Speeding back to Akasha, her mind reeled with the knowledge imparted by her Oversoul. She panicked over how long she’d been out of her body and what she would say about her incredible news. Zooming at the speed of light towards the translucent rose, she wondered if she should keep her secret to herself. The ramifications of being the Ural of Aletheia flashed through her consciousness, as she stormed through the shimmering, outer petals of Akasha.
She headed straight for the spiraling hive-mind of the Portal Stormers. It sucked her in like a tornado, absorbing her into their collective energies - merging as one churning portal. The level of lightning and the number of colored orbs increased with her arrival. The crowd in the amphitheater gasped loudly. Delwyn had returned.
After several more revolutions, the souls of the Stormers started splintering off and zipping back to their bodies in front of the stage. Their respective stars flashed brightly in their corresponding colors. Fleat was first, with his silvery-black star blinking excitedly. He had a gigantic grin on his face and turned to wave at Master Tiro and the others. The Master responded with an enthusiastic series of nods, clapping along with the crowd.
Then Prem-Luss flew out, landing hard in their bodies, with their aqua and yellow stars flashing to guide them. Once incorporated, Prem began scrawling frantically on his notebook.
Luss yelled out, “Heavens, that was incredible!”
The contents of Prem’s notes were along the same lines.
A loud rumble came from the Stormer’s portal, then Purrsula dashed out and slid back into her body. Her purple star blinked brightly. She “Meowed” with excitement and the whole crowd erupted with laughter. She didn’t mind and continued purring loudly while she smoothed down the fur on her head.
With lightning and sparks, Drade emerged as a fine, pink mist – then drifted into her humanoid form. Her star pulsed like a heart and spun around several times, once she was intact. She immediately started flashing all kinds of signs and sigils, finishing with a shooting star as everyone gasped once again. The return of the Stormers was just as thrilling as their initial merging.
Finally, Delwyn zoomed out and into her body as fast as a bullet, leaving colored streams in her wake. Her red star not only twinkled with her return, but grew to the size of a basketball for a few seconds, then sparked like a supernova, before shrinking back to the size of a golf-ball. As this happened, the whole crowd fell silent.
Purrsula turned to see if the Master had noticed. His blank expression was hard to read so she turned back to greet Delwyn, who was dazed and shell-shocked. So much had happened in the last twenty-four hours, notwithstanding the past week and a half. It seemed like centuries had passed. Her mind still raced with her incredible news.
She wondered why she’d never known about being the Ural of Aletheia, as her Oversoul had advised. She tried to scan her memories to see if there had ever been any hint at this capability. If she was the Ural, therefore - like a deity or God - why hadn’t it been obvious?
Her narcoleptic and astral experiences aside, she had never felt particularly special, apart from during her time in the Realms. She’d assumed that she was just a lucky woman who’d been offered the chance to experience much more than the average Aletheian.
Multitudes of possibilities and questions flooded her already overwhelmed mind, such as:
If she was really a Ural - why hadn’t she stopped all the horror and degradation on Aletheia? Would she be in trouble for not having managed Aletheia better, even if she hadn’t known that she was the Ural? Would she have to endure countless tests, initiations and rituals in order to become a fully realized Ural? What would her responsibilities be?
If a soul could sweat, Delwyn’s would have already drowned. She barraged herself with all the worry a Ural could handle. Purrsula snapped her out of it.
“Delwyn, we did it. You’re a full-fledged Portal Stormer!”
Fleat joined in – giggling maniacally, “That was amazing! Welcome Delwyn.”
While all the Stormers chattered excitedly, Delwyn sat in a stupor. Cerberus and the deities went to the left of the stage and disappeared out the back. The Urals followed suit, with Ereshkigal finally turning around.
She called out, “Delwyn, you will come with us.”
Delwyn turned to look at her troops, who were mystified. The Master was approaching and motioned for Delwyn to go with the Urals, as her chair lowered to let her off.
“You must follow the Urals, Delwyn. They want to talk with you.” He also appeared to be baffled by this new development.
He joined the Stormers and allowed them all to hug him – including Purrsula – who was miraculously behaving herself.
Delwyn suddenly felt like a fish out of water. Even though her Oversoul had given her instructions, she was still in shock with the whole scenario. She followed the Urals, after she watched the deities and Cerberus morph back into spirit slivers - slinking through the walls of the amphitheater. She craned her neck to see if Paksir, Varun and the others were doing the same on the other side, which they were. The Urals were still in their original form.
She was awash with the strange scent coming off Ereshkigal, as she did her best to keep up with her giant strides. They were leading her to the Hall of Records, where long tables were hovering next to the translucent walls. Delwyn assumed that they would be seated at one of them, but found herself being directed to a floating disc to their right.
It was transparent, like double-sided glass - but seemed to be filled with fluffy, white clouds. It dropped to the floor and the Urals stepped up on it, one by one. Then Ereshkigal turned and motioned for Delwyn to step aboard, with a wry smile on her sparkling, black face.
The Stormer found it hard to tear her gaze away from the great Ural. When she stepped onto the platform, she felt like a child in comparison to them all. It wasn’t only due to their height. Their combined knowledge and personas were all-encompassing.
She looked down and saw the clouds inside the disc racing at an alarming rate, making her feel inertia without having moved. Then they lurched to the right and Delwyn had to grab onto Ereshkigal, who laughed unexpectedly. Morpheus didn’t react as he stood on the other side and focused on their destination, which was a large hall further ahead.
The Buddha smiled warmly at Delwyn, who continued to cling to Ereshkigal’s side. Pasithea seemed to be doing her best to keep a straight face, but her twinkling eyes gave her away. Delwyn hadn’t taken a good look at Pasithea until now. She was stunned to find her breathtakingly beautiful and elegant in her flowing, grey gown that hung off her like gently buffeting smoke.
When they arrived at the hall, the disc stopped gently and lowered to the ground. Delwyn and Ereshkigal stepped off first and entered the Hall. The furniture there was also floating several inches above the ground. There was a circular table and five chairs, looking like they were meant for giants. They went over to the table, which instantly lowered itself – along with the chairs – as though controlled by an invisible force. Delwyn wondered if it was the collective mind of the Urals making things happen.
She wanted to be seated next to Ereshkigal, however - the Ural pointed to the other side and said in her glassy voice of fire, “You will sit there, Sister.”
She did as she was told and sat opposite the Ural of Nidar. Pasithea sat on Delwyn’s right and Buddha on her left. Morpheus took his place between Ereshkigal and his mother – making Delwyn smile - until he glanced her way with a stern look on his face. She was directly opposite Ereshkigal, in a huge chair like the others. It was almost invisible like the rest of the furniture, glimmering like solid jelly that had been infused with powdered gold.
She felt like she was sitting at a psychedelic version of King Arthur’s round table, with Urals instead of Knights. She glanced around the huge, long hall and saw what looked like shelving and other furniture, floating above the floor. Every now and then, when the light from the stars penetrated the room, she could see the hall and its contents more clearly. As she wondered why everything was nearly invisible and hovering in Akasha, Buddha addressed her in his warm voice.
“Delwyn, we are here to discuss the messages conveyed by your Oversoul.”
She nodded and tried to control her impulse to blurt out all her questions and impressions. Her excitement and confusion zig-zagged inside her boggled mind. Then Pasithea spoke.
“Anything you share will help us with the preparations for the Storm.”
“Storm?” Delwyn asked.
Morpheus responded in his usual commanding tone, “The mission, Delwyn!” She’d half expected him to say, “SILENCE!”
She felt a little defensive, due to her abhorrence at being considered stupid. Before she could nod or reply, Ereshkigal took over - placing a cool hand on Morpheus’ white forearm. He glanced at the Ural momentarily, then softened just enough to show obeisance. Delwyn wondered if the Ural of Nidar was in charge.
“Delwyn, you are now fully initiated as a Portal Stormer and will lead your troops on the mission. You must prove that you have the capabilities required.”
Delwyn felt that she would never get used to her sepulchral, pulverizing voice – no matter how softly she spoke. She nodded, realizing that she needed to pee and was thirsty at the same time. As she opened her mouth to advise them of her predicament, Pasithea smirked and suddenly morphed into a six foot praying mantis.
Delwyn shrieked and stood up, forgetting that the chairs and table had returned to a floating position. She immediately slipped under the table as Pasithea bent down – laughing in a strange, insect voice – reaching out one of her mantis hands.
“Silly girl!” She rasped as she pulled Delwyn up from the floor. Turning to the others - she said, “The Stormer needs to absorb and void.”
Buddha smiled as Morpheus turned the other way, obviously embarrassed by the news. Ereshkigal stared blankly and waved a black, sparkled arm at Pasithea.
Delwyn apologized and did a series of bows, until Pasithea tugged her arm, still in mantis form.
She couldn’t help but ask the Ural, “Why did you morph like that?”
“I can’t help it, sometimes. Even when I intend to transform – it doesn’t always work the way I plan it in my minds.”
Her voice was still raspy - how Delwyn assumed an insect would sound like, if it spoke. But then she started wondering about the last word Pasithea had said. Minds, not mind.
She was led to a tall, odd looking tube that resembled a transparent phone booth.
Pasithea intercepted her thoughts and advised, “I have many minds. Some inherited, some stolen.”
“Stolen - from who?” Delwyn was flabbergasted, but the Ural cut her short.
“Always asking questions, you Aletheians. You have to know everything, don’t you?”
Delwyn allowed Pasithea to guide her into the tube. “I like to know the score, I guess.”
She stood back as the tube sealed itself shut, and then was horrified with the violent sensation that erupted from inside her. Without any warning, she felt voided of all waste matter, which suddenly appeared as murky, grey cubes that dropped to the floor of the tube. At the same time, she was filled to satisfaction - with what she assumed was food and something that tasted like lemon-water.
The tube then disappeared and she was back with Pasithea in the curved corridor – gasping and doing her best not to vomit and faint.
“What just happened?! Oh my god!”
Pasithea morphed back to her deity form – laughing in her normal voice. “Oh, you Aletheians. It’s always such a pleasure!”
Delwyn was still mortified. She felt as though someone had scraped her out and then stuffed new innards back in at the speed of light. Along with the aftertaste of lemon, she detected strange, musky flavors – mingling with something akin to smoked carrots and beetroot.
“I don’t see what’s so funny!” She pouted, but couldn’t resist the urge to break into a smile.
“That is what makes it so amusing, Stormer. Oh, how I’d love to have your mind, when you are done with it – of course.”
Delwyn recoiled in horror. “You can’t have my mind. Promise you won’t steal it!”
Pasithea continued laughing as she led her back to the hall. The other Urals were bowing their heads in a group meditation.
“Sshhh.” Pasithea interrupted Delwyn’s question and pointed to her seat.
The Stormer dutifully went and sat down, still feeling as though she had been wrenched around like a piece of silly putty. Pasithea went to her own seat and sat, bowing her head and waving her hand towards Delwyn, indicating for her to do the same.
She complied, wondering if she should meditate. Then Ereshkigal said, “Trance!”
Not sure if the Ural meant the same kind of trance that she had gone into when she’d travelled with Paksir, she lapsed into a meditative state and was almost thrown back out with the barraging imagery that hit her third eye. Inter-connecting swirls were coming at her a hundred miles an hour with the colors black, gold, silver and blue rolling over each other – accompanied by snippets of strange language and bizarre scenes.
Then she could hear Ereshkigal in a dark stream, wishing that Morpheus and Pasithea could be more like the calm and mindful Buddha. Flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder coursed through the blue stream as Morpheus reacted to her thoughts. Buddha calmed him down with a golden stream of compassion, advising that - in the scheme of things - none of it mattered. Then Pasithea spiraled out in quick-silver with millions of minds along for the ride.
Delwyn could hear her telling the voices to drop back, then her riotous laughter broke through. It was obvious that the Ural of Alusol didn’t care what anyone - or any thing - thought about her. The Stormer decided that all the streams at once were too much to focus on. She wondered why she couldn’t commune with their collective souls, as they had done during her initiation, when they became the Ural of Akasha.
Morpheus answered her instantly, in a voice that reminded her of the Beat author - Allen Ginsberg.
“Well, in terms of privacy and privileged information, or the requirement of confidentiality in regards to the current situation or situations that will arise; somewhere in the near future – hopefully further on down the road – it would be best for all of us concerned – here in the glorious and sacred realms where the….”
“ENOUGH!” Ereshkigal’s fiery voice sounded more like a roaring tornado when she cut in.
Morpheus apologized, “I apologize profusely, Ereshkigal; illustrious Goddess of the Underworld.”
“Yes you do. The Stormer needs a direct answer and I will give it.”
Delwyn turned her attention to the glistening, black stream that curled around her consciousness.
“Stormer, we are melding here due to the unseen forces and their desire to infiltrate our ranks.”
When Delwyn responded, she saw a vibrant, red swirl shooting out of her - winding around and through the other swirls.
“Yes, I understand now.”
She felt like she could see and hear eternity, as the imagery flashing through her mind consisted of speedy vignettes. There were billions of scenes, depicting every kind of event, thought, situation and being – even those she didn’t recognize or couldn’t decipher – playing across her third eye. The scenes were inter-mingling with the coursing swirls of the minds of the Urals, like beads flowing through a river of multi-colored ribbons.
Pasithea continued laughing, reminding Delwyn of Fleat and his insane giggling. The Ural stopped when Ereshkigal berated her, much like she had done with her own son.
“This is not a time for games, Pasithea. We must engage the Stormer’s memory of her discussion with her Oversoul.”
A jolt went through Delwyn’s mind as she remembered that she wasn’t sure if she should share the information regarding her new status. Suddenly - Morpheus entwined her in what seemed to be a huge net, made out of countless tiny dragonflies. Her mind was gripped in a force-field as he railed her unmercifully, using his classically cold and stern persona.
“You must never keep secrets Delwyn.” He then addressed the other Urals. “I know what she tried to keep from us!”
Pasitheia jumped in – silver whips lashing her son’s mind. “Leave her be, Morpheus. Stay as you are – it’s time to be serious. I detest you as a Beatnik. You don’t do them justice.” He withdrew the dragonfly net and sulked into a pale-blue wisp.
Buddha interjected on Delwyn’s behalf. “The Stormer was only wondering. She was not deciding to hide what we all now know.” His golden rays wrapped themselves around the psychic conduit.
Delwyn felt his warmth and compassion. She decided to be honest.
“I was wondering, but only out of fear!” Her red tendrils melded with the others, in a meager attempt to show solidarity.
Ereshkigal responded with a powerful blast of black swirls. “We would have discovered your secret soon enough, but be warned Stormer – deceit will be punished – no matter the excuse!”
Delwyn flinched but didn’t back down. The idea of being a Ural was growing on her.
“I will never deceive you. Any of you!” Her tendrils were spiraling stronger now, red and pulsing -entwining confidently around the others.
“Good. I hoped as much.” Ereshkigal’s black swirls morphed into one, calmer tendril.
Images started flowing from the Ural of Nidar, and Delwyn was surprised to see visions of Anubis and Ereshkigal entwined in a fervent session of intercourse. Pasithea started laughing again – with tiny, silver flares flying out of her conduit. Morpheus fumed and responded in the voice and persona he’d used on Alusol, when he’d taken the form of Beat writer - William Burroughs.
“Okay sister. Geez - enough with the unearthly shenanigans!” His blue tendrils blushed a rosy pink.
Buddha did not react.
Ereshkigal gave off what could’ve been described as a meditative shrug.
“It is what it is. I do not deny my urges. But now, we must discuss the mission and the Stormer’s responsibilities as the Ural of Aletheia - before the trance is broken.”
Delwyn felt more powerful and wanted to make sure that she would not be a weak link. She focused even more intently, as the Urals laid down the law.
“You will have to ensure the full integration of Aletheia into the Realms. We can help you, but first you must have success in Erankorun. Winning over the Ural will require great skills in diplomacy.”
Ereshkigal indicated for Pasithea to take over with a series of pulses.
“Delwyn, you will lead your troops through an exercise in Alusol. I will observe and guide you. Once you’ve successfully completed the circuit, you will return to Meditar to prepare for the mission to Erankorun.”
Morpheus continued – still in Burroughs mode – much to the annoyance of his mother.
“If you fail in Erankorun – you will have failed the whole mission. However – failure is not expected nor desired. Comprender, Sister?”
Delwyn felt a surge of panic through her solar plexus. “I’ve never done this before. Are you sure I’m ready?” Her red tendrils became pale and limp.
Morpheus pumped her back up with a stream of electricity. “Stormer – the whining time is done and dusted. Now is the time for bravery and brute strength. You can’t push a wet noodle through a keyhole.”
Buddha interrupted. “Delwyn, you will find your inner strength. It hides behind your fear – which is nothing but a fog – easily dispersed with your strongest personality trait: your determination.”
Delwyn felt the gush of power being sent to her by all the Urals. The Buddha continued.
“Use it as a weapon, to strengthen your resolve – for yourself and the other Stormers. Pasithea will teach you how to shift into your totem. You will need to maintain that form in Erankorun.”
Pasithea flashed a silver streak and continued the instructions. “All we know of the animal spirit-realm, is that the Ural has become a megalomaniac – ruling Erankorun with an iron fist. Erankorunians have been trained for eons to be suspicious of every Aletheian. They are warriors who won’t hesitate to strike. Don’t give them an excuse. Stay in totem form at all times!”
Ereshkigal took over, with a pulsing, black streak. “You will be required to seek out the Ural and engage her. Do you still have the talisman?”
Delwyn remembered that it was stowed safely back on Meditar. She shot out a red streak to affirm.
“You will take it with you. I will do my best to assist if you falter. I cannot guarantee – nor can any one of us guarantee – that we will be able to enter Erankorun if you need saving. Do you understand?”
Ereshkigal was now circling Delwyn’s mind with her all-encompassing spirals – nimble and pulsing with darkness. It was the first time that Delwyn understood how darkness could be a good thing. She felt safe and protected, even though her mind was pounding with the ramifications of what was about to unfold.
She saw hundreds of visions pertaining to cloaking, which fed her memories for future reference. There were instant lessons regarding one-mindedness, as well as impressions that taught her how to maintain secrecy. She felt a familiar stirring deep down in her nether regions, but it stopped as soon as it started. Somehow she knew that this power was indeed deep within her, and could be summoned up when she needed it.
She asked a final question. “Can you tell me why Aletheia hasn’t had a Ural?”
Morpheus answered her, still in Burroughs form. “There have been many that tried and failed miserably – such were their meager powers. Human emotions and trifling motivations always get in the way. You need to see the forest as well as the trees in order to be the Ural of any realm, Sweetie-pie!”
Ereshkigal interjected. “There were genuine Bodhisattvas – like the Gandhi, the Joan of Arc, the Pythagoras and so many more – who were ultimately defeated by their own or other’s egos and desires.”
“There was also the Nostradamus, the Cleopatra, the Francis of Assisi…” Pasithea joined in, but was interrupted by her son.
“Yeah – that’s all good and dandy, but what about Jesus? Heh heh!”
Buddha smiled with his golden strands. “He was called to the Seven Heavens. We don’t know why he didn’t return.”
Ereshkigal added, “He did what he was sent to achieve. What transpires in the Seven Heavens doesn’t concern us – yet.”
Morpheus added – back in Ginsberg form, “Well, you might want to consider a very obvious – although somehow overlooked candidate – right here in our midst. It’s understandable that he chose the peaceful realm of Meditar – being the transcendent, enlightened, demi-god that he is, although…..”
“Morpheus – enough!” Ereshkigal’s tendrils lashed at him in a rage.
Buddha replied in a wispy, golden glimmer, “It was decided long before I was incarnated, that my destiny lay elsewhere. The Aletheian Ural was to be one who was in AND of the earth.”
“Then why me?” Delwyn felt small and insignificant all of a sudden, in comparison to the mega-bodhisattvas that had gone before her. Her tendril was now a limp, pink spaghetti strand – vainly attempting to curl around the combined conduits of the Urals.
Ereshkigal sent forth a surge of several slick, black tendrils that encircled Delwyn’s pale noodle of a swirl. The Stormer instantly felt the strong vibrations from the Ural of Nidar.
“Delwyn, you were chosen firstly, for your ability to traverse all realms. Secondly, for your ability to accept any situation, no matter how bizarre. Thirdly, for your passion, determination and loyalty. Finally – the over-arching reason – was our recognition of your soul.”
Ereshkigal continued empowering Delwyn as Buddha chimed in. “We’ve met before, Delwyn.” His golden strands glowed as they wrapped around the collective conduit.
Delwyn gasped with her ocular voice. It felt the same as astral projection, so it was confusing for her.
“We’ve met before? How? When?!”
Pasithea laughed and contributed her silvery wisp. “A long time ago, Stormer. We’ve been following you, through many incarnations.”
Morpheus interrupted her. “There is no time to explain further!” He was back in his own stern form. His blue tendrils turned translucent and then disappeared altogether.
Ereshkigal blasted her last message, “Release! We will meet again on Meditar.”
Delwyn wasn’t sure what was happening, but she suddenly found herself the only spiraling swirl left in the void. Then she opened her eyes. They were back in the hall and the four Urals were all standing. Buddha waved her to her feet with one hand and held his other finger to his lips. A strange, loud noise like a bullroarer rang through Akasha, as the translucent walls shook with tremors.
The violet light – now reverted back to its original form – came zooming towards them. It pulsed and emitted a high-pitched alarm that spoke to Ereshkigal. She turned to Delwyn and pointed to the amphitheater.
“The others have already fled. Paksir awaits you. Go now, Stormer!”
“But – what about you – and the other Urals?” Delwyn felt her heart doing somersaults.
Pasithea grabbed her right arm and pushed her. “We will be fine, Delwyn. Go!”
Then each one of the Urals disappeared, like ghosts through the walls of Akasha – with Buddha being the last one to go. He turned to Delwyn and smiled.
“Do not worry, we will meet again soon.” With that he vanished along with the others.
The violet light came to her ear and nearly deafened her with its scream. She ran after it as it continued pulsing, beeping and leading her through the amphitheater, past the other end of the huge stage. Paksir was stomping, nodding his head and fluttering his huge wings. The walls trembled and the strange alarm continued. Delwyn nearly stumbled over her own feet several times, trying desperately not to trip on her long robe.
“Paksir, what’s happening?!” She yelled.
He turned and bolted through the transparent walls - calling out to her mind, “Follow me Delwyn – there’s no time for questions!”
The violet light continued to lead her until they reached the landing pad. As she climbed up on Paksir’s back, she heard a small voice coming from the light, saying over and over as loud as it could, “Trance, trance, trance, trance…”
Delwyn did her best to slip into a trance, as Paksir took flight. The portal back to Meditar was not working and Akasha was under attack. She started screaming as the sensation of being fried took over her concentration.
“Trance, Delwyn - focus!” Paksir yelled telepathically, as he started to soar through a warp in space.
Delwyn focused on his voice as he continued prompting her. “Trance, Delwyn – trance, trance!”
Strange thoughts mingled with the agony that ripped through her - such as, “Trance should only be used in a calm situation.” She was distracted by the words and couldn’t concentrate on the trance. Sobbing and clinging to Paksir as the pain took over, she finally zoned out and started slipping into oblivion as her thoughts evaporated.
When Paksir broke through the atmosphere of Meditar and glided down to the Willow fields, the other Stormers and the Master rushed over to meet them. They were followed by Taki and two guards, along with Rayda and Morla. They were all horrified to see Delwyn hanging limp like a ragdoll from Paksir’s mouth, held by what was left of her robes.
After he touched down, he lay her gingerly on the grass and licked her face. She was still out of it and the left side of her head was blistered and bloodied, with some of her hair missing. She also had blisters and sores down the left side of her body. The side of her robe had been burned away and her eyeballs bulged underneath the stretched, reddened lids. Her lips were swollen - caked and bubbling with blood and spit – but she was breathing.
The Master gently wiped some of the blood away from her mouth, using the sleeve of his robe.
“Delwyn, you’re back on Meditar.” His voice quavered as he fought the tears threatening to swarm down his face. The Stormers stood in stony silence, dismayed and anxious.
Rayda took charge and motioned to the guards saying, “Gently - take her to the temple.”
They obeyed and bent over Delwyn, but then looked back at the Master with trepidation. He went over to assist and all three of them lifted her up as gently as they could.
Fleat called out, “Be careful” - with tears dripping from the feathers on his chin. He rushed over and helped them carry his friend, making sure that her head was cradled in his smooth hands.
Drade morphed into a black haze – confused and not knowing how to react, what form to take or what symbols to flash. Prem-Luss remained silent as they were dumbstruck – as did Purrsula – so they followed the solemn procession to the temple, in shock. They were all doing their best not to cry or blurt out questions, in case Delwyn awoke and felt the pain. As they walked through the Master’s fernery, Morla began wringing her hands and fretting.
“What are we going to do?!” She spluttered, but was soon shushed by Rayda.
As they walked up the white marble steps to the main temple, a warp-cloud appeared over the temple. The Master and the guards continued carrying Delwyn inside. They knew that it was the arrival of the Urals. The Stormers and Morla waited outside, as Rayda and Taki rushed in to help. Ereshkigal was the first one to step through the wrinkle – oblivious to what had happened. She was closely followed by Morpheus, then Pasithea and Buddha.
“Where’s Anubis and the other deities?” She commanded, but soon faltered and looked back at the Stormers. “Where is Delwyn?”
It was the first time that anyone had heard the Ural of Nidar sounding nervous. Morla pointed and spoke up – despite her anxiety at addressing such a powerful Ural.
“They’ve taken her into the temple.”
It was also the first time that anyone had witnessed Morla or her kind in such a state. Ereshkigal turned and went into the temple, with the other Urals close behind. Anubis arrived with Cerberus, following the Urals and the Stormers, in a cloud of pale blue vapor.
Delwyn had been laid out on a huge dais in front of the altar, where monks were hurrying about, lighting candles and fetching water and towels. Rayda and Taki had gone to collect the various ointments and tinctures required for healing, but it was obvious that no one knew exactly what to do with an Aletheian and her wounds.
The Urals knew what had happened without being told. Buddha went to Delwyn’s right and began chanting the White Tara mantra of long life. The deity appeared overhead, hovering and sending white beams of healing into Delwyn. Pasithea stood by the left side of the dais and bent her head in prayer, whispering mysteriously and emanating spirals of silver that wrapped around the Stormer’s body.
Ereshkigal went to the head of the dais and held her large black hand over Delwyn’s engorged eyes, as Morpheus stood at her feet and spoke to her spirit.
“Stay close, Delwyn – but do not return yet.”
He was interrupted by Fleat - furious all of a sudden. “What? Why?!”
The Master hissed at him. “Silence – the Urals know what they’re doing!”
Fleat hung his head hopelessly and bit his lip.
Morpheus continued. “We heal the vessel, in preparation for your return. Stay close, Delwyn.”
Drade started flashing a pink arrow that pointed to the roof. The Master, the Stormers, Anubis, Cerberus and the Urals were the only ones who could see Delwyn’s spirit hovering over the scene. Morla, Rayda, Taki and the guards were craning their necks to see, as the monks stood back and watched.
“What is it?” asked Taki.
Floating above the scene, Delwyn looked down and saw the Urals doing their work. Even though she could sense the damage done, she was not in pain and felt totally serene in the faith that she would be healed. Taki’s question went unanswered as everyone stood back and let the Urals do their work. Cerberus stayed close to Anubis as the deity walked over to the space between Pasithea and Ereshkigal.
Delwyn saw every aura, including the ones radiating from the monks and attendants. She saw the raging, red lights intermingling between Ereshkigal and Anubis. Even though they were standing apart from each other and were concentrating on healing the Stormer, she saw and was fascinated by their connection.
Not having to deal with the panic or the pain, she became enamored with the amazing light show going on. She knew that the auras were not visible to the naked eye. What looked like electricity under water – in all hues of blue and purple – were the healing rays shooting out of Ereshkigal’s hands and through Delwyn’s Third eye. She could see the energy cycle like a whirlpool in her head, then - like a snake striking its prey – shooting through her body and then out of her feet.