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CHAPTER ONE--It Was One of Those Years
The sky was an ominous gray as I piloted my transship into Atros City. I could "feel" the storm approaching in my bones. I'd already flown above 3 extra-large "grade A" thunderheads. It was surely going to be another wave of the strange and severe weather anomalies that had plagued Atlantis in recent years. But a much different type of storm was also on its way, one that only some of us could see coming--and it was going to be more devastating than most people would have ever imagined--even in their worst nightmares.
As I made my final approach to the Temple of Thera, the great pyramid that the vast healing center was built around, filled my view screen. I had to set my screen on wide-angle just to see the entire temple complex. I sighed as I took it all in. It was an amazing sight to behold. Nearly 10 kilometers tall, it was the grandest of all Atlantean structures. The great shimmering white pyramid was surrounded by a sprawling network of translucent domes. The way the domes artistically conjoined the pyramid at its center created a beautiful mandalla-like effect when looking directly down on it from the air. It never failed to leave me stunned and impressed by its design alone, let alone the fact that it was the most advanced healing center the world had ever known.
I was traveling much faster than the acceptable speed that cities were restricted to (because of the inevitable thundering noise that occurred when a transship flew faster than the speed of sound). But since I considered this a "medical emergency", I had a good excuse--at least that's what I told myself. The truth was, I lovedto fly fast, especially inside canyons (natural or those created by the structures in a large city). And this time I could probably get away with it, even if I was pursued. But then again, pursuit wasn't really a concern anyway. Not even a Belialian interceptor ship could ever catch me--not after the performance modifications I'd done (especially the mental piloting control enhancements). And even if I were to be caught, I had political immunity that protected me from such trivial legal issues. In a blink of an eye I had gone from the city outskirts, to arriving at the beautiful Temple in the inner city. Piece of cake. Of course, parking was another matter. The parking situation never failed to get me "worked up" and grumbling about it to myself. Being in extreme pain and having to go to a thera-minister for a physical was bad enough, but as if to add insult to injury, I couldn't find an open tranship dock anywhere near this "great center of healing". What good does it do to have a thera facility if those who need it can't even park somewhere to get into it!" I set the controls to climb to 15 kilometers and circle the Temple so I could get a better overview of the situation. Oy Vau! Still not a single docking space in sight! Why is it that nobody provides adequate docking slots for the amount of traffic they have? Oh well, just one more thing to add to my "gripe list". If I hadn't been involved in designing and building the Temple (including the docking areas), I would be even more irritated!
After circling all levels three times, I gave up and decided to get out on the public loading zone dock and just walk to the diagnosis and healing center. I set my ship down, hobbled out the hatch, and sent her off on remote to go into an autopilot hover pattern somewhere over the Temple.
Yep, this was certainly turning out to be a classic case of "one of those days". I didn't know it yet, but it was just the first in a long string of them. Soon, it would turn into "one of those years".
Isis had warned me that many challenges were written in the stars for me this month, and the coming months, but until today, I had managed to comfortably live in denial of it. I'm not the kind to go running to a thera-minister for every little ache & pain. But pain has a way of "talking you into getting a check-up" that's far more effective than when your wife tries to talk you into it. Especially when the pain doubles you over during your morning shower.
I'd always considered our physical bodies to be such a pain in the ass (literally, in my case right now). They were even worse when not functioning properly or at times of dis-ease. It was times like these that I longed for the old days when we were not so physically bound, not so enmeshed in these slower vibratory realms of the Earth plane. But, here we were, stuck in physical forms that befit this gross animalistic plane of existence.
My body had been "acting up" lately, but I didn't pay much attention to it because I was approaching middle-age and figured occasional aches & pains were just part of the package. After all, a man who's physical form has seen the 4 seasons go 'round 823 times, can't be expected to feel like a kid all the time--I suppose. But hell, I was still a "young" 823, and generally in great condition. Sure. I just kept telling myself that over and over again, as I limped into the temple for a full work-up.
After the seemingly required un-necessary wait in the reception hall, and finishing off several magazines I had no need or desire to read, I was admitted to an examination room. It was a sterile environment, but attempts had been made to use color, light, sound and form to make it comfortable and relaxing. Nevertheless, it was never relaxing for anyone who had to be there for medical reasons. Reluctantly, I submitted to the standard scans, prodding and rather "personal probing" that accompanies a general physical-form diagnostic. My full-body auragraph showed an energy flare and meridian blockage in my stomach area. The theraminister in charge, Re-Te, was a general practitioner, and friend.
"Osirus, after looking over your scans, I suggest you have a specialist do an immediate full work-up on you with a diagnomatrix."
"Why Ret? What do you think you see?"
"Well, I see all kinds of things, but that's not important now, what we're talking about here is what your scans look like."
"Sorry, just a little clinic humor."
"A little is right."
"Now you know why I went into therapy instead of comedy. Anyway, you know who you should see. And don't put it off."
I knew. I took a transmat to the west wing, to try and "get an appointment"
with my ever-elusive soulmate, Sid-Ome. She was easily one of the best surgical theraministers in all Atlantis. Unfortunately, that also meant she was one of the busiest. But I knew she would want to see my scans right away. And hell, it would probably be the only way I'd be able to see her all month.
Besides her work as a theraminister, Sidome was also a Mother Supreme of the
Children of the Law of One. She was endowed with great talents of the heart &
mind--her psychic powers were often astonishing when it came to caring for others (those same traits were also put to good use in her work as a theraminister). Her inner beauty overshadowed the realms of the senses, and made her as lovely to behold as the Earth-Mother during her Spring times. And like the Earth-Mother, Sidome cared for and nurtured all beings in the name of Yod, with a compassion and intelligence that was extraordinary, even for a person of her status. (As you may have guessed, I like her a little more than a bit).
"Siddy" and I were very close, yet we didn't get to see each other very often.
She and I first Shared Water and bonded about 3 anuls ago (actually, now that I
think about it, it may have been 3 anuls ago to the day). Anyway, on that day, we also took the Rites of Joining, and became as One being in essence (forever, as long as we did not choose separation). In many ways, our hearts and minds were now one and the same.
We were both aware that we had been as One before time, and that we required each other to be as we once were, but nevertheless, I still felt very fortunate. My bonding with Sidome had expanded me in many ways. I knew I
provided her with things she wanted and needed also, but I always felt especially appreciative of what she brought to my life.
Our joining also gave us a psychic link that allowed us to mutually experience many things simultaneously. But while our subconscious minds were always in sync, circumstances made the link between our conscious minds inconsistent. We frequently had to function separately, in order to fulfill our individual responsibilities. This required focusing our thoughts in different directions, and during such periods, we were out of conscious touch with each other. It seemed that lately, we had been consciously separated more than ever. Thus, I was very pleased we would be seeing each other, even if it was because my body was out of sorts and she'd just be seeing me "professionally"--and only for a few minutes.