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Vejhon by Ty Estus Narada
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Remote Viewing
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High & Mighty -- Chapter 10

1. The round room had a celestial effect, dimly lit with illuminated marble columns that stretched into a mosaic of stars overhead.  The ambience was Holy.  A central chandelier was surrounded by 13 reclining chairs that faced outward rather than inward, so that the skulls of those reclined formed an unbroken circuit.  Their heads did not touch, but the intention of a circle was obvious.  Those seated were performing shellwatch. 
2.  This room was the only room above the Director's office and occupied the highest level of the Director's Spire on the Spearpierce compound.  It was affectionately known as "the temple" and was the most easily recognized symbol on Vejhon.  
3.  Every Guard rotates through a 90-minute shift, with one Guard replaced every 30 minutes to keep the circuit continuous.  Guard tradition believes that shellwatch purges a Guard of his impurities accumulated inbetween rotations, for his sacrifice in the service of others.  It is a sacred duty, never declined, and takes two weeks for everyone to have a turn.      
4.  The Director's office was directly beneath the temple with a 360-degree unobstructed view.  His office was also a national monument and considered the most valuable real estate on Vejhon:  All real estate and navigation coordinates were relative to this spire.  In terms of importance:  The President of Vejhon was replaceable through general elections, but the Psionic Guard Director's appointment was for life. 
5.  One of the heir apparent's additional duties was to oversee the shellwatch rotation and insert himself as necessary.  Wexli was doing precisely that; he was honing into a dysfunctional harmonic on the other side of the shell. 

6.  Shellans in rural areas often thought they were out of sight and out of mind.  Many did not believe that the proverbial 'shellwatch' was a literal function since the Guards were omnipresent already.  The Director preferred that less ostensible belief; only those shellans who tried to get away with something discovered differently. 
7.  Wexli located the source of the disharmonic and drifted into a thatched hut on the edge of a natural forest clearing.  The wind prevented seeds from taking root in the clearing, but the forest was dark and mystical just like a storybook setting.  The razor sharp contrast between the clearing and the forest was curious. 
8.  The Kids were already enroute with a warrant for psionic deviancy.  "No... industrial espionage," Wexli uncovered, "'psionic deviancy' was just a cover."  Thousands of deceptions like this took place every day.  It was simply not possible, or plausible to arrest the entire shell for every loose psionic rambling and thought.  Psionic Deviancy was serious.  A verifiable trend had been established and an investigation was required.         
9.  The suspect seems to know that she is in danger and flees into the forest.  On the ground, a Guard liason is encouraging the Kids to make haste.  The suspect is afraid.  The Kids are light and strong; they can run long distances without tiring. 
10.  The Kids fan out and close in.  "Interesting," Wexli observes, "the tree boughs are making a path for the suspect to flee, and blocking the pursuers from following."  "Very supernatural," he observed.  "Note that and follow up," he ordered.  Wexli's face showed dismay as the tree boughs continued to part; giving the suspect a flight advantage.  "What do we do with the trees?" Miles asked curiously.  Shellans believe that plants are alive, but tree limbs don't move like that. 
11.  Another shell watcher tapped into Miles' drift.  "Look at that," Miles pointed out, "The trees are making a path for the suspect's flight."  The Kids were gaining ground, but slowly. 
12.  "And blocking the Kids," another Vicar observed, "I've never seen anything like that."   "Me neither," Wexli concurred.  "Check records," Miles suggested, "and see if anything like this has ever happened before."  "On it," his assistant replied.  
13.  Wexli and Miles drifted down to the ground and followed the suspect who kept turing in fear to check for her pursuers.  She could see the Kids, and their steathiness made her more afraid.  "She doesn't know!" Wexli read, completely dismayed, "She doesn't know that the trees are helping her!"  "I think she does now -- she seems confused!" Miles read.  She was out of breath and just noticed that the trees were blocking her pursuers.  Her flowing white clothes looked like something out of a holo.
14.  "Are they filming?" Miles asked, and he was going to kill somebody if the answer was, 'yes.'  "She's wanted," Wexli replied.  "For What?" would have been the natural next question but he didn't ask. 
15.  Miles drifted into the Guard liason.  "The Guard doesn't know," Miles said.  "It was industrial espionage earlier," Wexli added. 
16.  The suspect retrieved something from a fold in her dress.  Just as Wexli was about to enter her mind, she pressed a button on the device and disappeared.  "What the hell?" was his instinctive response.
17.  Miles saw it too, but he wasn't as close, so he tapped into Wexli for his perception.  Then the Director appeared.  "She vanished," Wexli reported.  Then a 4th watcher appeared, "Where did she go?"  How many Guards does it take to catch a shellan? somebody was thinking.  "Close ranks," the Director ordered.   
18.  The Director probed Wexli's memory of the device.  To him, it felt like a surgeon tweaking a patient's neurons for a specific spark of synapse.  "Unless... she wasn't a shellan?" Miles offered cautiously, which technically, shouldn't have made any difference, although it did add a handful of unwanted unnatural dynamics.   "Thanks, Miles," Wexli intoned with feigned delight.  The Kids were now encircling the spot where the woman vanished and looked upward as they closed ranks.  She was damn lucky to get out alive.  "Good thing they can't fly," a Guard observed.   
19.  There was the device; a small, oxidized rectangular device with no obvious buttons or recesses:  When she pressed her thumb on the surface, she disappeared.  "We need more information than that," the Drector thought, and permitted everyone to review it like an APB.  "There's another possibliity," Wexli directed exclusively to the Director.  The Director flashed a clock symbol in Wexli's mind:  The minute hand on 10; the hour hand on 1.  It was a code that meant, "It takes one to catch one, proceed as directed -- this never happened."  
20.  "Miles, follow up on the industrial espionage -- that's what they were responding to," the Director ordered.  "Wexli, find out more about the owner of the hut."   "There was a pinprick in the shell directly above her," the 4th watcher injected.  "An expedition?" Miles asked.  "That's really not their style," Wexli replied.  "No, it's not," The Director agreed.  Wex could imagine Kyle'yn rolling his eyes, just as he did.  Miles flashed a symbol exclusively to Wexli; a bird wearing a watch caught in a trap:  It meant, "I thought 'they' were more careful than that?"  Wexli gave Miles the "stay-on-mission" symbol, but confirmed that he was right, with his eyes.  

21. The pomp and circumstance at the Big Ball had the air of an imperial coronation.  Bri had friends in attendance from parts of the galaxy that he had never visited.

22.  "Look at that!" a reporter commented, "Even the Cacci Dai sent an emissary -- when has that ever happened?"  "Probably never," somebody injected.  Bri was now 32 and old enough to accept a Presidential appointment.  He performed every task with blind enthusiasm and exceeded all expectations.  "Some are calling this an appointment by acclaimation," one reporter commented.  "That's interesting," the politician answered, "Because we believe it's a well-deserved appointment if it is." 

23.  "This is much bigger than the Theite treaty," a reporter said, "and look at the large delegation of Theites in attendance!"  It wasn't a small delegation -- the entire auditorium was sprinkled with them.  "This appointment is for 2rd-in-line to the Presidency," another reporter injected, "but one might think he was being crowned Emporer of the Universe."  "Judging by the turn out!" another added.  The cameras zoomed in on the President at the podium.  "The President of Vejhon is about to address the shell," the anchor commented quietly, "We're going to stand by..."  There was an unmuffled click of a microphone. 

24. "My children," President Aqu' Sha began, "I am pleased to report that Vejhon is in excellent health.  All of the department heads have given me satisfactory reports and I am pleased."  The crowd applauded lightly and the President smiled. 

25. The President moved his arm to the right, "I would like to recognize the Theite delegation."  A narrator very quietly explained, "Queen Estuses didn't attend because of controversy surrounding her desire to marry Bri."  Another added, "There's not a debutante anywhere who doesn't want him."  Her Lord Chamberlain nodded regally at the camera in proxy for the Queen.  "The Theotian monarch is also a polyandrist," an anchor mentioned, "That's more than one husband," another explained.  They quieted down again.    

26. The President continued, "As our greatest blood acquires the wisdom and knowledge to govern a remarkable shell, there comes a time to mark the occasion with equally insightful revisions in leadership."  "Do they always talk that way?" a kid in the audience whispered to his Dad.   "It's a great moment, Son," he answered psionically, "can you feel it?"  

27.  The spiritual fire in the room began to heat up because everyone knew where this speech was going.

28. "I have watched this young shellan…"

29. A gentle wave of fervor swept over the audience, that unified their thoughts into a single hearth, and a hot hearth it was. 

30. The President felt the energy flow through him and smiled warmly, nearly stepping back to cool down.  He held one arm up and waited for the intensity to calm.  A Vicar had to psionically hold him down to the dias floor.

31. "I have watched this young shellan pour his soul into the marrow of our society, and I can not begin to describe my joy at the arrival of this day."

32. "As I look at your faces and feel the pulse of the entire shell, I marvel that this phenomenon has stirred everyone's heart into a unified voice."

33.  The intensity was beginning to sizzle, like a very large amplifier about to explode.  The sensation was surreal, like the fuzzy anchoring points of the Ball's exterior. 

34.  It didn't seem like any further speech was necessary -- the light in the President's face said everything:  This was an appointment by acclaimation.

35. "Effective Noon today, Bri An'Trol Rain..."  The eruption exceeded the sound constraints of the ball exterior.  The roar was clearly heard outside.  On an apsionic shell, this wouldn't have happened so quickly. 

36. The President had to laugh quietly.  He felt no imperitive to be rigidly formal amid the fever, since it was his prerogative to conduct the assembly as he saw fit.

37.  The news reporters tried to comment above the noise unsuccessfully.  "I've never seen anything like this," the President said psionically to the Director.    

38. "Let them enjoy their moment," The Director suggested, "this doesn't happen very often."  "I think I'm enjoying it too!" the President replied.

39. Aqu'Sha allowed the electricity to quell by stepping back to wave at random shellans throughout the auditorium; very informal.   When he re-approached the podium, the assembly quieted. 

40. "Effective Noon today I have appointed Bri An'Trol Rain to be my Second Counselor.  His devotion to duty has proven to me, above and beyond all applicable criterion, that he is ready and able to face the challenges ahead."

41. "I have full faith and confidence that Bri will continue to maintain the highest standard, and can think of no one more worthy to accept this appointment than he." 

42. An adjutant quietly approached the President from behind, bearing a square blue velvet pillow, upon which was a ceremonial badge of office.

43. "Bri An'Trol Rain,” the President ordered, “Please assume your station."

44. Bri stepped out from among the Theite delegation and stood beside the President on his right side, one step back. 

45. "Bri An'Trol Rain,” the President said solemnly, “do you accept the position as Second Counselor to the President, along with the responsibilities and powers prescribed, to perform your duty in my name; to uphold the Constitution and defend the shellans of Vejhon with your life?"

46. "I do, Mr. President," Bri said soberly.  Then he grinned when a girl in the audience screamed "I love you, Bri!"  She would have to share with 50 million others.  Bri did not look away from the President's eyes.  

47. "I warrant," the Director said to the President's mind only.  Bri knew the formality.

48. The President lifted the 2nd Counselor Sigil from the velvet pillow and placed it around Bri's neck, to seal the bestowal of power.  The Sigil possessed holographic emblems that reflected hues of blue from aqua to cobalt.   It wasn't terribly loud, and could be toned down to a natural metal effect for display. 

49. After shaking Bri's hand, he turned to stand behind Bri, and placed his hands on Bri's shoulders in offering.

50. The President was supposed to say, "I give you Second Counselor Bri An'Trol Rain," but the crowd already knew that much and was resuming its former fury.  

51. With gentle influence from the Psionic Guard, the crowd quieted somewhat so that the President could pronounce, "His voice shall be my voice.  His will is my will."  And so it was done.   The Guard loosed their constraints. 

52. Aqu'Sha leaned behind Bri's ear, and a camera close-up captured everyone's intrigue, "Does the Second Counselor have anything he would like to say?"

53. When Bri stepped away from the President to the center of the dais, the crowd quieted completely:  They wanted to hear the golden boy's first 'official' words.  

54. "Mr. President and my shellans," Bri said, "I will never, ever let you down."  Bri waved at the audience, bowed, then turned to shake hands with guests on the stand.  For the first time in history, Bri jumped up away from the gravity field, and drifted in the free space between the dimpled booths and the stage.  His fans  jumped out into the freespace to congratulate him.  The act was absolutely prohibited and left the President aghast.  "He's in no danger," The Director comforted him, "we'll let it happen this once."  The Guard had no problem manipulating objects in free space, so the indescretion wasn't as disorderly as it could have been. 

55. The Ball remained noisy for the next 20 minutes while the media covered all aspects of Bri's public and private life for the next several weeks.


56. In a different part of the shell, a less publicized event was about to begin.  It would not have the Presidential pomp and circumstance of a royal coronation, but it was equal in significance among the invisible underground.   

57. Nine days had passed since Bri's appointment and the psionic strata was saturated with news and sensationalized tales of every kind.

58. "Why do we follow those fools?" Kor asked to nobody in particular.  He was taking his ritualistic bath as prescribed by the scrolls; the ordinance had to be witnessed.

59.  The cavern was torch lit and dead quiet except for the trickle of water dripping from Kor's gentle splashing and the echo of his voice.   Any woman would have given anything to bathe him, but the doctrine of the sexes had to be strictly observed until after his ascension.

60.  "We should be first," he finished.   His voice echoed in the dancing shadows of torch light on the rough cavern walls.  His attendants quietly organized his ceremonial garments.  Occasionally a torch flame would pop and spark like a real hearth. 

61. "What tones are we using today?" He knew the answer, but wanted his attendants to relax more.  The Elite was about to become a new paradigm, and he wanted the occasion to be more festive than solemn.

62.  An attendant unrolled a scroll on a stone bench and studied a frequency matrix created during the 6th Dan.  The symbols were archaic but translatable with an epikey.  Every Dan left an epikey to abridge lexicographical etymology from new to old and past to future.  

63.  "Dan 6 Intonations," the attendant said, following the narrative with his finger:  "396 - Enlightenment."  Kor lifted his eyes toward the ceiling and nodded.  "417 - Reversing," the attendant continued.  Kor nodded again.  "528 - Transmutation."  "That's a key one," Kor injected.  "639 - Bonding," the assistant paused.  "Another one," Kor added.  "741 - Seeing," the attendant continued.  "I had that one mastered when I was 8," Kor confessed to the attendant psionically."  The attendant nodded and read the last one, "852 - Harmony."

64.  "We'll have plenty of that..." Kor paused to find a submerged step with his foot, and proceeded to egress the pool, "in just about an hour."  He was excited if not withholding pure delight.  The attendant smiled and facially queried Kor for further instructions.  Kor nodded to dismiss him from that particular task.  A "Thank-you" was understood. 

65. The other attendants began assisting Kor with his ceremonial garments.  This event only happened once per Dan, so the extra time to get it right was welcome.

66.  He let them dote and fuss over him, however reverently, and when they had achieved the utmost level of perfection, stood back and admired him.  "I can't believe how flawless you look Master," one remarked.  Kor reached out and patted the attendant on the cheek.  "Come on!" he said to them while turning toward the exit, "We've got a show to do!"  The attendants would not be seated as Elders, but in many respects, were more privileged than the Elders because they had Kor's ear on a more intimate level.    

67.  Two-hundred ceremonially robed members assembled and seated themselves according to rank. 

68.  Opposite and facing them were 13 stone-hewn chairs in a semi-arc with the central chair elevated. 

69.  The engineering alone, hewn out of stone, made the chamber look like it had been designed by an alien species.   

70.  The Giants of Antiquity had occupied the stone-hewn seats on occasions such as this, but nobody in this dispensation had ever sat on one of the stone chairs, even in jest.      

71.  Kor quietly tapped 11 of the 200 to occupy the 11 remaining chairs with Mantra.  To each he said psionically, "Come forward when I signal you.  It will be after I'm pronounced, 'The One.'"

72.  Because Mantra was the most nearly qualified, he assumed the Vicar role, and officiated at meetings where a Vicar's warrant was prescribed.  The word 'vicar' was avoided because of it's popular use by the Psionic Guard.  

73.  Mantra did not sit on any of the chairs in the arc.  Instead, he sat on a stone bench, that separated the arched chairs from the 200 general authorities.  The arced chairs were on a slight dais.

74.  Kor sat next to Mantra on the same bench.

75.  In the gap opposite them, to the viewers right, was another bench like theirs.  That bench was traditionally reserved for the moderator.  Technically, guests would sit where Mantra and Kor sat and Mantra would sit on the other bench.  They did not have a moderator.

76.  A fully adorned 'society guard' would traditionally stand at 'ready-arms' behind the vacant moderator's bench.  There was no society guard since everyone in the society collectively assumed that role.   Kor would change that after his ascension. 

77.  A submerged 10' x 3' solid stone altar, flush with the floor, was raised to podium height; the act accomplished psionically.  

78.  Mantra rose, stepped toward the lectern and raised his arms over the assembly.   "Let's begin with purification," he said psionically.

79.  A synaptically-projected VHF squealed for three seconds, and then turned off like a switch.  It took practice to get the purification perfect.  Dogs were not invited.  

80. In the back of the room, an alleged authority fell over dead.  Naturally, inquisitive heads turned to see who it was.  "Always someone," Mantra quipped.  Anyone who could not withstand purification did not belong in this particular crowd.  Mantra's remark caused a few chuckles to break out, which helped to vent the anxiety some.

81. "The rest of you are still breathing," Mantra added with a warm smile.  "200," a rear guard reported.  "Odd," the assembly thought collectively, "That's how many of us there was supposed to be."  The attendants removed the deceased from the assembly and withdrew into the darkness.

82.  All eyes returned to Mantra, "Anyone else care to keel over before we begin?"  There was a little less restrained laughter and then the Elders quieted down.  "We are gathered here to witness what none of us ever dreamed of witnessing in our lifetimes, and I'm sure we will never witness again."

83. The assembly knew that a major epoch in Society affairs was forthcoming, so Mantra allowed them to feel it briefly first.  "Kor... step forward," he said, while maintaining his gaze upon the assembly. 

84.  Kor arose and positioned himself behind Mantra and slightly to his left.  Mantra continued, "Each member of this assembly knows Kor very well.  I have raised him since he was 7 years old.  I remember on the day I met him, he wanted to fight me for standing in his way."   Kor dignified Mantra's jest with a smirky grin. 

85.  Mantra leaned his head toward Kor for everyone's benefit, "Did the old wizard move for you, Kor?"  It was a rare treat to be privy to such open compassion.

86. "No Mantra," Kor answered quietly, to indulge the gesture in the spirit intended.  Mantra was referring to what Kor was thinking before he dazzled him with his ball-of-light trick.       

87.  The faces in the assembly beamed; rarely was anyone privy to such intimate detail between a teacher and his student.  They all felt a kinship to Kor.

88. "My friends," Mantra continued, "Nobody knows better than I, the extraordinary effort it takes to do the right thing in the face of adversity.  Nobody knows better than I, the unyielding devotion required to preserve the traditions of our past.  Sometimes, I feel that we all sense a lack of fulfillment; that 'our time' somehow overlooked us."

89. Clearly, everyone identified with the sentiment.  Mantra redirected his attention toward Kor.  "That fulfilment," Mantra said, "does await."

90. Again he turned toward the assembly, "Sometimes conditions are provoked to satisfy a lust for purpose.  That is not the case here," Mantra said.  "Our war has always been against our own lethargy!  Look at me!  I'm old!"  Again, Mantra drew laughter from the audience, "But the power that illuminates our path is among us!"

91. "Kor possesses every trait that the scrolls prescribe for The One True Master."

92. "We have spoken of this for years; about 'The One' who would come... but who believed it, beyond wishful thinking?  We are on the threshold of restoring a glory that once was."  Mantra made eye contact with Kor, "Do you accept the challenge, Kor?" he asked.

93. "I do!" Kor replied powerfully and without hesitation.  "Then lets begin," Mantra said.

94.  As Mantra stepped back, the altar rose above podium height and became a stone monolith towering 15 feet in the air.  It's 3' x 10' base remained unchanged.  Two tall mirrors were placed, one behind each rear corner of the monolith so that the audience could see behind the altar.    

95. "In antiquity," Mantra continued, "when a new leader was selected, he passed three tests, randomly drawn from a list of nine.  Successful passage of each test meant that the candidate was chosen by Cosmos to rule Chaos.  Once an applicant passes these tests, his authority becomes absolute.  He will then select 12 counselors and one Vice Elite who also commands his Elite Guard."  Mantra alluded toward the empty bench where a traditional guard should be, but wasn't.

96. "The structure of our society will change," Mantra said, "when we become answerable to the One true Master.  At that moment, our collective name changes... to The Elite."  Mantra patted the stone monolith from its right side where all could see him.  "This altar was built during the first dispensation and poses the fourth item on the list of nine challenges."  Four attendants placed eight additional torches behind the altar so that the monolith was perfectly lit from behind. 

97. "Kor is to pass ‘through the stone’."

98.  Nobody had ever seen this done.  For most, this one feat would be authentication enough.  The society was famous for denying the impossible, and this act would prove it.      

99.  Kor did not copy the diversionary tactics of a magician because this was not a trick -- the stone was very real.  He approached the stone from the rear, disappeared into the stone momentarily, and emerged in plain view on the assembly side.  The mirrors left nothing to question:  He seemed to step into, and out of the rock as if traversing an ordinary portal.

100.  Nobody questioned the composition of the stone.  It could be inspected later if necessary.  The problem with all miraculous acts, is that once performed, they no longer appear fully miraculous.  The advantage in Kor's case, is that this assembly was true hard-Kor believers:  They believed in him with or without proof.  They all felt the coldness of the rock as Kor passed through it.

101.  Eventually, somebody began to clap and the rest followed.  Clapping wasn't a society norm, but it made Kor feel good and he wanted them to remember this as a joyous, rather than somber day.

102. "I think that wraps it up," Mantra jested, "but nevertheless, we must proceed."

103.  The stone receded to its previous altar-level height.  

104. "The second test, being the ninth of the nine choices is to restore life to the dead.  A corpse can not be dead beyond three days."  Passing this test would prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Kor was the only rightful leader." 

105. "Where is that infiltrator?" Mantra asked. 

106. In the same manner in which the deceased had been removed, it was returned to the assembly with an attendant at each lifeless limb.  Forensics was unnecessary -- the lifeforce was not in the body, and could be psionically confirmed.  The attendants deposited the body on the floor in front of the assembly.  

107.  Someone in the assembly remarked, "What for -- we only have to kill him again!"  The assembly broke out laughing.  Mantra replied, "Now, you know why I invited him."  The laughter increased.  They knew Mantra did not really invite whoever it was.  

108.  Even Kor could not help but shake his head and grin, "Now you know what he's really like," he said, nodding his head toward Mantra. 

109.  It was a much needed stress reliever.  Kor bent to one knee and elevated the dead shellan's head with one hand, and held his other hand above the shellan's sternum.  He was middle-aged with a stately face and otherwise pleasant to gaze upon. 

110.  Kor closed his eyes and seemed to break into a cold sweat.  A fuzzy aura of light energy gathered around his hand with its highest concentration of energy suspended like a ball under his palm.  Kor lowered his palm to the dead shellan's chest.    

111.  The shellan's body reanimated with a jolt.  He awoke stunned with frightened eyes.  As his spirit reinfused into his flesh, he clutched the arm that had brought him back from death. 

112.  His breathing began to stabilize.  "I felt you pulling me back," he said.  Nobody could tell whether he was grateful or complaining.  As he calmed down a little more, he looked into Kor's eyes, "What are you?" he asked.  His only concern was Kor. 

113.  "Perhaps I should be asking you that question," Kor answered, "You came here uninvited – maybe you might tell us what you are."  That certainly pegged everyone's curiousity. Kor was being rhetorical because he knew exactly what the shellan was.  He also knew that the shellan was questioning everything that he had been taught to believe. 

114. "I know you have the power of God," the shellan said, "but you're not what I envisioned God to be."  Kor raised an eyebrow at the man's honesty.  "Am I not?" he replied, almost poetically. 

115.  Kor raised his head to the assembly to confirm that he had just passed the 2nd of three challenges.  He knew that they didn't care about the infiltrator.  He moved his hand to the shellan's throat and said psionically, "The power to heal can also kill.  Don't move."  The shellan laid his head back down quietly.  

116.  Kor addressed the assembly, "I have one last test to pass before I become your your 'tried and proven true' Master."  I want to mark this moment by asking you as my advisors and spiritual leaders, what you would have me do with this shellan?"

117.  With ice cold calculation, Kor added, "He is a Psionic Guard!"

118.  This indeed caused a great spiritual consternation, barely above absolute zero.  They knew because Kor said it, that it had to be true, but it crushed them to have been so inept, and Kor could sense their embarrassment.  They depended upon him.  "When I become your Master," Kor admonished them, "I will be intolerant of  this kind of deception.  Therefore, I will decide for you:"

119. "I am going to set this Guard free."

120.  "A Psionic Guard?" was everyone's mutual question.  There were many confused faces in the assembly, but they all believed Kor had a larger-than-life purpose for everything he did, so this too would fit some grander scheme.      

121.  Kor squatted back down to the floor and psionically instructed the Guard, "You go and tell the President's Second Counselor what you have witnessed here -- and that will justify me in letting you live."

122.  It was a curious request but the Guard was not going to argue.  As he started to rise, Kor pushed him back down, "and if you ever come here again... you've had you're second chance."  The lazer beam glare in Kor's eyes made him perfectly understood.  The Psionic Guard did not waste any time making his exit.

123.  Kor had converted the Guard and knew that the Guard loved him for restoring his life.  If Kor had asked the Guard to stay -- he would have blindly followed Kor.

124.  After the Guard departed, Kor permitted the assembly to probe his thoughts just in case someone didn't understand what had happened.  Kor blocked the '2nd Counselor' aspect which nobody cared about anyway.  His power to resurrect the dead had upstaged all other preponderances.  

125.  Small insects can not survive within 10 feet of a real Psionic Guard; the cave was too dark to notice if any insects had died and the humidity was too low to sustain life.  For being sworn enemies, Kor admired the Guard's brass for getting in alive.   

126. "There is a third and final test," Mantra said, "The first challenge, of the nine, is considered impossible.  That is to 'make someone else fly."

127.  Mantra had barely finished his sentence when he felt his body raise above the ground and levitate in a slow circular motion above the assembly.  It was truly marvelous to see and a true show stopper, which was why Kor chose that challenge for last.  For all intents and purposes, the show was over now anyway.  

128.  This was clearly more impressive than bringing a Psionic Guard back to life.  There were some quietly voiced, "wow's, oooh's" and "ahh's" as Mantra floated above the assembly.  Nobody could copy even one the feats that Kor performed, which is why he lobbied the council to select the three most difficult of the nine choices.  

129.  While Mantra enjoyed the ride, the scrolls required him to ask, "Is there anyone here who disputes the evidence presented?"

130.  As he suspected, the assembly was clearly speechless -- even psionically.

131.  Kor set Mantra down in the aisle where Mantra wanted to be landed.  He sensed a fusion of delight and "what now?" running through the assembly's mind.   Kor was standing behind the lowered altar, in front of the High chair. 

132.  The ceremony's last step was to officially pronounce The Elite paradigm into existence:  

133.  "I, T' Mantraas 'An, the highest recognized authority in the Ancient Arts, and voice of this assembly as High Patriarch, do proclaim Kor V’ Trol Rain, 'The Chosen One.'"

134.  In unison, the assemby recited, "It is done."  "My last official function, as prescribed by the scrolls, is to pronounce The Chosen One's chosen title.  After which, all power and authority will be conferred upon him.  So Mote It Be."  Mantra turned to Kor one last time, as his mentor and teacher.

135. "Kor," Mantra asked, "Have you selected a form of address?"

136. Kor replied with another question, "What were the ‘tried and proven-true’ leaders of antiquity called?"

137. The assembly knew that answer, so Mantra bowed his head and pronounced, "The Master."

138. "And thus," Kor continued, "you have spoken my proper title, and henceforth it shall ever be.  Well done, my friend!"

139. The ceremony was over and Kor was now in charge. 

140. "What are your first orders, Master?" Mantra asked psionically.

141. "First," Kor answered, "You may call me anything you like, along with eleven others that I have chosen.  Come stand on this side of the altar with me."  As Mantra repositioned himself behind the altar, Kor made eye contact with the other eleven, and instructed them to approach.   

142. "My name can now be used as a swear word." Kor said.  The assembly felt invited to laugh, since Kor was proving that he had not lost his sense of humor.

143.  He addressed the assembly, "You have all done well!  There are only 13 seats up here, but know this:  You are my chief ambassadors to all of Vejhon and Vejhon is a pretty big shell.  You are my power base and represent my core leadership.  As witnesses of my ascension, you have earned the prestige and respect of being among the first chosen:  You are from this day forward, enshrined as the Sons of the First Morning."  It sounded like an edict from God, and from their perspective:  It was!   As each of the eleven selected a stone seat, Kor continued:

144. "There are structures and programs that 'used' to exist that I'm going to restore. Those programs should have never been dissolved in the first place, and have never existed at all during our dispensation.  That's going to change." 

145.  Kor revealed the exclusive rights and privileges reserved for The Sons of the First Morning; the prestige of which would guarantee their eternal loyalty.  Some became so enraptured that they wanted to seize the Big Ball at Balipor to celebrate their emergence as an organized shell power.  "Nothing can stop us now!"     

146.  There was another disturbance... one that nobody in the chamber would recognize except Kor. 

147.   Just like changing scenes in a holo, the cheerful sounds of celebration began to fade as Kor redirected his attention toward an object he couldn't read.  He motioned for Mantra to continue officiating while he sat down on his High chair for the first time.  He had felt this disturbance twice before in his life.   

148. "I'll be right back," Kor said hastily, and then he vanished!  The King was entitled to vanish and reappear as he saw fit, especially in this festive atmosphere.  Mantra simply said, "He'll be right back," to those who noticed; the communion continued unabated.    

149. This time, two humanoid hands gripped Onimex and squeezed him with unbelievable strength.  "What in the hell are you!" Kor thought.

150. This was the spookiest situation that Onimex had ever experienced.  He knew the future of his captor, and the thought ot being tortured by Kor was  frightening.      

151. Now that Kor was clutching Onimex, the fractal wave modulation was modulating Kor as well.  The trick he used to shake Kor last time wasn't working.  It did not make sense that any biological, anywhere in the Universe, could attach themselves to non-biological modulation... unless Kor wasn't biological?   That thought was even scarier! 

152. Kor demanded in Vejhonian slang, "I want to know who and what you are, you fracking little bastard!"

153. "Such language!" Onimex thought.  He modulated so far out of phase that he and Kor were now the only objects in a unique dimension, surrounded by fluid nothingness.  He leaked a fatal dose of electricity into his static envelope and Kor did not release his grip in the slightest.   

154. There was an expression that Kiles used to say in trying times, "This really sucks."  There was a 'last-ditch' method of egress that Onimex had hoped to avoid, but it looked like he had no choice:            

155. ‘Disengage Index.’

156. The droid vanished from Kor's grip -- leaving nothing but empty space.  An assortment of unwholesome thoughts emanated from Kor's angry mind.  The last one was, "I will find out what you are and rip you to shreds with my bare hands!"

157. Onimex didn't hear it because he was gone in more ways than one.  By disengaging the index, he was recoiling to real time, notwithstanding his perilous location. 


158.  Generally, no A.I. unit would 'disengage index' while deep inside a mountainous cavern.  If the cavern collapsed, for instance, he might not be able to separate himself from the unwanted infusion of new material.  Energy-matter transport could only be accomplished with external assistance and he had not yet taught himself how to do that.    

159.  Vejhon and it's three suns would not be at the same point in space around Kolob.  There were a lot of slip calculations to adjust for when returning to real time.  Fortunately, when a vortexian trailer dissolves, the affected object recoils to its native time like a tape measure. 

160.  Onimex was now in a state conforming with Kolob Universal Time, the atomic clock of the Universe.  'The One' decreed that any attempt to exceed Kolob Standard Time would result in permanent expuslion from existence.  Most creations function behind Kolob time, which allows God to tweak events, and otherwise appear prophetic to the indigenous. 

161.  The cavern had gone through several phases of renovation and was now an abandoned museum.   The former shimmering polished floor was dull and grey.

162. The stone chairs had been deliberately vandalized, at one point restored, then revandalized.

163. There were no datums inside a cavern with which to calculate a new index so Onimex would be forced to return to orbit.  Turning off an index was one thing, but turning it back on required flawless quantum calculations.  At least he was already at the target destination. 

164. There was one serious reason why Onimex did not want to return to natural time during an investigation at Vejhon, at least not yet.  That reason was a dearly loved and sorely missed object from his past, who was probably going hysterical about right now.