The Monk – Part 14

Suvarin returned with a stretcher with two harnesses that looked remarkably like vests. She was out of her uniform and now dressed in jeans, thick boots, and warm hooded jacket. She looked remarkably unremarkable now; just like a typical young woman one might see on a cold night outside on main street. Oriana shivered for reasons she could not identify, there was something disturbing about how differently Suvarin looked now that she was wearing different clothes. Kent and Suvarin demonstrated the stretcher by putting it on Kent and Kelly first. Paul climbed onto it and was quickly blind folded by Suvarin. Kelly and Oriana were when blind folded. Suvarin and Kent gave the three blind youths the instructions they needed to start walking down one of the tunnels. Kent was in the lead, while Suvarin positioned herself behind Kelly with Oriana at the rear holding onto her backpack. Slowly at first, they moved down into the tunnels, gradually the walkers got used to being blind folded and the pace picked up. Oriana tried to keep track of which direction and how far they had gone but within minutes she gave up as it was obvious they were inside some colossal labyrinth. They just had to put their trust in Kent and Suvarin to keep them safe on their subterranean journey.

Kelly grew tired and Oriana took over helping to carry Paul for a while. Suvarin appeared to know Kent somewhat and was asking him about his writing.

“Writing?” asked Kelly, “What does Kent write?”

“Druids as part of their study need to write a series of parables that highlight key values of our faith in a way that is accessible to other people,” explained Suvarin.

Kelly chuckled, “Oh, so that’s why he told us that strange story about the boy being eaten by dogs on the way here!” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 14”

The Monk – Part 13

Oriana arrived back the main chamber to find Paul on the embankment and standing upright. Kelly was busy gesticulating flamboyantly. Realising that Kelly was clearly trying to keep Suvarin distracted for her still Oriana quickly rushed forward to inspect Paul’s knee.

“You can stand on it now?”

Paul explained that Suvarin had given him some medication for the pain and that it was fine to stand on it, just not to carry anything or run for a few days at least.

“You must be some kind of physiotherapist!” exclaimed Oriana.

Suvarin looked at her with an expression of puzzlement on her face, “Has Kent told you about the Salvati?”

“Only that you’re one of the five orders of the Aeshir,” then before she could stop herself, “and that you’re forbidden to carry weapons or do anyone any harm.”

“Oh! Yes, that is true. We are forbidden to carry weapons, but to say that we can’t do anyone any harm is another matter. There are strict rules regarding such matters, yes. It is odd that Kent should tell you that much about us but not about other aspects; such as our primary goals and values.”

“Yes, it is, so, if the Druids are the nerdy, preachy types of your religion, what are the Salvati?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 13”

The Monk – Part 12

The man’s face betrayed no emotion, “I see. Well, then I suppose you did the right thing in bringing them here where they would be safe. However, we will have to make special arrangements for their passage out of here. Do you know who the Tyranni are?”

“Nix and Peterson,” Kent answered. Oriana thought she noticed a particular stress on Peterson’s name.

“Ahh, I see. They must have travelled from interstate to be here in this city then.”

“That’s true,” cut in Paul, “I have a photo of their number plate. They came from interstate.”

“I am sorry, my name is Laneg. How do you do, young man?”

“Well, I’m Paul and my knee is badly hurt.”

Instantly Laneg’s expression changed from neutrality to deep concern. “Oh dear, did the Tyranni injure you?”

Paul nodded affirmatively.

“Well then,” Laneg turned to the young women next to him, “Suvarin, could you please take a look at Paul’s leg? See if he is well enough to walk on it.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 12”

The Monk – Part 11

“Are they up to anything illegal?” asked Oriana.

“Illegal yes, immoral no,” said Kent plainly.

“Ahh, yes, you live a life straddled uncomfortably between those two things.”

“Between chaos and order, yes, I suppose I do. But who says that I am uncomfortable? It’s actually kind of fun when looked at from the right perspective.”

Kelly nodded enthusiastically with this statement, “I get it, I wouldn’t do anything that hurt anyone else, but I don’t really care about the law either.”

“Kelly!” gasped Oriana, “You don’t really mean that!”

“Yes I do, why should I follow the law?”

“Because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” replied Oriana sounding far less confident than she thought she ought to be.

“Well, I suppose I should in case I get caught by the police or something, but I wouldn’t hurt anyone or their things. Really, when you think about it, a law is simply the opinion of a group of old men.”

“With guns,” added Paul. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 11”

The Monk – Part 10

Oriana and Kelly looked at Paul with a mixture of surprise and sadness, neither of them had known this about Paul. Kent reached out and put a comforting hand on Paul’s shoulder.

“I’m sorry Paul, you clearly care about her a great deal. It sounds like she doesn’t think she’s worth praying for herself to get better though.”

Paul shook his head, “Nope. She doesn’t think it matters if she dies of cancer.”

“Wow,” said Oriana, “I hadn’t thought of it like that, I thought that prayers had to be directed to god or something. I didn’t think you could just pray for yourself.”

“Oh, having some gods to pray about certainly helps with prayer too,” remarked Kent.

Kelly sniggered, “What, do you believe in gods?”

“Of course I do,” answered Kent calmly.

Kelly laughed at this, “But gods aren’t real, they’re just myth.”

“I agree with that too,” answered Kent with a trace of a smile. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 10”

The Monk – Part 9

“So joining this cult, the Aeshir? Well, did that give your life meaning?” asked Kelly.

Kent shook his head, “No. Well, not at first. By the time I completed my seasoning I was actually miserable and quite depressed about my life and the state of the world. I was ready to quit then, give up on my inheritance and just try to go back to being ignorant about my life again.”

“What does seasoning mean?” asked Paul.

“Seasoning? That’s the term we use for the initiation period. You need to pass a test to join, then spend one season in a monastery, swear an oath, and presto you’re part of the Aeshir. You can choose to stay more than one season if you like, but if you want to get your inheritance then you have to join one of the religious orders. There are five to choose from. I chose to join the druids as the membership challenges appeared the least odious to me.”

“Oh, so did becoming a druid give you a sense of meaning to your life?” interjected Kelly.

Continue reading “The Monk – Part 9”

The Monk – Part 8

“How is it your fault?” asked Oriana.

Kent answered without looking up from Paul’s knee as he bandaged a bruised gash, “It was my fault for allowing you to come down here to visit me. I shouldn’t have spoken to you or told you my name. Those men obviously had some kind of electronic surveillance measures in place looking for my name with a few other key words. I was careless; I underestimated how far they would go to try to stop me. I should not have been so relaxed.”

Paul, Kelly, and Oriana all exchanged puzzled and concerned looks with each other.

“Why would those men want to kill you so badly, Kent?” asked Oriana.

“Yes, and who are they, who do they work for, and what kind of organisation has titles like Sophim and Sybaran?” asked Kelly.

“And why would they want to sadistically torture and murder me in front of you?” asked Paul. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 8”