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B19.5 In the Garden of Ancients (2,219) – Ikart D10 11a

Source manuscripts: – SM P1 1.3X.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

Summary Chapter 18: (S18.1 ) In the Garden of Ancients

In a spiritual realm where the Garden of the Ancients serves as a nexus between worlds, Ikart—an Angel with a rebellious streak and a penchant for smoking—is dispatched through the lesser-traveled West entrance to attend an emergency meeting of the Ancients.

Accompanied by a whimsical panda sentinel, he reflects on past misadventures and the teachings of Angel Academy. As he reaches the Gate of Origin, Ikart faces challenges and contemplates his purpose.

The Master Controllers, tasked with cosmic balance, are troubled by an unforeseen threat. Amidst ancient deities and celestial entities, Ikart’s journey transforms him, revealing deeper insights into his role in the universe. His commitment to this newfound purpose defies foretold destinies and bridges realms.

Spirit Realm in the Garden of Ancients C18.5 /sm18 05-18-24 (2,219)
Narrator: Ikart
Location The West Entrance, Garden of Ancients

The portal destination was not familiar as it opened in front of the West entrance of the Garden of the Ancients. I had traveled to the Gate of Origin, but I had gone through the South entrance of the Garden. The West entrance was a very different experience. I was surprised at how few spirits were at this gate to the Garden. An archway sentinel unlike any other sentinel was guarding the entrance.

The entrance was set back in the Bamboo Forest. The largest panda I had ever seen was sitting there under a mossy tree surrounded by tall bamboo trees. The sentinel was chewing on bamboo leaves and singing a song with a young girl.  The sentinel enjoyed singing loudly off-key and whenever he tried to reach a particular note, he started laughing and bouncing.

The bouncing Panda did not seem to be a true guard but this is the nature of the Bears of Laconia. They are a fearsome bunch. But this sentinel was bouncing to the point of extreme annoyance and very much trying the patience of every Angel cell I have. To maintain my composure, I looked beyond the sentinel, beyond the archway, to a sign pointing to the diverging paths with five corresponding destinations. I just needed to follow the arrow leading to my path, the fourth destination listed. Three arrows were pointing toward question marks. The last arrow pointed towards the Gate of Destiny.

I was not curious in the least to discover my destiny. Once you arrive, you have no idea about how you got there, and perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a traveler who arrives at a destination is to not care that the destination was reached. In the Angel Academy, a few of us more curious angels tried bad prana. That messed me up good and I learned the danger of not knowing how I got someplace and not caring that I got there.

I was relieved when they finished the song and the Panda had gained composure. He motioned to me to come forward. I asked the sentinel about the destinations with question marks. He said, “Once you get there, you must come back and change it.” Of course, I had to ask, “The sign looks so old! Why have the destinations not been carved in?” The sentinel began to laugh and bounce, “No one has returned.”  Again, I was curious. Why are you laughing? The sentinel continued to laugh uncontrollably and bounce higher than before, “I get relieved as sentinel when the sign is complete.” I saw tears forming around his eyes.

I just shook my head and began to walk. My wings had been an issue and I decided to use my legs. As I walked, I began to think about the typical crowd I would encounter at the other entrance I used. Typically, I would be approached by various Goryo complaining about their life cut short. They were looking for handouts of prana. And it was amazing to see the many imps who served and socialized with celestials. I think they are abhorrent creatures, but they are very popular with female celestials. One chubby and rather smelly imp had just done some rolling in the mud evidenced by his clothes; he stood right next to me picking his nose. He turned his back to me to shield me from seeing him eat his mucus. But it was very clearly visible. I know that not all imps are naughty, but Lucifer’s children don’t have the PR that Jehovah’s son gets. And sometimes, there were ghosts around here though I didn’t see any today. Usually, they are waiting to learn about the judgment given to their killer in one of the smaller courtrooms. Once they learned what happened, the ghost would be transported to X86, the Portal of Resolution, to be recycled.

The Jinn waiting to be transported to their hearing was a great source of entertainment. Jinn were extraordinary spirits coming to judgment that made Michael go around in circles. The most common spirits here were angels and demons. Demons resided beyond the Hills of Laconia in Chanan, a district in New Caanan, and were protected inside the Garden if miraculously they were given a pass to enter. They had some rather cute little devils too that I would flirt with before they went into the Garden.

All Angels were free to move around until they were reassigned and came here to get their assignments. When I come here, I will discuss the latest article with other Guardians. After being assigned to report for the Times, I came less often. However, as many times as I had come to the Gate of Origin, this was the first time I was going through it. As I approached the entrance to the Garden, I prepared to walk the Path, alone. But as I got closer and closer, I felt the presence of thousands of souls pressing in on me. Then, I heard true soul music. But unlike an ordinary song, this melody transports you from the Path to near the Rock of Welcome which bridged the carbonite worlds and the spirit world.

As my feet touched down, I could see the great Rock in front of the entrance. I approached the Rock slowly. Though there was a lot of open space, there was no way around the Rock if you wanted to go into the Colosseum. The Gate of Origin was just beyond the Rock but was hidden until the Rock tested each soul for purity. Purity does not mean good or bad. Purity means simply that your intention is clear and directed. The Spirit Realm required this in every Soul that was in the presence of the Ancients. An Angel in front of me bowed his head, touched the Rock, and moments later, disappeared. When I came to these Doors, I always kept in mind that the Rock not only re-energized but also destroyed Souls. There seemed to be no reason why the Rock took a soul, but the Rock destroyed over a million of them. The latest statistics showed that 78% of carbonites had red hair and 63% of spirits were associated with angry tall female carbonites. For carbonites and some bad angels, the Rock had powers to restore peace to the soul and re-energize the spirit.

As I stretched out my hand to touch the rock, the rock began to glow. The rock turned white and began to grow.

“Welcome Ikart, my friend. I sense that you are thinking too much today.” Elvis gave me a wink.

“It is great to see you here Elvis!” I chortled back. “I am surprised to see you come out.” The Bears of Laconia guarded all the entrances into the Spirit Realm. All bears were known by numbers, but I wasn’t going to be bothered by such craziness. His brother Cleetus always comes out to chit-chat with me because his gate, the Gate of Challenge, has fewer attendees.

“I think that Victoria is rubbing off on you!” He said with a chuckle. Elvis stretched his body and turned towards me. “Don’t think so much. I just wanted to stretch my body.”

“Yes.” Miraculously, I felt at peace and my mind stopped racing for the moment.

“OK, you know the drill, my friend. Remember, if you break the rules, I will know.” Elvis lifted his arm and turned over his paw.

“Nahhhhh.” I bowed my head and thought for a second. I then gave thanks to the Controllers, a ritual the Ancients drilled into the head of every angel in training. I stretched out my hand. Elvis began closing his eyes for a moment. And the Door appeared but I knew that I was not out of danger. Elvis reopened his eyes, very wide, and retracted his arm.

“Are you pure?” Elvis asked. He looked into my eyes. After a moment, he slowly returned his paw to a place in front of me. “Touch the Rock!”

My mind started racing again. Does he sense something? One fact that few knew was that the Rock had never destroyed an Angel that smoked. Never. I was an angel with no hair. In my work, I mostly dealt with short-fat ugly male carbonites. And I smoked like a chimney, just for occasions like this! “I’m ready, dude.”

Elvis gave me a strange wincing look. “Stop thinking Ikart. Go ahead.” I reached out and touched Elvis’ paw.

I walked past the Rock without any trepidation. Once safely passed the Rock, I tucked my wings under my cape, looked up, and walked through the door and gracefully towards the Gate. I saw the Sign of Welcome above the Gate of Origin: “Follow the Path of Service and you will find yourself.” I looked around before placing my hand on a prana rock. I felt the presence of my friend Emortis but he was not really there. Emortis and I believed we would serve Jehovah for eternity. Now, Emortis is gone; perhaps recycled. I offered a prayer of thanksgiving to the Master Controllers. The Rock began to glow a bit brighter. I chuckled for a second. It took my friend to disappear to get me to pray. Even Emortis would be surprised at me praying. Other people think they see changes in me. They say I am not the same foul-mouthed egotistical wise-ass angel I was before. I know my faults. Emortis’ disappearance was my fault.

I removed my hand from the rock and took my cape off before snuffing out the spliff. I had told Kisit that I was quitting cigarettes, but I didn’t say I quit smoking. Was that a lie? Maybe. But the lie was to avoid hurting our work relationship. I could feel evidence, the trailing spirit, from the fervor that must have been here earlier, as Jehovah’s servants prepared for this emergency meeting. And it was fitting that this gathering was held in the Colosseum’s magnificent Hall of Wonders. As I approached the Hall, the Sense of Antiquity glowed with awe. The sense of who I was, who we were, emanated from every corner, every beam, every statue. I had to stop for a moment as these overwhelming feelings made me tremble.

I walked through the Gate into the Garden of Indemnity and followed the Path of Service to the Door of Opportunity. From there, It was a short walk to the Colosseum entrance. All the important Ancients were to be in attendance and seated in the center at the Great Table of Ancients. These five thrones were reserved for the Master Controllers of Antiquity: Jehovah, Athena, Lord Shiva, Sekhmet, and Kali. These were the creators and shapers of the Outverse and the protectors of the Middleverse.

As I moved through the North Hall, I felt a lingering Sense of Purpose in my soul. After all, this is where it all began. This place had been a witness to tremendous joy with the birth of great souls, ideas, and new worlds. The Alliance of Master Controllers or AMC desired that all carbonites would understand the symbiotic relationship between the Outer and Middleverse. The Middleverse considered these Master Controllers to be Gods. Of course, they were the same as any other Master Controller. But in fact, some Master Controllers had powers that the Ancients did not have. But the Ancients were the creators of #169 and that made them a little special. Especially Jehovah, who started it all. He established carbonites in the Middleverse; they needed non-carbonites to provide meaning in their existence even if they denied the facts all around them. Spiritual entities existed in the Outerverse and were subject to controllers. Those who could not or would not participate in the AMC Plan would recycle to the Middleverse.

The meeting was called because the AMC Plan was threatened. We faced the unknown. I felt a jolt in the pit of my stomach as I realized that this day was an important time and place to mark. Incredible as it was, the threat had already had its effect; the original intent and glory of the Ancients were diminished. All of #169 was being pushed back to the state of existence of our ancestors.

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