They See Not
“You didn’t know who he was...” Asher offered as he, Evren and Yildiz entered the room in which the rest of the Isa’nın had already gathered to wait for Yilmaz.
“No.” Evren shook his head. “When he spoke to you it was as though his face opened to me and I saw him for what he was. Then, when he had given his message, he looked again as he always has, like any other man.” the other man shook his head, “I just don’t understand why he’s even here. Is this conflict so vital that we must be led by one of the Host of Heaven? How is it that the husband of the Queen Guardiana herself has come to know Isa... and...?” his sentence trailed off as he turned his eyes to the front of the room.
“People of Yaratılıs Tanrısı!” Yilmaz – Gavri’el – addressed the assembly.
The group, previously chattering quietly among themselves, stilled.
“There is one among you today who has given up everything to follow Isa.” said the angel, his true face masked to the people. “I have learned much from seeing his life these past few years. He was once a man afraid of defying evil; he is now the one whom Yaratılıs Tanrısı has appointed to be your leader in this desperate hour.”
Confused whispers spread through the assembly.
The strong one of Adonai quieted the people with upraised hands, looked directly at Asher standing in the back of the cavern and nodded to the Jew. “Come, Isa’nın. Take the place your Lord has reserved for you that you might take it this day.”
The crowd looked back at Asher in unison. Some looked with reticence, others with suspicion, and some with fear, but there were those few who, when their eyes met his, radiated with confidence. Asher thanked Adonai especially for those few.
Walking through the sea of his brethren in the Faith, Asher felt as if he had just crossed some invisible line. Instead of the coward who stood in the shadows, fearing his wife and her evil spirit, he was now the one who would lead the fight against them here at their very seat of power.
All too soon the Jew was at the front of the room. He turned to face the congregation.
“Why do we need someone else, Yilmaz?” one of the men towards the middle of the group asked, with no animosity in his voice. “You have brought us safely through many a trial.”
“It is not I who has brought you through, son of my Lord.” replied the veiled angelic being. “It is my Master Himself who has orchestrated your success, given you the victory over seemingly insurmountable odds, and protected you when no help was in sight.”
“Why are you talking like this?” another of the Isa’nın asked from somewhere nearby.
“You’re speaking as though you are not a man as we are.”
Yilmaz was silent for a moment, looking about the group of men and women, a faraway look growing in his face. Ever so gradually, the former Isa’nın leader began to shed his human likeness, exchanging it for one more suited to the realm from whence he had come.
“I speak this way because I am not a man as you are, my friend. I serve my heavenly Lord and kneel before His throne every day. I am one of many great messengers that He sends forth on swift wings and countless prayers. I am the sword of vengeance, the heaven-sent deliverer of he who calls on God for aide in times of sore distress. I am the herald who spoke the words to the woman Meryem* telling her of the imminent conception of the Christ she would bear. I am the archangel Gavri’el.”
With that, the remainder of his mortal form dissolved and Gavri’el stood in shining glory before the children of his Lord.
In his true form he spoke to the believers. “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.*”
A silence full of peace settled over the group and the angel, now towering above Asher, came to stand behind the Jew and set one giant hand on each of the man’s shoulders, “He is the one your Lord has chosen to lead you. Heed him.”
With that admonition, the archangel vanished from sight, leaving the party of Isa’nın standing speechless in the hidden underground labyrinth.
After that day in the cavern no one questioned this stranger’s appointment as their head, even when Asher himself questioned it. The Jew learned many things from the group he had been given charge over – things like what the mysterious “Trinity” was that Kyren had spoken of the day he had been banished from her presence; the invaluable worth of prayer; and many songs that turned his heart towards meditation on his Lord.
But as Asher was growing in his position as leader of the Isa’nın, Kyren was also growing in her role as the Queen Guardiana. She sent out group after group of hunters who sought out the followers of Yaratılıs Tanrısı to kill them, but they all met with bitter defeat.
Nevertheless the Queen was determined to do her best to wipe out the influence of the Enemy of her goddess any way she could, so she went one step farther than Asher ever thought she would go. The Queen began to declare war on other nearby worlds that had any sort of group that resembled the Isa’nın or that possessed a form of the Books of Isa.
Sadly many of the off-world invasions staged by the Guardiana forces were more than successful.
Years passed and the soldiers of Dijana pressed on and on, farther and farther out into space, secretly seeking the place where the despised Books had originated. But Adonai saw to it that they never crossed the border of that system of worlds. Something always obscured their vision. To this very day they still have not found the world of the Books’ origin.
In light of the successful campaigns on other worlds, the only real thorn in the flesh that the Queen Guardiana had to concern herself about was the group of Isa’nın on Guardiana itself. No matter how many times she tried to kill them off – even with the help of Dijana and its master’s dark hosts, nothing could kill them; nothing could unseat them.
Though Kyren often caught glimpses of many of the Enemy’s followers, it was years before she realized that her own husband was now their leader. When she did discover it, she became more determined than ever to kill them off – one by one with her bare hands if she had to. But no amount of mortal or perditious tenacity granted her success and she fell into despair.
The day came when Kyren’s daughter Alena was old enough to marry; to her credit, through her depression over her continuing failure, Kyren used her every resource to determine the most advantageous match for her child.
In one of the Guardiana’s incursions into a nearby region of space, the forces of Dijana had subjugated a race of light-sapphire skinned people. Something about them seemed to ring familiar to Kyren when she was told of the conquest, but the thought quickly passed. The ruler of the race had a decently handsome son who was only a few years Alena’s senior and Kyren quickly made a bargain with the king of the world, granting the planet limited liberty in exchange for their prince – a young man named Tyrus. The king gladly traded his own flesh and blood in order to regain a bit of his power. Unfortunately for him, he was soon mysteriously assassinated by “unknown perpetrators.”
Tyrus did not seem to be affected by his father’s demise. In fact, it seemed to liberate the prince in a strange way and he gladly accepted his appointment as husband of the next inheritor of the now-famed title of “Queen Guardiana.”
When the time came for Kyren to pass the Spirit of Guardiana on to Alena, the young woman took the devil willingly – even gladly. Her years of learning at the feet of her mother had conditioned her to accept the realities of the position of Queen and her view of life had become so skewed that the girl accepted it without question.
Unfortunately for the new Queen and her husband, they remained childless – the same fate her mother Kyren had suffered from for years, so Alena and Tyrus did as the former Queen had done and turned to science to solve their problem. But, unlike Kyren’s first attempt, the child Alena and Tyrus obtained was exactly what they had asked for. The girl was beautiful. Her red-brown hair shone lustrously against her light olive skin, belying none of her father’s blue skin-tone. Her violet eyes stared intensely out at the world.
When the girl was born, the entire planet of Guardiana rejoiced with Kyren, Alena, and Tyrus. The heiress was gladly welcomed into the world, and her mother named her Aurelia.
As the forces of Dijana continued to hunt the Isa’nın, they grew in number, seeming to spread to every corner of the known universe.
During those years the name of “Queen Guardiana” grew to new heights of fame. Alena herself began to lead many of the military incursions. When Aurelia was old enough to accompany her mother on such trips she was brought along to begin her education as crown-princess.
As for Asher and Kyren, there is no known record of how their lives ended. The last thing that was ever heard from Asher was a message he left with Evren and Yildiz one day many decades after he was given the position of leader of the Guardiana Isa’nın. The note read, “I have finished my course.” After that, no one ever heard from him again.
Kyren remained on Guardiana, presumably until the time of her death, which was never recorded. To the dismay of the Guardiana followers there are rumors that, in the end, Kyren herself turned away from Diana and became one of the despised Isa’nın. Many pass it off as hearsay, but there are those that believe Kyren truly converted.
Curiously enough, the date of Kyren’s conversion can be placed a few days before Asher’s disappearance. It could have been a coincidence, but in light of Gavri’el’s prophecy to Asher all those years before... perhaps the Isa’nın leader lived just long enough to see his beloved wife awakened to the truth that he had come to know. Perhaps he was even there that day...
As Alena ruled, she discovered that not everyone was eager to submit to the conquest of Guardiana. Many peoples began to put up a fight – trying to regain their freedom from their oppressors. One force actually made it past Guardiana’s planetary defenses, striking the palace and destroying a large portion of the capitol city, turning the half-ruined area into full-collapse in many areas. Only the strange gold-domed pyramids remained.
This incident prompted the Queen to commission the construction of a shield that would hide the entire world from outside eyes. It would camouflage the planet from both the naked eye and instruments. The shield would remain up until one who possessed a key invoked the name of the Queen Guardiana who occupied the throne at the time the key holder sought to enter, thereby shutting out all who sought to enter the world unnoticed.
More time passed and Guardiana began stockpiling weapons to suppress a number of rebellions. It was during one of those rebellions that Alena – now well-past her prime decided that it was time to pass on the position of Queen to her daughter Aurelia.
The young woman accepted the position and the Spirit of Diana passed on from Alena and into Aurelia, happily noting the lust for power that resided in its new host.
It was undoubtedly this lust that sent Aurelia wandering from her own galaxy into the next, out to a system that had fended off the Guardiana forces’ attacks – Sanzar, home of the Gamilon-Iscandari Alliance.
Careful to keep her identity a secret, Aurelia clandestinely settled on Gamilon, hoping to find a way to undermine its defenses, but unbeknownst to her, upon her departure from Guardiana, her mother Alena had gone missing. Leaderless, the world had fallen into chaos. Then the people began to rise up, saying that they were tired of wars and fighting, tired of the weapons and the death they often brought. So while their Queen was out seeking to expand her empire, the regime crumbled from the inside out.
Ultimately, the Konsey – or what was left of it – was cast out and Guardiana was closed to all outsiders. No one entered the planetary shield and no one left it. The keys still existed, but the citizens of the planet stopped talking about them. For all intents and purposes, the planet known as Guardiana simply disappeared, locked away from the rest of the universe.
Aurelia continued her secret life on Gamilon and married a man named Wael, a general in the Gamilon military. They soon had a daughter and to Aurelia’s great delight, she bore the mark of Diana’s choosing, but to her dismay, the girl also wore Wael’s skin-tone and a strange birthmark. Roughly one half of the girl’s left hand was a much lighter version of Aurelia’s skin-tone. The girl was named Talonka.