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Water comes to the parched cattle lands of Linan.

Shyla was Robyn and Lilith's second kid, the younger sister of Ariel. Shyla had been stashed in a time in the Land We Know corresponding to the 1700s and there she had lived out her childhood in the care of the priestesses of Yeshua, anonymous and far beyond the ability of Belial to threaten her. The second and third generations of the Gervasi Crime Family had been "aged" like a fine wine in exactly the same way.

Shyla was a tunneler, a living version of Lilith's Golden Gift. She could walk through solid stone as easily as another person could walk through the air in a room, leaving behind tunnels just large enough for a person to stand up in. Sometimes this wasn't safe. Loose stones threatened to fall on her, and there was the ever-present nuisance of underground water. So she went together with her half-brother Brand, the human product of a union between Lilith and Jerry.

Shyla and Brand were lovers, despite sharing one parent, but that was not uncommon. The Gervasi Family tree didn't fork. They even had names for their sexual preference. Shyla as a man-loving yin was a muffle. Brand as a yin-loving man was a tyke. Years ago from her point of view, Shyla had given birth to a baby jen they named Del. After a time Del was sent away to another era in the Land We Know even as she had been.

On the north flank of the Sacred Mountain two streams came together to form a river that flowed past Glenah. For a year, stones had been cut and moved to build a dam on the east fork of the two streams. Water had backed up behind this dam and now threatened to spill over it.

But for a week, Shyla had been walking southwest toward this dam by plowing right through the intervening hillside underground, while Brand kept her sister safe from debris. Now they emerged deep under the pool behind the dam and Brand kept both of them dry, shielded by a bubble that kept the water away until they could crawl up on the bank.

Presently the water began to drain through the tunnel they had made. In a few hours it would spill out on the cattle plains around Linan and carve itself a new path, seeking the sea, but it would never reach it. Instead the water would be diverted into canals and pools for the cattle as well as the townsfolk of Linan to drink. From now on only the west fork would feed the Glenah River, but this would not seriously impact the total flow, since much of its water was developed from the water table along the way north.

They saw Yeshua there, the one who had commissioned them to do this job on behalf of El Shaddai. Shyla bowed to him and greeting, and said, Lord Yeshua, when you helped make this place you didn't finish the job.'

We didn't ask people to build Linan where it is, Yeshua said. I thank both of you for your service building the Linan Aqueduct.

Brand bowed as well. There was to be no payment. Both Shyla and Brand did this out of their abundant gratitude for a lifetime of gifts from Yeshua and his priestesses. Yeshua went on to say, Your parent has captured Belial on the Moon and wants hez entire family to meet hem there to decide what to do with him. All of your kinspeople and many others are gathering there. I've come to bring this message to you.

We will obey the summons of course, Brand told him, and Shyla nodded.

Just one thing I must mention, Yeshua said. This is Timeline Three. When you and your siblings meet Lilith and Robyn on Selene in 1981 it will be a time and place when you, Brand, were only a year old and you, Shyla, were not yet born. This will create Timeline Four. Lilith will know your whole history because che remains in union with Binah, but your mother Robyn will see you both as strangers. I needed to prepare you for this, so you do not take it the wrong way. Be of strong heart.

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Strangers In Paradise