Excerpt for Seven Billion Reasons by , available in its entirety at Smashwords







SEVEN BILLION REASONS


VINCENT GILVARRY



Book Five

of

The Tales of a Yumi Master


Published by the author

in association with

www.smashwords.com



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2017

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A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR



The main character in this series is a Yumi Master called Addric Sharano. Technically speaking, they are the Peacekeepers or intergalactic troubleshooters. A Yumi Master goes where they are needed, sometimes by accident and sometimes by design. And even though Addric comes from a galaxy on the outer perimeter of Alpha Centauri, he has been a resident of Planet Earth for the last thirty five years.

In Seven Billion Reasons, Addric accepts a challenge that most people would shy away from. He is asked to spearhead a campaign to save the people of Earth from potential annihilation and Addric agrees. Unfortunately he has a limited window of opportunity and if he doesn’t succeed, then the worst of all possible scenarios will be set in place.





INTRODUCTION



What is more important, the Earth or its inhabitants? Ask an Earthling and see what they have to say. Ask a member of the celestial hierarchy and you might be surprised at their response. It’s a tough call either way. But ever since we’ve been here, we Earthlings have had to battle just about everything, including members of their own species. But one of our most fearsome adversaries is also our great provider. Mother Nature can be our best friend, but she can also be our worst nightmare, and can take away in an instant everything we have done our best to create.

To those in the celestial realms, it comes as something of a surprise to discover that Planet Earth is destined for extinction. Word had passed around that its days are numbered. A decision like that is not made lightly and in special cases, it’s a directive from the highest echelons of power. But it’s more than enough to bring thousands of celestial masters out of the woodwork.

They have been summoned to a conference, the like of which has only ever happened once before. A new chapter of the Intergalactic Bible is about to be revealed. And any celestial master who has ever played a role in Earth’s history is obliged to attend.

The Intergalactic Bible is not a bible at all. It’s the means by which messages of great import are conveyed by the powers that be. What it does is communicate, and on this occasion, it has a very concise message for the celestial beings attending this conference. And when the Intergalactic Bible appears, it assumes the form of a sphere of golden light.

‘Sisters and brothers, friends of old,’ it says, ‘we have known each other for an eternity, countless eons in fact.’

‘And it is only on a very rare occasion that I have to intervene. But I do so on this occasion because of the events occurring in one of the most sacred of all territories, that of Planet Earth.’

‘Those of you who have had a close connection with this beautiful planet will not be surprised to hear that issues have been developing in that domain for some time.’

‘And that is the reason for this gathering.’

‘Unfortunately, Project Earth has been identified as a failure, primarily because the current inhabitants are a threat to its planned future.’

‘They have become so obsessed with technology that it has taken over their lives.’

‘This situation is counterproductive to the greater good, and as a result, their future now rests in your hands.’

‘The people of Earth are no longer in control of their own lives. The internet has become the only god they recognise.’

‘And what is even worse, is that they are no longer communicating with the most essential element of their being.’

‘There are many amongst our ranks that have personal experience of these difficulties. But what are we to do, you might be asking?’

‘This decision is not an easy one. The inhabitants of Earth must be made aware that their days are numbered.’

‘You have one hour to make a decision as to what to do about Earth’s future. It’s up to you to provide a solution to this problem.’

‘However, if this situation is not resolved, that most glorious of all places will be terminated within ninety days.’

‘The hearts of those that shine most brightly will be rewarded, but those who do not meet our standards will be reassigned, and the planet will be reprocessed for a future that is as yet unknown.’













CHAPTER 1



The spirits of the departed are not the only residents of graveyards, battlefields, abandoned houses or places like Dead Man’s Cove. As well as numerous rats and mice scurrying through the debris in the middle of the night, old doors with creaky hinges are just as common. And if they are around, the deceased will be watching as you make your way through streets riddled with history. Apparently, there’s an unwritten law which says that they can linger in the shadows for as long as they like.

More than likely, you’d find them on an isolated promontory off the coast of Spain. It was once the home of an order of Spanish monks, but from the very first moment he set eyes on it, Addric knew that this was where he wanted to settle down.

He had seen it from a distance while cruising the Mediterranean many years before and decided to take a closer look. The monastery was once a retreat for pious monks from all over Spain. And even though it probably had a very different name, Addric decided to call it Dragonshead. It’s as far from civilisation as you can get, and that’s a bonus as far as he’s concerned. Roads no longer go that way and ships never give it a second glance, but Addric saw its potential.

It would have been a feat of engineering to construct such a thing so far from civilisation. There was very little left, other than the crumbling remains of an old monastery and an abandoned windmill with four tattered sails. But it does have a panoramic view, perched as it is on a gentle slope overlooking the ancient waters of the Mediterranean.

Addric has always dreamed of having a house in a place such as this. And for a Yumi Master with the power to conjure up anything he can imagine, nothing could have been easier than to resurrect this relic of the past and bring it to life in the blink of an eye.

One of its many attractions is its windswept gardens. A few wild goats still graze on the hillside and the grapevines cultivated by the monks are flourishing once again.

A few hand-wrought stones embedded in the ground were all that remained of the old monastery, but today it lives again. It’s somewhat different now, but it still sits on a low rise overlooking a secluded beach. It also has a brand new jetty, a little boathouse and the remains of a little grotto.

The servants of the Lord no longer reside in the monastery and the grotto is no longer dedicated to the Holy Family, but this is the place that Addric and his wife have called home for the last thirty five years.

Maya passed away two years before, and if he had not been a Yumi Master, blessed with eternal life, Addric would happily have followed her into the next life. Old age is a condition that afflicts just about everyone on Planet Earth, and unfortunately, it crept up on Maya much sooner than Addric would have liked.

They never had any children of their own, but Addric adopted a little boy many years before. Jatoo is now fifty years old, and is also a Yumi Master. He and his wife, Marina, are the proud parents of two beautiful children.

Subandrah and Altheria rarely need an excuse to visit their grandfather but they’ve got a pretty good one. There is no such thing as an ocean where they come from, and as a consequence, they take the opportunity to visit Addric as often as possible. But they’re just kids and all they want to do is have as much fun as possible. And in their case, that means passing a few hours splashing around in the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean.

















































CHAPTER 2



Grieving can be a long and complicated process, and the loss of a loved one is a condition that only time can heal. Other than the occasional visitor, Addric’s only company over the last few months have been a few passing spirits who pop in for a quick chat.

His friends rarely arrive by any recognisable form of transport. And when they do decide to make an appearance, they have the option of using the services of an inter-dimensional portal. The art of physical relocation is one of the many advantages of being a Yumi Master. It’s an option that allows them to travel from one place to another and arrive at their destination within seconds.

One of Addric’s regular visitors is the goddess Emphora. As to her real age, no one has any idea. But if you were to take a guess, you’d probably say that she’s fifty five at the most. The aging process is not an issue for a goddess and most people would be surprised to find out just how old Emphora really is.

She has been known to appear in numerous forms, one of which is a bodiless spirit, but Emphora’s been around for a very long time. And the option of being in bodily form is a condition that she finds so much more amenable to that of a vacuous and semi-transparent wisp of vaporous smoke.

It’s the morning of the 30th of March in the year 2032 and Addric is preparing his first coffee of the day when the front door bell rings.

‘Who could that be,’ he says.

Passing strangers are out of the question. No one has ever rung that bell before and Addric is curious. He races down two flights of stairs and opens the door, only to discover that his unannounced visitor is Emphora.

‘Emphora, please come in,’ he says. ‘I had a feeling I’d be seeing you sooner or later.’

‘This is not just a social call, is it?’

‘No Addric, it’s not, I’m here for an important reason.’

Emphora has been a regular visitor to Earth for a very long time. She is typical of all Yumi women and renowned for her grace and style. And on most occasions she would be dressed in her familiar silk gown and veil. But today she’s wearing a very smart designer coat and hat. It’s the sort of thing that anyone with an ounce of common sense would wear on a blustery day at the beach.

‘As usual, you look wonderful,’ Addric says.

‘Thank you, my boy, an old lady loves a compliment from a handsome young man.’

The view from Addric’s terrace is worth the effort alone, and even though she’s here for a reason, Emphora is happy to catch up on the latest gossip, such as who is doing what and where. After her second cup of coffee, she gets down to business.

‘Addric, an issue of the utmost importance has arisen, and it’s one that affects you more than anyone else at the moment.’

‘It’s not something I’ve done, is it?’

‘No Addric, it’s what you hopefully will do, and as soon as you possibly can,’ Emphora says somewhat cryptically.

‘As the Supreme Head of the High Yumi Council, I was summoned to attend a meeting at the headquarters of the Intergalactic Alliance.’

The Alliance as Addric knows is an intergalactic body whose primary purpose is to monitor the evolutionary status of every inhabited system in the universe. Addric knows immediately that this means business.

‘Now, and this is the difficult part,’ Emphora says, ‘they have been advised that Planet Earth has been found wanting.’

‘The people of Earth are not meeting the standards expected of a race of developing beings. And unless they make radical changes in their lives, their future is in jeopardy.’

Addric is listening closely and he is obviously disturbed by this revelation. Earth has always had its problems, he knows that. But he’s surprised to hear that a celestial body has decided to take punitive action just because the people of Earth aren’t perfect.

‘What does that mean?’ he says.

‘They have been designated for extinction Addric.’

‘No they can’t,’ he cries. Addric cannot believe what he’s hearing. ‘They wouldn’t, would they?’

‘Not if this problem can be rectified, but you Addric, have been identified as someone who could change the future of the people of Planet Earth.’

‘I have and why would that be?’

‘If you want to find out more, you’ll have to accompany me to a meeting at Alliance headquarters.’

‘It’s there that you’ll be briefed in more detail on the issue,’ Emphora says.

‘I realise how distressing this must sound Addric, but you won’t be working alone.’

‘As to what you can do is unknown at the moment. But if you speak to some of the masters who have devoted their lives to the people of Earth, I am sure you could come up with a plan of action.’

‘Why me?’ he says.

‘I believe that someone you know dobbed you in.’

‘You,’ he says.

‘No it wasn’t, my boy, but think about it Addric. You love this planet more than anyone, and you know that you couldn’t sit by and do nothing, not if there’s something you could do.’

‘That’s true Emphora, I do love this planet.’

Addric takes a long deep breath and wanders over to the balcony, barely aware of the glistening waters of the Mediterranean, the numerous vessels in the distance or that it’s a beautiful day on which to be alive.

‘Addric,’ Emphora says, ‘you would rather die than let that happen, wouldn’t you?’

‘You know I would Emphora.’

‘Then, you will attend the meeting.’

‘Of course I will, as long as you are by my side.’

At the age of five, Addric was brave enough to stand up against the class bully and give him a serving of his own medicine. Ever since then, he has stood his ground against the occasional tyrant and even a psychopathic necromancer with delusions of grandeur. It wasn’t because of any personal animosity. Addric cannot tolerate discrimination in any form and has never been able to sit by and just let it to happen.

‘This has the smell of injustice written all over it,’ he says

‘I would be very careful not say that too loudly,’ Emphora says. ‘That decision came from the highest echelon of power, and not just from the Alliance itself, if you get my drift.’

























CHAPTER 3



Emphora knows with all certainty that ascended masters do not have delusions of grandeur and they are not deranged or dangerously disturbed. And as a consequence, Addric will not have to worry about ulterior motives.

Problems of that nature have plagued the authorities on Earth for as long as anyone can remember. Murder, acts of terrorism and other forms of brutality have featured on news bulletins for the last six decades, and they have never shown any sign of ever abating.

Addric knows exactly what life is like on Earth. And even though most human beings are good people, that does not apply to everyone. There have always been those who have profited from violence, instability and fear. In days gone by, it was a controllable few, but ever since the advent of the internet and a mind-boggling array of electronic devices, things have degenerated to an all-time low.

The younger generation welcomed the electronic revolution with open arms. And their fascination with the latest product on the market has never shown any sign of diminishing. As the powers that be know, most people have given up communicating on a face-to-face basis, they now live in a fabricated world called cyberspace.

‘In other words,’ Emphora says, ‘they have sold their souls to a very different master.’

If the opulence and grandeur of the corridors of the Intergalactic Alliance is anything to go by, quality of life is obviously very important in the heavenly realms. And Addric is impressed by what he sees.

‘So Emphora, who will be at this meeting,’ he says.

‘Four delegates from the conference, a celestial being called Lila Vectrona, an ascended master called Lord Roncardo, and two ambassadors from the Angelic realms, as far as I know.’

‘You’re not anxious are you?’

‘Have you ever heard that joke about the chicken that crossed the road?’ Addric says somewhat cryptically.

‘Ah yes, they’re wonderfully inventive aren’t they. That’s one joke that does change with the times. But God knows why the chicken ever decided to cross the road in the first place.’

‘Because she had to get to the other side,’ Addric says, ‘and this little chicken is about to cross the very same road.’

‘In that case, Addric, you are bound to have a very interesting journey and meet a lot of wonderful people on the way.’

‘But this little chicken has super-powers Addric. It can fly through the air and do all sorts of things that a chicken can’t do, which is why you are here, my boy.’

‘Ah, now,’ Emphora says, ‘that is someone I know.’

Heading towards them is a vision so unbelievable that it could be a supernova on two legs. As she sails down the hallway followed by a cascade of long silken veils, Lila Vectrona is a sight for sore eyes.

‘Emphora, welcome back,’ she says, ‘I’m so glad to see you again.’

‘And I presume this is Addric.’

‘Yes it is,’ Emphora says. ‘Addric, allow me to introduce you to Lila Vectrona, a representative of the Celestial High Council.’

‘Addric, I am delighted to meet you and I’m glad you have decided to attend this meeting.’

Throw someone into an unfamiliar environment, along with a cluster of new faces, all of whom are eager to express their opinion, and you have a recipe as old as time. Addric is not usually so reserved. He is simply trying to come to terms with a problem of titanic proportions.

He listens with interest to what Archangels Michael and Gabriel have to say, to the litany of reasons why the people of Earth have fallen so low in the estimation of the Celestial Hierarchy.

‘But the primary issue,’ Michael says, ‘is that they are no longer listening to their true selves anymore.’

‘Which means what?’ Addric says.

‘They’re not listening to that most precious aspect of their being, Addric, to that which is sometimes called their soul or their Higher Selves.’

‘In other words, they’re not listening to the very thing that connects them to the core and essence of all that is.’

Michael and Gabriel have chosen to appear in human form, and if you didn’t know any better, you’d say that they were in their early forties. But that is not the case at all. They’re of an indeterminate age and come from a world where time has no meaning, and one in which no one has ever suffered the slings and arrows of misfortune.

‘Every being in this universe is an intricate part of the greater whole Addric, you know this,’ Gabriel says, ‘but the people of Earth have lost contact with the most essential part of their being.’

‘And over the last fifty years, the problems have become even worse. They’re surrounded by technology, and unfortunately, they’re at the mercy of every possible electronic device you can imagine.’

‘But so too are those from other planetary systems,’ Addric says.

‘That’s true, but they use their equipment much more sensibly than the people of Earth,’ Lila says. ‘And that is the primary issue.’

‘It’s the attraction of technology that has changed the psyche of people over the last fifty years. And because of that, we have almost lost contact with the younger generations.’

‘They don’t even bother to make a personal decision about anything anymore,’ Gabriel says.

‘They are no longer aware of the rhythms of their body, and choose instead to consult an electronic device to be told what to do.’

‘In other words, they have relinquished their power as sentient beings and rely on programmed devices to run their lives.’

‘As a consequence, the barometer that gauges the spiritual development of the people of Earth has fallen to an all-time low.’

‘That was not the case at the beginning of the 21st century,’ Lila says, ‘they were doing brilliantly, and it did not go un-noticed.’

‘Those of us in the celestial realms were ecstatic, so much so that a decision was made to make massive changes to the magnetics of the planet, one that would allow human beings to advance to the next level.’

‘That’s an integral element of the grand plan,’ says Lord Roncardo, an ascended Master of some standing in the celestial community.

‘As your wife, Maya, once told you Addric, Planet Earth was given a singular honour from the very start, one that few planetary systems have ever had before.’

The Earth was designed as a garden in which non-souled beings, such as those from the houses of great angelic families and beings from other star systems could incarnate in human form.

‘Earth is not just any old planet Addric. The people of Earth have a grand future ahead. And one day it is hoped that they will be very different to any other race that has ever existed.’

‘But the problem is they have no idea that they’re participating in one of the grandest and most extraordinary endeavours in the known universe.’

‘We could go on and on forever, but the question is, what’s to be done?’ Michael says. ‘We are not permitted to interfere in this situation, which is why we have asked for your help.’

‘Addric, are you interested in accepting this challenge?’

‘Without a doubt, but I have no idea what I can do,’ he says. ‘As you probably know, a Yumi Master is not permitted to interfere in the lives of human beings.’

‘I am sure that the head of the Yumi High Council will happily make an alteration to that rule so that it no longer applies to you,’ Lord Roncardo says.

‘Is that a possibility Emphora?’

‘It definitely is,’ she says, ‘it is technically called a dispensation and a decision that I as the Head of the High Yumi Council am entitled to make.’

‘That is excellent, Emphora, but the most important thing you have to do Addric, is increase the level of human consciousness.’

According to Kryon, the Magnetic Master, a celestial being who has been transmitting information to the people of Earth since 1989, human consciousness is the thoughts and energies of every person on the planet.

‘It’s a vital component of the system necessary for the development of the human race,’ Lord Roncardo says.

‘In other words, it’s the invisible engine that dictates the fortunes of the people and of the planet.’

‘Give me some time to think about it,’ Addric says, ‘and when I’ve decided on a plan of action, I’ll report back to you.’

‘We are willing to assist in any way we can,’ Michael says, ‘but there is one equally vital aspect of this situation that you must be aware of.’

‘And what is that?’ Addric says.

‘If this problem cannot be resolved within ninety days, the worst of all possible scenarios will be activated.’































CHAPTER 4



‘I had a feeling that this was going to be an interesting day,’ Addric says, ‘but I did not expect it to be terrifying.’

‘Perhaps a change of scenery would be a good idea,’ Emphora says.

‘Where do you have in mind?’

‘One of my favourite places, a non-descript little restaurant overlooking the beach at Monte Carlo.’

‘That sounds excellent.’

After several glasses of a particularly good vintage, Addric starts to relax.

‘So, what are you thinking?’ Emphora says.

‘As you can imagine, my mind is like a rollercoaster at the moment, but I do have a couple of ideas.’

And what might they be?’

‘Well, one option is to neutralise the electronic equipment that’s taken over people’s lives.’

‘Not everything, surely Addric?’

‘No, not in places like hospitals and medical centers, but that’s just one idea I’ve been contemplating.

‘As Lila said, the most important changes have to occur at the level of human consciousness.’

‘I can see why Adartha recommended you for this task.’

‘He did,’ says a surprised Addric. ‘Why?’

Adartha, Prince of the Angelic realm of Ra-Silonay is a remarkable man in his own right and a man who left an indelible impression on Addric’s mind.

‘He obviously believes that you are capable of handling this task. Who else could do it?’

‘You could.’

‘I will be stepping out of the picture, unless you absolutely need my help, but you were about to tell me more about what you have in mind.’

‘The solution to this problem has to be something that creeps up from behind. Something that will not only stop people in their tracks, it will have a powerful effect on their consciousness.’

‘You’re not thinking of some sort of natural disaster, are you?’

‘Quite the opposite in fact, subtlety is the way to go, something like a cat creeping up on a mouse.’

‘I hear you, Addric, an idea like that will allow for a wide range of options.’

‘Exactly, and I think it would be a good idea to call upon the assistance of a few of friends to help me nut this thing out.’

‘Such as whom, for example.’

‘Reuben Ali Shah comes to mind for one.’

‘And why would that be.’

‘Did I ever tell you how incredible he was in Lemuria?’

‘No, you must have forgotten about that.’

‘The way he handled the tyrant Hyperion, the High Priest of the Temple of Lemuria was absolutely awesome Emphora.’

‘In fact, I even got down on my knees and bowed to his inspired brilliance.’

‘That’s good to know, but who else is on your hit list.’

‘The one and only Countess of Farago, Lady Felicity Originalis, she’s essential for a mission of this nature.’

‘Good thinking Addric, she has a wealth of experience and is a master of strategies to boot.’

‘That she is, and then, of course, we can’t forget her sister, the Countess Demetra, can we?’

Felicity Originalis and her sister Demetra are powerful women in their own right. They’re masters of the arcane arts, who not only have a history of battling the powers of darkness, but the occasional necromancer with delusions of grandeur as well.

‘For a situation like this, their expertise will be very useful.’

‘So, what are you going to do first?’

‘Invite everyone to spend a few weeks at Dragonshead to start with. Things have been a bit on the quiet side lately.’

‘I do understand, ‘Emphora says.

She isn’t willing to say so, but she’s aware of the pain in Addric’s heart. The loss of his wife Maya has left a gaping hole in his life.

‘In that case, I think it would be an excellent idea if you were to engage the services of a housemaid and a cook.’

‘Are you offering your services,’ he says hopefully.

‘If you wish, but I was actually thinking of the Krugwah.’

‘Ah, the ever-reliable Krugwah Catering and Cleaning Service, that’s an excellent idea.’

‘Eenah has never been to Earth before, and I know she’d jump at the opportunity to spend time with you. Would you like me to mention it to her?’

‘Why not, someone has to keep us on our toes, but Jatoo and his family pop in every few days, so you can include him as well.’

‘That’s perfect, so, is that it?’

‘I’m thinking about my old friends Yusef and Jolariel. They’re good company for one thing and very useful in a crisis.’

‘I live in a house with twenty five unoccupied rooms, so we’ll have more than enough space for everyone, and we could make it a family affair as well.’

‘We definitely could,’ Emphora says.

‘Okay Addric, count me in.’

‘I’m in dire need of a change of scenery. And what could be better than to spend a few weeks in a villa on the coast of Spain.’

























































CHAPTER 5



Jolariel is the proprietor of several bookshops in London, but unfortunately, he has to attend a series of book fairs in Europe throughout the course of the year. Regrettably he had to decline Addric’s offer. But his old friend, Yusef, part-time pirate and man of leisure is always available. As the owner of a chain of antique shops in numerous European cities, free time is something that Yusef does have to spare. And he not only jumps at the opportunity, he arrives several days before anyone else.

‘I am so looking forward to seeing everyone again,’ he says.

Yusef has not changed since the day Addric first met him. He still has his youthful looks, vibrant green eyes and short cropped hair. And if you didn’t know any different, you’d say that he’s a thirty year old man.

Yusef was one of the original inhabitants of the lost continent of Lemuria. But he does have a broad range of skills and talents and an excellent sense of humour. Yusef has always been an incurable optimist and he’s looking forward to the next few weeks.

‘The first contingent will be here soon,’ Addric says. ‘Brace yourself Yusef for more kisses and cuddles than you have had in ages.’

‘I can deal with that Addric, but what of Elisabeth and Dheago. Will they be coming as well?’

‘They will, but they won’t be staying for long.’

Addric’s half-brother, Dheago, and his wife Elisabeth are now the parents of five teenage children, and their life is nothing if not busy. Dheago was an only child but now he’s a doting father and family means everything to him.

Most of Addric’s friends are Yumi Masters and when they travel, they do so in a one form of portal or another. One fine spring morning, almost a week to the day after Addric agreed to undertake one of the most difficult of all challenges, the first of his visitors arrive at his door.

‘So Addric, who can we expect first?’

‘The Krugwah, of course, Eenah and her trusty companions, Peedie, Bootee, Malila and Wimple, they’ll be here any moment now.’

‘Ooh, has Eenah changed at all?’ Yusef says.

He has every reason to be concerned as Eenah is renowned for being as forthright as she is dictatorial. And as everyone knows, it’s not advisable to get into her bad books.

‘That would be impossible, Yusef, but the secret with Eenah is to look her in the eye and hope for the best.’

‘That is not what I call good advice Addric.’

‘It’s always worked for me.’

The arrival of a Krugwah portal is always accompanied by a glowing blue light and a colourful display of little golden sparks.

‘She’s here,’ Addric says.

They step outside, only to be greeted by a sight that is picture postcard classic. Eenah pokes her head through the door and peers around suspiciously.

‘It’s all good Eenah, there’s nothing to be afraid of, other than Yusef, of course.’

‘That’s not fair Addric.’

The Krugwah are at the top of the list when it comes to Addric’s favourite nature spirits. And their most defining features are big soulful eyes, stumpy little legs and a curious crop of ginger coloured hair.

‘I remember you,’ Eenah says to Yusef. ‘You’re a good man. You’d have to be to be a friend of Addric’s.’

‘See, Yusef, I told you it’d be okay.’

The most important place for Eenah is the kitchen. That’s her domain and the creation of delectable nibbles is just one of the many things at which she excels. Eenah has never seen an Earth kitchen before, and as is her way, she has a few things to say.

‘Perhaps we can get rid of this, this and this,’ she says as she inspects several very strange-looking appliances.

‘We’ll need room, we have things to do you know.’

‘Whatever you like,’ Addric says, ‘but I do have a few requests.’

And what be that.’

‘Well, as you know, I’m expecting guests and I thought we could start with afternoon tea first. And then for tonight, perhaps we could have a seafood dinner out on the terrace.’

Eenah wanders over to the door and looks out upon the Mediterranean. An ocean is something she’s never seen before and its very magnitude takes her by surprise.

‘That looks dangerous.’

‘That’s an ocean, Eenah, and even though it can be dangerous sometimes, you’ll be quite safe here.’

‘Maybe we will, maybe we won’t,’ she says. ‘So what sort of food you be wanting for tonight?’

‘Seafood, of course.’

‘And what’s that?’ she says in her usual straightforward style.

‘Fish and prawns mostly, freshly caught from that very ocean out there.’

‘So how we be getting these fishes and prawn things.’

‘Jatoo’s an excellent fisherman. Ask him and he’ll pop down and get you some.’

‘Okay, but what I do with them?’

Eenah listens closely as Addric explains the fine art of cooking seafood to perfection.

‘That be sounding very good. We can do that, no problems, okay.’

‘But I was thinking about cakes and biscuits for afternoon tea,’ Addric says hopefully.

‘We can be doing that too,’ she says. ‘Now, go away and leave me to my business.’

It’s in everyone’s interest to treat Eenah with the respect she deserves. Addric learnt that lesson a long time ago. And he is nothing if not diplomatic, especially where Eenah is concerned.

















































CHAPTER 6



Lady Felicity and her sister, the Countess Demetra, arrive as any master of the arcane arts might be expected to arrive. Not loudly but quietly. They’re striking women in their own right and almost identical in appearance, but not to the extent that you couldn’t tell them apart. Like all women, they have an intrinsic interest in their appearance and their long blonde hair is now a subtle shade of brown.

Emphora arrives not long after, accompanied by Jatoo, his wife Marina and their two children. Altheria and Subandrah were named for Jolariel’s first son and daughter, two people that Jatoo remembers with affection.

Marina was once a resident of the little town of Bumpton but that is no longer the case. The day she first set eyes on Jatoo was on Dheago and Elisabeth’s wedding day, and it was love at first sight. They were only seven at the time, but as she told a nosey television reporter, she knows a good man when she sees one.

The odd one out in this arrangement is an old friend of Addric’s, a Yumi Master called Reuben Ali Shah. Reuben had an interesting and varied life, long before he ever became a Yumi Master. He was an employee of the National Security Organisation of Vela-Rishan who specialised in petty crime and part-time criminals. It was a career path with limited prospects, but for a few unbelievable months he had a taste of what it meant to be in possession of the power of a Yumi Master.

His final assignment was the one that changed his life. Addric and Dheago had been accused of a crime they didn’t commit, and it was Reuben’s job to follow their every move. But if it had not been for a Yumi Master called Lezula, they would never have become friends at all. Reuben is an exceptional human being and one that Addric is proud to call a friend.

Accompanied by their five children, Elisabeth and Dheago make an appearance just in time for afternoon tea. Elisabeth is now a middle aged woman, and if she had not married Dheago, she would have lived the lifestyle of an itinerant archaeologist.

The most difficult thing she had to do was tell her parents that she was going to marry a man from the opposite side of the universe and make Vela-Rishan her permanent home.

As far as they were concerned, Dheago was a perfectly normal human being, but Elisabeth had no idea how to broach the subject that he was an alien.

Emphora came to their rescue and introduced herself as his grandmother. George and Helen were astounded to discover that she was not just an extremely wealthy woman, but the matriarch of a very substantial family. It’s all true in one way, but it’s in the nature of human beings to get a little suspicious when they hear things like that.

Emphora was not about to jeopardise their married life and decided to come clean. And as a way of proving her point, she invited them to step into a Krugwah portal and explore the attractions of Vela-Rishan. And for a few glorious weeks, George and Helen had a mind-expanding holiday in a galaxy on the outer perimeter of Alpha Centauri.

They have since passed on now and their beautiful house in Bumpton is where Elisabeth and Dheago spend a few relaxing days when they’re in need of a break from five boisterous teenagers.

Dheago and Elisabeth are so busy with family commitments that Addric is rarely a part of their lives anymore. And even though he has never said so, he misses his brother desperately. He and Dheago have a history that goes back a very long way, but if it hadn’t been for Addric, Dheago’s life could have been very different. Not long after his tenth birthday, his parents passed away in tragic circumstances. Addric was not about to let a total stranger adopt his best friend, so he came to Dheago’s rescue and offered him a home and a family.

They were as different as any two people could be. They did not discover until many years later that they are the descendants of the ancient Rishani, the original inhabitants of Vela-Rishan, and nothing could ever change that.

After two long and lonely years of mourning, Addric’s life is about to change in a way he could never have imagined. He accepted a challenge that many others would have shied away from. The fact that he has no idea what he’s going to do is not unusual, but Addric always has a few tricks up his sleeve and he is determined to succeed.





















CHAPTER 7



The Krugwah may be small of stature but that is no indication of their talents or their abilities. Amongst other things, they are masters of the culinary arts. And Eenah and her trusty companions deliver the goods in style. Their reputation is confirmed the moment they place several platters of baked fish and a mouth-watering dish of garlic prawns on the table.

Yusef is the first to get to his feet and offer Eenah a well-deserved round of applause. As he knows from experience, it’s a good idea to ingratiate himself as often as possible.

‘Eenah, you have excelled yourself,’ he says, ‘the fish is cooked to perfection.’

‘That be very nice, but if you be having any complaints, we be in the kitchen.’

The sight of the ocean was a bit of a shock at first, but once Eenah realised that it was a source of delicacies such as fish and prawns she was not to be deterred. She gave Jatoo strict instructions not to come back until he had six fish and several kilos of prawns. And the result of their efforts is a seafood banquet to remember.

Eenah happily accepts Yusef’s praise, but it’s been a very long day, and after the table has been cleared, she announces that enough is enough and that she is going home.

‘But we be back tomorrow, bright and early,’ she says, ‘and breakfast be served at seven o’clock sharp.’

Addric is not about to let his favourite nature spirits disappear in a Krugwah portal without saying goodbye.

‘Thank you Eenah,’ he says as he blows her a farewell kiss. ‘It was lovely to see you again.’

The ever-inscrutable Eenah has known Addric as long if not longer than anyone else. And even though she has a reputation as a tyrant of the first order, she cannot help but notice the sadness in his heart.

‘Jatoo, you take care of your father,’ she says, ‘or I be having something to say to you.’

‘I definitely will, you know that Eenah.’

‘He has a very big job ahead and needs all the help he can get.’

From the very first moment that Eenah ever set eyes on Jatoo she has been his friend, his playmate, his constant companion and his protector. And never once did she ever let him out of her sight. Very few people have ever seen the gentle side of Eenah, but Jatoo has.

‘She never misses a thing,’ he says. ‘Does she?’

It’s in Eenah’s interest to know exactly what’s going on, and she was listening closely to what they said over the dinner table.

‘I would not be surprised if she has a few ideas of her own,’ Addric says. ‘Eenah has never been backward in coming forward.’

‘And she would stand her ground to protect those that she loves. After all, it’s her reason for being.’

‘So very true,’ Emphora says, ‘but tomorrow will be a very big day boys and girls.’

‘And I think it’s time we put the kids to bed and then sat down and had a late night sherry.’

‘What a wonderful idea,’ Yusef says. ‘In that case, I’ll polish the glasses and maybe a few other things as well.’























































CHAPTER 8



It’s the first week of April, the sky is a cerulean blue and a light breeze wafts in from the Mediterranean. And it’s another beautiful day on Planet Earth. After a hearty Krugwah breakfast, Addric takes his grandchildren for a stroll along the beach. And even though the kids just want to have fun, his mind is elsewhere, as he prepares for the task ahead.

They have gathered together for a reason. But unbeknownst to anyone, other than Addric and Emphora, they have ninety days in which to achieve the impossible. Until such time as it is necessary, this is news that Addric is not prepared to reveal.

The command center is his handsomely furnished den. It’s a room that has, amongst other things, a collection of rare and valuable antiques that have their origins in the long lost civilisation of Lemuria. They are treasures that any museum would love to get their hands on. But if it had not been for the foresight of Jatoo’s grandfather, they would surely have been destroyed.

Addric stored them away until Jatoo had a home of his own. But there was far too much for one house, Jatoo kept what he wanted and gave the rest to Addric.

A magnificent polished table now takes pride of place in the middle of the room. And it’s here that they will plot and plan and nut out a few ideas over the next few weeks.

‘The primary item on the agenda is just how we are going to do this,’ Addric says as he stands before the team of people he has selected to assist in this venture.

‘This campaign may test us to our limits, but as you know, if we do not succeed, the prospects for the people of Earth do not bear thinking on.’

Over the next hour, he brings them up to date on what he was told by Lila Vectrona and the Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

‘Apparently, that information came from the highest of all sources,’ he says. ‘It was revealed to the minds of the delegates by the Intergalactic Bible.’

‘And just what is that,’ Reuben says.

‘Well, it’s not a book at all apparently.’

‘The bible is the means by which a directive from on high is communicated to the mind,’ Emphora says.

‘And in this case, it was revealed to the minds of the celestial and angelic beings who were summoned to a special conference.’

‘It stated clearly that Earth’s days are numbered, unless someone can redirect them down another path.’

‘What a horrifying thought,’ Yusef says. ‘So, what are we doing wrong?’

‘Well, you’ll be relieved to know that not everyone is at fault. But the problem that we have to rectify is what is not happening and what should be happening.’

‘And what is that?’ Felicity says.

‘People have become so obsessed with technology that it rules their lives. And unfortunately, they no longer have that all-important connection to spirit.’

‘And this is the thing we have to change,’ Reuben says. ‘Is that possible?’

‘Yes it is, or so I believe. And the most successful way to do so is that is to target human consciousness.’

‘And just how do we do that?’

‘Well, what we are not going to do is use scare tactics and brute force.’

‘That would be counterproductive and alienate people even more. We will be using much more subtle methods of persuasion.’

‘What sort of methods do you have in mind?’ Felicity says.

‘I don’t know just yet, but I do know one way to get that information.’

‘And how would that be?’

‘By using Jatoo’s mirror, of course, how else?’

‘Ah ha,’ Yusef says, ‘the old magic mirror trick.’

‘You may laugh Yusef, but it has never failed to deliver the goods,’ Jatoo said, ‘especially for me.’





















CHAPTER 9



If Jatoo’s mother had not died during childbirth, he would have been raised by his grandfather Versooth. He was left outside the doors of the Temple City of Lemuria, an abandoned child who would be raised by the temple. But at the age of seven, he was accused of stealing the most valuable item in the land. The key to the Sanctuary of Fire was vital to the continuation of all life in Lemuria.

Jatoo vowed and declared that he had never seen the key and had no idea where it was. Not knowing what else to do, he packed a few things and ran away. In an effort to keep one step ahead of the law, he spent the next year on the run. Jatoo lived the life of a beggar and slept in drains and sewers with half-starved dogs. And if he hadn’t met Addric, he may have died. He had lost the will to live and the only thing that kept him going was the thought that he would soon be seeing his mother again.

His life was in tatters, but Addric had the inspired idea to give him a present. And the first time he looked into his magic mirror, Jatoo saw the face of the mother he had never known.

On that day, his life changed in a way he could never have imagined. And not long after, he willingly embraced Addric as his father. He was raised by his adopted grandmother, Emphora but one of the most formidable of all nature spirits prepared him for his role a Yumi Master.

‘Jatoo’s mirror has the ability to show the user exactly what they want to see,’ Addric says. ‘But the secret is to approach this task with a very clear question in mind.’

‘And I believe that if we ask exactly the same question, then we will get the same answer.’

The mirror has been in Jatoo’s possession ever since he was seven and is rarely seen by anyone else.

‘It showed me the face of the young girl who proposed to me at the age of seven,’ Jatoo says, ‘and as you all know, Marina is now my wife.’

The idea is to approach this task with exactly the same thought in mind. And as a consequence, Addric writes the question on a sheet of paper and passes it around for all to see.

‘Read this before using the mirror, and when we have finished, we’ll see what we’ve got.’

‘I’ll go first as the mirror knows me intimately,’ Jatoo said. ‘It has never given me false information.’

He holds it up to his face and keeps that one thought in mind.

‘You may not believe what I just saw, but I’ll wait to see what you have to say.’

‘I see what you mean,’ Yusef says, ‘it really is a powerful tool.’

Addric watches each person with interest just to see how they’ll react.

‘So, it’s time to see what we’ve got,’ he says.

‘You go first Jatoo.’

‘I saw the face of not one Krugwah but thousands of them.’

‘How amazing,’ Felicity says, ‘so did I.’

‘As did I,’ Yusef says.

They’re baffled but none the less amazed that they all saw exactly the same thing.

‘The Krugwah, the ever-reliable and devoted Krugwah,’ Addric says, ‘the answer to our prayers.’

‘But what could they do to change the consciousness of an entire planet,’ Rueben says.

‘Well, they have numerous skills and talents, and no doubt, they have a few that we don’t know about,’ Addric says.

‘I have an idea for something they could do,’ Demetra says.

‘If a spaceship was seen by everyone on the planet, that would have an enormous impact on the on the minds of the population.’

‘But if thousands of Krugwah just happened to appear above every major city in the world, and it was broadcast across the network that would have exactly the same effect. Wouldn’t it?’

At that moment Eenah appears at the door, and as everyone can see she has business on her mind.

‘Please come in,’ Addric says, ‘we’ve just been talking about you.’

‘Why you be doing that?’ says a suddenly hostile Eenah.

‘It wasn’t bad,’ Emphora says reassuringly. ‘We were just talking about all of the wonderful things that the Krugwah can do.’

As Emphora long ago discovered, it’s how you deliver a message to Eenah that decreases the possibility of outright warfare. Eenah is not one to be slighted and the mounting tension in her body disappears in an instant.

‘Is there something we can do for you?’

‘Yes,’ she says, ‘the Krugwah had a meeting last night.’

‘They did and why was that?’ Addric says.

‘We hear what you be saying at the dinner table last night, that this planet is in terrible danger and you have to do something about it.’

‘That’s true,’ Addric says. ‘It is and we do.’

‘You have ideas but you not sure if they be going to work. But one thing you mentioned, we did not know what that meant and we had to ask the Krugwah elders.’

‘And what was that,’ Addric says.

‘You be saying that you have to change human con-scious-ness.’

‘That’s true, we do, but how, that’s the question.’

‘Tell us what this thing is, Addric, and if it be what the elders said, we be thinking that we have a way to be helping you.’

Addric does his best to explain that it’s the thoughts of every person on Planet Earth, that it’s a powerful force for change, especially when everyone is of the same mindset.

‘But Eenah, they are not and that’s the reason for this terrible situation.’

‘Demetra, you be knowing those little children from Ditafarago, don’t you?’

‘The New Soul Children, yes Eenah, I know them very well,’ she says.

‘They’re very nice children because we have met them too. But they have a very special job. That’s true. Isn’t it?

‘Yes, it is Eenah. At night when people sleep, the New Soul Children creep into their dreams and give them a helping hand.’

‘That could be very useful,’ Eenah says. ‘Could it not?’

‘But the New Soul Children are not here to help us.’

‘But the Krugwah are and we could do the same thing.’

‘You could,’ says a surprised Addric.

‘Of course silly, Krugwah can do many things. And if you want, we be very happy to do that too.’

‘We don’t want something awful be to happening to this nice place.’

Jatoo’s mirror was correct after all. It revealed the same item of information in response to exactly the same request. The solution to this problem is the Krugwah.

‘Eenah, that is excellent news and we will happily accept any help the Krugwah are willing to offer.’

‘But there are over seven billion people on this planet,’ Yusef says. ‘How many Krugwah are there?’

‘Lots,’ Eenah said, ‘lots and lots.’

‘There are probably just as many Krugwah as there are people on this planet,’ Emphora said, ‘give or take a few million.’

‘That’s even better, in that case,’ Addric says.

‘Eenah, could you please inform the Krugwah that we will be very grateful for their assistance?’

‘And, when we be doing this dreaming thing?’

‘Very soon Eenah, we’ll keep you informed.’

‘Now, would you be liking some morning tea,’ she says. ‘We have made very special chocolate slice, cream cakes and your very favourite cake Addric.’

‘Yes please,’ everyone says.

‘I have said it before and I will say it again,’ Addric says. ‘The Krugwah are truly wonderful.’

‘That being so very true,’ Eenah says.

They’re somewhat overwhelmed by the fact that they’ve got this far and in less than an hour. But the next issue on the agenda is what the Krugwah should do.

‘So, let me get this right,’ Reuben says, ‘the idea is for the Krugwah to enter the dream state of over seven billion people.’

‘Yes Reuben, that’s what the New Soul Children do,’ Demetra says. ‘But that’s more than enough to work with.’

‘In that case, we will need a clearly defined strategy,’ Felicity says, ‘a plan of action.’

‘Like what.’

‘The Krugwah should do something very simple at first, and if it goes viral on the social network, then everyone will be talking about it.’

‘Then we really will know if this idea is going to work,’ Emphora says. ‘That’s an excellent idea.’

‘What do you mean by simple?’

‘Well, it’s common knowledge that angels often appear in dreams,’ Felicity said, ‘but I don’t think we should go down that path.’

‘Perhaps the Krugwah could do something like offer everyone a flower,’ Demetra says, ‘one that changes into something else.’

‘Ah ha,’ Yusef says, ‘I have it. A child places a seed in the palm of their hand. It sprouts and then turns into a beautiful flower.’

‘That’s an excellent suggestion,’ Emphora says, ‘and a timeless metaphor for the spirit within.’

‘If that idea went viral, we’d know about it within hours.’

‘That sounds as if it has potential,’ Addric says. ‘So, let’s test this idea out, shall we?’







CHAPTER 10



When someone dreams about love, the sky is often a soft shade of blue or sometimes even pink. In a nightmare, it could be red or even black. But when it’s an unusual shade of green, it may signify something else altogether.

A young woman called Francine Leclerc sits quietly with her thoughts on a park bench, but the moment she looks up, she’s surprised to see a little girl standing in front of her.

‘Please hold out your hand,’ the girl says.

‘Why?’ Francine says.

‘Because I have something for you.’

As to why the girl has given her a little brown seed Francine has no idea. But before she gets an opportunity to ask, the girl has vanished. Francine inspects the seed closely, and to her amazement, it starts to sprout and then opens to reveal a beautiful flower with delicate pink petals.

When she wakes up the following morning, Francine has all but forgotten that dream. She has a high-powered job and has other things on her mind. Like all hardworking people in the year 2032, she is accustomed to waking at six o’clock every morning.

Before she goes to bed, Francine places her Satellite phone in an upright position on the bedside table. She’s never been fond of the sound of an electronic alarm clock. And she has absolutely no interest in an artificial voice with an electronic edge. Francine chose instead to program her Swizza Satellite phone with a voice that has the honeyed tones of her own Parisian accent.

Stage one of Francine’s day is orchestrated by Stella, the voice on her phone. Stella becomes active at six o’clock on the dot and advises Francine on just about everything. She even goes so far as to suggest the colour of her lipstick and that of her blouse. It’s the only touch of colour that Francine can wear with a two piece black suit, the standard uniform for all employees of Cybernetics Inc.

If Francine is running late, which she rarely ever is, Stella advises her as to the time of the next bus. That has only happened once in the last five years because the elevator was out of service.

Francine has no need of headphones as her earrings double as a miniature receiver. She can turn it on and off at will, but for a woman with a high-powered job in the technology industry, it’s absolutely essential that it operates from the moment she gets out of bed.

Stella advises Francine as to her dietary needs and usually suggests a suitable breakfast. In most cases, it’s a vitamin enriched beverage made from rehydrated seasonal fruits. Francine prefers to buy her fruit in a compact tablet form which she keeps on the second shelf of the refrigerator.

She rarely speaks to anyone as she waits at the bus stop. It is not recommended, especially in a city such as Paris. And if she was ever to do so, she would lose a precious moment of her valuable time. Her normal routine is to peruse The Telemetric Index, a bulletin that processes non-physical data related to the ever-changing cybernetics industry. This is vital information for anyone who works in the technology business.

If something looks important, Francine will request a visual report. If it’s relevant to the fluctuating state of the cybernetics economy, it will be assessed by The FACQ. That’s not the department of Frequently Asked Questions, but the department which analyses anomalies in the cybernetics quotient.

Any event that occurs in cyberspace is evidence of Philosophical Activity. In the business, that is code for free-thinking individuals, in other words, those who create free-sharing ideas that have the capacity to go viral. If that ever happens, it is monitored on a second-by-second basis. A report is placed in the hands of the Department for Cyberspace Information. An encoded program will be deployed and the offending situation will be modified or nullified.

A Red Alert is the worst of all possible scenarios, but an event of that nature has not happened since 2023. That information appeared on every social media network across the world. It wasn’t classified as Philosophical Activity but a prank. A random hacker occasionally rears their head but so too does another organisation.


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