PROLOGUE – The Camel Boy
Note to Readers: For the next several weeks, I will be posting excerpts from my book series, The White Lion. The beginning of this long tale is the story of Lord Delos, which is already posted on my other blog, Sunny’s Journal, or at least a version of it. The version below is not the finalized version of the book, In the Beginning, Book One, The White Lion.
I might add, this is a story about a Pleiadian federation that doesn’t exist, at least in the form as portrayed in this tale. Suspend your common sense, unleash your imagination, and travel to another time and place:
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“When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.” ~Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee
Unlike most Pleiadian children who contact their intended parents before conception, my Angelic mentors made the connections for me. Any memory of past lives was temporarily erased from my memory, so I was like a new-born Earth human enveloped by the Veil of Forgetfulness upon birth. I had no remembrance of who I had been before I emerged from my mother’s womb and into the loving arms of my new father. My mother’s name was Betony, my father, Anor. Our family name was DeAires and we were Morovian, one of the tribal people of the Pleiades.
Despite my lack of memory regarding past lives, I did remember many things and proved to be a precocious youngster in terms of wanting to learn everything I could about the world in which I now found myself.
In those days, some of the Morovian people like my family were still nomads. My father was a skilled trader in textiles, especially Morovian beaded textiles, and moved the family with our goods from oasis to oasis, from town to city. As a youngster, I became skilled with handling our camel-like beasts by which we often traveled, much like the ancient Bedouin of your world. Of course, my father also occasionally used a small ship to move us around, but I think he preferred the old ways. He was also trained as a warrior, ready to defend his family in case we were attacked while traveling. He was a skilled swordsman and could use the more modern weapons like laze guns, as well. Anor was a man of honor and preferred to look a man in the eyes if he had to fight him.
Our family was large and made up of aunts, uncles, and cousins. All the males were needed to do the work of setting up the colorful tents and the women set out the wares and handled the customers. Still being small, I was in charge of the pack animals, seeing that they were staked out, fed and watered properly. I often slept with the animals, as well, pretending that I was guarding them, even as one of my older brothers lingered nearby on guard.
My people were tall, thin, and wiry in build; one does not get fat by living on the desert. We had the same nutritional needs as all Pleiadian humans in that we needed two meals per day of soup, stews, smoothies, nuts and grains, fresh fruit and vegetables. So, our little caravan was compelled to move from oasis to oasis, and in the cities and towns we purchased fruit and vegetables that would last for a couple of days. Water is precious on a desert world, so we conserved what we could. And wise to the ways of the desert nomads, our fathers taught us the locations of the secret springs locked away in within the canyons and twisted gullies of the mountainous regions on the Isle of Morova.
Like the Bedouins of your world, we wore simple loose clothing, gowns with thin airy robes worn in layers. Each layer was a different color, but the outer layer was the family color and ours was turquoise. Sometimes we would also drape a shawl over our heads to protect from the intense sunlight, as our planet was very close to our sun. Our women wore gold and silver jewelry on their bodies, carrying their wealth around with them. Many of the women and girls of our family also worked wonders with their bead work. They worked hard every day, whenever our caravan stayed in a place where the women could set up their work spaces.
Each of the males had a belt designed especially for them when they reached maturity. The belts were coded with family symbols and spelled out the name and lineage of the wearer in an ancient Morovian dialect, that few off-worlders would know. I didn’t have my belt, yet, as I was still very young. Some of the men sported gold earrings in their ears, wore beaded bracelets around their wrists and intricate beaded necklaces around their necks. I had a little bracelet that one of my sisters beaded; I loved it and her very much.
Our animals were similar to your camels, only bigger and with soft padded feet that spread out on the soft sand. They were smelly creatures but affectionate to those they trusted. The trust I built up with them was mutual. I often slept with them preferring to remain outside the tents at night if we were out on the desert. I liked to look up at the stars and imagine sailing through them in a bright silver ship.
Each night before I went to bed, I was required to listen to my father lecture about our world and the others within the Pleiades. I learned about the VaCoupe Family and the great lord who oversaw the entire star system. My father saw him once during an off-world trading run. Anor described the lord as being very tall indeed, with dark hair and deep blue eyes. He was, apparently, very handsome, with a complexion just a bit lighter and more bronzed than our own dark reddish-brown skin tones. Most people also regarded this great lord as a loving, kind, yet highly-disciplined individual. He was fair in his treatment of all.
Ours was a very pleasant life, footloose, and untied to any particular place, but it was wartime and all the more isolated isles were threatened by enemy ships and occasionally slaver vessels that captured children and took them away never to be seen again. Father was careful to check on the latest reports while we were near a settlement, but that wasn’t always the case.
One night we settled down one of our favorite oases. There was a small settlement there, with some warehouses filled with goods delivered by space shuttles from cargo ships. A few families lived there full-time as the oasis would only hold so many on a permanent basis. All of my people were very careful about conserving our water resources.
During the day I had felt a strange sense of foreboding. The odd feeling haunted me, like the edge of something half remembered. I warned my father of my feelings. He listened intently to me, but then sent me back to the camels. Still, he spread the word among the menfolk to be particularly alert. Father knew I was a sensitive. Others, whom I did not know about, had spoken to him of my background before he and his mate agreed to bring me into incarnation. However, even his hypervigilance wasn’t enough to stave off the attack when it came.
Two dark grey ships, small and agile, roared from out over the mountains at dusk, strafing the ground, scattering our animals with their noise. I was sleeping near them and was covered with sand from the panicked animals. I tried to grab one of the lead lines but only succeeded in getting dragged some distance from camp. In the growing twilight, I was horrified to see the strike ships bank and return on their course over the camp, strafing again, sending the occupants of the tents flying in every direction. Then out of seemingly nowhere, huge men in black uniforms and cloaks loomed up from all directions around the camp and began shooting at the adults and grabbing at children. As one man caught a child, he threw it to another until they had gathered all of the children except for me.
Then I saw one of the men notice the drag line when my body had left a mark in the soft sand and began to follow it. Panicked, I tried to escape, but my pursuer was too fast. He grabbed at my robes, but I tore loose and ran for the dark at the edge of the mountains. Then I heard a loud thud; the man fell behind me. My father was standing at the edge of the camp with a lazer gun in his hand; he waved me to get away. Yet I watched in stunned silence to see my father crumple to the ground, a man halt beside him to check if he was dead and yet another man running after me.
I ran as fast as I could, dodging through the prickly underbrush of the sandy desert. Still, I could not outrun this man who was bigger than I and probably better fed. I was tackled and as I struggled fiercely, the big man threw back his head in a hoarse laugh and proceeded to knock me out with a well-aimed blow.
I woke up with a headache, bound and gagged in a smelly tent, one of our own, but stained now with the smell of blood and body fluids. I wiggled around until I could sit up. There were other children in the tent, most of them asleep or unconscious. Only one of my cousins met my eyes in the darkened space. We spoke in mind pictures, using our own unique Morovian symbols, which originated as a kind of battle language, which only our people knew. Can you send for help?
My cousin’s eyes were pleading; I nodded. I will try…!
Although I could not move my limbs or sit in a proper meditation position, I sent forth my senses, reaching out to the first friendly energies I could encounter. I also connected with the planet herself asking for her assistance in our need to amplify my sending. I felt comforted for a moment when I sensed a curious mind asking, “Who is there? What do you want?”
Quickly I gave our position according to the stars, the mountains, of the oasis where we had camped and sent pictures of the slavers, for surely that must be who they were. The inner voice was more demanding this next time. “Who are you? And how many enemies?”
“Raphael, son of Anor, traders. There are thirty attackers, I think, three ships.”
There was a hesitation and then, “Help is coming…!”
I sensed a stir outside and the tent flap opened. A silver-haired man peered in, looking around and saw me sitting up. He gave a leering grin which sent chills down my spine. “So, the little cub is awake?”
He grabbed at my feet, but I kicked his hand away. I was startled when the man yelped, but then saw that someone had hit him and shoved him out of the tent. Another face peered in; it was one of the other captors. “So, young one you are awake now?”
I glared at him and tried to spit, forgetting about the gag, just managed to choke. The man laughed viciously. “A little fighter, eh? The lord will enjoy you!”
Then the man pulled his head out of the tent and yelled to his accomplices. “Take them to the ships. Don’t know when we will be detected. We want to keep these ones whole for the ceremony!”
Coarse laughter met the man’s comments. I didn’t think “the ceremony” was meant to be pleasant for the captives. Struggling with my bonds, I managed to wiggle to the other end of the tent, and urged my cousin to do the same, but he seemed frozen with fear. I had no intention of being entertainment, so I started to wiggle out from under the tent wall only to feel a huge hand grab my robes and lift me bodily into the air. “Where do you think ye’re going, pigeon?”
The big hairy brute tucked me under his arm and carried me off to one of the hidden ships. I was summarily tossed into a corner after my bonds were tested. A guard was set on the exit so there would be no escape from this alien ship. After a few moments, a couple of other children were carried aboard. Then the hatch door was slammed shut, the engines revved and the ship took off into the night.
Captive though I was, I was still conscious and could leave energetic breadcrumbs for any possible rescuers, so I continued to send out Morovian code and communicate with the isle below as the little ship headed to the larger slave vessel. I was determined to survive this ordeal somehow and hope flared wildly in my breast when I felt the ship hit with a thud of a warning shot. The communication device flared alive with threats and another shot was received by the vessel which was not designed for a fire fight with a larger vessel.
I felt rather than saw a huge silver Pleiadian cruiser pull above the enemy vessel and lock it in a tracker beam. Helpless to do anything but comply the crew was forced to open the hatch when the vessel was taken into the landing bay of the larger vessel. Men in white silvery metallic uniforms burst through the hatch and quickly sorted out the contents, separating the enemy combatants from their captives. The five children, including me were taken from the landing bay on stretchers. I started struggling with my bonds until one of the Pleiadian crew members who was pushing my stretcher started laughing. “This is a lively one! I don’t wonder they had trouble with you.”
“Free me!” I demanded, outraged now, my words coming out garbled because of the gag in my mouth. Still my internal message was clear.
The crew man laughed. “And what do they call you, little tiger?”
Before I could speak, a deep baritone voice said, “He is Raphael, son of Anor! And he is the one who called to us!”
The two men who were pushing my stretcher stopped as a very tall man with golden blonde hair emerged from a lit doorway, his hair glowing in the light. In fact, for a moment I imagined he was completely arrayed in a golden glow. Later, I learned that this was his auric field, but I was still young and naïve.
“Yes, and who are you?” I asked, still angry at being tied up, still attempting to mumble through the rag in my mouth.
“I am Ezekiel, an Eagle of Lord Michael’s and commander of this ship!”
“Then set me and my kin free!”
Ezekiel laughed and signed the men to do as I told them. My bonds were cut, the gag removed. I was hungry, tired, and angry…probably the result of the rough-handling, threats, and the murder of my people.
Rubbing my hands together to renew the circulation, I pointed with my chin towards the enemy crew who were being chained up to be locked up securely. “They killed my kin, my mother, father…so many!”
With that I tried to hop from the stretcher, but stumbled and fell to the deck. I was weaker than I thought and fainted away. The commander scooped me up himself and carried me into the sick bay. When I woke up, again, I saw my cousins and one of my sisters sleeping on pads nearby. It was comforting to see some of my kin. There was some liquid in a cup next to my sleeping pad, so I smelled it and decided it was good; a sweet juice mixture. There must have been a sleeping potion in it as well, as I promptly dozed off, again.
Two weeks later I found myself in school, in a city that I didn’t know, among people I didn’t know. Bereft of family and a way of life I had cherished I was sent to school by a man whom I thought would be my friend. I was six years old, angry, and not in a mood to forgive Commander Ezekiel for what I felt was a complete injustice.
Today it is customary for many Pleiadian families to send their children to school when they are three to four years old, unless they are educated at home by their families to work into the family business. Since my family was nomadic, school was held in our tents…when time allowed, so my education had been hit or miss. Commander Ezekiel in his wisdom felt I should be given a good education as I deserved.
Before dropping me off at the school and speaking to the head master there, the Commander commended my ability to keep a cool head during the recent crisis. He was impressed with my use of Morovian battle speech, the intelligence, and resolve I had displayed while under great stress. The second ship with its cargo got away. Apparently, it was only by my determination that my five companions and I survived the ordeal. My entire family was destroyed in one night, save one young sister and four cousins.
The white-washed school building had dormitories where the students slept and studied. I was assigned to live with the youngest students since I had not passed the basic exams given at admission. It was apparent I was not going to be coddled here, so I was determined to do my best… while I was still seething at being confined to a building by black robed priests and not allowed to visit my beloved desert. My young life had been completely overturned in one night and there was no one who seemed to care. Even my one remaining sister was taken away to be fostered in another town, as were my cousins.
As I worked on my studies, I was also planning on how to escape from what I deemed unfair imprisonment. I studied maps of the city in which the school was located, and connected via telepathy with other nomadic merchants whom I was aware would be visiting the city soon for some of the big markets coming up during Festival.
As a student, I was brilliant and seemingly diligent. I soon passed the early grade exams and moved up a couple of grades. I had a native understanding of many of the things that were being taught, as I had lived them, like the geography of the isle, the climate, the flora and fauna, the different cultures found across the planet. Even as a youngster, I observed much from the back of my favorite camel, unobserved by the adults around me; I soaked information up like a sponge. After a few months I actually got bored by the curriculum and asked to be advanced yet again. My teachers thought I was being impertinent. In those days, not all Pleiadians were the loving people they are today. War was taking a toll on everyone and it showed up in daily personal interactions.
So…I got mad and upgraded my plans to escape. Every day the entire school attended prayer at the ancient Temple to the Divine Mother located in the heart of the city. As much as I loved the meditations, I loved freedom more. Once we left the temple grounds, I bolted into the midst of the busy market place and disappeared from my alarmed teachers. A merchant who was a distant cousin of my father hid me in his tent during the day while market was open and then that night, secured me into some of the freight upon his ship. At dusk, with the tents being taken down and freight secured, the trading ship lifted off and I was free…or so I thought.
My father’s cousin, Oman, drafted me as another worker in his team. He did not live or travel with his family, but hired workers who were orphans or men in need of work. I became an unwilling servant of a man I thought deserved my trust, but was soon disappointed. We traveled from town to town via ship, not by camel. I wasn’t allowed to wander around freely. Oman was concerned that the authorities would arrest him for kidnapping me and perhaps some of the other young people who were working for him. Oman was not an honorable man.
Several months of this kind of treatment went on until we arrived at one of the main cities of the region, PoLiafee. In this city there was located a school of instruction for girls on the ritualistic arts. Many of the students of this famous school went on to become priestesses. The city also attracted a great many traders and so Oman’s ship landed there and we began to set up the tents as we had done in every other place across the entire isle of Morova. By this time, I was a strapping lad, even though only eight years old – you may wonder, perhaps, but Pleiadian children both grow faster than do Earth children, mature faster, but grow old slower. Still wiry like my desert ancestors, I was already close in height to Oman who was nearly seven feet tall. And I was determined to break free from my latest prison, being a servant to the despicable Oman.
Oman had become accustomed to my presence, so he allowed me to put up the tents with his men, climbing like an agile monkey as the ropes dropped to the ground and the tents went up in moments. Unlike our family, men also set out the goods and ran the shop during market. While the tents were being set up, I felt eyes watching us and other merchants in the marketplace; I intuitively felt something was about to take place that would give me an opportunity to escape once again.
Ships of the Command also stopped at Morova during Festival, as many individuals were native Morovians or simply enjoyed walking through the amazing markets filled with every type of goods imaginable. Spying a metallic flash from some men in uniform approaching our tents through the crowded market, I lit out directly towards them. Seeing my flight, Oman yelled to some of the older men to stop me, but shut up when I literally ran right into a very tall man, who grabbed my arms to secure me close. I heard a very distinctive baritone chuckle in my ear, “Well, look who I have found, men!”
Of course, it would be Commander Ezekiel. He handed me off to one of his men who kept a careful hold of me as the Commander strode up to Oman’s tents. Oman practically melted into the ground, a sight that gave my fierce spirit great satisfaction even though I wasn’t pleased to meet Ezekiel, either.
I could not hear the entire conversation, but Ezekiel said that he was taking me under his control and did Oman have a problem with that? The weak-hearted Oman shook his head indicating “no”. Ezekiel bowed, then turned on his heel and strode back to where his men were guarding me. He swatted me on the shoulder, “Well, cub, I find you yet again under circumstances not of your liking?”
Reluctantly I nodded, glaring up at him…he towered a good foot and a half above me, his blue eyes dancing with barely suppressed amusement. Ezekiel stepped back and surveyed my appearance; I was extremely lean, dirty and had not been given new clothes for months. My long thin arms and legs extended inches beyond the ragged hems of my gown. “It looks like you will need new clothes and a bath before I introduce you to my family!”
“Your family, Commander?” Sorry, I didn’t feel like being polite. I was sure I would be dumped once again in that forsaken school.
“Bath first, and then I will explain…” Ezekiel cuffed me, again, and signaled two of his men to take me to the community bathhouse. While they stood on guard (Ezekiel was taking wise precautions) I bathed along with several other people from the city. It was common for men and women, whole families to bath together, but at this hour, it was mainly men. We were not a particularly modest people, given that we lived in close quarters whether in town or in the desert.
While I was busy bathing, another man had purchased some traditional tribal garments for me, a fresh gown and several lightweight robes to wear over it. I was also given a belt, for although I was not yet a man, I had near a man’s height. I was always precocious…
I no longer owned anything of my own, from school or my former life (which seemed so long ago) as a member of a trading caravan and family. So, I had nothing to stick into the pockets cleverly concealed in the inner robes and gown. I was also given new sandals as I had been barefoot when accosted. I could not be any poorer than I was at that moment.
When we (I and the men) emerged from the bath house, Ezekiel was waiting outside. Accompanying him was a lovely woman dressed in a fine gown of thin material, covered with tissue-like robes of extremely finely woven materials. She was obviously a woman of substance. She was also blonde, a golden blonde and had the look of Ezekiel although more refined, with smaller feminine features. Ezekiel bowed to me and announced, “Raphael DeAires, son of Anor, meet my lady mother, the Priestess Katrina!”
I had the sense to blush and then remembered my manners and bowed to the Lady. “Lady, I am honored to meet you!”
We walked to the edge of the market where a private viscar was waiting. Ezekiel deftly packed me into the back seat and then handed his mother up in one of the front seats. He took the driver’s position. Dismissing his men, he turned and winked at me, “Mission accomplished!”
I was captured, again.
Ezekiel steered the viscar expertly across the city to one of the large homes on the edge, setting down softly in a vast courtyard. It was apparent that Ezekiel’s family was wealthy and prominent. It was a great honor to be a Priestess of the Divine Mother. Now, what office his honorable father held, I wondered sourly.
It seemed my thoughts were like an open book to Ezekiel, as he looked at me sharply. “Behave yourself, camel boy!”
Momentarily chastened, I followed Ezekiel and his mother through a grand portico and into a vast reception hall. Several servants appeared and I was shuffled off to a suite of rooms on the third floor. It was a spacious place, well-lit, white-washed and furnished simply in tribal fashion with low benches, pillows and in one room a large but comfortable sleeping pad. There was only one door to enter or exit…and when I tested it, found the door was securely locked. I looked around and found in one corner an odd-looking piece of equipment, a box with a screen sitting on a table. Curious as usual, I touched it and then backed away in astonishment when the screen came alive. It was my first encounter with what you would call a computer or communication device. Even at the boarding school we did not possess such a wonder. I was intrigued.
“It is a com-box.” A soft deep voice disturbed my examination of the strange box. For a very large man, Ezekiel could move like a cat; he had entered the room without me hearing him come up. “We will assign you a tutor to teach you how to use it.”
I looked up at Ezekiel, “What do you want with me? I’m just a poor camel boy without a family now!” In my anger and upset… perhaps some repressed grief, I lashed out at my twice savior.
Ezekiel looked at Raphael, feeling an upwelling of compassion for the boy whose life purpose had irreparably been altered by circumstance and war. “You’re not alone any more, Raphael. My parents want to adopt you into our family.”
I stared at Ezekiel in astonishment, “Why?”
“So, I can keep you safe. And honor a pledge…” With that, he turned abruptly and left the room, again locking it securely behind him. After all, I was a flight risk, despite being promised an opportunity to start a new life with a new family.
Ezekiel, being a commander of a ship and an Eagle of Archangel Michael’s special elite force did not have the luxury of assisting in settling in his family’s new ward and helping him adjust to an extraordinary number of changes. However, Ezekiel was aware of some of the lad’s gifts; he was a quick learner and had extraordinary sensitivity and capabilities beyond most lads of his background. Raphael was never meant to be a camel boy for the rest of his life. Of that Ezekiel was sure, so he was determined to tame without breaking this stubborn creature named Raphael so he would be some use to himself and the Pleiadian people in the future.
Ezekiel did the next best thing; he assigned his long-time friend, Tomás Monteras, to be Raphael’s tutor, guard, and personal handler. From past experience, he knew Raphael would be more than a handful. Tomás was also a tribal Morovian, from a trading family like Raphael, but before incarnating had chosen to dedicate his life mission to the Command. Such was the way of our people…most of the time, but war had interfered with many life plans and destroyed families and sometimes whole isles, so occasionally people needed to adjust and adapt. So Tomás found himself tutor to a reluctant, stubborn camel boy. Ezekiel wished him well when he made his last farewells and salutations to his beautiful mother, Lady Katrina. He had one thing to add to Tomás, “Watch him!”
Tomás found Raphael to be very prickly. He could hardly blame the lad having been uprooted now three times in the midst of his very short life. So, he calmly sat with the lad and opened up various files on the com- which was linked up with the massive library available in the heart of the city. As he worked through the daily news, and moved onto to some interesting details about the war, he felt the lad creep closer until he was trying to peer over his shoulder at the screen. Then he opened up a news article about a sighting of the enemy ships, with a photo of a dark gray ship etched on a pale-yellow sky. He heard a sharp intake of breath from the lad; clearly, he recognized the type of ship. “What is a matter, lad?”
“The ship…slavers…they came…that night!”
The lad telegraphed his distress, along with images of his family’s camp being raided, children, including him, being snatched, and his father killed in front of him…
“I’m sorry to have reminded you of that night, Rafe.” He was curious, however, as he felt a deep burning anger rather than the expected grief pouring out of the lad.
“Why am I kept like a prisoner here, Tomás?
“You’re not a prisoner…”
“Yes, I am. The door is locked! I am not allowed outside the house…!”
“I’m sorry, lad – I have my orders.”
“Ezekiel will explain it to you someday when you’re older…”
Raphael backed away from the screen and Tomás. “I don’t wish to stay here!”
“Well, lad…” Tomás stood up; like Ezekiel, he was considerably taller than the boy and broader in the shoulder. “Are you going to whine like a spoiled child or attend to the lessons I’m here to teach you?”
Raphael stared at the officer for a long moment, looked down at the scrubbed stone floor, and then shrugged. He returned to his position near the older man and began his first lesson with Tomás. He never wanted to be called a whining child. He would put aside his anger and make plans to escape in the future when the opportunity arose.
Months passed swiftly as Raphael studied with his tutor, Tomás. Eventually, he was let out of his rooms and allowed to roam around the spacious house and grounds, but never without accompaniment, from either his keeper, Tomás, or a couple of stout servants. When Tomás deemed the boy presentable, he brought him to the great audience hall to meet Lady Katrina and Lord TorSeth, Ezekiel’s parents.
Raphael was presented to Ezekiel’s parents, who graciously invited him to attend them in their private gardens. Raphael was wearing yet another new gown and several lightweight robes, plus new sandals. He wore a beaded belt around his gown and a beaded bracelet to remind him of his roots even as he attended the worthies in their exquisite garden setting. Lady Katrina herself handed Raphael a cup of cold fruit juice, freshly squeezed. He thanked her gravely and waited patiently holding the cup in one hand, sitting on his chair as Tomás hovered in the background.
The Lady Katrina’s voice was soft and quiet as she addressed Raphael, “We hope you have found our home comfortable, Raphael.”
The Lady searched his face; the boy was already skilled at dissembling, but she could feel his deep unhappiness and resentment in being cooped up. With his dark blue eyes and shock of black hair, the boy reminded her of an angry desert hawk, a creature who did not appreciate being held prisoner for any reason.
She communicated to her mate, Lord TorSeth, “Perhaps we have been too severe with the lad. I know that Ezekiel wanted to keep him safe for some reason unknown to us, but I don’t want to be responsible for stifling a young person just to keep him safe.”
Lord TorSeth was of like mind with the feelings of his beautiful mate. He didn’t feel particularly drawn to this barely tamed camel boy who Ezekiel wanted to become a member of the family.
“We’re sorry that our son, Ezekiel, was so insistent in keeping you within the house all this time. Would you enjoy an outing into the city for a change of pace, Raphael?”
Raphael nodded. He had not passed the outer walls of this house for literally months. As grateful he was to have a place to live, he couldn’t call it home. The desert called him…
And so, in the midst of a tour of the city, Raphael managed to slip his leash and steal away, once again. This time, he found passage on a camel train and headed out into the deep desert, determined to never be cooped up, again, in a house. After a fruitless search of the city, Tomás was forced to send his regrets to his Commander, who was away on assignment. So, it was some two weeks later, Ezekiel learned that the intransigent young Rafael had managed to slip away from his parents. The boy had outfoxed him yet again. Silently he sent a prayer to the White Lady for his continued safety.
For two blissful years, Raphael participated in traveling across the deserts of Morova. In the process, he became an expert handler of the camels and even some horses. He made himself scarce when the traders came into any big towns or cities, especially ducking out of sight when he spied a metallic gleam down the crowded market street. He managed to keep out of sight whenever rumor said that a Command ship had landed. He was now nearing his twelfth birthday; he also managed to stay out of school, except for some perfunctory lessons given by his latest master, a kind trader who didn’t want to know his background. He could see that young Rafe was familiar with animals and their handling and that was good enough for him. Too much had been upturned by the great wars and all the raids taking place in the desert areas. Everyone in the caravan kept their pasts to themselves and that suited Rafe just fine.
The great Festival was over and the market was breaking up. Suddenly Raphael saw a small viscar cruising over the market street; he knew without looking any further that someone was looking for him, so he hid in the tents until they were taken down at the end of the day. Helping with packing and loading he kept looking around to see if he and the men were being watched. He could feel someone who knew his frequency was looking for him. He didn’t want to meet up again with the Commander, so he worked extra hard to see that the tents were folded and loaded up onto the camels so the caravan could get out of the city before he was caught again.
It was a bright starry night as the caravan made its way across the flat plain. One large violet-colored moon lingered near the horizon lending a faint pinkish light to the scene. The desert, with a backdrop of stars had never looked so beautiful to Raphael. When they made camp, he felt at peace with the world. It was the last peace he would ever feel – in that life.
Raphael, curled up in his usual place among the camels, woke with a start as a tremendous roar shook the camp. They were under attack!
A dark shadow blazed across the sky above dripping fire as the camp was strafed. Raphael felt the familiar and dreaded frequency of the enemy. He yelled at his companions to wake, but as they stumbled out of their tents, they came under fire from troops hiding in the dark. He began to send out an inner cry for help, but then stopped. He would have to deal with this trouble as best he could.
He sent the camels stumbling towards the fire. The caravan owner screamed as his animals were hit, but the confusion lent shelter to the men who scrambled out into the night. Raphael joined them, stumbling through the night on the uneven sand and rocks of the desert. Unfortunately, whoever was running this operation had already countered such a move and the men found themselves blocked and herded into a circle by a cadre of black-clad warriors. The caravaners were roughly handled, with lights pressed into their faces. Most were discarded and shoved aside, and then it came Raphael’s time. As the light shone harshly into his face, he blinked and then flinched as a rough hand brushed over his smooth face; he had not yet developed a beard.
“Ah, captain! We found one. This is a disappointing catch; only one fish. Should we throw the rest away?”
A great hulking brute of a man came striding out of the dark into the wavering light. He took ahold of Raphael’s chin and lifted it up, feeling the young skin, not yet bearded. “Yes, he’ll do! We’ll have some sport tonight!” The other men guffawed. Then the captain signed his men to kill the men from the caravan.
Raphael screamed, “No, they have done nothing! Let them go!”
The captain leered at him, “Why, boy? They’re Pleiadian scum; we’re well rid of all of them!”
Raphael spit at the captain and was awarded with a hard slap across his jaw. The captain ordered one of his men to gag and tie the youngster up and take him to one of the tents while they searched the caravan freight for valuables.
Raphael struggled mightily, but these men outweighed him by quite a bit, so he was subdued, tied and bodily carried to one of the tents and tossed inside like a folded tent. He flinched some more as he heard the crackle of laser fire; he knew his companions were now dead. For once he wished he was…he didn’t know what was ahead of him.
Lost for once, he turned his thoughts to the Divine Mother and began to pray. He reached out to the consciousness of the Morovian isle and asked for divine assistance. He wasn’t normally given to devotion, but now it was all he had.
One inner voice reached out to him, “What is it, child? What has happened?”
He was sobbing inwardly, “Attack, a half day’s journey south from Filaaje. I’m captive. They’re slavers…!”
“Okay, hold on…and pray hard. I will notify the authorities…!”
A growl broke his inner connection and he was struck again on the back of the neck, sending him into blackness.
The captain came up, “Why did you do that? He has to be in good shape for the Master.”
“He was trying to reach someone. I could feel his inner speech.”
“Ah, then keep him quiet. Drug him if you have to! He doesn’t have to be awake for what we’ve got planned for him!”
Raphael stirred once more and sent out the strongest telepathic plea he could manage, before a heavy hand grabbed his chin, forced aside the gag and poured a vile liquid down his throat. Coughing, he felt the heat of the strange liquid burning down his throat as darkness took him yet again and lay as dead on the floor of the dusty tent to which he had been taken.
Raphael stirred and groaned. His throat was parched. He tried to move but found he was securely tied, hand and foot.
One of the black-clad men pushed aside the tent flap and peered into the dark tent. He lifted up a lantern and shined it into Raphael’s eyes. He stepped into the tent and dropped down on his hands and knees beside the boy.
“So, who are you, my little desert eaglet?” The man pawed at Raphael’s clothes, loosening his bonds so he could tear off his old robes and gown, leaving the boy completely naked. For a long moment, the stranger stared at the boy’s whiplash thin body. He lifted his arms and legs, perhaps looking for tattoos or distinguishing tribal marks, but there was nothing on Raphael’s young, dirty body that stood out. He turned Raphael onto his stomach, but then stopped, sniffing with disgust, “So, you’re just a dirty camel boy after all…like my men said.”
Raphael didn’t reply. He kept his eyes closed so the man wouldn’t see his complete disgust for the stranger. This was the closest he had ever been to a truly evil person in his entire life; it frightened him, disgusted…and angered him.
He tried to breath, to calm himself down, sinking his consciousness down into the earth beneath the tent…Mother!
A slap stunned him. He was flipped back onto his back, once again. The man commanded in a harsh language, that Raphael nevertheless understood the meaning of, “Open your eyes!”
Let me spare the reader the graphic details of this last encounter in a very short life time. Briefly, Raphael was sexually molested and tortured by the Belials. They would have taken him aboard their ship for further treatment, but their proceedings were interrupted by the sudden appearance of an armed patrol, which was summoned by Rafe’s telepathic pleas…
There were some sudden shouts outside. Raphael spit out the contents of his mouth and pressed his face against the floor of the tent to keep from crying out. He was bleeding from several cuts and aching all over his thin body from bruising.
The stranger stood up and looked down at Raphael and gave him a crooked grin, “We kill your Pleiadian vermin!”
Then he kicked Raphael in the ribs and signed his accomplice to watch the boy. Pushing aside the tent flap, he exited into the violet-hued night; the moon was high above.
A screaming sound reverberated through the tent; it was a ship!
Raphael ventured to feel the frequency of the attacking ship – It was Pleiadian!
“Not for you, boy!” Raphael’s guard took out a slender knife and quickly but efficiently drew it across the boy’s throat. He stood up and exited the tent, leaving the boy to die in a pool of his own blood.
“Forgive me, Mother…Ezekiel.” He murmured and even as he began to slip into blackness a Golden Angel reached out to embrace him. Raphael sighed, in relief, “Ezekiel?”
“Yes, Raphael. I AM here, even if I couldn’t be while you were alive…”
“I am dead?”
Ezekiel looked at the boy’s battered light body, “Yes, son. It is time for you to go to the Healing Houses, again.”
Ezekiel nodded, “Yes; you’ve been there before.”
“I don’t remember…”
“No—you weren’t meant to…” Ezekiel ran his hand across the lad’s brow. Raphael’s light body sagged into his arms. “At least you are lighter this time!”
As he rose up into the air above the camp and the battle that was raging there, Ezekiel saw his friend Tomás exit the ship, overseeing the elimination of the slavers. He saw his friend lift his head, knowing that they had been seen and Tomás knew that what was left of Raphael was now safe. “Take his body home, my friend.” Tomás nodded. And they were gone…Ezekiel with his sad burden.
Within minutes the Pleiadian patrol had managed to kill or subdue the slaver crew. The crew searched around the camp, but found only bodies. One of the men entered a tent and called out, “Hey, there’s another body in here…a boy!”
It was a very solemn Tomás who surveyed the still warm body of Raphael DeAires, dead at twelve years old, tortured and murdered at the hands of Belial slavers. He covered the body with a blanket and instructed his men to take it into their craft. When they questioned him, he said, “I need to return him to the last home he had, to the House of Lord TorSeth.”
When Ezekiel returned from his latest tour of duty, his parents came out to the entry way to greet him. He sighed, “I failed him.”
Then the big Eagle turned to his mother, “You know, this is the second time I’ve taken him to Arcturus.”
He dropped to a bench in the entry hall. His mother sat quietly down beside him and took his large hand into her tiny one. “Ezekiel, dear, please explain what was so different about this boy.”
Ezekiel looked up at his parents with blood-shot eyes; he had been crying. “Mother…Father…can we go to the garden? I need to tell you his story under the open sky that Raphael loved…”
“Certainly, son.” His father clumsily patted Ezekiel on the shoulder, as he stood up, again. Slowly the three walked to the garden where they could talk in privacy. Ezekiel remained standing as his parents sat down and looked up at him expectantly.
“Mother…Father…I was serious about the family adopting Raphael.” He sighed, and stretched out his arms with his hands locked together. His father recognized his son was upset.
“But he’s dead now, Ezekiel,” replied his mother in soft tones. She had an inkling of where this discussion was headed.
“Between lifetimes is a more accurate phrase, Mother…as both of you must know.”
Lady Katrina looked over at her mate, the stern Lord TorSeth. The lord looked up at his tall son and point-blank asked, “What are you getting at, son? Tell us! Tell us the story of this lad and why you’re mixed up in his story!”
Ezekiel turned away for a moment, staring up at the sun which was beginning to settle into the eastern sky; it would be sunset soon.
“Okay – this story started a long, long time ago, in another place far away,” said Ezekiel slowly. Then he repeated the story that the White Lady had told him that day in Shamballa when the same man had been killed.
Lord TorSeth looked stunned. He stared at his son, but saw the truth of his story in his blue eyes. He looked down at his clenched hands and pulled them carefully apart. It took him a great deal to admit that he was wrong…about many things, about the camel boy, about his own son, about…everything.
“I’m sorry, son. We didn’t understand your connection to the lad.” Lord TorSeth reached out to his mate’s hand, “What can we do?”
Ezekiel looked directly at his father and replied, “Agree to bring Raphael back as your son and my younger brother!”
The lord was stunned for a moment and then thought about it. “It would enable us to balance out things with the lad and we could see that he got a proper education this time…”
Ezekiel could see that his stern traditional father was actually considering the possibility of having another child. He looked over to his mother and saw that she, too, was deep in thought.
“How long must he be in between lifetimes?”
Ezekiel thought a moment at what the healers had told him. They had remembered the last time that this particular soul was present in their house of healing. Again? Well, it will be shorter this time. He did not have time to develop a great deal of traumatic memories.
Enough…he had plenty of time. How long?
At least two years, possibly more – it depends on him, how fast he heals. And he will be eligible for reincarnation then if there are willing parents to receive him. You must ask permission from his guardians first, however.
Yes, I know of them…
That night he had a session with the guardians of Raphael (and all his other names). His idea was approved. When Raphael had time to recover, his opinion would be considered, also, as all parties must be involved in the process. This time, Raphael would remember his short lifetime as a camel boy; it might change his attitude a bit, thought Ezekiel ironically. Not too much, he hoped; he rather liked the independent, stubborn nature of the boy.
Ezekiel filled his parents in on the details discussed and then excused himself from the garden, leaving his parents with much to think about…
There was a glitch in Ezekiel’s well-thought-out plan… Raphael didn’t agree to be born to his new parents right away. Instead, he chose to remain on Arcturus learning some useful self-healing techniques and working on improving his self-discipline. So, it was some twenty-two years after his death under a violet moon, stepping forth in light body, Raphael was greeted by his new parents, the Lady Katrina and her diplomat mate, Lord TorSeth Kantor and a much older elder brother, a beaming Ezekiel.
Before his birth, Raphael, Lady Katrina, and Lord TorSeth hammered out all the details of his upcoming life and mission. It would be a very different life than the one he had just completed.
From camel boy to the son of a high priestess and highly regarded diplomat, this was going to be a very different life for young Raphael…
The End…and a New Beginning
All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com and https://sunnysjournal.com
Originally written in 2019.