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Chokhmah is not satisfied by this avatar, not only because it lacks the sensation of touch and smell and taste, but it looks scary.

The avatar of Chokhmah pointed across the treeless flats to a large dwelling of glass and wood perched on a low rise. Chokhmah said, Talishi, there is only one structure in all of the land of Anshar and if you accept my offer it will belong solely to you. It is cold here. Accompany me to the house, where it is warm, and I will tell you many things.

The house was more glass than wood, with an outstanding view of the ever- changing fire torrents of Mount Anshar only five miles away across a pumice plain. But there was no danger of the lava engulfing the house, for a great chasm intervened. The home was heated by natural steam. The main living section was a single room, with an alcove above the kitchen where Talishi could sleep with some degree of privacy, although there was not another nephil anywhere for thousands of miles around. On the main level were plush cushions and a glass table of superior make. It was all far more luxurious in terms of comfort than anything found in the most lavish palaces of Gorpai, yet the decor was simple, with a stark beauty in a minimal way. But Talishi was already planning to make some changes herself.

The avatar of Chokhmah, requiring no cushion for comfort, simply seated itself on the floor to put its head on a level with Talishi's head. Chokhmah said, Belial styles himself a god, but we are really scholars. We study humans and nephilim. And we've started a stream of research independent from Belial. He sees you only as slaves. We other elohim see you as students, as well as teachers. The problem is that neither the avatar of Binah nor my own avatar can move among you without inspiring fear.

Binah has crafted a solution but it would work a grievous change in the subject nephilim that could never be undone, for the mind of the eloah would be joined to the mind of the nephil, and in the joining there would emerge a new mind wrought from the twain, yet the greater portion, seven parts in ten, would reflect the eloah who possessed rather than the nephil who was possessed. There would also be a physical change using the same link that allows we elohim to communicate with each other instantly across great distances, such that I would be immediately aware of whatever was experienced by the nephil who was possessed by me, and likewise, the body of that nephil would instantly respond to my will. A living avatar.

Binah suggested that to be ethical, the change ought to be made only to a nephil who was appraised of all these things, yet remained full willing to continue. So now, brave Talishi, here you are in Anshar, and it is time to make my proposal to you. I would join with a nephil and live among the people, teaching them, but also learning from them. Yet the thing cannot be done out of obedience to a divine commandment, but only as the free will choice of the person who receives the call and answers, because once the joining takes place, we can never be unjoined. Never.

And Talishi asked, If I accept this thing, what will become of me?

Chokhmah answered, You will no longer be fully yourself, but neither will I be fully myself. Instead, you will be a new person who is simultaneously both yourself and me, and we will both come to understand, as though we always knew it, everything that is known by the other.

Still Talishi hesitated, so Chokhmah said, Also, when your body dies, whether by violence or natural death, you shall continue to live where I am, for elohim are living stars, and our life will endure so much longer than the span of nephilim life that I cannot express it using symbols that you would understand. Your culture doesn't have the mathematics.

Then Talishi was aware not only of the huge gap in her own knowledge, which was expected, but of the equally large gap in Chokhmah's knowledge, which was not expected. And she did assent to the divine proposal. But Talishi did not say "yes" to Chokhmah in return for the promise of long life, but that both she and Chokhmah, together, would come to know many things.

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Strangers In Paradise