Chapter 7: Limiting power
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“You are quite certain?” The Lord of Hosts asked. By this point, Daren had grown familiar enough with the big guy here to know that this question was more for him to settle his own mind. Lord Jehova here already knew the answer to that question.

“Yes, absolutely. That’s where I want to go.” Daren said with visions of meeting all those comic world superheroes already dancing through his head. He’d already been cautioned the truth was different from the fictional world he’d been reading… or rather, seeing TV and movie adaptations about through his younger days. But, he’d just been told that while the exact characters likely don’t exist, most of them were likely inspired by individuals who are really over there.

The strongest points, of course, are having modern day technology and the fact that there are already people from Earth who have gone there ahead of him to blaze the trail. That second one especially could not be underestimated. Of course, there’s also the implicit promise in Immanuel/Jehova’s words that he would be given some kind of gift that would allow him to have powers too.

“It seems your mind is settled then.” Jehova said, and then held his hand forward. A strange purple light emerged from his hand, and then a set of clockwork-like gears materialized around that light. There were a countless number of small spinning wheels, some spinning faster, others slower, and of all different sizes. Some seemed rather hefty with six spokes giving the gear rigidity. Others were sun-gears with the teeth on the inside, attached to nothing but helping other gears to rotate along it. All of them ticked along as the chaotic appearance seemed to have some kind of hidden order to it.

Just as Daren was wondering about the purpose of this strange object, Jehova began to talk again. “You will go to the divine realm of the world you desire to go to.” He said. “They will manage your incarnation into a second life, and you will retain all of your memories. However, some of the vessels into which they may choose to place your soul are not as robust as others. These less powerful vessels of flesh will break down easily under the strain of the greater spirit energy held by those who come from Earth. This is a construction of mine that helps to regulate the amount of your energy that will be released. It restricts your power, but this is to protect your new vessel from the overwhelming power of your soul util your soul has the chance to strengthen your vessel.”

“I… see.” Daren said as he took in this new information. “So, uhh… how do I use it?” The object in question was just a floating bunch of ethereal translucent gears floating around a purplish light. Daren couldn’t make heads or tails of even how this thing was supposed to interact with his body in any way what so ever.

Taking Daren’s question as his consent, Jehova made a light tossing motion and the gears around the light all exploded out to form a dome over Daren while the light hovered in his direction. He tried to catch it as it moved gently toward his chest, but his hands did not interact with it and the light simply merged with his body.

The gears all around him, hovering in the air, ticked a few more times before slowly fading from his vision.

Daren looked around in wonder for a moment, and then let out a soft nervous laugh. “Heh, magic stuff. Got it.” He said.

The Lord of Hosts smiled back at him. “There are some other functions attached to that device as well.” He said. “I am certain you are curious over how you are supposed to gain the superhuman abilities you are no doubt interested in once you get to that world? In addition to simply increasing your physical capabilities as your vessel acclimates to the intensity of your soul and more of it’s power is released, other powers will also manifest through the fleeting sparks of divinity which you have already begun to cultivate within your soul. The limiter which I just gave you will manifest those fleeting lights of divinity into effects in the world. This will somewhat lengthen the time it takes you to acquire your transcendence, but it will improve your life in that world until you can achieve that state.

“You will not have my hand to supplement your divinity in that world. You must therefore nurture it on your own by taking actions that sympathize with those sparks in order to nurture them into flames. As you go through your new life, you will also create more sparks of divinity as you make your influence on the world.”

“So, that’s what you meant by those words you said before.” Daren said. “In order to transcend humanity, I am going to have to change the world.”

Jehova nodded at Daren’s words. “Indeed. But be cautious. There are more dark ways to transcend humanity than there are good. I would like to see you gain your divinity in a way that I can accept back into my kingdom rather than forcing me to send a legion of angels against you.”

A sudden chill went through Daren’s spine when he heard that. He looked down to Haraiel who was still kneeling and pictured what that would be like. She had brutally dispatched those demons. If he had an entire army of people like Haraiel on him.

“I do not think there is much reason for concern though.” Jehova said. “I would not be offering this option to you if I thought you likely to walk down that path. However, having power vastly disproportionate to those around you can have a corrupting influence. Even that which is nurtured and accumulated over time. However, growing into your power does help.”

“Heh, is that another reason this thing restricts my soul-power at the start?” Daren asked.

The Lord of Hosts smiled. “That is not the primary purpose, but it might be a rather nice side benefit. I have recently seen fit to add a function to that device that tracks and displays the progress of your divinity cultivation, and your body’s adaptation to your soul’s power. Humans have begun to use such numerical quantifiers in some forms of electronic entertainment. This has reached a point now where most of the population is at least familiar with the concept, so people have found it quite helpful to have this aid.” He explained.

“Well then.” Jehova said. “I believe that is everything that needs mention. Are you ready to go to your new realm?”

Daren nodded, but looked down at Haraiel still kneeling on the floor. “Just a minute.” He said.

The great god of the Earth just smiled and gave a gentle hand motion in Haraiel’s direction. There was a soft wave of power that accompanied this motion, and Haraiel somehow interpreted something from this. She nodded and then gracefully pushed herself back up into a standing position.

Daren felt very awkward as he was once again staring up at this giant of a woman. He felt like he should say something. He had only known her for what felt like a very short time. He still had no idea how long it had taken them all to clean the temple, and time was very difficult to keep track of on their walk here as well. She had taught and guided him through his afterlife. He knew it was her job, just like it was his job back on Earth to guide troubled kids through difficult situations. However, that did not mean that he didn’t form some kind of connection in his mind to her. How that connection was mutual probably depended on how professionally she took her job.

Being realistic, every last thing about her seemed extremely professional. But, she was also fairly kind. She really seemed torn up about being just a minute or so late in her arrival when he had just died, and she was the picture of a stalwart guide and guardian ever since.

“Uhh, well…” Daren stammered. “I guess I’m going now. I just wanted to say… thanks for all that you’ve done for me. This whole death thing… it’s pretty confusing. I don’t know what would have happened if you weren’t there to help.”

Haraiel returned Daren’s thanks with the gentle smile of a social worker. “You are welcome.” She said. “It is the duty of the angels of death to help those in your position. To see souls such as you safely come into their new existence, that is the reason I took up this role in The Lord’s army. I know that it has become increasingly difficult among those of Earth lately, but you should also give your thanks to The Lord for having the wisdom and compassion to rally us to this cause as well.”

Daren felt slightly taken aback by that comment. Suddenly, he felt like he was being preached to by his grandmother again. But, he was standing right in front of the man in question right now. It was also quite right to say that the individual leading the charge was every bit as responsible for those under them achieving the intended result.

Daren nodded and turned back to his gracious host. “Yes, thank you very much.” He said. “You have done… well…” Suddenly he choked up as he thought of his life on Earth again. Even here, having met and gotten to know the guy in charge, he couldn’t help thinking that there were also so many lives he could have saved or improved but didn’t.

“I have done what I have.” Jehova said. “I have done those things which I knew would be good, and I have not done the things which I determined would ultimately cause a greater harm even if it would bring about a surface level of appearing good. I understand if it is difficult for those who cannot see the consequences of the actions they desire to resent me for not taking them.”

Daren’s hands balled into fists as he heard that. His guts felt like they were tying themselves into knots. But, he took a deep breath and then let it out as he calmed himself down.

“I do not understand this sort of thing at all.” Daren said. “Well, I suppose I’d only upset myself and make an unsightly scene by dragging out the issue. Still, thank you for the help you have given me.” He nodded over his shoulder to Haraiel and then back to God. “I’d probably best go then. It’ll only make things awkward if I stay here any longer.”

Jehova nodded and waved his hand. The ethereal clockwork gears appeared again and the light purple radiance softly lit up the room. The light grew more intense, and Daren felt as though his feet were no longer touching the ground. This sensation lasted only a moment longer before the light grew so intense Daren couldn’t even see a thing, and then as the light faded he saw his surroundings had completely changed and he landed back on the floor of a strange white room.

I swear, I did not have any plans starting out for Daren's time in Heaven to last exactly 7 chapters down to the end of it. I'd actually intended to get him to the new world by chapter 4, but that's not how it worked out. Well, at the same time, I also managed to cover far more of the info meant to be covered in the new world in this chapter instead, so it should speed things along once things get there.