The second book of the Talent Chronicles, picks up the thread of the saga where Choices Born of Prophesy left off. Eidolon and Precious reside on an island in the Pastoral Ocean, where all the White Prophets of the past received the education they needed to help them right the wrongs caused by the Kaipen God. In this volume of the series, the Twins of Duel Purpose, as prophesized by Livardi, discover the reasons for the creation of our galaxy, ...
The second book of the Talent Chronicles, picks up the thread of the saga where Choices Born of Prophesy left off. Eidolon and Precious reside on an island in the Pastoral Ocean, where all the White Prophets of the past received the education they needed to help them right the wrongs caused by the Kaipen God. In this volume of the series, the Twins of Duel Purpose, as prophesized by Livardi, discover the reasons for the creation of our galaxy, and how they are to manipulate the course of the future to save the world from self-destruction.
During the time when Whites wandered the Earth, Seraph and Mephistopheles were the Gods of our world. They toiled together to right what was wrong in order to free themselves of the Kaipen God's punishments. Up until the scheduled time for the Dueling Whites to assist them in their work, Seraph was the God who led the missions to successful completion. When the time for the final test of atonement arrived, the tides of change were on the horizon, and the Kaipen God decided to discover if Good could truly abide working with Evil.
Part I -- The Origins Of The Whites
Chapter 1 -- The Significance Of Being Twins
Chapter 2 -- In The Beginning
Chapter 3 -- The Gift Of Three Names
Chapter 4 -- Carrot And Webs
Chapter 5 -- Conversations With The Gods
Chapter 6 -- Avoidance Of The Decision Tree
Chapter 7 -- Volunteers
Chapter 8 -- Assignment
Part II -- Weapon Of Choice
Chapter 9 -- Night Demons
Chapter 10 -- On The Side Of The Light
Chapter 11 -- Face-Time
Chapter 12 -- Dirty Little Secret
Chapter 13 -- Private Audience
Chapter 14 -- Deception
Chapter 15 -- Revelation
Chapter 16 -- The Chosen One
Chapter 17 -- Ordinary White
Chapter 18 -- Visionary Preparations
Chapter 19 -- Dearly Departed
Chapter 20 -- Battle Of The Souls
Chapter 21 -- White Of Many Colors
Eidolon and Precious sat waiting for Headmaster Morfandi to arrive so they could begin the day's studies. He had a habit of making the twins wait for unreasonable amounts of time under the pretense that it would help them build patience, one of the characteristics of a successful White Prophet.
"Why must we rise before the sun if Morfandi doesn't want to meet with us before midmorning?" Precious asked her brother with disdain. "I'm hungry and I'm bored."
"I only know he thinks it will build our characters," Eidolon replied.
"How can you sit there doing nothing while my stomach growls so loudly you could hear it all the way across the ocean?"
"Because it is expected. Try not to think about it, Precious, and practice the mind exercises Shira taught us yesterday."
The classroom door opened and Morfandi entered carrying a basket of fruit. He was five foot seven inches tall and had four arms. From the front, his head appeared round but from the side it was only two inches in width. He also possessed a pair of bright blue and violet feathered wings that protruded from his shoulder blades. Morfandi wore a lightweight, ankle-length brown linen wrap about his waist.
Precious fell upon Morfandi's offering. She took a slice of coconut flesh and popped it into her mouth before her teacher could place the basket upon the low bamboo table at the front of the room.
Morfandi smiled, gave her a token nudge, and sent her back to the mat of palm fronds that served as her seat. "I see I must have waited a little longer than was wise. Hunger has made you impatient, Little One."
"It wouldn't havebeen so bad if you allowed us to break our fast before coming here to meditate," she replied. "Leon came to us early this morning insisting you had important lessons that needed immediate attention. He sent us here to await your arrival."
"And what have you learned?"
Precious knitted her brows. "The lesson hasn't begun, sir."
Eidolon smiled and shook his head. "I believe that this particular lesson has now concluded," he told his sister. "We are not to act in complete haste to attend to immediate concerns. A few moments of contemplation can reveal our required response to problems that arise around us."
"Very good Eidolon, you are an excellent pupil." Morfandi tossed him a pink grapefruit.
"Meaning that I am a poor student?" Precious asked.
"No, not a poor student. Merely one who requires a little more time to open herself to the lessons for the Whites." Morfandi tossed another pink grapefruit to Precious who greedily started to peel away the skin. "We are going to begin some new studies today."
Eidolon raised his almost colorless eyes to meet those of his teacher. How many ways can Morfandi possibly find to . . .
"We are going to begin your lessons in World History."
"You mean to teach us mundane things like who first discovered fire or how men learned to build boats that would float so people could travel the oceans in search of distant lands?" Eidolon asked, rolling his eyes.
"No. Today you'll begin to learn about how Whites were commanded into existence as well as all of those who inhabit this planet."
"You mean that we're going to learn about the theories of evolution," Precious said.
"There are many theories of evolution, Precious, but only one truth to the matter. You and your brother are special among those living on this world because two special Deities created you. All of the other Whites in our history came into the world from Deities of no major importance. It is written in the Kaipen Scriptures that the God of all Gods, the Kaipen God, would send us the message that the appointed time to prove our worthiness to join him in Heaven will have arrived when the Dueling Whites, or Twin Whites, were born to assist in the salvation of the world on which we live."
"I don't understand," Precious said.
"That's precisely why you need to learn a little more patience, Little One. No other White has been privileged to receive most of the information I'm about to teach you, let alone any of those who live upon the earth or those recruited to educate you with the exception of myself, as your headmaster. It's meant to be imparted only to you and your brother to guide you in performing your all-important service to those who dwell on this planet."
"You make it sound as if the fate of the whole world lies on how well we perform our duties," Eidolon said.
"That's precisely what I'm saying to you." Morfandi hesitated a moment. "Throughout our history Whites have been sent down from the heavens to assist the two lesser Gods of our world, Mephistopheles and Seraph, to work together to make things better for those who live on our world. The Kaipen God tested his subjects, our Gods, by presenting them with a problem that needed solving. In the vast scheme of the universe, these problems were small but for us they seemed monumental and almost devastating."
Morfandi glanced at Precious who seemed more intent on her fruit than on his lecture. He hesitated until she looked up. Morfandi raised one eyebrow and cleared his throat. "With very few exceptions there was only one White to assist the Gods in their mission to correct the damage the Kaipen God created. Occasionally two Whites walked the earth at the same time but you will learn about this phenomenon in more detail later in your studies. Our Gods passed each of these tests successfully and worked very hard to gain the Kaipen God's approval so far. They accomplished each task with the assistance of the Whites who we educated in every respect except one."
"How did you know what to teach us?" Eidolon asked.
Morfandi's shoulders relaxed and his voice softened, "Many thousands of yarin ago, when I reached the age of majority, Seraph and Mephistopheles entered my mind, speaking with me telepathically, and requested my assistance in developing the School of the Whites and instructed me to become its headmaster. They directed me to this island, where for several yarin we spent many turnings-of-the-glass each day with them educating me on all of the various aspects of a White's educational requirements to fulfill their duty to the world; to ensure the future path of all existence. At their insistence, I transcribed everything the Gods told me into a master tome of knowledge that became the Kaipen Holy Scriptures."
Morfandi began pacing the floor. "The regular educational curriculum includes literacy, meditation, patience, clairvoyance, and transcendentalism as well the Web of Decisions. Furthermore, they instructed me in the specifics of how to teach each course, so I could train those whom I recruited to spend their lives in the pursuit of educating the Whites."
Morfandi's wings fluttered as he turned back to the twins. "But, the Gods imparted some knowledge to me that was to remain my secret burden until now."
Eidolon stole a glance at his sister.
"Thus, the copies they directed me to make of the Scriptures for the education of the Whites who came before you contained only the regular curriculum." Morfandi commenced pacing again. "There was one course the Gods dictated must stay within the master, alone. That course is World History. The Kaipen God instructed Mephistopheles and Seraph that only the Twin Whites be educated in World History."
Morfandi fell silent, turned to face his students, and studied their faces for a moment. He raised one set of his arms and gestured to Eidolon and Precious. "What is important now is that you both understand your significance as twins." He dropped his arms back to his side while his tone became even more serious. "This is the final test that the Kaipen God will give Mephistopheles and Seraph. If you fail in your duties to aid them in solving this problem, He will banish all who dwell on our world from His Kingdom for all time and our souls will know no peace. We'll be doomed to be reborn repeatedly to suffer with the world you failed to save until the planet is so ruined that all life will cease to exist." He cast his eyes to the floor. "Furthermore, our spirits will have to remain here as a testament to your failure."
Precious stopped chewing and she swallowed. She peeked at her brother then back to Morfandi. "You mean we can send everyone into the depths of damnation?"
Morfandi's eyes shot up to meet Precious' wide-eyed stare. "That isn't your mission, Precious. Your task is to assist in the salvation of us all."
She raised one eyebrow and the right corner of her mouth twitched. "Yet if we fail we'll send you into damnation."
The tips of Morfandi's wings quivered. "You mustn't dwell on the negative. That will only serve to bring you defeat," he responded, narrowing his brows. "We're here to give you the knowledge to help you succeed. It's your duty to learn these lessons as carefully as you can because once you leave here you'll be on your own to find your way to fulfill your destiny as well as ours."
The twins looked at each other, studying their pure white visages as if they were looking into a mirror. Eidolon's face expressed concern while Precious' reflected mischief.
Morfandi watched them study each other. I must remember the inherent dual nature of these two and strive to bring them together to work as a team. They hold the fate of the world in a tenuous balance and if they can't work together, I'm not sure who'll be stronger in achieving their goals along separate paths.
Morfandi cleared his throat. "I believe we've covered enough of this for today. Tomorrow morning after you've broken your fast," he said, looking at Precious with a wide smile, "I'll meet with you in the temple rectory and will escort you to my private chambers. Your lessons will be held there for a while because the mechanism to impart this knowledge cannot leave that room."
"What do you mean?" Precious asked.
"Patience, Precious, all will be revealed in time. You don't have too long to wait before you get the answer to that question. Remember the lesson you had earlier this morning and try to apply it to the situation I've just placed before you." Morfandi left the classroom, leaving the full basket of fruit behind.
"He's merely trying to irritate me," Precious said. She went to retrieve more slices of coconut meat. "Would you like some of this, Eidolon? It is very sweet."
"No, thank you. I'm still finishing this grapefruit. You know that Morfandi isn't trying to irritate you on purpose."
Precious turned back to her brother, holding a piece of coconut in front of her mouth. She dropped her arm to waist level. "Oh no, how can you say that, Eidolon? He kept us waiting for several turnings-of-the-glass in order to tell us he's postponing our classes until tomorrow morning. How blatant does he need to be for you to see that he loathes us?"
Eidolon sighed. "He doesn't loathe us. He's only trying to teach us. Didn't you hear what he told us this morning? We're going to be responsible for everyone's salvation or their everlasting damnation. Doesn't this predicament give you cause to reflect about the importance of our studies?"
Precious rolled her eyes. "It makes me want to begin now." She popped the coconut piece into her mouth, chewed, and swallowed. "He's only given us a teaser, Eidolon, a teaser to torment my natural curiosity. You seem so willing to take the lessons at the pace they set for us while I feel empty unless I can satisfy my curiosity about the purpose behind the lessons."
"Morfandi just revealed the purpose behind all of our lessons."
"Yes, but he has given us nothing substantial to help us in our work."
Eidolon slowly shook his head. I don't understand her constant turmoil over our future destinies. I'm sure we have many more yarin of studies to grasp before we have to try to set things right. A smile crossed Eidolon's lips. "Maybe he was giving me some time to spend with you in the pursuit of some happy memories instead of the day-to-day monotonous coursework we have to endure."
Precious raised her eyebrows.
"How about taking a couple of the horses out of their stalls and riding them down to the beach for the rest of the day? We could take a picnic with us and spend some quiet time away from everyone else. Maybe we could join our thoughts."
"You know Morfandi forbade us to join our thoughts," Precious said.
"He won't know. I've missed the closeness we used to have in our clairvoyance and transcendentalism classes. Besides, when one has shared his mother's womb with his sibling it's only natural that they share many thoughts and emotions together." Eidolon chewed on the last section of grapefruit as he continued. "I don't know why he wishes to separate our thoughts. He keeps saying that he wants us to join forces to achieve the goals that are going to be set before us." He swallowed, and then smiled. "It would only seem natural for us to be joined in our minds in order to be successful with our work."
Precious got up from her mat, took her brother by the hand, and pulled him up. "I've missed you, too." They left the classroom into the sweltering heat of the day.
Eidolon curled up into a tight ball and dreamed about the day he shared with his sister. They spent many turnings-of-the-glass down at the beach listening to the constant crash of the waves as they rolled into the sandy shoreline encircling the island. The day had been hot, as all days were there, but they spent some time cooling themselves in the refreshing salty waters.
They had not exchanged a single word with one another that afternoon. It was unnecessary. They had burrowed down into each other's minds, breaking the rule Morfandi set for them when they arrived at the island five and a half yarin before. The reunion between the twins was gratifying. It felt like they were a whole person once again. The sharing of their unfiltered thoughts filled an emotional void that the people who tried to separate them created. The twins thought it nothing more than a foolish notion that their individuality could somehow draw them together. Separate, they were less than a whole person.
It's what Morfandi said to us yesterday. He called us the Dueling Whites as if we'll be fighting against one another. A duel usually means the death of one of the participants of a battle.
Eidolon replied, I believe he used that terminology to impress upon us that there could be more than one way for us to perform our duties and that we must choose to work together on a mutually chosen path to succeed at our task. Don't worry so about what's to come. We've much left to learn here at the School of the Whites before we're sent away to meet our destinies.
Our destinies are at the core of my fear. Why can't we simply leave here and go back to our parents or go off to some other exotic place to start a new life? I want only to be with you always Eidolon. You're my better half. Without you at my side, I feel empty and unloved.
You know I'll always love you. Come join me on my pallet to finish out the night. I'll protect you from the night demons that are plaguing your mind.
Precious opened her eyes and slipped out from beneath the lightweight sheet that covered her nakedness. She wrapped it about her as she crossed her room. She glanced around at her two possessions -- her sleeping pallet and the mirror that stood in the corner -- and then exited through her door. Precious took the four steps across the hall that stood between her chamber and her brother's. She tiptoed into his room and slipped under the sheet where Eidolon slept, spooned up against his bare back, and mimicked the tight ball of his body.
Eidolon patted his sister's hand as she draped her arm over his waist, pulling him closer. "It'll be okay Precious," he whispered. "You'll see. You're safe now. Try to get some sleep. Morning will be approaching soon."
"I love you, Eidolon," she whispered.
"And I love you," he replied with a yawn.
The twins closed their eyes and fell into a dreamless and untroubled sleep.