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At Central the dependents of Exiler who had never done so were  invited to  frolic  for  a time in the null gravity while  the others went ahead through  the fold-door to the Temple of Chokhmah and their temporary  homes scattered throughout Alodra, safe from the Eyes of Belial at last.  

Orifiel,  however, stayed behind, and sha would live aboard the  ship  with  Suriel.   Peniel would also stay and live together with  Barakiel.   Adriel  and Neriah would stay with Kushiel, and Noriel was to stay with har brother  Lahatiel.  So the population of Exiler stabilized at nine.

Before  Ithuriel followed hyz wife and hyz son through to  Alodra,  Talishi  took hym aside to thank hym for hyz role in the long struggle against Belial,  even during the years when hy believed he was Belial's greatest  servant.   After that, Talishi gathered the nine dependents and crew of  Exiler for a briefing on where things stood and where they needed to go.

Once more, sha began, Belial has embarked on a general war against everyone.  But now we have made preparations to ensure it will be the  last time  he ever does so.  The defection of Exiler is one of the most  important  part of those preparations.  So it is fitting that I tell  you  of the other things which are happening so that you will know what we are asking  you to do next.  First allow me to tell you the victories  Belial  has scored as a sort of bad-news-first thing.  Shortly after you departed Palato, Belial embarked on a raid of the single natural satellite of Earth with himself and his son Azibeel leading the way.  Their allies were the  Americans. Lilith Gervasi, the living avatar of Binah, has been killed, but  not before che discovered that Belial is using the carbon cycle to elevate the temperature of Sol outside of the range for which both El Shaddai and Bat-El are adapted.  If he is successful, not only will those two elohim  cease to be, but billions of humans will die on Earth.  Perhaps all of them.

The  passengers and crew of Exiler were silenced by the sheer scale  of  Belial's ambitions.  At length, Lahatiel was moved to say, Lady  Talishi, clearly the stakes of this conflict are greater than any in history.

And  yet  when I tell you of the counterforces we have  arrayed  against Belial  you might feel a twinge of pity for him.  His raid at  Selene  went very  badly.   He attempted to deny us access to the golden  avatar  of  El Shaddai and doesn't have the slightest idea that the universe itself  makes many trillions of complete copies of everything that exists, every  second, including the Ark of the Covenant.  In retaliation for the raid,  Abaddon's access to his colony at Jupiter as well as to the Land We Know has been cut off forever. The Redemption, the first starship ever flown, is on  terminal  cruise and will soon arrive at a star outside of  Belial's  control named Yefefiah, where Jill will communicate our plight to her should Belial continue  to assail Sol.  But our greatest victory of all is that  we  have captured Belial himself alive, still within his avatar of Abaddon.

It will do no good at all to kill hym, Lady Talishi, Lahatiel told har.    At death the focus of his conscious will always reverts to his mechanical avatar at Palato, and hy simply finds another victim to possess.

That  is precisely why we do not intend to kill hym, and in fact  we shall  take  extraordinary measures to see that he does not  kill  hymself.  And  that leads me at last to the difficult request I am compelled to  make of  you  and your crew, Ophan Lahatiel.  I would ask you  to  take  Abaddon aboard bound over as a prisoner, no longer as your lord.

This time only Barakiel could find his voice.  For transportation, I presume, Lady Talishi.   What destination do you have in mind?

To Mercury, in the Sol system, where he is engineering his murder of  my close kin. Perhaps there we can persuade him to stop. 

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Strangers In Paradise