Close this search box.

A06.57 A Prelude to Death (2,777) Henry, Lindsey

Source manuscripts: – SM06 P1.docx

Content advisory: Adult language, content, and situations, controversial religious and cultural references, speculative histories, acts of violence, and self-harm. Find more information about the novel at SHATTERED MIRRORS NOTES.

What happened before [H6.3]

Ikart opens an investigation of the missing Guardian angel, Panea. The investigative angel follows the breadcrumbs to Henry Snyder and his Guardian, Melvin. After interviewing Melvin, Ikart observes Henry. Henry is also being watched by his friend and protector, Lindsey, who shapeshifted into a bird. The first angel, Ramard, a spy for Archangel Michael, warns Henry about a coming messenger, but Henry disregards the message and messenger.

Henry encounters several angels, Ramard, Panea, and Melvin, while under the protection of Lindsey, who had shapeshifted into a bird. Panea is arrested by two archangels and taken away.

Henry is contacted by Lord Lakita, who had ordered the arrest warrant for Henry’s brother, Tom, a year earlier. The arrest ended in Tom’s execution. Henry does not trust Lakita yet departs from his serene beachside routine, setting the stage for them to communicate.

Chapter 6  Prelude to Death 
Circumstance: Ikart observes, through Henry’s mind’s eye, using an emo connection with Lakita established through Lindsey, who is capable of emo communication through space and time.
Narrators: Henry Snyder (Italics) + Lindsey McCauley
Location: The Beach behind the University of New Berkeley in Serenity, Arizona

I gaze over the water, squishing sand between my toes; the tender glow of the dawn sun caresses my chilled face. My awareness grows of my present as the contrast of temperature permeates my body in a delightful tangle, compelling me to breathe as an embrace before the kiss. I must die before my emotions rise. My body prepares itself for the sacrifice. I shall erupt from my embedded chrysalis and explode upon the canvas; the celestial dome will receive radiating glorious lava colors into my chakras. My lungs anticipate the expansion from the holy gift, mixing the oxygen and energy onto pranot carriers that will race into my bloodstream, pushing and thrusting through the heart, churning and compressing through arterial passage, causing my blood to charge every cell’s pranot receptors in the mitochondria, and recharge my soul. The euphoric essence of the cosmos is upon my lips, uniting my sight with my soul. My soul registers empty, ready to be filled to unlimited capacity, prophetically defeating my demise. This is all that remains: a prelude to death, a step toward renewal.

Henry sat on the steps at the base of the Observation Tower, anticipating the sunrise. He abruptly stood up, reluctantly ending his interlude with nature.

“I need you to be more specific, Lakita.” I needed to keep her mind distracted. When I first got the request to communicate, I sensed a trap.

Lakita was communicating with Henry telepathically through a time ripple, using my eyes to connect with Camille as the transport; Lakita was unaware of this. She was an emo Master, but she did not have this skill. In a moment, my master can read Lakita’s mind and emotional impulses.

As the connection solidified, I sensed Henry’s contempt and distrust for Lakita, which strained his communications. I shunted all emo impulses from my master so that Lakita would be unaware of the conflict. I don’t understand why Henry requested this communication, though the world’s future depends on what happens.

It’s like dating someone with hygiene issues; you look past the stink until you don’t. Lakita was the one who signed Tom’s arrest, and regardless of whether she fired the shot that killed him or not, she created a huge stink. It may be the final straw on the camel’s back. The only thing that matters is that they are communicating, but make no mistake, he was speaking to an audience of one who remained silent. I sensed someone else also.

“I don’t think you are listening. I asked a simple question that does not require specifics,” replied Lakita.

“Listening to what?”

“Teacher, you made my point!”

Henry told me privately that he felt no compunction about meeting with the Judge but accepted her request in ‘an old-fashioned gentlemanly sort of way.’ He was not listening to her, but I didn’t want to throw gas on the fire while discussing his brother. I have seen him act this way before. He either needed to take a breather, or he had some other intention that he was not telling me.

“Blah, blah, blah. Your lips are moving but saying nothing.”

“I know things are difficult for you since …”

“Don’t say it! Tell me, why are we talking?” Henry looked at his hands as he threw them up and feigned to walk away.

Henry was not trying to poke Lakita. I don’t think he is blowing up. I put up with a lot from Henry when we younger; he was, he is a good guy. We were more than friends; we always had each other’s back.  He was very supportive of his brother, did it unseen, and never wanted to be acknowledged. He treated others with honor, even when it wasn’t reciprocated. He is noble, and I accept serving him of my own accord. Whatever he is doing, he is doing it for Lakita’s benefit. Sometimes, his sensibilities are not grounded in reason. It annoyed me that Henry often desired to impart wisdom to those who did not desire change. It is probably good that he is this way. This is likely one of his Henry moments.

“Henry, all I asked is how you were doing since your brother’s funeral?”

For a moment, Henry was catatonic. Her question has not affected him. Perhaps he was being cautious, not wanting to say anything of consequence. On many occasions, my master expressed his desire to positively affect ‘Council troglodytes,’ to which he graciously included Lakita.

He was patient with Lakita because Lord Victoria chose her. Lakita and Henry are very much alike. They are tough fighters. Lord V, whom we serve and respect, wants peace in her ranks. Tom’s death forced Lord V and Lakita to leave the Rebels or be destroyed. Of course, the Council brought them to their side.

“I am fine. “

But Henry seemed off. He didn’t seem to be saying the right things. Lakita was not about to lie down when she had a charging rhino in front of her. Lakita is a fighter. Henry is a fighter. Fighters fight. Even if Henry was willing to approach Lakita thoughtfully and professionally, there was a bigger problem. Henry was unwilling to acknowledge that his mind was not fully present and was not in control of his emotions.

“I can tell that you are angry and frustrated. Talk to me. Tom used to help me, and I miss him so much. Tell me, really, how are you?”

Anyone who knows Henry will tell you that Henry is more focused on the rising sun than almost anything else. If Lakita had known Henry better, she could have blamed Henry’s rudeness on his desire to follow his chi or whatever was running through his brain at that particular moment. But thinking he was acting out of anger is not Henry’s mode of operation.

Then all of this hokey pokey stuff started to make sense.  I checked Henry’s energy levels, and they were rising. He was using Tom’s approach.

Why would I be angry?” Henry asked very slowly, with his lips pursed. He appeared to be about to smile, but his eyes and facial muscles compressed into a creepy expression.

After he directed Lakita to be more specific, I realized Henry was about to ignite a dangerous topic. I cautioned Henry to bring down the intensity and to carefully take care of his problem with Lakita now and get it over with, even if it took more time. We all needed to work together.

“I am fine. But I should ask you, HOW DO YOU FEEL?

My master is stubborn. He thought that if he confronted her with the truth, even if masterfully disguised as hatred, she would magically leave him alone … satisfied. He was willing to let ‘dead dogs lie.’ Of course, Henry was making no sense. He needed to be direct and ask about her part in his brother’s death, but he was also taking the energy from the conflict and storing it.

His hurt and pain overwhelmed his capacity for civility but not his ability to think rationally. He thought he could get this over fast; he could be watching the sunrise. I impressed Henry that it was in his best interest to relieve the tension with the governor.

Henry and I started a lively debate in a moment of suspended time. We compromised and decided that, in the worst case, he could discuss with Lakita how he felt until just before sunrise, knowing I would warn him when to stop. I did not tell him I was on his side with his idea of riling up Lakita. I just provided assurances that I would give him ample time to get to the Observation Point.

I did not push Henry further because it was not fruitful to continue advising him on how to talk with Lakita. Before we returned to time, I reminded him that the sea could serve as a great diversion if there was rising tension during his conversation. Of course, I knew that conflict was inevitable, even profitable! I made sure he had some mugwort in his pocket. That would also help if everything blew up in his face.

Somehow, Lakita was not fazed; her voice was steady. “I want to change the subject. Teacher, soon you will graduate, and you must serve the Council. You will be free to serve the Council at any time. For that reason, I ask about your abilities, Henry! I must keep order in my region, and Lord Victoria watches me carefully.”

I could feel the joy in Henry, but Lakita had never felt it.

“Frankly, I am no longer concerned about maintaining enough Prana to perform our operations. Of course, we need it. Currently, on paper, we cannot stop a crisis from happening. I am sensing that logic does not matter. After all, in the future, you seem pretty content, right? Your situation is the outcome of what we are doing. I hesitate to bring this up because you blame me for what happened to your brother. If I could have done anything to change it and avoid this awkward time, I would. I need your help.”

“Lakita, please stop. I want to let you know that I am not interested. You did what you did.”

Lakita pushed back against Henry’s rejection. “Henry, please hear me out. Do not interrupt me! What happened to your brother had nothing to do with me. I had to have him arrested because that was my job. The truth is I need you. Your name keeps coming up when my analysts report to me.”

“Just shut up!”

“Henry! I understand how you must think of me. Perhaps you might find it in your heart to forgive me… Your brother and I worked together on some important projects. He was an amazing person… He also spoke highly of you. He never wanted you to get involved in our nasty business.”

“Go away.”

“And and and …. fuck it. Your brother was brilliant but stupid to think he could fight the Council. ”

I had my hand over my chin. Somehow, it seemed the right pose. I was trying to appear that I was listening while not listening. I had her right where I wanted.

“I can tell you that Tom was instrumental in gathering the power for the Rebels and keeping the peace. I wish I could tell you more. Things are not as they appear. We had to keep things secret from you and everyone he knew. Together, with Raphael, we increased our store of Prana through healing.”

Tom? Are you sure? Why would Tom gather power for the Council?

“You said you knew Tom but did not realize that Tom was an expert healer; perhaps he would have been as great as P’aqo. I need many healers to transfer much power into our stores. I have already used many, but only a fraction of our store is filled. Tom filled our power stores in days, enough for my team for almost two years. He knew a way to store energy, even through time. But our requirements have increased, and our power storage is completely used up.”

Of course, you have used up everything! You kill people who want to make our lives more profitable, not expendable. My brother was killed a year ago, and your power lasted until now? That’s pretty good, but that does not involve me.

“Henry, I have heard that you achieve more gain in a shorter time… even under extreme stress. And my reports tell me that you can heal better than the Angels on high. I have been told that you use the power of the sun. Is it true? Do you possess special abilities? Tom never mentioned you. I need someone to help me gather power. Please explain to me your powers.”

“Wh-aaa-at?” I reached into my pants pocket and pulled out my pipe and a pouch of mugwort. I was not going to let this murderous bitch push me over the edge by bringing up my brother. I needed to remain calm and look calm. I did not think that she was aware that she was unnerving me. I contemplated giving her what I gleaned from this conversation, but my brother is off-limits.

I am not working for you or the Council. Ever.

Then, it occurred to me that I was reading her mind from the moment she connected with me. I had quickly discerned that she was trying to use my energy for her emo-store. Tom had told me Lakita did this to him to collect energy for the Council. It was apparent that I must absorb all my emo radiation and return it to my emo store undetected while she thought she was building hers. I was going to do something she did not expect. Also, our eavesdropper won’t expect this.  

“Lord Lakita, you know more about me than you let on. You asked me to explain my abilities, and I will gladly do so despite your inflated thoughts about my powers. I feel conflict and tension inside you. I am not a threat.”

Lakita did not respond.

“Look at me. Do I seem threatening? I am not your enemy.” I thought a rhetorical question she could not answer, followed by an obvious lie, was a great idea. 

” But no matter what I say, you or your superiors won’t believe me. if I don’t work for you, you will order my arrest and execution, just as you did with my brother. I do not, and I will not fight for the Rebels. Like my brother, I won’t fight for the Council either. I don’t believe in violence. And I am certainly not creating energy stores just for the Archie assholes to steal them and use them against us. That is not happening!”

Lakita did not realize I was sitting inside her head. She was thinking of a face; it looked familiar. I knew who it was. She almost detected me. I looked over and smiled at a gull perched a short distance away. She saw the backside of a gull in her head; Lindsey saw what was happening and quickly turned around.

“Let me tell you about my brother.”

Lakita didn’t realize I was absorbing her energy instead of giving it to her. As I prepared my pipe with mugwort to relax, I focused on Lakita’s feelings. Lakita had mixed feelings; she didn’t like me but wanted me to like her because of Tom.

She doesn’t seem to be the person I imagined. She is scared about the Council. I had to maintain my facade and keep her off-balance until I understood her motives. Surprisingly, I found myself letting go of my hatred.

“Go ahead and talk. Don’t just say something and stop.”

Summary S6.5 > a6.57  06-08-24 (2,777)

Henry, a man with mystical abilities tied to the natural world, becomes entangled with Lakita, an Emo Master and the appointed Governor over U169. Henry reveals his unique pranic healing powers and ability to store energy. Lakita plans to use his abilities for the Council. Henry initially resists the Council by secretly taking energy from Lakita, whom Henry blamed for his brother’s death. Their relationship is tense due to their conflicts. However, Henry manages to release his resentment towards Lakita.

Get the latest updates through our newsletter