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The Eye of the Beholder

Greetings, Asylum Seekers.

I am hopeful your time with Tyler was informative. It is important for you to meet the mortal souls who are detained within our facility. Not only does it offer you, my dear humans, a cautionary tale as to the trappings of a self-serving life, but I believe it is easier to relate to one who has lived in mortal flesh, as opposed to the celestials – both angel and demon – that you have conversed with thus far.

Which brings me to the first Floater I initially chose for Donovan: MELINA.

Now, while she is in no way meek or mild, this soul under the Authority’s care is the farthest specimen of an essence you will ever find from our Tyler. In fact, while she and he were born as men into your world, Melina has been a woman as long as she cares to remember.

During your world’s second World War, Melina Solis rose to the rank of First Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps as a flight nurse on a medical transport aircraft out of London. She saw her fair share of blood and ruin in the thousands, and was instrumental in helping to save as many lives. Beautiful, gracious, and able to drink most of those flyboys under the table, she gained quite a following of the medical doctors and recuperating soldiers she associated with. Even a few marriage proposals.

Melina, however, was a slave to her work. She bravely put herself in harm’s way on those transport missions to help brave men who might sacrifice themselves for the cause of freedom, those men who fought the spread of the Axis’s tyrannical evil (the Melifecium had a hand in that as well – story for another time).

But love tends to creep in, whether we ask for it or not, and Melina was intrigued by a young doctor with whom she’d spent hundreds of hours assisting during those tenuous times. It was a love affair based on respect, affection, and belief in a common cause. A love affair formed from the terrors of war, where those who toiled in the fog of war never knew what day would be their last.

Melina loved this young doctor who’d captured her heart. Loved him so much she knew she would have to reveal a secret she’d held most of her life, or return the ring he’d offered her and turn down his proposal of marriage.

She chose the former...

You see, Melina Solis was actually born Conrad Solis, raised as a young boy to a hard working mortal immigrant from a Mexican border town and a very wealthy southern belle from your American state of Texas. Her parents’ union didn’t last. Her father disappeared, and her mother was set to an institution to treat a dependency on amphetamines. Melina’s grandmother raised her as her own encouraged the young girl’s transition.

Melina embraced that, body and soul -- within her true self, she was a strong, vibrant woman -- and did everything she could to carry herself with the virtues and dignity her mother never presented. And she did, in spades...

She was top of her class in everything she put her mind to and saw her calling under the symbol of the caduceus, as a healer, and to many, a savior. In every way, she was Paradise bound and meant to live a very fruitful eternity up north, post-death.

But your mortal world has such a wealth of cruelties...

A night out, a whirlwind of wine and dancing, Melina pulled her young doctor to the side and spoke truthfully about her past, without remorse or apology, but allowing her beau the opportunity to accept her without reservation.

He didn’t...

Drunk and enraged, he beat Melina nearly to death. Bruised and bloody, Melina desperately crawled toward the soldier’s gun.

Kill or be killed. As he started to choke the life from her, she ended his maddened attack with a pull of the trigger.

Found crying over the bloodied corpse of her lover, Melina was arrested and sent to trial. She received a tragically quick and unflinching sentence of death. Assumed friends, colleagues, and those she had toiled to save during that awful period of war turned their backs on the condemned woman.

Entering the Asylum, I personally saw to Melina’s case. As I have mentioned, I rarely lose. Melina was taken under our care and, after a few decades of remorse and painfully reliving the murder of her lover, she realized she was justified for her actions. Patriarchal ego and bigotry were to blame for her death.

Since that time, she has served outside her cell, helping to usher in new souls as they await their sentencing in a processing cell just outside the dwarf star door to the Asylum. Her kind and giving nature is a Source-send, as she is able to put most souls – in panicked states, and rightfully so – at ease before their eternal fates are rendered.

It will be hard for me to lose my most trusted soul, but Donovan needs Melina’s help, as a healer, as a conscience, as a shoulder to cry on. It eases my trepidation to know that Melina will keep Donovan’s head above the proverbial water.

Regardless of the outcome, this final bit of service for the Authority will earn Melina her pass into The Light. She is the heart and truth of spirit we all strive for.

I will miss and envy Donovan her council.



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