The house in Mendocino was of ample size yet modest, situated on a nice piece of land that included access to both Sea and Forest. Since Sea and Forest were members of the little cadre of revolutionaries, they were allowed to choose the base of operations.
The house sat directly on the Mendocino Triple Junction (MTJ), a place where three servings of tectonic plate meet to shake things up every once in a while. It was a site of big changes, one of large scale shifts of earth in that region.
The ED’s loved it.
The European couple who joined the group there were Terrans who clearly had scads of genetic input from the gods of yore. Zeus Woodiopoulos, an Adonis look alike from Mykonos, was an expert in international affairs and finance. His partner Juno Shegonnakickaubutti was an Italian sex therapist to the well known but discretely dysfunctional rich. Both held positions of power in the world of the culture to be crumbled.
Their relationship was tumultuous, so Juno shared the large front room with Tante and the twins. Baltha had her way outdoors with Zeus, which was her way with beautiful strangers, whilst allowing both to commune with Sea and Forest. It suited all of them quite well. B was not a good sleeper, most often preferred to play Incubus or Succubus to friends old and new, and Zeus was a fine friend indeed. She could hardly wait to get to know Juno better.
The foursome from the states were locals, a couple of old hippies and the dog and cat who lived with them. They’d been in long term relationship with Sea and Forest at the site, where they’d found themselves sleeping one morning after a prolonged acid trip during the late 1960’s. The land had been mysteriously deeded to them along with a note that said “Just Wait.”
So they’d waited, growing organic vegetables and weed and raising chickens. Apparently the time had come, or so that that’s what the mushrooms the land provided had told them. The entire group had feasted on mushrooms together that evening. Forest and Sea and the folks from Mendocino had provided abundantly for the group, no Citibank needed.
They’d all dined together before watching the sun go down over the Pacific a few hours before. Tante and Juno remained engaged in enlightening conversation.
“Oh dearie, you don’t want to get interested in a windbag like that Trumpet fellow.” Juno spoke with authority. “And that woman? I’ve consulted with her husband a dozen times, she doesn’t know how to handle a man. She uses brute force, doesn’t recognize the subtler strengths of the feminine”.
Zeus and Baltha could be heard vocalizing in background of the conversation Tante and Juno shared, grunts and yips that brought all sorts of shapeshifter images to mind, primal calls echoing off the walls as they came down the hall through the open window.
Juno blushed. “Of course there are men like Zeus, men who one grows tired of handling all the time. Such men need distraction from the mundanity of life. Some play the games of business, some of love, some of politics.”
“Yes, but the Trumpet plays them all, and badly.” Tante just tsk tsked when she thought about the poor schmuck.
“He’s no Zeus. That’s the problem. Most are not Zeus, most are just Arnold.”
Arnold was the adorable but meek male half of the couple who lived on the land and grew the food and kept up the house that held them. Tante tried to imagine Arnold comparing himself to Zeus the way Juno was doing and shuddered.
“Arnold is way more attractive than Zeus in all sorts of ways.” Tante realized that she meant it. Yes, Zeus was gorgeous, built like a hunk of Michelangelo’s marble, smart, passionate, capable, about as alpha male, king of the gods as a mere mortal could possibly get. “Arnold is cute, and honest, and transparent and vulnerable and he just loves Yanaha and the whole household so much it’s sublime in its simple purity.”
“Ah yes, Zeus and the 2%. Isn’t that one of the popular phrases these days, categorizing people into percentage groups?”
“Of course.” Tante was enjoying a little rational discourse, Juno was sharp and the mushrooms they eaten made things all seem so simple. “The guy with the hair is one of the big shekel holders, one of the 1% or 2% or whatever the grade for A is in the world of money. He’s trying to compensate for something.”
“But it’s not just money that we measure with those percentages.” Juno smiled.
“Oh no. It could be money or beauty or smarts or wins or just about anything. Who gets the most Facebook likes? That Trumpet fellow is no Zeus, so he needs lots of shekels to feel good about himself. Except they don’t make him feel good, so he has to go on TV and make lots of noise, try to make others feel bad about themselves so he can envision himself in a higher percentage range.”
Zeus could be heard trumpeting like a swan from outside the window.
“Zeus is flat broke.” Juno explained. “He threw everything he inherited into trying to defeat the IMF cabal on the continent. That’s why he’s been chasing so much skirt lately. It’s fine, really, he’s a grand lover and has learned the ways of gentle seduction. We’ve learned that it’s healthy to set loose boundaries and to release the normal animal tensions of life.”
They looked over at the twins, deep in intertwined slumber on the futon in the corner.
“So you two are Terrans, through and through, complete with family history and all?” Tante was still getting used to the idea of life in this trip down the rabbit hole called 21st Century Earth. She’d been more comfortable when surrounded by family in the Outback, or at least among other Taphao Thongians. Even the twins were more familiar to her than Terrans, being aliens and all.
“It’s complicated. You are a sworn virgin, now physically developed past child bearing age. The twins are siblings and so firmly attached that they’ll never do any begetting; besides, their mother was a figurine, they’re probably infertile. Ja is the product of two Terrans, even if he does have a strong channel to Taphao Thong through Haile and the Yeti, he’s still genetically of this world. Haile is like you, produced especially for this event, and neuter. In general, the first rule for ED’s here is not to mess with the gene pool.”
“In general. What about Baltha?” Tante’s curiosity was peaked; B had simply been there at her birth, had always been there.
“In general means that not all visitors from the great beyond follow the first rule. The ancestors of Zeus and Juno are prime examples.” Baltha entered the room, drying her hair on her Hijab. “The Poltergeists of PSR 1257+12 c spread seed far and wide here thousands of years ago.”
“And so, too, your people, my Magi friend”. Zeus followed her in, smiling.
“Yes, Tante, your old friend Baltha has been around this planet a time or two.” Juno chimed in.
“Just how widespread is the contamination?” She almost hated to think of it that way, as contamination. But gene pools were tricky systems. After all, she’d agreed to the virginity stipulation when she took on the role of Auntie Christ. Maybe it was easy for her to sit in judgement when she didn’t have any choice in the matter.
“Well, it’s like this.” Baltha started in. “I’ve got direct line genetic connections to the Taphao Thong through Hagar, one of ours who broke the rule. That guy Abraham was just so desperate to have a son. Anyway, my line has been around for a very long time.”
“Oh yes, and the offspring of the golden age of the gods are all over the continent. It’s why we’re so much more chic.” Juno added her two Euros worth.
“It’s why you’re so different.” Yanaha had entered the room. She was an old dark skinned woman, round of body and face and full of good cheer. She was born Diné, stolen as a child by the Mormons, a runaway as a teenager, pretty lost until a band of wandering academic hippies found her. She’d done undergraduate work in Anthropology, something that introduced her to many diverse indigenous ways. Post graduate, she’d majored in Law, at Yale.
The memories of the ancient ones were stored in the eye clouds of her memory, accessible through use of the herbs and fungi she nurtured on the land. Ethnobotany had been the focus of her undergraduate work.
“You’re pure Terran”. Tante stated it as a fact, she knew it to be so.
“Yes. As is Arnold and Frodo the dog and Kali the cat and Sea and Forest and all who live within.” Yanaha smiled.
“But I’m like Ja and Haile, my genes are all Terran even if my spirit is Taphao Thong.”
They all turned to look at her.
“Not exactly”. Baltha went on.
“No, Hagar wasn’t the only TT to run astray of the first rule. Old Þunraz got around the northlands back in the day, too. Your father Josef carries some of that biochemistry, it’s why you can channel through that body. Haile is connected through the same line I am.”
“Wow. What about my Koori side?”
“Pure Koori.” Yanaha answered. She was an empath and healer, read people and ED’s like so much pulp fiction. Mostly she just hung out with Arnold and the other creatures of her community.
“The thing is, the guy with the hair has some of that TT Þunraz biochemistry, too. That’s probably why you’re drawn to him”. Juno smirked when she said it
“NO WAY!” All three plates beneath the house rumbled.
“Way”. The twins had awakened and responded in unison, calming things.
Yanaha reigned in the conversation.
“The things of this planet and its creatures come from vast times and places; we are ever changing. The past cannot be undone. The sharing of our lives and genes and love and ways produces new lives and genes and ways in love. We come together now in love to move forward together into what is to come.
The community of the forest knows that we all are connected, some by genes and some by food and some by spirit, most by all, forever entangled. I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”
Tante sat back and harrumphed.
The sun was making its way back up over the eastern forest. The night had flown by, quick as the turn of the earth on its wheel. A mycorrhizal fungus living in conjunction with a redwood just outside the window offered editorial commentary to its companion.
"Listen to these silly beings, worried about their genetics. Don't they know the whole system is under threat?"
"Hey, they're more closely related to you than they are to me," replied the tree. It seems classification affected all of them, whether they liked to admit it or not.
The End is Near