Part II: The Prodigal Twin
Dramatis Personae Featured in Part I:
Gavin Paneskos: 15-year-old Wunderkind of adult stature and überhuman ability, son of:
Diana Marcusdottir, who with her late husband Apollo performed a rite of sex magic in the umbra of the Indo-European eclipse of 1999 to conceive a divine child ~ viz. Gavin.
Eric Marcusson: eldest son of Marcus Geist, who was the Forefather of a white alternative community that began in the 1960s and currently (2015) includes several hundred people inhabiting large properties in Cascadia (Washington State) and the Valley of the Moon (Northern California). Those in the latter settlement call themselves the Kin of Aries, which include Gavin and Diana, while Eric is the Führer of Cascadia.
Saxon, widow of Marcus and mother of Eric.
Hector: a warrior, Eric’s right-hand man. Brunhilde: a warrior-maiden.
Members of the Kin of Aries:
Flash: a Magus. Gwendolyn: Gavin’s sweetheart.
Spike: an ex-skinhead; Elise: his wife; Roland (Sluggo): their 8-year-old son.
Albrecht: a German; his wife Sylvia: a Russian; their 11-year-old daughter Aurora: a psychic.
Vance and Carol: another married couple.
Mindy: collaborator with Gavin on his stratagem to pull the plug on the global technostructure.
Kamran and Nasreen: visitors from Tajikistan, where there is a colony of the kindred engaged in guerrilla war against the world order.
Baron Sydney Redshield: the most powerful of the secret chiefs who rule the world order.
Shlomo Redshield: the Baron’s heir apparent.
Rabbi Shmerson: an Elder of Zion and Qabbalistic Magus.
Lilith: a confidante and former paramour of the Baron.
Kalianna: a media starlet and Lilith’s protégé; she has jet-black skin, anomalous Nordic features, and formidable psychic/magical powers.
1. Little Morphin’ Annie
A suburban park on a sunlit day was dotted with the usual visitors: parents pushing strollers, joggers, cyclists, and dog-walkers. No one paid any particular attention to a little girl striding intently across the paths, her face clouded by an angst beyond her years. She arrived at her favorite spot, a little hill surrounded by trees and shrubbery, veiling it from passersby. She lay down on the grass facing the sky and felt the rays of the Sun soaking into her; occasionally she peered directly into the brilliance. An invisible crust melted from her body, and her demeanor changed from distress to joy.
“My dearly beloved Sun,” she thought, almost speaking aloud, “let us be One again as we were in the beginning of time.” The last shard of her chrysalis fell away and she rose into the air like an imago, spreading her wings, flying up to the Sun, merging into its ecstatic plasma until she became the Sun in herself. In heart-throbbing glory she looked out at the sphere of the stars and the planets circling around her, each one a God like herself though smaller, paying fealty unto her, their Queen. “Here am I now,” she thought; “please may it be forever.”
Alack, it was not. A harsh voice intruded like a knife into her solar clamshell, cracking open her cosmic egg and calling her back to Earth. “Annie!” it cackled, “stop looking at the goddamn sun before you go blind. And get up off that grass this instant ~ you’ll ruin your brand-new frock.”
Flinching at the voice, Annie instinctively wrapped her pearl in another layer of protective film, hard-boiled her yoke another degree, bid a sad adieu to the Gods, and turned her eyes on the verbal assailant. It was male and seemed ambivalently human, a gangly creature in a white shirt and dress pants, shod in tennis shoes which had been donned quickly to fetch Annie from the park. He extended a hand and helped her to rise from the grass with a minimum of contact of her clothes to the ground. She completed the inner shift back into her cocoon and said, “Sorry, Daddy.”
He began walking swiftly from the spot at the top of the hill with Annie heeling like an obedient pup. She was five years old, with precocious developments in many of her aspects, including physical and psychological. “What an inconvenient time to run off,” said her father, whose name was Richard Malone. “You know that we’re expecting Lilith any minute.”
“That was the main reason,” she said ingenuously. “Lilith tries to be nice, but sometimes she gives me the creeps. And I’m tired of getting my spirit cooked.”
Richard was taken aback. He said, “If it weren’t for Lilith and her upscale connections we’d still be living in that Brooklyn slum instead of out here in the Hamptons where you can play in the sun.”
“But usually when I do, you or Mom come and haul me off. And anyway, I thought you liked colored people.”
“That’s ‘people of color’!” he screeched, veritably shocked.
“Why does it make any difference which way you say it?”
“Because the way you said it was a racist slur. I don’t know where you pick up this stuff!” Annie was simply confused. Her father persisted: “It has nothing to do with race, only class. Here on Long Island the African-American, Asian, and Hispanic people are all educated, mannerly folks, like us. Maybe eventually it’ll be like that in the city too, but it’s a long way off.”
They arrived at their home, an elegant bungalow on a flowery lane of sufficient elevation for a view of the Sound in the distance. When Richard opened the door he beheld his wife Karina chatting with a visitor, who then turned toward him. It was a tallish woman with white hair done up in a stylish do, accoutered in skin-tight black leather pants and a blouse that revealed a little too much of her bodice, for she was no longer young. She had a wily grin which never quite faded, an effect of too many botox treatments. Her eyes brightened wryly as she said, “Hi, Dickey-boy!”
“Hello, Lilith,” said Richard. “Did you have a nice drive?”
“Too many morons on the road, but I hit a hundred on a few stretches, so here I am on time. Unlike my host.”
“Sorry!” He blushed visibly, then gestured at Annie and added, “But you can guess why I had to run out.”
Lilith twirled her hands in a thespian flourish and said, “Shalom, Annie! How’s my magical child?”
A reply flashed silently in Annie’s mind: I’m not your child and I hate your magic. But aloud she said only “I’m fine,” as she lowered her gaze and shuffled her feet.
Lilith stepped over to her and said, “Aww, I see you got a little too much sun.” She took the girl’s limp hand and tucked up her chin with a finger to get her to look up and make eye contact. Squeezing the hand slightly Lilith said in a sing-song cadence: “I humbly beseech you to come to the beach, where I’ll tickle your toes with a seagull’s feather, and soon you’ll be feeling so much better.”
A subtle effluence coursed from Lilith’s hand into Annie’s, and an invisible veil fell over the girl’s face. Her features firmed up into a narrow-eyed smile as she replied, “Okay, sounds like fun!”
Soon they were tooling along the highway in Lilith’s black Ferrari, Annie riding shotgun and her parents in back. Their velocity seldom slackened to the speed limit, and Lilith swerved in and out of traffic with blithe abandon. “How many tickets have you gotten?” asked Karina, trying hard to keep her heart out of her throat as she spoke.
“None ever,” said Lilith; “I have friends in high places, remember?”
“You mean if you get stopped you mention Baron Redshield or somebody, and the cop lets you off?”
“I mean I never get stopped. And my cuddlesome Baron Sydney may well be the most powerful man on the planet, but I’m talking about friends…” ~ she gestured skyward ~ “beyond the planet.”
“Wow, you mean like ETs?” said Annie.
“Yes indeed,” said Lilith, “though they’re a special kind of ET, not like the space aliens you see in movies.”
“Do you think I could ever meet them?”
Lilith’s face lit up. “How about today?” she said.
Annie squealed in surprise. “Really? Will it be from the magic we’re gonna do?”
“You go, girl! I’m so glad to see that you’re back on the beam.”
“Lilith, are you serious?” said Karina.
“Don’t worry, dear heart,” said Lilith, “it’ll be the same basic praxis we’ve been doing; we’re just going to escalate it to the next plateau.”
“And you’ll be calling the angels again?”
“Yes, and God willing, this time we’ll get an archangel, a towering celestial presence. You’ll see.”
“Wow!” said Karina, which in her Swedish accent sounded like “Vow”.
“Ah!” said Lilith, “a magic word.”
“I’ll tell you later.”
Karina was a classic Nordic beauty with hair so blonde it was white with silvery highlights. Annie had inherited her pellucidly fair skin, though her father’s Irish genes had mellowed her hair to honey-blonde. In tune with the tenor of the times, she had been certified at birth with both of her parents’ surnames, but reversing the usual order: she was Anne Malone Solquist. This downsized the father’s name to a mere patronymic, and affirmed the matriarchate that was blooming in the global village.
Lilith pulled off the highway and drove to a building that would’ve been nondescript elsewhere but stood out in this high-end hamlet because its six stories made it the tallest edifice for miles around, and the crop of exotic antennae sprouting from the roof was clearly designed for more than TV reception. “I always notice this place driving past,” said Richard, “and often wondered what it is.”
“It’s called the Montauk Tower,” said Lilith; “very exclusive. We’re picking up a special friend of mine who’ll be the Magus in our little rite. Aha, here he comes. Annie, sweetheart, would you mind getting in back with your folks?”
A ruggedly good-looking man in casual top-label clothes came to the car. “Karina, Dick, and Annie,” said Lilith, “this is Colonel Nick Preston, U.S. Air Force.”
The adults did the pleasantries and Annie said, “Do you fly a jet plane?”
“I used to,” said Nick.
“Was it fun?”
“Lots of fun. I loved bombing the bad guys and shooting down evil-doers. But now I do something that’s even more fun.” He got in and they took off back to the highway as Annie asked what his new fun job was. He shared a sly look with Lilith and replied, “Fighting magic wars.”