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Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Missing Prophet

“What is your name,” the man says to me.

“I’ve told you my name.”  I have, in fact, told him my name several times. He continues to ask these pointless and repetitive questions.

“Humor me,” he says.  “Tell me your name again.”  When I say nothing immediately he leans forward in his chair and touches my arm.  “Please?”

I sigh.  “My name is Ezekiel Ben-Adam. I am the prophet of the Lord.”  I have told him this already.

“You’re not Lieutenant Zul-Kifl Miller of the Giordano Bruno Lunar Colony?”

I say nothing.  These words are meaningless to me.

“Do you recognize this woman?”  The man hands me a cube with a picture glowing within it.

“I do not.”

“You don’t recognize her as your wife, Lisa?  You haven’t been married to her for,” he pauses to consult something on or within the cube, “nineteen years?”

“I do not recognize this woman.  She is not my wife.  My wife is…” I can say no more.  I moan softly, but I do not allow tears to come to my eyes.

“What about you wife?” the man asks.

“My wife, the delight of my eyes, the joy of my youth was taken from me.”

“Taken?  Who took her?”

“The Lord.”

“God took your wife? You believe that your wife is dead?”

“Yes. The Lord took her.  He spoke to me in the morning saying, ‘Oh mortal one, I am about to take the delight of your eyes, through pestilence.’  That evening she was dead.”

“How did that make you feel?”

“I did not lament.  I did not allow my tears to flow.  Her death was a sign.”  The man allows me a moment of silence, and for that I thank the Lord.  It isn’t very long, however before he proceeds again with his questions.

“How did you come to be here?”

“I have told you this before.  In the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, when I was in the community of exiles by the Chebar Canal, the heavens opened, and I saw visions of God.  I looked and I saw a stormy wind sweeping out of the north – a huge cloud and flashing fire surrounded by a blue radiance.  Something like a wheel within a wheel appeared within the radiance.  And now I am here.”

The man is annoyed.  He waves his hand to stop me.  “Let’s talk about something else.  Tell me… what do you do?  What is your occupation?”

“I was born to be a priest in the Temple of the Lord, like my father, and his father before him.  But the Temple has become defiled and the priesthood corrupt.  I am a prophet of the Lord.  I am his mouth and voice.”

“You’re not a crewmember, an engineer, aboard the Starcraft Abdul-Fattah?”

“I can give no answer to that.  It is gibberish.”

“Can you tell me anything about the Blish-Feinberg Drive?”

Silence is my only reply.  The man is frustrated by my silence, but what more can I say?  I do not understand his questions and, what is more, the Lord has given me nothing further to say.  I say nothing.    The man sighs and then withdraws from the room.


“I’m sorry,” said the doctor.  “I don’t know what else to tell you Colonel.  We’ve been at this for two months now.  We’ve examined Lieutenant Miller over and again; run every test.  Some of them twice.  Blood chemistry is normal.  Brain scans reveal no indications of lesions or tumors.  Our psychologists have given him the Wiesle tests. The results show no points of correspondence to the tests given to him before his admission to the academy. Physically he is healthy and well.  He has a few minor wounds, but they are healing normally.  Psychologically, however, there is nothing of Lieutenant Zul-Kifl Miller.”

Colonel João Andrade glowered.  “He still insists that he’s this Hebrew prophet of the sixth century B.C.E?”

“Yes, Colonel.” 

An exhausted silence filled the office.  Then, “The Blish-Feinberg Drive manipulates tachyon fields, moving particles through time, right?  And this man was trapped in the Cherenkov radiation chamber for 27 hours.  Could this be one of those Tachyon telephone paradox situations?” asked the Colonel.

“I’m a physician, sir.  I couldn’t give any answer to the theoretical physic questions created by the accident.”

The Colonel huffed. “No, no. Doctor, you’re right.  I’m hardly qualified to be here myself.  I barely understand how this all works, or is supposed to work.”  He paused, thought for a moment and tried another line of approach.  “Is there anything in the writings of this prophet Ezekiel that could help us?”

“That’s just it…” said the doctor.  “I’ve looked into the Hebrew scriptures and all the historical records.  There’s nothing anywhere about a Hebrew prophet named Ezekiel, in the sixth century or otherwise.”

“So you’re saying he’s crazy.  That the explosion caused some sort schizophrenic split?”

“No, sir.  As I’ve reported, the psych tests show no indication of schizophrenia or other mental disorder.”

“Then what are you saying?” the Colonel Andrade demanded.

“Again sir, I’m not qualified to give any answer to the theoret…”

“Just give me an answer, dammit!”

“Sir.  I think that the explosion in the Blish-Feinberg Drive aboard the Starcraft  Abdul-Fattah sent tachyons backward through time and space, carrying with them the mind, or spirit, or personhood – whatever you want to call it -of Lieutenant Miller.  And by the reinterpretation principle, tachyons moving backward in time can also be reinterpreted as tachyons moving forward in time.  We can’t distinguish between the emission and the absorption of these particles.  The tachyons moving forward in time carried with them this prophet Ezekiel.”

“You understand the physics more than you let on, don’t you doctor?”


“Never mind, doctor.  I thought you said that you said you couldn’t find any information about this prophet.”

“He doesn’t exist anymore, sir.”

“Explain that, doctor.”

“Whoever this prophet Ezekiel may have been in the past is now gone; he’s been replaced psychically with our Lieutenant Zul-Kifl Miller."

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