In writing Diablo Canyon, I enjoyed the discussions between those in the spirit world as much as the human characters. Naturally, this is purely imagination for what that spirit world might be like... Of course, it is :)
A disturbance around them settled in. They looked toward the female form that had joined them—Aretha. “What are you doing here?” Justus asked using an officious tone.
“Exclusive territory is it?” Her smile was sly.
“Not saying that but there are protocols and assignments.”
“And oversight,” Aretha retorted.
“Oversight?” they repeated simultaneously.
“You two have let this become too personal. You aren’t paying attention to the bigger picture as you argue with each other. I am here to moderate.”
“He assigned you?” Remus asked.
“She did.” Aretha grinned as the other two sighed with resignation. “Do either of you remember the purpose of being a guide?” she asked.
“Of course,” Justus snapped. “It’s to encourage our person to reach their fullest life potential.
“And who decides that,” she asked. Even though he had said much the same thing, Remus resented her smug tone. He then was angry with himself for revealing an inferior human response to correction.
“They do before they are reborn.”
“And that still holds even when it’s not the choice of your charge?” Aretha obviously knew she had them by her confident smile.
“Even then,” Justus said unwilling give up.
“So no free will?”
“I am not trying to limit Clayton’s will,” he argued even as his expression indicated he knew he’d lost the debate.
“Except you have been guiding, really since birth, a man particularly attuned to going within. You now want to block his free will because it doesn’t suit your perceived plan for the proper path. It’s all because you’ve made up your mind what his current life plan should be.”
“It was the agreement.” Justus thrust his thumb toward Remus. “You’re on his side.”
“No, I’m on the side of guides doing their jobs, which doesn’t mean making up their minds what it must be. Life isn’t set that rigidly is it?”
“They are not supposed to be together this go round. You know how it works when they come together,” he argued. “You remember all the times they came together and look at what happened.”
“Fate can also play a part.”
Justus gave a disgusted snort. “Well the idea this time was they stay apart to develop self-control.”
“Worked great, didn’t it?” Aretha asked laughing as they watched the subtle byplay with the couple.
Remus wondered what made her in such a good mood about this. He might disagree with Justus in trying to brainwash his charge; still, this was not how it had been laid out—at least he didn’t think it was. Was there more here than he had been told?