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J5 - DEL

Not many days after Lael's death in the new colony, about six years after the migration, Elam and Lemuel were angry with their brother Rosh on ac- count of the admonitions of their father which came out of Rosh's mouth at regular intervals. The old man was dead, may he rest in peace, but here was little Rosh spouting Laelisms as though he lived on through his third son. Rosh's older brothers sought to take his life, because they would not have their younger brother rule over them, but before they could carry out this deed, Rosh fled into the wilderness with all who would go with him. Rosh took his family, and also Zethan and his family, and Timon with his family, and Jared his younger brother who was born in the new world, and also the sisters of Rosh.

They journeyed west toward the wild coast, to that land which would one day be known as Hamar. Rosh took his father's scroll as well as the obliga- tion to record the history of the Jewish people in the Land We Know. The Roshites stopped at a river estuary and founded the city of Menkant, where they fished and raised animals on the green hills that rose to the east. And there Rosh made many blades of bronze, ...lest by any means the peo- ple who were now called Elamites should come upon us and destroy us.

And the Elamites did seek them out, despite the natural defenses of the mountainous country of Hamar, because they had nephilim allies, and thought to eliminate the Roshites by attrition in battle. But in the aftermath of every battle the demigod Del was sent to them, a healing jen, the jist off- spring of Shyla and Brand. Del had the power to heal small and great in- juries, sometimes pulling fallen soldiers back from the very brink of death, but she could do nothing for those who had already suffered irre- versible cessation of life. Yet it was enough to permit the Roshites to thrive in the land of Hamar despite endless depredations by their separated brethren.

One evening when Del was sitting in a wicker basket chair quite exhausted from healing the victims of a particularly brutal skirmish, with blood still coverings her arms and the screams of agonized soldiers still ringing in her ears, she noticed two other similar chairs, when she clearly remem- bered there was only one other chair. Hello, beloved grandparent, she said with a sigh, and one of the wicker chairs flowed smoothly into the shape of a smiling Lilith Gervasi, who embraced Del warmly, kissed hem, then proceeded to take the last remaining chair.

What would you say if I told you that was your last job for the Ro- shites? Lilith asked hem, nodding at her bloody hands.

I would say do not toy with your own kin like that.

I am serious. I am pulling the whole Family together on Selene, 1982, Timeline Three. Belial has agreed to a kind of summit, and there will be many other important figures involved.

And you think I'm important?

Far more than you know, Del. You are much more than merely human or nephilim or jen, you are semi-divine. I've been hiding you and your cous- ins from Belial in such places and times that he doesn't even suspect your existence, but you and I will be together a lot more now, because I'm grooming you to become the head of the Family someday. Where am I going, you want to ask? I have been working toward a certain goal for thousands of years and I believe it is now within reach. You are already aware of the isolation Belial has imposed on me, Chokhmah, El Shaddai, and Bat-El, as well as an addition restriction such that I may not travel to an eloah outside of our little circle and report what Belial has done. But I have been preparing humans and nephilim to embark on that travel on my behalf. It may be the case that I will need to go with them, which is permitted so long as I do not myself initiate contact with the destination star.

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Strangers In Paradise