Glaring up at the steeples reminded Kalera of her mother. Kalera’s mother would visit Saint Louis Cathedral to clear her mind when she was clean. Fredreeca would light candles to her ancestors and pray. What she asked of God, Kalera will never know, but her mother believed and many of her beliefs are hoarded within Kalera.
She strolls to the front of the church in deep thought. Looking to St. Peter and St. Paul holding a book and a key gives Kalera faith as she embroiders her soul. Scratching a match to a crimson candle, she kneels down to pray. In the name of my mother, Xavier, and all who were lost in the great battle, may they find peace. In me shall they never cease. Their loyalty will forever be inscribed into the vastness of the eternities. For they all flew away like butterflies to full green leaves. God, engulf me with the tenacity needed to protect the realm. Grant me the fortitude of Harriet Tubman who had no fear and no special powers as she freed the slaves of old. Lead my friends and me down the path of righteousness to Gros in which we seek. Amen.
Musfall walks up behind Kalera.
“This way.” He whispers.
Zoran and she follows him down a long corridor into a small room.
“Father Jeffery.” Musfall whispers.
“Musfall, my friend. It has been so long.”
“Yes, it has. These are my friends, Kalera and Zoran.” He announces.
“Pleasure. Well, I know why you are here so no need holding you up. Finding things in the oldest cathedral in North America is not easy, but here is the key to the old town cellar below.” Father Jeffery offers.
“I hope this will not get you into any trouble.” Musfall responds.
“Maybe, but I owe you so much and I am happy to help. I hope you find what you seek.” Father Jeffery replies.
“Thank you.” Kalera whispers while taking the key.
They move to an old wooden door as dust ushers them into the ancient cellar. The room was grand and musty. Ruffled books lined aged desks and decrepit shelves, and the tattered wooden floor. Moving to the center, she rubs her hand across Xavgon.
Where should we begin?” She asks.
“I think we should work separately. We will cover more ground this way. Kalera you take the floor. Zoran, top shelves to bottom. I will take all of the back wall and desks.” Musfall delegates.
“How long are we prepared to be here?” Asked Zoran.
“As long as it takes.” Kalera responds.
Seconds turn into minutes and minutes into hours. The sounds of turning pages ripple the room as Zoran coughs frequently from particles beginning particles filling the air.
Zoran grabs his chest as he covers his mouth. A wheezing rattling sound follows. It was as if his airways were blocked, so Kalera rushes over to him. No mother! Enters her thoughts, but it was too late.Upon entering his space, she begins to cough nonstop. It was impossible for her to catch her breath. Musfall rushes over only to succumb to the same fate.
The thought of them dying from oxygen deprivation crosses her mind as she begins to spit up blood. A loud voice that she could not make out begins to occupy her deepest thoughts.
“Xavgon.” She whispers.
“Release me!” He cries.
The truth is she did not want to release him though she is powerless. Kalera could not be sure if the magic from the potion would need to be remade. But she had to face it, they were in trouble and there was no else.
Kalera is beginning to black out so with the little strength she has left she …
The wooden floor begins to jar and rumble. It was as if God himself was to make an appearance. It opens and everything shifts towards a massive hole. They were going to be swallowed even deeper underground.
Musfall and Zoran were both unconscious. Kalera tries to grab anything she could as books and wood begin to fall all around them as the floor caves inward towards the crater. Kalera cannot breathe as she begins to slide. Her friends had been swallowed and she was next.
Cough. Cough. Hum. Hum. She groans as her head throbs. Seeing nothing but blackness, she moving but is trapped. Immediately she thinks of Xavgon and feels for him. Surprisingly he is still around her neck, but she cannot hear him.
“Mother. Are you okay?” He asks.
“You are here. I thought our bond had broken. I am in pain, but alive I think.” she says.
Just then she begins to hear familiar voices.
“Kalera. Kalera.” They yell.
“Are you okay?” They ask.
Zoran and Musfall are alive.
The two of them are tossing planks about trying to free her.
“Xavgon, it is okay. I will be free in a bit. Kalera assures.
Just then, light.
Zoran helps Kalera from the floor, and gently removes debris from her hair. Before she can utter a sound, his lips are meeting hers. A jolt goes through her for she had not felt this warmth since Jessup. She is confused but the feeling is liberating so she grabs him tightly.
Uh-hmm. Musfalls sounds.
“I have already found a path. This way.” He states.
They follow seeing a light up ahead.
Ha. Ha. Musfall laughs.
“As far as I know we are under New Orleans. Catch up!” He yells.
Zoran and Kalera hasten as they move through solid ground and suddenly ankle deep murky water. The closer they get, the brighter the light becomes.
Soon they are on dry land again then the source of the light reveals itself as they enter a chamber of some kind. In the center is a vast crystal in the shape of a sphere casting light beyond. As far as their eyes can see are books. The walls are lined with them. And there is no ceiling, only an endless mountain of books.
Musfall’s eyes widen, as Kalera thinks of releasing Xavgon. He is worried about her and no one will see him so she walks over to Musfall.
“Releasing Xavgon here should be okay, right? No one will see him. He needs to see me physically and I, him.”
“That is your choice my lovely. Remember, you can say the words and he will be what you wish.” He responds.
“Of course, but you never said how I would return him to this form.” She says while holding the pendulum.
“Dang it! You are right. I completely forgot. Forgive me. Five times. You may release him in any form five times. After the fifth time, I will need to perform the spell. Lucky for you, I have my bag of tricks. But that’s assuming we can find a way out of here though I don’t want to leave. This is amazing. This could be thousands of years of knowledge. The church may have no idea this place even exists. Think about it. This is deeper underground than any worker could dig! And the sphere!” He yells.
The sphere is suspended in midair, extraterrestrial.
“Bring it back Kalera!” She thought.
Her mind had wandered, but she needs Xavgon. Without hesitation, she removes him from around her neck, unhooks the pendulum, and slides it from the chain. Staring at him for 15 seconds before calling out, Cazuel.
The pendulum falls to the floor then smoke cloud appears as it begins to shake. Zoran and Kalera back away as the cloud spreads tall and wide. The smoke begins to clear, and there lies an egg.
“Musfall! What’s happening? Why is he an egg?” I demand.
“Don’t worry lovely. Just wai…” He responds.
Before he finishes his sentence the egg begins to fill with liquid. It turns blue and then the heart begins to beat as the egg grows then cracks. Out pops a hatchling Xavgon that begins to shake and morph. His bones fracture as he begins to tower and before long, my mighty beast stands before us.
His mouth opens then “ROAR!” He releases a mighty sound of freedom then immediately lowers his head to gaze into my eyes.
“Musfall. Did you forget to tell me something else?” Kalera asks.
Xavgon was even larger than he was before with more than a five-hundred feet wingspan.
“I have no idea my lovely.”
“Thank you.” Xavgon says.
While raising his head, he spots the sphere and his eyes widen. It is as if he is caught in a trance. He begins to flap his mighty wings and without warning he is airborne. Kalera figures he needs to take flight since being trapped. But as she looks up it begins to rain books. Some collided with the sphere but went straight through it which is odd because it appears to be solid. Moving in closer, extending her hand in its direction, but before she made contact with it, Xavgon as swift as lightning strikes, moving her away with his gigantic claw.
“Don’t touch it. Don’t any of you touch it!” He cries.
It was too late. Kalera’s eyes roll as only the whites were showing. A red light engulfs her, moving her into the spear.
Inside, she can see them, but not hear them. A glass door appears.
“Open it.” A voice calls.
She tries speaking but it is as if her mouth is glued shut. A power forces closer to the door. Extending her hand, she takes the knob, turns it, and walks inside.
Before her, a golden book suspended in midair.
“Call to it.” The voice commands.”
I do not know how.” Kalera replies.
“But you do.” The voice replies.
Closing her eyes she speaks the words. El ot. The book glows and begins to lower into her hands.
“Open it!” The voice demands.
“Who are you?” Kalera questions.
Silence. Kalera looks upon the cover.
“The Book of Rose: The Incas.” She reads.
Kaleracannot be sure what will happen, but she was drawn inside for a reason, so she carefully opens it. Rubbing her hands across the engravings of an ancient language, power begins to flow through her hands to her eyes. Lifting her head, amazingly she is able to read the text as the blind reads braille.
A bright light pulls her into the book as it floats as if she is still holding it.
“You are in a time of great turmoil. The earth is changing as an ice age has ended.” The voice calls.
She has landed about 10,000 years ago in the Americas. Natives are supporting themselves and serving their gods. One called Pollock found himself upon a massive foreign tree frozen in the ice. It had a black trunk with snow-white glittering leaves. Pollock is confused by the site of his finding. Getting closer to the odd thing, he hears an odd sound. The closer he gets the louder it becomes. Kneeling into the snow, he begins to dig with his bare hands until finding the source of the sounds.
His eyes widened as he beheld a baby. Taking the infant into his hands, he is very perplexed as to how the infant could have survived in the deep snow and ice. Upon further examination, he notices the baby looks very different from him and his people. Darker brown skin, lavender eyes, and white coiled hair held him in astonishment. Not wanting to leave the innocent to the elements, he decides to take the baby to his city.
After one moon he arrives, presenting the infant as a gift to his King and Queen.
“Polluck, we approve since your last offering was dismal.” Says the King.
The Queen snuggles the baby in her bosom. A girl, my King. She is a girl.
Engulfing Kalera is light as the sun. She opens her eyes to see the sphere in front of her.
“Kalera are you okay?” Shouts Zoran.
“I don’t understand.” Kalera responds while trembling.
Zoran places his arms around her. You are freezing and wet.
Where did you go? What did you see?” Ask Zoran and Musfall in unison as Xavgons takes in a breath.
“Back up guys.” Kalera says.
Xavgon lowers his head and blows a warm cloud to blanket his mother.
“Kalera!” They both scream.
“Do not fear. He will never harm me.” She responds as the smoke clears.
At her feet, the golden book. Musfalls grabs and opens it.
“This is real gold. This cannot be.” He says.
“What is it?” Zoran asks.
“The Book of Man.” He responds.
“The crystal. It’s gone.” Zoran notices.
Kalera takes it from Musfall peering at the cover.
“It read the book of Rose, The Incas. I was inside of it. There was a voice and natives.” She explains.
“Incas you say.” Responds Musfall.
“This is the Book of Man. For it is said that it will only reveal your true desires. Your desire is to find Gros so we must go to Peru.” Explains Musfall.
“Why Peru?” Kalera asks.
“Because you saw Incas inscribed. Peru is where we will find our next clue.” Musfall responds.
“So we keep the book.” Kalera replies.
“It came to you so you are meant to have it.” Says Musfall.
“Xavgon!” Kalera calls.
“I know Mother.” He responds.
Xavgon lowers his head and Kalera whispers. Just like that, he is metal again.