The Second Coming

Throughout the annals of modern history, man has committed a plethora of sins that have not gone unnoticed. In the esoteric dominion that the Judeo-Christian world knows as heaven exists an entity that has been immortalized in prayers and rituals for centuries. He is called God, Allah, Jehovah and a host of other names. Quite frankly he is content with the all- inclusive nomenclature, Higher Being.
Higher Being or HB as he is often referred to, gazes upon the world that he created so very long ago, and is saddened by many of the instances of hatred, evil and intolerance that he has witnessed since the beginning of time. He sent a redeemer over 2000 years ago in an effort to spread love and compassion throughout the world, however, despite the immense sacrifices made by this saviour, the world simply returned to its evil ways.
It is now 2001 here on Earth and HB has come to the conclusion that he must try again to send a deliverer. If he does not, it is apparent that the Earth will fall into an abyss so dark that he may have no choice but to terminate its existence and begin all over again. Technology and the intellect of the world’s denizens have progressed to the point that a new envoy of peace would have to have an arsenal of attributes to allow him the ability to effectively traverse history and remedy the ills of humanity that have precipitated the issues of evil that still exist today. It is with this understanding that HB decides to change his approach from that which he did with his own son Jesus. HB could not do the whole immaculate conception thing again. As mentioned earlier, technology had advanced so much that a child born without being conceived in utero or in vitro would spark too many inquiries. The product of an immaculate conception would more than likely spend the greater part of his early years locked in a laboratory being poked and prodded. In addition, the issues on Earth are so dire that he realizes that he basically does not have the time to wait for this new redeemer to grow and mature in Earth years. HB decides that he must create an entity equipped and ready to go immediately. This is where our story of the greatest bionic being ever created begins.

Episode 1:The Creation

As the new being opens his eyes, he gazes around the infinite expanse of heaven. Though this his first breath of life, the new being is clearly acclimated to his environment. He raises his body and looks at his limbs and appendages. " I’m an Earth human." is his only utterance. It is only then that the serenity of heaven is compromised with the smooth baritone voice of the Creator.

HB: Well, that’s where you’re going…it only makes sense that you at least look like them.

New Being (NB): You must be the creator.

HB: I see that your intelligence has kicked in.

NB: Sarcasm: an ironical or scornful utterance; contemptuous and taunting language.

HB: (chuckling) Very good indeed, you should do very well

NB: I know that I have a lot of information within me, however, I am not sure of my purpose.

HB: Your purpose was not programmed intentionally. Your purpose will change from situation to situation. Your overall mission, however, is to use your special gifts in order to rectify man’s indiscretions and sins on Earth.

NB: From my knowledge of the history of man, that will be a monumental task.

HB: Absolutely…hence your special gifts.

NB: I know that I have a wealth of knowledge at my disposal, but what other gifts are you referring to?

HB: In order for you to connect with the individuals that you must confront on Earth, you have the ability to adapt to any situation that may arise. You can speak to intellectuals about harnessing photon activity or converse with an inner city drug dealer about the most effective way to cook up crack. You can dialogue with a poet about the use of iambic pentameter or you can talk to a first grader about the latest plight of Elmo on Sesame Street. I have instilled in you a vast cornucopia of knowledge that can be disseminated in any language that is spoken on Earth.

NB: Yo se.. I mean, I know. Is there anything else that I should know about?

HB: That’s just the beginning my son. You also have been endowed with the Infinite Shroud. This shroud allows you to don any physical appearance that may aid your endeavors. You can change race, sex, height, weight, eye color, hair or age by simply closing your eyes and thinking about the desired phenotype that you wish to achieve.

NB: What about invisibility? Wouldn’t that make me impervious to detection and therefore enhance my effectiveness.

HB: Invisibility is a tool of the coward. Too many of the problems of man are a direct result of the invisibility factor. Legions of Satan prefer this method. You should keep in mind the nickname of the Ku Klux Klan.

NB: The Invisible Empire. I understand your point. I must accomplish my task as someone seemingly human.

HB: This is how it must be done. You have also been blessed with the gift of light speed. When instructed, you have the ability to run at light speed in order to get wherever you may be needed. By running at this speed you will also be able to go back in time in order to remedy situations that have occurred in the past.
NB:…Much like the old American show Quantum Leap, right ?
HB: Something like that. Another physical attribute that you have is a completely swiveling head.

NB: Why would I need that?

HB: You are innately good and pure of spirit. Historically men of this type have had to watch their backs. You will be able to literally do this.
NB: Do you mean that I must fear attack? I am vulnerable to injury and death?

HB: You cannot die by the hand of another man, however, you can feel pain and you can bleed. This is necessary in order for you to understand the feelings of the abused, mistreated and oppressed. Though you have been fortified with superhuman strength, if you use it to defend yourself aggressively, you will lose all of your other capabilities for a period of time depending on the extent of your retaliation. You must use intellect, logic and diplomacy as a means to diffuse any confrontation.

NB: Is there any reason that my normal appearance is that of a 33 year old African American man?

HB: Very simple…they’ll never see you coming. You will be based in 21st century America. Though the issue of race has progressed somewhat, there are still numerous stereotypes and prejudices that exist. In this daily cover, you will be able to experience humility and discrimination at its subtlest. In terms of maintaining a low key existence, a Black man in America is the ideal cover for you and your mission.

NB: Why 33?

HB: When I sent my first son, Jesus, he was killed at the age of 33. You are continuing his mission.

NB: I understand. What will be my name?

HB: I have been thinking quite hard about this very question and I am satisfied with my choice. As you know, Jesus was the first. I am partial to the letter "J" because of him. Your name on Earth will be Justin James. Justin, because the root is "Just", as in Justice. In addition, St. Justin was an unselfish martyr who gave his life in the pursuit of my mission of spreading the Word. James was another of my favorite followers. A fisherman by trade, a devoted follower of mine in daily living. Justin James will be your name.
Justin: I am ready. When do I begin?

HB: Soon my son. First I have some practice situations for you to undertake. They are from the world of fiction, however, you must learn how to utilize your gifts and powers before I send you on your ultimate mission.
Justin: You know best and I am ready and willing to do whatever you want me to.

HB: Well let’s begin. You are familiar with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Justin: Yes I am, Robert Louis Stevenson, right?

HB: Precisely, the battle between good and evil…This is where we will start.

Episode II: Awakenings

The voice of HB disappeared almost as mysteriously as it had appeared moments earlier. The New Being had a name and a purpose. Justin James would begin his journey through time and reality. A shroud of darkness crept upon Justin as he simultaneously felt his physical structure becoming weightless. All that he had seen was no longer visible. All that he had heard was now silent. Justin seemed to be floating through a tranquil abyss. Information rolled through his brain at the speed of light. Images of the Earth’s history played through Justin’s mind with the highest definition and clarity that could ever be imagined. Without any conscious effort, Justin had learned millions of years worth of Earth history. In an instant, everything stops. The shroud of darkness that had enveloped Justin gradually dissipates. The ambient noise around him begins to crescendo. As light begins to stimulate his retinas, he realizes that someone is standing in front of him staring incredulously. As he blinks to focus on the person more clearly, the sound of a buzzing fly seems to supersede the raucous din that can be heard in the distance. The man staring back at Justin is in his late 50’s, portly and somewhat unkempt. His unshaved chin is consistent with the unlaundered shirt that hangs off of the stranger’s chubby frame. A stained apron hangs loosely below his belt. It isn’t until Justin begins to speak that he makes the first revelation of his journey. The sloppy stranger was he. Justin was in a dank restroom staring into a mirror that hung on a wall next to a large, wooden washtub filled with dirty, brown water. In the corner of the small room was a wooden stall that presumably served as the toilet area. The buzzing fly meanders through the air and into this area, undoubtedly attracted to the putrid scent emanating from within.
The scene from Stevenson’s novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde flashed through Justin’s mind. As he grasps the handle to the door, he knows what will greet him on the other side. He pushes the heavy door open to be confronted with a scene of decadent revelry and drunken debauchery. As if being guided by an internal compass, Justin maneuvers through the crowd in the English pub. The ladies of the evening market their wares as they prance through the mass of men singing along with an effervescent piano player. Betty, the most senior of these women of ill repute, grabs Justin by the back of his apron.

Betty: Blimey James, I thought you’d gone and fell in

Justin: Not at all love. My belly’s just been turning something awful. Must’ ve been some rancid Shepherd’s Pie.

Betty: (nudging closer to Justin) Well it’s like I always say, a man has to be careful where and what he eats. A man’s likely to catch just about anything if he’s not careful.

Justin: I’ll keep that in mind love…I’d better get back to work.

Betty: Don’t let me hold you. Just remember, I’ve got a sweet, little lass that fancies you. Said she’s lookin’ for a father figure. I’m quite sure that she can help you feel much better.

Justin: You know that’s not my style Betty. Save her for someone else.

Betty: Whatever suits you governor. If you change your mind, her name is Charlotte. (Betty playfully pats Justin’s rear) I need to go back to work myself…the night’s young…even if I’m not

.Justin silently contemplates the conversation with Betty. He knew her name and more importantly, he knew exactly who he was supposed to be. He was James Edwards and he helped his good friend run the pub on their heavy nights. He grabbed a tray from behind the bar and instinctively began to collect empty mugs and glasses from the tables scattered around the large room. He knew that he was soon to be confronted with the protagonist from Stevenson’s work. What would he look like? His mind raced for a clue to this riddle. Since this man and his alter ego were products of the writer’s mind, he could look like anyone or anything. Justin realized that he would have to rely on his instincts in order to identify and confront the infamous Mr. Hyde. It dawned on Justin that he might already be in the pub.

Justin collected the glasses, carefully stacking them on the tray. As he performed this task, he exchanged pleasantries with the regulars and scanned the room for any indication of Hyde. He was conversing with Brother William, a friar from a local monastery who claimed to be ministering to the masses within the holy walls of the pub. Brother William, who apparently believed that drinking with his congregation constituted some sort of social Holy Communion, was vociferously imploring Justin to develop a better relationship with God. As Justin chuckled silently about the friar’s advice to him, his attention was drawn to a table at the far end of the room. A man dressed in the fine outer garments of an English gentleman was sitting alone at the table.
He picked up the wine pitcher in front of him and refilled his glass. His eyes were glued to Betty and a young lady talking with some men in a corner. The drone of the friar’s speech blends into the background noise as Justin concentrates on the leer of the mysterious stranger. He’s staring at the young girl who Justin instinctively knows is Charlotte, the young protégé of Betty. Justin’s logic begins to assert itself as he makes a keen observation. This man of mystery was sitting down with a topcoat and hat on, yet he had been there long enough to finish one glass of wine and begin working on another. The hot, stuffy atmosphere of the pub seemed to contradict this kind of fashion statement. Could this be Hyde?

Justin slides away from the loquacious friar who continues his diatribe oblivious to the stealthy departure of his audience. He puts the tray of collected glasses on the bar and moves towards the table where the stranger is seated. Justin notices that the stranger’s gaze has never left the young beauty, Charlotte. Justin wipes his hand in the soiled apron that hangs from his hips. He approaches the stranger from his blind side

Justin: Good evening governor. Just wanted to know if I could fetch you a nice leg of lamb to go with your taste of the vine.

The stranger waves his hand in a dismissive fashion towards Justin. His eyes still remain fixed on Charlotte who is being twirled around the dance floor by three young men. Justin tries to get a look at the stranger’s face, however, his position in the chair and upturned collar obscure every effort to see what this man looks like.

At that moment, a loud confrontation behind Justin makes his head spin around 180 degrees. He is looking behind, yet his body is still facing the opposite direction. Justin sees a wild man being subdued by two burly men. This is not Hyde, just a regular who throws a fit whenever someone suggests he call it a night and go home. Justin quickly returns his head to its normal position. He glances at a highly intoxicated patron who is staring at him with his mouth wide open. He apparently saw Justin’s head trick. Justin smiles at the inebriated man.

Justin: I think you’ve had quite enough Martin. You look like you’ve just seen a ghost, mate.

Martin shakes his head violently in an effort to regain his senses. He gets up, still looking at Justin, and weaves his way to the exit. As Justin watches him depart, he finally hears the gravelly voice of the stranger.

Stranger: If you insist on hovering over me like the grim reaper, you’d might as well make yourself useful.

Justin: Ay governor, fancy that leg of lamb now?

Stranger: (turning towards Justin) I’ll tell you what I fancy my fat friend…a leg or two of that tasty little morsel over there.

The stranger points towards Charlotte. As he does this, he looks directly up at Justin. Justin is startled by the appearance of this man. Upon looking in his eyes, he knows unequivocally that this is the infamous Mr. Hyde. He reads the pure evil intent in his eyes. It is as though Justin is seeing into a demonic soul through two small portals. The most frightening thing, however, was the face of evil. Justin looked at the smooth, clear complexion of the man sitting in front of him. His features were finely chiseled and even the wisps of hair that could be seen poking out from under his hat seemed to be that of spun velvet. Justin was taken aback, by the handsome face of this man who emanated such evil

Hyde: And what the bloody hell are you looking at?

Justin: Just thought I knew you sir…just thought I knew you.

Hyde: As if a filthy bloke like you would have any reason to know me… You’re bloody useless. Remove yourself from here unless you can broker an encounter with that juicy little wench. I need to teach that young cherry how to please a man.

Justin: (smiling slyly, looking directly into Hyde’s eyes) …and what man would you be using for this lesson.

Hyde: (raising up to confront Justin) Cheeky bastard! You fat, ugly old man…trust me,you have never met the likes of me.

Justin: (closing the distance between them) …and if I have my way, neither will that sweet, young lady.

Hyde: (angrily) If you have your way? I’ll teach you a thing or two about whose way it’s going to be.

Hyde grabs the wine carafe from his table and attempts to hit Justin over the head. Before Hyde can come down with the bottle, Justin’s legs whisk him safely out of striking distance in the blink of an eye. Hyde loses his balance as he misses Justin with the wild blow. His momentum causes him to fall awkwardly in front of the reveling patrons. He hits the floor with a thud to the thunderous laughter of the customers. He looks up and is incensed by the sight of Charlotte pointing to him on the floor as she laughs uncontrollably.

Brother William: (laughing heartily with a mug of ale in his hand) My dear boy…The good Lord has seen fit to give you the gift of physical beauty, however, your gift of balance and coordination must be arriving on your next birthday!

The room erupts with a new burst of unbridled laughter. Justin can feel the intense rage building within the depths of Hyde. Hyde grabs a piece of the wine bottle that broke when he fell. He lunges at Brother William with the sharpened end of the glass shard. Justin’s legs could have intercepted Hyde’s attempt at cutting the garrulous friar, however, he instinctively opts to let the scenario play out. Instead of Justin intervening, two burly, male patrons grab Hyde before he can inflict injury on Brother William. The attempt by Hyde silences the laughter.

Betty: Heaven preserve us…the heathen tried to murder a man of God

Hyde: (still being restrained) Man of God? If God chooses men like that, then he must be drunker than the lot of you!

Betty: (screeching) Blasphemer!

Male Patron 1: (restraining Hyde, to Betty) Don’t worry love, we’ll teach the governor a bit about respect.

At that moment, five more men join the two that are restraining Hyde. They kick and slap him as they push him out the door of the pub. Justin can hear Hyde’s cries of agony as the men beat him outside. Justin’s heart is moved by the shrill cries of Hyde. As he begins to move towards the door to aid the now victimized Hyde, the same darkness that precipitated his journey to this place, envelopes him once again. The weightless feeling has returned, but instead of the flurry of images flooding his mind like before, Justin only hears the voice of HB.

HB: Well done Justin, well done indeed.

Justin: But I wanted to help him. They were going to beat him to death.

HB: Sometimes Justin, a good ass kicking is in order. There are times that people have to defend and protect their beliefs. They were doing battle with the evil that wantedto do battle with one of my messengers. He may not be one of my best, however, he is one of mine.

Justin: I understand. I’ve got to tell you HB, Hyde wasn’t what I expected.

HB: How so?

Justin: Well, I pictured some grotesque, vile looking human being. This man was a handsome, well groomed gentleman of means.

HB: Yet you knew he was the evil Mr. Hyde. How did you know, if he didn’t look evil?

Justin: I can’t explain it. When I looked into his eyes, I just knew it. It was as if I could see the evil that had taken over his soul. The evil was so clear, so distinct…I knew that he was Hyde.

HB: This my son, is an example of one of the most precious gifts that I have given you;the gift of The Third Eye. You are able to see what is usually left unseen. You can see into the souls of men. You can visualize their character, intent and motives. Always remember this encounter for it should teach you that the physical is no indication of the spiritual. The least appealing physical specimen can have the most righteous heart, whereas the most appealing might have the soul of Satanhimself. Remember, Satan was once of my most valued angels. When he betrayed me, I exiled him without changing his appearance. He appeared angelic, yet was shrouded in an invisible cloak of evil. This gift will be your lifeline throughout your journeys.

Justin: I will value this as I do all of your gifts.

HB: I must admit that you were partly correct about what you expected Hyde to look like. Your timing was just a bit off. The Hyde that you and the author Stevensonenvisioned was the Hyde that appeared in the pub after the fateful night of thebeating. The good Dr. Jekyll’s alter ego was never quite as handsome after he dared challenge my messengers.

Justin: Now it all makes sense. I know that I am ready to do your work.

HB: I know you are my son…I know.