Part 3 WORLD WAR III
CHAPTER 8 RED MIST
The undisputed, unelected, commander in chief of the human experience. Fear oversees the collective, from the entirety of humankind, to the sub sects we’ve divided into. It orchestrates the economy, sociological constructs, wars, chaos, order and disorder on the macro level. It augments words from tongues, tweaks brain signals before they are fired off to their respective body part. Even the fearless anoint them-selves as such, from a fear of another thinking they are. Fear has the final say in actions, decisions, and emotions. It creates the atlas of the neurological super highway in each individual. It rations our level of happiness, sadness, love, confidence, stability, fulfillment, anger, guilt and everything in between. It’s a checkpoint that stops every rational or logically constructed thought and has the power to block it.
Fear is a weapon.
The wiser, using the term loosely, who grow privy to this, have weapon zed it against its prey. By creating mythology, through which they portend to have some greater knowledge than you, the “individual”, they’ve attacked the basic human psyche. They hoodwink your trust and exploit your fear. They construct a set of morals and ethics that deceivingly appear righteous, and order you to abide. In doing so, you earn a ticket to Heaven when you die. A better tomorrow is an easy notion to sell. If you don’t abide, you will go to Hell, or you may be stuck in purgatory. At the very least, your admittance into eternal bliss in the afterlife is in grave jeopardy. Our intrinsic nature is to survive. when a greater understanding of why this is, happens to be unanswerable, an individual’s yearning for such knowledge makes them vulnerable to subscribe to one. Once the crowd mentality adopts one in common, your conviction needs to be unreasonably unbreakable to defy it. The simple choice is to jump in with both feet. As an infant, you’re dependent on your parents. If they accept an ideal, so do you. If your life’s journey opens your mind through experience, you have a chance at usurping this captivity. but if that experience only finds you encountering other sects that claim their version is right, you’re not eager to hop on board. If these people seem more akin to you and you develop a deep human connection, then perhaps you’ll convert. The point is missed at this exact moment. You don’t have to pick from a handful of theories that have been postulated by intellectual salesmen. Those who escape succumbing to this allure, ultimately realize that nobody knows the truth. Nobody can possibly know the truth, beyond what we feel inside. Instincts, plus experience, processed by a well natured soul, are the traits that create harmony on Earth. This opens your mind to the most intriguing, mind-blowing opportunity a human can experience here. Congratulations, you’re now playing Lila, the Divine Game.
Fear in the right hands, renders Fear powerless.
What if you get to design your afterlife? If another human was able to devise his or her code of moral and ethical purity, and divulge the key to accessing his Heaven, why can’t you?
It’s just as plausible that this is true. While you are here, why not believe that? I imagine that will make your day-to-day life, much less straining. It will free your conscious to savor every beautiful moment here. The merit with which the others postulate their truth is no more viable than any other.
CHAPTER 8 RED MIST
Three subtle knocks pierced the soundless void of an old man’s cell. At the back of the apathetic stone enclosure, he sat upright on a bed of shrubs and cloth. The impatient genius and captor of the church, had his face hiding in his palms, while his elbows rested sternly on his knees. Certain as to the identity of his visitor, a grin or relief appeared and he sprang to his feet.
“You made it!”
“Indeed I have Sir. My name is..”
“I know who you are.”
“I’d like to say, it is of the utmost honor to make your acquaintance. Are you dealing well with this ungodly circumstance you’ve been absurdly resigned to?” the visitor lamented.
“Thank you, I’ll be fine, but that’s not important. Your arrival is what matters, well done young man.”
The old man grabbed a thick book with countless rag pages, filled entirely with black ink. Timelines, instructions, philosophies, and diagrams covered every spec of the surfaces.
“I’ve included some ideas for how we can authenticate, or validate the four of you through the duration of time. It’s imperative we think ahead and precede with prudence to detail. A consortium of minds that think like we do, can’t risk a senseless setback due to identity protest. As of today, and moving forward, your foursome is known as “the Firebrand.” You my boy, are the Ghost. It’s all in the dossier. The others will now be the Creator, the Chemist and the Philosopher.”
“And you’re confident that the leaders will trust that these are your wishes?”
“I’ve included a letter that I want you to read at the next meeting in Peru. All of the timeless names will be there. That way, the words will come from my pen, in the same writing that beholds the secret to quantum mechanics. Once my discovery is shared with the others, they must urgently begin working. If my idea proves capable, you four, will be integral to my plan. Consequently, you’ll become the executers of what will be a critical mission, tantamount to the survival of our species.”
“Thank you sir, we are honored to be held to such an esteem by a man of your valor.”
“It’s your calling. It’s our calling. Each member of our society has been imbued with an attribute or ability that excels any of its kind among humans. With that compels us a responsibility. It’s no coincidence we’ve all found each other through the dredges of life.”
“I agree Nicolas.”
“Go on. Get there and get these materials where they need to be. I don’t need to tell you of the importance here. I bid you good luck and a safe journey.”
June, 25th, 1951
Red mist hanged like a martyr, in the infinite sea air. The vastness is punctuated with a never-ending smattering of stars, endlessly spilling beyond the bounds of the universe. The all-encompassing Earth was in full focus, from its sun beaming her rays against her moon, Exploding light over the horizon. Jonathan’s fickle lucidity, straddled the line of life and the unknowable. It’s that grey area, where spirit and fate do their deliberating. The skin of Adalia’s arm, cold and colorless, rests over the aft of their impish lifeboat. Her hand, alive, only from another source of life, clenches the pendant, while it’s chain drags in the water. One of her favorite philosophical debates, was Kant’s question, “are we in this world, or of this world?” Jonathan jars himself back to life, to discover that she just found the answer. Her lifeless body, rested, half on his numb legs, while her top half drapes over the edge. With the purity, grace and dignity that comprised her essence, she left him a painless and soothing expression. A look that assured him, this was not a farewell . Jonathan knows why. He may be the only human alive who knows, but this knowledge provides him the comfort he needed to finish the mission. Still, the sand pouring through the hourglass, cannot be reasoned with. He lunged for the pendant and tucked it safely in the inside pocket of his pants, while he began to assess his surroundings. Facing westward, the seaboard is just meters away. To the East, there was not a ship in sight. Of the few humans left, he is comfortably, right where he wants to be. Where he has to be.
CHAPTER 9 ZIETGIEST
June 25, 1951
Lila’s Kitchen became the defacto ground zero for the townspeople to gather together and discuss the disappearance. The local favorite, is a typical greasy spoon that has enjoyed its landmark status by being the best. Its menu hasn’t changed since it opened, and that date, while not known, is inarguably long enough to be impressive. They do a unique perspective on the classics. Lila grows and cultivates all of the ingredients by herself, with the same love and passion that she creates with. The atmosphere is soothing without a hint of dullness. But the real appeal, was that, whatever the time or circumstance, you’re assured to be in the company of friends.
A 5-year-old young girl shuffled restlessly in her booth. She had lifted the scarf and a sunglass from her mother, seated to her right, and was doing a bit of role-playing with her friend, one booth behind her.
“I hereby elect myself as the next Adalia,” with an unconvincing adult voice impression.
“I’ve got everything it takes. I’m beautiful, and rich and all the town’s men will fight over me, mark my words.”
The other child giggled, enough to make her carry on the charade.
Their playfulness, as innocent natured as it was, had a robust magnetism to it. The voices carried. The patrons tuned in. Their own parents were oblivious to this ill-timed child’s play, which was not uncommon here. But as the collective demonstrated change, the restaurants patrons came to a screeching silence, and fixed their gaze on this awkward happening.
As the child continued to list the attributes she was to embody to become the next town socialite, in mid sentence, suddenly stopped. She faced a captive audience by this point. All expression of vitality, playfulness and youthful joy vanished, in place of a blank dark hole in her eyes. At this very moment, her shoulders lifted, stomach retreated and she vomited all over both party’s booths.
CHAPTER 10 URSA MAJOR AND URSA MINOR
June, 25th, 1951
The hill was dizzy with town’s people after Adalia’s procession came to a premature ending in light of the unexpected guests. A fevered pitch was brewing among the silence, demanding that someone break it with an introduction.
Four men emerged as the spokesmen for the River People. They introduced themselves as the Chemist, the Creator, the Ghost and the Philosopher. Gentle mannered and with a very delicate approach, the Creator stepped forward.
“We wholly empathize with your consternation in regards to our untimely and uninvited arrival. Particularly when considering the circumstance that has befallen your people. I assure you, even for us, this occasion comes pestered with anxiety. We’ve been anticipating this day for a good deal of time now, and anticipated it to be a difficult one,” the Creator continued. “It is our hope that your instincts can speak to our peaceful nature and purpose for emerging under this condition.”
The hushed crowd began to murmur, before someone stepped forward to reply.
“Excuse me if this sounds a bit aggressive, but I’m sure you can sympathize, with the magnitude of what you’re telling us,” asserted one of the townspeople. “Our world has existed this way through generations, with no real sociological trouble, and I think it safe to say, we’re a happy lot. Until this tragic killing, the only variable in our contented stability has been the mystery of your people. And you have to admit, it’s a bit disconcerting that you’ve chosen such a curious time to reveal yourselves and adduce solidarity while we’re burying a beloved member of our people.”
Another figurehead among the townspeople continued, “In our weakened and stunned state, your essence does speak to your nature, but all that our people believe about you is that you are predators to us. It’s clear that you come baring no threat, or any intent to engage us in battle. So what is it that you’re after? And to be frank, after what has happened here, we could use the solidarity.”
“That is taken with a warm heart and deep gratitude. Still, there is the issue of who we are and why we are here, which is something we want to disclose fully to you all. Can you assemble a few of your town’s representatives to sit down and discuss something of pressing and critical importance?” the Creator beckoned.
“Of course,” another townsperson replied. She circled her head towards the gathered crowd and gestured with her eyes to some of the others. “Let’s head to Sapphire yeah?”
Both parties gathered and headed back into town to talk, while the rest ambled about the hill.
June, 25th, 1951
Jonathan and Adalia discreetly edged their way towards the perimeter of the crowd while the attention was pulled towards the parade of white. They were on the precipice of submerging into the overwhelming mission that lay before them.
The crowd was expected to head south around the bay, to the Divine Cemetery, before dispersing to an ominous evening. Jonathan learned by now not to waste time with questions. He followed Adalia North along the lake towards the entrance of the forest. Jonathan’s tendons recoiled, and his joints stiffened. He’d had always been able to forecast a thunderstorm within minutes because of these physical symptoms induced by electromagnetic particles swirling in the atmosphere.
Heavy gusts of wind preamble a torrent of thunder and rain. The nimbostratus clouds canvassed the sky within minutes. As his crash course in the fundaments of ‘being,’ pressed on, it was clear that nature’s uproar was anything but random. Somehow, this was another message transmitted from the Source. They charged into the congesting cast of trees. The path was not only familiar, it was becoming an ally. In the urgency of their quest, Adalia unexpectedly stopped and turned to face him. She braced his arms and aimed for his eyes. In their brief, but profoundly deep connection, the eye embrace signified that something important was about to be shared.
“The Cave is not exactly what it appears to be Jonathan,” she shouted to overpower the howling nature.
June, 25th, 1951
The procession had ended a bit ago, and the seductively vibrant tapestry was swelling with legions of townspeople. The implications of what had happened had only begun to unravel. Confusion about the white clad strangers who’d emerged from the trees, was quickly quelled, despite the many years it had been cloaked in a nefarious legend. Through folklore, a fear was born. This fear, birthed by an unknown source, at an unknown time, had shackled the people of Madina Lake. Just a collection of words, eschewed from a stranger’s tongue to a captivate set of ears propelled this fallacy. The implications of which, gained increasing vitality until this falsehood became an undisputed truth. It was a gripping example of perception’s stranglehold on reality. A tale, surreptitiously, weaved its way through the generations, unchallenged. Time served to inflate its magnitude, and seared a false brand among the common consensus. Until today, the nefarious “River People,” quelled any adventurous or curious minds from exploring this magnificent land. It fostered stagnancy and complacency. This ailing consciousness permeated the collective and on an individual basis. The scope of their existence was compressed to a small spectrum of a general self. The effects of which are infinite when analyzed.
There is an innate curiosity in the human species that, arguably, propels a society forward. If you castrate a people of this instinct, a shift in value will occur. At this point in time, Madina Lake’s character had dangerously shifted. The gravity applied to vibrational harmony was heisted. The subsequent vacuum was overtaken with a different set of means to fulfillment. And that is the fate these humans would succumb to, bringing them to the brink of collapse on a micro level, as it already had on the macro level. What they didn’t know was that they represented the last bastion of hope for the survival of a species.
Arlene’s ideology was devoid of hierarchy. Darwinism is guided by a natural, and uncontrollable evolution. But it also shouldn’t serve to qualify a human’s worth. One can’t reasonably portend that everyone is created equal. But neither can one assume that a thinking species is sentenced to their lot in life based on their genetic composition. Even if this logic prevailed, to remove the nurturing aspect would be downright reprehensible. Sadly, this is the path of the townspeople. There is a soul in each human that has an insatiable need for acceptance. An all embracing collective should have sufficed. Since individuals learned that they could ‘have’ more, they wanted more. They wanted everything. Balance has fallen by the way of a one-dimensional scale, tipped to the ground by foolish desire, coupled with unmerited entitlement.
A new hope blossomed from the harrowing events of June 23rd. Tragedy has a curious ability to recalibrate a collective mentality. Adalia’s martyrdom will be stained in time, as the event that extracted this truth from its subconscious dwellings, to the forefront of importance.
While the townspeople intermingled with their new guests, an enlightened energy was palpable. Even still, this natural union alone, wouldn’t be enough to free The Firebrand and River People from the daunting task of informing. They would have to go to great lengths to color this blank canvas with a clear picture of what was happening.
June 25, 1951
Jonathan was slightly alarmed at the intense tone adhered to Adalia’s words.
She continued, “None of this is what you think. I can only imagine what these last few days have been like for you, but your fortitude has been invaluable to what’s happening. When I found you, I summonsed the Firebrand. We invested everything in your character, and we were right. It’s not over yet. Soon, I won’t be here, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be gone, ok?”
“First of all, you radiate a stillness that wakes in me a faith and conviction to act without internal dialogue. So I should be thanking you for my subverted confidence,” he declared. “But what is it that’s compelling you to tell me this? What does this mean?”
“You need to go to the cave. You’ll see the torch at the entrance, like the last time. Just inside of the East end of the entrance, there is a stack of three rocks. Underneath it is buried a compass, a map and a photograph. On the map, there is a symbol of a circle bisected with four letter A’s. That marks your location. Follow the path to the “Tetra Yuga” symbol.”
“The Tetra…” he quipped.
“It’s an 8 pointed star, I’ll spare you the origin. This marks the highest elevation in the mountains. Once you reach the ridge, you will be able to see what lies beyond the confines of Madina Lake. Take the photograph and hold it against the horizon. If the other side of the mountain matches the photograph, we are well ahead of the enemy. If it doesn’t,” she hesitated, “Well, Madina Lake has been found and the intensely complicated access channels, have been discovered. We’re running out of time.”
He paused briefly, “What is it that I will be looking at if it doesn’t?”
“It’s called Scorched Earth. It means that humans have passed the threshold of what Earth will tolerate. In essence, our species is no longer welcomed here.”
“Once I find out, what do I do with the knowledge?”
“Go to the cemetery where they will have buried who they believe to be me, and find my headstone. It will have a few scriptures carved in the stone. At the bottom, will be a Crescent moon carving. They use that when they don’t know the family name of the deceased, as I’m sure you know. Find something to carve out the moon. If I’ve done my job, that’s where I’ll hide the pendant. Jonathan. The fate of humanity rests within the contents of this pendant.”
“Ok..” he nodded, attempting to display an expression that contradicted his true emotion of fear.
“Are you familiar with Lucille?”
“The eccentric, soothsayer, fortune teller type….”
“Yes, that’s the one. It may interest you to know that she is older than anyone that ever lived here. In fact, she doesn’t actually live here.”
“She’s not human. She’s an apparition. Due to the nature of her death, she wasn’t able to access the Astral planes. Her energy is stuck here, and her consciousness is still with her. She is the point person for the Firebrand because she is able to receive transmissions from other realms. That’s what she’s doing with that crystal ball, and that’s how the Firebrand knows when they need to drop an Auspice to deliver a message. If you encounter any challenges, keep on eye out for her. She generally finds a way to help people with their hurdles. Moving on, once you’ve got the pendant in your possession, meet me at Mytsic Bay!” she shouted as the winds howled.
The level of intellect between these two rendered any formal goodbye wasteful of time. Instead, they allowed their eyes to lock for a brief moment, which proved to express more than any ritualistic gesture could anyways. Down he raced towards the Cave, without paying mind to the high likelihood that he may never see her again. This notion, had he belabored the issue, would have unexpectedly pained his heart. Jonathan is a man of intuition and decides in the first seconds of meeting someone, the depth of which they’re capable of connecting. Adalia, of course, operated with this same sort of sixth sense, and the chemistry between them was undeniable.
June 25, 1951
The River People and the townspeople carried on with their newfound friends. Down in the town center, the four Firebrand, flanked by two River People, began its meeting with the leaders of Madina Lake. They sat in a quaint building on the edge of an unusually vacant Sapphire Square. This is the place that most everything happens in Madina Lake, including the seldom, but now necessary council affairs.
“You must, by now, have been keenly aware that there is plenty more Earth beyond this natural fortress. Your admirable approach to such a supposition is something that we’ve been responsible for preserving. This beautiful and mystifying land, was no accident. Nor were any of its inhabitants. The natural part is genuine, but the settlement part was not. A group was transplanted here many hundreds of years ago. There’s a great irony about the perception of this circumstance and its reality. Until now, your people regarded us as a threat or a fear. In actuality, we’ve been here protecting you from a most certainly imminent attack or infestation. Our anonymity was critical to the effort’s success. Unfortunately, fear was decidedly our best option. ”
The communicating townsperson remained level, “But who, or what is your organization, and how long has this been going on?”
“We are the ambassadors of an elite group, comprised of the most brilliant minds ever born. Astronomers, physicists, scientists, so brilliant in fact, that their discoveries were often ahead of their time and as such, found their genius to be threatening. Most would suffer murder, imprisonment or exile. Either it was a scientific breakthrough that violated the churches word of God, and was deemed Blasphemous, or its revolutionary sociological ideas threatened to hijack the power majority from a King and his men. I realize some of these concepts make little sense to you and we expect your skepticism. So please, ask anything that strikes you as curious. We’ve done our best to slip literature into your library, or bookshelves, so at least you’d have an idea of what we we’re doing here when the time came. Sadly, it has been increasingly difficult to reach the minds of your people. This led us to believe that they got to you first.”
“Who are they’?” inquired Emma of the townspeople.
“It’s the force that is opposing our species. A rogue evil, whose ideology dictates they have no regard for the species, has permeated into the masses. They’re called the “Criminals.” Your people are shell-shocked by the murder. They think it is Adalia in that casket, and as it should be irrelevant, carrying the same tragic weight as any murder, it’s not. But we initially worried that because they think it was Adalia, the whole town would spiral in an uproar.”
“Are you telling us that Adalia is still alive? Who’s body did we recover from the lake?”
“Pandora,” decreed the Creator. He added,” The corpse being that of Pandora, shouldn’t diminish the outcry. And who knows if it would have. But regardless, for us, this was the tell that your town has been infiltrated. These people I speak of are the ones who coordinated the killing. They are a savage, reckless people, with no regard for the basic decency of humanity. They’re takers. They feel that our time here on this beautiful planet should be spent in an endless war to attain as much for themselves as possible. They’re aware of the balance and harmony that is governs the functionality of our Earth, but they don’t care. They are the ego driven.”
Our plan was to deploy a team to remove Adalia from your society, leaving the impression that there was foul play. We concluded that this would be an innocuous way to force your people to re-evaluate the lifestyle being enacted and encouraged through reward. When we were made privy to the actual heinous and violent murder, that was our cue to act with such urgency,” continued the Chemist.
“Before we sink to those depths, can someone explain who the River People are, and what their correlation to all of this is?” she interjected.
“This battle has raged on for thousands of years. Gradually, but with an unbending upwards trajectory, our side has fallen in grave numbers to the Criminals. As the population booms, every newborn is instilled with either side’s essence. Every battle we win, births an enlightened soul that reflects the altruistic being that our species was intended. These are the River People. They represent the souls that have enlightened to the vibrational harmony of Earth. While our lot was busy discovering quantum physics, we neglected the basics. We adhered to the adage of quality over quantity, with complete disregard to the power of numbers. Their quantity surged at a head spinning rate and now we are in this precarious place.”
The Ghost took lead, “Our forefathers had the impeccable insight to anticipate their influence grabbing hold of the masses. An entire world exists out there, filled with billions of people in different sub sects and territories. Rich with authentic cultures of their own, and beautiful rituals, which at one point could co-exist with our host. At this time, our group had determined that the battle was largely being lost. Their infestation of ideals, values and morals had gathered a strong foothold. If this constituency grew to comprise 86% of the global population, we were to deploy a complex course of action. The consequence, should we fail, would ultimately eradicate the species, and perhaps the planet, all together. The struggle for power, and greed crossed with advances in science and technology, created weapons that are capable of destroying the planet. In advance of this fear, our people procured a seed bank. This bank contains fertile seeds for every type of natural human necessity in the eco-system. When the day comes that scorches the earth, this is the key to its survival. As far as humanity? This is why Madina Lake exists. This is the only place on Earth where each species of plant, fruit, vegetables, and the rest, can flourish a burgeoning society. This is the only place on Earth that was designed in such a way that even their most hideous creation couldn’t reach. Madina Lake’s society consists of seventy-six different bloodlines. We calculated that this would insure the cultural diversity of our species and encourage cross-pollinating if you will, for an even deeper wealth of character. Sadly my friends, we’ve underestimated the enemy. They’ve reached their critical mass and this day we must react is here. The troubling part is how some degree of the enemy has managed to seep through already.”
CHAPTER 11 SCORCHED EARTH
Jonathan’s mind was captivated by the series of horrors that had it surrounded. It wasn’t compelled by intrigue, a fiercer opponent captured it. An elusive, and intrinsically superior opponent, whose force usurped his human mind and demanded his instinct to take over. His logic surrendered to the comprehension that this entity is beyond human border. It exists inside and outside of human ability to interpret the world.
“Chemicals?” he thought to himself. This was an invitation for an exchange of dialogue. That is something our capabilities can deliver. For the first time, I was able to deploy the human’s unique ability to think. The word “chemicals” is unambiguous in many respects, and certainly when served from a sinister tongue. Chemicals are manmade. Natural gases are chemicals too.
The over arching tone of whatever is happening in Madina Lake, or perhaps even beyond, revolves around a battle. Not just a battle between two factions, but also one that seems to be backed by the order of the objective world. The species have a malignant cancer that disrupts the natural balance and order of Earth. The cancer is unique in that its symptoms include personality traits, such as greed, and power. Chemical is synonymous with manipulation. Medicine is an unnatural combination of compounds that would never, under ordinary circumstance, have combined naturally. When administered, it floods the blood stream and attacks agents. This can easily be contended by the healing intentions they are created for. However, human behavior changes when intoxicated. Highs can be squandered and lows compressed. Troubles can be temporarily numbed, while the source of the anguish is never addressed. This path of thinking could serve to quell his anxiety. The noticed the sediment when he lit the oil lamp was limestone. If the cave was underground, it is possible, if not likely, that the sweet taste on his tongue was another clue. Ethylene. Ethylene is a natural gas that can induce hallucinations in the mind. It also leaves a sweet taste in the mouth. In studying ancient Greece. The Oracles at Delphi delivered prophesies after chewing on Laurel tree leaves and inhaling this narcotic entrancing gas that seeped up from fissures in the Earth. This gas was Ethylene. Delphi was built over a limestone rock base. While insightful, the epiphany served only to perpetuate the core of manipulation.
He casted aside the notion for now, but imagined this discovery will be valuable at some juncture of this chaos.
Jonathan started to regain feeling in his physical body again. He felt who he was again. The blackness began to flicker. His experience was projected onto a screen of blackness. Yet, he refused to accept that it had been a dream. How can a real conscious experience, conclude as a dream without the transition of falling asleep? Furthermore, how can a human exist simultaneously in both? Then again, how had it always been able to? The voice shouted its last sentiment as it seemed to fade away, “It’s possible to kill you in your dream Jonathan! You won’t always be awakened within seconds of your death! However your mind tries to convince you that you comprehend this, I dare you to discard the gravity of this truth when you wake. This will immortalize as you wake and taunt you while its henchman hunt you. Remember to tell them that you had the great misfortune of meeting Mr. Bigsby down here!” The voice screamed with a hideous cackle. “the last voice I ever heard on Earth was a guy named Bigsby!” he cackled on, “Tell everyone old Johnny old boy!”
This entity had effectively overpowered the soothing force of the last, which referred to himself as the “Ghost.” It sucked a sizable degree of fortitude from Jonathan’s impenetrable conviction.
When the last wave of hope curls and fades into the sand, there was a profound weightlessness that enveloped him. He let go. He unclenched his mind, body and spirit, leaving its fate to chance.
It was soon after this that there seemed to be something going on independent of him in this bizarre realm. Since the sensory traits of this place were so unusual, every action was more of a feeling than the normal human reality. For the first time since he’d arrived here, it felt like two opposing entities were in there with him. A metaphysical duality of two forces. The balance it created regenerated some spirit inside Jonathan, although the intensity grew fast. It was as if an ego was fighting its host mind to the bloody death. It was the Ghost. There was a sense of purpose coming from the Ghost, but as they raged on and on, it’s objective was unclear. Jonathan wasn’t grasping what he felt the Ghost was incessantly attempting to give him.
He raised his hands and gripped his head like a vice. Nothing can silence what isn’t truly noise. Instead, it’s a robust and insidious stream of power that forces a man to use any attributes he has to make it stop. His two minds, each bore a spirited conviction, and both were flanked with an objective manipulator, there to insure its own agenda.
The Ghost swooped behind him with lightening speed and vanished in the same motion. While passing, something was tucked into Jonathan’s shirt. His mind walked the tight rope of realms. Afraid to commit to losing his mental balance to either side. With his back against the cold stone, he planted his hands in the dirt to push himself to his feet. There they were. A pile of three rocks, abiding the exact placement Adalia had described.
The very instant after that, the whole shadowy realm vanished.
“Did you really think my instinct would succumb to your role playing?” Adalia angrily contested. This hellish figment of her tortured childhood was now hunting her like prey, through the very forest he abused her in as a child.
“You, and your procrustean league, have an unbridled and quite laughable arrogance,” she said.
“Interesting to hear the word ‘laughable’ used in any contexts, considering your circumstance,” the man retorted. His head ticked twice to the left, before slowly bowing, while his eyes remained fixated on hers.
“You’re a blind sheep serving an aimless shepherd, in a game of which you have no qualification to engage. Whomever you answer to has clearly not done their proper reconnaissance. Of course. the gluttons shoved their chips on quantity over quality. You’ve devoted your faith to this, but have you invested any logic? It doesn’t matter how many sheep you have if you’re battling shepherds. You are a despicable abusive failure, incapable of suppressing your own demonic urges. What strategist gets behind a tactical design of recruiting the weakest minded to battle the front lines. Thankfully, they’ve determined you to be best suited to eradicate your own daughter. They surmise you must have the ability to win the affections of your abandoned daughter. Surely, I’m so insatiably desperate for daddy’s love, your job is a breeze! Sadly, I’ve never been your subordinate daughter. I’ve never surrendered to the pure love a child naturally surrenders to her dependents. The paternal influence isn’t required until after the mother does her diligent duty. I’ve possessed the ‘required’ paternal requisites before you even existed. Where I come from, we choose our entry point into the physical realm. That’s all I needed, and I took it. So you can report this failure as a result of stupidity. When they heard “father,” they were sold. You were a portal. That’s all.”
Bigsby appeared amused, while he slowly removed his top hat and hung it on his walking stick.
“From where I’m standing, this curiously qualified confidence of yours is negligible. You have no physical prowess to save your altruism now. You can eschew any rhetoric you wish, but if were you, I’d consider my circumstance. Aside from being your father, I’m a quite keen killer. In fact, if I’m being completely honest, I get off on it. I actually become aroused when I plunge my fingers into flesh, and watching the life, stubbornly, cling on as long as it can. Their death is imminent. They know it and I know it. Yet, for some ungodly reason, they fight like dogs, for that extra thirty seconds of misery. I’ll never understand that, but admittedly, it’s quite a thrill,” Bigsby joyously replied. A smirk contorted to a full on smile, exposing his hideous, yellow, crooked, teeth, under a ragged, evil face.
“What I’ll never understand is, how this miraculous source was capable of, and spawned such a malevolent, sinister cancer to exist among us.”
Until this point in the pursuit, Adalia was leaving her fate largely to chance. However, a few hundred yards back, she noticed that perhaps, someone or something was looking out for he. She noticed the Juniper trees, which flourished in abundance in Madina Lake, began to feature subtle distinctions. As she passed each one, the branches and exposed roots, didn’t resemble the ordinary Junipers. They generally grow from an axial position. However, instead of straight down, these form a helical shape. This was the undeniable indication that she was about to enter a power zone. Of the many seductive nuances of this land, the power zones are the most intriguing and palpable. The branches and roots are reshaped due to an immense natural phenomenon of energy that is constantly erupting from the land. It is dramatic, and measurable by science. There are two of these plots in the Madina Lake perimeter. From an analytical perspective, they spin compasses, debilitate electronics and have the ability to transform physical matter in some objects. From a spiritual perspective they hold altruistic, supernatural abilities that overpower any human capability. Adalia’s spirit proves the dominating weapon in this dual.
The dear outsmarts the hunter. I let you chase me like a dog, all the way to this land before I turned to face you. Your twisted chemistry is aroused by fear. Aroused by the physical inferiority of your own female child. We, connected souls, have the added benefit of channeling. You’re standing in a power zone, where your darkness pits even the nature against you. Here’s the pendant you’re after. You were so close! While you burn, I suggest you lament over the fact that you were mere inches away from your glory. ”
Reveling in this circumstance, of which she fantasized for years, Adalia was not about to end it here.
“Now that I’m holding all the cards, let’s talk. I’ve been curious about your people. What is the purpose of your logo? I understand the power of zymology. I understand your type requires acceptance, as tantamount to your survival. I’ll give it to you, you’ve successfully infected the masses with that clever notion, making our side’s efforts very difficult to usurp. The cross was brilliant. An image so simple, so powerful, so useful when searching for your own. Then you incorporate the mythology, defining its origin. A man, an altruistic, courageous leader, who embodies the narrow spectrum of basic human value. “He suffered for YOU!” you say. “the son of God, his holiness, and your creator, decidedly absorbed excruciating pain for future generations of fellow humans, so that YOU, can …can what? Exist in fear, crippled with guilt for having natural human feelings? Feel shame and inadequacy while serving the protagonist of a fairy tale from an ancient relic?
Even sadder, the harrows such an arbitrarily contrived idealism has spawned. Others would spin this same tale, over and over, creating more of your disgraceful forces. You placate their people’s fears. Shockingly successful, absolutely. I never imagined mob mentality to be so pervasive. So blinding. That despite the ethical and moral ethos, the subtle differences in each was enough to cause pain, bloodshed and death to millions, who naively made an enemy out of those buying the same premise. Well, you can’t fake what’s real. You’ll never tip the scales of faith over the line of what’s intrinsic. I’ll never comprehend how you penetrated the mind so profoundly, but you did. Simply not knowing, fosters an incredulous desperation to find out. The first to pretend they know, gets the minds.”
“You describe this motive with perfect detail. You recognize its brilliance. And you limit yourself to one example that speaks to the profundity of our empire? As you’ve conceded to how it has bewildered your clan, you’ve failed to acknowledge the remaining 70% of humanity. They’ve all succumb to one or another scripture of ours. And just to fill in the holes for you, our genius has built in its very foundation another bunch of behooving characteristics. Their faith builds within them over the years as life erodes. As life snatches their loved ones, takes their innocence, builds fear, loneliness and abandon, it spawns a passionate need for respite. who is there for these broken weaklings? their faith is. who will forgive them for the mistakes they knowingly committed? who trusts them in a world of lairs? So as I listen to your rhetoric, I beg the question… how on earth have your lot found yourselves in this compromised position?
I may not be the hero who got the seeds, but, I’ve learned enough to see to it that the seeds wind up in our soil. And that’s what really matters isn’t it my dear child?” he condescended.
There was the little girl. Standing in plain view over the old man’s decrepit shoulder.
Only this time, she had a satisfied grin on her face. She was holding hands with a shaded man wearing an equally satisfied expression. Suddenly she didn’t feel so forborne. These were comrades.
Bigsby’s last words fell on deaf ears. In the very next instant, Adalia vanished out of thin air.
When you slip through dimensions via a power zone, it’s a different ride all together. Its technical nature is manifestation.
He opened his eyes, as if the whole thing had been a dream. Right down to the morning fog, his confusion lingered. There was a letter clenched in his hands. He was definitely in a peaceful place now. Still could not be described by human senses, but what he felt was love, and only love. It was the Creator who stood before him. Where he was, layers of perception denying reality its chance to shine. Truth or fiction. The Creator was a vast and critical improvement. It was the mind colliding with the voice that co-habitated his brain. He peacefully reflected on his trip through the cave. Were multiple spirits colliding, or are they in tandem with each other? Are they different at all? Which one am I? If I’m feeling the emotions that are discharged from the other, it must be something separate from the self.” he thought. Although hazy and in a bit of pain, never had Jonathan felt such relief.
“Take the canoe back to Madina Lake. Lucille is waiting for you,” the man said, as Jonathan had already dozed off.
And that’s when it happened.
When you slip through dimensions via a power zone, it’s a different ride all together. The wisest physicists on Earth who’ve bravely delved into the world of quantum physics and particle assembly can only translate its technical nature.
Despite the contemptuous and threatening circumstance teetering on the precipice of devouring your being, an overwhelming detachment consumed you. Your perspective of consciousness dramatically expanded. Like an explosion without a mushroom. There was no ceiling to this detonation. In fact, contrarily, there was nothing that can describe this in physical terms that can imagination can attempt to depict. After this observation struck her like a bolt of lightening, it didn’t take long for the rest to follow suit. There was no sound, no smell, no sight, touch, nor taste to this experience. It registered only with the elusive and undefined 6th sense. While this was being deciphered by her intellect, this new method of interpreting existence instantly proved to behold more psychological power than the other five combined. Sound was boundless, time didn’t exist, and any physical property of our Earth lost all relevance. It was as if the enormity of our globe began to inflate like a balloon, with no tension dare resist the gaseous sphere. The expansion became inconceivably infinite. It was such an existential anomaly of never ending matter that the brain had no mechanism to cope. However, fear was not its weapon. This was a thrill ride. The only mechanism in the human construct that can even offer a signpost to this realm is sound. Sound is created from vibrations that turn into waves. This is the language of whatever this place was. Sensations, vibrations, and the spirit interpreting them are the only way to experience this place.
As the expansion boomed boundlessly, Adalia drifted towards the source. Was this death? Was this heaven? Had her father actually killed her and this was the new path she was to explore? She knew the wiser. This wasn’t her first trip to the Astral Planes.
CHAPTER 12 URSA MAJOR & URSA MINOR part 2
June 29, 1951
Jonathan squinted his eyes. The mid day’s sun draped and soothed his body. He found himself hunched over on a bench at the edge of the cemetery. Disoriented from whatever means got him here, and the mere vacancy of that detail, he granted himself a moment to clear the cobwebs from his exhausted mind. He had to confront his circumstance. It was desolate. He relished in the peaceful stillness of being, even in this moment of chaos. As his gaze casted over the vast, hilly landscape of countless gravestones, the air felt suitably lifeless. It slowly came back to him that this location was in fact, a detail of his task, however, slightly out of sequence. Adalia more than implied that this would likely be a shape shifting operation. It wasn’t difficult to surmise that the missing step in the sequence had gone for the worse. It was obvious. This indicated that whatever existed beyond the perimeter of Madina Lake had in fact breached its relationship with the Earth. And with that being the case, the cause, for which he was wholly invested, was now in critical danger.
He was beginning to understand how this whole thing worked. The web of time, he thought, is the key. He, nor anyone he knew in Madina Lake, had ever conceived of an existence without it. Life, as a human being in Madina Lake, was changing with time. The tenets, set forth by founder Arlene during the town’s establishment, decreed a set of guidelines that were rooted in spirituality, instead of order. Her model for existence, harmony and balance, rendered time to be an ineffectual component. In the physical world, time is an indisputable concern with regards to age and death, but he was beginning to see how it slyly emerged as the basis for everything here.
Time created pressure. Time created a deadline, by which one must accomplish something. Time became the stage which one is provided to perform his or her life. Time expired, induced guilt. Time anticipated, breeds anxiety. And the only real time that exists, being now, is often shrouded and wasted in the symptoms of the mind.
The forefathers of the Firebrand had the foresight to anticipate how dangerous this could ultimately become. This sort of thinking would have never crossed Jonathan’s mind until his experience in the Cave. His scope of the bigger picture was coming into focus from the collection of these experiences and what he garnered from Adalia’s words. There is a greater existence that is embattled with a rogue and cancerous, faction of its own source. The source is boundless, timeless and functions with perfect order when balanced. Its nemesis has no regard for balance. It’s a philosophical choice, which can only be made by humans. The ability to think and reason is a survival mechanism for the species. With physical inferiority, we fall prey to larger predators. Just as a chameleon protects itself by camouflaging into its background, humans think and reason with one another to evade their attackers. This mechanism evolved into something spectacular and also sinister.
As is the case with all elements of the Earth. When controlled, fire is beautiful. In chaos, it can devour. Back in the Fertile Crescent, it was discovered that the land could be manipulated to unnaturally, produce more. The domino effect began here. The population exploded. Humans could no longer be satiated with just what was necessary to survive. Since it was realized that more could be had, more was desired. The philosophical choice offered two options. Man can exist in harmony and balance with the Earth, or man can recklessly indulge in over abundance. Herein lies the divide. As time slipped by, so did this understanding, and today, the scale has tipped to the ground. It was a contagion. It’s greed, power and ego that would envelope the land. The great thinkers portended this as the insidious demise of our potentially great species. Jonathan instinctively heeded the call when the Firebrand first summonsed him. Now he had the reason to apply to the instinct. He was prideful of his part. He has committed himself into action for something so infinitely more important than anything else in his life.
Jonathan reclined his head towards the refreshing sun, absorbing its essential vitality. With his eyes gently closed, he noticed a shadow, traversing his eyelids, back and forth. He looked up to discover the white balloon floating just meters above his head. He was elated to discover an Auspice was sent to him. He jumped from his bench and snatched it from the air. Then , Jonathan wedged it between his legs and squeezed it until it popped. Inside there were two photographs and a letter.. Both of the same panoramic landscape that exists on the other side of the mountain. One was a photo that he was supposed to experience with his eyes. It was almost indiscernible from the first. In contrast to the thick surface of treetops, divided by the vitality of a streaming river, the same land featured in the second photo was baron, black soot and dried up bedrock. His assumption was corroborated by the Auspice that was sent from the sky containing the proof. The letter read:
Adalia shares these words with you;
‘My performance wasn’t much better than yours, but we didn’t fail!
Find the Crescent moon. I’m waiting for you in the clearing by Mystic Bay.
Get yourself to me at once young man! The Criminals are advancing.’
Good Luck Jonathan!”
Confidence and butterflies flooded his body from the uplifting words of the woman he is falling in love with. His head lifted to scope the cemetery grounds. They were riddled with endless rows of headstones. With the already limited time, now cut in half, Jonathan darted for the graves. It could take hours, if not days to find a tombstone here. He surveyed the arrangement to search for a pattern, from which he may be able to devise a plan to expedite this task. He scanned the ground hoping to find a freshly beaten path from the funeral’s foot traffic. There was none.
This moment of despair begs for help. Nobody was around. The rapid polarity shifts of his emotion state were getting to him.
“Fuck!” he shouted to anyone, any thing, and even himself, for his frustrating hurdles. This was no indication of submission, just a release.
And seconds after, there she was. Floating in swift, graceful swooping motions, circling a headstone off in the distance. Lucille, a welcomed oddity. He ran for the tombstone she hovered over as she whisked away, disappearing into the clouds.
He found his mark. A nearby rock would suffice to break open the stone-engraved symbol, and out dropped the contents to the ground. Delighted at the dimensions of his score, and a small, inconspicuous shoulder bag to tote it in, he ran off towards Mystic Bay.
June 25, 1951
The assemblies made their way back to the people. It was agreed that as much information as could be succinctly delivered, was disseminated to all. After which point, they would roll out their idea for an intricate strategy, and deploy it into action.
The collective quickly gathered. There was little time to share a lot of detail. Information that calls for a leap of faith to accept it as real. This was an entirely different truth that challenged the grain of what a society had comfortably existed with until today. It was a forced abscission from the only existence they’d known. Thankfully, trust between these newfound symbioses was a galvanizing force, and that trumped the issue. An incredible degree of pain and tragedy had been imposed on the townspeople in just a week’s time. During these painful trials, friendship with the River People was treasured.
Too much of the Firebrand’s relief, the people of Madina Lake had demonstrated a powerful character. The murder of Pandora had deeply impacted them. It induced compassion and introspection. The investigation stirred up a bit of expected frustration, but it didn’t create an assumed divide of opposition. There was no finger pointing or blame. They didn’t hunt a scapegoat to project their anger to. It was recognized that at some point they had abandoned something integral to their fabric as a society. Perhaps complacency had thwarted the basis of their existence. Perhaps it was this new danger that imbued some with an insatiable desire for more than what was needed. Whatever it was, their collective intelligence was cognizant of it, and in little time, decidedly merged together to rectify it.
The River People, Firebrand and townspeople soldiered into action. Without the ego compelling a social hierarchy for people to grapple over, the enormity of this task was fast and efficient. The Chemist laid floor plans to the town’s engineers. He marked the areas of agriculture with an “x” and inquired about the infrastructure of the town. After learning of the structural integrity, important foundations and the appropriation of civil equipment, his plan was devised. He advised that the families remain as much in tact as possible. Those with the youngest children need to stay with this group. Their souls are the closest to the Source. This collection of energy will create the perfect harmony around the budding fields.
The Philosopher talked extensively about what was actually conspiring. Despite the shock of his words, his honesty and humility effectively earned the people’s trust.
The Ghost explained more about the origin of the town and the secret society that designed it. He explained how the River People are a collection of souls that vibrate at a higher frequency than any other human on Earth and that they are spiritually enlightened. The Creator was gauging the impact that had already taken place, while anticipating the battle to come and devising the master plan. The Criminals and their toxic energy were fiercely closing in.
A young child among them began wincing and complaining that her stomach was hurting.
“Are you ok sweetheart?” her father Mick asked.
“I don’t feel good,” anguished the child. She then dropped her head and vomited.
The Ghost observed this happening and jogged over to the father and child.
“Mick is it?” he asked
“Yes that’s right.”
“Lindsay,” he said to the near by River Person while motioning her over. “Please escort Mick and his daughter to town and look after them will you?”
“That is very gracious of you, are you sure? Don’t you need our help?” Mick inquired.
“We will be fine. Your daughter needs Lindsay to restore her energy. Please, go on.”
“Thank you. Let me know if you all need my help, and please look after yourselves. The best of luck dear friend,” he gestured.
“Jonathan!” Adalia shouted, with a spirited and almost sensual tone.
A luscious and soothing sensation melted through his being with the sound of her voice. He rustled his way through the trees to a clearing where she was. ‘Stunning’, he thought, as she leaped into his arms. She was arrestingly beautiful from head to toe. The notion that he was falling in love with her sounded silly in the context of time they’ve known each other, but somehow, time wasn’t a part of their equation. The duration of their experience together found them largely living in a moment of urgency. This stood to deconstruct any walls of fallacy or posterity. In the moment, instinct commands thought. Thinking is the bridge that connects the ego and the self. The circumstances they’ve dealt with drove a wedge between the two, revealing their true selves to each other. It became exceedingly clear that she was growing intoxicated with Jonathan too and finally, the tension bursted. They melted into a lustful kiss, while tingles coursed through their intertwined bodies.
Both gracefully seized upon this moment of majestic sexual attraction by two souls, who couldn’t be better suited for one another. The setting was quintessentially erotic to play into this imminent consummation of their relationship. An oasis of soft green grass amidst a thick sprawling forest was an appropriately private nest for their primal intimacy. The realness exuded in this passionate lovemaking was unrivaled. Love, lust, adulation, attraction, respect and solidarity were merged from two souls to one. This marked the most unforgettable experience of natural love that anyone has had the good fortune of sharing with another.
In its aftermath, there was not a spell of awkwardness or confusion lingering. In fact, it was a relief from the tension mounting up to it.
They reveled in the illustriousness of their affection. It was a welcomed reprieve from the task that has engulfed them. Their bodies curled together like vines. Their hearts merged in a synchronized purr.
“If I’m being honest, I don’t even know if I made it to the Cave Adalia. Actually, I don’t know what happened. I last thing I remember was walking into the mouth of the cave. In fact, now that I think about it, something struck me as odd right before I entered.”
“And what is that?” she inquisitively asked.
“The torch wasn’t lit. That was my tell wasn’t it?”
“You’re asking the wrong woman with that one. I nearly failed my mission too, if it weren’t for sheer luck. I managed to stave off my father long enough to reach Mystc Bay. He nearly had me before I stepped on its power zone.”
“Power zone?” he inquired, almost sarcastically.
“I knew that I was in some reasonable proximity to one, but the chances that I would actually find it in time to escape death by my father’s hand were nothing I’d hang my hat on. The power zones are energy vortexes that can, oh let’s say move you around. I had been chasing this little girl while my father was in pursuit of me. Just before he was about to kill me, I saw her again. This time she was standing with a man and they were holding hands. I could be completely off base, but something in their eyes told me they were on our side. They lead me right to the power zone without me having the slightest clue where I was going.”
“I’m afraid you’re going to have explain that whole experience with a lot more detail,” he said with a smile.
“Never mind that, what happened to you?”
“It’s coming back to me a bit hazily. I was in the Cave, I know that. But it felt completely foreign to me. It was a cavernous maze of Hell. The place vacillated between infinite space, in all directions, and claustrophobia. I was being tossed around, attacked by energies, total chaos. The whole thing was dark and cold too. As things felt their most dire, I was helped by an opposing force, the Ghost.”
“Ya, I think I have an idea as to where you were based on your ungraspable explanation,” she declared.
“The Ghost…he’s one of the Firebrand isn’t he? Please…” he pleaded, “I’m making great strides with all of this, and I’m convicted to understanding it all.”
“Now let me explain this in its entirety before you lose your mind, perhaps, literally,” she joked. “You were in fact, in your mind. The depths of the vast twisting hallways of horror that constitute the common human mind. Our minds are not as intimately ‘ours’ as we’d like to believe. We do have free will, and that is guided by our souls. But I’m sure you’re aware of another voice in there sometimes. That’s not you. It’s your ego. When you sleep, you’re in a dimension that is accessible by others.”
“You mentioned the torch and it hit me. When the torch is lit, the Cave is safe for transport to the Firebrand. Two forces balance the world. The Chinese symbol for Yin and Yang represents this. It’s used to describe how polar opposites are interconnected and interdependent. Male and Female, dark and light, fire and water, air and earth. This duality also exists in the power zones. These energy vortexes have enough electro-magnetic force to do incredibly powerful things. The anomalies occur in few places on Earth. Madina Lake was built on the strongest one. It’s a force stronger than anything imaginable that pierces through the Earth, opening channels. Mainly, a tunnel straight through the core of the Earth to its corresponding vortex at the exact opposite location in the world. The Cave is the epicenter of Madina Lake’s power zone. It’s a vortex that opens channels to a myriad of dimensions. There is an energy field, the Firebrand refers to it as the “Astral Plane.” It’s a sort of hub to all of these realms. Being a relatively new discovery, there is still much to be learned about it, and rigorous debate about its nature among the Firebrand. But they have uncovered a way to access this portal with quantum theory. Sub atomic particles, singularities, I can barely grasp it myself, but it has something to do with the same particle existing, unmitigated, in two places at once. It’s the same phenomenon that speaks to how thousands of birds, and schools of fish travel in flawless synchronicity that surpasses the bounds science? Indicating that there is some source or force of nature guiding them so that the movements are actually ordered, and not reactive. The Planes and the power zones have the energy and intelligence to disassemble and reassemble your particles in another place, and in an instant. That’s how I was saved from my father.”
As those words came out of her mouth, her eyes widened. Something just dawned on her. It was far from pure luck that she wound up standing on the power zone in the exact moment she needed it. The little girl she was so diligently following in the forest lead her to it. This lost young child was guiding her to safety. Perhaps, she was guiding herself to safety. The epiphany warmed her heart, and she decided to carry on with the conversation instead of bring light to it.
“If you went into the Cave while the torch was not lit, one of a few scenarios is possible. Some believe that the Astral Planes are accessible in a sleep state, which can account for the intense portrait of reality that a dream renders. They argue that the only difference between a waking consciousness and a sleeping consciousness is the idea that other’s can corroborate the waking reality for you. But more likely, you entered the Planes without a guide, subjecting you to anything inside and even outside of your imagination.”
“Yes! I remember feeling that some of the experience was something I had never imagined before. What does that say to the permanence of events that transpire there? ”
“That part is a bit unnerving. If you’re not careful, your imagination can run wild with the implications, even to the point of insanity. But the reality is equal parts comforting and haunting. If we are all constructed of the same elements and these elements come from the same Source that created life, which is love and harmony, than there is nothing to be afraid of. However, given the insidious nature of this rogue faction that has splintered off from life, we certainly aren’t immune to evil.”
“This sort of information more than satisfies my quest for knowledge on the topic. Almost too much so.” he confessed.
“If anything, it clearly reiterates the magnitude of what we are fighting for. Let’s take pride in that Jonathan.”
“Which is something that instinctively felt right since the onset. If one were to devote their allegiance to something, it might as well be something that can’t be debated because it is our own personal experience.”
“Yes. As life carries on, we succumb to patterns of conditioned thinking and behavior that opposes what’s intrinsic to our nature. This danger is at the core of the Firebrand’s purpose. As they observed human behavior throughout the centuries, they discovered a pattern that was increasing in proportion to the population, which was exploding. So they took measures to preempt what they had postulated. If the species continued to enact this lifestyle and value system, where greed, vanity, entitlement, and social hierarchies, a cancerous ego would infest. The ego can gain enough strength to devour species, and our host the Earth. If we prevail, the species evolves to a greater consciousness of love. They built your town of Madina Lake and protected it from this affliction. Until recently, it was highly effective. But alas, this realm decrees that all things must come to an end.”
“How have the Criminals managed to keep up with the Firebrand, without really even knowing such an entity exists?”
“The truth has a way of sifting its way through any amount of nonsense, for one. The other thing is that it’s also human to make mistakes,” she humbly professed.
“Such as…?” he persisted.
“When I was sent to Madina Lake, my father happened to be the leader of the Criminals.”
“Mr. Bigsby?” he interjected.
“How on Earth would you know that?” she quickly replied.
“There was a sinister force in the Cave that declared himself as such. He seemed keen on insisting his moniker into my memory.”
“He was also the man who tried to kill me before I found the power zone. Jonathan, we must go. If he was in the Astral Plane, The Criminals have discovered how to access Madina Lake. ”
June 25, 1951
The challenge for the Firebrand, was to effectively harness the consciousness of the townspeople and to re-calibrate it. After identifying the cancerous turnout points, they can elude the bait set for these pliable minds. In this pivotal time, defection must be thwarted. These minds had to stay on track, before they’re derailed on a crash course towards extinction. To their favor, the Madina Lake society had only recently fallen prey to the nemesis. The town’s rich cultural history will serve to embolden this intention. Not wholly infected, the enemy’s efforts fell short, leaving a weak permeation that could be overcome. Paramount to this objective is the awareness and conviction the people have demonstrated under extraordinary circumstances.
The Creator addressed the commonwealth, “Each one of you is imbued with a purity that was no accident. Throughout our species’ time here, there has been a collective that quietly leads the vast majority of the population. This sect constitutes nearly twenty percent of humans. This intersect of good and evil is where the war is fought,” he continued, “The River People represent history’s prevailors of their own battles. Now the stakes have escalated to their tipping point, to where the collective of triumphs amounts to the army of this final war.”
He continued, “The adversary represents a consortium of the sub sect of leaders, who splintered off upon discovering that their gift yields power. This power yields greed and consequently, an allegiance was born that subscribed to this self-indulgent cause in favor of respecting their innate leadership qualities. The divide occurred over 5,000 years ago, in a place referred to as the “fertile crescent.” It was here where humankind discovered that the Earth could be manipulated to extract more than what was necessary for human survival. “More” became a highly sought after commodity. Some of those who were gifted with leadership skills decidedly abused this part of their nature. Through manipulation, their every desire was within reach, in boundless abundance.
Nature’s balance was disrupted, and the portending of this day became a reality that very few men were privy to. Your people are comprised of the altruistic side of this sector. You are all that is left of this lot. And as of late, the defectors have surreptitiously let themselves in through your back door. Your founder, Arlene, had set forth a declaration of tenets. These guidelines in no way resembled a constitution akin to a global power, democracy, dictatorship and so on. They pointed to an ideology that serves an individual’s inner peace and subsequent radiation of that peace. Through the stains of time, the infestation eroded this core value. Once your people valued material acquisitions, vanity and power to an esteem beyond harmony that was our cue. Enacting a lifestyle based on these values will imminently be the detriment of our species. There is no blame to be cast, or shame to be felt. Something that was taken from you. Knowing that this is not who and what you are is all that is needed to eradicate the cancer. The war we’re all now a part of is to prevent the Criminals from attaining their power grab at the collective unconscious,” he concluded.
A course of action was agreed to, that, with a hand from the cosmos, should tilt the odds in their favor. The Firebrand, River People and Madina Lake have become a confluence of morals, ethics, brilliance and victimhood, stirring in a cauldron. The result is a force of love that cherishes their Earth and each other and whose self-awareness has instilled the driving force to abolish the infector.
Another challenge had surfaced. With each passing moment, another person was falling ill. An unusual strain of flu-like agent was infecting, typically the youth, at an alarming rate. The nature of these struggles were completely foreign to the town and likely another ordeal that emboldened the partnership. It had come clear that the human species was sick. It was gripping the young because they were closer to the Source. If the Criminals were advancing, those closer to their entry point were most vulnerable.
From the illness, to the murder, and subsequent rattling of faith, the zeitgeist of Madina Lake was lost and afraid. The River People brought love to a hurting clan. The Firebrand brought altruism and knowledge, while the townspeople offered a passionate army devoted to the cause. Each component to this trio was intrinsically connected, and equally valued.
Jonathan and Adalia raced off with intense purpose in their stride. The hike was going to take a minute, so their conversation continued.
“The Earth is such a complex entity, and it hums with a godlike harmony. The wild card is the human species. Natural order doesn’t stray from harmony. Lightening strikes forests, igniting a fire that kills the weaker and dead trees. This fire is then extinguished by the stronger trees, which are taller, for this exact purpose in the order. The fire is not sinister. It’s not objective or motivated to kill by some third party force. It burns so that it can clear out the dead brush to allow the seedlings to flourish beneath it. The strong trees contain the fire, to insure the safety of the rest of the forest. Then the surface is cleared and the soil enriched. The surviving trees can disseminate their seeds in this area to birth a new breed. So on and so forth. Nature is cyclical, evolving through birth, death and rebirth. This functionality mandates a hub. It demands a home base of operations. The Astral planes serve as this conduit for the Source to its planet Earth. The headquarters of existence. The place where souls and spirits, whether animals, plants or humans, transition to their next destination,” she went on, “Take Venus. This is the Earth’s sister planet, ripe with all of the elements that are responsible for all living creatures on Earth. That planet has volcanoes just like ours, however, when ours went dormant, theirs erupted continuously in much shorter time sequences. The result was an atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide, which trapped the sun’s heat, rendering the planet inhabitable. The Earth has the same amount and potency of carbon output but with cooperative volcanoes, the natural jet stream of the oceans would carry all of these toxic elements on a year long journey across the world to one of two locations where the sediment could absorb the carbon dioxide and create bedrock.”
“One of the driving forces for me becoming a teacher is my undying fascination with the world and beyond. To fathom the mere notion of life is mystifying. The creativity and beauty, and seamless functionality of such an entity are mind blowing. To then allow humankind here to play out our lives on this platform and against this backdrop is just awe inspiring. Sorry to shift gears, but may I ask where we are going next?”
“It’s usually known as “The Dragon’s Triangle, off the coast of China. This pendant accesses a security deposit box that we need,” she informed him.
“Are you going to give me the whole answer, or am I going to have to ask the second part?” he playfully reacted.
They continued to clamber the terrain at an accelerated rate.
“If the outcome of this war is in our favor, our work is not done. The Earth has been scorched. In order to repopulate it, we need vegetation, crops, trees, flowers, and fruits etcetera. If we don’t get to this vault, the war will be fought in vein.”
Three teams were created. The “Imagineers,” the “Inseparables” and the “Sapphires.” A leader from each navigated their respective crews to various locations in the Madina Lake perimeter. Each mission was in tandem with each other, hinging one’s success on the next. The first objective was to get a team to the cave. This was to be the front line of battle, to not only protect this land, but to preserve the greater consciousness of being that exists here. The sinister forces had become aware of how the Firebrand managed to hide Madina Lake. They acquired the intelligence to get in through the Astral Planes, but they were novices, henceforth the advantage belies to the people. Regardless, this portal into Madina Lake’s world needed to be obstructed at the very least. That being the lesser favored triumph to actually winning the war inside.
The Philosopher took the Imagineers on a high paced trek to the cave.
The Chemist and the Sapphires, meanwhile, charged into town to protect all the fertile land and other essential societal structures.
The Creator’s mission bore the most gravity of the overall success. It was more of a rescue and recovery mission. He was to guide the Inseparables, a small crew, to an unknown cave. This cave was just outside of the perimeter of town and was one of a series of caves that closely nestled on top of and alongside each other like a honeycomb. There was a distinctive feature they needed to find to ensure the right one. It was the symbol of an angry sun, etched just inside the entrance wall. This was a critical detail to their objective. Any other cave could transport them to any unknown location in the world. The cave they needed, provided passage through the mountains to the nearest coast to Madina Lake, which was Lima, Peru.
To subjugate the Criminals, it was essential that each task was a success.
“Have I died here?” Jonathan bluntly asked.
“Are you dead?”
“How are we able to do these things that are inconceivable to others, never mind their blatant defiance of everything humans have discovered about the physical world?”
“I’m sure you’ve heard of what little of our brains we humans actually use? The rest is not dead matter.”
“So we are actually using more of our brain?”
“We as in you and me, in essence, yes. It’s not that we use more and subsequently have greater abilities, It’s that for whatever reason, we’ve been compelled to wonder and discover and evolve ourselves. Our minds have intrigued us to a level where our synaptic superhighways were jamming up. Our Source has allotted more real estate to build synaptic roadways that lead to unchartered territory. The average human generates fifty thousand thoughts per day. Thoughts are forms of energy, energy is mass, and mass requires space. We’ve unlocked chambers in our brains to facilitate this overture.
For better or for worse,” she jokes, “Your Astral plane experience wasn’t compelled by you, it was summonsed of you. I’ve existed in many different realms. And I have no doubt you’ve done the same. I’ve learned to lug my consciousness around with me, is the only difference. But I’m definitely mortal in this physical one, and so are you.”
“Have you died before?”
“Yes I have Jonathan.”
“What is that experience like?”
“Now, when I say this, please don’t assign yourself to one of the poles on this spectrum, because they all have this evil shit. Your realm is high. If I had to guess, your realm’s most difficult challenges are loss, rejection and betrayal right? This species has been through a lot. Identity changes, value systems, questions of faith, shame, regret, guilt, and greed, success, morals, values, ethos, failure, insecurity, you get it. I know for a fact that you found it ridiculous when you read those books we planted in your libraries, like the ‘Bible,’ the ‘Vedas,’or the ‘Qur’an’ and so on…. and then you studied history and the accounts of genocide in defense of the religious text that dominated the geographical side they were born in, and committing hegemony behind the shield of these books and their righteousness. Because a human is birthed in the Middle East, their ticket to heaven hinges on their allegiance to Allah, verses someone born to the North, who’s allegiance to Jesus Christ. An arbitrary geographical divide, intersects with the cancer of power and greed, and suddenly the masses are brutally killing each other. These books are fairy tales. They are accounts of historical experiences and the wisdom they’ve birthed, and demonstrated timeless in their moral or ethical value. People don’t see what’s hidden in plain view. Their apostles would be aghast to see how each text belies the same principles. The only difference is the backdrop they set their narrative to and the deity they cast as their hero. If they’re perceived as different, it’s because someone has perverted it and assembled a faction to die for it with the promise of a more suitable heaven for their followers, or someone who found a way to make money by selling one, and on and on.
Religion is evil for the mere sake of it not coming clean about its true identity. It’s immortal because of our human need to belong. It’s an archetypal work of fiction that breaks any social structure down to its common components. Whichever character you cast yourself as in the hierarchy of life, can be found in any of these omnipotent books. And they are constantly murdering each other.
However many times your soul has spun around this realm, its purpose is to grow. That is, be instinctively good. Particularly when it comes at a personal tax to you that wouldn’t ordinarily be imposed. Accept it. Make yourself uncomfortable. When you die, it’s scary for only that micro moment when your survival instinct begs for mercy, enabling the overpowering ego to capitalize on its final chance to twist you up by flashing your life before your eyes. Hitting all the Achilles it has enjoyed tormenting you with throughout your whole life. Who you’re abandoning or what you’ve missed out on. Your regret, your shame, guilt and all the other nurture invented emotions that have controlled your existence here. Then, you soar. Your senses evaporate. With that, goes all of those imposed lies that I just mentioned. Shame, the dragnet of fitful unremitting thoughts pestering your existence, shouting, ‘Not good enough!’ Not good enough for who? You’re not good enough for your father, your society, peer group? Who are any of them to tell you how you are supposed to feel? None of those emotions, guilt, shame, insecurity, regret and inferiority, have anything to do with you. Yet this afflicts nearly every good human to debilitation.
Their lives are disposed of because they are tormented every second by these things that have no business being theirs.
The purists maintain that in order to achieve peace on Earth you have to be prepared to lose it all. This is the closest sentiment I’ve heard in the physical realm that makes sense. Because in this realm, you could get lucky, you could get killed. You could lose a parent, a child, get raped, get brutalized, become an addict, get blacklisted, go bankrupt, be discriminated against, be hungry, and on and on. So there’s something to be said for cushioning that very realistic Hell on Earth that could happen to anyone at anytime, which validates his or her prudency to preemptively cope with it.
But the real ‘truth’ that everyone searches for is so simple that it’s demonstrative of how the ego has been so effective in over complicating it. The truth is this; as you exist, love as hard as you can and you will magnetize love. When you do that, you will stand inside of a love that feels blissful.
So as you soar, that’s the first thing that melts away and almost would embarrass you if you still ascribed to your physical protocols. The next thing you feel is the frequency of unconditional love. That term is dropped around recklessly, but in most cases, it’s only real at birth and at giving birth. It makes sense. Simple sense. At birth, a soul enters a body and emerges into this realm through a portal that has been incubating it with love and nourishment for a committed enough time that it’s irrefutably love.
Then, that soul is dependant on the nurturing for many years. That soul is so close to the source of the ultimate vibrational frequency that the mother is immeasurably jubilant. She’s relishing in this profoundly enlightened love that they haven’t felt since they them-selves, were the child. Slowly, life toxifies this untouched river of naturally purified love. Ultimately, the cycle repeats itself, and the best you can do is realize that if you’re chasing a criteria, that is not of your own pure construct, you’ve already lost. If you’re chasing that love that you know you once felt, you’re winning.”
The townspeople, torches in hand, charged through the yielding terrain of it’s Earthly host. The Imagineers were in an optimal headspace for battle. It became clear to the citizens that their world hasn’t quite been what they never questioned it to be. The river was raging with the same ferocious intensity as the people. The trees were palpably alive, rustling with support. The entire atmosphere and all of its vitality grew symbiotically loyal to a cause. It was their cause, the focus of which hasn’t entirely revealed itself, with the exception of its result. They’re emerging on the Cave. With the Philosopher in the pole position, they marched on their warpath to the battlefront. Once they see the torch, adorning the black mouth to another realm, it won’t be long until their fate is sealed. A victor will finally be crowned in this, the ultimate contest. Lila, the Divine Game. The bitterness of unknowingly being pawns had dissipated. Quelled soon after their majestic society found one of its own, brutally murdered and burned, and tossed into the lake.
Their naivety could no longer protect them from the demon. The dark side of the species, which was denied in their own consciousness, had now revealed itself from their very own home. A sweeping pride enveloped the team. The united front was not limited to the civilians, but everything that lived. The rocks and grass provided the path, the wind boosted their tired legs, and the plants pumped extra oxygen into the air to keep their energy up.
Earth trumps all.
The Imagineers were on the precipice of a war they could have never imagined. A non-violent clash between what has become the only two factions on the planet. The battle is tantamount to the survival of humankind and the life experience. Growing sicker and sicker from malignant bacteria infecting their bodies, they learned the bacterium was born in their minds. Just like any disease, it used its hosts as the conduit to permeate the human species. Mind body and spirit are one. By enacting an ill-fated lifestyle of greed and self-obsession, they’ve become physically ill.
When the Imagineers arrived at the cave, the Philosopher stood at the entrance and motioned everyone inside. He lit the, disturbingly, extinguished torch and followed the last warrior in. They assembled, intimately close together in the spacious, rock dome. Fervent nerves, converging with passion and solidarity, created an exhilarating and breathtaking atmosphere. The space illuminated itself, fueled by the unified energy output. Those facing south, observed the outside world disappear under the sky, while the ground inconspicuously sunk towards the core. This foreboding vision spoke to the stakes of this contest. Courage and will are required in this arcane war zone. No anticipatory training or technique exists for whatever could happen at any moment’s notice. This alliance was armed with the only weapon with any use on this front. Each fighter had one mind. The sum of which, must be greater than the parts. The unseeable nemesis is impervious to any human sense, and deadly to the elusive sixth one.
The matching faces of these decisive warriors, expressed one austere statement. Being, living, and loving are worth any and all sacrifice. It’s the human experience. It is the only thing that matters. It is the only thing. It is all that there is. As the foundation of their existence rattled and crumbled, the expressions were inflexible. Suddenly, a force far mightier than gravity, and with no empathy, sent each one spiraling through a rabbit hole of their individual design. They twisted and turned alone, to confront their own demons. It was a harrowing ride through the jaws of Hell that no imagination could reach. This was particularly true for those who’ve been manipulated in any way. The abused, addicted, afraid, abandoned, or unloved, found this realm far more intrusive and threatening than the rest. Through their trials, they’ve broadened their scope of knowledge, which will bring a ferocious attack to their adversary. Wisdom can prove a worthy weapon in this nightmare.
Back in town, the Sapphires collaborated for their approach and broke into three groups. The first group would take to the fields. The fertile land was divided into sections based on its soil and arability, and marked in order to map out the crop fields. They zoned and watered the sections of the fields that had the richest soil and longest exposure to the sun. As this was happening, another team was in the green house. This group began setting up for a robust germinating process that would expedite the cultivating process, should the seeds arrive.
Two more children had fallen ill. In response to this, the Chemist set up an infirmary and assigned two River People, Louise and Sarah to attend to the sick. Considering the slightly higher vibrating frequency of the River People, their energy would keep the ill stricken in harmony.
The remaining members took to reinforcing the essential structures that were equipped with basic living necessities, like running water, electricity and space. They drove through town collecting blankets, bedding, cutlery, clothing, books, and anything else that could provide comfort and happiness for people. This crew made runs in shifts, piling everything they could in the largest vehicles they could find, and bringing them back to these buildings on the Square.
With all of the questions and the complexity of their answers, the hike went by rather quickly.
Before too long, they were there.
“We’re within its parameter, can you feel it?” she asked.
“Actually, I can. This is astounding,” he said. As they neared the center point, he felt the tingling sensation of weightlessness overcome his body. It was energizing, while soothing. Seconds later was another hazy mess of indiscernible confusion. They were standing in a dark, dingy basement that convincingly felt foreign to Jonathan.
“Stay here,” she whispered as she climbed a wrecked, dilapidated staircase. The top was blocked off like a crawl space. She knocked gently on the door, and moments later it creaked open.
Adalia began interacting with someone or something up there in a seemingly friendly exchange. She motioned Jonathan over to follow her. They were in the back of some old wooden bar that stretched out over the open sea. Nobody was there, but Jonathan spared her of asking whom the hell she was just talking to.
“I can’t believe I’m holding this,” she said in a nervous whisper. Her eyes welled up in tears of joy and she wrapped her arm around Jonathan in relief.
He looked to her other arm, which was tightly embracing a four ply sealed envelope.
“Should we get going? he asked as he motioned back towards the stairs they come up from.
“What’s in this envelope is what is going to save humanity.”
“Are you serious?”
“These are the seeds that will repopulate the Earth with all of the vegetation, agriculture, everything the species needs to survive.”
“You never cease to amaze me Adalia,” he replied in a moment overcome with love.
They quickly retreated back downstairs to the power zone entrance to return to Madina Lake. The tingling was gone. There was a flaccid feeling in the atmosphere that was starkly in contrast to what was expected. And they both knew it.
“We need to be prepared for the possibility that we won’t return to the same place we left from. Since this engagement is executed by means of vibrations, that means energy. The planet is suffering. It’s running out of energy and your fellow townspeople need every bit of it right now to keep the Criminals from accessing the portal into Madina Lake. It’s the shift in polarity that happened, where everything is backwards now, rendering this a risky trip.”
“I don’t see an alternative, so let’s take our chances,” Jonathan dictated with a healthy assuredness.
They embraced and submerged themselves into the dark swirl of particles.
The Inseparables arrived at the foot of a trail overlooking an enormous cliff, just as the storm clouds became visible over the opposing range. The path was a switch backed to accommodate the steep grade of decline. They paused at the breathtaking view. It was magnificent. None of the townspeople had been here before, and it served as a powerful reinforcement to their objective. There was also a bit of trepidation at the perilous reality that they would be hiking down the face of this canyon, at a quick pace.
With no reservation, the Creator guided the team to the bottom. Thunder roared with curious significance to the events taking place all around Madina Lake. The rain, curiously, raged everywhere around the outside crews, but avoided the lands that were being utilized. As the Inseparables locked arms and glided down the trial, the loose rocked surface cooperated with each essential foothold.
They finally touched down in the bottom of the canyon, in awe of their full surroundings. It looked like a beehive with all the cave mouths. With unspoken gestures, they fanned out instantly to hunt the mark.
Air pockets surged alongside his crouched, tumbling body. He gasped before exhaling the water from his nose and mouth before opening his eyes to realize he was underwater. He kicked and paddled towards the gleam of sunlight that guided him to the surface. As he burst through the water to suck in all of the air his lungs could tolerate, she was next to him. They coughed out the water in their windpipes and began peddling their legs towards the only shore they could see. It was a small island about forty yards to the North. During the swim they didn’t speak and Jonathan had a sinking feeling that Adalia didn’t know where they were. Minutes later they arrived on the shore.
“Are the seeds in tact?” he asked.
“Yes, they’re protected well in this Kevlar case. But we need to find out where we wound up and how the Hell we’re going to get them where they need to be.”
Almost as quickly as the words left her mouth, the Universe had a response already on its way to greet them. From the sky descended a large balloon. It was exactly the hand they needed to bring their mission home, an “Auspice.” The disconcerting thing about it was that it was black. This indicates that there is a threat nearby and action must be taken swiftly and executed with precision.
Jonathan grabbed it and pinned it to the ground until it burst, unveiling the envelope. The face of which read, “The King Wen Sequence.”
They each silently wondered the significance of that. There had never been an Auspice with writing on its cover. The Firebrand doesn’t typically include something, unless it bares significance, or may be of use. The way they see it, extra detail can only prove to convolute or confuse the pertinent information. Jonathan stored the name to memory but didn’t draw attention to it. Adalia widened her eyes and with a quick, half smile, shook her head.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Nothing, it’s just that the brilliance of the Firebrand never gets old to me.”
He ripped the envelope open and read its contents;
“Dearest Jonathan and Adalia,
Due North 50 yards, turn left at the tree with the torch. From here, you will be
elevated above sea level and have a view of the peninsula. Continue another 90
yards to find your raft. It is covered with a different hue of brush that its surrounding landscape, to the south of the peninsula’s shore. In the raft, there are two sets of
coordinates. Dial the first set 01°34′05″S 26°11′09″W and stay that course for exactly
20 kilometers. When you reach that location, change the coordinates to:
06°40′29″S 04°07′59″W and shut the engine down after 5 kilometers.
From there, you will catch the Humboldt Current, flowing Northwest towards the equator.
This will guide you into the Peruvian Border. The Criminals have a boat too.
They haven’t learned to send compounds such as steal through the Planes. Anticipate hand made weapons.
You’re ahead of them by a small margin.”
Meanwhile, the cave task force was fighting the most ferocious front. Each citizen endured an experience similar to Jonathan’s, only his or her mental faculties were far less suited for it. The River People were in full force to lend their synchronicity to the front line and embolden their attack. Jonathan was hand picked in advance because of his strength and fortitude in mind body and spirit. And even for him, this was a relentless hell, beyond anything that can be described without having experienced. Some lost their minds, and succumbed to the haunts of their uncharted synapse paths. Emotions and experiences can get buried so deep that they fester and swell into demonic monsters. This is where the mind can be steered in this realm. For the victims of this unthinkable treachery, it was too much. Their souls found respite once the pain stopped their hearts from beating. For them, it was over. They were let go when they let go. Freed from the bounds of the physical realm. The emotional torture that burrowed deep inside, but was never dealt with, is more than anyone should ever have to.
The enemy was suffering too. It was palpably, rocked by the unexpected fight in the townspeople. Being underestimated generally behooves an army by instilling inspiration, heart and unrivaled passion, while heisting the morale of the brain washed nemesis. The commanders could program their warriors through sub-conscious manipulation, instilling a fear of god, and glorifying their cause by a dangling carrot of an x rated Elysium after life.
While effective in seducing the laymen to fight, this approach deprives a combatant of any hope when it comes to facing an intellectual enemy. As the front line charged, the Imagineers suffered casualties, which was expected. The Firebrand was well aware of the euphoric liberation from the physical realm that these souls were blissfully soaring through at the time. And if the townspeople trusted a spec of how the realm was described, they’d be more than pleased to see their loved ones off.
As the battle intensified, it seemed clear that they Imagineers with their River People and town’s people, had opened their hearts enough to invest their mind body and spirit, to secure the ideal they were fighting to secure.
Jonathan and Adalia raced up the beach and through the tree line. The tree baring the telling torch was exactly where it was expected, but the torch was extinguished. They weren’t alone. With great urgency in their stride they weaved in and out of the brush and reached a vantage point where their craft became visible.
“Wait!” Jonathan shouted as Adalia leaped up to began the descent to the shoreline. He grabbed her arm and drew it down and in towards him. She retreated without hesitation and turned to see what his eyes were transfixed on.
It was the Criminals. They were on the opposing side of the peninsula loading supplies into a small boat.
She recognized Bigsby. This implicated that these people had a hand in devastating the Earth with the worldwide nuclear assault. This came with another unsavory truth. Bigsby was the only one of the Criminals that could enter Madina Lake through the Cave. Considering the over arching circumstance, Adalia decided not to tell Jonathan that the other people in their camp were citizens of Madina Lake. The value of keeping him focused outweighed the risk that sharing news could rattle him. He could know, or worse, be friends with some of these people.
The Criminals must be keenly aware that soon, Madina Lake will be the only place of inhabitable Earth where the species can survive and consequently, they need to get there with the same urgency as Jonathan and Adalia do. Speculating as to how they arrived on this same remote island as they did, Adalia surmised that what they must have followed them. This suggests the possibility, if not likelihood, that they don’t know where to go from here.
She shared this with Jonathan and in a few moments, he had an idea. “The Criminals must be aware that we are receiving Intel from our source. A luxury they don’t have. The Criminals have no other choice then to follow us,” he said. “Considering that none of us knew we would wind up here, then they will deduce that we’ve been provided a map. ”
“Look,” she interrupted. The Criminals were aligned in a row and yielding bows. They were testing their make shift weapons by slinging arrows into a nearby tree. Even from their sight line, it was clear that these would serve just as deadly as any other killing agent in an arsenal.
Jonathan reached into his pocket and took out a few matchsticks and the map that he was given by the Ghost from his spell in the cave. He handed her the map and began striking the matches against a nearby stone. he blew them out, one by one and bundled them together. Adalia opened the map and pressed it against the rock’s surface. Jonathan carefully marked their location on the peninsula of Madina Lake, with the charred phosphorus. He then scribbled arbitrary coordinates and a skewed dotted line, over the lake on of the map. Now it could appear to be the ocean where they were. He punctuated it with an “X” and began tearing the map to obscure it from being identified as a map of the Madina Lake valley and surrounding mountains. He managed to manipulate it well enough to pass for what the Criminals would believe is their current location and the route to their destination.
“Prepare the raft, dial in the coordinates on the navigator and I will meet you there!” he whispered. He crept to his feet and took off towards the Criminals.
Adalia obliged and stealthily crawled her way through a flurry of trees and rocky ground to the raft below.
Jonathan did the same but directly towards the Criminals. He snuck his way to within feet of their crew. That’s when Jonathan learned the disturbing news for himself. It didn’t faze him. He surveyed for a moment. They didn’t seem to be in much of a rush. One of them was panning the area with a primitively fashioned telescope. It was clear they were in a reactionary state. Jonathan was slightly shocked to discover that one of the men was Sheldon, Adalia’s plastic boyfriend. He made the same decision that he wouldn’t share this with Adalia. A fleeting temptation to chivalrously attack Sheldon for manipulating Adalia, jetted across his mind but didn’t stay for longer than a second. Adalia knew what she was doing, and subsequently must have known Sheldon’s game.
Jonathan pricked his finger with bark and dripped blood onto the map. He tore up some grass and tossed it in the air to see which way the wind was blowing. He then positioned himself to where, when he left the map, it was likely to drift into their clearing. He placed it loosely on the ground before crawling back up to the tree line.
A River Person paired up with a town’s person, so each pair would have a terrain expert and a new friend by their side. The Creator pierced the murky dusk shouting reminders of the severity of their mission, and some additional elements to look for. He requested that each team report in on their progress in 30-second intervals. Within minutes, the bisected circle with four leaning letter “A’s” was discovered. Alex of the River People shouted their find to the rest, while Brit dusted off the ancient symbol. The Creator’s eyes fell on the mark and exhaled a sigh of relief. “Here we go everyone. This may be unsettling but put your faith in the Earth that has hosted you since you can remember. We must all be physically linked as we step in and hold on to each other until we arrive at the other end.”
The shuttling went off without a hitch. The boldness of the team was astounding to the Creator, who was putting these strangers through experiences that were entirely foreign and counter intuitive to them. None of them relented for a second. The train darted out of the cave, stunned to find them-selves standing on the beach of a tiny island, clearly uninhabited by anyone.
“Now we wait and hope.”
CHAPTER 13 INCARNATE
June 23rd, 1987
“Here she is now. We’ll be at your house in ten minutes… Ok, bye bye.” She returned the telephone to its receiver and reached for her purse. With her hand on the door, she paused debating, before lifting her focus to the mirror. Something weighed heavily on her mind and it was her hope that it wasn’t made evident by her demeanor. It was veiled well by her expression, but she knew all too well that it couldn’t evade her highly in tuned lunch date.
“There you are! We were starting to worry you wouldn’t be able to get away again,” she exclaimed as she unnaturally contorted herself into the seat,”
“Oh please, like I would miss this. You know how much I love my kids, but who on Earth decided that meant the end of my life?”
They share a laugh and a quick embrace before heading off to pick up the third of their lunch party.
“I’m so glad we’ve sustained our closeness through the twists and turns of life. In fact, I want to tell you how much I appreciate it. It’s a lot easier for me. I’m not married and you’ve got five children Adalia!
“You’re my best friend, you know me better than anyone, so I wouldn’t pretend it’s easy. But when you find something you cherish in life, as our friendship, you’ll do anything to nurture it. If I allow my mind to consume my moment-to-moment reality, I can imagine it taking over my life. But I’ve learned to experience life as it’s happening and through that, I got to tell you, every drop of love I share with my family, and my friends is magnified. It’s a marvelous thing to exist in, and feel wholly, instead of debating the commentary in my head about past decisions and future anxieties.”
She takes her words in for a brief moment and jokes, “You should be a life coach.”
Her laugh is infectious and as she should have anticipated, Adalia’s presence is enough to keep her heavy thoughts at bay for now.
“Has your husband relented his position about you going back to school?”
“The short answer, no. When someone is raised to view the world through one lens, anything out of its scope simply won’t come into focus. That said, I have my own scope, and I can’t pretend to myself that I don’t see something that’s at the front and center of my landscape. So, I suppose…”
A tear drops from underneath the sunglasses of her passenger.
“Hey there. Are you ok? What’s wrong?”
“I’m sorry. It’s nothing. I was really hoping this wouldn’t happen,” her voice cracked. “But let’s face it, I wouldn’t be able to hide something on my mind without you catching it at some point.”
“When you closed the door of your house, you faced your back towards me. When you got in the car, your eyes were the last part of you that got in. Of course I knew something was on your mind. I just wanted to let you share it if and when you wanted to.”
“My goodness Adalia, you truly are a special soul.”
“Oh stop it. You would have noticed the same thing about me.”
“No. You affect everyone who comes into contact with you. You’ve taught me so much about life and love and art. I didn’t know what friendship was until I met you. I didn’t know who Beethoven was until I met you!”
“Are you ok honey?”
“I didn’t want to bring it up but I need to get it off my chest,” as tears flooded now from both eyes, Adalia handed her a tissue.
“You can say anything in the world to me, you know that.”
“I’ve had the same dream tormenting me, for the last three nights now and I just can’t get it off of my mind, it’s so horrible.”
“What is it?”
“I’m standing in the lobby of this gorgeous ballroom. It has that 50′s decadent feel, with plush red couches and giant pillars with beautiful pieces of art on the walls. It reminds me off an old Hepburn (sp) movie, but in that foggy dream state, it’s almost surrealistic. I can hear the music and the laughter inside, But I’m frozen at the doors, I know I can’t go in there. Every time someone enters or leaves, the giant doors slowly swing back and forth. I peak through and I see the crowd of people, dancing and smiling and chatting away.”
“Doesn’t sound too bad so far.”
“I begin to realize that I know most of the people there. I try in vein to get their attention but it’s like I’m an apparition. Nobody can hear me. Then I see my grandfather. I begin to notice that everyone I recognize are my deceased loved ones.”
“Oh honey, I’m sorry, that’s terrible.”
“The doors get propped open for a prolonged look and Adalia.”
She tried to collect herself, but the gravity of this recurring nightmare opened the floodgates from her eyes.
“I see you in there every time,” as she burst out emotionally, putting the tissue to her eyes.
Adalia doesn’t react, allowing her friend to purge her feelings fully.
“I yell for you and you look at me with that smile. I shout, ‘what are you doing in there, come on, we need to leave this place!’ and you look at me and say, ‘It’s ok Arlene, I think I’m going to stay here.”
She’s almost in hysterics now, while Adalia remains still, focused on the road.
“Why are you in there? Every time. You’re the only one in there that’s not dead, it’s so awful!”
Adalia turned her head and put her hand on Arlene’s shoulder.
Well,” she said, “Did I look happy?”
And there was a brief pause, as her friend looked up and saw that unmistakable, radiant smile, beaming from her face.
“Well. Yeah, I suppose you did.”
“Adalia, it’s so awful! Don’t you see?”
“Honey, I’m sorry if the dreams upset you, and I’m moved that you’re so expressing so much love and compassion at the idea of my, well, getting invited to the great Ball in the sky should I say? But while we’re here living this life, let’s cherish what we have. I have a feeling, we’ll never really separate. Our souls anyway, I promise you that, ok?”
She lowered her head to process the wisdom. Adalia was masterful with her ability to translate the messages from the cosmos into a way that brought peace and tranquility to others. This circumstance is challenging though, as it requires quite a leap of faith on the individual’s part.
Adalia spoke again.
“The minute we met, let’s face it, we were best friends right away. Do you believe that has no significance on the grand stage? The one beyond the sky? I can assure it does my dearest Arlene.”
Suddenly, an insidious symphony of screeching rubber and car horns erupted. As her mind was unlocking the wealth of enlightenment hidden in Adalia’s profound words, she was jolted back into reality. Her fight or flight response kicked in, bringing the world to a hauntingly slow motion. It was like she could divide each microsecond into different frames on a film projector. Her arms lifted and with her palms out she braced against the dashboard. From the chaotic, and dooming sound of a highway disaster, a ferociously helpless scream bellowed from the deepest place in her gut. But that sense too, had silenced the world to a dull hum.
The front of the semi truck was less than 100 yards ahead, blazing towards them, inch by inch. It had swerved from the other lane of the highway at over 60 mph, and aligned itself in a direct collision course with the powerless sedan, which was, rivaling its speed in the opposite direction.
The words, “I love you” danced across Arlene’s mind as the image of Adalia’s smiling face, stained the back of her eyelids.
A thundering smash saturated the atmosphere with the harrowing sounds of twisting metal, exploding glass and fiery eruptions. Forty thousands tons of metal with the force of an earthquake barreled into their car. Arlene saw her best friend fly, head first, through the glass like it wasn’t even there. The vision went dark instantly, as the great human design took her consciousness away from this Hell.
Final installment of “Lila, the Divine Game,” released November 22nd, 2012!