An isolated North Queensland beach just after dawn
Some time in the future
They looked down on the man form that lay unconscious before them.
The four adult women, the young girl and her Labrador dog.
The previous night they had witnessed the most fearsome storm in the living memory of any of them. A storm that had come without warning. When it first started more than one of them had wondered if the alien "visitors" to Earth, the Trealth had been responsible.
The thunder, lightning, hurricane force winds, super heavy driving rain, and other things one didn't always associate with storms, finished abruptly a little before dawn. Afterwards each of the adults felt something that none of them could properly put into words. A sense that the storm had been only an extension of something much bigger.
Only the girl child, Jenny, knew more and, as was mostly her way, she said nothing. Even Kriz, her mother, did not press the issue.
"His body is healing itself," said Thallia, the scientist among them, not without a certain sense of wonder.
Even laying unconscious and semi naked at the high tide mark the apparently human form entity seemed anything but vulnerable. As if he, or it, were just resting after mighty exertions.
Could this_, this being, this entity, make a difference for us ? thought Thallia, realizing that she was probably just clutching at straws.
The "man" came to consciousness raising himself to his formidable, but still human proportion, 6 feet 8 inches in height.
"I apologize," were his first words spoken in unfaltering Amer-English. "I briefly entered each of your minds; it was the quickest and easiest way to learn of your world, your location in the Universe as you understand it, your circumstances, your customs and your languages. To establish a frame of reference."
Kriz looked at the new arrival then at Jenny then back at the man accusingly.
"Never a child," replied the entity almost reproving of the mothers gaze, "and certainly not this child, I would only ever enter adult minds."
"I cannot at this moment tell you who or what I am," continued the human form alien in answer to the unspoken question of the women. "I cannot remember these things. Though I recall a great battle, like no other, a victory, and then nothing before or since. Except that I seem to know, intuitively, a great deal about the capabilities of this, my current form. Also a name from the past that may have been mine, at least once, Gathh. You are welcome to use it."
The small group drove back up the beach towards a very well constructed and sheltered residence that had substantially survived last night's storm. Kriz's first act was to proffer clothing. Male clothing of her dead husband a normal human but of similar proportions to Gathh. The alien appeared grateful brushing his hand over the clothing letting it out slightly and making small style changes.
Matter manipulation observed Thallia on a minor level, but matter manipulation nonetheless.
Then Gathh looked concerned. "Your dog, your Labrador dog, is epileptic, I can sense that fatal seizures are about to come upon her. I can do something about this but will have to wait for the attacks to begin."
As the dog Maddy's predicted seizures began – Gathh knelt down and stroked her gently. Maddy quietened as the violent seizures abated and after lying still for a few moments bound up and into the arms of Kriz's adult daughter Janelle.
"I gave her a small part of my life force," came the explanation to the incredulous stares "that has even now renewed itself within me." As if it was but a small thing. "A consequence of this is that Maddy has also been relieved of any other illnesses or injuries that have plagued her in times past."
As incredulity gave way to belief a tearful Janelle, Kriz, and little Jenny embraced Maddy and themselves as Thallia and her adult daughter Kristen moved to share in their joy. All of them then looking around at Maddy's benefactor.
"You knew the attack was coming, you sensed it before it began? enquired Janelle.
Gathh nodded "Almost always, almost unfailingly," came the response "I can sense a life threatening danger, before it materializes."
The women and the girl accepted the statement for the incontrovertible truth that it was.
As the group settled back in the residence Thallia was keen to mention the alien visitors – the Trealth. Visitors that had evoked mixed reactions but had. despite the concerns of many, won over the right to establish "embassies" in several major Earth cities and to maintain a starship in high stationary orbit. The great physicist wanted to seek a view from this enigmatic though clearly powerful and surely well intentioned entity.
Though another matter claimed their immediate attention.
Thallia's life had been a success in every way and at the very highest levels, like several others of she and Kriz's close friends. By comparison and though she was on a similar intellectual level, Kriz's achievements had been less than noteworthy. A deeply troubled life that had at times known poverty, unbelievable bad luck and great sadness.
Having entered their minds earlier, albeit briefly, Gathh knew why. He said as much.
"Your world has been denied you Kriz, as you yourself have been denied," It was his turn to show incredulity. She should have been this world's much needed Earth Mother. He pondered not without anger on what manner of being or circumstances might be responsible for denying her this and why.
Then Gathh touched Kriz one hand lightly on each of her shoulders and held them there – allowing barely perceptible energies to flow into her body.
"I feel_ great, fantastic even," remarked Kriz pain free for the first time in recent memory "as if I've just been born again. Have you given me some of your life force?"
Gathh shook his head in a near universal gesture among human types. "I usually only do that in approaching death situations."
"You have been working long to overcome this, this evil perpetrated against you," Gathh continued "and you were close to achieving that goal. I have just given you a helping hand. That is all." Again as if he had done very little.
Several days later Janelle took her mum aside. "I think he likes you Mum," she said unable to keep quiet any longer. "Have you noticed how he calls the rest of us by our first names but only ever refers to you as milady? Sometimes, even, with a scarcely perceptible inclination of his head.
"Don't be silly," was the short though far from embarrassed response.
Despite the significance of what Gathh had done for Kriz, despite her deep joy for the about turn in Kriz's situation Thallia's mind was never far from the Trealth visitors particularly as she had been closer to them than most. As Earth's finest scientific mind she had been part of a small delegation to visit them.
Their "embassy" in New York City had been located on quite a small block, formerly car parking, close to the United Nations building. On entry she, alone among her fellow visitors, had inadvertently become aware of the nature of the "restricted" areas in the embassy, areas that were much larger than the buildings external dimensions would suggest. Areas that held many more personnel than could conceivably be necessary for any kind of diplomatic purpose. She had tried to explain this to others but in spite of her standing in the scientific community it had mainly fallen on deaf ears. The United Nations officials just didn't want to know.
One of the Trealth leaders had asked Thallia and several others to stay with them for a time. In Thallia's case as a continuing scientific liaison. Ostensibly to impart something of the vast alien scientific knowledge to "the savages." It should have been a great opportunity but some inner part of the physicists mind told her, if she stayed on, she might never get out of that building again. That particular alien leader gave the impression of being "interested" in her yielding an inner disgust that she dared not show.
Though even at the risk of giving offence to the Trealth and under pressure from United Nations officials Thallia had politely declined the invitation. Getting away for a while on a holiday to Australia with Kriz and the girls was a vast relief. Even though the Trealth had an embassy in Sydney.
Thallia asked Gathh about the Trealth. Whether, despite his continuing amnesia, there was anything familiar about them.
"I know what you know about them but can interpret it differently," came the initial response "and I have been able to take in other information from external stimuli including their telepathic communications. Yet before venturing a view I would like to access the internet they have created sitting parallel to your own. I can best do this by first accessing your internet."
"It is becoming less and less effective recently," responded Kriz "slowing to a crawl and worse."
"Since the Trealth arrived?" enquired Gathh already knowing the answer.
From the late model i-phone device proffered by Kristen, Gathh accessed first the human internet then the Trealth internet sitting atop it. Undetected he swiftly digested the additional supporting information he needed. He utilized the i-phone in ways its ingenious inventors would never have even imagined for perhaps 20 minutes. The others watched with some amazement at the unbelievable speed with which he used the device.
Then Gathh fell silent for a moment.
"In the scheme of things, in the universal order, they are quite technically advanced, quite formidable, totally ruthless, and most certainly are not motivated by any concerns at all as to the well being of your world. Did you want me to get rid of them?" he added almost as an afterthought. Thallia realized that Gathh was not joking.
Then he added "There is a yet more urgent, more pressing issue. The matter of Jenny. You have deliberately spoken very little of her and I have respected this but the matter is too important to avoid any longer."
"She is more than the Earth Child that should have been," continued Gathh "just how much more I am not quite certain. She will have to be protected, against any who might intend her harm and I'm not sure how long I'm going to be around to do that. You need a more permanent arrangement."
"What do you suggest," enquired Kriz after a brief silence.
"What this rather odd world lacks in scientific capabilities it more than makes up for in the wealth of gods and mystical and magical powers that abound hereabouts and in closely related dimensions. As you gradually evolve Kriz into your Earth Mother destiny you will become increasingly aware of these entities."
"I intend to summon them to ask for their combined contribution towards a more permanent protection for Jenny. Until the time comes when, I believe, she will no longer need that protection."
It was a magnificent moment even for Gathh. An assemblage of semi-mystical entities of whose very existence most people on Earth were utterly oblivious. Though Gathh saw this hadn't always been the case. That in times long since past many more of Earth's peoples had been believers even worshippers.
Gathh also realized that getting this assemblage together and able to agree on anything at all was a minor miracle in itself.
Almost all of the entities assembled contributed some mystical/magical element to the final product. A ring small enough to fit Jenny's finger. Gathh himself also contributed to it.
As the very last two of the gods/mystical entities departed Thallia looked on after them. As a one time student of Norse mythology she enquired of Gathh.
"Are they who I think they are? - they look so imposing, so regal!"
Gathh nodded with a certain amount of respect as the Allfather and his son took their leave.
"With such a wealth of mystical entities in or near Earth, why don't they just team up and get rid of the Drealth themselves?" enquired Kriz.
"I'm not certain," answered Gathh "but it seems they would be reluctant to interfere and they probably would have difficulty agreeing what to do. I feel certain though that as you grow as Earth Mother you will play a part in unifying them against later extra-terrestrial threats."
It took several days for Gathh to recover fully from what he contributed of his life force towards the ring construct that would protect Jenny. For his own depleted life force to renew
During this time the situation with the Trealth changed dramatically.
A fleet of no less than 12 Trealth star ships had arrived in high orbit above the Earth. These were awesome ships far larger than the original star ship. Clearly visible on various parts of their outer hulls were craft the general shape of very, very large Earth aircraft carriers. The Earth military speculated that they might be such. Capable of near space, atmospheric, possibly even aquatic travel. It was only speculation of course. Several of these monstrosities even went into lower orbits of their own during what was said to be a training exercise.
The Trealth claimed the starships were troopships en route to a distant war and asked if the troops might alight on Earth for some rest and recreation. No one had yet responded to this request. In these few days several more countries had agreed to "embassies" being located in their capital cities.
All of the four women and even Jenny awaited Gathh's recovery with increasing nervousness. Desperately hoping it wouldn't take too long.
As he recovered and before taking on the formidable Trealth, Gathh asked for Kristen's i-phone device again for another look at the alien internet. It didn't take long at all and it may have been something that he missed the first time around. For the first time since his arrival Gathh looked angry.
As the surviving Trealth literally "imploded" from the various "embassies" on Earth back to their single surviving starship Gathh destroyed the remaining atmospheric/near space aircraft carrier type vessels that had ferried the aliens off Earth. It was his final act in what was an absolutely unmistakable demonstration of superior force. The single star ship, the first one to arrive here, was allowed to leave Earth.
Yet Kriz realized something else and despite her growing suspicions that Gathh might be some near omnipotent being she was still slightly shaken by the realization.
"It's not just what you have done to them Gathh, I believe what also scared the hell out of them is that they know, they actually know who you are! It was enough for them to leave with precipitate haste, even terror." Even though you still can't seem to remember who or what you are she thought. Kriz looked at Gathh long and hard before her gaze softened.
After the hurried departure of the Trealth there was time for some relaxation at the beach house.
From his brief earlier foray into each of their minds Gathh knew that both of the young adults Janelle and Kristen were mathematicians of a high order for this world. Yet his cursory intrusion had missed something.
Walking over to take a closer look at the project currently occupying their attentions he immediately recognized it for what it was. Although in embryonic form it was unquestionably the beginnings of the universally recognized mathematical framework that underpinned operational faster than light travel. Unquestionably a quantum leap for a world at Earth's current level of technology.
Gathh was a little taken back. He had not expected to find such on this world. It seemed that Earth was full of surprises for him. Kriz as the denied Earth Mother, the formidable assemblage of gods and magical mystical powers hereabouts, two such fine mathematical minds and of course most of all Jenny herself
He knew of course that his arrival here in this time and place and among this particular group was no mere happenstance. As some of his memory finally began to seep back he even began to realize who might have been responsible and much to everyone's surprise he laughed. He would have to have words with his old friend.
"Something is coming," warned Gathh "an event of great sadness."
All of them but Kriz in particular sensed his somber mood. They all realized that Gathh's ability to sense events in advance of their occurrence was operating in overdrive.
The light show, if that's what it was, was beyond anything in any of their experiences. Though of course no one of them could speak for Gathh. It reminded Thallia of the aurora borealis or northern lights natural light display though it was far, far grander. More than this Kriz sensed that it was only an extension of something much larger. She and the others had felt the same way about the great storm that had preceded Gathh's arrival. That it too was merely an extension of something greater.
Gathh had told them not to be worried but had provided no further explanation and now he walked alone to the highest vantage point hereabouts – a large high cliff overlooking the southern part of the beach.
He seemed to be there forever taking in every aspect of the eerie awesomely powerful display.
Eventually when it was over he walked slowly down from the cliff.
Kriz, the Earth Mother in her continuing to assert itself, sensed the sadness was still within him.
Her first thoughts were that he had lost the innocence that had been gifted him by his loss of memory. He appeared to be walking a little more heavily as if he had just taken on a great burden.
"Your memory has returned," said Kriz knowingly.
Gathh managed a smile, "Yes indeed and unreservedly. I will not be able to stay here much longer Kriz, we should make the most of our little remaining time. Though I will be able to return on occasions."
Kriz was grateful that Gathh had defeated the Trealth before this time had come.
"Who are you?" she asked simply.
"My name is Grergathh; Gathh was a shortened version of this, a name used when I was a child. I am the only survivor of a race that once spanned the stars and even the different dimensions as easily as you might walk to the next street."
"What happened to them?" asked Kriz very softly.
Kriz asked the question in the way that an Earth Mother would ask it, part verbal, part telepathic, and part questing the sole. Gathh felt the comfort that even one such as he could feel from an Earth Mother's concern. She had come a long way in a few days
"They were destroyed by an entity that I can hardly even begin to describe in terms that you would understand. As the sole survivor of my race I inherited all of its residual power and for many millions of your years, even traveling through time, I sought that entity out.
"When you first came to us you spoke of a great battle and a great victory, was this against that which destroyed your race?" asked Kriz. .
"Yes," responded Gathh deciding not to add anything. Knowing that this reply was enough.
"The vast light show?" enquired Thallia "what was all that about?'
"It signaled the death of a friend," replied Gathh enigmatically.
After a few more very relaxed, very happy days at the beach house, which time included a few more explanations from Gathh, the inevitable moment arrived.
As Gathh had predicted the arrival of another friend, one who was still very much alive.
"The God child, the chosen one, is well protected now," offered Gathh's friend, looking at Jenny. "The pantheon gods hereabouts and elements of your own power Gathh. A most potent mixture. Though the time will come when even that is no longer needed. "
"We can both still watch over her," added Gathh "albeit from afar."
The Coordinator of All Realities nodded adding in an almost casual yet still immensely respectful fashion "Times Guardian is dead, as you would know. "They" have asked if you would take up the mantle. If you will now be Times Guardian. You know there isn't really any one else. I said you would as I'm already tired of filling in for you!"
"Did you now?" laughed Gathh "and of course you had nothing to do with my first arrival here on Earth? I've been meaning to speak to you about that!"
Both of the near omnipotents laughed and so did little Jenny and with that Kriz and the others.
"Your recent defeat of the destroyer of your race, the Dark Fate, and Jenny's coming ascendancy should mean you will have an easier time of it than your predecessor," concluded the Coordinator.
As he and the new Times Guardian took their leave of the group, the Coordinator of All Realities smiled at Kriz. "I'm sure you'll still see him from time to time."
"You'd better believe it!" responded he Earth Mother already knowing it was so.
Gathh left an Earth that was just a little richer for his visit. The summary dismissal of the Trealth, the gift of eventual faster than light star travel, the encouragement of a long overdue Earth Mother, the temporary cooperation of Earth's myriad gods and mystical powers, and most important of all the protection of Jenny, the Godchild, the chosen one.
She who would soon inherit the power of god after he left the Multiverse.