Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Chapter Nineteen

They drove. The faded red Escort navigated the streets beneath a pale grey sky. It began to rain again, lightly spattering the windscreen. Jobe stared occasionally at ‘Prayer’, wondering about why he was doing this, why this girl was in his car now. She had her head leant against the window. He lit a cigarette, feeling strangely numb now that he was behind the wheel.
“Can I try one of those?” she asked, glancing at him. He shoved the cigarette pack and she took it. She removed one and held it between her fingers, staring down at it, then pressed the car lighter and waited for it to heat up. Jobe saw a vague smile on her face. She rolled the cigarette around in her hand and he watched.
“My dad raped me when I was a girl,” she murmured, “Many, many times…”
“Yeah?” said Jobe, “I bet that was no fun.”
She grinned. “You’d be wrong, Jobe. My mum said it was because I was too pretty, not in so many words, but she thought I’d tempted him somehow. Apparently I look like my grandmother. When dad did it to me he kept telling me how beautiful I was. Mum thought he was attracted to my physical beauty, and she hated me for it. But it wasn’t my face or my vagina that mattered the most. It was what he was doing to me psychologically. That was what we enjoyed best. We would play games, the most intricate games. As much as it kills me to admit, I grew to love it. I think it opened a window in my head.”
“A gate, you mean,” Jobe said unevenly. “Right?”
“Yeah.” She stared through the window at the buildings that passed them, at the grey sky. The rain began to patter down heavier on the glass. Jobe glanced at her.
“You are beautiful.”
“So they say.”
He switched on the windscreen wipers again. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?”
“I’m sorry he raped you.”
Prayer shrugged and pulled at the car lighter; a glowing orange circle. “Shit happens, Jobe. Price I pay for this life, I guess.” She lit the cigarette, taking a deep pull. Exhaling smoke, she said, “It’s like pushing through a rainbow, through all visible light, and finding a whole world on the other side. Darker and stranger, but just as real and ‘solid’ as this one. Our government calls it Black-Light. The invisible spectrums. They tested me for years, with my father’s approval no less. They tried growing synaptic cultures out of samples they took from my right temporal lobe.”
She pushed her hair back to reveal a tiny scar. “Trying to pin down frequency. You can’t pin down frequency. You can’t catch lightning in a bottle. Not forever at least. They’ve got these phasing-chambers in underground bunkers out in Wales. I think it works a bit like a particle accelerator. Somehow they disassociate atoms from their electrons and it causes a shift. A burst of high-density electromagnetism. After that, it’s almost like the electrons go into a state of probability. And then a glimpse of the invisible spectrums. A glimpse of black light. They put me in those chambers more than once. I’ve never wanted to die so much, even with Victor.”
“Victor?” asked Jobe, “Your father, right?” She nodded, and Jobe thought about Frankenstein. The thought disturbed him.
“It’s what my dad’s associates used to call him. His real name was Nathan, he worked for a classified unit out of the Home Office – Black Flag. He knew some people that knew some other people. You can’t imagine the pain, Jobe. And I suspect you’ve got a good imagination. Phasing is like disembowelling the soul. I wanted to die…”
She glanced at Jobe, who said nothing and continued to drive.
“Anyway…this world isn’t truly solid. There’s things that interpenetrate it that can’t be seen. All sorts of hidden things. Cities and bridges and spirits of every kind.”
“You talk like you’re reading from a storybook,” Jobe said quietly.
“I am. More or less.”
“You think murdering those people was spiritual?”
“They weren’t innocent, Jobe. They hurt me, or they stood by while others hurt me. They didn’t care. They didn’t want to take responsibility…so fuck them. Let me try to break it down for you. If a madman gave you a set of secret keys, keys you’d been looking for all your life, wouldn’t you take them?” Jobe said nothing. “Wouldn’t you…?”
He swallowed and eventually he nodded, “Yeah. I suppose I would.”
“That’s all that I did. You knew I was coming. Some part of you isn’t surprised that I’m here. That’s why you’re helping me.”
She stared from the window again, “There’s a group linked to global Intelligence, a group that practically controls it in secret. A company called the Interregnum. I don’t know much about them – but I do know that they’re profoundly perverse, dangerous people. They’re controlling things through an interconnected hierarchy; illegal military-ops, rogue cells, foreign terrorist groups, and even occult groups like the Apex of Negation, the Maiden Hand, the Host of Clock.
“These things are real, Jobe…ancient and powerful, these groups do not fuck around. They mean business and I have the scars to prove it. These people have no conscience whatsoever. To them, rape and murder and torture are forms of sport. They know that messengers are coming. Faces through rainbows. They’re trying to hijack it and twist it to their vision of a New World. Can you understand that…?”
Jobe nodded, frightened at her words and the way she said them. “My mum used to say the same thing. Cusp of some great change. A new perception. Yeah, I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp of it. She lost her mind because of what she believed. It ate her alive.”
“No, Jobe. All it did was make her stronger.”
“I don’t believe that. Her eyes that night. Like holes cut in paper.”
“I know what you think. But she loves you. She told me that you were a miracle child, your sister too. She miscarried twice, you know. You’re here for a reason. We all are.”
Jobe laughed suddenly, staring at Prayer. This stunning girl with an open, intelligent face. “I’ve never doubted that,” he murmured.
She closed her eyes, head lolled against the passenger window.
“Okay, Jobe…this is the only way I can begin. There’s a reoccurring legend, about a crystal city, where priests of the oldest gods would weave the destinies of Man. It’s described differently in all the ancient cultures, but the themes are always the same. The City of Lights it’s translated as sometimes. In some others it’s called the Window of God or the Womb of Mysteries. You know of the French poet Michel De Nostradame? Nostradamus?”
“Yeah.”
“He wrote something in a personal journal, in the fifteen hundreds – the title translates as ‘Dreams of Emerald Glass.’ A creation myth, an entire cosmology.”
“Why are you telling me this?” asked Jobe, thinking fearfully of green stars. “I’ve given up on all that nonsense.”
“On what?”
“The Emerald City. There’s no Wizard of Oz.” Jobe looked hard at her, “Have you been watching my sister? Tell me. Just tell me, please…”
“I-”
“The Wizard of Oz,” he said. “She’s doing it at her college.”
He quickly pulled the car over onto the curb and braked suddenly, snagging their seat-belts a little. He stared sideways at her. “You’ve been following us, haven’t you?”
“No, for the past-”
“Why are you doing this?” he asked, almost hissing. Prayer suddenly shoved him in the chest to get his attention, closing her eyes.
“Jobe, listen to me. I know these things, I’ve seen them. I’ve been told things by men and women that live like gods on earth, do you hear what I’m saying? Gods on Earth. They’re more powerful than kings or queens, because people don’t want to believe they really exist.”
She opened her eyes and stared hard at him. “But they do exist and they’re playing global chess with peoples lives, scripting wars so we can massacre each other for their entertainment. The stories of the crystal city; they’re symbolic representations of very powerful events in consciousness. Cathedrals of knowledge stored in the human imagination. What’s being described is a pathlight. There’s many of them. I’ve seen visions. Jobe, listen, these things are being triggered everywhere. An influx of black light. Living energies, a lot of them alien to you. Each pathlight is a living intelligence. The world is changing even as you deny it. Happening now, man. Right now.”
For a few moments Jobe was silent. He turned off the engine. He couldn’t look at the girl beside him who claimed to be a killer and messenger.
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz…that book, sometimes it’s used as a model for various types of mind-control, the film too. These people pervert everything. In the more advanced stuff they can fragment a human mind and create multiple personalities. They’ve been doing this for a long time. Monarch, Sliver, MK Ultra. They can engineer the mind to do the most horrific acts without even blinking.”
She laughed in a way that clutched Jobe and drove a chill through him.
“The Illuminati,” he muttered. “An occult conspiracy to control the imagination of the human race, stretching back into ancient times. Elite game-players with infinite resources, right?”
Prayer nodded, completely deadpan.
“Jobe, they are the self-appointed ‘guardians’ of this world and everything in it. Including me and you and everyone else. They set our limits for us. They give us our minds. Don’t let them lead you around by your innocence. They have us all blinded; in love with chaos on the one hand, and living in absolute fear on the other. People are controlled from cradle to grave and they can be made to do anything. We’re tools of the illumined. We always have been. They want to debase the truth of the emerald city because it scares them. They want to turn it into something hideous and diseased. You know all this. I’m preaching to the choir, aren’t I?”
For a few moments he was silent, thinking of the best way to respond. How do I respond to this? Why the fuck is she here?
“I know how seductive those ideas can be,” he said softly, “But in the end it’s all just a hi-tech fairytale. It’s the dark side of modern consciousness, like aliens and conspiracies and Satanism – when our dreams blur with our fears about reality. A self-sustaining parable. It’s not real, darling. It’s more of an addiction. I speak from painful experience.”
“Nothing is real,” said Prayer, “Which makes everything real. Everything is addiction. Or diction. That’s the whole fucking point, Jobe. It’s energy. Energy can be anything. We don’t just live in the world, we damn well create it. Every tedious day of our lives.”
Eventually Jobe muttered, “This battle then…this epic struggle of good and evil…it’ll be waged in the mind or the world?”
She smiled, shaking her head, “The mind is the world. There’s no genuine separation.”
“Right, right…I keep forgetting. As above so below. Everything is One. Cosmic unity. Light and love, and such…”
“No,” she said sharply, “No, I’m not talking about ‘unity’ as you perceive it. That’s just a pretty distortion of something far, far deeper. Everything is One, and this is Man seeing himself as he really is. Stripped of all fear, all bondage. Given the magic and the words at last. It’s what we crave.”
Jobe stared at her, feeling tears rolling down his cheek. He wiped them away with the back of his hand. The magic and the words. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he told her. It was a lie, maybe the worst lie he’d ever told in his dark young life.
Prayer smiled at him. “Men have always been tools of their gods, whilst aching to be the gods. And now finally we will be. All of us.”

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