“Enki, there is something that has taken place in the village and you are going to hear some fabricated lies about me, in conjunction with the flooding and the death of the supervisors.” Abgal took a deep breath, and continued. “When I returned to the mine the other day, I was told that there was to be a change in the storage of the diggings for the people of the village. There was to be a significant amount of the diggings that would be set aside for the procurement of further identities that would spell the ones who were already in employ in the mines. There would be an assortment of miners who would work in shifts in order to get the most production out of the miners. This was something that they said would bring much more productivity to the mines and wear easier on the miners, therefore being a more efficient means of mining.” He took a breath, and paused a moment. Enki waited for him to continue, and upon his nod, Abgal proceeded.
“ So I went to inspect the cave where this extra was to be stored, and decided, while I was there, to assist if I could. There was a cart of diggings coming in, and I helped them with it. Then I left to confer with them after the empty cart was delivered to the miners.”
The scene that Enki had seen in his vision that day in the village flashed through his memory. He sat straighter in his chair, newfound interest perking through him. “Go on,” He prompted.
“This is where it gets distorted. The supervisors told me then that they were mistaken, that the diggings I had seen were not for the new miners exchange, but for the establishment of a trust that they were creating for the taking over of the mine for themselves. They regarded it to be their earnings as bonus for their work as supervisors and they decided that they would better serve the mine if they could own it. So they devised this plan whereby they would acquire it from you with these pilferings. Of course they did not consider them pilfers, but rightly theirs through the hard work they had been doing.”
Abgal continued, “ I told them that this would not work, that they had no right to this. They would not hear of it. They told me that they had stationed someone just outside the cave where the extra was stored who would swear that they heard me devising this plan, and bringing them into it. They said that if I didn’t go along with them that my friendship with you would be ruined, and that they would see to it that you had me arrested for treason.”
Enki didn’t know what to say. He knew that his vision was accurate, yet the circumstances behind it were not clear. It was for him to discern. Of course Abgal could not know of the vision; why would he come and expose himself this way, unless he were telling the truth. “My friend, we will get to the bottom of this. “
“Please, there’s more to this that I must tell you.” Abgal pleaded to speak.
“Of course, go on.”
“Because of this intervention of the diggings, the miners were coming up short, and so that didn’t look well for them, since they swore that they had dug more than was accounted for. This added to the fuel for more miners. As it turns out, the extra miners that were planned to shift and relieve the present miners were friends of the supervisors, and were to be brought in to take over the mines. This was to be done gradually, of course, and before anyone knew it they were going to be doing this with the other two mines in the district.”
Abgal heard the commotion in the hall, and stopped the report. “My Lord, you must send these messengers away, or at least detain them till I have the chance to tell you all of what I came to tell you. It is imperative that you hear it all now!” He pleaded with his friend.
Enki had heard enough to know that he wasn’t going to stop here. He stood in the doorway and ordered the messengers to be given food and water and detained till he was free. He replaced the bolt back in the lock and approached his friend. “Now tell me the rest.”
“Okay, “ Abgal positioned himself in his chair so that he had full access to get up and go to the window without being seen by anyone who may be walking by. “When the news got out about the flooding, there was a great deal of speculation about the reason for the calamity. Of course everyone knew that it had to be sabotage, because the placement of the mine and the tunneling had been carefully mapped and planned. So the only thing to know was that it had to have been deliberately done. So that raised the question of motive. Since the supervisors were at that point missing, speculation was that they had done it. Later when they were found dead, there developed a new focus on the whole thing. This brought into consideration that there were more people involved than just the supervisors. This brought to light some unanswered questions that had been circulating, and raised a few more.”
Abgal moved to the window and peered out at the garden. He thought he had seen a shadow, and sure enough, one of the messengers was hurrying toward the grove of trees. “They must know that I am here,” he advised Enki, “I thought that you were having them detained.’
Enki saw that his orders had not been carried out, and excused himself to take care of this. While he was gone, Abgal sat and reviewed what he had already told Enki. Something bothered him, gnawed at his memory, like a child tugs on his parent’s sleeve trying to get their attention. He eased his mind and allowed the free flow to come to him, thankful for the minutes to relax.
That’s it, suddenly the words popped into his mind. That is what I was forgetting. He let the thoughts and pictures fully materialize, and then Enki returned.
“It is taken care of; they are in house detention, and will be going nowhere.” Enki joined his friend at the table.
“My Lord, I have just remembered something that makes a huge difference in this story.” Abgal carefully outlined the vision he had just received. “When the last person came out of the mine that day, I remember seeing a dribble of water coming out of the ground a short distance from the opening to the mine. I didn’t think much of it, for right at that time one of the visitors came to me and told me that there was to be a celebration in the evening and that I was to be given the chance to attend, or return to the ship. I choose to return to the ship, because I was in arrears for some equipment that had to be returned to Nibiru, and I was going to find it and take it there. This was important and I knew it could not wait. So I left the village without telling anyone about the dribble of water. It had left my memory until just before you came back into the room just now. This could be an important piece of information.’
“And why is that?” Enki asked, puzzled.
“Because there is not known to be any water that close to the mine and so it had to have been misdirected and brought through another vein. This must be the reason for the death of the supervisors and for the flooding of the mine. There had to have been another person or people involved in this, and they must have been directing the supervisors and not planning to include them in their ultimate plans. They had to have been using them for their own purposes. They must have been responsible for their death.” Abgal was clearly getting more information, for he gazed off into space focused on an invisible picture.
“Do you have an idea who these people may be?” Enki was beginning to see something form in his mind as well, but he needed to tap into what Abgal was seeing.
“I’m seeing an umbrella on a mountaintop. Under this umbrella is a table and two chairs. There are eight people there, and they are in a circle around two of them who are sitting in the chairs. One of them in bending down over one of the ones who is seated, and he is holding a knife.” Abgal’s eyes grew wide and filled with horror. “The knife is being pushed into the heart of the man in the chair, and the heart is being taken out and set on the table on some kind of cloth. It is a sacrificial ceremony that is taking place, and when the one with the knife completed what he did, he then cut off one of the fingers from the corpse and laid it alongside the heart.”
He didn’t know if he could go on, but he knew he must, for he had to see who the man was who did this heinous act. He took a couple deep breaths, and then he looked again. I’m looking at the man who now is placing the finger near the heart. He is still back to me, and I cannot see his face. He is moving toward the outer part of the umbrella, and he is taking hold of the tip of the cloth and pulling it over the heart, while at the same time pulling the cloth toward him. Now he has wrapped the cloth all around the heart, and is carrying the bundle to a pedestal outside the umbrella and he set it there. Now there is someone else coming and he is going to take the bundle.” How do I know this, Abgal wondered? Yet sure enough that was the next thing that took place.
By then Enki was seeing exactly what Abgal was seeing, and he spared his friend from telling the rest. “I see the ritual play itself out, my friend. You do not have to tell me more of it. I recognize that this is a ritual that involves the portioning out of the heart and passing it around for each involved to partake of. But first the man who came blessed it out there in the moonlight, and offered it up to the god of their choice.”
Abgal felt weak, and unable to continue, thankful of Enki’s ability to see. He had to ask the question that he had not been able to answer for himself, for he did not want to admit to whom he saw. “Do you see who is there, and responsible for this?”
Enki knew that his friend would have to know this, for it was too close to home and he must be aware. “My friend, I do not easily tell you this, but you are seeing your friend Exillous, who is the next in line to you in command of the ship.”
He drew closer to his friend, wanting to ease the news of the man’s treason. His empathy for Abgal countered the rising furor that threatened to send him to the ship to take this traitor into the dungeon. “He is the one who committed the murder. The one who did the portioning is a high priest of their sect, and the others are part of the sect. Exillous must have deferred from his duties and been persuaded to join with them, undercover. He must be an initiate, for this is one of the duties that a new member must perform.”
Abgal was terribly shaken. He had trusted this man with his life. Surely they must have coerced him in some way to have brought him to this. “I, I don’t know what to say. I can’t see how this could have happened.” Abgal jumped from his chair. “He was always a bit prone to give in to some temptations, but only when it meant that his family would suffer if he didn’t act out of character.” He turned and his fury forced the words, “that’s it, his family must have been threatened, and in this way he is saving the ones who mean the most to him!”
The full meaning of this realization hit him, and he raged and ran to the door. It was more a tremendous growl that propelled him through the door; and if Enki hadn’t stopped him, he would have been gone out into the night and toward sure death, for he would not have rested till he found them and made his contribution to the sect and their practices.
When the sun came up in the morning and the dew dried on the blossoms, already Enki was on his way to the mine in the next village and was ready to greet Enida with the news he’d received the night before. This was to be a day of retribution and deliverance of the justice that was to come for Abgal and his friend Exillous.
Enki wanted very much to be with Eeta and tell her of the wonderful news of the upcoming celebration, but to do so without this taking precedence would be to put the news in the same energy of this hanging over him. He was not going to mar the news of their blessings in any way. There is no way that there will be a damper in place when they prepare for the celebration. There it was, just as he had left it. The mine rather than being a bustling area was now vacant and no one was to be seen around. This was not as he expected. At least he thought there would be a small crew seeing to the cleanup operations.
As he approached the mine, however, he could hear voices coming from the bottom of the shaft. Drawing nearer he recognized Enida’s sure steady voice, and another’s whom he had not heard before. Was this the new assistant, perhaps? He peered over the edge and could barely make out the two forms in the dimness.
“Ho there! Enida, I believe; it is Enki; I wish to see you.” he shouted into the hole.
Startled, Enida looked up and answered, “My Lord, I did not expect you! I shall be right up, and will introduce you to my new assistant here,” he slapped his friend on the back, and grabbed the ropes making his ascent to the surface, his friend right behind him. Enki grabbed their arms and helped them to their feet on the ground. “Let’s go over here out of the burning sun. It is bright for this time of day.” Enki gestured to the grove of trees that beckoned a cool welcome.
“Where is everyone?” Enki surveyed the empty village. “Why isn’t the mine running again? I was told that it has been cleared out and ready to work.”
“My Lord, there is still much water that has not soaked into the ground, though it is pretty much gone, there is still mud, which makes it very difficult to work. We are giving it the rest of the day, then will resume work tomorrow. We have advised the people to rest and be ready for a few days of long hours to make up for lost time.” Noting Enki’s raised eyebrows, he added, “It is alright, they have expressed that they would like to be able to catch up, so as not to create a hardship for them and the production of their quota. Since we have installed the quota system, they have found more incentive to work the hours necessary. With this quota they make more future for their families.”
“I thought that this quota was for the supervisors benefit, not for the miners. This is what I was told yesterday.” Enki frowned.
“That is how it started, but when I heard of it, I called a meeting and demanded that the miners share equally in the benefits. When the directors realized the solid business practices behind it, they agreed. So this quota was put into place.” Enida smiled, and sat on the ground, glad for the sturdiness of the tree against his back. He sighed, “I’ve been up all night working on mine matters; this feels good.”
Back in Enki’s court, Eeta slept late. When she awoke she wasn’t pleased that Enki had once again gone off without waking her. He had said that last time this happened that he would honor her wish to greet him in a new day. Now this; another morning without his greeting. I suppose he thought he was sparing me, and allowed me to sleep, and I would appreciate that if we had not made this agreement. Why does he not honor my wishes with this?
Just as she fully immersed herself in these thoughts, there came a light rap on the door. “Who is it?”
“It is I maam, the upstairs maid. I would like to see you for a moment if I may, a matter of extreme urgency.”
Eeta hurried to the door and let her friend in. “Why do you call yourself the upstairs maid? You are still Yvonne to me, and always will be. I am not changed because I have fallen in love with Lord Enki, and he with me. If anything I appreciate you more now that I am on the receiving end of your work. You see, I know now that there is really no difference between the slaves and the court, just position and power, which in the twinkling of an eye I have acquired. What does that tell you, my friend, about me and about you or anyone else?”
Her friend answered with a giggle, “It means that it would bode me well to find myself a man of the court and persuade him to love me!” Eeta playfully threw a pillow at her, “You are incorrigible! Be serious for a spell, will you? I never seem to be able to carry on a serious conversation with you lately.”
“Okay, I’ll be serious. You know, you have a point. Nothing really changed when he took you into his chambers. You are still the same good friend I love and respect.” She grew thoughtful for a moment. “You have always been able to bring out the best in me, and to know that there is really a power that we women have that the men are frightened of, in a way. Do you suppose that they have even admitted that to themselves?”
“Oh,” Eeta revealed, “Enki has admitted that readily to me. He is really a very deep man and a dear, dear soul who will go to depths I’ve not seen before in a man. Sometimes it frightens me a little to see him in those moods.” Seeing her friend’s concern she hastened to add, “Not that he’d ever harm me, but sometimes I wonder if he might harm himself. He seems at times to deeply question his worth in this world.”
Eeta lowered her voice, “He once told me that he oft times wonders why The Creator chose him for this purpose. Why this miserable wreck of a man, when it could have been Enlil? Then he just closed his eyes, and went to sleep. A chill ran through me, and I had to cuddle against him and feel the warmth from his body in order for the chill to abate.”
Yvonne took Eeta’s hands and reassured her, “You are one of the luckiest women I know. You are going to marry the most powerful man on this planet, and then you are going to have children, and those children will help to shape a destiny that will carry through eternity.” The words poured forth from her like quicksilver, and caught them in the spell of truth that leaves its mark on the soul and escapes the memory of the mind. In the next moment, it was as if they had not been spoken.
The next day Enki returned to Eeta. This was a time for rejoicing, for the situation at the mine was being resolved, and now he could settle into preparing for the celebration. Tonight he would tell his soon to be bride that they were receiving the blessings from the Creator, and that meant that their union was being sanctioned by his entire family, including Enlil. This was a real milestone for him, for it meant that his brother came to his senses and found favor with his upcoming marriage. A little feeling of dread threatened to flush forth, but he wouldn’t allow this or anything to spoil the night’s news for him and Eeta. He denied for this night the truth of what he’d compromised to achieve this sanctity.
His step on the veranda was heavy, and he hurried to overcome the distance to the door that opened into the royal chambers. Eeta’s eyes were the first ones he wanted to see, the first ones he wanted to see his joy reflected in with the news. The door opened before he even could grab the handle, and she smiled back at him, a vision of love and promise for his ecstatic future.
Her arms, so comforting, so full of promise and love. How can he ever leave this embrace? How can he even consider a life without her by his side, even to go to the village to check on business? She had asked to accompany him on some occasions. He had thought the business to be too far away from a woman’s interests. But no, this is not so, she’d assured him. Why when I’m with her do I know this to be true, yet when I am away I forget and immerse myself in the matters at hand. Perhaps when she learns more of the mining and the ways of the man’s world, perhaps then I will take her with me. I will share this with her. When we are married, then she will be a part of everything in my life.
Her hands caressed his shoulders and her lips found their promise. The joy she felt with his embrace was unequalled in her experience of him. Why was she so completely in love with this man, this man who kept himself away from her at times, though he swore that he could not enjoy any time without her?
This was the first time that he had come to her through the doors to the patio. He didn’t check in with the staff, or with his peers in the court. He must have really missed her, she moved closer to his embrace, and soon they were engaged in impassioned lovemaking. The hunger! The need to be one! This was so new to him, yet so familiar. Why did he not remember that he was involved with a young woman whom he had known for so short a time? This was as if he had known and loved her forever.
I am enamored of her, and I would surely die if I did not have her at my side and in my life so completely. She is my wife already; the rest is mere formality. I will declare to the world that she is my love and she completes me.
“I am nothing without you,” he whispered gruffly in her ear, when they lay at rest. “You are my other half in every sense of the word. I do not know how I ever got through life without you.” A thought eased in and answered his puzzlement. “It must be that you have been with me, a part of me all along. It has just taken this time for your physicalness to find me.” So caught in the magic of the moment was he that he did not realize the truth of his words.
He told her of the blessings from his family, and what that meant. “Now we can be wed, and receive the Trillion Blessings from The Creator. Our marriage will be sanctioned in the All that Is, which gives us eternal blessings for all eternity. We will plan a celebration!
Enki jumped from the bed, and drew her to him. They danced around the room, and his voice rang with the angels that chorused from their hearts. They seemed to float through the movements and ride on the waves of the night carrying the rainbow of their dreams with the chalice of the ages as their wedding wine. When the moon crested the hills outside they became the oneness that they knew they were, and all was a bright tender glow that filled the room with their heavenly embrace. There was no separation, and there was no one to dispute that. When they finally closed their eyes to sleep, it was with the knowledge that they had joined with the Trillion Blessings, and that this was the night of the unseen blessings of the rapture of the angels.
Eeta put down her bottle of cologne and sighed into her morning sleepiness. She had wanted to make breakfast for Enki this morning, but upon arising it was already at the door and he was setting it on the table for them to enjoy.
“My dear sweet Eeta.” He purred into her hair. “This is one of the best mornings thus far with you, though I can sense the tension in you, please tell me, what is wrong.”
She turned, misty eyes betraying her sorrow. “I don’t know why it makes me so sad. I wanted to make your favorite breakfast this morning, and now it seems I cannot even do that.” Enki drew her to him. “You are so sweet and so complex. I don’t understand you at times, and yet other times I read you like a book. How can you explain that?” He led her to the table and offered her a chair. “You are a royal princess and about to be Queen. You deserve to be waited on. Your place is no longer in the kitchen, but at my side.”
She stamped her foot and moved away from him, her eyes fiery. “I am not a Queen nor a princess!” she demanded. “I am me, and no title or place of royalty can identify who I am. I am a person of the Creator, and therefore equal to anyone, and anyone is equal to me!” She whirled to face him. “How can you stand there and tell me that I am no longer worthy to be in the kitchen, or that the ones in the kitchen are not worthy to be here with us? This is the way it has been for too long, and I want you to know that there is nothing you or anyone else can do to convince me that there should be this difference between anyone here. I am me and you are you, and we are no better than the workers in the mines or the maids in the scullery!”
Enki stood mouth open and brow furrowed. What was that about? Who is that behind that fire? He was speechless. The fire in her eyes darted out to him in defiance of his defenses. He knew not what to do or say. How can he defend that which he had no defense for?
“Well, why aren’t you saying anything? What do you have to say? I am not going to be able to eat anything, or do anything else till you respond to me!” Eeta planted herself firmly to the spot; her heart pounded.
Enki’s collar bound the flame that threatened to erupt. “Where has this come from? One minute you’re weepy and the next you have loathing for my family and my court. What is this?” Anger flooded through him. “I am surprised that you can even stand being here in my presence considering the way you feel! Why are you here; what is this love that you profess for me, when I seem to represent everything you abhor?”
“I do love you! You don’t understand! I am just saying that I feel we find too much separation of the classes. Why are there classes anyway? Why don’t we allow the workers to live in the court, why do we have a court? Why don’t we live among the villagers? And why are there no men in the kitchen? Is it that they are above the lowly women?”
Tears of frustration poured from her eyes, fueling her frustration even more; making a liar of what she was attempting to convey. She turned away lest he see the evidence of her weakness. She swiped at her wet face, then stopped. But no, she had seen Enki’s tears, she had seen that the tears are not a sign of weakness. She had never seen them outside this bedroom, though. Did men have such strength that they could hold them back, or was it just that they don’t find them such a threat as we do?
Eeta kept her back to him, but she couldn’t hide the quivering of her shoulders. Her weakness was a knife in her heart. She had never felt as far away from Enki as she did now. What can she do, to ease this ache? How can she come back to the love she knew was there? How can she live this lie, yet how could she not have his love and live this life that has been promised?
Enki took a deep breath. This is insanity! This is the woman I love! I can’t allow this to go on; we must talk about this rationally. He strode to the window and breathed in the warm morning air. The birds sang and the clouds in the sky puffed their welcome to him, and seemed to say, “Look at me and see my softness. Bring me into your heart and transpose me over your loved one, for she needs you now. Take the edge out of your voice, and let her see that you value her and her opinions. Tears moistened his cheeks and he knew this was not going to happen again. He would not allow this to cloud their life, and their love. This is the start of a life that has to be filled with communication and understanding, so that this kind of thing does not happen again.
He turned to go to her. She looked so small, so fragile with her back stooped and her hands closed to the fists that seemed poised to plummet herself. What is that I see with her? Is it surely the mirror I feel of the disdain that I feel in my heart? Why do I feel responsible for her pain? Surely this is not the result of what we feel for each other, but of what we feel for the roles we play in the life that we share now? How can this not be a time for the challenge of bringing together two different worlds? We are one, that is true, and when we come together, there is no difference; she is as much me as I am her, yet we have our own distinct personalities. They blend so well, except in times like this. I want to take her into my arms and make it all better, yet I know that would be the wrong thing to do, somehow it feels that she would think me weak and that she is weak as well.
He heaved a sigh that carried the burden of his dilemma. What am I to do? Something about his sigh stopped Eeta short. She wanted to run to him and cradle him with her love. She could not; she couldn’t move. How did this start? Where did this come from, this dissatisfaction with the way of it? I love him so much, and yet there is this resistance to the kind of life he offers me. Why is it so bothersome to me? It is true that I know I am no better than the ones who work in the kitchen. I know that my friends there will always be my friends; and yet some of them already shirk me. They feel that now I cannot be their friend. I am so lonely sometimes. This is not the way I had thought it would be. I want my friends to be with me. I want to feel their love once more, and to feel that they are not in awe of me and do not shy away from me.
Enki’s voice caressed her sorrow. “Eeta. Let’s talk about this. Let’s be wise and not let this tear us apart. We love each other, and we can get to the bottom of this and rise above it.”
His softness drew her to him, irresistibly. She murmured against the comfort of his shirt, “Let’s not ever let this happen again. Let’s talk this out and come to understand each other better.” There would not be any repeat of this, she knew, for after they talked, then it would be clear. She knew that what she told him, would make the difference, and he would do the same, and all would be fine, and their life would be happy and full of promise and respect for each other.
Breakfast tasted awfully good, seasoned with the words of love and truth that moved on into the morning light. Dessert came like a gentle flow of the clarity with which they knew one another again, as they explored their bodily pleasures in the sweetest way they knew.
Once Eeta had come to terms with the fact there was a growing animosity between her and Enki, she decided that there was only one thing to do about it, and that was to ask herself what part in it she played and how much was Enki’s misunderstanding of how she presented herself to him. This was not going to be any easy task, for with her emotional involvement and the ensuing marriage plans, she wasn’t sure how neutral she could be. She needed to have a sounding board, someone to confide in who could understand, and even understand Enki’s view.
Loer! Of course, she would go to her dear friend, and ask for his confidence. He had made it clear that he was there for her, no matter what. I have missed him so, and the chats we used to have, he is such a dear friend. He will surely be there for me now.
The kitchen was deserted, except for the scullery maid, and she was just finishing up. “Diandra, it’s so nice to see you! How is your little girl with the curly hair so like yours?”
“If you please, maam, she is fine.” Diandra bowed slightly, causing slight discomfort in Eeta. This was the one who had braided her hair so oft times, when her tresses threatened to fall into the soup pot.
“Please, don’t forget that my name is Eeta, and always will be to you. I have missed my friends here, and I am going to do something about that. I am going to make sure that we have our talks and our good times together from now on.”
She peered into the pot that had been pushed to the side of the hearth. “Ooh! This smells good. The lamb from the paddock is given in homage to the flock in the court. I miss the ceremonies we always did when a lamb was sacrificed for the people of the court.” She smiled taking Diandra’s hands, and meeting her gentle gaze, “I do say a few words of thanks before the meal though, so I guess that makes up for it.”
They talked for a few more minutes, and then Eeta excused herself. “I am going in search of Loer. Have you seen him?”
“He told me that he would be in the garden tending to some planting this afternoon. He should still be there.”
Eeta hugged her friend, and hurried toward the open doors to the shade of the trees and sloping lawns lined with blossoms of every shade imaginable. This was the only place in this expanse of desert where she felt transported to another world. No wonder Loer had taken to spending so much time there of late.
There he was, kneeling there before that bush with the delicate pink buttercup flowers. He is so intent on his work; perhaps I shall come again at a better time.
Loer looked up as she turned, “Wait! Don’t walk away, I was just thinking of you and asking the Gods for a visit from you.” He was up and by her side before she could utter a sound. “You have been on my mind for days. I’ve been worried about you, for I have not seen you out and around the courtyard in so long.” He noted her furrowed brow. “Are you alright?”
“Yes, yes, I am fine. I, I just need the company of my friends, is all.” She smiled up at him, and led him to a nearby bench. “ I am so glad to see you, dear Loer. I have missed you, and our heartfelt talks.”
Loer frowned, “Is he mistreating you? If he is I’ll…”
“Oh no, not at all! We are happily preparing for our nuptials. There is so much to do.” She leaned closer as if to divulge a secret. “We have the Trillion Blessings that come down from the Creator. That means that Enlil has changed his mind and given us his blessings. Now the whole family is behind us in this marriage.”
“I see.” Loer tried to sound happy for her, but there was a pang of something that didn’t set right about this. How could Enlil have decided so quickly that he had been wrong? “ When did this come about?”
“Just the other day. Enki was so happy when he came to me with the news. Now we are planning the nuptial celebration, which will take place soon, before the wedding ceremony. All of his family and all of mine will be there. Since I only have my mother, I want you to come and the rest of the kitchen staff.” She held his hands and brought them to her lips in a gentle kiss. “You are all the only family I have. You will be receiving a formal invitation.”
Eeta heard a rustle in the bushes. “Enki! My darling, I’ve just told Loer the news, and he is going to come to our nuptial celebration along with my other friends! Isn’t that wonderful?” She was by his side the moment he rounded the line of bushes and stepped on to the path.
“I see that you have been out and about today. I was worried that you might grow weary of me, staying inside and taking on the duties of a wife before it even happens.” Enki tried to smile, but the sight of her with Loer had raised a feeling he didn’t want to admit to. She loves me, and there is no reason to think otherwise.
Eeta managed a smile, though she felt his chagrin. “I could never weary of you. You are a constant source of stimulation for me!” Why did I shrink ever so slightly as those words left my lips? I feel like I’ve been caught doing something I hadn’t ought to have done. Surely he’s not jealous!
Enki took her hands in his, “My dear, I was just on my way to a meeting with Abgal, and took a shortcut. You go ahead with your visit. I’ll see you at supper.” He kissed her hands and then her lips, and looked at Loer. “Take good care of my lady here. She needs her friends around her when I can’t be with her.”
“It is my honor, My Lord. She is a dear friend, and I am pleased that you and she are in a position to be the coveted recipients of the Trillion Blessings.” Loer bowed slightly.
Enki startled, and then swallowed the words of reproach for Eeta for having told Loer of this that he had thought for their appreciation only for the time until the announcement was made. This is not the time to discuss this, nor the company to witness the discussion. Tonight we will clear this up. Loer stood and made apologies to Eeta. After Enki left there was a definite change in the air. “I’m sorry that you had to undergo that. I should not be here with you like this, alone.”
Eeta bristled, “And why not? I am still a free woman, and I’m not referring to marriage, or not. Just because a person is bound to another doesn’t mean their life with other people ends. There is nothing that says we have to keep ourselves unto one another in everything we do!”
“Whoa!” He held his hands up and backed away. “I didn’t mean that. Where did that come from, my dear sweet friend? This is not the timid Eeta that I once knew. What is happening with you?” Loer wasn’t sure, but he thought he liked this Eeta better.
Eeta resisted the sudden urge to giggle. She turned her head away, but still she could not suppress the giggles that sprung forth and teased the stillness of the late afternoon hush.
Loer watched her, unbelieving for a second, and then could not help himself and convulsed with laughter, collapsing on the ground at her feet. She joined him, and they supported each other in their submission to the release that brought them back to the reality of what had occurred. When they could speak, it was with a new softness and a new freedom.
“I guess I wasn’t aware of how I have been suppressing myself all these years. I seem to be finally coming to a new maturity that is foreign, yet welcome, and even a bit frightening.” She looked into Loer’s eyes. “Even though we haven’t spoken of what I came here to talk with you about, I feel strangely as if we’d talked for hours. I feel a deep resolution of what was troubling me, and now I can go to Enki and talk this out with a new sureness and strength that will bear me well in our coming union.” She smiled at the slow grin, with the look of confusion on his face.
“You have been of tremendous help to me by just being you, and by my knowing that I can come to you as a friend anytime. There is a special bond between you and me that transcends mere words. You are my best friend, and now I can go to Enki and be his equal in all senses of the word.” She noted the lowering sun, and scrambled to her feet. “I must be going to ready myself for the evening meal with Enki. Thank you so much, my dear Loer.” She kissed his forehead and was gone into the gathering mist.
Eeta came round front and center when she heard the commotion. She stepped to the window and leaned out. “There’s been a casualty at the mine. One man is dead and two others missing!” the runner cried as he stumbled out of the woods and saw Enki walking into the stables.
Enki stopped and whirled to face the runner and caught him as he collapsed to the ground. “Take it easy! Here let me get you some water. Stay there till I get back.” He eased the man against the stable wall and ran inside to dip into the water trough that had been freshly filled.
When the man caught his breath, he sputtered, “There was an explosion, and the mine is caved in at the number two cavern. There is one man dead and two others can’t be found. They are digging now; I came as soon as I heard. I was there when the explosion happened.”
Enki called to the man in the stable to stay with this man, and then he called for two of his men to ride with him to the mine. Eeta stood before him. “My Lord, what can I do to help? I am a good healer, perhaps I can help there.”
Enki took her by the shoulders, “My dear, you are best served here to tend to this man, and to announce to the court what has happened. There are those there who are versed in healing, and they I’m sure are already administering.” He softened seeing her frown. “Don’t worry, this will be taken care of. I will be back as soon as this is cleared up. I need for you to remain here in my stead.” He kissed her, and was gone. Another accident! This is too much; it can’t be mere coincidence. Eeta hurried to take care of affairs. The kitchen staff must be alerted, and the officers who are due any minute now from the ship.
The runner was sitting in the kitchen with food before him, and being tended to by Diandra. For the first time Eeta noticed the gash on his head. He must have sustained that from the explosion. She freshened the bowl of water and set it in front of Diandra, smiling at the runner. “Thank you for coming right away. You are a brave man, and very loyal.”
“I lost my father in a mine accident a year ago. I cannot let anymore die if I can help it.” The pain in his eyes pierced her heart.
“If it is at all humanly possible, Lord Enki will see to it that the men are saved, and that all is taken care of. Please just rest your mind and allow yourself to heal. In the morning you will be able to return to the village. For now let this wound heal; it is pretty nasty.” Eeta Exchanged glances with her friend, and left knowing that there wasn’t much hope for the two missing men. The heaviness in her heart spoke clearly enough.
“Give me that sponge there, I am going to press it against his head, and then you be ready with the bowl of warm water to wash the wound.” Eeta worked swiftly and smoothly, her touch gentle and tender.
“My lady, you are so caring!” Diandra said. “Here let me fasten his shirt for I see a chill tremor through him.” She watched for a moment, and then went to get a cover from the closet. “Eeta,” she began with a familiar tone, rather than the new formality, “I would like to say at this time that I am most pleased of your good news. This has been a year for you of getting to a heightened sense of yourself, and now I see a newfound strength emerging. I always knew that you had a poise that would prove itself in the times to come. Now I see that love has brought it forth.”
Eeta paused in her ministrations, and then rinsed the sponge in the fresh water and stopped the new flow of blood that oozed from the gash on the runner’s head. When she pulled the sponge away, the oozing had stopped, and she was able to bind the wound and dress it with the salve that she kept in her satchel.
“There, now you must rest and let this heal enough so that you can make the trip back to the village at daybreak. I will have a meal sent in after you have a chance to sleep a bit. The salve will bring some sleep, and then when you awaken, you will feel much better.” Eeta stood and sighed with relief. The gash just missed his eye; he was lucky.
She joined Diandra outside the door, “Thank you my friend. Please, make sure he gets food when he awakens. And make sure he stays till morning.” She turned to go. “I’ll be at the space port if you need me. I should return shortly.” Enlil watched as the earth grew nearer. This part of the descent always thrilled him. What was it that caused his blood to surge with the approaching land speeding to this welcome? Was it that he felt the control over matter that brought the power? Was it that he knew how to harness such power over the Creator? Stop, lest you be struck down for issuing such thoughts! Is it that The Creator tempts me to test my devotion? No, there is no testing, it is my own folly, and I must desist from this. Dear Creator, forgive my bold foolishness! I deterred on the side of evil, and I am humbly apologizing.
He gazed at the trees and then the stretch of sand. Now the slight bump that announced the landing. He heaved a deep sigh. Enki would be waiting. What would this meeting bring? It was bad enough that he was coerced into the blessing; now he must take the initiative and present the formal invitation to the ceremony. Suffering a headache, Anu had sent him in his stead. He stepped out into the cool night air. “Miss Eeta!” he looked around. “Where is my brother? He was to meet me here.”
Eeta explained about the accident at the mine. “He probably won’t be back till sometime tomorrow, or even the next day.”
He muttered turning away, “This displeases me so. I cannot ever depend on that man.”
Eeta’s hearing was keen, she faltered, dismayed with his words. “My Lord Enlil. You must be weary from your trip. May I offer a reprise of food and wine? I am pleased of the opportunity to talk with you about a matter of concern for me.”
Enlil worried at the invitation. With what was she going to address him? Please let it not be the wedding; I cannot abide speaking of it with her. “Thank you dear miss. I will be happy to accept your kind invitation. Perhaps we can learn of how it is at the mine. Can we send a messenger to gain some news for us?”
So that is the way of it. Eeta knew he did not want to speak of the wedding. She must be careful to avoid any tension right now. Enki has enough to contend with right now. “Yes, we will attend to that right away as soon as we return to the court.” Why must I always put someone else’s needs first? I must know what it is that comes to them when I am around. Is it that I kowtow to them when I am really seething inside? Is it that I am afraid to go the extra lengths to be who I am and not give in to the temptations of silence and safety? I will not allow this to happen any more, I am a sovereign being just as he and Enki are and I will not give in to the energies of submission as I am now.
Eeta stopped abruptly in her path; Enlil almost collided with her. Her next words blurted from her unclenched lips. “My dear soon to be brother, I am going to ask you right now what it is that you do not like about me. There has to be a misunderstanding, and it is time to clear it up.”
“What! Why do you think…?”
“It is obvious to me. I am not asleep and I can read you very well. You are much like your brother in that, and I know him better than I know myself, I think sometimes.” She sat on an abutment that shored up the end of the launch pad. “Please, sit beside me.” She indicated the place to her left. “Enki told me what took place on Nibiru a few nights ago, but he was not himself when he returned. I sensed a reserve in him, despite the wonderful news he had of the Trillion Blessings.” She caught his eyes as if to penetrate the curtain he held against exposure. “Is there something I should know about the visit and the agreement?”
Enlil could remain there no longer. He darted from his seat and hurried down the path. When she caught up with him he offered, “I am chilled and require a hot cup of tea. We shall talk after we have sent for word from my brother.” Obviously the subject was closed for now. Eeta caught up with him as they rounded the bend and into the courtyard. She would see to the tea, and send for the messenger; then it was time for the truth. The life of Eeta was a life in which she was exposed to the intricacies of the human race, yet wasn’t in a position to be able to determine what it was that she had to contribute. This was a pressing matter to her, and in so doing she came to ask Enki why she was the product of his and Ninhursag’s ministrations.
Enki felt the need to keep from her the decisive acceptance of the clan, and only tell her of the original plan. This was a feeling of decisive action, rather than one of being on the receiving end of her wrath, for he felt that she would bring a certain argument to the attitude that he and his sister carried into the ministrations that brought the human forth into the society that was being created.
When this occurred she gave him cause to find that she perhaps could deal with the further truth, and so he took her into his confidence and informed her of the deeper meaning of the purpose of creating these humans in his image and in the energy of The Creator. This was not an easy task, for he did not want to endanger the closeness and the infutility of their union should she feel that he was in fact stating his superiority to her. This he knew was not the case; yet in stating the truth of his work he may sound as if he feels the pressure to be more than what he indeed is. This would not do, for if they were to have a union based in equality, as she has stated, then there must be no undercurrent of misunderstanding as to his position on this matter.
So they talked, and he explained that there was a deeper purpose than to merely present a race of people on this planet who would go forth and multiply and bring about a team of slaves and ones who would form a class society, and find their easiness of being within that structure. That was not the deeper meaning of this. Yet how was he to convey the truth of this message that he had lived with and followed, since he had heard the message from The Creator? He could see the need to at least attempt to convey this knowledge, in order for them to find their way together effortless and pure. Enki strode back to the court taking his time in order to clear his head of the nagging thoughts that emerged. The accident at the mine had been taken care of. By the time he reached the village, the two men had been found and were being ministered to. They would be fine and their recovery would be sure and complete. The cause of the explosion was being determined, and the officers he had left in charge were fine and able men. He suspected that this was the result of more sabotage by the ones who would see themselves in positions of leadership in the mines. Yet this was not to take place, for the men in charge there were well able to see to it that this does not occur. They were not only well versed in the ways of the business of mining, so too they were expert on the subject of human nature. This would bode them well in the administration at the mine.
He stopped by the river and sat for a while. The gurgle of the current as it skipped over the rocks at the bend, gave him pause to reflect on the issues that had arisen between him and Eeta. Would this strife continue and plague them throughout their marriage?
No! I will not allow it! It is time that we have a long talk and get some things out that have been left unsaid. I cannot live in this fantasy world that seems to be developing between us. He knew what he must do, and he knew that it would make a difference in the way they relate to each other. He must take the chance and bring it all out to her, for there was no recourse if their union was to survive. The first thing he would do was tell her of what he’d had to do in order to attain the Trillion Blessings.
His long, lanky frame, fueled by the clarity within, served him well to cover the last remaining miles to the court in record time. When the turrets of the court came into view, he paused and gazed at the stars. Yes, there it was, the sign that this was the right thing. Taurus was blinking at him in the western sky, confirmation that he was allowing his inner wisdom to guide him to a successful new beginning. Everyday is a new beginning he realized. The garden came up around him as he ran the last few yards into the room where she awaited. Eeta smoothed her filmy robe over her legs and settled back into the cushions. She felt that Enki was on his way back from the village; his presence came closer to her every moment. Strange that she could feel him even when he was not around. Maybe that wasn’t so strange, although she couldn’t explain why she thought that.
She opened the parcel that lay on the bed beside her. This was something that Loer had left for her in the kitchen. The covering and rope that bound it were finest silk, the color of the deepest sunset. It was heavy, for its size, so she thought it may be a message in stone. The silk fell away as she undid the bow that tied it. The stone that lay in her lap glistened back at her, and she remembered that this was the color of the lapis that Enki loved so. Why would Loer give her this, when it was not her favorite? She examined it more closely. This etching, it says something.
A feeling grew within her in response to the stone. She could not explain it, though it was so familiar. She turned the stone over and found more etchings. This is a message for me. She drew her fingers over the roughness, and then came upon her a feeling so profound as to cause her to gasp and drop the lapis as if it were on fire. This is the stone that I lost long ago, and thought never to find again. This is from a time I do not even remember, so how do I know this so well?
She seized the stone and held it to her face as if the heat would give her comfort. The heat was no more, and the coolness that emanated from its gloss refreshed her memory to the point where she was in a daze, another state of being. As she sat there against the cushions she felt herself drift away into time and space and heard the voices that told her of this stone and why it has found its way back to her.
“There is a memory of a place where you once called home. This place is deep within the confines of your heart and soul, and is going to be a place to which you will return one day. With this stone and the coolness of its beauty you will forever find your way back to the love that you keep within your heart for the return to the one you love. There will never be another that will touch your soul as this one, and there will never be a time when this one can evoke such remembrances in you as this one can. When you find this stone coming into your presence again, then you will know that there is to be a coming forth of the love of your life.
The purpose for which that is to take place is written in the wind and carved in the sands of time. Heed not the promise of the everlasting love, and you go through eternity on the wings of the dove ever searching for home and never finding the one who flies with you. This I tell you now so that you will recognize and heed the signs that come to you in the night and serve to take you to a place of love and a place of retribution. There is no time for all to take place without the added solace of the God of darkness and the God of Light. You will be fine; and you will always have this coolness of The Creator as long as you allow this to be your destiny and your salvation. Fear not what comes in between, for it is written that there will be forty years of darkness and forty years of sun, and then there will be an awakening of the forces of truth and all will be displayed upon the heavens for all to see. This is the final prayer and the outcome of the everlasting glory, for it is written and so shall it be.” (writer’s note: 3600 Nibiruan years x 40 = 144,000 earth years)
His voice was ever so distant. Was she dreaming, or was she so fully enveloped in her vision that she had brought him into it? Again the whisper of that beloved voice. It came closer, and now his hand was on her arm, his kiss upon her waiting lips. This is heaven, and I shall not return from this bliss. She responded to his touch and soon they were together as one, inseparable and complete. The lapis stone lay at their side. Soon the touch of their bodies upon its coolness gave way to the heated passion of their love. The stone was transformed and its heat radiated out to the hearts of the two lovers melded into one, sealing their destiny forever and ever. The morning sun shone in on the two huddled together in bed. It had been a long night, and there wasn’t much sleep behind them. After they’d made love, they’d long stayed silent in each other’s arms. Slowly Enki stirred and whispered in her ear. “I want to talk with you about something. This is so important to our life together, that it can’t wait any longer.”
Eeta sat up and plumped the pillows behind them both. The moon shone in and amplified the shadows in the room. “My dear one, I love you so much! After what we just gave to each other, there is nothing that can be more important than our life together. If there’s something that needs to be said, then I’m ready to hear it.”
He told her about the meeting with Enlil, after he had tried to persuade Eeta to leave. He told her how he had confronted his brother with the truth, and then he told him of the pact they had made. He told her of the shame and degradation that had risen in him, all of it, all of the remorse and the humiliation that he had suffered because of the compromise he had made with The Creator. “My dear sweet Eeta; have I jeopardized our lives together by my deed. Is there anything I can do to appease The Creator and feel in His graces and favor again? When we have the celebration of the Trillion Blessings, how will I hold my head up and be able to face everyone?
Enki lunged from the bed and over to the window as if to throw himself out onto the stones below. He stopped short and whirled around to face her, fire in his eyes. “I betrayed our love with my deception! How can I bring that into our marriage?”
Eeta sprang from the bed, her eyes piercing the fire in his. Her approach was slow and deliberate. “My Lord! I am not going to stand here and listen to you berating yourself over what Enlil did. He forced you into this stand. You were right to go to him. The way I see it, he could have very well told Anu that he would have no part of it. He must have realized that you were right. How could he besmirch his own father’s name and then accuse you of further bringing shame to the family. He had to have realized that! That is why he agreed, I’m sure of it.” She held his hands at arms length. “He came here earlier while you were in the village. I met him at the ship. He was fine; he didn’t give me troubles. When you did not return right away, he went back to Nibiru. He will be back in the morning.”
“He was here?” Enki’s gaze softened, his voice gruff with concern. “I don’t like that he affects you this way…”
Eeta stopped him, “What way? He has not offended or troubled me. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself!”
“Of course, I didn’t mean…” Enki hadn’t expected this lashing out.
Eeta moved away, and then turned, hands on hips, eyes flashing, “Why do you not think that I can handle him? I am no weak young thing who has never been away from under her Mama’s skirts!” She surprised herself with her temper. “I am not a weak excuse for a Lord’s wife! I know how to stand in the face of all this ridicule!” She bristled when he moved toward her and took her in his arms. She wrenched free and stormed to the other side of the bed. “I’m not going to enter into this life with you unless you and the others realize that I am not to be tampered with. I can run this household and I can stand up to anything that your brother dishes out! You think you compromised The Creator. What about Enlil? You don’t see him berating himself and trying to make up for the damage he’s done. You don’t see…” She stopped short. “Why are you grinning??” when he didn’t answer, just kept on grinning, she sputtered, “Enki, I don’t find it very funny!”
“I’m sorry, forgive me, I could not help myself. You are so beautiful when you’re angry. Did you know that your cheeks flare with the most beautiful crimson when you’re excited?”
“Enki, don’t humor me. I’m serious.” She backed away as he moved toward her, still grinning. “Enki, I can’t, please don’t come any closer.” She knew she wouldn’t be able to resist him. He radiated his essence in a most irresistible way when he was aroused and pleased with himself.
He reached for her. She knew it was too late; for a split second she hated her weakness. Then there was no turning back; she fell into his arms and allowed the passion of the moment to translate into the fire in her gut and they fell on the bed, lost in the intricacies of the exploration of release. The fire rose and fell with the tending and stirring of the flames of truth and love that would never be extinguished. She was lost in bliss and ecstasy, forever to be caught in the waves of passion with this man who held such power over her.
Now the early morning sun filtered through the window and into their dreams. Eeta stirred and softly caressed his shoulder. She loved the feel of his skin, firm and soft with downy hair that tickled her face when she kissed him on his tender spots. She opened her eyes and studied his face. The angles and planes softened in sleep held such secrets, that she was becoming privy to. He had told her that there would be no secrets between them. She had agreed. She searched her memory for any she might tell him. Is my life such an open book that I do not have secrets to share?
She looked back, and his eyes met hers. I can get lost in those eyes, I almost did. She smiled and kissed his own sideways grin, loving and welcoming, not teasing as before. “It is a lovely day!” she exclaimed. “The sun is up and calling to us to partake of breakfast.” Her stomach rumblings agreed.
“You are lovely and exquisite. I feast on your face and fill myself up with your smile.” Enki drew her to him, and welcomed her to his essence.
“Enough for now, my sweet bovine, divine!” she giggled and pushed away from him lest she once again be lost. “I smell the aroma of strong, pungent tea and flaky biscuits with sweet jam, right outside our door, waiting for our coming.” She was out of bed and half way to the door before he knew what was happening.
He rose from the depths of the pillows and threw on his robe of deepest lapis hued silk. Clearing the leathers and buckles from the table, he sat ready to devour this delectable feast that she set before him.
Breakfast was always a pleasure to him since Eeta had come into his life. No more lonely dreary meals by himself to greet the day. How can you miss someone you’ve never known? But he knew that was what came from his mornings with her. She was the part of the morning he’d thought was merely an emptiness that he had to bear. It was as if her memory preceded her. And now she was daintily accepting the piece of biscuit he held to her lips.