Poor Robert, he fought so hard to find a link to her, to find his healer. He was tearing away at his sanity, but got no response.
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Her voice, gentle now, broke through, desperate for confirmation that she and her Robert still exist together somewhere. “Do you have your own Cherine? Do you love her?”
“Yes. More than anything in the whole world. Cherine, how many of you were there?”
“Just twenty two in our circle. About seventy Cherinians. Oh god, how can I call them Cherinians, I killed them all.”
“You! For god’s sake, how?” He realised what he had asked. “Shh. Do you need water?” Not waiting for her answer he ran to where the basin was, found a plastic cup and opened the tap. There was no water. He ran to the refrigerator with the tissues and opened it. As he had guessed the ice was melting and he was able to scoop up half a cup. Gently he held the cold water to her lips. She stared at him as some of the liquid poured down her throat.
“You must know, it must not happen to you also.”
Robert sat by her, carefully he raised her so that her upper back rested on his lap and her head against his chest.
“The Sparklers killed Solomon, you have a Solomon? Well they killed ours and put a nasty one in his place. It insulted my Robert, but he refused to get angry. I thought he was too soft, always thinking there must be a way to get them back as friends. Without telling him I went to them and threatened them that Robert could kill them all if he wanted to and they must bring back Solomon as Rob wants. The Sparkler entity is nasty and my threat led to a big argument and I got angry and told them I would get Robert to fight them, to kill their Thinkers…they attacked me and Robert felt it. He came to the void and saw them tearing at my soul, I was screaming from the pain and he went wild.
Rob, they attacked Earth to force Robert to return here to protect our people. He grabbed me and returned. In his despair he forced himself deep into his mind and opened new doors and found gifts he did not have before. He used one to kill the Sparklers that were here taking the souls.”
She was now sobbing. “His power went wild, he lost control of it and it destroyed the whole world!” She was wailing and Robert softly soothed her. “He carried me down here and returned upstairs to find a power to undo what he had done. There was a terrible explosion and I felt him stop existing.”
“Eddie had not taught him?”
“Who is Eddie?”
“You had no war with a Doris?”
“No. Robert, can you find his soul for me, take it away from the Sparklers? Take my soul with and let us become one. Please?”
“Oh God!!” He broke down and wept, his heart broken. “Cherine, I have no powers on your world. Nothing, not even my healer.”
It was obvious this was the final blow - she gave up. Robert sat there numb with his despair as her body gave up the fight; only her strong will had kept it alive this long. As he felt her fading away, the body growing limp in his arms he screamed and he fought like a wild animal. He even sent messages to us, knowing we were able to hear him, pleading for his protector, for Cherine to force through their link the power for him to save her. There was nothing we could do. Even the protector could not find him.
We knew that if this continued he would destroy his own mind and watched in horror. The dying girl in his arms must have felt what he was going through, for she managed one last act of love. She concentrated what little was left of her gifts and sent him love and a feeling of calm. As if that would work with Robert! It could only have torn him up even worse.
Such was his desperation though that he grabbed at her emoting and fiercely concentrated on following it into her mind. Whatever was blocking him was not meant to withstand such a raw need and he broke through, entering her mind. Her soul was already leaving when he wrapped himself around it and using her departure went into the void.
*Sparklers* he screamed. *I am Robert, not the Robert you know, one who comes in peace. Listen to me please.*
*I hear you Robert who is not Robert. What do you want, this is not the place for you.*
*I know why you attacked Earth and understand. You are the bearers of a precious cargo and you could not allow yourselves to be killed for the sake of the guilt you already bear. You have an obligation to care for the souls you hold.*
*The other Robert knew this too.* The tone was stern and unforgiving.
*This test you created, it was done to me too and we are still friends and Solomon was returned. You know that I speak the truth, you can sense it. In this reality you allowed yourself to become frightened because of the threats of a petulant child. The Robert of this world may have spoilt her, not taught her discipline, but that does not mean he would have attacked you. Attacking her was a terrible mistake, you forced Robert to attack you. This time you bear most of the guilt. I charge you with causing the destruction of a world, destroying the potential of a race and you personally, the mind that replaced Solomon, you are responsible. Solomon would have understood she is but a child and spoken to Robert without attacking his love. Do you dare repudiate my charge?*
There was a silence and then the form of their representative began to waver and break up. There was the sense of a wail of grief and despair. Robert sent his shout to the cloud of Sparklers.
*Do not dare to commit suicide! You would kill all those you hold and have a debt to. Send me Solomon. Send him now!!*
A swarm of Sparklers flew straight at him as if attacking. Robert did not put up any defences, he could not, but they did not know and they swerved away at the last moment.
*What do you suggest? We cannot return life to your world, the destruction there was caused by the Robert of this world.*
*Solomon! Were you close friends as I am with the Solomon of my world?*
*He did consider me so.*
*Does that mean that your people saved his soul when he died?*
*We were not expecting a whole world to die, it was too sudden and not enough of us were ready…there were not enough of us to save them all. If Robert had been collected we would have known.* There was grief in his ‘voice’.
*I see their Kaleidoscope World is still here. Does that mean there are souls of the family there?*
*We’ve seen them enter.*
*I carry the soul of Cherine. Her body was destroyed, burnt. May I carry it to her new home and return later to discuss with you how we repair whatever can be repaired?*
*You are offering some hope of repairs?*
*Solomon, I have no powers in this reality. I do not even know whether I can leave their World and return to the void. Whatever can be done can only be by using our minds and hearts. You know of what we call love. Let that be the power that heals the evil that was done - both by your people and the Robert of this world.*
*You are truly a Robert. To look to repair a catastrophe of this proportions when you have no powers!*
He laughed and there was a wildness of a mind driven almost past endurance in that laugh. *If I cannot survive in the void, will you take me back to my body and talk with me there? It may be better to my grief-sickened mind if you do not come as a girl. Choose the body of an adult please.*
Robert flew into the World and the mind welcomed him
*You have brought Cherine. Thank you.*
*How many of the others are here? Have you got your Robert?*
*All the family is here now, but for our Robert though we also hold most of the other Cherinians. We believe the forces he unleashed destroyed his soul.* The sorrow could be felt by us through Robert.
*What about his protector?*
*What is that?*
*You mean he fought the Sparklers without a protector?*
*There was no fight, your reality must have been very different.*
We all felt how he reacted to this information. This Robert had been able to react in a way that made them his friends without first killing so many. He felt shamed that his having a protector had caused him to strike first. It was obvious he was not thinking straight; there were no Anadir here, so the Sparklers would not have acted in the same way - not that I am trying to belittle the miracle their Robert accomplished.
*We thank you for bringing Cherine, Robert is lost to us, but we can now integrate all the souls and become one.*
*Your Robert has not taught you not to despair? Take Cherine, but do not use your power to fully absorb them all, give me some time to resolve this.*
*How? Without a Robert they cannot live.*
Robert sent him a grin, the crazy one we all know. *Just give me time!*
Back in the void he could move, but found it difficult to return to his body. As Solomon came to help him he froze.
*No!! Do not take me! Once back in my body I cannot return here. I must finish what I came to do. Call to the mind of the World, it must send me Sam and Meli.*
They came and tentatively sent out motes of love, happy to see any Robert. He accepted and gave in return.
He asked questions, got his answers and thought deeply for a long time.
*It is a pity there are no Anadir in this reality. I was truly afraid that your ways might have not been the same as ours in other ways too. Since there is no protector we will have to use your healers. When the Sparklers used to try to save souls, they would clean a world of all sentient life. Robert did not do so. Most of the damage was close to him, the damage less severe as the distance grows. The planet has probably lost all human life, but his powers were not directed at saving plant and animal life. A lot of that may have remained, but the ecology has been damaged and cannot support a population of billions. Sam, Meli, we must act fast, the refrigeration is no longer working. Send your healers back with instructions to re-create all the bodies they can. They must use all the tissue still viable. I want hundreds of each of you, thousands if possible. Get the healers of the others to help. Do it now!*
This might not have been ‘their’ Robert, but they obeyed. They sent their healers and rushed back to their World to send off all the other healers to Earth.
*What do you plan?*
*To re-populate a world from only seventy people might not have been viable without the healers. The healers will be able to grow the gene pool, preventing any recessive genes from appearing. Their civilisation will never be able to return to what it was, but this may be for the good. Instead of machinery that destroys their planet, they will have to learn to use their Cherinian gifts. They will grow into a better way of life. Solomon, ask your Sparklers to feel the souls from Earth that they hold. Our first choice should be those who were young, not all children though. They must be tasted for brightness of soul, for goodness. Whatever number of bodies we can create is the number of souls you return to those bodies. Do not send souls that were of one sex to bodies of another sex.*
*I fear to believe such a dream can be made to work.*
Laconically he replied, *Leave the fear to me - you just do all you can.*
*You are as crazy as our Robert was. We shall sorely miss him*
Next PALNet Post 093
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
31st October, 2019
* posted : 31st October, 2019
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