“But what of Varence and Ceres?” Donar, the other pale man, likened to Varence’s heritage, said as he stepped forward eagerly. “Their mission was placed here. Their lesson would not be over.”

“Then they would stand in place still-for the time said,” Opolitta responded as though it were obvious.

“True, for leaving would not be right-not for them with their placement, their position, or to those they have influenced here,” Buckrin added. “They are responsible, in part, for the aid which will be needed for such an exposure-for such teachings.”

“Though not a complete truth unveiled,” Zurion said with his index finger pointing at them upon his cornered elbow as he held it before his face playfully.

“Well, no-NOT THAT,” Ultimaera said plainly.

“THAT would leave a great deal still to do with all these little things,” Opolitta told them.

Aresades spun to face her fellow elders, turning with a successful smile to Varence. “That would leave you, Varence, this Prince of Chance, with great responsibility to guide them through things.”

“And Ceres, too,” Mikalas nodded.

“Yes, she, too,” Aresades then said to her. “They both would undeniably be responsible for the tellings and the tales-of which to say and not, for only they would know how to instigate such balances.”

A silence filled the room. “Hmm,” Zurion began with delight. “YES, this has not been seen before, at least not in my age. This is so very new, but interesting-very interesting.”

“Would the judge be swayed to agree with Aresades’ proclamation?” Ultimaera asked. “For it did seem more like one than a vote.”

“All words are considered just,” Zurion said for her, for them. “Such things are always received with hope.” He smiled to Mikalas. “And it does seem that we are in need of constant amendments as things grow heated in so many places.”

“Many worlds are so complicated like this now,” Buckrin added.

“It is good in my ears then,” Zurion said absolutely, his voice telling them that he’d heard enough and decided quickly. “Aresades, we thank you for your heartfelt words… I have truly been immersed in resolving them now. Varence and Ceres, I make my judgement this way. I enforce this new view of the fair Aresades and impart her said delay on this world. For one thousand years the Earth shall be spared its final due judgement. And you, the both of you, shall remain here as you have before-as watchers, but now with a greater task. You have heard all said and discussed. You will abide by it. There is no need to explain our bounds, you’ve known them before and will follow them still. I endow you the chance to aid in this healing that so infatuates you. The process will be hard, but may yet prove rewarding for us all.”

“Perhaps there may be more candidates for the council one day,” Mikalas suggested.

“Perhaps,” Zurion agreed weakly, yet with hope. “But pay mind to this… Your feet will remain here aboard the Earth. You will not be granted the graces of visiting other places-in any sense. For in all your doings you have brought this heavy circumstance to being, and you shall respect its nurturing-as one would any child. And in doing this, in following our will-complying with all previous punishments upon you, you two will also be judged at this time’s end. After one thousand years, you two will know and surrender with all you’ve done.”

~from “The Circle” by William J. Griffith

To the watchers: a meeting, much like the one described above, will again take place and when it does, I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing all of you there. Also, I have a message for you from the Council: the Council’s patience has grown thin. Very, very thin

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