© 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: 6 July 2671, Thursday
Jorg started his journey in Manado. It was a bustling metropolis and yet one could see the green of the tropics within this city. The people here, unlike what had happened in the Western hemisphere, had integrated building and plant life that had given the city a good mix of modernity and nature. Old gnarled trees were part of the city landscape, each maintained, barely unnoticed, by a small robot. Creepers were allowed to climb up the lamp posts so that they can receive the sunlight in the day. Moss growing on the sides of buildings gave the impression that the city was second rate but it also gave each building its own particular character. The city looked old and yet modern. Jorg was impressed with the way the humans here have integrated nature and modern life. He had not had the chance to travel to the island before.
“Good evening, I’m Iohannes.” A man suddenly came up to Jorg. Jorg immediately knew he was a magus.
“Good evening, Iohannes. I’m Michael. My parents liked to call me Jorg, though,” chuckled Jorg.
“Yes, my parents used to call me Wijo. What brings you here to our city, Michael?”
“I’m working for a magazine and would like to walk the mountain trail and write about it.”
*I sense that there’s more than just work here,* Iohannes/Wijo sent Jorg a thought.
*I don’t have the liberty to say much about what extra work I’ll be undertaking. It concerns another individual and I’ve to keep confidence. You understand, of course?*
“I understand,” said Iohannes/Wijo. “Do you need a guide to lead you up the mountain trail?”
“Are you offering your services?”
“No,” Iohannes/Wijo laughed. “I’m an old man, I don’t have the strength and energy to do so.”
“You’re married within the community?”asked Jorg politely.
“Yes. My target’s having five children. I hope I’ll have enough energy,” the other magus said with a smile
Jorg smiled, understanding what Iohannes/Wijo meant. “You were talking about a guide?” he asked.
“Yes,” said Iohannes/Wijo. “Come. I’ll introduce you to Hamid. He’ll take you through the jungle trail.”
Hamid turned out to be a normal human with exceptional skills in jungle survival. His fee was quite reasonable. 150 credits for the four day trip. He’d do some shopping for the trip that would amount to not more than 50 credits.
§ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ §
Date: 7 July 2671, Friday
The first day up the trail was pleasant. Jorg managed to get the pictures he wanted. They stopped by a little cave for the night. Hamid had made sure that the cave was dry and unoccupied. Using a little electronic device that keeps animals out, he ensured that they would not be disturbed during the night. As soon as Jorg crept into the sleeping bag, he created a shell about himself by using the soil silicon as base. In the dark, no one would notice the difference. He needed to get to his real destination.
Checking out the maps and making some intelligent assumptions, Jorg had discovered that the highest peak at the time of Dorianus was now under the sea. The sinking of some parts of the island three hundred years ago had caused a change in the ridge line of the mountains. Jorg made a careful study and knew where to go.
Floating high and invisible over the spot where the highest peak should have been, Jorg scanned the area for any unusual psychic abnormalities. He was surprised to find many. The sinking of the island had caught many people and magi living on the island by surprise and many had perished. Each person here who died had left a slight psychic imprint on the rocks. Jorg had to concentrate hard to filter through all the psychic emanations to look for what he wanted. He knew that whatever message that was left behind had to be at least twenty-two centuries old. It was too difficult because he was too far from the rocks. He willed away his clothes and entered the water. Then he got himself a set of aqua lungs. As he entered the water, the psychic voices of the dead got louder but he concentrated and filtered them away. As he filtered all of them away, he heard … nothing! He extended his range a little and filtered away the extra voices. Then he experienced a strange sensation. It was five kilometres away from where he was. He got out of the water and used the wind to carry him to his destination. He looked at the horizon and noticed that the sun was about to rise. He plunged into the water one more time and placed a mental marker in the water. He’d have to come back the next night.
¤ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ¤
Date: 8 July 2671, Saturday
Hamid did not realise that Jorg had been absent during the night. Jorg had just made it back and had dissipated his shell when he felt Hamid trying to rouse him from his sleep.
“You sleep well for a stranger to the jungle,” Hamid remarked.
“Actually,” Jorg said with a yawn. He was a little tired after the night’s outing. “I’m quite used to sleeping outdoors. Furthermore, I was tired out yesterday and just gave in to my fatigue.”
“Well, there’s a clear stream four kilometres ahead,” informed Hamid. “We’ll be able to get a wash there and have breakfast, jungle style.”
About twenty minutes after leaving the cave, Hamid warned Jorg that they were heading into the territory of the wild animals. So long as they kept to the path, they were safe. The animals minded their own business as long as the humans kept to their path.
Once reaching the stream, Hamid said, “It’s safe to go into the water. There aren’t any crocodiles about. You wash up whilst I get some breakfast.”
Jorg needed a good bath. His adventures the night before in the sea water was really making him feel sticky. He stripped, making sure that his illusion of a thirty-five year old man were still in place. Then he got into the water and really washed himself.
“The water is cold!” Hamid’s voice came from behind him. “You are a strange man Mr. Brown. Not many Westerners would’ve gone straight into the water, and stark naked too I must add.”
Jorg grinned, “I’m not your normal Westerner, Hamid. And please call me Mike. Everyone else does.”
“Okay Mike. Do you want your breakfast? I’ve caught a small monitor lizard that’ll make a good breakfast and there’s even enough for lunch.”
“Good. I’ll eat anything!”
The monitor lizard proved to be very delicious and very rich. Jorg suggested that they could even save some for dinner. The walk to the lunch rest stop was filled with wondrous sights. Hamid and Jorg went off the path at some of the points when Jorg wanted to take some pictures. After ascertaining that it was safe, Hamid led Jorg into some thickets of trees and some rare flowers. Jorg took the opportunity to get some shots of the jungle from various angles.
Lunch was under a nice tall tree. It was again monitor meat with some jungle plants made into a soup. Jorg slept a bit after lunch to recover from the night before but Hamid thought that he was tired after the walk. If only he knew!
They set off at half past three. Hamid said that the night stop was slightly more than two hours from their lunch site. This time it was just walking and talking. Jorg asked questions about the path and the tourist visitors and Hamid answered the queries.
Just after five in the evening, Jorg heard a sound. He was sure it wasn’t just any noise, it was a pack of wild dogs following them. Jorg wanted to scare them away but Hamid had already heard them.
“Stick to the path, Mike. There are wild dogs about.” Hamid had already taken out his electronic device and activated it.
Without warning, two dogs came up to the path and tried to attack the walkers. Hamid showed that he was in his element. He had already picked up a stick and was in the process of lightening it when the two dogs came up. Without batting an eyelid, he swung the lighted stick at the dogs, causing them to move away.
“Get behind me, Mike!” Hamid shouted.
Jorg did as he was told and peeked into Hamid’s mind. Hamid was thinking about the spot for the camp that night. It was just twenty minutes away. He looked into the minds of the dogs and detected a magi presence who immediately moved away when Jorg’s mind entered one of the dogs.
“This is strange, the dogs don’t usually attack humans walking on the path,” Hamid said, “not even the electronic device could deter them.”
“What do you think they want?” asked Jorg in a loud voice above the barking of the dogs.
“The only thing I can think of is the meat that I’m carrying in the pack.”
“Let’s give it to them!” shouted Jorg.
“What about dinner?” Hamid shouted back.
“I’d rather go hungry for a little than to suffer a bite from these brutes. In any case, we can still use the bread that I brought with me.”
“Okay, the meat’s in my back pack,” indicated Hamid.
Jorg quickly opened the back pack. In it he found two pieces of meat. “There are two pieces in here. I’ll give them one of them.”
“Okay, hurry, the fire’s dying out!”
Jorg threw the piece of meet well into the forest. As they turned, he let them see what would happen if they continued to follow them. It was not a good sight. The dogs ran off yelping like injured pups. Jorg shut the sounds from Hamid’s ears.
“They ran off pretty fast,” he remarked.
“Perhaps they were very hungry,” said Jorg, which made the guide chuckle.
The duo reached a stone cave on a relatively high ground. After entering it and checking it out, Hamid indicated that it was the place where they would be staying the night. Jorg took off his backpack and started to lay the sleeping bags for both of them. Hamid started a fire at the mouth of the cave and started to prepare dinner. Jorg took two small loaves of bread and tossed one to Hamid.
“Here. I hope this would be able to fill your stomachs some. Sorry I had to waste one good piece of meat.”
“No problem. This’ll take a little while, why don’t you take a short rest.”
Jorg thought of setting up a secure field around the mouth of the cave so that the dogs and whatever else would not be able to come near and attack Hamid whilst he was gone. Unfortunately, he had to use all his concentration on the task at hand and would not be able to maintain the shield. He decided to ask the help of Iohannes/Wijo.
*Wijo, this is Jorg. Are you still awake?*
*Yes Jorg. I’m still awake. How goes the trip?*
*Your island is a very amazing place. I’m sorry for bothering you on such short notice, but I need a favour from you.*
*What can I do?* Wijo asked.
*I’ve to leave when Hamid goes to bed, but there was this incident with some wild dogs. They attacked us. I don’t like to go without some protection for Hamid.*
*This is strange,* remarked Wijo, *we’ve never known the animals to attack unprovoked.*
*Hamid said so too. This matter I’ve to do needs my total concentration. So I wondered if you could help me by maintaining a protective shield around the cave entrance so that I can finish this little matter without any distraction.*
*Consider it done, Jorg. Hamid is a good friend of mine. I’ll not leave him unprotected.*
After dinner, Jorg yawned deliberately. “Sorry Hamid, I didn’t mean to be rude.”
“When one is tired, he yawns. No need for apologies. Get a good rest and we’ll head to the another point tomorrow and then use a different and shorter route back to civilisation.”
† ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ †
The water’s colder tonight, Jorg thought to himself. He managed to locate exactly where his target was. It was a metallic ore that was cubed shaped nestled within some rocks. The last volcanic eruption must have filled the crevices with lava, encasing it tightly.
With his aqua lung on, Jorg was able to reach the location quickly but there was a problem. He had realised that if he tried to cut out the cube, the rock formation at that part of the sea would become unstable and a undersea rock slide may occur. He did not have enough information to risk causing more damage to the island. There was another way. He had to slowly merge his hand’s molecules with that of the rock. This was tricky because if he was not careful, his hand could be trapped within the rock and die. Jorg did not want to lose his hand, but at the same time, it was the only way to do it. He was glad that he had asked Wijo to look after Hamid.
Focusing his will on his right hand and the rock, his hand started becoming one with the stone. He started pushing in deeper and deeper. He reached the cube of ore just before the rock reached his elbow. As he touched it, he saw a bright light and many images entering his mind. He became overwhelmed by the mental information and passed out!
† ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ †
Date: 9 July 2671, Sunday
Jorg did not know how long he was out. The aqua lung he had on had kept him alive. When he awoke, he was aware of a dull pain on his right hand. His hand was starting to die. If he did not get the hand out in time, he would lose the hand. He focused and as he moved his hand out, he could feel warm blood starting to enter into the part outside the rock. He managed to get his whole hand out but his last finger was numb. Jorg could feel the blood in all the other fingers except the last. Jorg did not want to take any risks here. He made a mental picture of a place he knew and he was instantly transferred there.
He had moved himself into a linen closet of a hospital in Australia. The door opened and a distinguished looking doctor entered the closet. Jorg just had enough time to get rid of his aqua lung.
“I see that you’re just as impulsive as ever, Jorg,” said his friend, Trevor. Trevor locked the closet door and switched on the light. One look at his friend, naked and dripping, he exclaimed, “Where have you been Jorg? What did you do?”
“Sorry,” Jorg said as he willed the water away and willed on some clothes.
Trevor asked seriously, “Tell me what happened.”
“I had to merge my hand with some rock and I think I was in there too long. My little finger has gone numb,” replied Jorg.
“Let me see,” said Trevor. Trevor gingerly took Jorgs right hand and examined it. “Well, I can see it moving and so the motor nerves are not damaged.” Trevor started scanning the finger in the magus way. After a while, he said with a frown, “Okay, let’s see what can be done.” Then straightening himself, Jorg could see that he came to a decision, “I’ll need to use the imaging labs.”
Trevor mentally looked to see if the imaging labs were free. There were no patients there at the moment. There was, however, a technician who worked at the equipment. “I’m going to transport us both to several places,” he informed Jorg.
Within a minute Jorg had a hospital gown on and was seated in a wheel chair. The linen closet was gone. He was in a brightly lit corridor.
*Don’t worry, Jorg,* reassured Trevor. *I looked before I acted.*
Trevor turned a corner and Jorg saw a nearby nurses’ station. About ten metres after that, there was a sign that gave the directions to the imaging laboratories. Once they reached their destination, Trevor whispered something to the technician. The Trevor wheeled Jorg in and placed Jorg’s right hand into a piece of equipment.
Then Trevor moved into the booth where the technician was and was there for about a minute. Then he came out and wheeled Jorg out. He wheeled Jorg out back the way they had come. Then Jorg found himself back in the locked closet. Then Trevor took Jorg’s hand and stared at it for a while. Then Jorg began to get feeling back into his hand.
“You’re one lucky magus, Jorg. I was afraid that your sensory nerves were dead. They weren’t, just disactivated because of the loss of myelin material. I just transmutated the substances that make up your blood into myelin material. It’s still not possible to replace myelin material just like that in the human world but I was able to do it the magus way.”
“That’s why I came to you Trev. I know you’d work a miracle.”
Trevor smiled, “Actually if I didn’t do the imaging, it’d probably have taken a few days to discover the problem but by then your nerves would’ve started to degenerate. The real miracle’s the imaging gizmo.”
Jorg looked into the cave he was supposed to be in and realised that he did not have much time left.
“Sorry Trev, I have to run before I am missed. I’ll repay you somehow.”
“How?” Trevor asked.
“I’m off in three days. Can we meet on Tuesday?”
“I can work something out.”
“Will do Trev. I’ll contact you,” Jorg said. He willed himself back into the cave in his clothes and in his sleeping bag. Once in, he said a thank you to Wijo. Hasmid awoke barely fifteen minutes after Jorg’s return.
¤ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ¤
Date: 18 July 2671, Tuesday
It was almost a week since Jorg made contact with the cube. He had been very distracted by the experience. He had to keep the information he had locked up in himself. He completed his trip and his article, and also repaid his debt to Trevor.
All these were just secondary to what he knew. His contact with the cube gave him information that was of a great value to the magi community. He had slowly remembered what happened when he passed out. It was as if he had been taken back in time to the beginning of the Middle Ages. He saw what Dorianus had been up to. Jorg now knew why he was the chosen one. He understood why Dorianus wrote the book. He realised the great responsibility given to him. He had also learnt about the relics; they had a secret that was not only historical.
What really disturbed him was the presence of a magus at the periphery. Benedict had detected the magus because he was tuned to the psychic and physical defences that the Magi Council Headquarters had erected. Since he had stepped down from the Council, Jorg was totally unaware of the presence of the magus. Outside the Headquarters, Jorg had no idea if he was being watched or not. He had to be on his guard constantly, as the episode with the wild dogs had proven. His only consolation that no magus can enter another magus’ mind without being detected. Thus, he was sure that the magus in question had not entered his mind when he was unconscious in the sea.
He felt a little lonely. The information he had gained was only for himself. Even Benedict had told him not to reveal anything. He had to carry everything alone.
Shaking off his negative thoughts, he sat down and said, “Jemma, show me the latest news.”
It was reading the news that something caught his eye:
Jorg contacted several magi. They were his friends and often came to his help when he needed them. He told them what he needed and they said that they would try to get the information he needed as soon as possible.
Jorg was actually quite shaken. When he saw the picture of the young Heath Williams, he could have sworn that he was looking at the blond version of Dorianus the monk.