PART THREE: THE FORGOTTEN ART
Oracle Emica opened the door she had conjured in the Astral Plane which she hoped would lead her to the perpetuators responsible for the senseless murders occurring in the Physical World. However, the door led to vaster, formless space.
‘What is this? Was I not clear enough with my intentions?’
‘Interesting… It appears that we are missing something important. I wonder, is there anything we could have overlooked while considering the facts of the case?’ Oracle Bethany asked directly in Emica’s mind.
‘I don’t think so…We critically analyzed everything. Unless the murderers weren’t using the Astral Plane at all…’
‘On no, the evidence clearly shows that the perps were definitely using the Astral attacks to murder their victims. There is really no reason why the door is not leading us to them unless… We are looking at the case the wrong way. What if these murderers aren’t corporeal beings at all but are actually Astral Plane beings?’
‘Are you suggesting that the perps could be Astral entities? Why would Astral entities specifically target and kill these victims?’
‘It is possible that the true perpetuators of the murders are Astral entities being controlled by physical beings in your world,’
‘Can one truly command Astral entities? I thought Astral entities were fully autonomous beings,’
‘There is a way to control Astral entities through a long-forgotten art in our world known as tulpamancy. It is possible, through tulpamancy for casters to create formidable thought-forms and servitors. The more capable the tulpamancer, the more powerful the thought-forms they can conjure from the Astral Plane,’
‘What are these thought-forms and servitors?’
‘Thought-forms or tulpas are mental emissions conjured in the Astral Plane that serve a specified purpose. The more proficient the Caster, the more powerful the thought form. They remain fiercely loyal to their conjurers and some of them develop personalities and some semblance of autonomy. Servitors, on the other hand, remain just as they were originally conjured. Servitors are still potent but they never develop individuality like more sophisticated tulpas…’
‘Are you saying that there are casters powerful enough to conjure these beings? If that is the case, how do we even apprehend them?’
‘Well, thought-forms and servitors are tethered to their host so if we can find them, it will lead us directly to the tulpamancers responsible. It will require caution considering the ones responsible are most likely my kin,’
‘So the perps may all be related and all have the Astral manipulation abilities of the Broker clan?’
‘So now that we have made these discoveries, do you think that we can open up another door leading us straight to the perps?’
‘Only one way to find out, Emica dear. Kindly do the honors,’
Emica nodded and focused her mind’s eye on conjuring another door. The second door took on the appearance of a wooden 4-panel carved style door and suddenly Emica was staring directly at a vaguely humanoid, featureless being in awe. The longer she stared at the entity, the more information she gleaned for it. The scenery behind the creature began to take shape. It was reminiscent of a suburban maisonette home that exuded an undeniable minimalistic charm from the effective usage of the space to the stylish pieces adorning the home. Emica received a virtual tour of the home, carefully going over every room, surprised that each framed photograph did not contain the physical form of the occupants of the home but rather displayed creatures akin to the one she had left at the door. All photos contained a singular name, Bea. Emica tried to gather more facts about the other occupants of the house but the same name kept repeating itself.
‘What does it all mean?’ Emica wondered.
‘It would appear that we were mistaken about the perpetuators being different casters. The Tulpamancer responsible for all the senseless murders is none other than this Bea,’ Bethany authored.
‘How absurd! How could one person be responsible for so many murders?’
‘It would appear that Bea is a true master of disguise and misdirection tactics. This person must be someone highly intelligent who is adept at hiding in plain sight. Look at this house, for instance. We can only assume it is their home, or perhaps that it once was their home. It is your typical cookie-cutter home. It doesn’t stand out in any way. And yet it was host to something as sinister as a serial killer…’
‘If that is the case, then how do we catch them? The only clues we have gathered from here is Bea’s name. Since this home your typical run-of-the-mill suburban home, it could be anywhere in the world, right?’
‘Look closer and stay focused. You came here to learn the answers… Focus and the truth shall reveal itself to you,’
Emica poured over every detail in the home yet again and discovered several clues in the form of objects such as books with recurring titles or numbers which when carefully deciphered revealed geographical information such as longitude and latitude, the house address, street name and other pertinent information required to capture the mysterious Bea in the Physical world.
‘Excellent. We got everything we need! Time go back home, Bethany,’ Emica merrily announced as she exited the home.
‘I’m afraid that this is where we part ways, Emica,’
Emica was taken aback by her past self’s statement.
‘What do you mean?’
‘This is the part where I reveal my ulterior motive. Limbo’s a kind of hell all on its own. Sure, you don’t get to suffer as much as if you were in the Hellish plains but you don’t get any of the perks of the Paradise lands. Well, I have decided I would rather stay here. The Astral Plane is great when you know how to transverse it and all. Of course you can always reach me whenever you require it…’
‘Absolutely not! I am not leaving you here! There is no telling what would happen if I do. You’re coming back with me and returning to Limbo-‘
‘No, I am staying here as an Astral Entity, with or without your consent. This was such a lovely little transaction, if I do say so myself. I helped you find your perp and you gave me a one-way ticket to the Astral Plane. If it’s any consolation, I have no grand plans to take over the world as an Astral being. I just want to create my own little piece of Heaven as a non-corporeal being here. Besides, Bea isn’t going to be so easy to subdue. Worst case scenario, she will turn her attention to and start attacking you. You’ll need some serious back-up over here too and lucky for you, you have a piece of your Multi-versal self here to protect your Astral body. How cool is that?’
‘This is completely unacceptable, Bethany! I demand that you return with me,’
Emica felt Bethany’s spirit detach from her and stared at her in awe as Bethany took on a non-corporeal form reminiscent of the Astral entities in the land.
‘If I were you, I’d focus more on catching Bea before that kill count begins registering triple digits,’
Bethany then disappeared in the void leaving Emica to navigate the Astral Plane alone. Already feeling overwhelmed, Emica opted to return to the Physical world where she relayed all the information gathered from the Astral Plane to Director Port and the Peace Keeping Corps. The joint task force immediately planned for a raid of Bea’s house but by then, it had already been cleared out. The only thing remaining in the house was a note directly addressed to Oracle Emica.
The note read, ‘See you sometime soon in your dreams, Oracle Emica. xoxo. Bea,’
TO BE CONTINUED…
Will the mysterious Bea ever be caught? What are their intentions with Oracle Emica? Stay tuned to see how the mystery unfolds! Links to previous parts are linked below. Enjoy!