Joshua and the Angel
Joshua looked up into the face of an angel.
It was bright and not entirely opaque. Joshua could see through it the smooth off-white wall behind it and a placard with the name of the lighthouse written in sharp block letters. There was a symbol next to the letters as well — a clock or dial or something circular. The angel brightened slightly, and Joshua looked up into its smiling, pleasant face. It did not look like a man nor woman. Its skin was smooth and perfect. Its voice was high, but full. It reminded him of his mother’s voice soothing him to sleep during the late summer storms that boomed and raged across the fields at home.
“Greetings Joshua. I regret that..I…you…” The voice stuttered and the pleasant smile slipped. The angel’s gaze went blank and empty for three or four of Joshua’s quick heartbeats. It spoke again. “…have no accessible archival record; however, I have recorded your biometrics and have granted you All Color Access.”
“Who are you?” Joshua asked. The floor was smooth and cool under his hand as he pushed himself up and got to his feet. He put his hand against the round wall. It felt the same, though it was a slightly darker color than the floor.
“I am the Angel of the Lighthouse. I am its mind. The Core is its heart. You are its soul.”.
Joshua cocked his head. “What did you say?”
“I am sorry, Joshua with Questions. I am the Angel of the Lighthouse. I am its mind. The Core is its hea–” A loud buzz interrupted the angel and its entire form changed, went jagged edges and outlines. Gaps appeared in its form. Its face changed and Joshua was sure he recognized it, but only for a moment. It returned to its previous perfect form and motioned to a pedestal that stood just off-center, next to it. Joshua hadn’t noticed it at first, was sure it hadn’t been there. But now it was. Perhaps it had been behind the angel? Underneath it? A cube sat on the table, of the same off-white material as the walls. He looked at it quizzically.
As if it had read his mind, the angel said, “The encoder cube is made of DuraSafe polymer, as is the whole of The Lighthouse at Heartsafe Harbor. The structure and transport system was built in 2144 thanks to a public-private partnership between the Allied Governors and Tempus Safe Technologies. Please take your identification passcard and proceed, Josh-Joshua with Question–shua Prime.” He noticed the stutter in its voice again. A door opened up in the far wall, beyond the angel and next to the sign he had seen earlier. Beyond it was a deep darkness and a distant hollow thrumming.
The box on the pedestal clicked and a slim card slid out of an opening he had not seen. Joshua took it. It showed a picture of his face, not as he appeared now, dirty and hard-travelled, but as he might have appeared ten years before, or a hundred, before he had undertaken the journey that brought him here along with only his first name in the same style print as the sign. The picture was there, too — a pair of crossed leafy branches over the face of a clock. The hands pointed upwards and made the clock appear as if it were smiling. Underneath it were the words TEMPUS SAFE: EVERY TIME IS OUR TIME.
He tucked the card into his shirt pocket, peered for a moment into the darkness, then walked through the open door.
The story continues into the unknown. Do you have questions? Good, good! I do too.
I wonder where Joshua is headed. I wonder who Joshua really is. What’s with that hard glitch that happened to the angel? Is the angel an angel? Questions abound!
It’s likely I’ll re-title this later on, along with the other parts of The Lighthouse, to make them easier to read in order later on. You can click the tag for “The Lighthouse” and get all the posts in chronological order, but I don’t think I want to count on that.
(Photo Credit: 27Soon on Pixabay)