The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 39

by Mark Figueroa | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen

Chapter 39: Nothing in this world is free. If it is, you’re the sucker in the room.

“Kanti, so what happened before? I became a ghost, or astral projected, right?”

“A ghost, Young Emery, is a spirit unable, or unwilling, to accept death, with one foot in the Meta, the other in the physical realm; it retains the appearance of its physical form and under extreme circumstances can create distortions corresponding to its emotional state, including projecting its feelings to those nearby. You were no ghost. You went Astral.”

“Astral projection. Yup. I figured… What’s the difference?”

“A ghost is merely a portion of a spirit of that could not move to Olacium. It could be a mind, a soul, or a fragmented spirit, which is both. Young Raunch, was trapped in the emotional state he perished in. Unlike him, most ghosts are unable acquire or retain new information. Ghosts are not considered ethereal entities by ethereal beings; they are human residue. To answer your question, Astral form is the spirit, both mind and soul.” 

“So, it’s me, all of me, without a physical body.” 

“Correct. Thus, you can perform the same or even greater physical tasks in your astral form, with the added bonus of being able to traverse surfaces, such as walls. Of course, there’s flight and teleportation, as well. Unlike ghosts, astral beings are ethereal entities; as such, astrals cannot be detected by those incapable of using their third eye, much less activating second sight. An astral being is more akin to divine than any normal ethereal dweller of the abyss due to their potential.”

“That is the cooling damn thing I have ever heard! I’m literally a super hero with every super power! Invisibility, flight, super strength… Wait! …There’s a draw back then! what happens when I leave my body? Can a demon, or a ghost take over my body?” 

  “Demon?” Kanti asks puzzled. “There are many planets in the physical and corporeal cosmos, with their own physical composition and natural laws. I am sure there are those who may appear as demons, or angels based on Earthly comprehension. But, there are no demons to fear or angels to love; there are only gods, and what you would call prophets. 

Do not misunderstand me, there are malevolent and benevolent entities. Some live in denial, ignorantly seeking solace by clinging to the trivialities of their existences rather than rising above them. Some enjoy playing pranks, or hurting others by design. 

And there are others who are not dead who have simply tampered with energy inappropriately, summoning an entity from the Abyss who gave them a gift or a curse that binds them to the physical realm.”

“As interesting as that is, I don’t want philosophical facts or whatever. When cloak-bearers leave their bodies, are they in danger or not?”

“Yes, but not from corporeal invaders. The elements, and physical beings can harm the cloak-bearers’ physical being, freeze them, burn them, asphyxiate them…”

“Freeze? Burn? How is that possible? I thought I didn’t get cold, hot, or need to breathe or—”

“Young Emery, you don’t. When you went astral for the first time, your entire being went astral. Your physical body went to the void, and to the meta. It occurred every subsequent time after. I apologize, Young Emery, I thought you knew. 

Your predecessors needed to place their bodies somewhere safe before going astral. Aiven, for example, left his watching television. 

Your inability to fly at will is due to a partial effect of gravity. You are like a particle of air, albeit heavier, of course. I suspect it is due to the combined effects of Aemon and the cloak on your physical being; your corporeal body is tethered to your physical body.” 

This is honestly the best day of my life! “So, nothing can happen to me, is what you’re sayin’?”

“You were able to sustain a physical injury, so it is difficult to say.”

“Well, whatever, gift and a curse, I guess. Still, it’s pretty cool. What do you mean transcend, anyway? Like Johnny Depp?”

“The act of resonating above the soul frequency. The vibration allows you to activate your second sight, go astral, and, in general, utilize energy,” Kanti responds. He sits up and scratches his ear with his hind leg. “It is rather pleasant that you enjoy your new-found abilities.”

“You’re telling me… this feels like a video game, or could be the first good movie in a long time. I mean it’s pretty surreal, like I’m in a book or something. Last question though, swear. How does the whole cloak judgement thing work?”

“Young Emery, you’re either very meticulous or very dense.” 

“Awww come on! It’ll be the last time I ask. If I ate your energy… I’m just still confused as to why that isn’t bad!” 

“You possess the ability to see alternate choices. What would I say if I responded?” Kanti responds nonchalantly. “It is better served as an opportunity to use your most useless power.” He chuckles.

I smile. “I guess, but it’s enough to curb my curiosity.”  I close my eyes, until I feel a gentle vibration. Everything is grayscale when I open them. Kanti’s sitting upright like he just finished scratching his ear.

 “You’re telling me… this feels like a video game, or the first good movie in a long time. last question though, swear. How does the whole cloak judgement thing work?”

“Negative energy decreases the cloak’s resonance, thus making it more likely to separate and find a more stable master. Consuming souls and the nothing lowers the cloak’s resonance since the act of destroying matter, or energy, is a crime against nature; therefore, evil. Banishing matter to where it belongs keeps existence intact, thus elevating the cloak’s resonance. Eating a nothing, decreases your resonance, but banishing a nothing of equal or greater energy brings the cloak’s resonance back up. But since ghosts already have one foot in the meta, you are not banishing them, you’re simply locking the door they use; that is the nature of an exorcism. In this case, a divine entity has no resonance; therefore, there is no effect. Furthermore—”

That’s enough of that… Sigh.

“Hmmm. Pray tell, what did I say in response?”

“You weren’t watching?” Is he afraid of something?

“It is not fear, Young Emery. I would rather not meddle in the affairs of my alternate self. As a divine, I would be able to sense I was watching. I have done it before, and have had it done to me. It is rather unpleasant to observe actions I choose in other existences from another’s eyes.” 

When you say it like that… “Fine. Well, what you said, was too much.” 

Kanti laughs. “Did you gain anything from peeking into what your life may have been?”

“Sort of. This might be a really weird way of saying it, but if the cloak’s alignment is zero… consuming a nothing brings me, or the cloak, to negative one, right? But then, banishing a nothing after consuming one, would bring its alignment back to zero, unless that nothing is stronger than the one I ate… then the cloak’s alignment can be positive one or even higher?”

“Yes, but the cloak’s alignment is also in sync with the bearer’s. If the bearer begins causing negativity, and feeling negative emotions, over time, the cloak will sense this. The cloak can separate from you for simply being a bad person, despite devouring souls or not. Fortunately, humans, assuming your scale goes to negative one-hundred and positive one-hundred, are higher on the positive end, possibly around seventy or so. Never completely neutral. Separation is a slow process that can take over hundreds of years.” 

Damn, I guess it can’t really get any clearer… I sit up. “So, how do I know my own resonance?”  

“If you can see me, and the cloak is still alabaster, and you have no urge to kill or devour things, then your resonance is normal, or fairly high. Mind you, fleeting thoughts, and feelings not acted upon, do not permanently reduce your resonance.” 

“I figured that… actions have a different nature, right? A negative action, produces negative energy and causes an imbalance in the universe, causing the originator, me, to resonate lower permanently, unless it’s because I devour, or banish a nothing.” 

“Correct. The mind can recover from any negativity, but there is no going back for a corrupt soul. Man can be evil for a brief moment in his life, but once that evil pierces the veil of his soul, even living as wholesome as the gods will not save him from his deeds. Had you actually consumed Raunch, then you would permanently resonate at a lower level since it would corrupt your soul.”

“Hmmm,” I roll of the couch and head toward the stairs. “I guess I should do something productive, it’s still only 7 p.m. Not that I need sleep or anything.” 

“My thoughts exactly, Young Emery. I will meet you in the backyard.” 

“Ok, so what are you going to train me on?”

“I will only answer if you can warp there.”

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for the next chapter!

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