Friday, 25 November 1994

The New Age - Chapter Twenty-Three

    Darkness surrounded the Anglo-Force mansion as night closed in. Outside the only light that could be seen had been created by Merlin as the education of the Acolytes continued.
    “We are going to explain the universe to you.” said Merlin. “You have arisen from the ocean of humanity, and we embrace you. You are our Acolytes”
    “Before the dawn Merlin and I will demonstrate how logical is the universe into which you have been born.” Gandalf continued. “Apply this knowledge as you see fit, to your own conception of the natural and the supernatural. We provide information, not a creed. Examine it, test it, decide for yourself what you think of it. If you find it useful it will take you far. It will carry you into the infinite universe. Understand, this is but the first step on that path which leads to the future.
    “As we progress,” continued Merlin, “you may well lose sight of the infinite for a time, and then there will be more. The universe is expanding, always there is more. Even for us there is more. So you must know how to travel.”
    “Excuse me.” said Yamanda. “But since you have invited question you say you provide only information, but you ask us to begin with the idea that the universe is logical.”
    “Yes.” said Gandalf.
    “Examine the alternative.” said Merlin. “Logic demands sequence, and we seem to see reality as following a sequence, of time of birth and growth and death, of cause and effect.”
    “It may be that we are all hallucinating this logical universe.” said Gandalf. But in that case everything about it is insubstantial, so we must make the assumption that what we call reality is real. From that it follows that reality is logical. Now, logically every sequence must begin from somewhere. What lies before the beginning we cannot say. But one day, in one spot in the midst of nothingness, something begins.”
    Gandalf raised his hands towards the sky.
    “A birth of existence!”
    Suddenly there was a bright light in the sky, and then an explosion.
    “The big bang!” he continued. “We may call it one!”
    Gandalf did not notice a figure appear in the sky just as the glow subsided. The figure in question was James Watt, having just returned to the mansion. The explosion put off Watt slightly as he was deep in thought about the recent events in his life. Soon Watt landed near the main doorway of the mansion. He began to wonder how many of the gathered heroes were there. He soon got his answer. He soon made his way to the main chamber. When he got there he found a surprise. It seemed that all those summoned were present, and they were all united in one thing - what they were saying.
    “Three cheers for Solo!”

    “Two.” said Merlin. “The concept of the other. One exists and seems all encompassing. At first, to itself, but the logical sequence of time soon shows that one actually exists within it’s surroundings. Before one burst fourth those surroundings were nothing, but after one they are really that one is not, the second concept - two!”

    “Good evening Jim.” said Solo. “You’re just in time.”
    “Thanks Paul.” said Watt. “But what’s all the cheering about?”
    “He just reported that Darkmagus’ hideout has been destroyed!” said White Knight.
    “Really?” said Watt. “You did that?”
    “I only had a hand in it.” said Solo.
    It was then that Solo began to tell the story of how they found the hidden base on the eastern shore of Loch Ness, and how he had encountered Dr. Magus and Johangas Khan. Then Might Man added how he had been there also. After hearing this story the mood of those gathered seemed to be somewhat lifted.
    “I see that congratulations are in order for all of you.” said Watt. “I won my private battle as well, but you’ve moved us closer to winning the war.”
    “I must agree with you Captain.” said Khan. “I have tried to use my powers to locate others of Darkmagus’ forces and I can find only a few of them. One of them, unfortunately, is X.”
    “We’ll have to work on that.” said Axe Kid.
    “We can’t rest until Merlin and Gandalf have finished their work with the Acolytes.” said McCloud.
    “But we can relax for a while.” said White Knight. “If there’s only a handful we should celebrate this victory.”
    And so it began. For the first time since they gathered at the mansion friendships were renewed. This was the first time they actually spoke to each other about something else than Darkmagus’ threat.

    “Next comes number three.” said Gandalf. “One becomes aware of the number two because of the relationship between them. The relationship is shaped by both, and thus is different from each, and so a new concept comes from their sum. But, both being born directly from the primal nothingness, dependant upon higher forces for it’s very existence, three is inherently limited!”

    The car of Neil Smith pulled up outside Number 10 Downing Street. As soon as he got out of the car he seemed to be besieged by reporters wanting his views about the heroes’ victory.
    “Mister Smith, we have reports that Darkmagus’ forces have been dealt a serious blow!”
    Smith seemed to hesitate before answering the question.
    “Yes, I’m…very please that they have finally…failed.”
    “Isn’t that precisely the opposite of your previous position?”
    “Well…no…some of you misrepresented my position.”
    Smith then answered no more question. After entering his office he began to wonder if all of Darkmagus’ forces had been defeated.

    “But just s two is all that one is not,” said Merlin, “so is four the reverse of three. The nature of nature is sequence, and the limitations of three cannot be the end. The very nature of nature itself demands another creation. The nature of life demands the number four.”
    “Like evolution.” said McCloud.
    “What we are here for.” said Leacock. “What you are saying is that life is a positive thing and demands creation.”
    “It is a concept.” said Yamanda. “Creativity may take many forms. I prefer the form given to those who love.”
    “The nature of nature is green!” said Mother Nature.
    “And yet all that exists in nature, all that exists in life’s logical sequence, must know birth and growth.” said Merlin. “And death! We are far from the purity of one now, and even one is a finite thing against the vast expanse of night. Five know morality.”

    The socialisation in the mansion continued. As they spoke Tiger suddenly got a strange feeling.
    “What’s wrong?” asked Tigress.
    “It’s as if I’ve just received a vision from our people in Voltania.” said Tiger. “As if something is very wrong.”
    “I felt something too cousin.” said Lion. “It was as if the people of Voltania were drying out for help.”
    “Then we must go to them.” said Tigress. “If they are in danger then the royal family must be there to help them.”
    “We must find one of the sky-jets.” said Tiger. “I am sure that Captain Watt would not mind us using one of them.”
    The three of them soon left. Solo watched them as they left, and when he was outside he saw one of the sky-jets flying off into the distance. As he watched he was joined by Star Man.
    “Is anything wrong Paul?”
    “It’s hard to say. When I saw T’Chuka and his relatives leave I got a strange feeling.”
    “Like what?”
    Solo did not answer for a few minutes.
    “It’s probably just nothing.” he said. “If I start jumping at shadows I’ll lose it!”
    Solo and Star Man soon went back into the mansion where the socialisation continued. One of those gather, Lug, was finding things quite refreshing.
    “It has been a long time since I stood with mortals.” he said. “I am finding it quite…invigorating!”
    “To me, standing here with a god is a bit off-putting.” said Red Star. “But from what I understand we need all the hands we can get so we…”
    The Russian was stopped from speaking when Lug suddenly vanished into thin air.

    “The purity of one has unfolded instinctively thus far.” said Gandalf. “But now the process of life has discovered death, it knows that it can be cut off, and so it must practice self-preservation! It must make it’s own personal choices among the five forces it understands, to deal with an unknown future. This is six. And six can be just another number, another finite number, or six can be the beginning of a second half of the enfoldment, a conscious half to compliment the unconscious half that created six. Six is the middle.”

    A slight case of panic began to unfold inside, They began to wonder where Lug had gone. They stopped wondering when they heard a voice behind them. It did not belong to Lug however.
    “You’re all here. Good!”
They turned around to see Poseidon and Aldair enter the chamber.
    “We got here as fast as we could.” said Poseidon.
    “Why are you looking so glum?” asked Jet.
    “We just discovered a new Darkmagus front.” said Poseidon.
    “That can’t be.” said White Knight. “We just defeated them.”
    “You’re not talking about the base near Loch Ness are you?” asked Magus.
    “If you are it’s been destroyed.” said Solo.
    “I don’t know anything about that.” said Poseidon. “We would have radioed ahead but I wanted you all to see what we found, and it took us some time to get here.”
    “Look outside!” said Aldair.
    Upon the request of the younger Atlantean they moved outside. They were surprised by what they saw.
    “Can it be?” said Reid. “A flying saucer?”
    “I’ve never seen one like it before.” said Magus. “Not in all my travels. Have any of you…?”
    “No.” said Fire-Master.
    “It’s definitely Istarian technology, but modified.” said Aldair. “It crash-landed near the main dome of Atlantis. It was crewed entirely by androids, but they were all destroyed upon impact.”
    Aldair then noticed the expression on the faces of the others.
    “What’s the problem?” he asked.
    “All of Darkmagus’ forces have been destroyed.” said Red Sun.
    There was then a slight pause before anyone else spoke.
    “Couldn’t they be replaced from somewhere else?” said Watt. “Perhaps from space?”

    “The previous concept was choice.” said Merlin. “Choice is how to best preserve life. The natural impulse is to harmonize with the larger life as much as possible, to trust that it’s ultimate purpose is beneficent, to expand to meet it, and work with it, and become one with it. Seven lives in the ‘best of all possible worlds’!”

    “Surely Darkmagus would have a backup for his plans.” said Watt. “If all of his androids were wiped out here on Earth he’d surely have some backups somewhere. Why not on another planet?”
    “I hadn’t really considered this.” said Magus.
    “We have become too Earth-centred!” said Fire-Master. “Even I, who comes from a distant planet, has adopted this world so completely that I lost sight of the wider horizons.”
    “But if the ship crashed why Can’t I sense any more of them with my powers?” asked Khan.
    “Probably because the ship crashed.” said Supercop. “The thing is if they have one ship they may have a whole squadron, a fleet even!”
    “We need to stop them.” said Jet. “But the problem is where are they?”
    “There may be a way.” said Magus.
    Magus raised his hand in the sky, and a bolt of energy shot out of it. It went as far as the eye could see.
    “What are you doing?” asked Watt.
    “I am scanning outer space around this world.” Magus replied. “Looking for signs of mystical energy.”
    A few seconds later Magus lowered his hand. The glow then vanished.
    “Mars.” he said. “Darkmagus’ base is on the red planet.”
    “It would be best of some of us stayed here on Earth.” said Watt. “So we had better put together a team.”

    “The natural impulse is to harmonize with life.” said Gandalf. “But each successive development is farther removed from the pure source. Life at this level is no longer inherently fair. Life cannot be completely harmonious.”
    “Too much striving for harmony can lead to weakness.” said Merlin. “And weakness cannot preserve life. The natural impulse must, then, be curbed by personal strength. Death and all that might lead the unwary to death must be kept at bay. The being must stand alone! Only alone can eight make it’s choices clearly, and obliterate without complication all that tries to tie it’s hands. Eight lives in ‘the world as it really is’!”

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