Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Messenger: Destination

The thought distantly occurred to Phelps that he had not technically completed the baptism ceremony. He hadn't had the time to speak his line - so do I - before the command hit him. North, said the voice, and north he went. When the crowds thickened, his run slowed to a very fast walk, dodging between pedestrians and cutting through alleys.

He was heading deeper into the shade of downtown New Sidon, where the buildings were more often constructed in the N'aaa style, poking three stories above ground and extending several stories below. Their broad, flat roofs nearly touched, scattering slivers of light over the crowd. The hot white sun flashed at him between the gaps as he moved northward.

The word had burned an imprint on his mind, and he had moved without thinking. The implications were only just beginning to chase him down. He was seeing apparitions and hearing voices. But others were seeing them, and hearing them. Which meant they were really from....

His pace slowed, and he held a hand to his forehead. Mariah was a priestess. She thought in terms of God constantly. Could it have been a coincidence? N'aaa were known for their insight. Could she just have picked up on something in his demeanor?

But he knew nothing about her, or the temple. The angel had.

Even as he thought it, he stopped walking. A large building stood straight ahead of him. A flight of broad steps descended to the main entrance, with a fountain cascading down the steps on the far right. A water feature, in New Sidon. Phelps had never seen anything so opulent.


The voice. The same calm certainty. The same authority.

God was speaking to him.

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