THE HORNS OF THE UNICORNS
Copyright (c) Victor Darnell Hadnot
"Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" Lord Jesus Christ
"And lake, dim gleaming on the smoky lawn" James Beattie
"For God Almighty loves us like a father loves his children" Rev. Rufus Maxberg
Isaiah Silverhawk stood over–across from the rest of them, "I don’t see anything here that I should be concerned with–it’s not my problem", he was ready to let it go at that.
Vyna Ha-voa was obviously agitated, "What are you–blind?" came her un-thought-of and ill placed outburst.
Everyone in the gallery became silent–they knew–but what rock had she crawled out of–he didn’t react with the same emotional cadence–he pulled out his Blind Person’s glasses–put them on and smiled–actually--to everyone who had so graciously came to his new art opening, "Why–yes I am..."
There was some slight mocking laughter directed towards Vyna–how could she not have known–she looked about–their expressions stated the obvious–she’d just made a fool of herself–and in front of professional people in the business, "I–I’m sorry–I didn’t realize who you were. This is your art work–it really is quite good–very good actually."
Now that the tension had been dispelled–Isaiah moved about the high powered–rich neo- aristocracy–smiling and doing light chat–most of the people lauding him with praise–about the often mystical and mostly unique art exhibition he was putting on. Vyna tried to stay back–looking to find a moment so that she could talk to the artist–without the press and other art lovers–mostly potential buyers–Isaiah’s art could go for a cool $250,000.00 for a larger piece–the cheapest painting was going for $8,000.00–and someone had already bought that one–happy as could be.
Jamie Tracouch–Isaiah’s agent and manager–(why would a painter need an agent and a manager?)–big business forces us all to sell out eventually–she came up to Vyna, "Well–I guess you got to meet the man himself–you had to insult him right off–not good–the price of anything you might want to buy of his–just doubled."
Vyna uttered, "What?"
Jamie nodded, "Hey–I love the guy–not just his art work–you don’t belong here–why don’t you leave–he’s sensitive about his handicap."
Vyna digested what was being said to her–then decided she was a bigger bitch than the woman standing in front of her, "He may be your client–you may be his agent–but from what I can see–he makes his own decisions–besides–he is wearing those Blind Person glasses–they take visual images (information) and translate the analogue information into digital–then convert the sight into sound–twelve notes to be exact–there is a symphony going on in one of his ears–he sees better than I do!"
The voice came from in back of them–it was Isaiah, "She’s right you know–now be nice to her–I want to sell paintings."
They both–both women were taken by surprise–but Vyna recovered the quicker, "Hi, I’m Vyna Ha-voa–I love your work–very–er–very spiritual–moving–almost frightening in a beautiful kind of way."
Isaiah motioned his head–and Jamie saw that he could handle the situation–she went on–working the crowd–he smiled and said, "Plenty of art here–and it is for sale."
Vyna glanced admirably–but she went back to him, "I want something–something personal–done for me and me alone. I was told that you were the artist to have that done–I’m new to Evegastus. I just knew of your name–basically–I’m really sorry about my rudeness."
Pandora Wilson walked over various debris–the crime scene was dark–though police were setting up a parameter and forensics were establishing proper lighting–she was with the government–a special branch that dealt in interplanetary crimes–they were called the Star Police.
She leaned over the badly mutilated remains of what was once a thirty seven year waitress–the body dumped in the woods, "Put some light on this area," she commanded–but her voice never went above a quiet and calm cadence–she examined the wounds.
The local police–a pot-bellied man–up in years (whatever that was–a person could go from one planet to the next–age was partly dependent upon a whole slew of factors–lots of times–the transdoor technology played a major role–because most civilized planets in the League of Worlds–calculated time according to the transdoor continuum–which was a complicated array of continually open translaser portals–linked to physical machines–used for instant transportation across large and vast distances)–the only way to explain it was like changing the channel to a television–a really big television–and then walking through it into another reality–or place–so a child of three could be three hundred years old–if the child translasered to a world that’s chronological time was three hundred years later than the one the child just left. The theory also worked in reverse–and included a theory called Fixed Non-prolific Time Travel–which was a fancy way of saying that you could talk to your great-great-great, etc. grandmother and still be back in time for supper. The local policeman belched up something that smelled almost as bad as the greatly decomposing body, "Some kids–doing God knows what in the forest–came across the body–but that doesn’t make this a Star Police case–I thought you people were suppose to chase criminals through the transdoor continuum?"
Coming up from behind him was Kragon–he was an off world policeman–specially assigned to the Star Police–for his psychic abilities, "Who said that this wasn’t a transdoor related crime?"
The local policeman jumped a little, "Oh–didn’t see you coming up from behind me–you need to watch that, boy–could get yourself shot!"
Pandora glanced up with a grin on her face, "That would never happen–he’s a psychic–cloud your mind with a dozen images–weak minds work best..."
The local was slightly offended, "Weak minds, er–well–let’s see how you so called Star Police go about solving this crime–because this is a local gal–laying here in the mud and rain–and I’ll bet you two to one–some local criminal did it."
Pandora straightened up–looking at her partner, "What you got?"
Kragon spoke softly around the others–directing his voice specifically to her, "It’s the same kind of killing–I’m sensing a presence..."
Pandora stepped out of the zone, "Is it her?"
The local policeman was trying to follow, "Is it who–do you know who did this? Hell–we’ve had routine traffic stops–using them with police dogs and grogers (animals similar to dogs–only smarter)–we’ve been stopping people and letting the dogs and grogers smell the aircars–on a pretense of a normal traffic stop–profiling just the people you’d expect."
God--this was a backward planet–Pandora couldn’t wait to leave–the local police were like something out of the early Twenty First Century on Earth Prime–violating basic human and alien rights–under the cover of deceptive police practices–made legal by a few bought and paid for–prejudice Supreme Planetary Judges, "You are violating people’s Civil Rights! That type of policing violates the Constitutional Rights of the United Planets–it negates Human Rights!"
The coffee was hot and frothy, "So–may I ask you a question–a personal question–if you don’t mind?"
Isaiah glanced out the window–then he did something strange–to her–he took off his Blind Glasses (which gave him sight via complex acoustic symphonic arabesque), "Oh–I don’t know–it’s early in the morning and I don’t really have anything better to do than to let you ask me a bunch of personal questions–that I’d probably not want to answer–but what the hay–ask away..."
Vyna smiled, "Good–I’ll take all of that as a great big–yes."
Isaiah didn’t look at her–his face still turned out towards what was going on outside, "Get to the point."
Vyna cleared the throat, "It’s about your blindness–why would a person who is blind–choose a profession–such as painting–I mean–sculpture–something like that I can understand–but painting requires–requires–sight."
Isaiah couldn’t understand why he had agreed to meet with this annoying woman–she was extremely tactless, "So–people who are not handicapped–should decide what the handicapped should do? Who made you the one to tell disabled people what they can and can not do?"
Vyna sat back–she honestly didn’t see anything wrong with what she had asked, "Oh–well–I guess this is a touchy subject–but if I’m going to hire you to do a personal painting for me–I’d like to get to know the man–so I an drop little bits of trivia–at my parties–as my guest admire the new art work."
Isaiah took in a deep breath, "Fair enough–I wasn’t always blind–something happened–something that robbed me of my sight. But–thanks be to God Almighty–because He provided me with an opportunity to get around–just the same."
Vyna frowned–even though he couldn’t see it right then, "God? You mean Technoligion–our wonderful advances in technology and science."
Isaiah almost laughed as he put back on this Blind Glasses, "No–I mean the Lord Jesus Christ–where do you think all those wonderful advances originate from–if God doesn’t want something to happen–believe me–it never happens. And on the converse–if the Lord Jesus decides that it’s time for something to happen–nothing mankind can do–can stop it."
Vyna couldn’t believe her ears, "You–you are a Faither–one of these neo-Christians? I can’t believe it–I never thought I’d ever meet one–not in the flesh–anyway. Virtually–that is a different story–meet them all the time on the cosmic web. Wow!"
Isaiah sat back, "Can you get anymore condescending?"
Vyna giggled–she was enjoying his company–it was her way–accosting the man she liked–until she revealed her secret–that she really did like him, "Well I just want to get to know you–this is more than a professional interest."
Isaiah signed, "Oh joy–maybe this isn’t a good idea–you can find some else to do a painting for you."
Vyna got very serious for a brief moment, "No–it has to be you! You have a special talent–more than any other artist in our contemporary time–you are special–I want a portrait."
Isaiah stood up quickly, "This meeting is over–I don’t like to do portraits–not anymore."
Vyna tried to keep him there, "Please–I know–I know more about than I pretended. A friend–associate of mine–had one done by you–your paintings can foretell the future."
As Isaiah left, "Then you know why I don’t like to do them–find someone else!"
Lieutenant Washington came over to the table, "My people tell me that the Star Police have an interest in this case–seems like a run of the mill homicide to me," sipped a cup of coffee that was probable too hot and not very good.
Pandora motioned her partner–Kragon to get her a cup of the awful brew–as he was going towards the pot away, "In my years of investigation–there is no such thing as a run of the mill homicide–unless you distinguish the rich from the poor."
Washington sat on the edge of the desk, "Well–kind of self righteous–aren’t we? The government discriminates all the time–who can have this and who can have that–there was this super rich woman–did a crime that would have landed any poor bastard in prison for ten years of cryogenics–with all sorts of invasive mind alterations. You know what she got–house arrest and six months in a luxury prison–because she was filthy rich. So where is your high horse now?"
Kragon came back with the coffee, "The current legal system favors the rich and the powerful–always has always will–so long as you have social inequality and prejudice."
Washington spoke, "Well–coming from a genetic background–in which hundreds of years ago–my people were discriminated against–just because of the color of their skin–I do appreciate the fairer things about the law. If you are talking about discriminating against alien beings–because they are not human–I have it as much as anyone–race color–what planet you were born on–should not matter."
Pandora sipped the coffee, "No–it shouldn’t–but the reoccurring theme of superficial prejudice–based on economic and political oppression of one class verses another–just keeps on coming–why is that?"
Kragon put his two cents worth in, "Because there is more to it than what meets the eye. Evil uses the physical world to try and control the final outcome."
Washington looked at the other man for a long moment, "You are not from around here–are you?"
Kragon frowned, "No–I am not–I’m not totally human either–if that is what you are getting at."
Washington shook as head as he stood up, "No–I told you–I’m a black man–my people used to be discriminated against just because of it–ridiculous as it sounds now days–but my people used to live in fear of the police and the criminals. This young woman–who was found dead in the woods–she was alien–do you think that the killer is singling out alien women for his victims?"
Pandora voiced, "The perp is not a he–it’s a she–and she kills in a very specific way."
Washington raised an eyebrow, "The coroner’s report hasn’t come in yet–care to enlighten an old flat foot?"
Pandora set the cup down, "The person–no–thing we are looking for–kills her victim–sometimes years before we find them. The victims don’t appear to be dead–and function for a long time–then–for reasons that we still don’t understand–they just drop dead–some freak-out–mostly that’s how we find them–but in this case–the victim just died."
Washington was very skeptical, "You government types–making more out if it than what it has to be–what was she–some kind of..."
Pandora stood up–serious as can be, "Zombie..."
Washington walked away slowly, "Yeah–right–zombie–the victim was a zombie..."
Kragon explained, "A person–without a soul–to be exact–her soul has been stolen."
Sandra took a seat next to Isaiah on the couch–they were listening to jazz music, "This woman really bothers you–doesn’t she..."
Isaiah sipped a glass of wine, "You have no idea how self-centered she is–I told her no–that I didn’t do portraits anymore."
Sandra held up her glass of red wine to the light, "Did you bother to explain why you don’t do portraits anymore–I mean–I’m assuming she was willing to offer you a hefty sum of shekels."
Isaiah studied his friend’s pretty face for a moment, "One million shekels to be exact."
Sandra leaned back, "Oh my--Good Lord–please tell me that you left the door open for some kind of future negotiation."
Isaiah smiled slightly, "Not really."
Sandra sat forward–placing her glass of wine on the small ornate table in front of them, "Look–I’ve known you a long time–it’s like we’ve been friends forever–there was a time when no one stood in line to view Isaiah Silverhawk’s paintings–remember–and that hasn’t been that long ago."
Isaiah considered what his close friend was telling him, "You are right–fact of the matter is–if the God Lord Jesus hadn’t given me such good friends–I wouldn’t be here right now–let alone turning down a million shekel commission."
Sandra uttered, "Do you know how many young and up and coming artist would kill to be in your shoes–to have strangers viewing and appreciating their work–you’ve come along way, Isaiah. I still remember the little boy who told everybody–that he was going to be a famous artist one day. A blind kid–too poor to afford a pair of Blind Glasses. You had no means of seeing the canvas–let alone the money to buy supplies."
Isaiah nodded, "I had to beg and borrow supplies–few people believed that the Lord Jesus Christ had a purpose for me–the ones who did help–just thought they were helping out the poor little blind kid–humoring him."
Sandra said, "But I always believed–I always knew that Jesus Christ was going to make use of you, Isaiah–I trusted in God Jesus–just like you did."
Isaiah uttered after a long moment, "You are my best friend–always been there for me. Never doubted–why?"
Sandra told him, "Because with God Almighty–all things are possible!"
Isaiah nodded, "Yes–you are right. I could use the money–seems like the more successful I become–the more in debt I go. Some times I wonder–if the poor in material things--don’t actually have it better than the rich."
Sandra tilted her head, "How so?"
Isaiah spoke, "Because they have God Jesus Christ–to help them–the Holy Spirit to comfort them–and God the Father to watch over them. While the rich always have one foot in hell–and the other in purgatory–it’s like God Jesus said–it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle–than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."
Sandra leaned over and kissed him on the lips, "You have a lot of bills–loans–financial obligations–from what you’ve indicated to me–you may be rich in spirit and in faith–but you owe before you can put your hands on it–God Jesus can easily tell the difference."
Isaiah voiced, "Thanks, Sandra–I value your friendship–it means a lot to me."
Sandra took her glass and sipped more wine, "Just keeping it real, Isaiah–tell her–yes..."
Oh how wonderful is God Jesus Christ who listens to his people with love
The Lord hears his subjects and knows each one by name and he helps
Them in their time of need for God wills that we have peace and wealth
That comes from the hand of God so that our lives are blessed forever
I have lived an interesting life for while I never knew kings or princes
I have ever stood before King Jesus Christ and lived in His forgiveness
For what matter is it that worldly riches abound when all is damned it
Is better to esteem the worldliness as a tool for doing work or art or sport
For there is a darkness in the forest of Tyme Evercoch that seems to rule
The night and the elves and creatures of the woods play to the song of Nom-jos
Which is the lightning flashes as some changeling demon feigning as an angel
Of light when indeed they change their shape to hunt the souls of men as game
For we are nothing more than food to the evil spirits of this world just like
We hunt animals and feed on their roasted bodies so do the evil spirits hunt
Mankind and feed on our souls like the flesh of blood and pain and sadness
What way is this then that so many fall by the wayside thinking that gesture
Gone in a moment of time and dimension are the fabric of the broken pieces
Of men’s minds as they see and are blind and they hear and are deaf because
The world knew not Jesus Christ when He walked in the flesh and seek now
The anti-Christ who will fulfill the secular prophecy which is damnation come
For my hope is still with God Almighty and I cling to the word of God
But not in ignorance but in education and not in education of the world but
In the education of the Holy Spirit towards Jesus Christ for the promises of
God’s word will be kept and proven by God Jesus Himself for we hope in all
Is there pain in this world of course there is and is there disappointment in
This world of course there is but mine is not about my own infirmities for
If I suffer then I suffer in Christ and if I joy then I joy in Christ for all things
Are unto the Lord Jesus and we are kin in spirit to the Holy Cross of Christ
Do not seek the world as a reward for the reward of God’s children comes in
A latter day when all which is known has been taken down and the lost are in
Darkness for the dead in the world die forever while Jesus is the Foundation
Of Life and the salvation of the Living in the Father for the Trinity is God
Who is rich in the world let him become poor and who is strong in the world
Let him become weak and who is powerful in the world let him become powerless
For from weakness comes strength and from God Jesus comes salvation over
All manner of infirmity and sin and sickness and Jesus Christ has defeated them all
Vyna looked out onto the lake–sail boats with their white sails--spotted the dark blue of the water beyond, "I suppose you think of me as a selfish woman."
Isaiah waited a moment, "I suppose that we all have those feelings."
Vyna laughed slightly, "You are just saying that–you really don’t understand me anymore than I understand you."
Isaiah nodded, "Okay–but that was not why we agreed to meet–not after the last time–when I told you no."
Vyna cleared her throat, "Yes–well–I can see why you walked away from the table last time–I didn’t make you a generous enough offer–after all–you are a famous artist now–you do excellent work–and expect nothing less–when it comes to your time and bank account."
Isaiah looked at the woman for a long while, "Is that what you think this is all about–that I want more money?"
Vyna uttered, "Two million shekels–tax free. That is a lot of money–when word gets out that you are doing portraits again–they’ll be flocking to your door steps."
Isaiah leaned against the stone wall, "Just look at them..."
Vyna was confused, "Just look at what?"
Isaiah said, "The sail boats–out in the distance–they seem to have no care in the world–so peaceful–calm is the water..."
Vyna jumped in, "I own a sail boat–have a really good crew too–would you like to go sailing some times? The two of us."
Isaiah smiled, "I’d like that–I enjoy being out on the waves–the feel of the spray against my face–the wind–the sounds of the sea and the boat as they act as one."
Vyna moved closer to him, "Yes–it is beautiful–the sea–I mean. Er–why–why do you hate to do portraits?"
Isaiah hesitated, "Because–when I do a portrait of someone–they end up dead–I used to do them back in the day–before I was well known–and then one day–I became aware of a pattern developing–every person that I had done a portrait for–had been killed several years later."
Vyna spoke, "I’d heard a different kind of story–that everyone that you did a portrait–suddenly had fantastic economic success–they thought the paintings brought them good luck in business."
Isaiah shook his head, "Yes–but at what price–they all die a few years after that. My portraits are cursed."
Vyna giggled, "Why don’t you leave that up to your customers–to decide that–the truth of the matter is–that it was all a coincidence."
Isaiah told her, "I’ll do the painting for you–private sitting–on my time and terms–but I will paint the picture with my Blind Glasses on–okay."
Vyna nodded her head, "Sure–what ever–I don’t see why that is so important to you–but I can respect your wishes. How long will it take?"
Isaiah studied her face–her beautiful features–she really was quite a lovely woman–just real bossy–that was the one thing he didn’t like about her, "Each one is different–now–if you want a painting robot to do it for you–I have one of the best..."
Vyna yelled, "No! I mean–no–you are what I’m looking for–it has to be you–not some robotic machine–with no soul–no life–the human touch has to be there–there is something special about you–your painting of people–foretell the future."
The rest found spots in the autopsy room–the smell of death was everywhere–Lieutenant Washington was a good man–God fearing man–in a time and place that valued idiolatry–through the false beliefs in Technoligion–a government created religion–that glorified the values and conquests of the government–for some–a perfect religion–melding economics and politics and technology–but for those few who dared to speak the truth–that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That the Son of God was our Savior–and that Technoligion was nothing more than a manifestation of the Beast.
Washington began to eat a sandwich, "So–tell me–what brings out the Transdoor Star Police (TSP)–you don’t come all the way out here for a local murder."
Pandora watched the big man eat while the facts of the autopsy were proceeding, "If I’m right–you are going to find a Necrobzom protein in the body. It is a marker for a special synthetic bacteria."
The coroner looked up from the complicated machines she was using, "I just found that out a few seconds ago–the post-mortem machine just gave me the possible cause of death."
Washington stopped eating, "What?"
Dr. Faxtor stepped away from the humming post-mortem machine as it automatically cut up and cataloged the corpse–but she wasn’t finished–she was just letting the program run, "This bacteria–this is the overall cause of death. There are some other things that contributed to it–but basically–the Necrobzom bacteria is throughout all of her body."
Washington questioned, "So–she was not murdered–like some of us seem to thing–this poor soul died of a bacterial infection?"
The post-mortem machine made a funny sound–bringing Dr. Faxtor back to the screen–she looked back at them shortly after pressing some keys on the console, "This can’t be right–according to the post-mortem machine–this woman has been dead for two years!"
The room suddenly fell very quiet–because everyone knew that the poor woman had been seem at work and about the town for those last two years–then–slowly eyes began to fall onto the two TSP agents. Someone up high uttered, "So–this is a TSP case after all–I’ll inform the Governor–you’ll have the departments total cooperation," the woman left quickly.
Washington went to the TSP, "Just what is this?"
Kragon spoke, "As we have been trying to tell you–there is a serial killer running loose–using the transdoor as their method of procuring new victims."
Pandora explained, "The suspect’s name is Nehushtan–he is very rich–well connected–specially with the Dark Planets within the League of Worlds–so he’s hard to catch–can change his identity–he has rogue state connections."
Dr. Faxtor voiced, "He’d have to be–this bacteria is sweet–in an evil kind of way–state of the art kind of stuff–military I’d expect."
Pandora went on, "We call it the zombie bacteria–it was designed to be used on villages off world–on planets that were under developed–it can only be transmitted through sexual contact."
Dr. Faxtor muttered, "According to these findings–this bacteria was genetically produced using the old ancient virus that killed so many back in the late and early Twentieth and Twenty First Century–on Earth Prime. What does this person have to do with the Necrobzom bacteria?"
Kragon informed, "He is the head zombie–the one that was first infected with the bacteria–he was a test subject–but it was discovered–that he steals other people’s souls to feeded."
Isaiah and Vyna were in his studio loft–he was making some preliminary sketches of her–and doing other preparations–before he actually got around to doing a portrait of her, "So–you never told me..."
Vyna gazed up from eating Chinese food, "Told you what?"
Isaiah bit into an egg roll, "Whatever happened to that friend of yours that told you about me?"
Vyna stopped eating for a moment–appearing to be thinking, "I don’t know–we lost touch–I haven’t seen him in a long time."
Isaiah seemed somber, "Maybe before we really get into actually painting–you should find out about him–just in case..."
Vyna cut in, "Just in case he’s dead–from some mysterious accident. Isaiah, I appreciate that you are a Faither and all–but I’m not–I was raised believing in Technoligion–I don’t believe in superstition–just science and facts and technology. I told you–those things that happened to those other people–they were little more than–what they were–accidents–you just happened to paint some of them. Ask yourself this–what about those people whom you turned down–did any of them die–people die, Isaiah–it is a fact of life."
Isaiah cleared his throat, "You don’t understand–my belief in Lord Jesus Christ–is not superstition! God Jesus is real and alive–you dismiss the Almighty Power of Jesus Christ–because you don’t understand him–his love for us–his forgiveness–how he sacrificed his own life–in order to save all mankind."
Vyna uttered, "Only mankind–what about the other people that live on all the worlds that have been discovered–when mankind ventured out amongst the stars? Did your God save them too?"
Isaiah voiced, "God Jesus created the Heavens and the Earth–he created everything–that is why he has gone before us–to create a new Heaven and a new Earth–if you believe in God Jesus–you are saved–it is as simple as that."
Vyna said, "Alright–fair enough–you got me there–you are saying that your God created everything that we know of?"
Isaiah responded, "No–I am saying that the Lord Jesus Christ–created everything seen and unseen–not just the things that we know of–in fact–there are scripture that say that the unseen is greater than the seen–so in the universe–there are many secrets–some mankind will discover–others that we will never know."
Vyna uttered, "You know–that on some planets–even within the League of Worlds–they still persecute the Faithers–the neo-Christians–as yourself..."
Isaiah told her, "I’m more afraid of God–and what he would do to me–if I turned my back on him–after having been given such a wonderful blessing–as the conscience of the Lord Jesus Christ. No true Christian is going to accept the world–after having the truth made known–the things of this world are shadows–images–whispers of things in the Spirit World–the world of the spirits are what is real. The physical world–with all its beauty and temptations–is still nothing more than a kind of grand simulation–for something better–to come."
Vyna took a sip of wine, "Wow–I never had it explained like that–so–God is Love–that is what it comes down to? What if I were to tell you that I’m in love with you?"
Isaiah stopped what he was doing, "What? We just met..."
Vyna smiled, "Ah–but I trust my heart, Isaiah–can you trust yours?"