Vrin Ten Mortal Gods(53)

By: John Michael Hileman


Humphrey smiled. “That's it, that's a good memory. Hold on to that one. And let's go!”

“Please, Humphrey, I need more.”

Humphrey looked past me and his brow furrowed.

“What is it?” I glanced behind.

“I have been reminded that time is not an issue, and--” his voice lowered and he looked away, “that I need to be more patient.”

“Who reminded you?” I looked around the funeral parlor.

“Someone who knows and loves you,” said a female voice. I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder and turned to see a familiar face. Her eyes squinted as she produced a smile.

“Becca!” I gave her a long hug, then pulled back slightly. “Are you real?”

“Yes.” She laughed. “I'm real. What you saw before was a creation of your mind, but I’m real.”

I gave her a puzzled look. “How...”

She smiled. “I'm here to explain that, but we will have to take it slowly, because there is great pain if you are shifted through thought too quickly here. It isn't like your dreams. Here in Dantra, your thoughts become reality.”

This idea made me uncomfortable.

“See. You are already beginning the struggle.” She rubbed my shoulder. “It's okay. Humphrey and I are here to assist you. We’re sharing your reality, and the angels are here as well.”

Humphrey interjected. “Remember Arganis?”

It took me a second, but the memories were there. “Yes. I remember him.”

“He taught you how to control the energy coming from The Circle of Ghosts while you were still in Vrin.”

I squinted at him. “Where?”

“Vrin.” He began to pace. “The place he created from the energy of Dantra, the energy surrounding us now, thought energy.”

I stared at him.

He grunted, then tried again. “Vrin is made from thought energy. It is real, because in Dantra thought becomes real.”

“So-- is Vrin a shared hallucination?”

“No.” He frowned. “But that's pretty close.”

Rebecca spoke up. “Let's see if you can follow this. I will stop if I sense any discomfort.”

I nodded.

“Beyond our dreams and past the darkness is a spirit plane called Dantra. We are in Dantra right now. Here, God teaches us about ourselves, and we carry that information back through dreams. It is why we sleep. Do you understand?”

“I-- think so.”

“Well a man named Doctor Solomon began an experiment intended to create a connection between the comatose mind of his friend, Robert Helm, and the physical world. But it did not go as expected, because the scientists had no idea what they were tinkering with. Each time the computer prodded Robert's mind, Robert created substance from the energy of Dantra, and as a result, Vrin came to be.”

“That’s where we were going on the white bridge.”Vrin, yes, now I remember.

“Exactly! God sent you and the others there. So from that time on, whenever you slept, you went to Vrin instead of Dantra. And in Vrin you lived another life, a life completely separated from the one you were experiencing on Earth. Each night, Thomas Tardin went to sleep and became Charm. But then Thomas had an accident and was unable to wake up, which made sleeping very difficult for Charm. Because when Charm went to sleep, he could go only as far as The Separation, but was not able to get home.

For a time, Charm was plagued with sleeplessness, but was otherwise fine-- until one night when he was sitting up late reading Davata Notrals and his consciousness was ripped from his body. His mind was pulled into the void because at that moment, the same computer that had prodded Robert Helm began communicating with Thomas.” Rebecca paused. “Are you remembering?”

I nodded slowly. “It's coming back-- though I'm not sure I want to remember.”

“Should we take a break?”

“No. I need to know.”

“Alright.” She gave a warm smile. “When the computer first began communicating with you, you were terrified because you had no control over what was happening. But eventually you adapted and created an environment in Vrin, which brought you peace. It was then that Sam' Dejal came into existence. And since time does not exist in the void, it appeared that Charm froze at the exact time you became Sam' Dejal. And for a short time you were a god-- or so you thought.

“Sam' Dejal.” An image flashed in my mind. “Yes. But I wanted to be called Jason.”

“Because it was a familiar name to you. But actually, you didn't know who you were, and in your attempt to find your identity, you became entangled in a conflict that was not your own. And with your new abilities, you began to believe you were invincible. This led you to ruin. But when you finally came to the end of yourself, God allowed you to return to Thomas Tardin.”

“Yes. But only after I asked for help.”

“Exactly!” Rebecca flashed a brilliant smile.

I stood thinking, and the memories continued to surface. “I returned to Thomas, but-- I was in some sort of danger. Right?”

“Yes. At the center Thomas’ life was in danger, so Dr. Solomon helped him escape. But that was all Thomas needed to do; to expect any more from him would have been asking too much. His life was riddled with poor choices, because it was tailored to create the man Thomas Tardin would become. But don't feel bad. God knew there would be a Vrin, and he knew there would be a Charm, and Charm's life was fashioned by God to turn you into a hero. All Thomas had to do was fall asleep. You returned to Vrin, and it was once again up to Charm to complete the will of God. And Charm was doing great-- right up to the point where he got shot.”

“Why don’t I remember that?”

“It will come.”

“So-- who am I now?”

“You are the sum of all.” She smiled. “And, Dad, although you have made some poor decisions, I love you anyway.”

“Thanks. I guess.” I gave her a quizzical look. “So how do you know so much?”

“Because I have come to the knowledge of the truth. It is in the understanding of who God is, and of what he has done for us, that we may finally see Dantra for what it is. I no longer have to struggle against myself, I can now focus on the real war. But not all who come to Dantra see it for what it is, and that brings us to Constance. She needs you.”

“--Who?”

“The daughter of Robert Helm.”

“Why does she need me?”

“You are the only one she will listen to.”

Humphrey broke in. “It’s time to go. You have what you need to shift through Dantra. And we have work to do.”

“But, I still have questions.”

Rebecca gave me the most wonderfully loving look. “Humphrey's right, you need to go. But I want you to know, I am so glad to have you for my father. I'm proud of you, Dad, and I will see you when you return.” Her form began to shift and flutter into ghostly transparencies, until she dissolved away completely.

My heart sank.

“You'll see her again, lad,” Humphrey said, “when we’ve finished our work.” He waved his hand and the funeral parlor dissipated, leaving us standing on the white bridge. Here we were enveloped in a light that was love. It eased the burden on my heart, and a feeling of complete peace washed over me.

Beings of light traveled in all directions, near and far. Two of them floated down to us. I stared open mouthed as they came in close. “Where are you going, Humphrey?” said one, with unmoving lips.

“To see Magnus,” replied Humphrey, in like manner.

“Can we help?” he said, his voice like a song.

“You could give us a lift. Thomas doesn't completely remember yet.”

“Sure thing.”

They swooped down and grabbed us by the armpits. At the being’s touch, a soothing warmth flowed through me, up into my face and out into my chest, soaking me in peace.

They lifted us high into the air, and in the distance I could see our destination beginning to take form; a brilliant crystal fortress with the base appearing as a frozen spire. --And beyond this, a darkness as black as night. Cries echoed from within, desperate voices crying out in tortured agony, pleading for an end to their torment. Holding the darkness in place was a transparent barrier. Powerful angels of light hovered before it, strengthening it with coils of energy from their hands. The sight of it made my skin tremble.

“Wh-what is that?” I pointed.

“That is the lost land.”

If not for the calming effect from the being of light, I would have lost myself in panic. My eyes grew round. “Is-- that where we’re going?”

Humphrey scowled with disgust and nodded.

The being leaned in close to my ear and spoke out loud. “You are brave to return.”

Return?

My heart beat faster as we approached the fortress. The being gently placed me onto the translucent bricks at the entrance, then rose back up into the air. I lifted a hand toward him. It was meant to be a wave goodbye, but as I did it, I realized I was reaching for him, not wanting him to go, not wanting him to take away the feeling of peace. The love I’d felt back at the bridge was fainter here, and my own emotions were disconcertingly strong.

“Thank you,” I said, still reaching. My voice sounded faint in my ears.

“You are very welcome,” he sang. “It is not often we get to help a prophet.”