Chapter I

58 6 2

Earth, Third Planet From The Star, Sol,

The United States, Washington, D.C.,

Joint Base Andrews,

Seventeen Earth Years and Six Months Ago

Emilio Defrancesco stepped from the black Humvee into the sunlight and blinked. He lightly patted Cain's weapon concealed in his leather jacket once more, nervously considering yet another possible outcome that his actions might bring. This activity of touching the object and then mentally living through some nightmarish fantasy that consistently resulted in his demise was more or less a habit at this point. Regardless, if it did mean saving the world, he was ultimately fine with that result. His one final regret would be, however, that he did not say goodbye to Giovana, at least not properly. Maybe one day she would forgive him once she learned the truth.

Emilio stretched with a yawn. The flight to the United States was terribly long and nerve-wracking although relatively uneventful. The man just could not sleep on the flight even with the understanding that the Vatican pulled several strings smoothing his entry with the knife into America, even onto the military base. The museum curator did not ask or for that matter, want to know how far the Church's reach actually extended. However, he did know one thing; it was frighteningly vast.

"Emilio!" Julius said stepping through the opening doors of a large military hangar, arms outstretched. "How are you doing my old friend? What brings you all the way to the United States? Not just little ol' me, I imagine?"

"No, not entirely," the Italian said, smiling without provocation. He was relieved to see Julius in such good health and spirits. "But, what kind of friend would I be if I didn't' visit? I just could not leave without seeing you." Emilio grinned and then glanced around at the very serious, well-armed U.S. servicemen surrounding him and his German friend. "I was here on museum business and saw you on television with the U.S. President and, erm...I'm sorry what's her name? You say it's Mother, no?"

Julius laughed and leaned in toward his friend. "It's really Lucenda, but she wants to be called Mother," he whispered with a chuckle.

"Hey, Julius?" Emilio inquired in a hushed tone.

"Ya?"

"What is it supposed to mean, this title of Mother?" he asked, eyeing the guards.

"It is some Cenerean thing, but she is also modern man's mother, somewhat. She infused her Cenerean DNA with early humanity's. Says she did it to give us intelligence and language. Everything I have seen so far indicates Lucenda appears to be telling the truth about this. Scientists have located similar Cenerean genetic markers in our own DNA thanks to her donation of her blood toward their research," Julius said with a smile. One thing they can't explain is why there is some other strange markers...it seems from a Cenerean man, but she hasn't expounded on whose they might be, although I heard her mention the name 'Jay' when we first met."

"That's fascinating," Emilio said. "Did she say why the early human's put her in the box."

Julius' eyes darted around at his and Emilio's company. "Something to discuss with her."

"I see," Emilio said in realization. "Can I meet her, then? Would that be a possibility?"

"For my dearest friend? Oh, most definitely, I have every intention of that. Right now, though, she is meeting with Pastor J.D. Rose and other representatives of The Church of the Holy Man. That might take a while, their leadership has a penchant for inquisitiveness," Julius said with a chuckle. "For now, follow me, my friend, let us go somewhere else to talk, somewhere more private."

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