alexander pushed open the door and the others followed him into a large lounge area. The room was spacious with three walls formed by sliding glass panels. A light breeze wafted through the room but it was not enough to ruffle the heavy drapes that screened out the valley beyond. To one side was a small counter bar with bottles of every hue neatly stacked and behind the bar a tall shaven-headed girl waited. She smiled as Alexander walked in and shifted a shoulder-strapped Uzi from her side to the small of her back. There was little furniture in the room apart from a low glass-topped table that displayed a collection of coins within its double layers. Surrounding the table were a series of white leather covered sofa chairs with Moroccan pillows. In the furthest chair a flustered, bald and heavyset man was perched on the edge. Behind him, Zoë hovered. She looked to the ceiling, and as Alexander approached, shook her head slightly.
“Alexander. I’m tired of all this. I want to leave. Now!” The heavy Israeli tried to be as forceful as he could but did not convince. Large sweat stains spread out from his armpits.
“I will tell you when you can leave, you obnoxious pervert,” Alexander rasped, as he disdainfully pointed to chairs for his other guests to take.
“That’s it. I am leaving,” Hertzog said and made an effort to get off the chair. He was half-erect when Zoë slammed the palm of her hand into the base of his neck causing him to drop back to the seat like a stone.
“That’s better, you Judas goat,” Alexander gloated. “Now, tell me what I need to know about the cocaine virus that Mara has developed. I need the genetic sequence and I do not have much time.”
“I’m a horticulturist. I run the trials not the development. I do not –” His words were cut off by another blow from Zoë. Before he could recover from this she began pressing her two thumbs into his eye-sockets.
“Hertzog. I advise you to tell me everything you know, right now! I do not have any time for games and Zoë there, has even less tolerance. Have you got access to the genetic sequence information?” Alexander demanded.
“No. I don’t. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………” Hertzog screamed, as Zoë dug deep with her thumb and half-gouged his left eyeball from its socket. Clear fluid squirted across the room. “I don’t. I don’t! Please stop,” he screamed again.
“Then you should not have pretended that you had. 40 pieces of silver is a real bad bargain. Take him away.”
The tall shaven-headed girl moved from behind the bar and along with Zoë pulled the still screaming Israeli to his feet. When he resisted, she drove the butt of her gun deep into his groin. He collapsed and it was only with great effort that she and Zoë managed to drag him out of the room. Alexander watched the scene, silently. Both al-Sa’igh and Sancho shook their heads, admiringly.
“I think he might have given us more information if we had given him more time,” Isabella said coolly.
Alexander smiled at her. “No Solis. I’ve had him checked him out. Our friend, Hertzog has an ego and a free-spending teenage mistress. He thought he could pull a deal on us. He knows nothing of the virus structure and the samples he brought will have to be analysed. That much was worth it, I suppose.”
“Why torture him? Was that necessary?” Isabella stood up and walked towards the bar. She glared at Sancho who had put a finger to his lips in warning.
“It’s irrelevant, Isabella. He is a dead man and death will be a release. The torture will have convinced him of that. Hertzog will die with a sense of escape, a sense of freedom. In comparison to the perils of living he is moving to paradise. What more could one do for another human being?”
Isabella shuddered slightly at the adamant and brutal sincerity of Alexander’s logic. The death of any one man or woman did not bother her if it was necessary. She often had to be the instrument of that death but took no pleasure in it. Alexander, on the other hand, seemed to relish it and, as if reading her thoughts, smiled knowingly at her again before turning to walk towards a Hockney painting that dominated one wall of the room. The frame of the picture swung back on its hinges to reveal a wall safe. Alexander dialled in a combination and after releasing the door bolt leant into the safe. He retrieved a small but thick case made of fireproof titanium. Almost reverentially he carried this with some effort across to the low table. Taking a seat opposite al-Sa’igh and Sancho he let it down carefully and opened its lid. Both men simultaneously let out a gasp as they looked at the contents. Carved into a solid gold base were seven wide grooves. At the head of each of the grooves was a small circular well. Two of these wells were filled with hardened wax and the three men could easily make out the impressions made by the small button-shaped seals of bright blue lapis lazuli, which rested in the corresponding grooves. Alexander touched each of them in turn. “The seals of Abrape and Nergimmel. Two of the seven Voices! They are now to be joined in their place of repose by others. Sancho please!”
Sancho retrieved the small case he had brought. Opening it he removed a bulky silk-wrapped bundle and handed it to Alexander. They all watched as he laid this down on the table and opened out the material carefully. At last the hourglass was uncovered and as it rolled slightly on its axis they could see in its lid, the timekeeper’s seal: Ayatau.
“I will get a jeweller to retrieve the stone later,” Alexander said sounding disappointed. “Al-Sa’igh and Isabella. Show me yours please.”
The leader of the Kabul goldsmiths Al-Sa’igh retrieved, from a deep pocket in his jacket, the ornate dagger with the Voice Syrbeth embedded in its hilt while Isabella lifted Nefradaleth from around her neck. They then, almost reverentially, laid these down on the table close to the hourglass. Alexander waited for a moment but then pulled a stick of golden beeswax from a grove in the lid. Lighting a match he dripped the melting liquid into the wells until they filled. “I’ll wait until they harden somewhat and will then take an impression.”
“Why the impressions, Charles?” Isabella asked.
“It is the combination of the ideograms of each of the seals that controls the power of the Voices, not the actual stones. Once I . . . once we have all seven then the formula of the original Covenant will be revealed. Older than the Ark, this Covenant creates its own power, its own Destiny. That Destiny is the greater journey that you and I are embarked upon. I need the message not the messengers. Previous gatherers failed to understand this. Only two more and the Gathering is complete. Saclaresh in a very strange coincidental way, Isabella informs me, is to become Michael Mara’s responsibility, and the Hidden Voice, whose name I know not but whose whereabouts is irrelevant. ”
“What do you mean ‘irrelevant’, Charles?” Isabella watched as Alexander took an impression of Nefradaleth and replaced the seal and the wax well in their grooves. She already regretted the ease in which she had allowed him the opportunity to take the impression and was annoyed at herself for not anticipating his intentions. She had always believed that it was the stone that was the talisman, that it had the philosopher’s power, but now realized, with sudden blinding clarity, that Alexander was right. The ideology was the important legacy not the stones.
Alexander must have read her thoughts and he glared over at her. “With five Voices gathered, and the sixth close by, the last, the Hidden one can no longer remain hidden. By tradition it is obliged to reveal itself and when that happens I will be waiting. I just need to get Mara and Saclaresh. Where is he, I wonder?”

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