PART TWO: THE BARGAIN
Avery stormed into the Department of Defense’s offices determined to see Director Shaw. She did not wait to be ushered into the office, much to the chagrin of the Director who had been having a critical meeting with Team leaders in charge of various missions the Department was involved in.
She apologized to the team leaders on behalf of Avery and asked them to step outside for a moment which they all agreed to.
“Surely I raised you better than that, Avery. You interrupted a very critical strategic meeting so this better be worth it,”
“Oh, it’s worth it alright. I just so happen to know everything there is to know about Ilya and her supposed siblings,”
“What?” Director Shaw asked in shock.
Avery nodded. “They come from a different Reality where the Creation story is a lot different from our own. For starters, in the Beginning, there was an Androgynous deity that split into two respective parts- a male primordial god and a female primordial goddess. The two new gods had the split powers of the Androgynous deity shared among them randomly…”
“Together, the two deities, Uma and Ull, became the Creators of that Reality. They both had the power to manipulate Arche(pure creative energy) and formed the Universes of that Reality together. Uma represented Yin energy while Ull represented Yang energy,”
“In time, from Uma and Ull’s Union sprang forth the other deities, their children who assisted them in the remaining work of Creation. Eons passed and the worlds they created expanded as did their powers. However, Ull soon began to covet more power. The aggressiveness and ambition he possessed caused him to come to the conclusion that Uma was in the way of him achieving totalitarian rule of the world and so he devised a wicked scheme…”
“He managed to convince a faction of the children he and Uma had borne to turn against her on the premise that once he controlled all the power possessed by both himself and Uma, he would share control of all worlds with the children that choose to align themselves with him. The children that refused to align themselves with Ull were destroyed…”
“However, Ull’s wicked scheme failed in that he was unable to steal away Uma’s ability to create and manipulate souls- new and existing. Once he and the children he had turned against her managed to destroy her, they essentially doomed themselves for all time since with her, the power to create new souls and control existing souls died. And so, any living creature that possessed a soul and died was lost for all time. Life was not able to truly evolve…”
“Uma had also served the purpose of bringing balance to the worlds of that Reality and without her, the balance was lost and soon, the worlds began to fall, one after another until a solitary world was left which Ull and his surviving children used all their existing power to maintain…”
“However, in time, with no one to remember them, the children of Ull also began to disappear, one after the other. Fights broke out over followers and many of these deities were lost in the in-fighting between them…”
“Desperate for worship to sustain themselves, Ull and his children began to spread out into other existing Realities seeking existing souls to bring back to their own Reality. Some of Ull’s children decided to abandon their failed Reality and instead live on in other Realities…”
“Others still were driven mad in their desperation for souls to sustain themselves while others, especially those closest to Ull, continually brought back souls to sustain themselves and their father…”
“It is not known how many of them still exist as so many were lost but it is widely accepted that there are only 10 surviving gods from that world, including Ull himself,”
Director Shaw was flabbergasted by the information Avery had given.
“Where did you learn all this from, Avery?”
“The Ancient Tome from Lemuria. It contains, among other things, the Creation story of that Reality,”
“Is it right to assume that Lemuria is part of the world that survived that Reality?”
Avery shook her head. “It is not. That world is entirely separate from the Reality from which Lemuria springs forth,”
“How can an Ancient Tome from a seperate Reality contain such detailed information about another Reality’s pantheon of gods?”
Avery shook her head. “I don’t know but it has a lot of information including this genesis mythos. It also contains information on how to kill a god. I understand now why Purity and the other Messengers would not want word getting out about that Tome. Clearly, one can infer how to kill our own goddess from that book,”
“How can one go about killing a god?” Director Shaw inquired curiously.
“Well, gods are practically invincible but they become extremely vulnerable when they are either forgotten or their followers are massacred. In this vulnerable state, a god can be killed using any Reality’s god killer. In our Reality, it bears the name Vajra. In other Realities, it bears other names and assumes other forms,”
“We already saw how powerful Ilya was in spite of her followers being massacred. Do you really think we stand a chance?”
“If we had the Vajra with us at that point, we could have easily taken her down. Besides, we need not kill her followers, she would only need to be forgotten,”
“Are you suggesting erasing people’s memories? Would it work?”
“It would. Of course it would have to be the people’s souls doing the forgetting but with sapient beings, the body, mind and soul are practically inseparable so erasing their memories of the god might just work,”
“Interesting hypthesis but how do we even know who her followers truly are? I assume she must have found a way to caution them from being discovered,”
“Oh, the Tome has a suggestion about that too. The Tome refers to anyone interacting with or professing the faith of a particular god for a length of time as being ‘god-touched’ and luckily, each god possesses a very unique colored aura. With a spell that requires a lot of Chi, you are able to perceive this aura for all the god-touched. We can therefore find all followers of that god,”
“Even so, how can we tell that this spell really works? And even if it does work, how can we tell what unique color Ilya’s aura bears?”
“The Tome has us covered on that as well. Ilya’s aura has a unique orange-colored hue to it. And the spell does work because I tried it on myself,”
“What? Avery… Please tell me you are smarter than to use a spell inscribed in a strange Tome we do not fully comprehend on yourself. I cannot believe you would take such foolish risks,”
“Before, we had the Entity to contend with but it is nothing compared to the threat we face with Ilya and her surviving siblings and worse still, her father. I had to take the risk or else, we wouldn’t have made it this far,”
“This is ridiculous, Avery. How many times are you going to keep putting yourself on the line on a hunch of all things?”
“I will keep putting my life on the line as many times as I have to to protect all the people I love, most especially, my son. You know its pointless to argue with me on this,”
Director Shaw shook her head in awe. “How sure are you that it works?”
“Because I saw it and I see it now. The radiance of the god touch differs from person to person depending on their faith. For us who profess the belief of Gaia, the Creator goddess, the aura is white albeit very faint in both our cases,”
“How long does the effect of the spell last?”
“I think its permanent. Actually, on my way here, though I didn’t tell him for obvious reasons, I noticed Emre’s god-touched aura was somewhat orangish, since he has interacted with Ilya for length of time. Of course there was also the faint whitish hue of the Creator goddess on him as well,”
Director Shaw once more shook her head in disbelief. However, suddenly from the floor in her office emerged a dark puddle and before long, Amabel emerged from it.
The intruder alarm immediately blared as Avery and the Director stared at Amabel in awe even as lock-down procedures automatically initiated.
“Director Aurora Alison, I have come to bargain with you,” Amabel stated in a voice unlike her own.
“She’s possessed, Director,” Avery deduced.
“What?” the awed Director asked.
“You’re a very intelligent woman, Avery,” Amabel stated.
“Flattery will get you nowhere with me, Ilya,”
“I surmised as much. I know your true nature, daughter of Aurora, and that is why I have come to you both with a proposal. Spare my followers and I shall make the task of defeating my siblings that much easier… I shall aid you myself,”
“You expect us to believe that you will betray your own siblings?” Director Shaw asked.
“The Begotten do not operate the same way as the Created do. To protect and sustain myself, I would betray my own father. Protector Alison has already explained the mythos of my home world. Clearly I am not above betraying my own kin for the sake of my own survival,” Ilya responded.
“How can we be sure you won’t double-cross us and side with your family again? I mean you did that once, so why should we believe you?”
“I suggest we make a covenant, Protector Alison; one that binds us to keep our word,”
TO BE CONTINUED…
What does making a covenant with Ilya entail? Shall the goddess truly keep her end of the bargain? Stay tuned to find out! Link to the previous part in the series is listed below;