John awoke with a groan and rubbed his eyes. From the dim light flickering from a torch on the far wall, he took in his surroundings. Trapped in a dark dungeon, he had little hope of escape. Judging by the embers of the torch and the small remaining flame, nobody had come to check on him in quite some time. He was nearly certain that he had been locked away and meant to be forgotten again: just like his imprisonment underneath Buckingham Fountain back on Earth.
What shall I do without my master?
John felt startled by the voice that had suddenly entered his consciousness. Over the years he had gotten quite accustomed to hearing the thoughts of others, however what startled him now was the fact that he thought he was entirely alone.
“Who’s there?” John called out into the darkness.
“I know you’re here.” John pleaded, “Please help me.”
Who is this man with white hair?
“It is I, John.” he explained, “Don’t be afraid.”
Ah, yes. ‘tis the Apostle John. Perchance he shouldst become my new master?
“I can hear your thoughts.” he looked around in the dim light, “I can sense that you are very close. Where are you?”
Thou couldst hear me?
“Yes.” John nodded, “Every thought.”
Pray tell, art thou an Oracle?
“No, I do not possess that gift. However, I have been a Seraph, a Prophet, a Seer and a Revelator.”
Ah, yes. Verily, I doth understand. Wilt thou become my new master?
“I am not worthy of such a title.” John spoke humbly, “There is only One who should be known as our Lord and Master.”
Verily, but lest I shall perish, wilt thou take care of me as thine own?
“Who are you?” John began to feel somewhat unnerved by his seemingly invisible visitor, “Are you a follower of the Leviathan?”
No. I despise the beast. My former master and I didst refuse to yield up our souls for consumption.
“Then you are a follower of Light and Truth?”
Yea, I am before thee.
John looked around in confusion. He could feel the close presence, but could not see the visitor anywhere.
I doth stand at thine feet.
John looked down. The flickering flame reflected off of an eerie-looking pair of eyes staring up at him. Startled, he jumped back when he recognized the scaly skin.
I pray thou insultest me not. I doth come from the reptilian order of Squamata, family of Iguanidae.
“An iguana, eh?” John breathed a sigh of relief, “I had no idea I could read the thoughts of animals!”
Verily, most reptiles and mammals cannot process thoughts in the same manner as humans.
“Really?” John sat down and offered out his hand, “What makes you so different?”
My name is Chacham. My former master wast an Oracle. Yea, I wast his Spirit Animal.
“Where is your former master now?”
His body hast returned unto dust.
John stared into the reptilian eyes before him, and read the iguana’s most recent memories.
“I see.” he nodded, “High Priest Abner was your former master.”
Verily, ‘tis so.
“But if his body has returned unto dust, wouldn’t that mean his successor has Awakened?”
Yea, ‘tis a woman from Earth.
John studied Chacham’s memories for several minutes, and his eyes lit up in understanding.
“Lily… I had no idea…” he stammered, “This is wonderful news! We still have hope!”
His mind traveled back in time to the moment he had first met an Oracle. The words of his most beloved friend would forever haunt his memories.
“Behold thy mother!”
He would always remember the pleading look on Jesus’ face as he hung on the cross in agony. John’s own voice also echoed in memory.
“Yes Lord, I shall take care of thy mother henceforth.”
Since Mary’s husband Joseph had long ago passed away, with Jesus’ death there was no longer a male heir to her estate. Several Pharisees had immediately seized all of her assets. She was left with nothing but the clothes on her back and her donkey. John took her in as his own mother and cared for her. Only two days had passed since his beloved friend’s death on the cross, and John remembered how discouraged he had felt.
“My child,” Mary consoled, “Why art thou in despair? Knowest thee not that Jesus shall rise again on the morrow?”
“Pray tell,” John breathed heavily, “Yea, I hath hope.”
“But thou dost not fully believe.”
His shoulders slumped, “Yea, ‘tis a hard thing to believe.”
“Verily, I knowest for a surety that he shall rise again on the morrow.” she paused, “I hath seen it.”
“What dost thou mean?”
“Yea, ‘tis time that I should impart unto thee knowledge of thine destiny.” she paused, “Thou art a Seraph, and I am thine Oracle.”
John remembered his feelings of confusion at her statement, “I understandeth thee not.”
She then pulled her donkey close. Her eyes rolled to the back of her sockets and she began speaking as if in a trance.
“Thou shalt receive extended life at the hand of the Lord. Ye shall be the First Horseman, and shall go forth converting and to convert with powers symbolic of the purity of a white horse. Then shalt ye be given a bow as thine Amulet, and shall rise to the throne of the Great City of the Ancients.”
A tear rolled down his cheek as the barrage of memories flooded his mind. He looked down at the iguana again, and took courage.
“You must help me break free from this cell.” John spoke solemnly, “We need to find the Last Oracle and help her fulfill her destiny.”
Warfare (DarkForce: A GameLit Saga)
Copyright © 2021 R. M. Mulder
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