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Nocturne’s Reaping® : Intermezzo

Chapter 21

 

There was only one thing left for Takara to do: bring down the robot. That would cause a disruption for sure. If she brought it downright away, it would probably crash in front of the gate. Debris would probably hit the complex. Takara hesitated. She hoped it wouldn’t cost any lives. But what other choice was there? Doing nothing would just mean putting the robot in Mr. Tyler’s hands once again. Eventually, she’d be discovered and the robot completely reclaimed. And waiting for the robot to reach a more densely populated area would be even more dangerous.

It was decided; Takara maneuvered the robot toward the ground. Right after it started to descend, the person at the other computer tried to bring it out of the dive … but to no avail. Takara could see through the camera on the robot that the robot had crashed into the perimeter fence in front of the Institute. The building shook. Almost instantly, an alarm sounded. It started far off in the distance at first then spread to where she was. It was time to find a way to open that door!

She moved the window box on the computer screen; it now showed the blackened-out view from the camera on the robot. Her heart leapt when she realized the icon to open the door was now visible. She had just managed to click the icon for the door when she heard a strange muffled noise coming from behind her. Takara turned toward the sound in time to see Mr. Tyler’s head emerge from the tunnel. Takara screamed. Mr. Tyler turned his face towards her and smirked. Takara looked toward the door, which was slowly inching open. When she looked back at Mr. Tyler, he had just made it through the opening and was about to stand.

Takara dashed in her sock-covered feet toward the door. She started to try to squeeze through the widening space as Mr. Tyler approached her. His eyes were wild with rage. He made a dash for her just as the space became large enough for Takara to squeeze through. Takara scraped through the slit between the wall and the door then stumbled into the hall. Mr. Tyler’s arm reached out for her. Maybe it was just her imagination, but she thought she felt his fingers touch her hair.

Takara resisted the urge to turn back; instead, she ran down the hall as fast as she could. All she could hope for was that this hall would lead somewhere. She didn’t recognize where she was at all. She tried to orientate herself in her mind. But after all the passageways she had gone through earlier, there was no way she could tell in which direction the entrance of the Institute was. Fortunately, Takara came upon an elevator that a woman had just stepped into. Takara slipped inside and pressed the first button she could reach. To her relief, it was the first floor button, and it was already lit — presumably by the hand of the woman.

For the second time, Takara had barely escaped Mr. Tyler’s grasp. She could hear him beating upon the closed elevator door. Takara wrung her hands.

“We should have waited for whomever that was.” the woman chastised her.

Fortunately, the woman wasn’t brave enough to wait.

“We probably shouldn’t even be in the elevator.” she muttered.

As the elevator headed for the first floor, Takara knew she had to be ready to run. She’d have to keep up the pace — assuming she was fortunate enough not to run into Mr. Tyler when the elevator doors opened. When the doors did slowly open, Takara could see that there was a commotion in the halls. People were making their way down the hallway — all moving in the same direction. Takara and the woman quickly joined the crowd. Takara looked back and noticed that the elevator didn’t seem to be heading back up. Mr. Tyler was probably taking the stairs somewhere. He could pop out of any one of these doors. He could also be waiting at the entrance, blocking her from leaving. Would any of these people around her come to her aid? Takara’s eyes scanned the wall to her right, which was the wall closest to her. Suddenly, she felt someone touch her left arm. Takara lurched away.

“Hey, it’s me!”

Takara turned a surprised gaze onto … Kenji! Erik was there as well. They had made their way along the opposing wall toward her.

“Kenji …” Takara gasped.

“You don’t want to go that way. Some guards surrounded the door right after we entered.” Erik informed her.

“He’s right.” Kenji affirmed.

“Well, I don’t know how else to get out of here!” Takara declared in an exasperated tone.

Kenji grabbed her hand.

“It will be okay. You’re not alone anymore.”

Takara managed to smile slightly then nodded.

“If only there was a way to get those guards to move …” Erik stated. “Wait, I think I have an idea. We’ll let them see Takara from afar … bear with me. And the two of you duck into that door over there. I’ll be in the elevator. When I hear them coming, I’ll close the door. Hopefully, they’ll follow me thinking it’s you guys and take the stairs to the second floor. Then, you can escape.”

“But what about you?” Takara asked.

“They don’t want me, and I’ll be no worse off than I am now. Listen, we don’t have a lot of time.”

“All right.” Kenji agreed. “Let’s go.”

Just as expected, at least some of the men chased after Takara on sight. As she ran down into the adjoining hall, Kenji quickly pulled her into a room and secured the door softly behind them. There, they waited until the sound of the men’s boots dissipated.

“Come on.” Takara stated with a shaking voice.

She was eager to escape. But the experience of the last few months had taken its toll, and she found herself unsure. Still, when Kenji grabbed her hand she found she was able to rush forward with him. They seemed to be moving in slow motion, but they were making it. They had a straight shot to the exit. They were there … at the threshold.

“Stop!”

Takara froze. Then, she and Kenji turned to face the voice. Mr. Tyler was merely feet behind them, pointing a gun at them. Kenji stepped in front of Takara — not that it would do much good. Mr. Tyler’s hand shook. He looked around him. He was apparently not used to acting outside of the cloak of darkness.

“Step away.” he told Kenji in a barely audible voice.

As Kenji shook his head in refusal, the sound of sirens could be heard behind Takara and Kenji. All three froze, straining to hear whether the sound was getting louder. It was. Mr. Tyler grew pale as emergency service trucks pulled up in front of the Institute. The workers exited the vehicles and rushed toward the building. Mr. Tyler lowered his gun as the men and women stormed the complex.

“Everyone needs to leave the area!” a man told Mr. Tyler as that same man ushered Takara and Kenji out of the building.

“Can you take us home?” Kenji asked the man.

“Sure. You can wait in the vehicle.”

“And our friend is inside.” Takara added. “He might be in trouble … with security.”

“We’ll get everyone out.” he assured them as he walked them to his vehicle.

Takara was careful where she stepped with her shoeless feet.

“Later …” Takara started. “I have some information about what happened here.”

“Really?” When they got to the car, the man leaned over the passenger’s side window, which was open, and spoke to the man inside the car. “Briggs, contact headquarters. Let them know we have a possible witness here. On second thought, I’ll drive them there myself.”

Takara cleared her throat.

“There’s a man inside named Mr. Tyler. You might want to secure him before he can destroy any evidence.” she put forth.

Takara then offered him a description of Mr. Tyler. Briggs spoke over his radio and told dispatch to have all of the law enforcement community be on the lookout for Mr. Tyler. As it turned out, they wouldn’t find him in the building; he had already managed to sneak away.

At that moment, Erik and the security guards emerged from the building. Two men seemed to have a hold on Erik’s arms.

“I’m assuming that’s your friend.” the first officer observed.

“Yes.” Kenji agreed.

“Just a second …”

The man went to retrieve Erik from the men. Then, all three friends climbed into the car. Finally, the car slowly pulled away from the Institute. Takara would never step foot inside the Institute again.

Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2019

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Nocturne’s Reaping® : Intermezzo

Chapter 20

 

Kenji kept tapping his pencil upon the computer keyboard. As Erik studiously worked, Kenji kept glancing over at the empty third chair.

“Something on your mind?” Erik wondered without lifting his eyes from the screen.

“It’s just …” Kenji began. “Takara’s not here.”

Erik looked over.

“Yeah … have you heard anything from her?” Erik asked.

“No.”

“This type of thing has happened before …” Erik pursued.

“Yeah, but I thought those days were over.”

“You think she was caught the other day?”

“No … but she did seem worried about something the last time I saw her. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but now … I mean, Takara hates it there. I can’t imagine her not taking the opportunity to leave when she can.”

“Well, there’s one way to find out … ask.”

Erik directed his eyes toward the main room. There stood the teacher. As Kenji and Miss Harrington’s eyes connected, a weird look crossed Miss Harrington’s face. She looked evasive; even Erik noticed it. The way Takara had been treated was ridiculous; that was obvious to the two boys. Kenji approached Miss Harrington, and at first she wouldn’t look at him; in fact, she seemed to be avoiding eye contact altogether. Kenji decided to be assertive.

“Miss Harrington.” Kenji stated in a firm but respectful tone.

He could see her stiffen as her name rang out. Still, she wouldn’t look at him.

“Miss Harrington, where is Takara?”

Miss Harrington turned a flushed face onto Kenji.

“Don’t you have work to do?” she retorted.

Erik quickly arrived as backup.

“It’s done.” Erik announced.

Miss Harrington became flustered by Erik’s intent gaze. She shrunk back.

“She isn’t in this class anymore.” Miss Harrington finally admitted, a lilt of shame in her voice.

“Why?” Kenji uttered.

“It wouldn’t be the first time a student dropped.” Miss Harrington defended herself.

Miss Harrington abruptly turned from them. She then started speaking so loudly to the student who was standing next to her that it became clear that she was done talking about Takara. Erik and Kenji looked at each other. They slowly walked back toward their computer station.

“I need to go there.” Kenji whispered to Erik.

 

***

 

Takara’s eyes were shut tightly; and yet, she could still see the light beyond her eyelids. She forced herself to look. After a moment of adjustment, her eyes took in the room which spread out before her. It was almost eerie how empty it was. The stark white walls were only divided by a long, barren, wooden table. The only other thing of note was the dark space that indicated another passage was ahead of her.

Takara stepped forward toward that opening then stopped. She looked back at the switch. She decided that she would test out a path through the room with the light on then head back to turn the light off. Then, she would proceed toward the next chamber in the dark. That way if she was followed there wouldn’t be a lighted path to her next location.

As scary as it was to carefully step across the floor in the light, it was even scarier in the dark. On the one hand, it made sense; the darkness intensified the experience. Still, rationally, the first time across should have been the dangerous part. That was, of course, if she was following the exact same path the second time that she had the first time. No, she couldn’t think on that — she had to press on. It already seemed as though time was moving faster than she was. She was so slow; she had to speed up. Yet, just like in a dream, her feet didn’t seem to have the will to move any faster. On the other hand, maybe it was for the best she took things slowly. Takara surely couldn’t afford to make a mistake.

As Takara entered the next room, she found her feelings were mixed. The farther into the maze she went, the more trapped she felt. Still, at least she was getting farther away from any pursuers. Takara was glad to find that the light switch in the next room was in the same spot. The next room was pretty much the same as the previous one — only instead of one possible exit there were now two. One was straight ahead of her and the other to her right. For the first time, it really sank in to Takara just how easily she could become lost in there.

Then, Takara remembered something: if you ran your hand against one side of a maze you could find your way out again. It was worth a shot. Maybe by using this strategy she could avoid getting confused and re-entering the same room twice. She decided to use her left hand since the wall to her left was the closest one to her as she faced the door in front of her. As she headed slowly from room to room, Takara began to take a certain level of comfort in the fact that the rooms seemed unfinished, even more so than the main room. Actually, they were almost barren. She hoped that meant that any traps were also unfinished.

The going seemed to be pretty easy until, suddenly, she was confronted with a very short door. She would have to get on her hands and knees to fit through it. Why was this door so short? That was the question. What was the purpose of this door? It must have one, Takara concluded. Surely her father wouldn’t have created this door as some sort of death trap. This whole section of the Institute seemed to be the nebula-reaper defense training course her father had mentioned to her previously. But how could that small door be useful for training? But then, the fact was that every time she came upon something unusual she had to wonder if it was solely her father’s design, or whether someone else had altered it since her father’s death.

So, should she bypass the small door and hope to come across an alternative route in another room? Doing that, of course, carried the risk of inadvertently heading back around toward where she had come from. That would be disastrous; time was running out already. She had to find another way out of the training course … and soon. What she would do after she got out she had yet to decide.

Takara concluded the best thing to do was to give the door a closer inspection before making her final decision. She bent down and peered through the opening. There was no light. Takara reached inside and touched around the hidden spaces within. Even though she could tell that the space was confined, there was nothing about the tunnel that convinced her not to try to crawl through it. She would use the same strategy she had used with the rooms — keep her hand along the left wall. She hoped there wouldn’t be another maze ahead; she hoped there would be an exit.

In the end, Takara found she was intrigued by rather than afraid of the small space. Despite everything that had happened with Mr. Tyler, something about the door reminded her of her father, and that feeling won out. After all, he had hidden his real login within a dot. Perhaps he had hidden something important within this small space. Takara turned off the light to the room then headed into the tunnel.

Takara had never been particularly afraid of enclosed spaces before. And yet, she had a feeling that if she did survive this ordeal that she probably would be in the future. There wasn’t enough space to crawl on her hands and knees; instead, she had to inch her arms forward and pull her body onward. She couldn’t help but feel stressed by this. How would she turn herself around if she had to? She had to steady her breathing. She forced herself not to panic … not yet … just hold on a little longer … just a little longer. Then, the space seemed to open up, and the air around her cooled. She reached her hand up and felt … nothing. She was out of the tunnel; she lifted herself up. She felt for the wall. When she found it, she began feeling it for a light switch. She was exhilarated. Perhaps this room would be the answer. On came the light. Takara’s eyes fell upon two things — one right after the other: one was another computer and the other another large, metal slab. This slab Takara assumed to be a door, even though there was once again no knob.

Takara beamed. It was her way out! Finally, there was hope for escape. She merely needed to use the computer to open the door again. After that, she’d still have to find a way to sneak out of the Institute. But first thing was first. Takara sat at the desk and placed her hand upon the sensing board with eagerness. She then searched the screen for the speck … only it wasn’t there. Takara sat back in her chair. There had to be a way into the system; there wouldn’t be a point otherwise. Why were there two computers anyway? Maybe if she could figure out her father’s reasoning …

About the only thing Takara had seen on that first computer was surveillance video. Suddenly, it struck Takara that her father might have stored his work on this computer. But that would indicate that he hadn’t trusted Mr. Tyler. Certainly her father must have trusted Mr. Tyler at some point. So, her father’s opinion of Mr. Tyler must have changed somewhere along the way. It made sense. Maybe her father’s most recent information had been placed on this second computer because his relationship with Mr. Tyler had soured. Of course, that didn’t mean there wasn’t more to be found on that first computer.

Still, it would have been a struggle for her father to fit through that space, and Mr. Tyler probably wouldn’t have been able to. Actually, given her struggle to make it through that space, Takara was almost certain Mr. Tyler couldn’t do it. If that were so, Mr. Tyler wouldn’t have had access to this computer at all. Maybe that was the point to this room.

Then, Takara got to thinking. In the first room, the login icon had been barely visible. What if this one weren’t visible at all? Takara bit her lip. She began clicking randomly. At first she clicked slowly, but then her clicking speed became unchecked. Eventually, Takara just laid her face in her hands out of frustration; still, a light managed to penetrate through the gaps in her fingers. A new screen had popped up.

Suddenly, more videos began to pop up onto the screen; one was of particular interest. It seemed to be the view from onboard that humongous wasp robot she had seen less than an hour ago. She recognized the color of the metal and some of its features. It seemed to be flying toward the capitol building — only it was meeting with resistance. Yet, the planes fighting it appeared to be less than a match for it. Takara decided to try to get a better view of what was happening. She motioned with her finger in order to adjust the camera on the robot. Her field of vision did change, but strangely the position of the camera in relation to the robot did not. She could still see the same part of the wing of the robot. Could it be? Did she have control of the robot? Quickly, before she had the chance to answer that question for herself, the course of the robot was corrected. Had she just imagined what had occurred before? Could she really override the course of the robot with just a press of her finger? There was only one way to tell. Slowly, she moved her hand across the sensor pad as she had before. And once again, the robot moved. Only this time she kept adjusting the direction of the robot until she could be sure.

“It’s true!” Takara exclaimed.

She had control of the robot! She could stop the coup!!

Takara breathed. Should she try though? There was the door. Shouldn’t she just find a way to open that large, steel door? But what would become of the government if she did nothing? Would she even be permitted to leave the colony alive? It was true that Mr. Tyler probably wouldn’t be at risk for prison anymore if he took over the government. He would, therefore, have nothing to legally fear from Takara being alive. But then, he would also have nothing to legally fear if he did away with her. Also, he wouldn’t have to worry about Takara harming his reputation if she were dead.

No, she couldn’t run yet. She had to stop Mr. Tyler from using her father’s inventions against the colony. Takara held her breath then pressed her finger onto the sensor pad as hard as she could; then, she left it there. At first, Takara thought she could remove her finger as soon as the robot had reversed course. Only it seemed stuck in position once it was just shy of a 180 degree turn. It took a moment for the reality to register. Obviously, someone else was trying to turn the robot back around, and that person and Takara were cancelling each other out! Yet, as long as Takara kept her finger on the controls then the robot would come close to returning to the Institute. But it also meant that Takara couldn’t leave that spot. She looked plaintively towards the door. Then, she looked around the room for something she could place on the sensor, so she could leave. She thought of using her shoe, but it probably wouldn’t be heavy enough. Not to mention, it was probably too big to apply pressure to the sensor in just the right spot.

Takara sighed. She only had to wait until the robot returned, she told herself. What she’d do after that she had no idea. Maybe she would be fortunate, and the military would take down the robot before then. She hoped no one would get hurt.

Suddenly, Takara’s wandering mind was redirected back to the screen. The robot had moved just enough to be directly on a return course. Should she remove her finger lest it continue to change course? Only it didn’t seem to be moving any farther. What could that mean? Then, in the dark distance she got her answer. A familiar male voice rang out, slowly and mockingly, “Takara!”

Takara was startled; she instinctively raised her finger from the sensor. Then, right away she could see the robot shift. Mr. Tyler had somehow managed to keep the pressure on the sensor at his end. Takara replaced her finger. She had lost some of the direction she needed. What could she do now? Did Mr. Tyler know which room the second computer was in? Had he somehow seen her on a monitor, or was he just assuming she was the only one who could be interfering with his plans? Maybe he was hoping she’d be stuck with her finger on the sensor until he managed to find her. He was making a big assumption that she was so invested in returning the robot to the Institute that she wouldn’t just leave it to spin in circles. She had to admit it was now very tempting to do just that. Perhaps it was time to try to find a way to open that door after all.

Takara’s eyes suddenly fell upon the dark hole that she had entered from. She then realized how bright this room had become with the light on in comparison to the darkened passageways she had left behind. Yet, there didn’t seem to be anything she could do about it; every time she lifted her finger from the computer sensor she lost control of the robot. It seemed there was no way for her to win. Mr. Tyler would eventually find her, and the course of the robot would then be returned to the one Mr. Tyler wanted. The door seemed to be the only option. But really, could she hope to escape the Institute now? It would have been hard enough before they realized she was missing, but now? If only there was a way to create a diversion. If there was only a way to gain sole control of the robot … If she could get it to ram into the Institute …

So what if Mr. Tyler hadn’t left someone at the first computer? What if he had just left an object on the sensor pad? Maybe there really was no one there at this point … or, perhaps the person wasn’t paying close attention. There was really no way for Takara to know for sure if she was still in a stalemate with someone on the other end of the controls at this point. The not knowing wouldn’t have been as big of a deal if the robot were heading directly back towards the Institute. The fact that it wasn’t meant that Takara had to take some sort of action to right the robot’s course. It could be a simple matter if there was no one there, but if someone were there the robot’s course could be turned even further off course by that person.

Then again, at this point, regardless of the cause, Takara couldn’t seem to alter the robot’s direction either way. But then she thought of something: maybe instead of going against the other computer she’d go with it! It was a risk, especially if someone else was watching the monitor. But even if the robot wound up heading where Mr. Tyler wanted it to go, it would end up that way eventually if she did nothing.

Seconds later, Takara shifted her finger in the opposite direction. Rather swiftly, the robot began to turn in a circle.

“Come on …” Takara whispered to herself. Takara held her breath as the robot finally slid back into alignment. It was heading towards her again.

“Yes!” she cried out in relief.

It was hard to tell how long it was going to take for the robot to get back to the Institute, but some of the neighborhoods began to look familiar to her.

Then, Takara suddenly looked toward the dark opening. Maybe it was just her imagination, but Takara thought she could see a dim light glowing in the small tunnel. Her decision to turn off the other lights in the rooms leading up to this one was seemingly backfiring. She hadn’t anticipated being stuck in a lit room without the ability to turn off the light. Unfortunately, she also hadn’t thought of turning off the light before realigning the robot, so she was still stuck where she was.

Takara could feel her danger growing. And yet, she couldn’t shake the fear that if she let up on the controls that someone could by now be waiting to seize control at the other computer. Perhaps … Takara grabbed one of her shoes. Maybe she could hit the light switch with it. The room wouldn’t be completely dark because of the light from the computer, but the light would be much less obvious. Takara tried to gauge the shot the best she could. Then, she threw the shoe … and missed. But it was close. It just needed to be a little higher and stronger. This was it; one more shoe. Takara steadied herself and threw the shoe with her one free arm and what strength she could muster. She gasped at the darkness that ensued. It seemed things were going her way … finally.

Also, the robot was finally near the Institute! It was time to risk letting it spin in circles on its own until the air force caught up to it. Takara doubted she could safely maneuver it into the cargo bay on her own, even if that massive door were still open. Then suddenly, and surprisingly, the robot veered in the direction she was pressing — before she had the chance to remove her finger and allow it to spin on its own. But how? Was the counterpressure on the sensor from the other computer gone? No, the robot was spinning too fast for that.

Then, it dawned on Takara that someone was now at the other controls and was doing the same thing Takara had done before: he or she was pressing on the sensor in the same direction Takara was in order to alter the robot’s course. Was it Mr. Tyler? There was no way of knowing. The other person then pressed in the direction opposite Takara’s, thereby causing the robot to fly in a straight line. Once again the robot was heading away from the Institute. So, Takara pressed in the direction that other person must be pressing in order to get the robot to turn again. It worked for a moment, but then the robot stopped turning seconds later. She tried again and once again she was met with the reverse. The other person was countering whatever she did! The robot was stuck on its former course … or, at least close to it. This other person now had the advantage: the robot was on the course he or she wanted. And that person, unlike Takara, had the time to see it through.

Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2019

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Malachi 1

The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

“I have loved you,” saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast Thou loved us? “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” saith the LORD: “yet I loved Jacob,

“And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, “They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.”

And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.

“A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is Mine honour? and if I be a master, where is My fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise My name. And ye say, ‘Wherein have we despised Thy name?’

“Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar; and ye say, ‘Wherein have we polluted Thee?’ In that ye say, ‘The table of the LORD is contemptible.’

“And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person?” saith the LORD of hosts.

“And now, I pray you, beseech God that He will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will He regard your persons?” saith the LORD of hosts.

“Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on Mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you,” saith the LORD of hosts, “neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

“For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen,” saith the LORD of hosts.

“But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, ‘The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even His meat, is contemptible.’

“Ye said also, ‘Behold, what a weariness is it!’ and ye have snuffed at it,” saith the LORD of hosts; “and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand?” saith the LORD.

“But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King,” saith the LORD of hosts, “and My name is dreadful among the heathen.” (Malachi 1: 1-14)

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1 Corinthians 5

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged [Or, determined] already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:

Therefore let us keep the feast [Or, holy-day], not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore PUT AWAY FROM AMONG YOURSELVES THAT WICKED PERSON. (1 Corinthians 5: 1-13)

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PSALM 48

A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah.

 

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.

Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

God is known in her palaces for a refuge.

For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.

Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.

Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.

As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.

We have thought of Thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple.

According to Thy name, O God, so is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth: Thy right hand is full of righteousness.

Let Mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judea be glad, because of Thy judgments.

Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.

Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.

For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.

 

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PSALM 47

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

 

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

For the LORD Most High is terrible; He is a great King over all the earth.

He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.

God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.

The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: He is greatly exalted.

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PSALM 46

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.

 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations He hath made in the earth.

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

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PSALM 45

To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.

 

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever.

Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Most Mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty.

And in Thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things.

Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee.

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.

All Thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made Thee glad.

Kings’ daughters were among Thy honourable women: upon Thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;

So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty: for He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him.

And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.

The King’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto Thee.

With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King’s palace.

Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.

I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise Thee for ever and ever.

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PSALM 44

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil.

 

We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work Thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

How Thou didst drive out the heathen with Thy hand, and plantedst them; how Thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.

For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of Thy countenance, because Thou hadst a favour unto them.

Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

Through Thee will we push down our enemies: through Thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

But Thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.

In God we boast all the day long, and praise Thy name for ever. Selah.

But Thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.

Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.

Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.

Thou sellest Thy people for nought, and dost not increase Thy wealth by their price.

Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.

Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.

My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me,

For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.

All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten Thee, neither have we dealt falsely in Thy covenant.

Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps [Or, goings] declined from Thy way;

Though Thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.

If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;

Shall not God search this out? for He knoweth the secrets of the heart.

Yea, for Thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.

Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?

For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.

Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.

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Daniel 5

Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.

Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.

They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints [Or, girdles] of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet [Or, purple], and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.

Then was King Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.

Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:

There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father [Or, grandfather] light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;

Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting [Or, of an interpreter] of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father [Or, grandfather] brought out of Jewry?

I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.

And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:

And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards [Or, fee] to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

O thou king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:

And for the majesty that He gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared  before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.

But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride [Or, to deal proudly], he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:

And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the Most High God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that He appointeth over it whomsoever He will.

And thou his son, O Belshazzar, has not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

Then was the part of the hand sent from Him; and this writing was written.

And this is the writing that was written, “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.”

This is the interpretation of the thing: “MENE”; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

“TEKEL”; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

“PERES”; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about [Or, now] threescore and two years old (Daniel 5: 1-31).

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