Wednesday, May 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
V. Friday, 16 March, 2012
VI. Friday, 16 March, 2012
VII. Friday, 16 March, 2012
VIII. Friday, 16 March, 2012
IX. Wednesday, 21 March, 2012
X. Wednesday, 21 March, 2012
XI. Wednesday, 21 March, 2012
XII. Friday, 23 March, 2012
XIII. Friday, 23 March, 2012
XIV. Friday, 23 March, 2012

DILUCULUM (Dawn Twilight)

I. Monday, 16 April, 2012
II. Monday, 23 April, 2012
III. Friday,, 27 April, 2012
IV. Wednesday, 2 May, 2012
V.  Wednesday, 9 May, 2012

SOLI ORTUS (Sunrise)




As Michael Mara looked out the starboard side window, the beaten and battered landscape of the Iberian Caucasus slipped away to the southwest some 30,000 feet below him. He thought of the western expansion of the Indo-European peoples that had poured through the same gap from the steppes to populate and change forever the Anatolian and Iranian plateaux and how Alonzo and he had talked about the intensely immediate nature of mankind and how it made for a secular determination to survive chaos. Everything that had happened to him (Was it only a week, he wondered?) had happened so fast that chaos had replaced the ordered world in which he lived. He’d always imagined that even chaos would have a certain sensation but he felt nothing. His chaos was a vacuum. Had Alonzo been a figure of that imagination, he pondered? His recollection of their meetings, and what they had discussed, was already blurred. He remembered him in death more than in life. Were Alonzo’s mystical insights into a hidden underworld of knowledge and freedom, merely anticipated responses to his own needs and to his confusion?
Suddenly Michael started crying. He thought of Caroline and the absolute waste of her death and ‘that’ bastard Rod Mallory, who was responsible for it. Could it really be possible that she lay dead, distant, alone and cold, in a racked fridge on a different continent? He’d wept but not mourned for her in any meaningful way, as he did not want to accept the brutal reality of her death. In his mind’s hope Max would arrive and inspect the corpse with solemn attention, and the body shown would be that of somebody else. Another person’s loss and pain! Not his. A memory from Michael’s medical school days intruded: of the first, almost bloodless, crescent-shaped scalpel-cut to the back of the head and the peeling forward of the skin, like a hairy orange, to uncover the bare bone. Poor Caroline! She would be laid out on the cold steel platform, with constantly running water to shift the detritus of death. He should be there, he thought and clenched his still throbbing hand. He would stand by her in death. A useless gesture no doubt, he realised, a guilt-laden sentinel duty to past dreams and hopes. And what of Isabella? Was she also really dead? Isabella, who was so in love with the challenge of life and the discipline of death! Had she shown him another way, another possible avenue to find peace? He’d been captivated by her; having had never before sensed someone’s soul with such physical presence. He’d not yet found her way, but had taken the first steps. Could he now retreat? What would she say? What would she think of his moral cowardice? Would she really care? Michael needed her to care and wondered that if she was truly dead, like Caroline, had it freed him from moral obligation? His heart ached at the loss of opportunity to find out. The window steamed up with his short and laboured breaths. Isabella’s image flashed before him, it was out of focus.
“Excuse me, Michael. May I join you?”
 The familiar and unexpected voice startled him. He turned away from the window to see his agent minder Dave, last seen slumped comatose on a chair in Heathrow, hovering over the vacant seat next to his. Michael automatically pressed back against his seat with the embarrassed defensive guilt he suddenly felt. “What?” he garbled.
“I asked whether I could join you, Michael. We have things to discuss,” the agent said matter-of-factly.
Dave’s voice was calm and pleasant. To those nearby it must have appeared like a previously arranged and convenient opportunity to talk. Michael looked around; nobody appeared to be taking any notice. “Sure . . . sure . . . Sit down, Dave. Jesus! How on earth did you . . . Did you follow me from London?” he asked, still flustered.
“Hard work really. I eventually tracked your itinerary and just arrived on the incoming flight of this plane this morning. I was in the airport waiting for a car from the Embassy when I spotted you getting out of a taxi. It took some significant bribery to re-board almost immediately. A very brief visit to Armenia I must say, for both of us.”
“Yes. I’m stunned though.”
“What happened to your hand, Michael?” Dave stared down at the coarse bandage.
“A burn. Stupid accident really.”
“Did you find what you were looking for?”
“What do you mean, Dave?” Michael was very guarded. His hand throbbed furiously.
“Don’t bite my head off, Michael! To go to the lengths you did to give me the slip in Heathrow, you must have come to Armenia for a purpose. Did you find what you were looking for?”
“No, even though it’s none of your business, Dave, it was a wasted journey. I lost . . . I didn’t find what I was looking for.”
“That’s a shame.”
The agent sounded genuine but Michael became angry. “Why would you, or Bob Arnold, give a shit about something that has no bearing on your responsibilities?”
“Who said anything about General Arnold?” Dave said dismissively.
“But –”
“Arnold doesn’t know I am here Michael. At the moment he thinks that I lost you in London somewhere. He’s having nightmares about losing you to the Dark Side.”
“The Dark Side?”
“Don’t let your imagination run wild, Michael. I’m talking about Arnold’s enemies, the drug barons.”
“Oh! I see. How will you explain finding me in Armenia so?”
“He’ll never know. This is none of his concern.” Dave stared at him with intense eyes.
“What are you up to, Dave? I don’t understand,” Michael asked, confused.
“It is my job to ensure that the gathering is prevented.”
“The gathering. How could you possibly know about that?” Michael asked loudly, suddenly very agitated.
A stewardess stopped in her tracks and stared down at them. “Are you all right, Sir?”
“Yes. Sorry . . . I’m fine. Thank you,” Michael said through gritted teeth.
“You’re very edgy, Michael. Calm down,” the agent said calmly.
“What do you know of the gathering, Dave?”
“How? I don’t understand.”
“I am one of the Keepers of the Truth, as Alonzo was. It was to me that he came on the night of your first visit to his home. He knew that you were to be a guardian but he also realised that you were in danger. He needed my help.”
“Who are the Keepers of the Truth?” Michael asked, uncertain whether to believe or not.
“We are of the people,” Dave explained. “There are about thirty of us spread throughout the world. We carry the legacy of an ideal world in our hearts. We protect the providence.”
“But Alonzo said that there are only seven seals, seven guardians.”
“We are distinct from the guardians, although at times some individuals, like Alonzo may be both.”
“I don’t understand.”
“The guardians of the seals have the potential for both good and evil. It is the nature of the covenant. The Keepers are the observers, the recorders of the Truth as it transpires. We can do little to influence the legacy except protect the need for its continuance.”
“Without judgement of the consequences?”
“Without judgement!”
“But when you see evil surely there is a responsibility to intervene.”
“No! Not really! Both good and evil are as necessary as say . . .eh . . . sperm and eggs, to the nature of mankind.”
“What of human cloning? What of the new genetics? My work? No sperm required. That defeats your maxim of necessity?” By then Michael had become irritated with both Dave’s passive observance and his smug indifference.
The agent smiled. “Cloning, in genetic or human terms, poses no concerns. It is just imitation and throughout history imitation has had an initial but ultimately limited appeal. In adding nothing it changes nothing. The fabric of society is constantly evolving and cloning will, even in its wildest re-creationist aspirations, not stop that. It is an utopian indulgence and therefore inherently limiting and self-destructive.”
“But surely the whole objective of the seals’ legacy is to portray a utopian ideal.”
“No. Not at all! You must understand Michael that the ordained legacy of the Voices, the Truth, is an understanding of the necessity for change. They are a record of the primary covenant which acknowledges mankind’s right to determine its own destiny free from constraint, prescription, or guidance from the first authority.”
“Even if that right invokes an evil advocacy, like Alexander’s.”
“Alexander is . . . was, also one of the Keepers of the Truth.”
“Most of the attempted gatherings throughout history were undertaken by individuals who were Keepers. When you think about it, it’s not that illogical. A Keeper would know of the history and legacy of the seals and all of their possible locations.”
“But why would they do it and want to end the legacy?”
“Each of us interprets the world as we see fit. The gatherers are seduced by the notion, as Alexander undoubtedly was, that their time was to be the end of time, when the full truth could be revealed.”
“Yes. Messiahs are a peculiar and recurrent expression of human nature and its interaction with time. I have no doubt they will soon find a gene to predict its occurrence.”

Michael turned away from the agent, looked out the window again and said nothing for a considerable while. Far below the sunlight caught the crests of wind-rippled waves of a mountain lake like a dance of frenzied fireflies on a blue-green waterbed. Our lives, he thought, his, Caroline’s, Alonzo’s, Isabella’s, Alexander’s and even that of the double-crossing bastard Mallory, were like the briefly-lived fluorescent nights of those carefree mating fireflies. Too soon, like exhausted and sated glitterati, we’d all fall spent into pitch-dark waters of annihilation. “Will it all end, Dave?” Michael said as he continued to look out the window.
“What, Michael?”
“With the gathering.” He turned back to watch the agent’s reaction. “Will it all actually end? The pain, the suffering, the ecstasy of life?”
“I don’t know Michael but . . . It is not yet the time to find out.”
“What do you mean?”
“We are just entering the third, and final, three thousand year cycle of our development, of the duration of the covenant. The gathering cannot take place until that has elapsed. That is the responsibility of the Keepers of the Truth.”
“And the guardians of the Voices. What now? What will become of those that Alexander had access to.”
“That is a difficult determination. We don’t know where they are. What happened, by the way, to Saclaresh?”
“You really did know all along!”
“Yep.” Dave nodded without any obvious sign of satisfaction. “What happened?”

Michael told Dave of what had transpired in the monastery, of the encounter with the three white-robed Zoroastrians and how, when disturbed by the returning Stephen, the chief priest had dropped Saclaresh into the ceremonial fire. He was about to tell him about the recovery of the seal, and the burning of his hand, when another thought suddenly bothered him. “How was I chosen, Dave . . . To be a guardian?” he asked.
“Even I’m not fully sure of that, Michael. All I can say to you is that your invitation to Granada wasn’t an accident.”
“What do you mean?”
“Alvorro Martinez!”
“The Professor of Pharmacology in Granada?”
“Yes! He is Alonzo Aldahrze’s son. He took his mother’s maiden name.”
“He was also Isabella’s supervisor.”
“Yes. It was Martinez who, at Alonzo’s request, pointed you out to her.”
“I knew it! I fucking knew it. I said it to Bob.”
“What Michael? What did you say to Arnold?” Dave suddenly looked a little worried.
“I told him it was all a game.”
“Oh! I see! Ha! Ha! Bob Arnold, even on a lucid day, would never understand what you were getting at.”
“What do you mean, Dave?”
“Its not the game that you keep imagining you have been duped into Michael. It is far more important than that. You are involved in time’s game. It is older, of greater consequence and far more real than any conceived by bored millionaires. This is the only game; it is the living of the Truth. My responsibility, and that of the other Keepers is to ensure that it continues. Time is the necessary limit to the imagination of man and timelessness will remove those limits. Without limits mankind will self-destruct. That is what Alexander wanted.”
“I’m sorry.” Michael said.
Dave shrugged his shoulders. “For what Michael? Losing Saclaresh? Your destiny was to witness its destruction. That has determined that a gathering of the Voices can never now take place. Perhaps we should be grateful. Maybe over the next three thousand years it’s meant to be that each Voice will be destroyed in turn, until there is none left. No legacy, no memory, no false hope. Time to start again, a new covenant. A new cycle.”
“And me, Dave. What is left for me?”
The tannoy intruded, “Ladies and Gentlemen. We are beginning our descent into Heathrow. Please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts. We should be on the ground in fifteen minutes.”
“Michael. Are you sure Saclaresh was destroyed?” Dave asked.
“What?” Michael felt Dave’s eyes boring into his. “Yes . . .Yes, of course. Eh . . .lapis lazuli turns white and shatters in contact with heat. It’s quite a fragile gemstone. I’m assuming that . . . Why do you ask, Dave?”
“I need to be certain. You are telling –”
“Sorry Dave. Could you excuse me for a moment? I have to go to the toilet. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
“Sure, Michael. Sure!” Dave said as he stood up and stepped into the aisle.
 The curtains between the executive seating section and steerage had been drawn back for landing. The agent looked back anxiously towards the rear of the cabin. “What’s up? You seem distracted.” Michael asked as he tried to squeeze past him.
“What? Oh sorry, Michael.” Dave moved aside a little. “I thought I saw someone I recognised.”
“Who? Where?” Michael had half-turned to look towards the back of the plane when he found himself suddenly falling forwards. Dave’s hand reached out to stop him but he couldn’t prevent Michael’s shoulder banging off a seat restraint as he stumbled to his knees.
The agent leant down and helped him up. “I’m so sorry, buddy. I didn’t mean to trip you. My big feet have always been a danger. Are you all right?”
“Yes. No problem.” Michael said as he gingerly rubbed the back of his shoulder and moved towards the toilet door.
“You will have to be quick, Sir. We have started our descent,” a stewardess admonished as she busied herself stowing away the last of the emptied glasses.
“Right.” Michael smiled at her as he closed the door behind him.

A few minutes later Michael Mara exited the cubicle with difficulty. His legs felt weak and a wave of nausea swept up from his throat to his forehead. “Where are you, Dave?” he wondered aloud before he realised that the agent must have returned to his own seat. He was relieved in a way, as he flopped heavily into the seat that Dave had occupied. The passenger in front of him turned and glared back; annoyed that his head had been sprung forward after Michael had released his steadying hold on the headrest. Michael tried to apologise, but the words wouldn’t come. He had difficulty with the seat belt and with his breathing.