Continued from Death Eater Part-I: The Horcrux.
A Clash of Interests
“Aditya, my dear boy, what possessed you to send that original signed note, document copies and original sample of Amarnath N/210723/AP/17 to Shri Vinayak Sharma instead of Devi Arundhati?”, whispered the snow maned Rudradeva to the young man who stood trembling before him. Rudradeva, a Sage of the Rishi class, Order of the Nine Unknown Men, was fidgeting with a fresh quill and he directed his question in that fatherly tone of his, but the addressee did not miss the steely edge in the voice…. nor was he not unaware of the possible consequences of his mistake.
“Master”, the apprentice almost choked, “the Mirror was being used…. I mean consulted by Parameshwaran from Control. He got there ahead of me and had this thick bundle of notes….. KumariKantam runes actually! I could have persuaded him to let me to address the Mirror and be done with my short task, but Shri Vepa himself was with him and….”
“Your trepidation is worth my time, AND yours, ONLY if it is on account of your foreboding on the consequences of……..”, the ancient Pandit’s icy retort was like the Chandrahasa, the Cleaver of Forts. Aditya completed the sentence on cue,
“…. the consequences of my MISTAKE rather than mere foreboding on what punishment might await me.”, Aditya finished the sentence and hung his head in shame.
“Good”, nodded the priest, ” at least something has been salvaged from this little fiasco. Probably that was another of those inspired yet misguided souls from across this new international border, but still…. They keep turning up regularly as you might have noted in your work here. Would have been hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic, eh?”.
“Yes Master!”, agreed Aditya vigorously, perhaps the Master is not totally disappointed in him after all. “They keep turning up almost dutifully, like clockwork! Pir Ali will never let the power politics of their Above World taint and misuse the Magic and the Below. Still, I fear what the future holds and what would happen if the missing artifacts from our old cities and shrines fall into the hands of our types who are less scrupulous.”
The old man noticed how Aditya almost winced while he said the last sentence. With a smile he asked, “Oh, and what ‘type’ would that be, young Aditya? Do these ‘types’ i.e the Warlocks and the Witches spring out of the follicles of some fell beast of the Nether? Do they have antennae sprouting out their temples?”
Aditya’s face went white as a sheet at this, “No! No, my Master! It’s nothing like that! Well…. you know Master, in my Above I did my degree at Roorkee. Moreover, I’m from a family of Aboves to boot. Generations of logicians and scientists at that too… these sixteen years in the Below haven’t yet made me comfortable with the realm. The formal education in the applied sciences has only confused me further. The modern sciences explain most of the known universe and yet I see this realm of magic…. a realm not parameterized by any known quantity; a realm which I myself am a part of. The hard scientist in me tells me all this is an abomination that which must not, by rights, exist at all.”
Rudradeva now closed his eyes, settled into the Padmasana and Aditya sat beside him reverently. “Listen, my son”, began the Master, “this realm and we who can enter this are defined by the ‘gaps’ in this plane, a plane which is just one of many planes….. We are those chasms which science cannot look into AND fears to look into….. We are those that exist in the Between; in the nether; in the spaces between the Paramanus; in the imperfections within the perfect; in the anomalies within the perfectly defined….. We are those that defy balance and defy physical laws…. we are what that was left ‘unbalanced’ from the primordial ‘chaos’ or ‘womb’ or ‘nothingness’, whatever the truth may actually be. Most importantly, we are all that is CREATED by the strictly ‘matter-less’ dreams, thoughts and ideas of the sentient. In short we are simply a stage of awakened consciousness. We are as much a part of the order of things as the Aboves, so smug in their hard science Kupamanduka are.”
“The truth is”, continued the Pandit after taking a brief pause to let the message sink in, “the ‘Nurture-Nature’ argument is of quite some importance for the former factor, obviously dominant from birth helps the person attain the consciousness and the power to enter the Below. This is why nearly all members of the ancient wizarding families, or families of the ‘types’ as you refer to it, do invariably have some degree of the ability. However, in some cases the ‘ingredients’ that make us what we are quite sizeable that these Aboves possess the ability from birth. In rarest cases, sufficiently driven and well guided Aboves who were not ‘blessed’ at birth awaken themselves via tribulations, penance, dark occult and even Hedge-Magicking. The ‘types’ from these above said categories of Aboves usually turn out to be more powerful (in fact some of the greatest among our ilk came from the Above) due to precisely this reason, son. This is again why unlike our more ‘systematic’, ‘officious’ and ‘vetted’ counterparts of other nations, we do not discriminate nor ignore an Above who has the ability.”
“Talk about bureaucracy”, said Rudradeva, “I got this message from one of our ferrets at the Ghats last night. We would speak on the other matters at another time for Tauji has apparently picked up a most curious trace, a trace which he has marked as a “Clear All Lines” category! Tauji’s one of our most reliable field personnel…. a very experienced and powerful psychic who has watched that section of this city for ages. Therefore, I want you should look at it immediately and prepare me a full report.”, suggested the Master with the faintest smile.
“Me? A full report?! On a high priority alert?”, the youth exclaimed, “ But why? I am just an apprentice, all I have done so far is verify and triplicate analysis of senior functionaries, stamp and file documents…..”
“What’s your field of personal interest, young man?”, the sage cut in abruptly, smiling on young man’s truthfulness and naivety. Most of the brothers in the order, even the freshers, would grab this one even if they couldn’t tell Shambala from Shambara. Even the Below
Aditya looked a bit embarrassed now. “Western Magic, Master.”, he whispered.
“You need not be mortified at your own interest with me, Aditya”, laughed the old sage, “unlike most of our brothers and sisters, I am not so dismissive of Western Magick. In fact I am quite impressed at their progress in the last eight centuries. Their mastery over amulets and wielding is quite impressive given that they are ummmm, Greenhorns in this thing.”
“Many Wielders hailing from our own land, and even those from China and Persia mock their little hedge-magicking, the hilarious broomsticks they depend for transportation and most of all, their calisthenics with a piece of charmed wood to cast even the simplest spell.”, added the student, “They have wasted many years hiding from Inquisitions and lay mobs, they have wasted horrendous amounts of energy in charms and amulets without working on the Wielder’s own awakening….. Yet, I see much promise in them. On many occasions they have shown that they have a core of steel despite their civilizational youthfulness and other failings….”
“The way they….”,the student stopped mid-sentence, “Oh, I see…. this new trace involves a Gora, doesn’t it? Which race; Frank, Celt, Saxon, Lapp, Slav or Ionian? Or is theperson not from the ancient races?”
The Master couldn’t help but grin at Aditya’s bubbling enthusiasm. Suppressing an impish drive to jibe the neophyte any further he added, “Tauji sensed the bloodline of Mother Danu herself, so that probably leaves out Greeks, Romans, Lapps and Slavs. But let’s see….. you can get to it right after you rectify your earlier mistake.”
“One can see that this is neither a semi-Awakened Westerner who has lost his moorings and looking for answers nor another of their magicking denizens on a ‘Sikander’ trip or a flash looting expedition.”, said the apprentice, “ The readings of those types have been well cataloged. They will light up our Warning Arrays like a Christmas tree and they would be picked up seconds after they entered the holy land of Bharata. There would be no need for such a high priority message…. “
“The samples and Tauji’s report would be on your desk in the hour, Aditya”, the sage cut him off abruptly, “why don’t you finish your pending work, you know the work you botched yesterday, settle down and STUDY Tauji’s whole report before arriving at any conclusions? You don’t want to get your very first assumptions wrong, do you?”
“Ouch, the old fox is twisting it in!”, Aditya mused. “Forgive me for my haste, Master” he apologized, “I got carried away…. I shall proceed as you have correctly suggested..”, and bowed low before the old sage.
Rudradeva nodded and leaned back on his chair indicating that he was dismissed. Aditya bowed respectfully once again and left the sage’s presence vowing to make good on his mistake, get to the bottom of this strange new development….. and make his mentor/master proud of him. Very proud of him.
Rishi Rudradeva nodded approvingly as the young man left his presence. He turned around an addressed a red swastika finger painted on the wall opposite to the door. “I have watched him for quite sometime, Satpatiji. He has very high potential….. I would go out on limb here and say he would make Rishi before he is thirty. Moreover, he is eager, disciplined, pure-hearted and idealistic to a fault. Given his talents and inclinations I would say he would be an apt point man for this job.”
A woman’s voice answered from the Swastik and it filled the room…. yet none other than the addressee would hear it even if they were well within earshot. “Very well Rudra, if he’s the stock young-inexperienced protagonist-with-a-pure-heart character, he would need the stock grizzled veteran-wise master-dependable ally character to help him bear the burden too. The Cursed One has given us the slip, our watchers lost him at the Terai….. Vasuki’s personal envoy called on the Maha Atharvan himself last night to warn us of a ‘disturbance’. Coincidence? This time we have apparently ‘caught’ a really big Maghrebi fish in our net….. I think it would be prudent to put the good Colonel on this job too.”
Chapter II to be continued…..
All Content including Pictures
Copyright © Anand K 2004 – 2006.