Pauline stood in front of the grimy mirror, inspecting the sallow skin and milky eyes of this male emanation. She could barely detect her own consciousness in the rugged face. As she ran the cold fingers through the short greasy hair, the feeling of not belonging started rising up again in the dry throat. She looked back into the bedroom and saw Jon’s emanation asleep in the messy bed.
She wondered if Jon’s consciousness was alert, but decided to take the time to meditate. She had so many questions and concerns over what she should have learned so far and how she was going to get back home – with Jon. Sitting on the toilet, she did her best to get comfortable and concentrate on her breathing.
When she finally felt herself settle into a rhythm, it wasn’t long before she floated out of the body. This time, she was alone. Using her ocular voice, she called for her Oversoul, but there was no response. She was surprised to see her thoughts floating around like tangible words inside the white bubble.
“How can I get home?”
“Why is Jon here?”
“What am I supposed to be learning?”
“Am I being followed?”
As the words flowed around her like burning embers in the wind, she noticed a collection of visions rolling over the internal surface of the bubble’s walls. She was confused by the images of the automatons in her home. Thinking that they were memories, she ignored them in favor of the shadowy figures that seemed to be lurking around the outside of the bubble. Something was telling her that all was not well.
At the same time, unbeknownst to Pauline, Jon had already left his emanation’s body. He was zooming through a large quicksilver tunnel, screaming in his mind as his soul shot like a bullet at high speed. It felt like an eternity to him as he watched the spiraling tunnel whiz by, until he stopped suddenly – causing the worst case of inertia he’d ever experienced.
While he tried to steady himself and figure out what was going on, he noticed a sense of being enclosed in something while a radio voice started talking to him.
“Johnson? Respond Johnson!”
He heard his shallow breathing coming back at him like it was amplified. His movements made him feel like he was underwater, while he struggled to get an idea about where he was and what was happening. The radio voice continued barking at him, mixing with a faint voice in his head, which felt like it was bigger than it should have been.
“I’m losing it.”
Jon found himself mouthing the words of the faint voice, in response to the urgent yelling from the radio voice.
“I’m losing it. Something’s wrong!”
He tried to open his eyes but all he could see was darkness. Every time he thought his eyes were open, there was still nothing but pitch black everywhere. He clamped his eyes shut and saw lightning branching across his field of vision.
“Johnson, come back. Can you make it back?”
“N..No..I don’t think so.” He found himself replying in a quavering voice.
“Okay, stay put. Lennox is on his way.”
Then he saw the light. It was emanating from a huge ball. He focused on it and soon came to realize that he was looking at planet Earth.
“How is that possible?” He asked aloud.
“Johnson – keep it together. Lennox will be there soon. Hang on, Buddy!”
Jon looked down at his body and nearly screamed. He saw a padded, white suit covered in metal clamps, mini-packs, cables and tubes. His thick, gloved hands were waving around frantically and his huge boots were strapped onto a floating mechanical arm. Looking up again and hyperventilating while the radio voice continued to tell him to remain calm, he saw the curved visor in front of his face.
“Oh God, no! This isn’t happening!”
“Johnson – relax. Lennox will be there soon!”
When he looked over at the planet he began to cry and speak gibberish. He could barely detect the inner voice freaking out and screaming commands.
“What’s going on? Someone’s in my head! Jesus!”
It was then that Jon blanked out.
Back in the bubble, Pauline was trying to perform a mental scramble, in the hope of blocking out the swarming shadows outside. She couldn’t stop her thoughts materializing as burning embers – falling around her as she panicked over what to do. When she opened her eyes and saw the last sentence, “Jon is gone!” she felt like her soul was imploding.
It was then that one of the shadows broke through a crack in the bubble. She saw a pitch black face peering at her while it shouldered its way in, followed by three other entities. She tried to focus on returning to Simon’s body but a kind of mental net came over her.
In an instant she was dragged out and wrapped in dark silver light. The four entities were totally black and shimmering like they were creatures borne from the darkness of space – twinkling with distant stars. They were humanoid apart from the fact that they were legless. Their torsos tapered down to a slim, flickering tail and their faces were featureless.
Pauline felt like she was wrapped in an invisible cocoon. She could barely think, let alone speak. All she could do was observe her kidnapping. Still in spirit form, she was agitated over the fact that she was being held captive. The urge to break free and escape was overwhelming.
They seemed to be travelling along an invisible slipstream. Pauline could see evidence of silvery trails every now and then, like the wake of a small ship on a calm sea. When a large anomaly appeared in the space ahead, she thought that her mind was playing tricks on her. Like a massive mirror image or mirage in the heavens, she saw a palatial tower looming over a crystal city that undulated like a reflection in a lake.
When they floated through a force-field that seemed to consist of trillions of little white dragonflies, she saw hundreds of creatures similar to the ones who were ferrying her along. They had the same bodies and faces without features, but their colors varied – from bright jeweled tones to shimmering metals. Some had a copper sheen while others were like smoky quartz. She felt like she’d seen these colors before.
They seemed to be waiting for her arrival, as they fell in and followed as Pauline and her kidnappers went by. Then she heard a strange voice breaking into her thoughts. It was like a whisper in a metallic tunnel.
“There’s no point in panic, interloper. We mean no harm, but you must behave.”
Not able to respond, she kept her spirit-eyes peeled while they made their way to the glistening tower. It was approximately a mile high with a diameter of one hundred feet. The closer they got, the more visible it was, like a pearlescent monument with spiraling ridges all the way to the top.
The black creatures continued floating when they entered the tower, but Pauline sensed a shift in the energies keeping her upright in the center of the formation. She was gently bobbing up and down like a buoy in the ocean, but still being controlled externally. Other entities met them and ushered them along to the center, where a small, white, circular pad was glowing and pulsing with energy.
She could sense the pulses as they flowed through her being, but was relieved that she wasn’t in apparent danger of being hurt. Once they got to the pad, she was on her own. The invisible net disappeared and she felt like she could move about, but it was obvious that she was still being remote-controlled. Looking down, she saw that she was shooting up and away from the floating entities.
When she looked up she saw the different levels of the tower, brimming with multicolored entities watching her ascent. Giddy with inertia, she gently buffeted about as she approached the top. When the pad stopped, she was in the middle of a large hall. There was no furniture or décor, apart from the dark, pearl walls which formed a sharp point at the top.
Floating on the pad, she soon realized that she was not able to leave that position, like she was trapped in an invisible cone. Even though she was acutely aware of everything, much more so than when she inhabited a physical body, she was also aware of being suppressed somehow. Her senses were fading in and out, in line with how scared, shocked or angry she was and the level of her emotions.
The calmer she remained, the sharper her senses were. The angrier she got, the more her senses were dampened. By the time she figured this out, she saw a figure emerging out of nowhere, directly in front of her.
Larger than the other entities, it had a gold sheen and a longer tail, but the body was the same, along with the featureless face. She felt the panic rising from her solar plexus, even though one of her captors had told her not to. When she noticed the dulling of her senses and her vision becoming misty, she tried to maintain control by focusing on the fact that she’d been told she would come to no harm.
Then the golden entity began moving around the outside of the pad, like someone watching an animal at a zoo. It was then that she saw the reflection of her spirit in the shiny surface of the entity’s body. She was amazed to see a violet shape flickering like a flame in a lamp. She could detect the humanoid form floating and bobbing, nearly forgetting that the entity was slowing down in front of her.
“Rogue soul, do you know why you were brought here?”
The voice was like an old man with cotton wool in his throat. She scrambled for a response but could only ask a question.
“Where am I?”
The entity held out its hands in a universal gesture of presentation.
“This is known as Vagvur, but you wouldn’t understand the name. This realm and our language is completely foreign to outsiders, but some visitors have likened it to Purgatory.”
This shocked Pauline.
“Your understanding is wrong. The connotations that your fellow Earthlings have attributed to the word are incorrect – to a degree.”
“Am I going to Hell?!” She asked, trying not to be horrified.
The entity laughed softly and shook its head.
“Not at all. Do you think that you have sins to purge?”
She wondered if this was a trick question.
“I don’t think so, but why am I here?”
The entity came closer, like it was peering over the top of a glass. It was disconcerting to not be able to read an expressionless face. She was momentarily mesmerized by the reflection of her violet face in his visage. She was also surprised that she wasn’t shocked over the fact that her own features were missing, in spirit form.
“You are aware that you’ve infiltrated the portals without invitation or for that matter, any experience.” It was more of a statement than a question.
She shrunk back a little, like a flame in a gentle breeze, knowing somehow that it was pointless to lie.
“Yes, I’m sorry. It was an accident though. I didn’t seek to be an interloper.”
This seemed to please the entity, or rather – the gentle cocking of his head to the right indicated contemplation.
“That is true. We find it interesting that not only you – but also your consort has crossed over.”
This puzzled Pauline.
“Is he alright? What do you mean, “crossed over”? Are we dead?!”
The entity laughed again. The cottony voice more ebullient now.
“What is it about earthlings that makes them so panicked over being without physical form? No, you are not dead. Your souls have left your bodies back in your place and time. The bodies are now automated by a spark, initiated by our emissaries. You should be grateful that we protected you without an invitation, however – there are some concerns about the rules and the fact that you are already causing ripples.”
All these thoughts swirled inside her mind while she tried to grapple with keeping her wits about her.
“Can you tell me what I must do and what is happening? Also, where is Jon? I’m worried sick about him.”
“First, I will ask if you can be trusted, if I let you out of the field. I should warn you that – if provoked or threatened – your soul will be obliterated, which means that all your emanations will cease to exist. The godhead must not be harmed.”
Still reeling with all the strange information, Pauline found herself nodding in agreement.
“Very well then.” The entity advised.
A whooshing sound surrounded Pauline as the sensation of a vacuum being released ran up her spiritual being. She discovered that she was free to float out from the pad, although she was hesitant to do so.
“Come along, Doelanda. You will come to no harm, provided you obey the rules and behave.”
She followed the entity as it floated up to the narrow point in the ceiling and was amazed that they were able to easily fly through and hover over the crystal city.
“May I ask, what is your name?” She said as they flowed along an invisible highway, watching the entities go about their business below.
“I am called KaLuna Mezulari. It means Superior Emissary, but you may call me Ka.”
She saw that they were heading towards what looked like a floating pearl, the same size as a small car in front of them. As they approached, it opened up like a segmented orange or the petals of a white flower. Ka waved his left hand towards it and Pauline went in and instinctively went into lotus mode. It felt odd to be sitting cross-legged in spirit form in another dimension, but crazy had become normal lately.
Ka followed suit and hovered in front of her as the floating pearl gently took off, dipping and rising, up and down as they moved around the glimmering city.
“There are many things I need to tell you, Doelanda. The most important thing is, your Oversoul has been absorbed into its final resting place – as punishment for helping you.”
This alarmed Pauline and created a wave of sorrow and panic that reverberated through her being.
“Oh my God!”
“No. Not a God. Your Oversoul.”
She was too shocked to respond.
“Never mind, Doelanda. It was where it was destined to finally rest – within the Godhead. We all return to the Godhead to be absorbed – in order to share the endless experiences, thoughts and reflections gleaned from the parallel portals. Only those who’ve been obliterated cease to be, however – that is the problem. It is my job, as Superior Emissary, to ensure that all emissaries keep a close eye on the portals.”
They floated over a large lake of perfect waves and glistening reflections of the stars in the dark, semi-transparent world. Pauline was still too dumbfounded to take it all in, but Ka continued in his soft voice.
“Losing your Oversoul is punishment enough, for now. You will need to find your own way back without assistance, however Joledo is another story altogether. The Godhead is already aware that you’ve infiltrated the portals, even before your Oversoul was absorbed. The Godhead is also aware that you infiltrated its own being. The only reason you haven’t been obliterated is that it seems – you have special powers.”
At that moment, Pauline wished that she had several mouths or versions of herself to ask all the questions that were crowding her already addled mind.
“Oh, this is all so confusing.”
“One at a time.” Ka advised kindly.
“Jon – Joledo – what about him again?”
Several entities whizzed by, creating a rainbow blur in their wake, but Pauline was not distracted.
“Joledo has entered the portals as you did. His Oversoul is watching over him but it is not intervening. Now there are two of you interloping without invitation. Neither of you are seasoned souls operating for a higher purpose. Your earthly terms would describe it as “sightseeing” – which is not what the portals are for. Understanding yourself and your purpose is hard enough through one emanation.”
“I don’t feel like I have any control. Should I stay in the portals or go back? What do I do?”
Ka leaned in closer.
“None of us can tell you what to do or how to do it, depending on the circumstances, but I can tell you the rules. Every time you re-enter the portals – after returning to your real time and place – you shave off a year from your current emanation. So while staying here might seem to be a good idea, you cannot ensure that you will know how long you spend in each emanation.
I know that you have been told about the 24 hour rule, in terms of earth hours. Any prolonged stay in any realm in any emanation will begin a severing process, so that you will be forever stranded in the portals. Having a physical life back home where a spark maintains the body might sound promising, but the spark can only be maintained for a finite period of time.
Rest assured that even if you return and never come back to the portals, each emanation in every parallel realm will continue on evolving until absorption into the Godhead. Seeing as you are not a seasoned soul – even with the experiences you’ve had so far – to stay in the portals would be foolish. When the spark goes out and your body dies while you’re still here, all your emanations will die, essentially depriving the Godhead of valuable information.”
Pauline felt like the only solution was to return. She wondered how and what she could do to alert Jon. Ka seemed to read her thoughts.
“Once any emanation reaches perfection in any realm, all the others are enhanced and jettisoned to be absorbed. Your connection to Joledo is a powerful one, but you are still separate entities. Focus on getting yourself back home and trust that he will discover how to do the same.”
The pearl vessel lifted off and started to take them back to the tower. Pauline wished that she was in her body so that she could cry, but the information that Ka had given her was finally sinking in. He continued to tell her about the Godhead as they traveled.
“Remember Doelanda, absorption into the Godhead is the ultimate and most glorious sacrifice. Losing yourself in a sea of souls is a beautiful way to express your love for the Universe and the entities within. When the Godhead finally achieves full power with total understanding of all existences, it can move on to other Universes to share the wisdom and serve all levels of life – organic and otherwise.”
This startled Pauline, but she was relieved to be focusing on issues larger than herself or her current predicament.
“So there’s more than one Universe?”
“Of course!” Ka exclaimed. “But take heed. When any soul resists absorption, they become rogue spirits or what you earthlings call demons. When they filter back into the portals and cause mayhem, it is difficult for all our emissaries to keep track of them. This also applies to those who take their own lives or whose darkness blinds them from their purpose.”
“What should I do if I ever come across one of these rogues?”
Ka sighed, which sounded like a gentle breeze through a willow tree.
“Our emissaries do their best to keep track of them. Never interfere if you cross their paths, as you might confuse one for the other and cause irreparable damage. Each time you interfere to the detriment of another emanation – or any time you take over an emanation that’s not your own – you send a ripple to their other emanations as well as your own.”
Pauline thought of Simon and felt a flood of shame. She wondered if Ka noticed but he continued with his train of thought.
“There is one secret I’ve been informed that I am allowed to share with you. It is one that you may not wish to act upon, but I will share it if you like.”
Pauline felt a thrill running through her spirit.
“Alright – yes!”
They were now leaving the pearl vessel and moving through the ceiling of the tower. When Pauline landed back on the pad, Ka took her violet hands into his. She felt an electrical charge coursing through her entire being.
“Even though you are not particularly special, you have powers and the opportunity to become an emissary, provided you make it back to your own time and place.”
“But, won’t that mean that I will die?”
Ka laughed heartily.
“Will you ever stop obsessing about death? There is nothing to fear, but I am not talking about leaving your body behind forever. What I mean to say is that, once you’ve returned, you may use the library gateway to enter the portals once again – as an emissary – to assist the others in policing the portals. Even when you do eventually die in your current emanation, you may have the option to remain as an emissary, as long as it’s not for the purpose of escaping absorption.”
“Can I think about it?” She asked cheekily.
“Yes, it would be wise, however I have a few more things to tell you before you are released.”
Pauline felt the invisible shield coming over her as Ka moved back a few feet.
“Where will I be going next?” She asked anxiously.
“I cannot tell you, but you must remember to pay attention and merely experience – rather than act against whatever you fall into. Now – pay attention!”
Pauline did her best to keep calm.
“Alright. I’m listening.”
“Do not fret for your Oversoul. If you have any questions, meditate as usual and an emissary will find you. You must also know that there is a third option, besides becoming an emissary or being directly absorbed. We know that you entered the Prism but what you don’t know about is: what exactly is the Godhead, what its secret purpose is and what special powers you have.
None of us know. It will be revealed, depending on how you conduct yourself. Now – time to go back to the portals. Remember, if you can make your way back and if you decide to re-enter the portals as an emissary, all will be well. Joledo will be taken care of.”
Before Pauline could ask any more questions, she felt the tickling in her solar plexus. She was soon hurtling through space and then through the familiar tunnel at an alarming speed – her head spinning with all the new data from Ka.
All of a sudden she noticed that she was yelling in a strong female voice as the sensation of being in a damp room became apparent.
“Lick my boots!”