4th rotation, 3rd Interval, 2nd Period of Cycle 17 Year 2,800,000,000
Approx 4pm Monday Afternoon of the 17th week of year 2,800,000,000.
The goddesses and Keiichi finally made it to the head of the chambers. High above them in a horseshoe shaped balcony sat eighteen seats. Nine of each side of a large throne In each one of those seats sat either a God or a Goddess. They looked older than the rest of the crowd, but they hadn't lost any of their attractiveness. Keiichi could tell that these deities had great power and also great wisdom. They were also the only ones in the room that he could not hear with his mind. When he looked at each of the councilors, he heard nothing but silence. “They're either trying to intimidate me, or they know that I can hear and understand the language and they don't want to give anything away.” He thought to himself.
A single note from a deep bass gong resounded through the room. This heralded the arrival of Kami-sama, the Almighty. All looked to the throne at the head of the chamber. A shadow had appeared in front of the throne and took its seat. He had arrived. Kami-sama could not be seen directly, only by his shadow. The feeling of immense power that Keiichi felt earlier, rose even higher. It sent chills down his back. He immediately grasped the seriousness of the situation. This definitely was not an everyday occurrence. All the goddesses in the seats knelt down on kneelers in front of them. Skuld, Urd, Belldandy, Peorth and Lind went to one knee and bowed their heads in respect. Keiichi didn't know what to do. Should he kneel in respect to the Almighty as the goddesses did, or would that be considered an insult because he was a human and not entitled to show respect to him? After a few seconds, he figured, “When in Heaven, do as the goddesses do.” So he knelt to one knee and bowed his head. Keiichi wasn't the most religious person in the world despite living with Goddesses in a Buddhist temple. He hoped that the Almighty would not hold that against him.
A deep and powerful, yet fatherly voice rumbled through the chambers. Like all the voices in Heaven, Keiichi had heard this voice in his mind and in the language of Heaven. He thought “So Kami-sama knows that I can speak the language.”
“Today, we have gathered here for the disposition of the case of Goddess First Class, Second Category, Unlimited License, Belldandy.” Kami-sama's voice said in a totally neutral tone. “He's not giving anything away, either” thought Keiichi.
“Belldandy stands charged with one count of gross insubordination, and one count of defiance of an official order. Due to Belldandy's outstanding record prior to this point, it has been recommended by the council and I have agreed that the punishment of isolation will not apply in this case. Also because of her reputation, the maximum punishment that can be sentenced will be: revocation of license for a period of Five Years Heaven Time.” A murmur went through the crowd. As Keiichi listened, some thought that Belldandy should have gotten a heavier sentence, while others thought that the sentence mentioned was too harsh. A couple even thought the case should be thrown out and Belldandy left alone. Another note from the gong brought everyone to silence.
Kami-sama continued “Testifying on Belldandy's behalf as a direct witness will be Goddess Second Class, First Category, Limited License Urd. Testifying to Belldandy's character will be :Goddess Second Class, First Category, Limited License Skuld; Goddess First Class, Second Category, Unlimited License Peorth; and Goddess First Class, First Category, Special Duty License Lind.
“Special Testimony will be given by Keiichi Morisato, the person with whom Belldandy is currently holding a contract. If Belldandy herself wishes to address the council, she may do so after all other testimony has been given. The conduct of this hearing will be as follows: Each witness will take as long as necessary to testify as to the act itself, or to the accused's character. The Council will then sit in recess to consider the information gathered, and then render its decision. I will either agree with the council's decision or exercise my right to override that decision. However, as was made known to the accused, I hereby waive my right to override, and will abide by the Council's decision, either for or against the accused.”
Peorth whispered to Keiichi “That's a big concession. That should make it easier to get Belldandy a reduced sentence or a complete acquittal. As long as no one says anything too stupid, she should come out of this in pretty good shape.”
Keiichi whispered back “I know. I'm not a lawyer, nor am I up on Heaven's legal system, but it seems like there's something else going on here. Belldandy is not the real focus of this hearing.”
Keiichi thought, “That's weird, Peorth's heavenly body was just as amplified by her presence in Heaven as Urd's was, but I'm wasn't nearly as overcome with her sexuality as I was with Urd, and Peorth is just as sexy as Urd is. What is the deal here?”
Peorth heard that last bit, and turned to him, licking her tongue. Keiichi shook his head as if trying to shake something loose in his brain, and turned his mind back to the hearing.
Kami-sama spoke “Will Goddess Second Class Urd please step forward.”
Urd rose to her feet, stepped forward to the witness box and bowed her head. “I swear to tell the truth upon my honor as a Goddess.” she swore clearly.
Another murmur went through the crowd, Keiichi noted. “Apparently Urd's reputation for telling falsehoods has preceded her.”
Keiichi checked Urd's back to see if she crossed her fingers when she swore the oath. She didn't.
Kami-sama was quite familiar with Urd and let everyone know that. “Urd, your reputation for telling lies has gotten you in trouble on more than a few occasions. It would be in your best interest if you would just stick to the truth. Please do not give me a reason to put you before a hearing, or worse punish you outright.”
Urd was visibly shaken by that revelation. “Y-yes, Kami-sama, I will tell the truth.”
Kami-sama began the questioning. “Urd, were you with Belldandy at 18.104.22.168 when I contacted her regarding returning to heaven?”
Keiichi thought “4.3.7.whaa, what kind of time system do they use in Heaven?” Almost in response to his thought, one of the councilors spoke up. “Kami-sama, for the benefit of our guest, may I explain to him the way we keep time in Heaven? Our system is different from the one used on Earth.”
Kami-sama said “Yes, our visitor is not fully accustomed to our ways. Proceed.” The councilor stood and addressed Keiichi. “The Heavenly time system is divided into: rotations; intervals; periods; cycles; and years. Each period, or what you would call a day is made of four intervals of six rotations or hours each. The first interval starts at what you would call midnight and lasts six rotations, the second interval lasts six rotations and so on. A cycle is equivalent to your week and contains seven periods and each year consists of 52 cycles. So the numbers are all the same as your time system except for the terminology and the addition of the intervals. The format for a time reference is Rotations. Intervals. Periods. Cycles. Years. So 22.214.171.124 would translate in Earth time as 4pm Saturday Afternoon of last week. Is that clear?”
Keiichi responded “Yes, sir I understand. Thank you.” The councilor smiled and sat down.
Kami-sama continued. “Urd please answer the question.”
“Yes, I was at the phone with Belldandy when you called.”
“ And did you hear Belldandy twice refuse to comply with my order to return to Heaven?
“And what was the reason that Belldandy gave for refusing my order?”
Kami-sama said with a touch of irritation. “We're waiting for your answer. Urd.”
Urd was completely stiff with fear. She wanted to protect her sister with an alibi. She refused her First Class Goddess license because she felt it was sometimes necessary to lie to protect her younger siblings. But this time around, they had her dead to rights. She couldn't lie her way out of it if she tried. “Well, Belldandy and Keiichi. Sorry to drop you two in it, but I have no choice.” she thought.
“Kami-sama, the reason Belldandy gave, was that she loved Keiichi as much as, if not more, than being a goddess. And that is the truth.”
“Thank you Urd, you may step down.”
“That's it?, Can't I even say what I think about all this?”
“You were only brought up to testify to the act committed. But if you have anything else to add, I'm sure the council would have no objections. Are their any objections to Urd continuing her testimony?”
There were no objections noted, so Urd stayed at the witness box.
Urd composed herself, thanked the council and continued on with her statement.
“When I first met Keiichi, he seemed like a spineless wimp. He was indecisive, ungainly, plain, boring and frankly, I wondered what Belldandy saw in the man. He was so easy to mess around with. I toyed with him constantly.” Keiichi thought “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“But even though I was pretty rough on him, he always resisted my attempts to push him and Belldandy together. I tried drugs, seducing him, nothing seemed to work. It was as if those two were going to proceed only as fast as they wanted to and no faster.” Urd quickly realized that she admitted some things she should not have said and quickly shut up.
Kami-sama said “You're own questionable conduct in this matter not withstanding, is there anything else you want to add?”
Urd countered “Yes, as I said, I ran Keiichi through the wringer, but he seemed to have this indomitable spirit that kept on going no matter how much bad luck he had. Him and Belldandy never ever seemed to get down no matter what negative situations they went through. He showed a lot of courage when I had become the Lord of Terror and captured him. Any other human would have just given up. But he had complete faith that Belldandy would rescue him. And during Belldandy's illness. He was the only human to ever call heaven intentionally to ask me about how to cure her. I don't know of any human that could have pulled that off.
“ And the situation with the Angel Eater. He was able to support one of Lind's angels. The explanation was that it was the love of many goddesses that allowed him to do that. That may be so, but there is something more to Keiichi Morisato than meets the eye. And with all that's going on now. I have gained a new level of respect for him. He could have been destroyed when that spell collapsed, but he somehow survived to make it up here to attend this hearing. He's quite a man. I have to admit.
“ He's still pretty geeky, and plain and has no common sense and little in the way of social graces, and he still has no idea how to court a woman, but I'm glad to count him as a close and trusted friend. That doesn't mean that I won't stop messing with him. He's too easy a target to not have some fun. But he's my target. I can see why Belldandy would defy an order from you, Kami-sama. In his own way he captured Bell's heart, and as you and everyone else knows, it's very hard to capture the heart of a First Class Goddess.
“Believe me Kami-sama, there's no one else on Earth that would compel Belldandy to do what she did. Those two are deeply in love. And Belldandy was very much in her right mind when she made her decision. Keiichi did NOT put her up to it, as some may think. It's not in his nature. She loves Keiichi down to the very core of her being. Those two are one of a kind and they belong together. And that's all I have to say,”
She left the witness box and took her place in line. As she passed Keiichi, she looked him in the eyes and said to him. “And that's the truth. However, if you ever mistreat Belldandy, I'll kill you.” she said in a way that left Keiichi wondering whether she meant it or not.
Keiichi tensed up waiting for Urd's sexuality to overtake him. But nothing happened. “Thanks for the ringing endorsement, Urd. I think.”