Amrah sat in mid air, naked. “We failed
again." The Blue Angel commander had skin the color of a summer sky,
a bald elongated head, huge almond eyes and a tiny nose, he bore
little resemblance to his human son. Behind him, the unobstructed
view of Varga, the golden planet, filled the transparent hull of the
"Where could they possibly hide? Seven years
of searching and nothing to show for it!" Michael brushed a wavy
strand away from his face as he paced the ovoid chamber. His alien
father’s calm behavior still frazzled his nerves at times. "How can
thousands of ships and millions of warriors disappear without a
“It is a vast universe, my son, and it expands
as we speak." Amrah’s musical voice had a calming power. “I suspect
them close, shielded from our psychic scanners. They once hid that
way for thousands of years."
Michael dropped onto a nonexistent chair, set
his booted feet up on a nonexistent table, slammed a fist in his
hand over the sheepskin vest and stared at his jeans. Because he
felt vulnerable naked, he’d never adopted the local fashion. He took
a deep breath and let it flow out. “The damned snakes could be
watching us right now, laughing at our inadequacies.”
Nothing ever seemed to upset Amrah. “Or
devising new weapons to destroy both our races...”
“Doesn't that bother you a bit?" Despite his
enhanced faculties, Michael had trouble controlling his emotions.
He’d never stop being a country boy from Arkansas with a hot temper
and a rambunctious past.
"We will find them, my son, they can’t hide
forever.“ Amrah looked up at a subtle vibration. “Almost time for
the ceremony." An indulgent smile played on the thin lips.
Michael had learned to cherish that smile. He
knew how much the gentle alien loved his barbaric son. “I better get
ready." He rose.
"Your mother and I are very proud of you."
Amrah hesitated. "My people feel fortunate to count you as one of
"So they should." His father's lack of
emotional display could drive Michael crazy. “After all, I died in
"But, you had to die, Son, as the prophecy
predicted, so the evil could die with you, at least for a time.
Don't you like your new body better than the old one? Pride shone in
Amrah's huge eyes at his feat of genetic engineering.
"Looks the same but everything feels more
intense. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Even after a few years,
it can be hard to handle sometimes. Random memories of previous
lives pop up like it was yesterday, and I don’t always know what to
do with them." Michael felt the ship’s faint humming. A soft glow
pulsated on the bulkhead.
"So, maybe you can understand why we seek
peace and quiet on our home world, my son." Amrah's eyes swirled
with various shades of blue.
"But I want to feel alive! I need new
experiences, adventures. What good is nearimmortality if life isn’t
worth living?" Michael tried to soften his tone. "Your planet
reminds me of a monastery, with clean empty rooms, eerie music,
sweet perfume, pure beings. Your people pray or meditate seven times
a day, for Pete’s sake! God, I resent such an organized life!
There's more than just a generation gap between us, and I'm afraid
it'll take a few thousand years to bridge it."
"We have plenty of time, Son." Amrah looked
unruffled. “But remember that exceptional longevity doesn’t make you
immune to violent death."
“I know." The thought left Michael unsettled.
The life he used to enjoy could easily kill him even now.
"See you at the ceremony." Amrah smiled then
Michael teleported to his quarters, where
"Welcome home, my Archangel!" Veronica kissed
him lightly on the nose. She was tall, but not as tall as Michael,
and she had to stand on tiptoe to kiss him. Auburn hair brushed his
cheek and her green eyes sparkled with gaiety. Except for the loose
hair, she looked like a ballerina in white flowing silks.
Nothing ever affected her good spirits.
Veronica's vibrancy added to her allure... She was the most
beautiful woman he had ever wanted, and God, how he wanted her! A
few years earlier, he would have seized the moment and made
passionate love to her. Today, he felt weighted by responsibilities.
Knowledge had a way of killing spontaneity.
"Don't regret it," Veronica chided, picking up
his train of thoughts. "I love you more now than I did then. I thank
Amrah in my heart every day for the transformation that made you so
lovable." She hugged him dropped a feather kiss on his lips.
Michael snorted. Their linked minds allowed no
secrets between them. "I guess, I was some piece of work. I’ve often
wondered how you could take it, my drinking, fighting, and carousing
all night... I mean, I wasn't exactly a nice guy."
"That was a lifetime ago, Michael, in another
world. I understand now why you acted that way." The slight frown on
Veronica’s face quickly faded. "Now, you better get ready for the
ceremony. Archangelhood doesn’t call to duty every day. Are you
going to appear with wings, Earth-style? This is very formal, you
know, you can't wear jeans."
"Well, I’ll stand out, as usual. After all,
I'm a barbarian upstart from an underdeveloped planet. How about
this?" As he spoke, Michael transformed into a luminous being of
liquid silver, in full body armor, with majestic wings, flaming
sword in hand. He made his cobalt eyes and turquoise aura radiate
strength and righteousness.
Veronica laughed but approved. "For the first
time, I find you very conventional, dear. I like it though, my
knight in shining armor. Go get’em, Tiger!" She patted his rear and
"Are you coming?" Michael asked, although he
"I wouldn't miss it for the entire cosmos."
Veronica smiled mischievously.