I looked at her, She seemed to shimmer, then she wasn’t there, then she was. An angel you could sometimes see through was something I hadn’t seen before.
She was standing with a group of others watching the sun set behind the Moon, that very sharp line between light and dark rushing over the surface. Quite a few of us come to watch now and then, just because it is so different from the coloured sunsets you can see on the Earth with its dense atmosphere.
The Most Senior arrived and greeted us all by name. It seemed that the ‘see through’ angel was called “Kacho”, sounding a little like a sneeze. I smiled, in a sneeze that angel could disappear all right.
The Most Senior chatted to us for a while, the beauty of the stars has been a subject we all revel in. As the universe has opened up for us, we can see its beauty in so many ways. I remember being fascinated by images produced by the space telescopes, now I can see all those spectra and more for myself, with just a little concentration.
Eventually we were all sitting around the Most Senior, seeming to wait for something.
“There is a sort of sect run by a madman who is plotting to get all of them to kill themselves. It is too early for most to die, and we would like to remind them they have free will in this and need not obey him.
As usual we cannot prevent them doing as they want, but we may certainly remind them of the choices available to them. There are families with children who have only had a few years of life and not yet learned to decide for themselves.
There is one man who I believe is the key. He is suicidal at present as he believes his fiancée has run off with the leader. He does not know she is dead, and that the leader is hoping to use the mass suicide to cover this up. If he accepts the poison offered, then many others will follow him, as he is a charismatic young man, of great passion and leadership ability.”
Kacho said softly “I can appear to him, is that why I am here?”
The Most Senior replied “Probably”.
We talked among ourselves for a while, each wanting to help prevent this tragedy.
With the Most Senior we each identified a person or couple to work with, we had to hurry as the plan was for the next day in that place.
For my couple I helped them re-discover how much they loved each other and how they had planned a family. When they finally went to sleep, I guided their dreams into a happy family life, away from this place and its controlling leader.
They woke just before dawn, and when he suggested they needed a day out together, she agreed and they left quietly, taking rucksacks for a long hike and a sleep-over in the nearby hills. I felt so happy for them, they would return to find it all over.
I found Katcho watching over the young man, Simon. Simon muttered in his sleep, restless and worried. He already had had some coaching by the leader that something great would happen, and that the leader wanted Simon to be the first.
We gently inserted images of the leader and Simon’s fiancée together, and ideas of escape in him, so that he could show his fiancée how she would miss him. He too woke fairly early. We encouraged his feeling of the need to escape.
He dressed carefully and walked out of his room. We realised we had also won with him.
He reached the gates of the compound. We followed, holding hands, happy with what we had achieved.
The gates were locked, and there sitting on the ground were my couple. Two men were standing arguing with them, telling them today was a special day and all members of the clan (as the leader called them) were needed for a special ceremony.
Together the three walked back to the breakfast room, saying they all felt like a day away.
Katcho and I felt despair, we had not succeeded.
There was the leader, talking to each as they came in, greeting with a smile and a hug.
When everyone was seated, the leader began to talk of a life he had been shown, beyond the now. He talked persuasively of how they must lead the righteous of the world into this new life. There were cameras set up to capture everything, and they were recording his speech.
Another angel joined us, groaning over the lack of progress he had made with his person. He said though that there was a locked freezer in the storeroom, and he suspected something in there would be used to kill everyone.
Katcho and I went to look. In it was the body of a young woman.
Katcho returned to Simon, and as I thought she disappeared Simon looked up, his face lit up and he stood. Then he walked out of the dining area, across to the storeroom. The sounds of something striking metal rang out, and then a loud wail, like someone demented.
People ran out and to the storeroom. There was Simon, holding the stiff cold body of the young woman, wailing. The lid of the freezer was damaged and a padlock lay on the ground.
He cried,” an angel led me to her, she has been raped, look at her bloody clothes”.
There was much shouting and confusion. The leader commanded him to bring her into the chapel and lay her on the altar.
Everyone moved off, except one man. My man. I went to him and suggested that the police should be called. He reacted quickly and finding the office open, dialled the emergency number.
It seemed like seconds later there were several police cars at the main gate. As the guards tried to argue I was surprised to see a helicopter flying in and landing near the gate.
Four men jumped out, and two ensured the gate was opened. Katcho went over to one, he looked at her and his face lit up. Somehow I knew that, like Simon, he could see her. She led him to the leader’s quarters, and there he was, packing a bag. “Now just where do you think you are going Sir?” the policeman asked.
Katcho and I watched as the police infiltrated the place. No one was allowed to leave, so the day trips were still not going to happen.
People wandered around seemingly aimlessly.
I could see Katcho going from person to person, watched their faces light up, and the serenity come to them. I realised they were all going to be fine, live out their lives in better ways than this.
One old woman refused to look at Katcho. She said “I knew he wanted us to die, I am ready, how can they stop me now?” We watched as she slowly walked to the storeroom, climbed into the freezer and pulled the damaged lid down on herself. Another angel appeared and comforted us, saying, “She has made her peace, she was dying of a cancer that would have had her in unbearable pain shortly”.
The three of us waited with the old woman, singing softly to her until the end.