© The author reserves all rights to this work.
This story is of an adult nature. It is not intended for minors nor for those whose law in their land forbids them to read this material.
This story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and unintentional.
NB: Words found between asterisks (*) refer to words exchanged in psychic or telepathic communication.
Date: 28 June 2671, Wednesday
Jorg had just finished his shower. The moderately hot water had done wonders to keep him a semi-relaxed state. It was not quite a steam bath, but it did coax the tiredness away. He turned and looked at his naked form in the mirror. He smiled when he realised that he was being vain. Physically, he looked like a man in his late forties although he was very much older than that. His blond hair, greying at the temples, gave him a distinct character.
He became aware of a mental summons. It's mental tone was familiar … it was Ganesh, the member of the Magi Council from South Asia. Jorg made a mental complaint.
Ganesh’s tone was serious, *Jorg, you know the council doesn’t call you unless it’s very very important … when you come, you’ll understand.*
Jorg had contemplated for a split second not to take the summons seriously. However, Ganesh’s tone advised him otherwise.
When Jorg appeared in the council chambers, he was shocked. The fifteen of them looked extremely tired and worn out. Six seemed unconscious whist the rest seemed as if they had not slept for ages.
Benedict, the present president of the council greeted him, “Good day Jorg, it’s good that you were able to come so quickly.” Benedict was also the Custodian. Whilst the magi council presidency was held in terms of 50 years, the Custodian was a life-long office. Benedict was chosen and made Custodian two centuries before he came to office as president. The Custodian looked after a small box containing the magi relics. The origins of these relics were shrouded in myth and legend, and it was said that they held clues to the origins of the magi race. Thus a magi was always appointed to look after them.
“Good day,” answered Jorg. “What’s been happening?”
Benedict took a deep breath and said, “Of late, I’ve been having a strange dream where I’d go to the Box of Relics and open it. At first, I thought it was just normal but the dreams remained the same for some nights. I didn’t know what was lying in wait at the box. So, for safety, I asked Ganesh and Tsui to accompany me to the Custodian Chamber. I took out the box and opened it. The moment I opened the box, I saw it: a psychic picture of the Book of Dorianus the Monk. I asked the other two if they saw it, but they didn’t see anything.”
“After focusing on the box, we could detect strange energy coming from the box but they were nothing like we’ve ever experienced before. It was only when we looked into Benedict’s mind that we saw the book,” Ganesh said.
“We all know that Dorianus the Monk was a magus who decided to become a Christian in the fifth century and copied the Christian gospels by hand,” Benedict continued. “As with books of the time, it was written in Latin. Unlike the other books, it had relatively few embellishments. Dorianus was also well known, at least in the normal human circles, as being short sighted. He made so many mistakes that his abbot wanted to throw the book away. Dorianus kept the book and probably used his powers to preserve the book in a special air tight lead box. Dorianus died of a spear wound whilst shielding the abbot during the barbarian invasion of the Roman Empire. The book was discovered in 1956 at an archaeological site in Northern Africa. The archaeologist who found the book opened the box carefully revealing a book. Careful examination showed that its only historical value was that it was very well preserved and showed how difficult it was before the invention of digital technology.”
“Benedict brought his vision to the council’s attention and we decided that we should get the book and take a look at it for ourselves,” said Tsui, the magus from China. “We knew that it was housed in the African Archaeological Museum for many years. We checked it out and found that it’d been transferred to the Vatican Museum about eighty years ago. The council went down and with our combined powers managed to duplicate the book and brought up the real book to the council chambers for a closer inspection.”
“When Benedict opened the book, it froze him,” said Lucia, a councillor from South America. “We immediately went to his aid, but found it difficult to get him out of the trance. Then Ganesh decided to see what Benedict was seeing. We protected him as he entered Benedict’s mind. The book was using all of Benedict’s power to produce a psychic shield round the council chamber. Only when six of us used our own powers to help Benedict to maintain the shield was he able to move. Benedict was exhausted and we knew that he was the key to the whole situation. So we took turns to keep the shield up whilst Benedict rested and revived his strength. That’s why you see six of us in a semi-conscious state.”
“I was not freed from the book. The book’s using me as a channel. Only when the six of them aided me was I able to do some things like talking to you. If any one of the six stops, I’d be frozen again. I was shown a particular page. It had a special symbol written the wrong way from all the other pages,” Benedict continued. “I found the page and I found that there were other words beside the written words. It was written in English! When I asked two others to see the words through my mind, they saw the words written in their own native language.”
“Yes,” said Tsui. “I saw the words written in old Chinese script. Like those that I’d learnt from my grandfather!”
Tsui turned to Benedict and said, “You’d better tell him the riddle.”
Benedict nodded his head before saying,
The eleventh prime will start the count,
Every eight hours the numbers mount,
It is complete when it reaches a week,
In years not days is the man you seek.
A man born on the longest day,
A man who veers from the normal way,
A man who is like a cup half filled,
A man in which hope is fulfilled.
“What do you make of it Jorg?” Benedict asked.
“I don’t know. This sounds too much over my level of experience.”
“Jorg, there’re only a few left with your experience. However, it’s not for your experience that we’ve called you here.”
“We thought for quite some time for what the passage meant. The first three lines baffled us. We tried and tried but somehow we weren’t able to get anywhere. We knew that we needed to look for a man as the fourth line said. We thought we could use the next four lines to help us. A man born on the longest day. That would be the summer solstice …”
“Wait a minute. I was born on the summer solstice … you don’t think that I … there’re many magi born on the summer solstice!”
“You haven’t heard all yet,” said Tsui. “Listen first.”
“It’s true. There’re many born on the summer solstice. However, the next two lines would describe someone like you. A man who veers from the normal way. One must admit that you are a magus who has veered from the normal magi way.”
“Surely there are many more gay magi around?” asked Jorg, realising that the lines describe him very well.
“We didn’t even think of the gay issue,” Benedict remarked. “We thought of someone who hadn’t been following magi custom. You certainly fit the bill. All magi, according to custom, goes up as high as they can go in the level of power. You stopped at level ten. Magi customarily continue serving in the mainline functions until they get married and produce children. You stopped serving over a hundred years ago. Even among those who stop, you’re different. Those who stop generally stop totally. You were willing to help when your services are needed.”
“I’m sure that I’m not the only one,” said Jorg.
“That is true. The third line puzzled me, a man being half full. Kolok helped us solve that line because it struck him that we should look for a man who can still be filled. That meant many things: power level, which we had mentioned just now; someone who has yet to reach his full potential. We all know that you refused a second term in the council although all of us know that you’d lead the community very well as President. However, then, all we knew was that it had to be someone who could reach a higher potential in his person as well as magi powers.”
“The fourth line sounded very self-explanatory. This man would fulfil some kind of hope but we weren’t too sure what the hope was. Then during the time which I was maintaining the shield, Nkime realised that if all the first lines were talking about numbers, then the word prime would mean prime number. Every eight hours for a week meant twenty-one since every very eight hours meant three times every day. Take twenty-one multiply it to twenty-nine which they determined as the eleventh prime number gave us the number six hundred and nine. The fourth line tells us that we need to look in term of years. So they started to search for magi that were six hundred and nine years of age and born during the summer solstice.”
“Then, I’m not your man. I’m past six hundred and fifty. At least forty years older than your man of hope,” said Jorg.
Benedict chose to ignore his remarks and continued. “We found two likely persons who fit the requirements except that they were ladies and were instantly disqualified. Then we discovered the mistake that we made. The eleventh prime’s not twenty-nine but thirty-one. We made a mistake of including the number one in our list. Thirty-one times twenty-one gives us …”
“Six hundred and fifty one,” said Jorg sadly.
“Which happens to be your age and the other conditions are also met. Now that we’ve found you, we don’t know what else to do. We were hoping that you’d know.”
“Me? What would I know?” Jorg asked shrugging his shoulders.
“Let him look at the page, Benedict,” said Lucia. “Perhaps that’ll get things going.”
“Follow me, Jorg,” said Benedict.
Jorg did not want to go but he knew that so far the hidden words pointed to him. He did not like it but he knew that he had to. The Book of Dorianus was a book with a leather cover. Its pages were slightly smaller than a normal newspaper. Yet it was about ten centimetres thick. There were iron pieces clamped around the free edges of the cover. There were several leather straps that tied the covers together. These were flailing at the side outmost edges of the open book. Jorg stood with apprehension as Benedict reached out for it. Benedict rotated the book to show the page to Jorg. The moment he set eyes on the page, Jorg fell unconscious.
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