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Between Hybla and Dia, gravity cancels out, and people build houses in free fall.

In the beginning the Land We Know was nearly without form and void, an empty wasteland with a few stone huts that were the terminal end of wormholes from the star systems of the five elohim, existing in a hyperinflated wormhole bubble between Bat-El and El Shaddai. Yeshua and Talishi requested a parley, so Azibeel-Belial linked in and met them in the appointed place.

Belial handed Yeshua a sheaf of parchment and said, Here is the latest papal bull. Note in particular Law 25, where Innocent authorizes the use of torture against heretics. "The head of state or ruler must force all the heretics whom he has in custody, provided he does so without killing them or breaking their arms or legs, to confess their errors and accuse other heretics whom they know, and specify their motives, and those whom they have seduced, and those who have lodged them and defended them." I can assure you there are things that can be done to humans, short of killing them or breaking their limbs, that make even the suffering you endured pale in comparison. This is your Banquet of God, twelve hundred years later.

Yeshua took the documents from Belial, and was very troubled by them, just as Belial intended, but this wasn't the primary purpose of the meeting. Talishi led both of them to her own stone hut, where they crossed space to her own system of Rigilkent. They emerged at a big green grassy round rock in freefall, and Talishi provided long ropes to make themselves secure.

Hybla and Dia at Alpha Centauri A was a true binary planet, much more so than Earth and Luna. They formed a figure eight when seen from space. Gravity pulled both worlds into teardrop shapes that nearly kissed, and the sharp ends of those teardrops were the biggest mountains ever discovered. But above their summits the gravity of the twin bodies canceled out.

Looking at Hybla, Azibeel saw the flanks of the mountain merge with the rest of the planet thousands of miles below. He saw undulating gray ridges and long skinny blue lakes, all partly obscured by clouds. The identical but slightly smaller blue and green bulk of Dia filled the other half the sky with its own mega-mountain nearly poking him in the eye.

Looking out, he saw a handful of humans at play with strap-on wings and a number of self-contained houses floating in the air. Behind them (too bright to look at yet giving almost no heat) was the distant orange sun Toliman which was Belial's own body and the sun of Gorpai. Rarely was it ever truly dark at night anywhere in the Centauri system.

Strong winds alternated as the world-pair rotated in the sunlight of Rigilkent. The inertia of the large vegetated rock, which Talishi called "Central", permitted free-floating spheres of water to actually fall as rain and collect in round globules of water that qualified as ponds. And some of this water was used in steam jets powered by burning wood to keep this garden rock in the sweet spot. If they ever went unattended for long Central would drift toward one of the two planets and crash.

Here's the deal, Talishi said to Azibeel. Three things. One, you call off the war you are planning to wage against Houses Antero, Larund, and Sala. Two, you allow any nephil on Gorpai who so desires to freely travel from your Temple to the fold-space bubble where there is now only a desert and five huts. Three, you help myself, Bat-El, El Shaddai and Binah create a new world in that bubble. In return, you get first pick of one of these two worlds in my system to do with as you see fit.

What is the difference between the two worlds?

Both have native plants, but no animals, and no sentient life, which is why you've ignored them until now. Dia is smaller and more gentle, like yen, suitable for farming. Hybla is larger and more rugged, like yeng.

I'll take Hybla.

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