The water of the Pacific Ocean was black. A pale pre-dawn light cast a glow on all features of the land, but the water remained dark as pitch.

And then...

Then the glowing disk of the sun peeked up over the horizon. First a sliver, slowing growing to a half circle. Its brilliance slashed through the few clouds in the sky, looking full.

Burning color traced its way across the water; red, orange, and yellow began to clash with the familiar blue. The water looked clean, clear, and healthy.

The light of morning sped on, hitting the eastern edge of the Land of the Rising Sun, and creeping somewhat slower into the waters of Edo Bay. It ran straight up against the city, giving the buildings a stark, two-tone, contrast of dark and light.

The few people out at the early morning hour stopped to watch the sunrise. It was no different than any other day before it, but something seemed... almighty about it.

A few, in the right area, had their eyes captivated by one certain building. Standing squat and somewhat flush with its surroundings but nevertheless dominating, the UltraDome seemed ethreal that morning; if only for a moment. A slight pinkish hue lit up the edges of the silver-grey structure. This glowing salmon color reminded those who saw it, for that briefest glimpse, of something unearthly. Something well known, but magical, like the laugh of a newborn child.

Then it passed. For a pause, they kept watching, hoping the effect would continue. But it did not, and they shrugged and continued with their business.

Lina Inverse, sorceress-supreme dragon and bandit slayer cum Lord of All Creation, watched the sun rise and determined that it was good. Once again, thanks to the Power of the Almighty, the sun had risen.

Or not, really. The original holder of the office had been pretty astute about these things. He (or she) had set Creation up to be pretty self controlling. The universe was in a state of general equilibrium and would return to that equilibrium if put off balance. Also, getting it off the equilibrium took energy. So the sun rose every day not because Lina (or Jack or Kasumi or even Kasumi's predecessor) willed it, but because the orbits and rotations of the planets were the Way Things Worked.

She sighed. "What's the point of me doing anything, then?" she wondered. She looked down at the masses who more or less comprised her flock. "They don't really believe, do they. Before Kasumi started her show, at least, most of them didn't."

She watched the sun rise higher in the sky, the last bit of it releasing the horizon, soft as a kiss. "And what good does it all do if I can be beaten back by a legal technicality?"

"Anou... Lina-san?"

"Kasumi?" Lina's ears perked up slightly. She turned quickly, and then her spirits fell just a bit. "Oh, Belldandy, sorry. You're a lot like her, you know."

"That's very kind of you, Lina-san."

"So, what can I do for you? Miracles are my specialty, now." Lina smiled. "They're a bit more versatile than your average black magic."

A small smile crept across the Norn Goddess's face. "I don't need anything, Lina-san. You just sounded troubled."

Lina grimaced. "Ah, it's just this whole Xelloss thing. He ALWAYS knows how to bug the hell out of me, and I can't help thinking that that's the only reason he's doing this." She lapsed into silence. She put her elbows on the balcony bannister and cupped her chin in her arms.

Belldandy stepped up beside Lina, but instead just rested her hands lightly.

"What was he like, Belldandy?"

"Um... who?"

"Um, Him... God. Kasumi's predecessor."

"Oh. He was flakey."

Lina stared at the Goddess. "Flakey?"

Belldandy nodded affirmatively. "Yes. He was not the original, however."

"And what was He like?"

Belldandy was silent for so long, Lina thought she wasn't going to answer, but then. "He was... just."

"Just..." Lina thought over that. "You mean like fair?"

Belldandy shook her head. "No, he never claimed to be fair. But he loved all people, and he was... just."

"Hmm... Just and loving."

"Very much so."

"But not... fair? Hmm..."

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