Astonishing Revelations



This social wave, dubbed 'Ox Mania,' is inexplicable and amazing! -- Solar Times [article excerpt]

'The Ox has a tremendous fighting spirit.  He's like a great Apache warrior in his own right!' -- The Leader [article excerpt]

My life has been so hard -- nearly unbearable... but now I feel as if I'm walking on air.  That unparalleled freedom is a marvelous sensation! -- Ralph Oxner [autobiography excerpt]


        Mrs. Angel Oxner had been scouring the concordance section of her Bible for verses that referred to "light."  Some of them were: God is light; Let there be light; Ye are the light of the world; Let your light so shine before me; Light is sown for the righteous; Coverest thyself with light; Put on the armor of light; Walk as children of light; Christ shall give thee light; But the path of the just is as the shining light; Don't hide your light under a bushel; Ye are the children of light; The Lamb is the light; Ye shine as lights in the world.

        This was only a small portion.  It was a grand total of 75 passages that contained the words light/lights/lighten/lightened.  Now it was all coming together!  Angel, undoubtedly, knew what The Leader meant by 'The White Light Liberators'!!  Her spiritual understanding was growing.

        The life-threatening ordeal that Ralph Oxner bravely inflicted upon himself transpired a little over two weeks ago.  Now, the medical staff was confounded by the most miraculous recovery they'd ever witnessed!  Not only had their patient regained consciousness, but on top of that, he displayed no perceptible signs of diminished thought capacity.  A series of diagnostic tests and CAT scans verified that there was nothing wrong with his brain.  Angel walked into the hospital unit and saw her heroic husband sitting up in bed watching television.  He was recuperating, and lacking vitality.  "Whatcha watchin?" she asked, not bothering to look at the screen to see for herself.

        "Charlie's Angels," he responded lackadaisically.

        "Are you admiring Farah Fawcett??" she inquired, in a tone of tongue-in-cheek jealousy.

        "No way!" he emphatically denied.  "You're the only angel I admire!  I'm much luckier than ole' Charlie!  I bet he'd jump at the chance to swap all three of his angels for my angel!"  The paragon of a husband sounded so adamant, sincere, and, above all, faithful!

        "Oh, Ralph, you're so sweet!" she squealed.  Every word she uttered exuded affection.  Ralph's appreciative angel then bent down over the bed and gave him a peck on the lips as a reward for the flattery.

        Ralph reached for the remote control on the stand beside the bed and zapped off the TV.  Background noise annoyed him when he was engaged in a conversation.  "So, how's Roger doing," he then asked.

        "He's been playing Cruising America on the arcade in the game room all day.  He told me he wants to be a race car driver when he grows up.  His parents are so thankful he survived that they've been letting him indulge in fun without any restrictions or time restraints.  Oh, except for the fact that he's not allowed out on the decks without their accompaniment.  That's their only rule... and, after what happened, I'd say it's understandable!  But other than that, every day is like Disneyland to him."



        "That's cool!" said Ralph.

        "Yeah, but they're also allowing him to eat and drink anything he wants.  He's been filling himself up on junk food -- like candy and potato chips and soft drinks.  If that keeps going on, he'll get fat and unhealthy like you used to be, honey.  By the way, how much weight have you lost since The Leader set you up with the dietician and the physical fitness trainer?"

        "Over thirty pounds!" Ralph proudly replied with a smile.

        "Whew!  That's amazing!" Angel exclaimed.

        "And I'm gonna lose thirty more before I'm done!" Ralph added, with cheerful optimism in his voice.

        "Well, all I can say is 'Congratulations!' and Good luck!' "

        "Thanks!" Ralph said, feeling the joy of accomplishment.

        "The Leader has scheduled a memorial service for Jason Brown.  So, if you want to attend, it'll be held in the chapel tomorrow at nine," informed Angel.

        "I'll be there.  I was saddened to hear that he died.  I barely knew the guy, but he seemed pretty nice."

        "Well... he was a character, that's for sure!"

        "Do you have any more news for me, Angel?"

        "Umm... let me think.  Oh, The Leader fired those rescue guys for dereliction of duty.  I heard he gave them a real tongue-lashing.  People were saying they overheard him screaming at them in his office."

        "Hmm, I'm not surprised!  The Leader is a kind man, but I'd hate to face his wrath because I can tell he's as tough as nails," Ralph commented.

        "Yeah, he does seem to have a rough edge," Angel agreed.  "You can't blame him, though!  Because of them, Jason died, and you and Roger almost died," she added.

        "I'm ready to get out of here, but the doctor wants to keep me in bed and monitored for another week.  That sucks!" griped Ralph.

        "Well, you WERE in a coma, Ralph.  He has to make sure that you're all right!" Angel explained.

        "I know, I know!  I'd just like to do things besides flipping channels.  The thing I miss most is your piano lessons!"

        "Ralph, let me tell you something.  You don't need me, or anyone else, to give you piano lessons anymore.  You've surpassed your teacher, grasshopper!  Seriously, I can't believe how much you've progressed in such a short amount of time!  You're already on the level of most professional pianists!" she praised.

        The recipient of the compliment was surprised and delighted by her assessment of his musical proficiency.  "Do you think I'm good enough to play for a crowd?" he asked, in a spirit of a child having unmitigated faith in an elder's judgment.

        "Absolutely!!" Angel responded with gusto.

        His confidence was boosted as a result of her wholehearted encouragement.  Several seconds of silence elapsed, and during that time Ralph's countenance formed a contemplative cast.  Angel could see that an idea had just popped into his head.

        "Could you do me a small favor?"

        "Sure!  What is it?"

        "Ask The Leader if I can play in the auditorium."

        "Aah, like a concert?!"


        "Ralph, I think that's a wonderful idea!  I know you're ready to perform for an audience.  I'll get right on it!" she promised.  Angel kissed his cheek this time, and then she went out to look for The Leader, feeling sure that he would permit the request.

        The 'Piano Man' was all alone in the ward again.  He reached for the remote control and brought the motion picuture box back to life.  Charlie's Angels was still in progress.  He was glad the episode hadn't expired because he wanted to admire Farah Fawcett for a little while longer!




        Angel's frequent visits and countless TV shows made Ralph's hospital confinement bearable.  Now the time had come for him to leave the ward and re-join the general population aboard The Sea Gypsy.  This was something he was excited about doing!  His youth and energy impelled him to get 'out and about' and in the 'thick of things' again and do whatever he felt like doing.  But he would soon discover that his first activity had been prepared for him in advance.

        Escorting him out the door was his beautiful wife, along with his little, daredevil buddy, Roger Freeder.  They walked with him on either side of his slimmed-down body.  Angel led her handsome male companions to the couple's stateroom.  When the trio walked inside, a bunch of people leapt up from behind the respective pieces of furniture they were hiding behind.  And, in unison, they all shouted, "SURPRISE!!!"

        Ralph was, indeed, surprised!  He didn't anticipate that Angel and the gang would throw him a party!  Catching his startled eyes was a huge banner on the wall which neatly read: 'RALPH, U R OUR #1 HERO!'  A cluster of fellow Liberators was swarming around him.  Some of them were laughing; others were clapping; while a few blew out paper coils.  Still more tooted horns, rattled toys, and shook bells.  ALL of them were lively and happy due to The Leader's ingenious mental processing techniques.  That was the regular disposition of a typical Liberator, not solely during special occassions.

        Ralph was thoroughly enjoying the party proceedings!  The main attraction was a hilarious stand-up comedy act by an ambitious young actor/comedian who'd had bit roles on sitcoms, soap operas, and movies.  His opening joke was: "Damn!  I see there's a kid in the house." (referring to Roger)  "I guess that means I've got to keep it clean.  Heck, I don't know if I've got enough material to continue on for over five minutes!"  People were falling over laughing!

        It wasn't an extremely elaborate bash -- just basically: food, music, socializing, and party games.  But the festive atmosphere filled Ralph's heart with joy.  He knew that everyone there cared a great deal about him.  Friendship, love and respect had eluded him his entire life.  But now he'd experienced a 180 degree lifestyle turnaround!  Out on the ocean's waters he was adored by his peers, while on land the multitude idolized him as a contemporary "David" in revolt against the Goliath of governmental oppression.  And when the media received word of his most recent exploit, his stardom rose even higher!  Mr. Ralph Oxner was like some 'superhero come-to-life' out of the pages of a comic book.

        Three days into the future, Ralph was, again, the object of interest in relation to a special event.  However, this time, the group assembled on his behalf was larger, and their form of entertainment was set to be a musical recital instead of partying.  The site was the spacious auditorium, which was jammed packed.  And the chap at the center of everyone's attention was experiencing that age-old psychological affliction called "stage fright."  His fingers lightly rested on the keys, and his eyes avoided contact with the sea of spectators.  They were all sitting in their seats, waiting for him to start playing.  He was trying to settle his nerves and recall the composition at the same time.  Neither attempt was particularly successful.  But he knew that he couldn't delay any longer.  He had to appease the restless horde of aristocrats.  They'd come to hear high quality music, and he was determined to please their ears!



        Ralph took a deep breath and announced: "I would like to thank you all for attending my concert!  The piece I'm going to play is a classical piano sonata called 'Moonlight.'  It was composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven in 1802, and is considered one of his foremost masterpieces."

        Following that verbal introduction, his fingers started moving.  As he became more immersed in the music, his trepidation and self-consciousness dissipated.  Before long, he was so enthralled in the music that he was unconscious of anything extant apart from it.  The music had engulfed his mind to the point of exterior detachment.

        When he stopped playing, after Moonlight's final note, he felt like he'd awoken from a dream, or come out of a hypnotic state.  Now he was aware of himself and his surroundings.  The prolonged standing ovation he received induced ecstasy because he regarded it as emblematic of his artistic progression from novice to his current status of "virtuoso"!  A triumphant grin swept across his face as he stood up and bowed in front of the piano.  In doing so, he displayed his 6'4", 254 pound frame, and the well-fitted black tuxedo that covered it.  Angel thought he looked grand!  She was on her feet, vigorously clapping, along with everyone else in her midst.  They were all aware of the fact that they'd just witnessed something magnificent and historic!  The atmospheric vibe inside that auditorium was electric!  A half hour following Moonlight, Ralph led Angel by the hand outside on the deck, and kissed her under the full moon.

        The next day, The Sea Gypsy was abuzz with chatter about Ralph's breathtaking performance.  "Wonderboy" he was being called.  "Can you believe how well he played?!"  "He's beyond talented... he's phenomenal!"  Yeah, he's incredible!"  I KNOW music, and I think he's right up there with Beethoven and Mozart!"  These were just some of the remarks they mad amongst themselves.  Ralph had been approached and congratulated so many times that he was getting tired of all the attention.  However, he appreciated the acknowledgement of his accomplishment!

        While he was in the dining room eating dinner with Angel, a teenage messenger walked up to him and handed him a folded note, followed by the compliment: "I loved the concert, sir!"

        "Thanks, fellow," replied Ralph.  Then he unfolded the note and read:

        Ralph, Please drop by my office when you have the time.  -- The Leader

        "The Leader wants to see me in his office," he informed Angel.  She was in the process of carving eggplant parmigiana on her plate.

        Feeling mischievous, she took the opportunity to play with her hubby's head: "Sounds scary!  Reminds me of when I was in school and a student was sent to the principal's office.  It was almost always because he was in trouble.  You haven't been a bad boy, have you??"

        "Umm... no, I don't think so," he said, taking the question very seriously.

        Angel decided to quit messing around with him.  "My guess is that he just wants to praise you like everyone else has been doing for the past twenty-four hours," she speculated.

        "Yeah, well, I hope so!" Ralph said timidly.

        "Seriously, I don't think you have anything to worry about!" she assauged him.

        After they finished consuming their meals, Ralph took the elevator to The Leader's office, while Angel headed back to their suite.



        Ralph pushed the doorbell.  The Leader opened the door, smiled wide, and graciously welcomed him inside.  This was the first time he'd entered The Leader's work den.  A model race car on a high shelf caught his eye.  The body was black with red stripes.  Marked in white on the roof, hood, back and sides was the number 93.

        "Please, have a seat, Ralph," said The Leader with a hand gesture toward the chair.  He sat down, still observing the lavish office.  The Leader sat in the other lounge chair, crossed his legs, and gazed at his guest with admiration in his eyes.

        "You have a beautiful office, sir."

        "Thank you.  I summoned you here to congratulate you on your flawless rendition of Beethoven's Moonlight.  I've never heard it played better!  It was a masterful performance!"

        "Thank you, sir!  I value your opinion immensely!"

        "Are you sure that you never played piano prior to boarding this ship?"

        "No, sir.  I always wanted to, but the opportunity never presented itself."

        "Well, for you to come so far in such a short amount of time is a tremendous feat.  You're remarkably gifted!"

        "Thank you!  I try my best!"

        "Aah, yes!  That's all anyone can do, isn't it, son?!  Not only are you a hero, you're also a maestro!  You know, I've always been the most popular person on this ship, hands down.  But I think that last night you made me the runner-up."

        "Oh, I don't think so, sir.  That's one thing I'll have to disagree with you on!"

        "Well, you're about all I hear my people talking about nowadays, and understandably so!  It's not only your musical ability; you're an exceptional human being, as well!"

        "Thank you very much, sir!"

        "Well, it's true!  Hey, would you like something to drink?"

        "Do you have any tea?"

        "I sure do.  Sweetened or unsweetened?"

        "Unsweetened, please.  I like sweet tea better, but I've got to watch my weight."

        The Leader got up and went to the refrigerator to serve his esteemed guest.  Small talk followed, and Ralph mentioned that he liked the race car.  The Leader said, "Thank you.  I'm not a big racing fan, but the car appeals to me.  I call it The Current."

        "Where did you get it?" Ralph inquired.

        "Actually, I got it at a thrift store when I was in North Carolina on a business trip."

        "I didn't think thrift stores carried things that nice."

        "Most of them don't, but this was a SPECIAL thrift store!!  And the REALLY special things in the store weren't up for sale, or even on display."

        "Such as?" Ralph probed, his curiosity kindled.

        "Such as a crystal ball," The Leader frankly replied.

        "No way!!" Ralph exclaimed incredulously, thinking The Leader was probably just yanking his chain.

        "Way!" The Leader countered.

        "Let me get this straight; you mean a real crystal ball... that shows images of the future?!?"

        The Leader nodded and smiled.  Ralph looked intently in his eyes for several seconds in order to try to determine if he was telling the truth or not, and said, "You're not joking, are you, sir??"  He shook his head, still smiling, and his eyes shining.

        "Would you like to see it," The Leader asked, breaking his short-term silence.

        "Heck yeah!!!  I'd LOVE to see it!!!" Ralph enthusiastically responded, like a kid being offered the privilege of meeting Santa Clause.



        "I'll show it to you only if you promise to keep it a secret between the two of us," The Leader firmly stated.

        "I promise," Ralph quickly and impatiently said.

        "I'm serious!  You can't ever tell anyone about it, not even your wife!" he reiterated fervently.

        "Sir, I'm not a blabber-mouth.  I hereby swear to you that I'll honor this confidentiality agreement for the rest of my life!"

        "Okay, then.  You've gained my trust.  Now, I'm only going to let you look at it for a few seconds because it's like the sun: staring at it too long can cause irrevocable harm."

        "You mean I could go blind?"

        "No, but you could lose your mind!"

        "Sheesh!" Ralph exclaimed.

        "Just to be on the safe side, I'm going to keep you in the dark concerning its specific location.  I know you'd never steal it, and I'm confient that you wouldn't spill the beans to anyone.  But a future contingency is that my enemies may take you captive and hypnotize you, or torture information out of you.  Its exact whereabouts isn't something you need to know anyway because you won't be returning to retrieve it.  So, if you would please step outside and wait for me to call you back in, I would appreciate it."

        Ralph did accordingly.  As he twiddled his thumbs in the corridor, The Leader was busily attending to the self-installed hidden compartment which stored his treasure.

        After a few minutes of preparation, The Leader opened the door and motioned for Ralph to come back inside his office.

        "Where is it?" he excitedly asked.  His roaming eyes were surveying the room.  He was brimming with enthusiasm!

        "It's on my desk," The Leader told him.

        Ralph figured that it must underneath the white cloth which covered a seemingly round object.

        "Don't lift up the sheet!!!" The Leader vehemently warned as Ralph walked toward the desk.

        "I suppose that's your job," Ralph said, stopping in his tracks.

        "You got it!" replied The Leader.  "Now, would you prefer to sit or stand?"

        "You said this is only going to last for a few seconds?"

        "That's right."

        "Then I'll just stay on my feet."

        "Okay, it's important that you're relaxed and focused.  Keep your view on the sheet.  I'll count backward from ten to one, and right after I say 'one,' I'm going to unveil the crystal ball.  After I lay the sheet back over it, you won't ever get another chance to see it again, so be ready!  Now, just let me know when you want me to start counting."

        Without a second of hesitation, he confidently proclaimed, "I'm ready.  Let the countdown begin!"

        The Leader commenced: "Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One."  His hand pulled the sheet off the magical object.  Then, Ralph's eyes met it.  They bulged at what they beheld, and his jaw dropped in fascination.  Meanwhile, The Leader was counting seconds again, only this time in his head instead of out of his mouth.  And forward instead of backward.  "... Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen."  He swiftly dropped the sheet back over the sphere like a net over a wild beast!  Sixteen seconds was an extended amount of time because following the eight-second mark is when gazing starts to become dangerous for the average person.  However, The Leader thought it probably wouldn't hurt to stretch it out double the customary length of time for Ralph, due to his sturdy psychological makeup.

        Ralph's eyes were slightly shifting from side-to-side, but that wasn't a really bad sign.  If they were rapidly oscillating and he was salivating, that would've been something for The Leader to worry about!

        "Are you okay?" The Leader asked, while he cupped his hands over Ralph's eyes as a precautionary measure.



        "My head is spinning, but I'm fine!" he replied.  "Whew!!  That was weird!  I saw these... beings in a dimly lit room which looked like a dungeon.  There were six of them, I think.  They were some awfully strange looking characters, I'll tell you!  Their bodies and facial features were human-like, but their skin was as white as chalk, and their eyeballs were totally pink.  I mean, no iris or pupil -- just pink all over.  And the shape of the flesh surrounding their eyes was slanted like people from the Orient.  They lacked eyebrows, and their foreheads were real high.  Their hair was jet black, but I'm pretty sure they dyed it because I noticed that one of them had white roots.  Maybe they were trying to look more human.  They were all decked out in black, militaristic uniforms.  Two were standing by a big, lock and bolt, iron door -- like they were on guard.  Holsters were strapped around their waists, and I assume guns were in them.  One guy was sitting at a desk reading something.  I couldn't see it too clearly, but I don't think it was a book because a bunch of notebooks were scattered on the desk.  So, my guess is that he was reading from a notebook that either he, or someone else, had used for writing.

        "What I've just described is about all I could see in the time span you allotted me to gaze.  Thank you very much for allowing me to peer into your crystal ball.  It was a far-out experience, which I'll certainly never forget!  Now, what can you make of the scene I witnessed??  You know just about everything there is to know, so I'm assuming that you can spell this out for me, sir."

        "Yes, Ralph, I can.  But first off, you'd better buckle up because what I'm about to reveal to you is going to blow you away.  Okay.  You just spied on the Milifen!  Those dudes are extraterrestrials.  But they're not sweet and friendly like the adorable, little creature in the movie, E.T.  But I guess I don't have to tell you that, huh?!!  They're anything but nice; they're about as bad as bad can get!!  Torturing people is like a sport to them.  When I mentioned beforehand that my foes might try to torture you in order to obtain information... guess whom I had in mind!"

        "The Milifen?"

        "That's right!"

        "So they know about you?"

        "Ohhhh, yeah!!!" The Leader emphatically confirmed.  "They know about me, all right!  Eliminating me is pretty high on their agenda.  In fact, it's probably their primary goal!  The suckers haven't been able to pull it off because I keep staying one step ahead of them.  Last year, they launched a torpedo toward The Sea Gypsy, but my anti-missile device destroyed it; blew it right out of the air!  I expect the attempts on my life to continue coming.  And all the while, I've taken the attitude: Hit me with your best shot, losers!

        "Why do they want to kill you," Ralph inquired.

        "See, I'm their number one enemy because I fight for the liberation of humanity, and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, they strive day and night for our subjugation.  I'm the biggest threat to their dastardly aims.

        "They've been around for eons, long before Homo-Sapiens came on the cosmic scene.  The list of violations they've inflicted on us throughout the ages is too numerous to recount.  They implanted the reprehensible idea of slavery into the minds of statesmen.  Electroshock 'therapy' was their invention, along with a host of other psychiatric practices.  Psychiatry, itself, was their formation!  It started with the erroneous doctrine of eugenics, which heavily influenced Hitler's thinking.  Eugenics ultimately inspired Nazi ideology and, thereby, formed the philosophical foundation for their crimes against humanity.  'Weed out the inferiors' and all that garbage.  In today's society, they've succeeded in pushing brain damaging drugs, such as Ritalin, on millions of children."

        "How do they manage to get by with all this horrible stuff?" asked Ralph, appalled.

        "Well, first off, you've got to realize that the Milifens are extremely intelligent.  Plus, they have amazing supernatural powers; some of which are innate, other abilities they've developed through their own ingenious efforts.  And, on the operational level, they are overlords of a secret society which they created thousands of years ago.  As evil as they are, there are people on this Earth who follow and serve them."

        "Why do they do that?" Ralph queried.



        "Well, mainly for personal gain -- the trade-off of social status and material possessions which the Milifen provide.  But here's the thing that's really scary: a certain percentage of the human members of the cult are actually related to the Milifen by blood."

        "Whoa!!!" exclaimed Ralph.  "Aliens in disguise!"

        "They're the ones that hold the really high positions in politics, banking, the legal system, the military, the media, and so forth."

        "Amazing," said Ralph, shaking his head.

        The Leader went on.  "When the Milifen first came to Earth in their spaceships, they captured the prettiest women they could find and turned them into sex slaves.  Well, the children they sired came out of the womb either dead or grotesquely deformed.  So they practiced infanticide on a regular basis.  However, some of the babies were basically normal looking, in comparison to the freaks.  These were the ones they kept.  They were obviously neither all human nor all alien; just as when whites and blacks interbreed, the offspring is discernably a mixture of the two -- most of the time.  So they established breeding camps that strictly regulated whom mated with whom.  The half-breeds were usually paired up with pure Earthlings, but that wasn't always the case!  It's always been a matter of whether they want to make the concentration of blood thicker or thinner.  Even today, they'll often assign full-blooded Milifen to replenish their hybrid bloodline if they think the genes are becoming too diluted.

        "After a few generations, it was hard to tell, except to the most perceptive eye, that someone had a Milifen ancestor.  That's EXACTLY what the Milifen wanted!  Their eyes were blue instead of pink; their hair was blonde instead of pure white; and their skin was pinkish instead of ivory.  They still looked different, but not as different as the original hybrids.  The Nordic people already had these characteristics and it was a tough task to tell the two apart.  Third and fourth generational hybrids were necessary for them to fulfill their goal of world conquest because they wanted to cover-up their domination of the populace in order to deter rebellion.  See, we've always outnumbered them, and in the early stages of their arrival we might have been able to resist and defeat them.  But, by now, their stock has so thoroughly infiltrated and corrupted society--on so many levels--that sometimes I feel the cause is hopeless.  Politics, finance, law, and even communication systems would almost have to be obliterated in order to curb their deleterious influence.  What's more, even if I tried to educate the public on this subject, they'd just laugh at me in disbelief.  Most people do not even have a clue about what's going on.  However, the original hybrids were privy to the plan from the start [because they were initiated into the secret society], and their descendants are involved in the conspiracy to this day."

        "Someone ought to squash those Milifen pricks!" Ralph grumbled.

        The Leader chuckled and responded, "Don't worry; they'll get what's coming to them!  There IS something called 'karma.' "

        "So, their primary objective is to keep us under their thumbs?" Ralph said, seeking clarification.

        "Well, that's definitely one of their objectives.  But their primary objective is to discover the 'secret within the secret.'  They roam the galaxy in search of it.  They're obsessed with it because of the unlimited power it would grant them."

        "What's the secret within the secret?" Ralph asked in excitement.  He was thoroughly fascinated by the mysterious sounding concept of a deep secret hidden inside another secret.

        "It's a secret," The Leader simply replied.  Then he grinned out of amusement for withholding it from his curious, young guest.

        "Do you know it?" Ralph probed.

        The Leader nodded, still smiling.

        "Are you sure you can't tell me?" he implored.



        The Leader's face turned serious, and he said, "Ralph, if you knew the secret within the secret, you could move mountains.  You could wipe out the Milifen in an instant.  By possessing knowledge of the secret within the secret, I have that power.  But I choose to practice self-restraint and not use my power for ethical reasons.  See, I have a responsibility to the universe to allow events to unfold without my own God-like intervention.  I'm NOT God, and I don't want to play the role of God!  However, there is a stipulation!  Currently, the forces of evil are reigning supreme in the cosmos.  If I ever conclude that evil is on the verge of engulfing goodness, I will resort to employing the secret within the secret to prevent that from happening.  I simply won't sit back and allow wickedness to achieve final, ultimate victory!"

        "Oh, okay," Ralph submitted, mildly dejected.  "I understand why you don't want to let me in on the secret within the secret: you think it'd be too much of a temptation for me, and I'd use it unwisely."

        "Exactly!  I'm sure you've heard the adage, 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely!"

        "Yeah.  But that rule obviously doesn't apply to you since you have absolute power and you're not corrupted in the least."

        "That's because I'm 'The Leader!'  I'm a highly advanced individual."  His rationale was followed by a wink and a grin.  It was in playful abeyance of his humble virtue.

        "Of course!  That's clearly the reason!  I should have realized it right off the bat; I guess I had a mental lapse.  Please forgive me for momentarily failing to recognize your uncontested greatness!"

        "Well, all right... but don't let it happen again!"

        "Yes, sir, your Majesty!"  They were having fun joking around.

        Ralph suddenly had a serious thought: "Do you mind me asking how much you paid for that crystal ball?  I bet it cost a fortune."

        "Actually, it was free!  The one and only time I shopped in that thrift store, the owner gave it to me.  Her name was Gayle Rosedale.  She was in poor health, and she knew she wouldn't live much longer.  She was a Gypsy and it was a foregone conclusion that her tribe would reclaim the crystal ball following her death.  But after we conversed for about an hour, she called me 'The Great One' and then she spontaneously presented me with the wonderful gift.  I guess I really impressed that old woman.  I liked her, as well!  She inspired the name of this yacht, which was in the process of being built at the time.  It's the personification of her free spirit wandering the high seas."

        Ralph was enchanted and said, "That's the most fantastic thing I've ever heard!  Your life is like a fairy tale, Mr. Leader.  You're truly blessed!"

        The Leader perceived the celebrity stowaway in precisely the same light.  "Ralph, think of all the great things that have happened to you of late.  Your life is also like a fairy tale.  True, it got off to a rotten start, but look at the miraculous turn-around you've experienced!  You're just as blessed as me, if not more so!  It would've been impossible for you to get to this place in time without divine intervention!  You know that, don't you?!"

        "Yes, my Leader, I know!  And I'm exceedingly grateful to God for all he's done for me!"

        The adventurous conclave concluded with some parting words, a handshake, and a hug.

        When Ralph returned to Angel in their luxurious suite, she inquired how the meeting had gone.  His stealthy reply was, "It was pretty boring.  All he did was talk about his favorite classical musicians, most of whom I'd never even heard of before.  But I enjoyed the freshly brewed tea he served me."

        "See, honey, I told you that you didn't have anything to worry about!" she said, oblivious to what had really taken place in The Leader's office.  There were some things that Ralph knew he had to keep secret... even from his beloved wife!