Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chapter: NavParikrama

In an ancient world with different constellations, the discovery of a rare metal that changes the behavior of sand, rock, water, and air by simply touching them. The slaves sent to mine the metal, become physically stronger, and start living extended lifespans. The laborers revolt and take control of the supply of the metal. They eventually become immortal, and the oppressed become the oppressors, a struggle for survival begins. The story begins many centuries later:

"Have you forgotten that this is a gift?", thundered Arikt Shanghi, "We are the favoured ones, the undying ones might have come first, but they too envy us for the gift we have. How can you even think, let alone try to reverse the will of the creator?" The rage in his eyes was genuine, but foolish, as he lay in the pool of his own blood, and each gash on his body was still reeking with blood. He could no longer feel the pain in him, he just went numb. His defiance, his loyalty, his courage, everything made Marukus Chiral wish that Arikt would be on her side. She always had had a soft corner for him. He was human to the core, he had his misgivings, but he accepted those without remorse. His self-righteous behaviour and his abilities with words and weapons would have made him a worthy ally. "But, alas, the path I have chosen for myself calls for sacrifices, but this is not the sacrifice I wanted to make." She thought.

She suddenly became aware of another soldier attacking her from the left. Instinctively, her sword changed hands from the right to the left, as she was about to thrust the blade into the soldier she checked herself. The soldier did not wear any body armour, and was unarmed. the soldier darted across to Arikt and held him in her arms. Arikt's eyes were closing, the soldier quickly checked the pulse, and started drawing the Parikrama of revival in the pool of Arikt's blood. Then she took out her Khadagush, balanced it on her elbows, clasped her hands together, and prayed hard to revive him. But it did not seem to work. Marukus' blows were many and deep, Arikt had not even put on a defense. Marukus remembered his words, "The ones for whom you'll fight against the whole universe, is the only one in the universe you can't fight against." She felt a lump come up her throat. She tried hard to swallow it. Thankfully, the bugle sounded, heralding the end of fighting for that day. She turned around and saw the soldier drawing a new Parikrama, this time of her own blood. Marukus tried hard to recognise this new Parikrama, but she had never seen anything like it before. It looked like the Parikrama of revival superimposed on the Parikramas of healing and exchange, and another unknown Parikrama. This NavParikrama was too intricate and complex for the common eye to understand the layers on it, had Marukus not been so deeply associated with the art of Parikramas, even she wouldn't have recognised the various Parikramas that had been layered together. The soldier quickly dragged Arikt's almost lifeless body into the NavParikrama, then she opened up Arikt's Khadagush into it's eighth form. In the eighth form, a Khadagush looks like two curved swords held together by the bowstring at the hilts. She quickly placed the Khadagush across the chest of Arikt, passed the bowstring under Arikt's body and folded the Khadagush back into its first form, once again it looked like a bow. The soldier then stood over the chest of Arikt and opened her Khadagush into the second form, where in it still looked like a bow, but with the exception of two sword blades hanging out from the ends of the bow.

Marukus kept looking on, wondering what this was about. She had half a mind to intervene and stop this soldier from what she was doing, but curiosity made her wait and watch. Soon many of the soldiers returning from battle started gathering around in a circle, Arikt's army realised that their commander had fallen into the trap that he had been warned of. With teary eyes they saw the soldier, as she prepared the Parikrama around Arikt. Finally, she stopped and said, "You shall not weep for Arikt, for he dies not in vain. In the midst of the battle, across his love he came. She loves her cause more than she ever loved him, He loved her so, and knew his fate was grim. He has fallen on the field of battle, beside his brave soldiers, but remember his love, and do not harm her, even though the days grow colder." It sounded like one of the many songs Arikt would occasionally recite as he made them up. But this song came from this unknown soldier. Before someone could muster the courage to ask her who she was, she lifted her Khadagush over her head drew on the bowstring, she looked down at Arikt and two teardrops came out of her eyes as she recited a prayer. The tears fell on the drawn bowstring, trickled down to her hand that was drawing the string.

Suddenly, there was commotion in the crowd, as General Fukilorn ran towards the soldier, he screamed, "Hanruk, don't!!!". The tears touched the thumb on Hanruk's hand and she let go off the string. Lightning left the Khadagush and ascended towards the heavens, then it curved high up and turned towards North. The ground inside the NavParikrama started rumbling, and then it started breaking, and then it launched straight up into the air and followed the lightning. in a blink of an eye, the two of them had disappeared. Marukus stared at the crater in the ground, she couldn't hold back the tears anymore. General Fukilorn came and stood in front of her, and she looked up at him.

"I killed my own husband, and Hanruk, was she...?" her voice trailed off.

"Yes, she was yours and Arikt's second child." the general replied.

"I don't want to fight anymore. I have lost my husband, my daughter, and my son lies wounded in the healing house. All my family is almost lost, and I don't want to fight my father now. Please father, end this now, Arikt has made his point, I concede defeat. I will halt the construction, but I do not have the courage to fight you." With that she fell to the ground on her knees. General Fukilorn took her hands and made her stand up. He caressed her face, and kissed her on her forehead.

"Let's go and see Chiran, Arikt has taught me about the Parikrama of healing. He was somehow very sure of the fact that I will be able to use it to save his son." he said to Marukus. "You shouldn't have let them face each other in battle. But then I suppose you were blinded by your quest."

Marukus just looked up at the heavens and said, "Father, you will never understand, after all you are an immortal too."

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