Chapter 1 Creation
Raw energy exploded through the large room as fifty bolts of lightning ripped through the ceiling, piercing each torso with their own slice of electricity. The chests of the unconscious rose in sync as if tethered together by a marionette string. The lightning quickly blinked out, and the bodies crashed back to their tables.
A perfect quiet enveloped the spacious room.
As the smell of ozone wafted through the chamber, fifty bodies began to stir.
The group was extraordinarily unique. All measured between seven and eight feet tall with no visible body fat. Chiseled was the word, right out of a block of granite.
Even while lying prone, all gave the impression of being capable of tremendous physical feats. They appeared to be relatively young, in their late teens or early twenties with flawless skin, all male.
Being created and coming to full consciousness takes time. Slowly, one by one, chests began to rise and fall. A slight movement in the inert arms and legs. Eyes gradually opened. Some closed quickly, not ready for the incoming information. Processing such would take tremendous energy.
One of the creatures smiled as if lingering on a memory. He was visibly smaller than the others, just reaching seven feet tall. But what he lacked in height, he made up in muscle. He wore a blonde crew cut with piercing sky-blue eyes. He was handsome, but what made him more attractive was his demeanor. Very unassuming, non-threatening.
This is nice, he thought.
He didn’t know how he knew what the word nice meant or even why he thought it was nice.
There was something in the sweet aroma he couldn’t quite put his finger on. There was a sense of wholesomeness, newness in the air. It pleased him.
This was Adlay.
His mind instantly stopped thinking about the smell when he came to the realization, he was flat on his back. Wait, what? He squinted at one of the bright lights hanging down from the ceiling. What is happening? His eyes sorted every bit of information, the rods and cones laboring for their first time. After what seemed like forever, his eyes opened fully. Bright, bright, bright…ahh, that’s better. Adlay sucked in his first full breath and looked up at the white ceiling. What is this place? How do I know that the color of the ceiling is white?
Adlay slowly, carefully, lifted his head. He glanced down at his body and smiled. Seeing his arms and legs move at will was fascinating. Wow! He wiggled his long fingers and toes for the first time, somehow knowing they were affixed to appendages called hands and feet.
He touched his shirt. Smooth. He ran his fingers through his hair. Short. He ran his hand slowly down his face, feeling his eyes, nose, and mouth. A big grin grew on his handsome face.
He painstakingly continued to look at the ceiling. He wanted to say something.
“Hello,” he croaked.
“Hello,” he repeated with a much clearer voice. That was better.
He gazed sleepily at the room. It was the size of a beautiful ballroom, big and airy. But empty. Only the gray metal tables formed a perfect circle in the middle of the room. The floor was made from a smooth, thick, gray marble. The windows lined the room with perfect white stained glass. Wow! This place is clean! Wait, what’s clean mean?
Adlay stood there, confused. This was not making sense. Where was he? What was happening?
Gradually, a feeling began to gnaw at the back of his head. He felt a measure of sadness, a deep longing. He wasn’t quite sure what it was or where it came from.
He looked slowly to his left and was surprised to see others on their own table. Who are they? He nodded half-heartedly to the guy on the table to the left. He looked as lost as Adlay felt, stiffly sitting up, throwing his left long leg over the table. Poor guy. Adlay glanced to his right. At the next table, another was rolling off his table, attempting to stand. He decided that was too strenuous and scratched his head instead.
Everybody moved unhurriedly, experimenting with their new bodies.
The others were gradually coming around to their own kind of understanding. A few were already off their tables. Some were stretching, some propped on their elbows, taking it all in. Eventually, they rubbed their faces, looking down at their bodies as Adlay had, trying to make sense of what just happened. They all wore white cotton-like shorts and t-shirts.
That feeling of sadness went away as Adlay looked at everyone.
He knew what the sad feeling was. Loneliness. Why would I feel that?
“Excuse me, excuse me.”
A tall, light blue, glowing cloud-like life form took shape in the middle of the room. It hovered there, slowly spinning as if looking at everybody, though it did not have any eyes. It was close to three feet tall but had no discernible shape. I can see through it! thought Adlay. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at the smoky, blue creature with no face.
Adlay slipped off his table. What is this?
“I’m so sorry, I know this has to be confusing, but that couldn’t be helped,” the smoke quipped in an aristocratic English accent. He paused and turned, seemingly looking around the room. “My name is Thalzn. I am what we call a Spirit, and I will be your host for a brief period.”
Where is his mouth?
The apparition paused, waiting for some sort of feedback. None came.
“Yes, well,” Thalzn finally said, “You, my friends, are what we call new creations. Your job will ultimately be one of Protector or Guardian. For a little while, you will be students. You don’t know what that means yet, but you will. Believe me; it is quite an honor you have. Not quite as honorable as what I do, but not much is!” Thalzn bragged. Nobody looked like they cared, but Thalzn wasn’t put off in the slightest. He continued, “Look around you and be proud. You are the first fifty of your kind ever created.”
Adlay felt a warm, extremely pleasing sensation roll through his body and settle in his heart. A feeling, a sense of camaraderie. That was the word. Why? He looked around the room. Because these people were just like him.
Adlay peered at the glowing spirit again, then around the room as the others were doing the same. This doesn’t seem so bad. I’m one of the first. But of wh…
“I expect you have many questions, as would I, but it is not my place to answer them, and I really don’t have the time. We are tremendously busy. Michael will escort you from here in a few minutes. He will give you all the answers to your questions, I’m sure. I am only here to give you a quick overview of what is happening right now, okay?” Okay.
“Know that you are in a place of infinite joy and happiness. Or at least we will be once we start getting customers. For now, we are still “under construction.” This will be a bit confusing, but I promise, soon, you will begin to feel better, and your thoughts will be clearer the longer you are here. You have been created for many reasons, most of which I will let Michael tell you, but I will say that you will be very much needed, from the little I know. I apologize again; I don’t know what any of that means, I was just told to say it.”
A rumble of murmur came from the Angels. Not helping, Thalzn.
“I know, I know,” Thalzn quipped. “It’s all very bewildering, I’m sure. Okay, first, the good news, this is important. Your minds are very advanced. It is important you realize and remember that. I cannot overstate this. Each of you has been given an immense amount of knowledge during your creation. Languages, math, words, motor functions have all been given to you. Some of you were given more than others. Some were given more in certain areas than others. Don’t be surprised when a random bit of knowledge on how to do something, a word, or an image pops into your head. You will need this information to help the people you will be protecting as they start living in their own world. Understand this, you have been endowed with knowledge that is typically gained by living an entire lifetime on a place called Earth. Some of it, God has given to you for your own journey. Your experiences will already be in your mind, so you don’t have to actually live it. This process will save you years. If you were wondering just how you know what you know; well, now you know.”
The room filled with laughter. Since they had never laughed before, they looked at each other quizzically. What was that?
Thalzn, pleased with himself, continued, “I don’t know why you were given certain attributes and not given others, but needless to say, there is a reason for everything.”
Adlay could feel the anticipation in the room. The other guys looked like they felt the same way. Everyone glanced to their left and right, smiling the whole way. It felt like this was the start of something. Something big.
Thalzn stated, “Alright, why don’t you take a few minutes and get yourselves together. Talk with your fellow creations. Feel what it’s like to be alive.” He disappeared in a POOF of smoke.
Little groups started to form. Adlay looked back to the guy on his left and took a step over to his table. “Hey, I’m Adlay.”
The big guy smiled, “Josh.” He was huge, close to eight feet tall, sporting brawny shoulders and arms. He had long brown hair and intense brown eyes. He leaned against the metal table; his arms crossing his massive chest. He also had a very big mole on his right cheek.
“I’m Alston,” said a voice from behind Adlay. He turned and saw a being next to him draw near the table. He was stunning, seven and a half feet tall with bright white hair and violent blue eyes. Alston couldn’t stop moving. He was shaking his legs, stretching his arms “You guys okay?” he continued.
Adlay shrugged and replied, “As much as I can be. Hey, did you guys notice that ozone smell when you woke up?”
Alston laughed, beginning to relax.
Adlay blushed. “At least I think that was ozone.”
Josh put his head down, a little abashed, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know what ozone is.”
Alston laughed as Adlay said, “Honestly, I don’t either. I just thought you guys might. The word just popped into my mouth.”
That made Josh feel better, “Yes, exactly. I’ve had words popping in my head since I woke up. I guess it’s gonna take some time.” Josh replied.
“I guess.” Adlay paused. “Did you get that we were created to be Protectors? What are we going to protect?“
Alston said, “I know, look at this place. It doesn’t look like there is a lot of criminal activity around here. At least in this room.”
The three crowded together.
“What do you think it all means? Where are we? What are we?” Josh asked.
Adlay started fidgeting, “I am really excited and nervous.”
“Exactly,” Josh retorted, “I can’t wait to see what’s outside.”
Alston jumped in, “Smoke was just having a talk with us. I haven’t been alive for very long, but I know that is weird.”
“I bet we’re going to guard some planet or galaxy or something,” Adlay added, seeing images of vast celestial bodies popping into his head, knowing they were called “galaxies.”
“Wow, that’s a pretty big idea, isn’t it?”, Josh asked.
“We are pretty big, aren’t we?” Alston said.
Adlay added, “Are we?”
“Well, maybe for what we are going to do, you have to be large," Josh quipped.
Alston asked, “Hey, are you guys hungry?”
“What’s that? Oh, you mean food, right?” Adlay answered.
“Yes. I’m hungry.” Josh said.
Adlay began, “I—“
The clamor in the room was extremely high. Everybody was getting to know each other. Loudly. You would have guessed everybody had met each other five minutes ago.
“Excuse me. Excuse me.” Thalzn barked. “Please gather around. Right over there.” The smoke formed itself into an arrow, pointing to an area by a large gold doorway, circled with intricate etching on the door. A master craftsman had worked on this.
The beings walked to the spot, all eyes on the spirit. He seemed to have taken a more human form, Adlay reflected. There was a big head on top of a broad set of shoulders. Skinny legs and arms dangled down. You couldn’t tell if he was wearing clothes or not.
“Very well. Let me present to you, your mentor and teacher,” Thalzn pointed a large, smoky finger towards the opening door, “Michael.”
A forceful gasp rose from the Angels as a nine-foot giant with incredibly sculpted, white wings ducked into the room. He towered over the group. A piece of light blue linen wrapped around his mass with sizable brown sandals on his feet. The giant had to be close to nine feet tall sporting a large sword and golden shield across his back. Gold bands glowed brightly up and down his heavy, muscular legs and arms. He had lengthy, light-brown hair flowing onto his shoulders. His emerald green eyes stared stoically at the group.
Adlay, Alston, and Josh stood with their mouths wide open.
I want to look like that! Adlay thought.
From five feet away, Michael stared down at the group through a pair of steely, blue eyes and smiled. “Welcome to Heaven, Angels.”
The group of Angels looked at each other. A soft murmur echoed through the room as if to say, So, that’s what we are, Angels.
Adlay looked at Josh and Alston. He smiled. They both had huge grins stuck on their faces as well.
The giant, Michael, continued, “We will begin today by walking a little bit. You just woke up a few minutes ago, let’s get the blood flowing. You will be stepping outside soon where you will see and experience a place called Heaven for the first time. Heaven is unlike any other place. Anywhere. Ever. It is truly one of a kind. And even though your brains might say that some of this couldn’t be possible, it is.”
Adlay hadn’t been anywhere, so that’s okay. Heaven would be his first stop on his life’s journey. He smiled.
Michael said, “Most of you have been given human ways of thinking in addition to your knowledge. The human logic side of you will absolutely rebel against what you are going to see and witness. Not in a bad way, but in a “that can’t be happening” way. This place was built by God, as a reward for those that will love him and serve him. When I say those, I am talking about humans, which are yet to be created but will soon be. They will reside initially on a planet called Earth, a long way from here.” He paused, making sure he had everyone’s attention.
“In short, humans will go through their short lives with a choice of whether to believe or not believe in God. One of our jobs will be to protect these people," He looked out over the Angels, “I might be getting ahead of myself, seeing as you are new to all of this, but I wanted to emphasize the importance of our mission. It is an honor to be in your position, and it is certainly an honor to be leading you.”
“How could people not believe in God?” an Angel asked from the front of the group.
“That is an excellent question,” Michael eyed the Angel, “Apparently, the concept of a thing called evil will also be introduced to humanity which is where we come in.”
“What is evil?” barked an Angel in back.
Michael held his hands up. “I got a little long-winded, I’ve given you too much. Let’s just enjoy our first day together. You will be learning a lot more going forward. I apologize ahead of time, but some of it will be repetitive, I promise you will have plenty of time to become familiar with your responsibilities and duties once you are settled into your housing. I will answer all your questions by the end of the day as best I can. I don’t know everything. So don’t get frustrated. No, scratch that. You can get frustrated; just don’t take it out on anyone.”
That seemed to quiet the Angels a bit.
“Why don’t we move outside and see what you think?” Michael asked.