Plato the dragon, Sydny the cherub, Miss Scum the chicken, Old Tongue the bearded giraffe, Baphomet the horned god and Mont Mont Vinsita the high priestess stood facing the alien that had expelled Shiva, Bobby, Eglwys and Blentyn from Eden.

No sooner had this happened than Mont Mont Vinsita faded so that only her grinning mouth was physically visible. She was standing behind everyone so only the alien noticed. The alien didn’t say anything but grinned when she suddenly saw the grinning mouth of Vinsita finally disappear in a puff of multicoloured smoke.

“How come you haven’t been expelled priestess?” said Sydny as he rose off the ground and spun around in mid-air to face her.

“Oh.” he said and spun around and faced the alien again.

“I gather she has been expelled.” added Sydny looking perplexed.

The alien just grinned.

“So what now? Where are we gonna’ have a mass meeting so we can thrash out some explanation as to what this giant vortex is all about?” said Miss Scum, “Me and Old Tongue would like to know a bit more about what forces were responsible for bringing us here. Ain’t that right Old Tongue?”

“Indeed.” said Old Tongue.

Suddenly Rosa the dragon poked her head through the oval shaped window in the brickwork of the laboratory wall.

Sydny…. You’re wanted.”

“By who?” replied Sydny as he flew over to the window.

“By the forces of indeterminacy I shouldn’t wonder.” She smiled at the collected group in the tower.

At length she continued…. “There has been a spontaneous gathering of Cherubs around the new Tree of Knowledge. While Aristotle and I were carrying out our duties as guards at the Tree of Life we noticed them passing in groups of two and three. The first few to pass were not cherubim that we had met before so we asked them where it was that they were going. They said that they had been getting signs and symbols that indicated that they must gather around the new Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. One of them was called Michael Murphy and another was called Jerry Jones.”


Rosa continued…. “The third in this first group called herself Bappi Lahiri and told us that all three of them had experienced involuntary transportation through the vortex.”

“Bappi,” cut in Sydny, “now there’s a blast from the past.”

“Are you paying attention Sydny?” said Baphomet.

“What?” said Sydny looking as though he had been transported back to some distant memory.

“Are you paying attention?” repeated Baphomet. Rosa continued…. “Others of your kind have been experiencing a similar relationship to the vortex as you have.”

“Wow!” said Sydny as he clicked back into the flow of contemporary relevance.

“I haven’t finished yet.” said Rosa. She continued…. “I told them that the alien consciousness has already informed Aristotle and me about the emergence of the vortex as a physical phenomenon in the skies of Eden and they said that they already knew. They added that all the portents that led them to the Tree at this particular time also emphasised that every cherub from the eastern slopes of the Garden should congregate there immediately.

“I’m from the eastern slopes!” said Sydny.

“Exactly!” said Rosa. She continued…. “Before we’d even finished questioning them clusters of cherubim started arriving. Some seemed to be extremely forthright in their desire to meet at the Tree and some seemed to be in a partial dreamstate as if they had been led there almost involuntarily. I was asked to round up any other cherubim who originate from the eastern slopes. I’ve contacted Peter Piper, Jack Sprat, the Pied Piper, Eros, Tinkerbell, Rumplestiltskin and Socrates. You are the last one on my list Sydny.”

“This has never happened before.” said Sydny

“There’s more,” cut in Rosa…. “It seems that all those Cherubim arriving at The Tree are all experiencing similar jumps between Eden and Earth!”

“WOW!” said Sydny as everyone in the laboratory looked at him.

“How many are expected?” asked Plato.

“In total?” asked Rosa.

“In total.” said Plato.

“I know the answer to that.” cut in Sydny.

“How so?” asked Plato.

“Well I gather the figure is the sum total of all the cherubim who originate from the eastern slopes of Eden.”

“Quite right.” said Rosa.

“How many’s that then?” asked Miss Scum.

“Three million three hundred and thirty-three thousand three hundred and thirty three.” said Sydny.

“So are we to understand that there has been symbiosis between that number of cherubim and that number of humans?” asked Baphomet.

“Bang on the nail!” enthused Rosa.

“Three million three hundred and thirty-three thousand three hundred and thirty three humans!” exclaimed Old Tongue.

“Are the humans concerned all from the same time zone and dimension of Earth?” asked Sydny.

“I don’t know yet. I gather the function of this immense gathering is to establish such facts. Whatever the outcome this is an extremely significant occurrence in the light of humankind’s banishment from the Garden.”

The alien spoke…. “I have just received word from the alien collective that all arriving cherubim who do not yet know about the physical manifestation of the vortex are being told. The gathering are ready to start their meeting but are waiting for the completion of their numbers.”

“How many have arrived so far?” asked Sydny.

“Three million three hundred and thirty-three thousand three hundred and thirty-two.” said the alien.

“I’d better hurry then.” said Sydny.