Chapter 69: I thought the same thing.
“Monad was not completely present cognitively… but, how could one truly know?”
“You read minds!” I yell out, holding my hands up and curling fingers dramatically.
“Of beings who exist… That ability cannot be exercised on a creature with no resonance.”
“So, Enlil, Th’Rut, you and the cloak bearer stood in front of crazy, super evil and possessed Monad! I’m sitting on the edge of my seat, Kanti”
Kanti stares up solemnly. His eyes water.
“Monad!” Enlil yells as she slowly approaches Monad.
Monad is calm, composed, and observant. He’s smoking in front yard of a large, rural home. “You should leave,” he says adjusting his jeans. “My wife’s asleep.” There’s an emptiness in his voice.
“We can resolve this peacefully, my dear friend,” Kanti calls out. I—He grabs Enlil before she can get too far, and nods. He walks toward Monad. “We know of your state of mind… We are concerned… We know of the child—”
“My child.” Monad smiles. His voice doesn’t belong to him.
It sounds like him in Kanti’s memory, but I can feel it. It’s The Wrong.
“They’re coming. The child is how I can survive.” Monad laughs.
“What is the meaning of this!?” Kanti yells. He glides over the snow. Kanti’s light blue fists are clenched and trembling. “Talk to me, Monad! What has gotten in to you?!”
Footsteps rush toward me. I turn and see the cloak bearer. She’s a petite, pretty woman with short red hair and butterfly earrings.
Kanti knows her as Lyra.
Lyra does something with her hands and light surrounds Kanti’s body. She warps beside me.
“Kanti! Lyra!” Th’Rut yells. He immediately grabs Enlil before she can rush over.
I—Kanti, quickly looks back at her for a split second, and turns back to face Monad.
There’s a flash of light… WHAM!
Kanti gets knocked into the air. Monad warps in front of me, grabs my ankle and spins me around. He forcefully flings into the snow, but my ethereal body falls through layers of Earth. I scan for Lyra’s presence after regaining my footing. She’s gone, but I can feel the cloak. I warp to Enlil.
Th’Rut kneels beside her. He looks me in the eyes. “I—I—”
Kanti’s memories are in slow motion. Against my will, I look down.
“Kanti, don’t!” Th’Rut screams. One hand covers Enlil’s face, the other holds the cloak.
“Let me see my wife!” I yell yanking him off Enlil. “Let me—”
Enlil’s eyes are blank. Her neck is slumped to one side and her face is frozen in a nightmare. She slowly dissolves into brilliant specks of light while her body gradually fades.
“Enlil— You!” I scream at Th’Rut!
“Kanti—I—” Th’Rut reaches for me, handing me the cloak of nothing, but I slap his hand away.
“You were my friend!”
“I—” Th’Rut looks down. A gray tear rolls down his cheek. “… If you don’t… Enlil will…”
My light blue skin is red. I grab both of Enlil’s transparent hands, interlocking our fingers. She’s gone. Lights floating above her vanishing corpse trace my forearms and she completely dissolves into me. “What of the cloak-bear?! Where’s Lyra?!” I angrily ask Th’Rut.
The memory ends.
“Monad ripped the cloak from her being.” Kanti sighs. “I warped into his house to take his wife’s life… But, he stood weeping over her. He wept for Enlil and tried to tell me it wasn’t him. Monad frantically explained how he needed to put the cloak on his pregnant wife… to protect their offspring… but it was too late,” Kanti says, voice quivering. “Aemon had been taken by the creature that possessed Monad to take the cloak from Lyra; The Wrong took the cloak in an attempt to destroy it by force feeding the energy into Enlil. Believing Enlil died, it warped itself and the largest fragment of Aemon into Monad’s child.” Kanti sighs.
“Believing Enlil died? Wait—But, Th’Rut had the cloak! How—”
“Th’Rut… in an effort to preserve the cloak that was fed into Enlil, Th’Rut had to remove it from her. Enlil had already bound with the cloak… removing it—removing it—”
I gasp and hug Kanti.
Kanti and I stare at each other for an extended period of time. His eyes are glossy, and filled with despair. “I could never forgive Th’Rut… He did the right thing… but, Enlil…” He stares into space. “After explaining that The cloak of Nothing, the cloak that is given, cannot be passed without consent, Monad and I both wept over Monad’s wife. Needless to say, she had no comprehension of what was happening, and the insertion of two entities into her unborn child’s soul placed a heavy strain on her, rendering the woman unconscious. Monad explained that I could alter her memories as I could to the lesser beings of the Abyss, something he learned from his time with Sha-ik’Tael.”
“Another flashback, Kanti? Come on!”
The image plays out: Monad, Th’Rut and I stand outside of Monad’s house. I can’t look Th’Rut in the eyes. I despise him.
“Save it, Lissof!”
Monad places his hand on my shoulder. “It isn’t his fault. Th’Rut,” he says looking at him, “we’ve had lifetimes of differences, but I need a favor of you.”
Th’Rut points at himself in confusion. “Monad, after everything I’ve—”
“This is my family now. I can’t begin to understand it myself, but when I was in the Divine Source speaking with Sha-ik’Tael, I was able to see everything. Everywhere. I was a part of everything: every pain, every pleasure, every heart, mind and soul in both realms. I forgive you, Th’Rut. In time, Kanti will too. Count on it.”
Th’Rut clears his throat. “I’ve—You have no idea how much that means to me—I’ll do whatever you need.”
“This is insanity! Monad, You cannot—”
“It’s alright, Kanti. This is the best of all possible outcomes—”
“Enlil is dead!” Kanti yells.
Th’Rut looks down, but Monad lays a hand on my shoulder. “Energy cannot be broken down.”
“Th’Rut and I can take care of this. Trust me, I have a plan. Spend some time in Olacium, get reacquainted with Achron and the Etriyenne. Talk to everyone who remembers Enlil: Humbaba, Whei, P’Phan, Thymos… Even the gods grieve, Kanti. I don’t have much time left here, and Th’Rut can be trusted. He is the only one who can stop Aemon.”
“It’s alright Kanti… Remember Prussia?” Monad laughs with tears in his eyes. “Go on, Kant. Take a sabbatical, but before you go. For my wife’s safety, and any human who knows me: my wife’s family, our two eccentric neighbors, and Ash— ”
The memory ends.
“Is that all of it this time, Kanti? I can’t do anymore memories, I feel like I’ve been crying for days, even though we’ve only been at my house for like thirty minutes.”
Kanti smiles. “Yes, Young Emery. When I returned, Th’Rut and Monad passed the cloak to one cloak bearer, and that cloak bearer passed it to Aiven, armed with all of Monad and Th’Rut’s insight. By then, Th’Rut had left Earth and Monad had been taken to the Grave of Saints.”
“Gotcha! You know, I’m not stupid Kanti… My parents and Eliza knew Monad. I’ll give you a pass on the trust thing. I know you wiped Eliza’s memory because she knew him. I get it. When she resonated at your level, and saw my PS4 teleport, she also saw the cloak. It triggered some crazy, ultra-divine memory stuff. I’m right there at your level, Kanti,” I say smiling and pointing at my eyes and Kanti’s eyes repeatedly.
Kanti nods and smiles “Yes, Young Emery. You are quite wise.” He sounds kind of sarcastic, but I’ll let it go, because I’m just that kind of guy. I’m pretty cool.
Wait a minute… “Kanti, but I thought what’s learned can’t be unlearned. And, I thought only knowledge of the cloak in action would make knowledge of the cloak harmful.”
“Divine beings, though we do not control human will, are capable of it with great effort. In this instance, I saw it necessary to do so. Aiven, and you, Young Emery, are in essence my kin as well. I do not vow to keep your loved ones safe, but I feel that I must do what I can to prevent the Nothing from consuming them.”
I nod and smile. “So telling anyone about the cloak would only be temporary anyway…”
“At great expense to myself, yes. It may even destroy me.”
I cringe thinking about Enlil. Is Kanti’s face like hers? “Hey, Kanti—”
“Young Emery, Enlil and I are halves of the same soul. We looked nearly identical.”
“I figured as much!” I guess I could’a pieced that together on my own. “Kanti, random question, how does Eliza know Monad… Ashley and Courtney I understand, but Eliza…”
“Well, Young Emery,” Kanti pauses. “Good question. All I know for certain is that they crossed paths over a decade ago.”
“Yea, but doing what? Monad didn’t look like he had corporate experience!” I think of Monad in a suit, with his coarse hippy hair and long black beard. God, why is that so funny to me? “Eliza almost said his name. So…”
Kanti sighs. “Young Emery, it is entirely possible that she was never going to say Monad at all…”
I pause and squint. “Hmmm. You’re right! Knowing Eliza, she was probably going to say mother-effer or something like that!” Sigh. “There’s a ton of things she would have said that start with M-O. She could’ve even been getting ready to call me a monster, followed by a bunch of colorful words. I wish she hadn’t seen the cloak though… I know people, or at least people with normal resonances can’t see it, but I still haven’t mastered materializing and dematerializing it.”
Kanti sighs in relief and smiles. “I gathered as much young Emery. You will learn eventually. In three days, you’ve learned and mastered things it took Aiven years to realize. I apologize for my hesitation to tell you about Monad.”
“All good, Kanti. You should apologize to—Never mind.” I should stay out of that one. I felt Kanti’s pain firsthand. “I’m sorry for almost attacking you before, I knew you did it for Eliza’s safety, but I felt like I needed to stand up for her. She knew I warped the PS4. It would logically follow that if a random cloak appears on me, she would link the two somehow.”
“Most likely. In either case, it’s just best to play it safe.”
I nod and go astral. Clutching Kanti’s energy, I fly through Courtney and Ash’s roof. “Wanna’ fly to Eliza’s? Warping is cool, but it’s kind of lame.”
Kanti laughs, materializing the purple haze beneath his feet. “Is that so?”
“Yea. This is more liberating—seeing everything from up here is amazing. Like, look at that house. If I was warping, I wouldn’t be able to see people in the backyard, having a good time. Flying makes the world feel more alive, and makes me feel like I have an actual power; I’m not cutting n’ pasting everywhere.”
“I agree. The journey, regardless of how minute it may be, is rather enjoyable. That is the same reason I enjoy being on solid surfaces. I have hovered for a great portion of my existence.”
“I’ll race you!” I call out, zipping through a small patch of clouds. “Hey!” That cheater!
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