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This was where the bridge crew of the Theurgy ended up after facing Ishtar in the Temple of Adzû. Anu is also known - according to the entity 'Metatron' the crew spoke with - by many different names, depending on what people of different planets had called it throughout history.

Story Excerpt: Whatever Gods May Be

[ Temple of Adzû | Facing Ishtar ]

Yet by the desperate answer came not the expected. No. It seemed nothing went off quite the way expected that day, for what happened could not be described by mortal words.

There was a light, a sharp light - cancelling out the existence they possessed in the temple. Voices filled the blind existence. Loud voices, impossible to make out. In no tongue known to any present species from the Theurgy. Calls and screams. Then, flashing images of the outcome - a judgement of sort. Superimposed on the whiteness was the image of the angel they saw, pulled down into blackness so complete it blinded them as much as the whiteness did. It tugged upon their attention, that abyss beneath - filled with writhing things that awaited the fallen. Beings of sub-existence and entropy devoid of all concept of life... and yet still living.

Then the abyss shut, the primordial screams falling into quietude. Absolute stillness.

[ Unknown ]

When everything settled, it was as if no time had passed at all.

They stood placed as they once had in that temple, only somewhere completely else. They were on a plateau, their backs to a temple that might just be the one they had been in, and with the breeze of the wind in their hair, they faced a vision no humanoid of the galaxy had seen before. Facing them, beyond the railing of the plateau, were angelic figures in the air - hovering underneath a glass dome that covered fertile ground. It spanned the entire sky. They stood, facing one figure of featureless light that descended before them - wings spread wide. Words came on the breeze.

"She was forbidden power, and yet sought it. Therefore she is no more, returned to her sister and husband in Kur... dissipated of energy. The yore shadow of Marduk her new lord. We should not have let her touch your existence, even though we thought it might heal her. We were mistaken, so forgive us what you have seen. What you have come to learn."

It was hard to tell, but it seemed the figure bowed its head.

"You may know this place, and my voice, by many different words and titles, yet they are all the same. Welcome to Anu, I am the voice of our surviving existence. I speak the words of Anu, Enlil and Ea. My name... is Ilabrat."

On the winds, the words shifted - reflections of references made. A language transcending comprehension. History unravelling one syllable at the Sha Ka Eden...Qui'Tu...Vorta Vor...Valhalla...words of Cronos...of Inti...of Yahweh...of Odin, Metatron.

Too many names at the same time, soon all lost on the wind - to the ears of a crew in awe. And yet, there was no time to contemplate much further, for their ship was still at battle with Fleet they aimed to save. A deal to be struck. A new bargain made.

Who dared speak first?

Hearing the voice on the winds as it spoke Miles Renard couldn't help but nod his head in almost familiarity to the words that were spoken before looking to the Captain's female form. "If you are wondering, Ma’am, from a comparative theological point of view it appears we are in the 'Realm of the Gods'. The names he says 'he' speaks for are all names of the highest of gods of numerous religions. 'He' then refers to 'himself' as Ilabrat or Metatron names of beings referred to as the attendant of the throne of said highest God. Since you are the Moses of our little Exodus from the pursuing Federation. I believe it would be most appropriate for you to speak to the Burning Bush so to speak," he said quietly to her merely giving her his interpretation of what was said.

Both Captains - her in red undershirt and him in full uniform - stood at the head of the group - the female Ives accompanied with the Chief Engineer at her side. It had all happened so fast, the shift and the interruption along with the present situation, all forestalling the moment to address Commander Howard's proclamation. Perhaps later there would be time. After all, as Commander Miles said, they were in a place once accepted as the Realm of the Gods by most theological views in the galaxy. And yet... the pillar in the distance and the temple with its projection of the battle in the waters... it seemed more of technological origin than divine presence. Advanced, seamless technology. Unprecedented perhaps, but not of divine origin. When technology became advanced enough, it was hard to distinguish from magic.

The angels were life-forms of a nature unaccounted for, yet nonetheless alive to their senses. Creatures of energy... of some sort. The speaker was apologising, which was a good sign, so the male Captain Ives heeded his SCO's suggestion and spoke up - as uncomfortable as he felt with the Christian reference.

"Whatever you are," he said, his voice echoing despite the openness of the landscape, "whatever we once knew you for, and regardless what faults you admit to, fact remains that we are still in great peril."

The female Captain nodded and spoke up in his wake. "Our ship... is our only means to fight an enemy that only we know exist in our time-line. The existence we hail from." She stepped forth as she spoke. "Without our survival, many lives may be lost, countless species and worlds corrupted by an unseen foe. We seek no greater compensation from you... for the danger your prisoner placed us in... than your assistance in our cause. Help us complete our mission. Let the truth be known."

The being naming itself Ilabrat paused before speaking. "We understand the plight. Knows this war. Knows your predicament. Yet we also know that these events you bespeak are not solitary. They affect many time-lines. Consequences unpredictable. Calculable, yet unpredictable. Intervention at this point causes ripples. Harmful, cascading, spreading flaws that might bring events unsought in other places. Other planes of existence. Understand, that everything is connected. Furthermore, the Anunnaki, not to mention the Igigi, would have to be involved as well, lest the rupture spread too far. Such collaboration is unstable. Unprecedented. Our assistance alone might cause a stir that would tear the fabric of all planes as they are currently known."

A long-winded 'No' to Jien's ears, whom guessed that either of the factions the alien entity mentioned might just be the Q species that Starfleet already had come to know. "Then what are you offering? What would be the safer alternative that still preserves our lives and our ship? If we were insignificant, we would not be having this conversation. Are we but dust in the wind to you - had we not been about to empower your prisoner - or do you actually wish to restore us to where we belong? Then do so, before we have no ship left with which to carry the word of truth. Give us a chance to achieve the potential outcome of our cause."

The words on the wind came after a few moments more. "Restoring order is the offering we mean to give; to let you lead lives unaffected by Isthar's attentions. Lives led in whatever way you deem fit, with the potential of all and nothing ahead of you... unmarked by our negligence."

Both Captains stood with nothing more to say. They looked to their crew behind them, gauging their faces to see if they had any alternatives to offer. In the end, the Captains looked at each other. They were not going to gain assistance. That much was plain, so they nodded once imperceptibly. It was the last time they were ever to be separated, ever to be able to look into his/her own eyes without looking into a mirror... and in all honesty, it was a great relief that it seemed to be over. They were a singular duality.

"Offer accepted," they said in unison - turning to face the entity.

"Then it shall be so. You may keep your memories, for we find no dire consequences or flaws in the patterns of your time that would adhere to the knowledge of what you have seen here. In fact, our existence is already known," the voice on the breeze said, and it was hard to determine, but it seemed the angelic figure looked towards Jona Rez at the back of the gathering. "This has been a gratifying reunion, for it is rare that we re-encounter those whom worshipped us during our years of searching. After we've faded to the winds of time and space - leaving your planes of existence - we never thought to speak with mortals again. Your lack of faith might have once been anguish to us, yet now, we are merely pleased that your species have come strive for more knowledge - searching for meaning. Like we once were, in days of yore."

There was a pause, and then the light came anew, making everything vanish in its brilliance.


- Written by Auctor Lucan, Episode 02: Whatever Gods May Be