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Tue Aug 11 22:18:04 PDT 2009


was a human behind a transparent panel.  I raised my hand towards her and
she copied the motion, exactly.  I moved to the side and so did she.
Somehow she was me.  This was some sort of device that could show an image
of whatever it faced.  Somehow light was reflected from the device instead
of just illuminating it.  I moved my head closer and farther from it and
determined that the light was reflected at exactly the same angle that it
struck the surface.

I used this mirror to examine my new body.  It looked a lot like the
various humans I had seen through Father's scrying device, but something
was off.  I moved my hand up to the ribbon I had tied in a bow around my
collar and straightened it.

I stood for a minute longer then turned.  There was a noise coming from
behind a glowing curtain that covered part of one wall.  I pushed it to the
side and saw that the light came through a transparent panel that was
divided into frames.  Through it I saw a wide flat path and on the other
side structures of about the same size as the one I was in.

The noise came from humans who walked on the path.  Some of them wore the
same style of outfit as I had put on.  They might know where the enemy was.

As I turned to leave the room my hand touched the door I had entered by.
It had been closed when I arrived.  Best to leave it in that state so as
not to raise an alarm.  I swung it shut behind me then reached into its
mechanism and reset it to the state I had found it in.

Downstairs I considered the open door I had entered by.  There hadn't
seemed to be any other exits from the yard, other than the sky.  Could
humans fly?  I seemed to recall this as being a point in some lesson.  Best
not to risk it and anyway the humans I had seen earlier seemed to be
traveling somewhere and they hadn't flown.  I closed and locked the door
then turned and saw another.

I stepped outside and locked the door behind me.  I walked out to the wide
path, but the humans had already left.  Which direction had they been
walking?  I turned at a sudden noise.  A human was standing there and
making noises with his mouth.

The noises had a pattern to them.  They were meant to be some sort of a
signal, a means of communicating with sound.

I walked up to the human, grabbed him with my arms and pressed my lips
against his.  Yes, the lips were used to shape the noises, but they did not
generate them.  I pressed my tongue past his lips and felt his tongue.
Again it helped shape the sounds, but played no major part in generating
them.

I moved my right hand up and felt down his jaw to his throat.  There the
sounds were generated from air forced from the chest.  I felt at his
throat, tongue and lips, exploring the complex patterns they were meant to
generate. It was intoxicating, an entire language full of complexities and
subtleties.

He shuddered and collapsed against me.  I released my grip to examine him.
His cheeks where flushed and his breathing was heavy.  Had I injured him?

He got back up to his feet, said "Excuse me" and ran off.  From the speed
he was making he seemed to be healthy.

As he left I realized that I had understood him and that the direction he
was traveling was the same as the others had gone before.  It must be some
sort of gathering.  Now that I could speak with the natives I could inquire
there.

Could I speak?  I stood, closed my eyes and played the pattern of this
language through my mind.  I looked around and saw no one so I took a deep
breath and forced air through my throat and past my tongue and lips,
"Excuse me.  Nice day isn't this?  Have you seen somebody unusual lately?"
Yes, the pitch was slightly higher than he had used, but the patterns were
the same.

I walked the direction he had, but at a more leisurely pace.  I followed
the path until it ended 40 meters later.  Well not exactly ended, as two
paths branched out from it orthogonally.  I stepped into the intersection
and tried to feel the way the humans had gone.  Nothing. It was like no one
had passed this way, ever.

Did they all turn before getting here and enter one of the buildings along
the way?  It seemed unlikely.  Wouldn't that building have been filled with
noises from so many?

I looked down at the path and it seemed to be well used, so why didn't I
feel anything?  I glanced at my shoes.  That was it, I wasn't in contact
with the path.  I knelt down and touched my fingers to the black surface.
The humans had passed this way just a few minutes ago and they had turned
left.  I followed them.

I repeated the procedure at the next two intersections then it was obvious
where the humans had gone.  It was a larger building than I had seen before
in a huge fenced lawn.

There were multiple doors in a row, so I tried one at random and it was
unlocked, held shut by a spring rather than a latch.  Inside there was a
long corridor and an open door revealed several rows of these humans
sitting at desks.  I looked inside.

There was another human, somewhat taller than myself standing at the
front of the room.  He turned to me, "Are you new here?"

I thought he meant to ask if I had just arrived so I answered, "Yes, I am."

There was a sudden clamor of noise from the seated humans.  The standing
human looked at them at then back to me, "Are you from another country?"

"Yes, I have just arrived."

"And did you learn Japanese from a boy?"

"Yes, I," I saw the human I had absorbed the language from seated in the
room.  He looked away from my glance.  Had he told them?  Was the secret of
my nature revealed already?

"Your Japanese is excellent, but you are speaking with a masculine accent.
You are not on my list so you'll need to check in at the office."

"The office?"

"Four doors that way,"  He pointed down the corridor then turned back to
the other humans.

I counted down the corridor and opened the fourth door.  It was a smaller
room and there was just one human there, seated behind a larger desk than
the ones I had seen before.  She looked up as I entered, "May I help you?"

"I am new here."

"Do you have your paperwork?"

"Paper work?"  I tried to connect the two concepts together.

Just then another human entered by the same door I had, moved to and opened
the back door in the room, then turned to look back at me.  He studied me
for a few seconds then pointed to the open door, "This way please."

I stepped into the room then stood there as he closed the door and took a
seat behind the desk there.

He looked at me for a few more seconds then tossed me an object, "What was
this last used for?"

I caught it and turned it over in my hands.  It was a thin cylinder,
slightly longer than I could stretch my hand from thumb to pinkie, "You
removed this cap,"  I repeated the motion, revealing a pointed end, "And
made some sort of symbols on paper."

"Show me," He handed me a piece of paper.

I took the device and copied the motions he had made some hours ago.  Then
I looked at what I had drawn, "These symbols have something to do with
you?"

He took the paper back, "An exact match to my handwriting.  Yes, this is my
name, Satoru Himoto.  What brings you to Earth?"

"How can you tell that I'm not human?"

"In my hour of greatest despair another of your kind came to me and told me
to await another of his kind and place myself at their bidding.  So what
mission brings you to Earth?"

Why was I there?  Oh yes, the enemy, "There is a demon nearby."

"Oh?  Who is it?"

"I don't know.  They are cloaked."

"Will it take you some time to find them then?"

"I think so."

"Very well, I will provide you cover.  By what name are you known?"

"I am the angel Dawn."

"Dawn is fine, but let's not mention the angel part.  You will be Dawn
Himoto, my niece from Brazil.  My brother's death is well known and the
circumstances of it will explain your reluctance to speak about it.  Would
it be a grave inconvenience to your mission to attend classes here?"

For all of my existence it seemed I had just taken classes so a little more
couldn't hurt, "That would be fine."

"Follow me then."

We walked back to the first room I had stopped at and Mr. Himoto spoke to
the human at the front of the room, "Mr. Kuroyama, this is my niece Dawn
Himoto who is staying with me now, can she sit in on classes today while we
get her paperwork in order?"

"Yes, of course."

Mr. Himoto left and I took the seat indicated.

Mr. Kuroyama wrote with a white substance on the black surface on the wall
behind his desk.  I copied his motions on my desk and found they were the
same language as the symbols I had written before, only reversed white for
black.  Then he asked a student a question and they replied.  Suddenly I
realized that the instruction was about mathematics.  Strings of digits were
used to represent numbers and symbols where used as placeholders for
numbers that had yet to be specified.  But with this extra complexity you
could easily write statements that were not true as well as those that were
and how could you distinguish between the two?

"Ms. Himoto?"

"Yes?"

"You seem quite excited, perhaps you can tell us what the solution for this
equation is?"

"Oh, sorry.  As a second order equation it has two true substitutions of
numbers for the symbols.  The first of these is...  How do you say the
number that when multiplied by itself is negative one?"

"Just the real number solution please."

"Real?  All numbers are real."

"The solution that does not require the square root of minus one."

"Oh, the equation is true when X is three and Y is forty three tenths."

"For equations of this sort we use decimal notation and so would say that Y
is four point three.  And your answer is correct."

A short while later that teacher left and the students started to talk
amongst themselves then they quieted down as another adult entered.

It was another teacher.  He asked me if I knew English and simply nodded
when I said I didn't know that person, but the other students made some
sounds at this.  He then proceeded to give a lesson about how to convert
sentences back and forth to an entirely different language.  Why did humans
have two different languages?  Hadn't everybody I had met so far understood
the same language?

The next lesson was even more shocking.  It was about the history of
something called the Crusades.  Humans killing other humans at God's
command?  I must have misunderstood somehow, but the teacher continued on
the same topic and none of the students seemed to be bothered by it.

I sat for a minute after the teacher had left with my head bowed in
thought.  I concluded that the teacher must have been the demon I was
looking for.  Didn't demons have the power to confuse mortals with their
lies?  That must be it.

I looked up and saw I was surrounded.  Several of the boys from the class
were standing around my desk.  I looked around, but the boy I had first met
had already left the class along with most of the other students.

The boys must be under the demon's spell.  I considered how I could escape
from or subdue them without injuring them or revealing myself.  I
remembered from my lessons the importance of observation.  As my teachers
had said, "All demons are by definition broken things.  Watch and let them
strike first and their imbalance will be revealed for you to exploit."  I
sat quietly and waited for the first blow.  I just wished I had been a
better combat student.

The boys stood silently for a few seconds and then one said, "So Dawn, what
are your plans for lunch?"

"My niece is with me today," It was Mr. Himoto, standing in the doorway.

The boys moved back and I walked over to him, then followed him out of the
room and out of the building.

He stopped by a structure larger than a human, if not as tall, but much
smaller than the buildings.  He opened one of the doors and sat inside it,
then opened the other door, "Get in."

I entered and took the seat next to his.

"Close the door please."

I reached over and pulled the door shut.

He activated a device and the entire structure made a quiet roaring noise
and started to move.  It traveled out into the street and was soon moving
faster than the humans had walked.  It turned a corner and it was moving
alongside other structures of similar types.

"Is this your first time riding in a car?"

"Yes."

"Don't gawk.  You draw enough attention as it is."

"Oh, sorry,"  I looked straight ahead and thought about the demon teacher.
How had he operated in the same building without Mr. Himoto noticing?

We drove for several minutes to a place where the buildings crowded
together and blocked out the sky except for narrow channels.  Mr. Himoto
stopped his vehicle next to one of these buildings and got out.  I operated
the latch on the door next to me and stepped out of it, then closed the
door behind me.  I followed him into the building.

He walked past stacks of books to the back of the building then spoke to a
man who was operating some sort of machine, "The visitor has arrived."

That man wiped his hand on a cloth then held it towards me, "Is this the
one?"

I grabbed his hand with both of mine.  He was filled with emotion, "There
is a great sadness to you.  There was a short person, a boy.  He liked to
kick a sphere.  One day he did not arise.  With this hand you touched his
forehead.  It was quite warm -"

He yanked his hand back and rubbed with with his other hand, "I see that
she is.  What can I do for you Miss?"

"She needs an identity."

"Some orphan's?"

"She will be my niece, Dawn Himoto.  She will have been born in Brazil
seventeen years ago to my brother who was living there at the time,"
Mr. Himoto turned to me, "What is your birthday Dawn?"

"I was shaped into being at a time when this world's equator faced the dawn
and the north pole was tilting towards the Sun."

"Look up the date for the vernal equinox for that year."

"Will do.  Follow me Miss Dawn,"  The man gestured for me to stand before a
white panel as he adjusted a device, "Smile please."

"Smile?"

"Like this," Mr. Himoto raised the corners of his lips.

I copied the motion.  The box gave off a very short burst of light.  I
looked at it.  Was this some sort of attack?  No, it had just been light.

"And I'll need your fingerprints also Miss."

"Finger prints?"

"The patterns on the ends of your fingers."

I raised my hands in front of my eyes.  On one side of my fingers where my
fingernails and on the other side were small ridges and the patterns on
each finger were different.

As we drove away something occurred to me, "That metal item he wore on a
chain around his neck.  It had the same proportions as the symbol of my
brother."

"Do you need one of those?"

"I would not want to single out one of my kin and if I were to wear all of
their symbols the load would be considerable, especially if I included all
those who have been lost."

"Do angels die?"

"There are many who have fallen and many more who have been lost and many
who are missing and yet there remain many who I have met, who have known
them all."

"Do you have a symbol Dawn?"

"I have not earned mine yet.  There are many who have not.  If I am to gain
mine, I hope it will not be in such a terrible way as my brother's.  He
used to have another symbol, a fish."

"Speaking of fish reminds me that I pulled you out of lunch.  I know this
great ramen stand if you don't mind?"

"Ramen?"  It was in the vocabulary I had acquired, but I hadn't seen
anything that matched the term so it remained abstract to me, "Yes, show
me."

He parked by a small building and went inside I followed.  I saw that there
was writing on the building that included the word Ramen.

As we sat down at a table inside the building he asked, "Are you a
vegetarian?"

I pondered the unfamiliar term, "I don't think so."

"Good.  They've got a seafood ramen that's to die for."

"They kill people here?"

"Only metaphorically.  Wait here a moment and then I'll explain," He walked
over to the counter and talked with the man there then returned and
explained the concept of the metaphor.

Later the man came out from behind the counter and placed a tray with a
bowl in front of each of us.

"Do you know how to use these?"  Mr. Himoto held a pair of sticks in his
right hand.

I saw a pair of sticks like those next to my bowl and picked them up.  I
read that they had been held in a way like his grasp and so I adjusted them
in my left hand to match.  He used his sticks to reach into his bowl and grab
something that he placed in his mouth.  I copied the motion.  The item was
intensely warm.  I bit into it and released some more of its flavor then
chewed it.

"Oh sorry, was that too hot for you Dawn?"

I swallowed to clear my mouth, "No, it is quite pleasant."

"Then dig in.  We need to get back to school."

We ate our meals without further conversation until I placed my empty bowl
down.

"Good?"  He asked.

Of course I was, but his question seemed to be about the meal.  How could a
mundane thing choose to be Good or Evil?  It must be one of those
metaphors, "It was very nice."

"I knew you'd like it,"  He placed some pieces of paper on the table then
stood.

I followed him back to his car and as we retraced our route back to the
school.  I rode in silence then spoke, "This metaphor, it deliberately
confuses two things together.  Isn't that a form of deception?"

"We humans are limited creatures.  Sometimes we only see for something for
itself when we consider it in place of something else, "He stopped the car
in front of the school,  "Come to my office after your classes please."

I followed him into the school, turned at the classroom and saw that it was
empty, I turned to Mr. Himoto.

"They'll be in the gym now, down that way."

I went the direction he pointed and arrived at a door with noise behind
it.  I opened it and saw a room much larger than any I had seen before.
The students from the class where there, but they had changed into
different outfits.  Shirts without collars and short pants in place of the
long pants or skirts they had worn earlier.  By not changing I had become
different.

"Dawn!"  One of the girls from the class waved at me.

"Miss Himoto?"  There was another man standing there, "Please have a seat,"
He pointed to series of long benches where each row was connected to and
slightly higher than the one in front of it.

I sat down in the first row and the girls resumed an activity that seemed
to consist of passing a large orange sphere back and forth between them.
It was too large to carry in one hand so they bounced it against the ground
as they ran along.

I saw that the boys were on the other side of the room engaged in a
different activity.

"Dawn!  Look out!"

Look for what?  I turned back towards the girls and saw that the orange
sphere was heading towards me.  I waited for it to get within my reach and
clapped my palms on it to stop it.  I read the sphere.  It was called a
ball. The objective of the activity was to put it into a net held up in
front of a board that was attached to a pole.

I balanced the ball on my left palm and mimiced the action I had read,
tossing it upwards and guiding it with my fingers.  The ball followed the
path I had given it, arcing up and passing through the center of the metal
ring and then being held by the net before falling to the floor.

The girls watched the ball bounce on the floor then turned to me.  They all
stood there for a moment and then one said, "She did that without even
standing up."

A cool breeze swept through the room and carried a strange voice, "No, she
just sat down right after wards."

The girls all blinked, then the first one continued, "Still, that was an
amazing toss.  We've got to have to have you on the team."

"Just be more careful please,"  The man tossed the ball to the girl who had
spoken.

At the end of the period the girls went to another room, but the man told
me to return to the classroom.

The rest of the class returned to the classroom shortly thereafter, in the
same outfits they had worn that morning.

The next period had the class reading passages about a prince.  It must
have been about some historical event.  I remembered the tales I had been
taught about the time before the fall, before the war.  Yes, there was a
war on and I needed to find the enemy quickly.

The next period had a woman teacher.  She asked if I'd like to talk about
the creatures of Brazil.  I covered for my ignorance by saying that I
didn't know what the words for them were in their language.  It wasn't a
lie, as I didn't know what this Brazil was or where it might be, but it
felt deceptive.

She apologized for forcing the issue before I was ready and talked about a
place called Okinawa.

After the class the students left the classroom.  I followed them, but they
split up and some of them started walking away.  The classes must be over
for the day.  I walked back to Mr. Himoto's office and the lady in the room
in front of it waved me in.

He wrote on some papers then looked up at me, "Time to go home."

"Go home?  But I haven't found the demon yet?"

"Let us go to my home, where you will be staying until you do.  I'm afraid
I don't have much at home.  Do you like Thai?"

"Thai?"

"I keep forgetting that you're not from anywhere around here.  I think
you'll like it."

We walked to his car then drove to another building.  He went in and
returned holding a sack that he asked me to hold while we drove away.

We arrived at a street that looked like the one I had first arrived at and
pulled up on a very short street that ended at what might have been the
first building I had entered.

He used a small piece of metal to open the door and he flipped a switch on
the wall inside and a fixture on the ceiling generated a light that filled
the room.

Was this the same building as before?  It was hard to tell with the
different lighting.

He took off his jacket then took the sack from me and put it on the table.
He pulled bowls and more eating sticks from behind small doors.

He divided the contents of the boxes from the sack between the two bowls,
first noodles then a thick fluid with various items in it.

"Ramen?"

"A different kind of noodles.  Like I said, it's Thai,"  He indicated for
me to take a seat.  We ate the meal.

"Good?"

"Yes," I was starting to feel a contentment from the sense of being full.

"Here, watch the news while I fix up my daughter's room for you,"  He
activated a small device and a box at the side of the room lit up and
started to make sounds.

I watched the box while he went upstairs.

He returned a short time later with a large cloth tied held in front of his
clothes, "Dawn, were you here earlier today?"

"Yes.  I arrived there," I pointed towards the tree in his backyard, "I
found these clothes here.  Do you need them back?"

"No, I'm sure my daughter wouldn't mind.  Actually I think she would mind.
She wasn't a perfect little angel like you Dawn.  My greatest failing was
as a father.  But I'm sure she won't object.  It's good to see that her
clothes fit you."

"There was one piece that didn't fit.  The part that went here,"  I started
to unbutton my shirt.

"Stop.  I know what you're talking about.  We'll pick that up tomorrow
morning.  But being delivered to my house only shows that I am on the right
path to assist you in your mission.

"Oh," I redid my buttons.  Had I made some mistake?  And as for a mission,
there wasn't one.  I had just stumbled here, or had I?  Hadn't I adjusted
Father's device more or less randomly?  How could that be determined
beforehand?

Mr. Himoto returned upstairs and there was a soft roaring sound, but I
ignored it.  The lady in the box had just mentioned one of Father's names.
I tried to understand what she was talking about.  The terms were strange
but the message became clear with images of blood soaked clothes, humans
with missing parts and bodies being carried on sticks.

When Mr. Himoto returned I had drawn my knees up to my chest.  I turned to
him, "Humans killing humans at God's instruction?  There has to be some
misunderstanding."

"Usually both sides will claim they are doing God's will.  One or both must
be mistaken.  But don't worry, Japan hasn't been a part of that lately."

"Japan?"

"This country.  Here, let me show you,"  He walked into another room and
returned with a sphere on a stand.  It was about the same size as the ball
from before, but in many different colors instead of just orange and
black.

I recognized the blue patterns on it, "That is an image of Earth, this
planet."

"Yes, and here is Japan,"  He rotated the sphere to show a chain of islands
marked Japan, "And this is Brazil," He rotated the sphere to show a land
mass that had the word Brazil on it.

"There is some mistake."

"Oh?"

"These lines,"  I traced the ones around Brazil, "They're not there.  And
this area should be mostly green, not orange."

"The lines and colors are used to distinguish countries."

"Countries?"

"Different administrative regions, with their own governments."

"Like dominions?"

"Yes."

"And then were is the council chamber where the leaders of the dominions
come together and resolve issues?"

"The United Nations is here in New York, but they don't resolve much."

"This is a strange world."

"I can't argue that point, but keep this globe in your room for now.
You'll need to know something about this world while you're visiting."

"My room?"

"The one my daughter had.  I saw your footprints in the dust.  Come up,
I've cleaned it up."

I looked around the room.  The gray dust was gone.

"My room is across the hall.  Knock if you need anything,"  He left and
closed the door.

I looked around the room and noticed a switch like the one he had used
downstairs.  I activated it and the room became dark.  I stood there for a
minute.  Most of the items were now somewhat familiar, but there was a
large, low rectangle that took up much of the room.  It had a smaller
rectangle placed on it.  I picked this up.  It was very lightweight.  I
read it's use.  One placed one's head on it.  I lay down on the large
rectangle and tried this.  I felt a strange sensation and my sight grew
dim.

-----

Next: Dawn of the Dream.


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