All the while she was aware that Adriel was watching her, and he was delighted to see her enjoying the food. The gratitude she felt, he seemed to absorb it, and it made him almost glow.
She, for her part, felt a new wave of gratitude wash over her as she learned what eggs, ham, cheese, green peppers, pancakes, butter, and syrup all tasted like together. Her mouth stuffed and her stomach knowing it soon would be as well, she sat back, her eyes rolling back like those of a shark that was tasting fresh blood.
“Oh my God, Adriel, thank you so much!” she said. “I don’t care if you’re Satan himself, this is sooooo good!”
Adriel was laughing. “No, there, I can assure you, I am not Satan. Really, Bethany, I have not lied to you. I am your friend.”
“Mmm, yeah you are,” she agreed, and set back into her meal with a more restrained manner. “So,” she said, “You’re human, but from another tribe? What’s that all about?”
Adriel smiled as he watched her eat. “Humans, all of us, were created by an extraterrestrial race.”
Bethany paused her feasting, looking up at him over her plate. “Ummkay…”
Adriel continued as though he were explaining something every school kid knew. “We were created as a slave race to labor in mineral mines. They came here for gold, among other plentiful resources. However, their class system had a bit of a revolt, and they needed a new labor force, so they genetically modified our native ape ancestors so that we could be taught to use their tools and follow their instructions. However, this violated a universal code, call it the Prime Directive to reference your science fiction association, and we were deemed to be an ecological disaster. It was decided that we should be destroyed for the sake of the earth’s ecosystem. However, some of the scientists who created us argued that the damage was done, and the ecosystem was going to be disrupted no matter what they did – wipe us out or allow us to thrive. A group of these scientists, sort of animal rights activists, had been trying to teach us language, writing, farming… they had been trying to give us a culture. And speaking of your reference to Satan earlier, their symbol, as a matter of fact, was that of the serpent.”
As he had been talking, Bethany had polished off most of the pancakes, half of her omelet, and had started in on the home fries. Her coffee had lost about ½ of its contents as well. She still had a third of her orange juice. Now she again paused her feeding to say, “Hold up… the serpent. You’re talking about the Book of Genesis.” She started to recall all of the Sunday school lessons her mother had made her attend as a child.
“Yes,” Adriel replied. “Those old stories were the first attempt by humankind to keep a recorded history of their existence, as they were taught by their progenitors. They were very crude, broken, as different slave groups wrote different stories. You see, they were teaching us a caste system similar to their own society.”
“They? You mean God and Satan.”
“I mean the Elohim, the plural of Eloha in the old language.”
“It means Great Ones. There wasn’t just one ‘god’ and one ‘devil.’ They were the vanguard of an advanced extraterrestrial race.” He could see she was understanding, but another clue might help. “Think about it,” he said. “When you picture someone praying, how do you see them?”
She shrugged as she chewed. “I don’t know. Kneeling with their hands together like this,” she put up her hands like a child saying bedtime prayers.
“Does it also remind you of the posture of a captive with their hands bound?” he said. “That’s how early humans were brought before these entities, like subdued animals.”
Bethany looked at her hands. “And this group of serpent scientists, they were Satan in the Old Testament?”
“Not exactly,” Adriel said. “They were actually God in that dichotomy. Satan, or the ‘bad guy’ was actually seen as God back then. Think back to the Book of Genesis. The God that was in charge of Eden, he was jealous, vengeful, angry, and not omnipotent. When the early humans hid from him, he could not find them and had to ask them to reveal themselves.”
“So the scientists, the serpents, were omnipotent?”
“Well, they had access to the tracking devices they had fitted their progeny with. These were the ancestors that had been kept in the gardens of Eden to serve their creators. The majority of humans had been relocated to areas rich in mineral deposits. Although they had more access to the ada—the early humans, these scientists were no more omnipotent than the government that oversaw the whole project – God, if you will.”
He paused here to let her absorb all that he had said so far. Surprisingly, she was absorbing much more than he had expected. She had even remembered the symbol of the serpent on the caduceus, sometimes a single serpent, sometimes two serpents intertwined like the double helix of DNA, representing the genetic link to the celestial species. She recognized it as symbol that had stuck with their species’ collective memory of science and medicine.
“So, wait,” she said after washing down a mouthful with a big gulp of orange juice, “So you’re saying, the God of the Old Testament, old wrathful, vengeful, angry God, was the government, and the serpent was the scientists who created us?”
“Yes, at the behest of the government. Once they saw our full potential, just how successful their crossbreeding program had become, they decided they owed it to us to try to teach us how to be civilized. When the Serpent in Genesis tells ‘Adam and Eve’ – early protohumans – that they can gain knowledge about their existence and their world and become like the creators – become like God, so to speak – that’s when the trouble started. They are not the only ‘gods’ in this universe, and this isn’t the only universe. A collective ruling decreed that they had to stop teaching us to build a civilization based on their own. We were left to our own devices, abandoned, and our ancestors, with no moral code or understanding of concepts like overpopulation, began to breed like rabbits. Thus, we were decreed an ecological disaster, and steps were taken to assure our destruction. At the time, humankind only existed in parts of Southern Africa and the Middle East, around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.”
Bethany was nodding. Her stomach was full, and her eating had become secondary to the priority of listening to her new friend lay out the early history of their shared species. Both she and Adriel were a little surprised by how well she was adjusting to this information, but then again, it really wasn’t such an outlandish concept in this day and age. Hadn’t this idea or at least similar ideas already been suggested by science fiction in movies, television, and literature? All Adriel was doing was laying out the specific details of a possible history. How did she know this was the actual history and not just some crazy story being told by some weirdo in a diner? Well, she didn’t. As he had told her, she was tired, and likely very susceptible to suggestion. But for now, she figured, fuck it – she was eating, she was warm, and she was finding all of this to be quite interesting. So, she gestured for him to continue.
“There was a major shift coming to the Earth at the time, caused by a large celestial object moving through our solar system. It tilted the earth on its axis by 23 degrees, causing great flooding in the parts of the world where our ancestors were running around, reproducing, as well as some who continued to attempt to write about the events they saw unfolding around them. They had no concept for what they were seeing, they didn’t know the scientific terms, so they described it all as best as they could in their primitive frame of mind. For example, beings descending to earth in rockets became angels descending in flames. Complex machinery became wheels within wheels. The scientists, for their part, did their best to preserve this new species they had created, as they felt responsible for our survival. They broke the law to move some of us to South America, where, if you check current historical records, civilization just appeared around the same time as the historic accounts of the deluge. One called Enki, the head of the breeding program, protected a family of servants by teaching them to build a sort of submarine in which they could survive the flood waters.”
“Noah’s ark?” Bethany asked, taking a sip of her orange juice.
“Well, Utnapishtu’s submarine, actually, but yes.”
“That was his recorded name. ‘Noah’ is a mistranslated abbreviation.”
“Ah. And did he have two of every animal?”
“No, that’s a silly children’s story. In fact, the family was given DNA samples of some of the more useful species from the regions wiped out by the flood. Ever see Jurassic Park?”
“Mmm,” Bethany said. She was finishing off her pancakes. She had syrup to contend with. Still, she was enjoying the show with her meal.
“Anyway, this is all the nutshell version just to get you up to speed on my situation, alright?”
“Yes,” she said, cutting into the last of the pancakes with the edge of her fork. “I get it. We’ll work out the details once I get some sleep.”
“Good. Now, where was I?”
“Ah, yes. So anyway, despite the galactic collective’s best efforts to correct the mistake that is humanity, many of us survived. As the earth was now recovering from a major global catastrophe, and we were in the surviving group that had been assisted by members of the scientific community, it was decided to let things continue on as they were as a sort of experiment. The extraterrestrials returned to the earth to continue teaching us to build a civilization. One group, led by Utnapishtu’s descendants, moved northward into what is now England and used the technology left to them to construct an elaborate and accurate calendar to follow the comings and goings of their so-called ‘gods,’ with the intention of building a tower from which to launch their own spacecraft. Of course, they had no hope of doing so, they were just mimicking what they saw the advanced civilizations doing, a sort of John Frum cargo cult effort, if you get my reference.”
Bethany understood perfectly. She had written a paper on cargo cults for one of her elective college courses. Cargo Cults had sprung up in the South Pacific during World War II when landing strips had been built on remote islands to land Red Cross planes and get supplies to the war effort. The natives on those islands saw the planes flying in, saw all of the new technology like cameras and lighters that they brought, and saw the radio towers. When the war ended and the planes stopped coming, they built their own radio towers to try to call the planes back to return the wonderful, miraculous “cargo” the departing Red Cross crews had taken with them. The name ‘John Frum’ was the name given to the god of the cargo cults, and he was said to live in a volcano on one of the islands. It was a bastardization of phrases like, “Hi, I’m John, from America!” To this day, shrines with red crosses dot the islands.
“Wait a second,” she said as a thought occurred to her. “You said Noah’s descendants did this in England. Was this when they built Stonehenge?”
“Yes,” said Adriel, visibly impressed. “And the Tower of Babel. And so, our creators soon realized we were developing faster than anticipated, and that our development needed to be slowed to try to keep balance in the natural harmony. They encourage migration, to spread out our populations even further, and broke us into tribes, teaching us different languages.”
“Holy shit! Stonehenge was the Tower of Babel?”
“Well, it was the groundwork for the tower. When our creators saw how well they had constructed it, the mathematics involved, and saw that it might actually lead to something more than they were comfortable with, they put the kibosh on it but quick.”
“Kibosh?” Bethany was laughing. “But quick? Who are you now, Bugsy Malone?”
“Sorry, just trying to keep the lingo fresh to hold your attention. I can see that you are getting sleepy now that you have a full stomach.”
Bethany nodded, and realized how heavy her head was getting. “Yeah,” she said. “How about wrapping up this Reader’s Digest version as we walk. Where is your place?”
Adriel smiled and took a cell phone out of his coat pocket. “I’ll call us an Uber.” He appeared to simply swipe the screen and tap a button. “So anyway, now humans here on this world were all spread out, and their ‘gods’ began to fade into the shadows as they turned over control of the different populations to appointed human leaders, creating kingships and what we now hold as so-called ‘royal’ bloodlines, similar to their own civilization. They became the hidden power behind the thrones. As all of this was going on…”
“Wait a second,” Bethany broke in.
“Did you really just call us an Uber on your phone?”
“Yes,” Adriel took the phone out again and looked at it. “They should be here in five minutes.”
She had a question somewhere, but was too tired to find it, so she just gave him a ‘whatever’ shrug. “Okay.”
He slipped the phone back into his pocket. “As all of this was going on, some of the gods took a liking to certain humans, and they adopted them like pets. Perhaps they liked their looks, or they did something endearing or displayed above-average intelligence, or perhaps something in their genetic coding set them apart. For whatever reason, these chosen humans were ‘taken up’ to live with the ‘gods.’ Keep in mind that some of these gods that were now involved here on earth due to the dispute over our creation were ultra-terrestrials, meaning they were not from this universe, but from a parallel universe. This is where things get weird…”
“Oh, this is where they get weird?” Bethany said. “Because I thought they got weird the moment you pulled me out of that park.”
“Well, things get weirder,” Adriel gestured as he spoke, and the server came right over. He handed her a card, she swiped it into a hand-held reader, and after a moment, asked if he wanted a receipt. He declined, and she returned his card as he continued, slipping the card into the same pocket into which his phone had disappeared.
“Anyway, a group of ultra-terrestrials took a bunch of us to their world, which is here on Earth, but on a different frequency, meaning in a sort of parallel universe. The pyramid at Giza acts as a sort of marker between the worlds. We have always been aware of your existence on this side of the veil, as we call it, but your side has only recently become aware of us, and totally by accident.”
“That makes sense,” Bethany muttered. All of this was remarkably interesting, but now, the more he talked, the more she was starting to feel like she was shutting down. It was becoming like the college lectures that used to send her to sleep.
“You see, frequencies keep universes divided, and there are low-frequency worlds, and high-frequency worlds, just like frequencies on a radio dial. And just like a radio dial, where all the talk radio and religious music is at the lower end of the dial and all of the good music is at the higher end, the universes are scaled. As universes go, the shitty ones – the shittiest and lowest-frequency being the so-called ‘Hell’ – are the lower-frequency worlds. This frequency, the one you and I are now in, is very close to Hell, you see.”
Yes, she nodded. Considering her current life, she could most definitely see.
Adriel said, “More and more people are feeling that way. It’s sort of like, if you consider the oceans, near the surface, there is sunlight, warm, blue waters, and beautiful, intelligent creatures like dolphins and whales. The further down you go, the darker it gets, and the uglier the beings become, like the angler fish and the goblin shark.”
“Ooh, I hate those things,” she said, trying to contribute to the lecture just to stay awake.
“Well, they are what they are, aren’t they?” he said. “I can see I’m losing you, so I will just say that these frequencies, the ones that are closer together, can sometimes overlap and a sort of crossing over can occur, like when you’re listening to an AM radio station late at night, and you begin to hear another station bleeding over the original broadcast.”
Then he fell silent. She looked up at him. He was smiling at her, giving her that concerned, comforting look. “You are really not going to remember much of this, are you?”
“I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s just been a very long night.”
“I understand, and it is my place to apologize,” he said. “When I start describing all of this to… well, I think every sentient being should be aware of this. For now, however, I think it is far more important that you sleep.” He turned and looked out the window. She followed his eyes to where a dark blue Hyundai Santa Fe Sport was pulling up to the diner. Adriel’s storytelling picked up a faster pace as he tried to reach a conclusion. He stood as he spoke and began putting on his coat. “This reality of yours is on the lower end of the spectrum. This is why there is good here, but evil has much more influence over this world. This is why there is so much sorrow and suffering, so much inequality and injustice, and disharmony. All of this negativity keeps your collective emotional field low, and so it holds you closer to Hell.”
Bethany slid out of the booth and followed Adriel to the door. “I totally get that,” she said.
“I figured you might,” Adriel said as he held the door for her. “The lower realms of Hell, to simplify the concept, eventually wants to create total sorrow and suffering here, expanding its reach to include this world. You people, being all depressed and hopeless about all the unjust suffering in this world, keep lowering this frequency. More unjust suffering, more sorrow, more sorrow, more unjust suffering. It’s a vicious cycle.”
They walked to the waiting vehicle and he opened the back door for her. She didn’t even think about not getting in. Before he shut the door, he said, “In a way, you, Bethany, are helping Hell take over.” He slid into the front seat, gave an address to the driver, and then smiled at her over his shoulder. “Okay! Let’s go!”