Barbie Doll vs Goddess of death – Ch 9

Have you ever seen a god of death? If you have, then either you are lucky and are dead, or your life is crap, just like mine.

I was pressed to the door trembling like a puppy. I was a reaper and I had seen Yamdoots, but I never had a chance to meet Yamraaj in person. And now I was facing the Celtic mistress of death, and I had no Idea what to do.

She was still inside the black haze, only her head and shoulder completely out of it. Her pupils were complete red which amplified her scary presence. Being this close to her had a shriveling effect on my soul as if it was dying inside me. Her eyes were still unfocused when she croaked again. “Who dared to touch my apprentice?” I shivered at the ragged sharpness of her voice as my feet collapsed due to the pressure of her presence. Immediately She looked at me and her brow frowned in confusion. She moved to take a step towards me and I closed my eyes in submission. Before She could even put her foot down, There was a whoosh of fabric against air and immediately the crushing pressure vanished.

I jerked awake from my hazy nightmare and hastily stood up. Blocking me from the goddess’ direct path was that pink girl. She was wearing a pink Barbie Doll frock and in her left hand was a battle-axe almost equal to her size. She was holding the axe barely off the floor and it was also a big achievement considering her small size. She was blandly staring at Morrigan with a cocky grin on her face. I was not surprised when Morrigan snarled at her and crouched in a fighting stance. You don’t sneer at a God of death or you die.

“You!” Morrigan shrieked at her and I hear the man at the central bench sighing in exasperation. “You are going to die bitch! And very slowly. You broke our agreement!” Morrigan shouted and without a warning, swung a jagged dagger at the girl’s throat which seemed to materialize from the haze. I gasped with my friends as the dagger found its mark and stopped a bare Millimeter from her skin. The pink girl’s smile widened and she chimed a tinkling baby laugh. Morrigan stood up, her face crunched in confusion. The haze covered her hand and the dagger was gone. “You cannot take the one responsible for Nakhila’s death, Morrigan.” The pink girl said to her as if pointing the color of a butterfly.

Morrigan snorted in obvious disbelief and shot back in her raspy voice. “And how would that happen bitch? Last I checked, you didn’t even dare to take teaching when I tortured your dear Joseph to death. As I remember, It has been what?… 1,100 years since you took responsibility for anyone.” Morrigan smirked at her pained expression and continued, cocking her hip to a side. “Are you suggesting that one of your pathetic friends shall claim that worm? And then I will kill it as I killed your Joseph.” Morrigan dismissed her as if she was a fly and turned to face the committee. “I want the guilty thing at my feet in an hour. Bring him to me.”

An uncomfortable silence followed her exclamation and she looked at each member of the committee. Finally her gaze settled on the pink girl and the girl said. “I told you that you cannot take him, Morrigan.” Morrigan’s face went precisely calm as her eyebrow twitched. “And why so, bitch?” She asked the girl, almost whispering. The girl flashed a brilliant smile and stepped aside for Morrigan to see me. She grandly waved a hand at me and said happily. “Because i take him as my apprentice!”

There was a stunned silence of half a second, then Morrigan vanished with a tremendous boom. Immediately every last ounce of her presence vanished and several members of the committee slumped in relief. Pink girl faced the rest of the council and chimed in her most innocent voice. “Shall we proceed? the interruption is over for now.” But everyone was staring at her like she had sprouted horns. Finally the humongous man said out loud his confusion. “But you took an apprentice” The girl cocked a single brow and asked “So? Do you have any problem with that?” The man flushed furiously and averted his gaze. The Dean was smiling and gave her an appreciative smile. “I think we all are aware of the Novem’s upcoming decision.” The humongous man harrumphed and sat straighter. Before he could say anything, the pink girl vanished and appeared on the central bench. I thought she had teleported but I didn’t feel tweak on my aura as I should have felt.

The man on the center stood up and a hushed silence fell upon all of us. It was the strength of his aura or his presence itself, but everything seemed to get dim in his bright presence. “Commence the trial of the murder of the churail Nakhila by the hands of the reaper Akshat.” I was aghast. Murder? I had saved the Dean’s life for saying out loud! As if in sync with my thoughts, the Dean cleared his throat and said. “I would like to make a little change. Accidental death of the churail Nakhila by the hands of the reaper Akshat while protecting the lives of three innocents, one of them facing immediate death threat.” The chief visibly looked startled. He glanced at the man on his left, who seemed to come out of the shadow at that moment.

The man was a wraith. His skin was paler than a dead body and his lips were almost black. His pupils were pure silver and his pure red hair gave him a strange appearance. He shrugged apologetically at the chief and slunk back into the shadows. It was hard to sense his presence as if he wasn’t present in the room. The chief straightened and said. “We have a testimony of a member of the Novem and another member has taken the convict under her apprenticeship. Further responsibilities of the convict shall be taken care of by Natasha here. A detailed report of the punishment shall be sent to me and the damage done to the property should be paid by the convict. The meeting is adjourned.”

Every member of the committee; rather the Novem stood up and vanished from the room except for the dean and the pink girl, Natasha. The wraith like man lingered a moment later than the rest and his eyes seemed to rest upon Agnishikha. Then he too teleported out of existence. The Dean beamed at me and motioned for my friends to come out in the stage. The pink girl also came to us and smiled at all of us. The dean smiled at her and said. “Akshat, meet Natasha, She is going to be your Shiru in the Hell Academy.” I shook her hand and she clapped excitedly. “Oh! It is going to be so much fun!” I looked quizzically at the Dean. Of course the girl had stood up to a God and had bested her too, but my teacher? Wasn’t it a little overkill? Natasha seemed to sense my amusement and smiled at me. “Don’t worry about my appearance little boy. I am 1,398 years old.” I looked at the Dean to See if she was joking. But he was smiling and I glanced back to the girl. She was looking expectantly at me and I felt nervous suddenly. I knew immortals were on the good side too, but staying a 12-year-old kid forever? Something was amiss. “Um… Why do you stay in this form? Wouldn’t you be more powerful if you were bigger?” She grinned devilishly at me and in the next second I was lying on the floor with she sitting upon me.

The pain hit a little after that. It erupted at my calf where she had hit me and at my back, which had taken the brunt of the fall. I heard Rocky laugh and the Dean chuckle. Something snapped inside me in that moment. I usually kept silent when I was bullied by others. They used to be more powerful than me and I accepted my defeat gladly. But being bested by a little kid? It was intolerable. Even if the girl claimed to be a millennia old. I found my anchor and directed it towards the ceiling. Immediately I shot down towards the ceiling with Natasha toppling off me. At the last moment, I reversed my anchor to land softly and turned it back.

I was looking at them above me on the floor and they seemed to hang like spiders. Well… I was like a spider for them but its hard to feel you are upside down, when your whole reality is inverted. It was so real that I could have slept on that ceiling and would have woken to find the world was inverted; not me. the Dean and Natasha were looking at me wide-eyed and my friends were grinning ear to ear. With a swish Agnishikha followed me suit and Settled before me. The Dean’s eyes went wider if possible and Natasha was petrified.

Suddenly she seemed to snap out of her amazement and floated up towards her. Within two seconds she was floating before us, upside down. I knew that we were inverted, but our senses interpreted something else entirely. She smiled innocently at me then with a bare tweak of awareness, froze me solid again just like the churail. Agnishikha was not affected as she snapped at her. “Hey! Remove that! You were sitting upon him!” Natasha ignored her and asked Dean “If you have stopped staring up my frock, will you please explain why didn’t you tell me both of them are Godlings?” Agnishikha looked as confused as me as she looked up at Liam for his expression. The Dean sighed and said “I didn’t know about it myself and by the looks on their face, neither did they.” Liam cleared his throat and looked meek as he said “Um… I was looking for the correct moment to tell you. So much has been happening lately that I didn’t get an appropriate chance.”

All of us looked at him and he cowered down. I was starting to get ticked off. She was holding me still when everyone was talking their mouths off and I didn’t like it. With another thought I directed my anchor right at her stomach and fell towards her. She looked absolutely surprised when I hit her, but her concentration didn’t waver when both of us collided with the wall. I was still a statue and she kicked me. Hard. Right at my groin.

With an explosion of pain I curled up on that wall. It was so agonizing that I didn’t realize that I had broken her bond. She was still hovering beside me and I heard a soft swish when Agnishikha landed beside me. She touched my arm and took us both on the floor. I let her guide my anchor and I was not surprised when she was able to do so. I felt arms around me and I was put on the bench. Natasha had hit me hard. Crap! My balls! I opened my eyes and tried to sit up. Another wave of pain hit me but I managed to straighten. I was surrounded by all of them and realized that the arms holding me straight were of Natasha. Before I could have pushed her, she whispered something and my pain was gone. “It was you first lesson little boy,” She said in her childish singsong voice. “Never hit your Shiru.”

I hastily stood up and my face went red when I removed my hands from my crotch. Apparently I was clenching it due to the pain and It was embarrassing with the two ladies in the room. The Dean grinned at me and said. “That was the specialty of our Natasha. She can cause phantom pain.” I looked at her and was startled to find her looking at me in pain. But her face regained its childlike composure and the momentary hurt was gone. No one noticed it and she asked the Dean “Keep the arena ready Branat. I would commence my classes with the rest of the batch.” Then with a mischievous look at me she vanished with a swirl of pink.

The Dean turned to Liam. “Which generation of a God does the princess belong to?” Liam glanced apologetically at Agnishikha and said. “The same as our Akshat here. But She had a single God family line and it is much weaker than Akshat.” Rocky cleared his throat and asked “Will you please elaborate?” The Dean nodded at him and said “Akshat’s godly ancestors were living gods. It means a god had concentrated a huge bit of his essence into a human being and lived out his life. Such an ancestry is much powerful because of the amount of essence in the living God and it shows itself only in certain generations. Akshat might be the first Godling in his family line.

But in the case of princess here, A Goddess put her essence in a female while she was ready to have a baby, or a God took a body with almost negligible part of his essence and mated with a female. Such an ancestry also creates Godlings but its power is diluted because every member of the family line possesses the power and a fraction of it is used while the left is passed down to the next generation.”

Liam was bobbing his head furiously in agreement and Rocky was lost in thoughts. Agnishikha was pale as ice and I immediately turned to her. She was a demon clan heir and if her father’s line was the one with a god, then it was a huge trouble. She sensed my gaze and turned to us. “Um… I think my mother was from the line of godlings.” Rocky looked confused and the Dean asked “And why might you think so?” Agnishikha faced us and said. “Because my every brother and younger sister was killed. Just like my mother’s.”

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What to do when you meet a very pissed God of Death – Ch 8

Everyone is nervous about their first day at a new institute. I was too. But for a very different reason than you. I had accidentally  killed a churail torturing my Dean by shoving things up his rear end. And now I was afraid for my life since the churail was an immortal and killing immortals was a crime severely punished.

I was sitting hunched with the demon princess beside me. The smell of disinfectants was less nauseating here as compared to the operation theater, where Rocky was being treated along with the Dean. I was wrapped in a blanket provided by the medical staff and was drowsy due to the healing spell they had put me under for the bruises I had received. Agnishikha had Liam asleep on her lap. The gargoyle was severely depressed after knowing he hadn’t been able to reach Rocky in time. I was not worried that much about the Naaga. He was a tough one and could handle a few broken bones easily.

We glanced up at the squeak of a door opening. It was the Dean in a flower printed hospital gown on a wheelchair. A nurse was escorting him to us. Immediately the two guards in the hallway quirked up and marched to him. He motioned them off with a slight wave and beckoned me to follow him. I glanced at Agnishikha uncertainly and he rolled his eyes. “Come on you two. If I didn’t know better I would have thought you two actually care.” He was almost to us now and we stood up to follow him.

Immediately a guard got behind me. I sighed in exasperation and complained to no-one in particular “It was an accident for God’s sake!” The guard didn’t wavered and the Dean gave me a professional smile. “Don’t take it upon yourself Akshat.Please wait till the council check it out. I will be an eye witness.” I doubted it. He was knocked out for at least half the time. Or was he faking his unconsciousness to avoid the fight? Agnishikha seemed not to notice it when she smiled at him in a grateful way.

I hadn’t seen any churails here. There were definitely a few Daayans present and almost every being here was a strong possessor of aura. Killing an attacking churail was not a grave crime seeing they were despised everywhere. But she was impossibly powerful and definitely under the blessings of some major god. Considering my luck, I was going to meet him or her very soon.

We moved into a discarded office room and the nurse left the Dean upon his gentle request. He turned his wheelchair to face us and the guards set themselves one behind the dean and the other at the door. He smiled at Agnishikha and said “Don’t worry about your bodyguard, princess. He will be alright. We were lucky to have Akshat with us.” Liam jerked awake hearing his voice in the sudden quite and jumped to set himself on Agnishikha’s shoulder. The Dean continued after the interruption. “We are pleased to offer you your position at the Hell Academy. Your classes will start three days from today, seeing this unfortunate accident. We assure you our security is much better than what you saw today. She had a few… Ah, privileges to start with, otherwise she couldn’t have made it inside.” Agnishikha glanced at me and i nodded at her, seeing her hesitation. “Um… We know that she was an immortal, if you are talking about ‘privileges’.” The dean looked mildly surprised and cocked an eyebrow. “We shall talk about that in the upcoming meeting regarding today’s incidents.” He turned to me and continued “On that note, Your actions today will decide your position in the veil, Akshat. And I would dearly like a moment alone with you.” He glanced at his guards and they moved in unison to escort Agnishikha outside. I gave her a thumbs up despite my unease and she tried to smile back.

The Dean motioned for me to sit and I sat on the single stool in that tiny office. He stared at me for a moments and asked “How many individual know about you being a godling, Akshat?” So he was a ‘direct to the point’ kind of person. I thought about lying to him but then changed my mind. If Decain was gunning for my ass (Actually my head) then I definitely needed a strong organization at my back. The Reaper Cell was out of question and I didn’t know about any other strong communities except the demons; which were also not an option. I decided to go with the truth. “As much I know, only Rocky, Liam and Agnishikha. And now you included. I didn’t knew about it a day ago.” Has it only been a day? I had seen more action in the last 48 hours, than my entire life combined and I thought I liked it.

The dean sighed in relief and slumped in his wheelchair. “I am glad about it. Try to not tell the council about your gravity thing. It will make things easier. Decain has put a mere 100 years for your bounty and it would definitely be more if he knew you were a godling. Is their any reason for him to want you?” I was relieved for that tiny bit of information. Offering 100 years of life was the same as offering a reward for your lost pet. “I think he knew me from when I sneaked into the Morgoroth plains. He must have thought I was going to rat off to someone. And have you checked who put out the bounty? Was it Decain himself or one of his goons?” The Dean gave an embarrassed smile and said “We don’t have detailed info yet. Our reach isn’t that deep into his working system. And was it really you who infiltrated the Xanthis army? You created quite a fuss escaping. We have to wait a bit more to have some detailed info, but I am confident it will be good news.” His smile was genuine this time and I eased a bit. “Don’t let the heat off yet, Akshat. Your trial for murder is still due.”

The balloon of hope popped inside me and I slouched on my stool. I suddenly felt very very tired and asked him “The trial is at 1:00 PM, right? So can I go now?” He was uncomfortable and his ears went a little red as he said “And Akshat? Can you keep the… more graphic details of the incident to yourself?” His gaze was downcast and he looked like a teenager caught watching porn. Wait… that was it! He was embarrassed about the erection and knew I had noticed it. “Um… That you enjoy anal? I will remember to forget about it. It was not a very memorable moment for me too.”

He smiled, embarrassed and I attempted to smile back, managing to turn it into a grimace. He called for his guards and shot a last professional smile at me. “Good Luck for the trial, Akshat.” Then one of the guards reached behind him and escorted him to the corridor. I walked out to find Agnishikha and Liam waiting for me with a guard. I raised my brow questioningly and the guard cleared his throat. “I am to accompany you until your trials. Follow me to your current temporary living quarters.” Liam perked up and wheezed “Is there a mess included?” The guard looked at his sheepish expression and replied “The messes are closed but you will be in a guest area. You can order what you want. The cost of the diet above your required calories will be added to your credit accounts. You can find them in the… Wait, you are an old one, aren’t you? Gargoyle?” Liam nodded and said in a friendly tone. “Don’t worry about the rules, We have a lot of time before the trials. I will teach them.” The guard nodded and and we moved into an elevator.

We were on the seventh floor of the central tower and it had medical wings on every third and then fourth floor. The elevator had a glass wall and I was able to get a good view of the surrounding area.

The building was surrounded by a circular road. Three roads led to the building perpendicular to each other and two other at about 60 degrees. The circular area was divided equally into four parts. Each part had barrack like buildings with roofs of different colours. The North-Eastern quadrant had buildings with yellow roof with a road passing through it. The South-Eastern quadrant had the same layout with green roofs. The North-West and the South west quadrants were similar with black and red roofs respectively.

The guard led us to the first floor and we crossed another sensory guard to a corridor with rooms on one side and a blank wall on other. It felt claustrophobic and I was the first to enter a room as he opened the door with a mundane key. Liam followed me immediately with the guard and he handed the key over to me. “You can go wherever you like. I’ll be in the hallway. Tell me anything you need. You are our guest until your trial.” He then turned to Agnishikha and motioned for her to progress further. I peeked around the door to see him ushering her through a door next to ours. Unlike our room he didn’t went inside. I shut the door and turned back to Liam hovering over the bed. “Um… would you mind if I share the bed?” He looked tired and I nodded. With a soft thunk he dropped onto the bed and I accompanied him after taking a refreshing was in the adjoining washroom. We had a lot of time left so I decided to crash beside Liam.

I was woken by a loud thumping on the door. I sat up to open the door but Liam beat me to it. He cracked the door open and Agnishikha knocked at his face instead of the door. Apparently she was very distracted at the moment, seeing that Rocky was standing there too. Immediately my drowsiness left me and I got up to give him a quick hug. Both of them came inside and Rocky settled himself on the only present chair with Agnishikha on the bed. I leaned against the window as Liam enthusiastically greeted Rocky. The Naaga looked tired but seemed okay except for a few bandages around his broken wrist.

“Thanks for saving my life Akshat. I can’t imagine how can I repay you.” I was startled by his sudden serious voice. He was looking at me and the silence grew awkward. I tried to be nonchalant about it, considering my next to none experience of receiving praise for anything at all. “Um… Maybe you can tell the truth to the council about that churail? I really wasn’t trying to kill her. I didn’t even know that the only way to kill an Immortal churail was to pierce her brain with her own wand! It was an accident!” I was starting to get panicked. It was Agnishikha who spoke this time. “And it was that accident only that saved our lives. I still have my title of clan heir. I shall do what I can to protect you.” Liam bobbed his head energetically and wheezed “We shall go through it together. Don’t worry Akshat. But… We only have an hour before the trial. Aren’t any of you hungry?” My stomach growled before I could say anything and Rocky decided. Lets have our lunch before the trial.”

We met our guard at the end of the corridor. Agnishikha smiled at him and he gave us a swift nod. “I presume you are out to have lunch? The guest’s cafeteria is this way.” He waited for our reply and we started towards the area he pointed without one. He followed us closely, taking his job to watch me quite seriously.

The cafeteria was a normal one with a menu book of about 300 pages. It had all the main dishes of all major cultures. We settled on Chinese and the guard joined us as well. After the quick lunch, we were escorted to the trial room on the 13th floor. Two more guards joined us at that floor’s sensory point and we were each scanned for weapons. Surprisingly, Agnishikha had to remove a small pistol from her bosom and flushed deep red. “I just… forgot to leave it. Its nothing serious. Look! Its even empty!” The female security guard was shaking her head and said. “I am sorry miss, you shall have to go through a full body search.” Without any warning Rocky stepped forward and the lady had to take a step back. “You realize who you are talking to here, don’t you? Guard?” The woman looked pissed and scared at the same moment. She stiffened and said “It doesn’t matter who she is. She shall have to go through the search.”

Agnishikha was trying to snatch Rocky back. The effect was similar to a rabbit pulling a tree. “She is the heir of the Raavana Demon Clan. And she has the right to keep one weapon anywhere she wants. So Back. Off.” The woman’s eyes widened and her mouth stretched in a surprised “O”. She glanced at Agnishikha and then the guards with us. Surprisingly, they hadn’t interfered.

Rocky snatched the gun from the table and handed it back to the princess. Without any further ado, he marched forwards. We hastily fell into step behind him with the guards following us. The corridor twisted and turned with several mahogany doors on both sides. We turned and a guard said. “Here is your trial room.” rocky had to backpedal and we came to halt in front of a closed door. It was just like the others, but soft voices could be heard coming from the room. One of the guard stepped forward and knocked thrice on the door. Immediately the door opened and we were marched inside.

The room was a simple one. There was a slightly raised platform at the center upon which a bench was placed with cushions on it. The same was true for our left and right without the platform. The people sitting on the benches were all staring at us. Three persons shared a bench and that made our hearing committee to have nine members.

Immediately I noticed the Dean at my right bench and he smiled at me. there were two women beside him, both middle aged. On the left bench, Two young women sat with a humongous old man with his belly the size of a large barrel. The women were garbed in similar fashion. One was fail and slightly chubby while the other was dark with hardly any fat on her body; which contrasted strongly with her gigantic breasts. But the person who truly caught my attention was a young girl on the front bench. She was about twelve years old and was almost dipped into pink pink. Her hair was also dyed pink and her eyes showed a stark alien intelligence. The man seated beside her was clearly the head of the committee.

The guards departed with the nod of a member and shut the door behind them. The pink girl chimed merrily. The witnesses are requested to sit in the designated area behind the left arc. The convict should remain standing in the center.” I was gaping at her. She had said that as if she was playing in her dollhouse. Liam nudged my shoulder in support and went to sit with the others. The pink girl smiled at me and said. “Let the trial commend!” There was a boom of sound and the floor shook. I nervously looked at Rocky and he was as confused as me. There was a murmur from the committee and My unease grew. The girl was about to say something again when a huge black bird landed in the dead center of the floor; just a foot form my feet. I reared hastily and there were scraping sounds when the committee members hastily got to there feet.

There was a black haze surrounding the bird and I backed up. The blackness engulfed it completely and I stood pressed against the door. The committee was on their feet and was ready to attack whatever it was.

The haze cleared slowly and I held my breath as a figure wrapped in pristine white emerged. She was white as ice and her hair was wild and as dark as any black hole. She rasped in a voice like nails scraping concrete.

“Who dared to touch my apprentice?” My blood froze as I realized my doubt had been right. That churail had had a patron goddess and she was here for repayment. I waited for my doom as I realized who she was.

She was Morrigan. The Celtic Goddess of Death.

What happens when you gift your Dean a dead Black Witch on his office table at your first day – Ch 7

You have to feel lucky when you evade a madwoman gunning for your head on a platter. And when you evade her on your own and save three other people with yourself, It is your right to feel proud. But as usual, things were a bit different for me, when my driver’s owner told me we were in a place that separates heaven from hell.

“What?” My eyes bugged out in shock as I tried to look out of the window. There was only one thing there. Darkness. Pure and complete darkness. The only light was on the ceiling of our van and the darkness seemed to eat it when it crossed the threshold of the van. “We are in the veil?” I was still in disbelief as I tried to calm down. Wasn’t the veil like… Thin? How can a boundary be wide enough to accommodate a car? Rocky guessed my confusion and cleared my doubts. “The veil is not as thin as a veil. It is more of a No man’s land between the living world and the underworld. And when you used your aura to accelerate the car to the required speed, you helped me teleport us all to the veil.” I let that sink in. The boundary was not hair thin. That meant with correct alignment of one’s aura he could have teleported here. But what about the dark nothingness? “What is the matter with all that blank space?” Rocky squinted out of the window then sighed. “I miscalculated your aura’s strength. We overshot our destination by almost 23 kilometers. And all you can see is darkness because you are still unregistered in the veil. Be glad that you have a god’s aura or you would be asleep like Princess here.” I nodded as he took out his Mani. He closed his eyes and mumbled something in Sanskrit. There was a glow outside and an arrow mark appeared a little ahead of us. I was also able to see the road we were currently on, to find it made of granite. Rocky came to the front and slapped the gargoyle lightly. “Stop pretending Liam, and get your furry ass here to help me register them. I need a witness.”

Apparently the gargoyle was awake and sighed while he adjusted his legs to go to the middle row. Both of them touched the Mani and started chanting something. Their eyes were closed, and as one, they touched Agnishikha on her forehead first then repeated the same with me. A tingle started at their touch and it traveled like a wave from my scalp to my toes. It felt like something had twisted itself free inside me. I had to stifle a gasp when I looked out. Instead of the pure blackness, there was faint murky white haze over everything. I could only see 10 feet or so.

I looked back when Agnishikha woke up from her slumber yelling something about “Vasu” and pink leather. She quickly noticed us and blushed deeply. “I didn’t say something in my dream, did I?” Rocky looked uncomfortable while Liam forced down a laughter. I grinned at her and said. “Don’t worry. It was only about Vasu in pink leather” Rocky looked horrified as Agnishikha mumbled something about wild dreams. Liam winked at me and we both laughed.

Rocky snapped when his phone started ringing. Network in the veil? I had to get that provider too. He talked briefly then motioned for Liam to get back. He shifted to the drivers seat and restarted the van. Meanwhile Liam took off his shirt and hat. “Princess? Akshat? You will be starting at the Hell academy tomorrow. We are lucky as there is not a single batch after this for a whole month.” Rocky told us pompously. His demeanor changed slightly when he talked to Agnishikha. She hesitated, then asked. “But I don’t have any of my stuff. Are we permitted to shop here in the Veil? And which currency is used here? There are shops here, aren’t they?” Rocky smirked and Liam wheezed. “Don’t fret about it newbies. You shall see it yourself in a bit. And I promise you this much, your jaw will be on the floor when you reach there.”

 

 

Liam was true to his word. I was expecting something medieval; like castles and huts or tents and camps. what I saw instead made my head spin. There were five skyscrapers made of steel and glass. Four making the corners of a square and one is its dead centre. The central skyscraper was four times in width as compared to the ones at the boundary. It was also somewhat smaller than the rest. The most remarkable thing about it was that it seemed to be covered in a swirl of colours. Blue, Green and white. The rest of the city ranged from temporary cabins to Villas and Mansions.

Rocky and Liam were smiling cockily at our reaction on seeing the city. True to their words, it was breathtaking. There were a lot of people moving around in the streets. I looked at them and found that they were from every known preternatural race. There were Wizards, Witches, Demons, Dains, Weres, Pishaachas, Betals, and many others I didn’t recognize. I was surprised to find some humans as well as ghosts in the crowd.

Slowly we crawled towards the central tower. The sights were remarkable from the van. We reached the tower in about twenty minutes, and Liam stayed in the car to park it. We approached the tower and a security guy from his looks stepped out to intercept us. rocky smiled at him and held out his hand. “Two new initiates for the Academy.” I thought it odd that Rocky held his hand out for a complete stranger to take. But his purpose became clear as the guard took his hand in his own and went rigid while his eyes got a glassy look. They stayed like that for a few seconds and I shared a glance with Agnishikha. Abruptly the guard left Rocky’s hand and rubbed his own. “Everything is in order. Please proceed.” We smiled at him as we stepped into the coolness of the building’s reception area. Agnishikha looked questioningly at Rocky and he said. “We don’t keep Identity Cards. Our aura is registered into the database of the veil and Any person with a sensory use of aura can track us.” It was a good way to keep track of people since no two persons had the same aura and you cannot copy it. We halted at the reception desk where a middle age woman was working at a paper thin laptop. She said without glancing at us “You know the way to the Head’s office Mr. Parvatesh, and please don’t ask me to call you with that sick nickname of yours. I know that Parvat means mountain but I don’t want to listen to your babbling right now.” She had a faint smile at her lips and Rocky proceeded without saying anything.

We went through a set of passageways to a deep mahogany door with the plaque “HEAD”. Somebody had doodled a head beneath it and the outcome was scary. We were about to knock when a faint thump came from inside followed by a woman’s shriek. “Give me Parvatesh or the next one will be twice as much thick!” We all froze and looked at Rocky. His face was ashen as a grunt came from inside. “Go to hell bitch” followed by another shriek and a crashing sound. It sounded like someone was torturing the head and before we could do anything, Rocky bolted into the room.

 

 

 

It was a mess inside. The first thing I noticed was the high ceiling about 20 metres from ground. The second thing was an old man lying face down on a table with his pants off and a wrinkled women with straight white hair jamming a foot long pipe into his posterior. With a jolt I realized It was the same churail we had escaped from and she was mauling the Head. A thing stream of blood was flowing down his legs and I was glad he was turned away from us so that its source was hidden from our view.

The churail jerked at our entry and an evil smile spread on her face. The head groaned and said “Good timing Mr. Parvatesh.” The churail knocked his face down on the desk and he was knocked out cold. She threw his body across the room and I had a view at something fleshy flailing down his front. He was aroused? Before I could do anything else, a tingle at the base of my neck told me someone was manipulating aura and before I even opened my mouth to cry out a warning, I froze.

It was like I had turned into a statue. I was hardly able to breath with my chest unmoving and my eyes were jammed open. The churail had her wand pointed at us and only one thing came to my mind.   Crap!

She hobbled forwards slowly. Her clothes hazy as if made of smoke. She reached Rocky and without any warning, smacked him on his face. He tumbled down like a statue and there was a soft crunch as something broke. It was his finger, taking the brunt of the fall. The churail flicked her wand and he floated to her feet. She looked straight into my eyes and said. “You better choose your side wisely demigod, or you are going to suffer just like him.” With this she took his pinky and snapped it like a twig. I was utterly horrified. How could someone do that to a person? But she was a churail and she gained her power by sacrificing newborns.

I tried to move my aura and throw everything, anything at her. But she laughed as my attempts brought out no effects. She moved her wand to her lips and licked it suggestively. The motion seemed odd, scary for a woman as old as her. Then she bent and broke Rocky’s right index finger. I tried to cry in protest but nothing happened. I was a statue. Completely helpless. She laughed and licked her wand again. “You want to be free? Pledge your loyalty to Decain and you shall find yourself free of any bindings. I tingled at the malice coming from her and was shocked to realize it wasn’t a tingle from her, but a tingle from my ever present anchor.

 

An idea formed in my mind as she bent down again and with a crack broke his wrist. She laughed merrily and licked her wand again. I had to align my anchor to harm her as much as I could. Before I could do anything, a jaggedly spiked mace appeared in her hand. She waved it in my face and cooed “Last chance”.

As she licked her wand and held it in her mouth and lifted her mace above Rocky’s head, I twinged my anchor towards the ceiling and whooshed towards it. She looked up to find me gone and before she could do anything, I aligned my anchor towards her head.

I dropped towards her like a projectile and she didn’t see me until the last moment, when I collided head on with her and she hadn’t even had a chance to scream. With a thump and tangle of limbs we rolled once, and then I heard a squish and a gurgle. I was on her back and she was lying face down, with Rocky to my right. With a sudden tingle, my paralysis ended and I heard Rocky softly cry out in pain. My body hurt due to the collision too, but I was running on full adrenaline. I shivered as something slipped into me from the churail and I hastily got up and away from her. Agnishikha was on her knees besides Rocky, crying and I yelled at her “Get help you idiot! You can snivel afterwards too!” She shook her head as I backed from the churail and she said “We are safe now. You killed her.” I did what? i looked at the prone churail and there was black blood pooling under her head. A white piece of something was protruding from the base of her skull and I flipped her with my feet to look better. Her eyes were white in shock and her mouth was wide open. In its dead centre was her wand. I had killed the churail by shoving her own wand through her mouth into her skull.

There was a cough from the fallen head and he smiled weakly at me. “I like your first day present, Akshat.”

 

The place between heaven and hell – Ch 6

Life is interesting when you are a reaper. It becomes exciting when you have to flee everyday to stay alive. You might be an adrenaline junkie and like it when it goes a step further and you find that the people who you were running to are bigger bad guys than the ones following you. I don’t care how much adventure loving you are, but when it goes a step further and you are hunted by gods, I strongly advice it is the time to change your field of work.

But for me, it was impossible. Once a reaper, always a reaper. I was hiding below a van from a god looking for the bounty upon my head. I was inside a protective square-circle kind of something drawn by a Naaga’s Mani to protect us. The demon princess, the gargoyle and the Naaga himself was staring at me. I was waiting for the moment when they throw me out of their circle to save their lives. Breaking the awkward silence the gargoyle croaked.

“I think he’s gone.” Rocky looked sharply at Liam and he cowered immediately. Agnishikha cleared her throat and said. “Why did you made this circle Vasu? There are more strong circles which could have been made perfectly during the available time.” She looked embarrassed and I frowned at Rocky. His ears became red and he sputtered while saying “I did not mean anything princess. It is not what you think. Stronger circles wouldn’t have gotten ignored.” He was blushing furiously at the end and I looked at Liam to find him looking confused as well. Rocky tried to finish whatever he was talking about with Agnishikha and motioned us out. We all crawled back outside but stayed within the drawn figure. Liam asked “What did Princess mean about the circle?” Rocky went red and tried to smack Liam. “Knock it off! Will you? Its nothing” Liam bobbed out of his reach and looked utterly lost. I also wanted to know, so I asked Agnishikha. “What is all this fuss about that circle?” She blushed and glanced at Rocky nervously. He turned away, embarrassed. Agnishikha hesitated for a moment then said. “The circle Vasu used to cloak us was not for protection. It is made when an Icchhadhari Naaga mates. It is supposed to keep the mating couple out of probings of mundanes. A being possessing aura intentionally avoids it since interrupting a mating Naaga can be disastrous. I really don’t know why he made that circle instead of a protected one.”

She wasn’t meeting my eyes but I got it. She must have always dreamt of being in that circle with her crush, and now it had become true. But I liked the Naaga’s thinking as well. The hunters would be looking for either me unprotected or in a heavily protected area. No one would look twice at a mating circle. I smiled at Rocky and gave him a thumbs-up. He sighed and slumped.

Liam was collecting the residuals off the figure. Three out of four candles were almost intact and the fourth was half spent. Before I could say anything, Liam said. “The single burnt candle means aura somewhat equal to a minor god. It was probably some sort of messenger or a highly powerful immortal.” I nodded at his abilty to almost read my mind. He resumed on erasing the square first, then the circle.

“Where was he from, Liam?” The Naaga asked while rummaging in the trunk. Liam looked thoughtful for a moment and then his eyes went glassy for a second. They turned back to normal when he blinked. “She was a local. Not a goddess but a very powerful churail.” Liam told him and he groaned. “Please tell me she had a flying carpet?” Liam’s eyed went glassy again. Then he replied “No. She wasn’t on a carpet. She was manipulating her aura to fly.” He looked scared when he stopped erasing the last part of the circle and turned to Rocky. “It was her, wasn’t she?” Rocky faced Liam and sat to his level. “Don’t worry Liam. I wouldn’t let her touch you.” Liam looked positively scared. He shuddered and his ears slumped. He looked at Rocky then wheezed. “Don’t worry Rocky. I am not scared of her anymore.” But the little two-feet creature looked utterly shaken. Rocky slapped his back in a friendly way anfLiam perked up. But his ears were still slumped.

Agnishikha came to our side of the van and asked the Naaga. “Who is this she Vasu? And why is Liam scared of her? ” I wanted to know that too. Liam and Rocky glanced at each other and nodded. Liam turned to us and there was fear and determination in his eyes as he said “She is a churail of a side branch of the Shoorpa demon clan. Her name is Nakhila and she was my previous mistress.”

There was a silence as it sinked in. That was why there was a companionship between Liam and Rocky. Usually gargoyles remained slaves for life, which was forever, considering their immortality. A gargoyle can be freed only if his saviour tricks him from his previous master out of pure goodwill. If there is even a little bit of selfishness for the rescue, the gargoyle will be slaved to the saviour instead. Such events occured rarely and I was lucky to stand before Liam.

Before I could say anything, Agnishikha asked “That’s why you are here in India, is that right Liam?” Liam nodded at her. “Due to the lesser extent of christianity in India, there is only place for three gargoyles in the country. I was only 27 when I was yanked from the doorstep of my church at Goa. That churail was an ugly thing and used me for all sort of evil recon. Until the day she tried to trick a Naaga into giving her his Mani and lost me instead. He was Rocky’s father.” Agnishikha looked surprised. “Vasu? Parvatesh freed him? But i thought he was as evil as my father, being his personal bodyguard! ” Rocky looked surprised. Agnishikha realized too late that she had talked about her father and tried to mumble an apology and stopped midway. By the way she was jerking It made me seriously think that the demon princess had a coil inside her. Rocky smiled at her. “So you finally found out? I am glad that you did. My father was hard only at his work. You will never find a more gentler person than him. He stayed with the Lord all the time to soften his cruel ideas as much as he could.”

Everything was packed and Rocky motioned us all into the van. Agnishikha sat next to rocky in the middle row and I sat shotgun with Liam driving. He put on his headphones and glasses again and we were once more on the road.

I was thinking about my gold aura. None of them had said a word about it. I was glad that they hadn’t thrown me out yet, but taking chances was not my specialty. I turned back and just as I opened my mouth, a tingle at the back of my neck warned me about a danger coming. I looked sharply through the left window as both demons did the same. Our aura had warned us about another being with it and Liam nervously set his headphone down. “Its her”. He squeaked. How did she find us I didn’t know. Rocky swore loudly and told Liam. “Evacuation Liam. Full force.” Liam didn’t look sure. “We don’t have time to go that fast Rocky.” Rocky was under the pack seat and when he returned he has a silver hoop of i foot radius with him. He motioned us to hold it and turned to Liam. “We are not doing this by fuel. We are doing this by our aura.”

Liam wrapped his tail around the hoop as he lurched to avoid a stopped car. We missed barely by a hair’s breath, but the witch hit it head-on in her madness to follow us. She was flying like a bat with a purplish haze round her. “Put whatever you can into the loop. i shall tune it to increase the van’s speed.” I looked at him questionally and he said hurriedly. “We have to reach 163 kmph before the churail hits us. Hold on tight and lend me your aura.” I was about to argue but the princess beat me to it. “And what happens when we reach163?” She was almost mocking. Almost. Rocky huffed and replied. “It will take us through our aura from here to our destination. We need speed to match the frequency required for the jump.” I smiled and put my hands on the van. Slowly I aligned my anchor to the front of the vehicle and it accelerated. I glanced back to see the churail an inch from the van and we vanished.

It was dark where we had landed. The tingle of travelling still clung tightly to me. The overhead light flickered on and rocky slumped in relief. “We lost her.” He said. Liam and Agnishikha had eyes closed and hands folded. They seemed to be asleep. “What is this place, Rocky?” I asked and with a mischievous smile he replied.
“We are between heaven and hell Akshat. We are in the veil.”

Present does not exist??? Crap!

Here is one hell of a crazy theory about how present does not exisf. Its not exactly fiction, but it would require a team of scientists to say that it is Science.

How do we see anything?

Our eyes are probably the most important assets for us. We cannot even imagine being blind. Our eyes are a magnificent creation of mother nature.

When we look at something, we are able to detect its shape, size, colour, texture, brightness, sharpness and a lot of other things a sane person cannot describe. When light strikes any surface, it gets reflected and when a reflecting beam of light reaches our eyes, an image is formed on our retina and our brain interprets the thing we see, as the opric nerves communicate with the brain.

Let us break this process into simple steps.
→ Reflected light from a surface reaches our eyes.
→ An image is formed.
→ Our brain interprets the image sent by optic nerves to make us see what we look at.

Time gap

The speed of light is 3,00,000 km/second. That is cetainly the fastest in universe, but it is still a speed. That is (distance) ÷ (time taken)

Now let’s remember our steps. The light gets reflected from an object and reaches our eyes. Let us assume the object to be at 1 km from our eyes. The time taken by the light to reach our eyes turns out to be 1÷300000=0.00000333 seconds. That time is negligible, but it is time.

In the second step, the light forms an image. Our eyes are full of liquid where the speed of light slows down to 2/3 of its original. So, It also takes a little bit of time to form the image.

In the last step, our nerves do their job, and their method of transferring data, ie. Electrons; are a lot slower than the light. So a tiny part of a second is lost there too.
Thus the time gap becomes almost 0.0000036 seconds.

Present is past?

Let’s analyze our results. According to the calculation of the time gap, We see an object at 1 km from our eyes after 0.0000036 seconds of the light hitting it. It means, what we are seeing at the moment, is the image of the object from 0.0000036 seconds earlier.
Thus we are seeing 0.0000036 seconds into the past.

Conclusion

The time gap we calculated is certainly non-existent. But mathematically, it does exist. If we increase the distance of the object from 1km to 1,00,000 km, the time gap will certainly be noticable. This implies everything we see is past.

That means we cannot see the present! We have been fooling ourselves by telling us we live in present. Everything we see or hear is past. So there is no practical existence of the Present!!!

Feedback

A total of 5 chapters are out and I want to know your opinion about them. Before continuing. Please read the story and comment what you think about it. Your words matter a lot to me, and I’ll really be glad if you don’t keep anything back. Please comment, and give me your opinion.

What to do when the Gods are trying to kill you and the Demons are your saviors – Ch 5

Being a reaper is a satisfying job. You get to fight evil ghosts, banish demons, and save people and souls. The extra power it provides you also feels great. But it is not so nice when you find out that the extra thing you use from yourself is just a drop of what your body holds, and it is locked away because you are related to a living god. See? Not so nice?

But then you might ask what is wrong in being related to a god? Well… It was wrong for me since I was sitting beside two seriously powerful demons, one being the heir of some royal demon clan and the other her elite bodyguard. I stared in silent shock at the gargoyle who had pronounced my death sentence. Gargoyles never joke about aura, and he had just read mine, declaring my great grandpa a living god. I didn’t even knew him. I was an orphan and the guys at the orphanage told me I was found in a garbage bin. How could a godling can be left in garbage? I was aghast. I hadn’t had a sliver of a chance of escaping the demons. They would tear me alive.

I gathered my courage and looked at the Naaga slumped beside me. I was afraid to meet his eyes and quickly my glance shifted to the demon princess. I couldn’t lower my gaze in time and looked directly into her eyes. I had expected hatred, disgust, violence and a tortured death. But shocking the hell out of me, she was gaping at me in awe. I blinked and looked at the Naaga. He was also staring at me with amazement.

A faint glimmer of hope surged into me as I remembered everything we were taught about the demons was a lie. Maybe it was one of them? Maybe they didn’t hate the God? I gulped and the gargoyle sighed.

“May I make a correction?” He asked. My heart thumped as I waited for him to say it was wrong. The gargoyle looked at me and said. “Your great grandpa was not a living god.” Before I had the chance of taking a sharp breath of relief, he continued. “Your great grandpas were living gods.” That was too much to handle for my little brain in one day and with a tired breath, I passed out,

I woke up to realize the floor was moving. Before I could react, my mind processed the jarring motions of the floor to be a moving vehicle on a bad road. A really really bad road. I kept still trying to assess my surroundings. There was a soft wheezy humming which i recognized as the gargoyle; Liam’s singing. Someone was snoring softly and there was a rustle of paper nearby. The road was quite and by the muffled sounds, the glasses were shut and the the AC was on.

Slowly I cracked my eyes open. It was still dark. I was lying face up on the rearmost seat of a seven seater van. My gaze turned to the bright overhead light to find the Naaga, Parvatesh or as he liked being called, Rocky; reading a newspaper. He had sensed my movement and smiled at me showing his fangs. A sudden chill engulfed as I remembered the last night. I was on the mercy of two demons.

“You were out for quite a while. When did you sleep last time?” He asked. I was confused. Was he trying to play with me? But the princess,  Agnishikha had told me all they taught us about demons was a lie. I decided to end it as soon as possible. “Why haven’t you killed me yet?” I asked. My voice firm as I sat upright on the back seat. He looked confused. “Why would I kill you?” His brows clinched in thought.  I snorted. “After what happened last night why would not you kill me?” My voice was laced with sarcasm. He looked seriously lost. “Um… I did told you we were taking you to see the proof of the Cell’s betrayal for yourself, didn’t I? And you agreed. Don’t you remember?” I frowned. “Not that. I mean why am I still alive when you know I am related to a god?” He was about to say something when Agnishikha’s muffled voice came from the front. “I told you they filled their brains with crap about us on this side of the veil. Do you get it now?” She was riding shotgun and was also trying to sleep. I glanced back to Rocky when Agnishikha snuggled in her blanket. His expression was amused. “And what if you are the blood of a god? Why should I kill you?” I said cautiously “Because you hate God?” That was it. Agnishikha burst into laughter with Rocky. He was holding his sides as he laughed hysterically. I hadn’t said something funny, had I? I sat there like a fool watching them slowly settle down. There was a big smile on his face when Rocky asked me. “And for what in the four yugas shall I hate the almighty?” I was depressed now. All of my upbringing seemed to be turning out a lie. I gathered myself and said. “You hate him because he banished you into the underworld?” His smile was mischievous when he replied. “And why don’t you hate him when he banished you into the living world?”

I was out of words. Both of them were laughing at me. I seriously hadn’t thought from such a point of view. I had always believed that the living world was better than the underworld. Never had it crossed my mind that the demons might thing the same about underworld. For them, the living world was full of chaos, instability and misery. Demons had control of their lifespan and could live as much as theye liked. And when I started to think about the negative aspect of the living world, so much things came to my mind that with a shudder, I stopped thinking. They were right. And I was right too. The underworld and living world were two sides of the same coin.

Before my thoughts could wander anymore, I yanked myself back to the current situation. “Where are we going?” I asked Rocky. He looked at me and said pointedly. “I told you we were going to show you the proof of the Reaper Cell’s treachery. And if you want to know which place is our destination then I have a lot of explanation to do. Tell me when you are ready.” He said it as if closing the topic and went back to reading newspaper.

I glanced at the clock to find it was 3:45 in the morning. I was tired but I didn’t wanted to sleep again. I thought I might talk to Liam about my both great grandparents being gods, so I went to the middle seat to find it empty. He wasn’t in the back, Agnishikha Was riding shotgun and there was no other place to look for him in the van, unless… I bent forward and peeked around the driver’s seat. Yep, Liam was driving the car. He was perched upon a stack of cushions, and had two sticks tied to his feet. I looked questioningly at the female demon, who had also stopped trying to sleep. She sighed and pointed at his extended feet. “He has been driving for three years now. Vasu made him use mirrors to see forward while he sat at the bottom of the steering wheel.” She pointed to a strange contraption set into the ceiling and steering well. She looked at the sticks and said “This idea came to my mind from watching Mr. Bean. You saw that episode when he rode on the top of his car? I was rolling on the floor with laughter! And when he exploded the paint can? OH my God! and when… ” She suddenly stopped babbling from the look of amazement on my face, and misunderstanding it she blushed deep red. “Sorry. I thought you guys had television here. Its a program aired on… Oh don’t mind. I am a fool. Sorry.” I was silent for three whole seconds. Then I was also laughing my guts out. She looked confused. Then Rocky said “Princess, they too have televisions here, and they do air Mr. Bean.” She frowned at him and then at me and with a huff turned her back to us and started staring out of the window. I coughed to stop my laughter and sat up behind the gearshift. “Sorry. I couldn’t help myself from laughing by the look on your face.” Rocky snorted. I continued “I was shocked myself to find there are televisions in the underworld.” She shot a glare at me and snarled “Of course there are televisions in the underworld. How do you think we pass our time?” I lifted my hands in defeat and she turned back to window without any comment.

Liam was driving peacefully. He had a hat on with a headphone and glasses. He was wearing a shirt, and his his bare legs made his appearance comic as he drove and hummed. I left him as he was and turned to look at Rocky. “I am ready. Tell me our destination.” He sighed and put the newspaper away. I threw a spare cushion at him and we both made ourselves comfortable. He looked up to Agnishikha and said. “You might want to listen this too princess. As I told you It would be better for both of you.” I looked at her and she shifted to face us. Rocky nodded and said. “It will take quite a time. So make yourself comfortable.”

 

“You might already know that the living world and the underworld balance each other, same as the realm of Gods and the realm of Chaos balance themselves. The living world has an equal ratio of people without aura, ie. humans; and people with aura, who can be classified into a lot of races. People using aura with the help of rituals and incantations are witches or warlocks, people using aura to shift their shapes are weres, people using aura to live after death can be called night-walkers as a whole, and people harnessing aura by the blessing of gods can be classified into one group. Skipping the details, Akshat belongs to the last group. In the underworld, the ratio is same for aura users and non users, but the classification is a little different. all the aura users are demons, with a separate classification of their own. The entities having no aura are of three types. Dead people, Dead demons, And malevolent spirits. All of them are part of the underworld, and its population is thrice the population of living world.

 

All the notorious and evil spirits are sent to the hell, which is also in the underworld, touching the realm of chaos. The most sacred places in the living world are those which are closest to the realm of gods.

The entities in hell feed from the negativity of both humans and demons. In the last 100 years, the rise in the negativity provided them a lot of energy, and one single demon, known as Decain absorbed all that negativity and opened a rift in the veil separating the realm of chaos from the rest of creation. Somehow he escaped into the chaos and was lost for a few decades. The gods didn’t give him any consideration thinking he was beneath their notice and slowly he scared, convinced and threatened a large part of both the underworld and the living world to join with him. Unfortunately, Few gods also sided with him thinking to use him for their personal rivalry. Most of the underworld is under his control and his reach on the living world has started to increase also.

We are some of the people aware of his intentions and we tried to ask help from the people in power. All of them refused us, laughing at us and now we are a band of almost 3000 people consisting of all kind of aura users. Decain plans on getting rid of all beings without aura, since it was a mere human being who banished him to the hell last time.”

The Naaga looked at me hopefully. If I was getting it all right, the known society was about to fall and the gods were treating it as if it was a game for them (Actually it really was a game for them). Agnishikha was deep in concentration as she pondered upon what he said. I asked “Where do we come in?”

He looked thoughtful then said “We have been trying to track all known aura users which are not under Decain’s influence. We have gathered a considerable number of youngsters on this side of the veil. Our informants have told us that Decain is going to continue gathering forces for atleast two more years. So we are trying to train the youngsters to survive the future.”

He was about to say something more when his phone beeped and within a second he put it to his ear. Liam sensed it too and slowed the van. Rocky was sitting rock still as he talked. “Yes sir…. sir…. 5 hours sir…. WHAT?” He face was white as chalk as he tried to take a breath. Liam jerked the van to a stop and looked at him in disbelief. Rocky’s face was pale as ice as he talked. “But how… When? … Yes sir…. I will sir. I will.” Then he disconnected the phone and barked. “Everyone, OUT! Right now! Liam! Code black. We have got 3 minutes.” Looking at our frozen state he shouted “OUT! Are you waiting for an invitation?” We scrambled out hurriedly. Liam was already out rummaging in the trunk. “Come here. Don’t move until I say.” Agnishikha was scared. I was also confused seeing the calm demon act like this. She said. “You are scaring me Vasu.” He went rigid and turned. “You should be scared! A freaking God is coming for us! Liam? 110 seconds! ” He drew a circle around the van and all of moved inside it instinctively. Liam had four candles and a matchbox. He put the candles on the circle right at the vertices of a square. Rocky traced the circle with his Naaga Mani then the square. Liam lighted all the candles as Rocky touched his Mani to each candle mumbling in Sanskrit. The flames turned green and when all the candles were green he barked at us. “Slide beneath the van headfirst. No arguments! 27 seconds Liam! ” We all scrambled beneath the van, Liam completely inside. Rocky put the Mani in the centre and said. “No matter what happens, don’t lose contact.” We all grappled for the Mani and within a second all of us were touching it. Rocky mumbled something and the Mani glowed brighter. Liam said “any time now.” Before he could finish, a rumble errupted from the ground. It was as if the plates were crying from the load. The ground shook. “Earthquake” Agnishikha mumbled. We all held tha Mani and after what felt like years, the quake ebbed. Rocky sighed and slumped.
“What was it? ” Liam looked at me sadly and my unease grew. “What was it Rocky?” I asked again. He looked up and said. “A god hunting.”

A chill went down my spine. “For whom?” I asked.
Rocky eyed me for a moment and said “Last night didn’t go unnoticed. Decain knows there is a godling out of the God’s realm. He has put a bounty on the godling’s head and the bounty hunters are gods themselves.

Akshat, the Gods are hunting you.”

5 reasons why there is such a lack of science fiction in India.

India has the largest youth population in the world, making a very huge market for books. But despite the numbers, there are not as many books by Indian sci-fi writers as compared to foreign writers in the international market. Let’s find out why.

1. Lack of resources

India is a developing country and the majority of its population depends upon agriculture. A family is considered well to do in India if they can easily feed themselves, clothe themselves, possess one motorcycle or scooter and have a bank balance of ₹10,000 at any possible moment. A PC is considered to be a luxury for 80% of the Indian population, and a smartphone for 60%. So their access to any information is limited. Only writers from richer families can afford writing any kind of book.

2. Need of survival

The most important thing in an average Indian’s life is to somehow get a safe and steady job. Family comes next, then children, then friends and then if they have some time left, it is used to plan for the next day. Money matters a lot. If you don’t have a job paying more than enough, you can simply forget about your dreams and hobbies.

3. Lack of education

Indian education system teaches only one thing. “How to get a job”. There is no inclination towards any kind of creativity or innovation. Also, most of the people who have time to read are unaware of science fiction. Most graduates in India are from Arts in Hindi medium. It restricts the no. of readers as well as writers.

4. No future

In India, there are 10,000 people trying to compete for a single chance in any area of creativity. You have to be the best to have a chance of getting a book published. If you are the second best, no one even knows you. Lot of talented writers don’t even attempt to go professional for this very reason. A lot of talent is lost.

5. Lack of encouragement

People consider you a laughing stock if you are a writer. There is no respect for you unless you are the best. On top of it, people also try to jeopardize your efforts to be good because either they are jealous or they want to drag you to the “right track” and away from the “crazy” stuff.

On top of it, most of the Indian population is not educated enough to understand science fiction. They only like to read what they see before them. The concept of science fiction is still alien to them.

On the whole, the problems for science fiction in India are education, money and resources.

How to create your lead science fiction character

Every science fiction revolves around a lead character, or a lead team. It is mandatory for a storyline to have a lead character. The more time you spend on it, the more better your story becomes.

Importance of strong lead character

☞ A story has to have a point of narration. Narrating from the point of view of a single, or few distinct characters make the story easier to follow.

☞ If you are narrating from a distinct person’s point of view, it keeps the story from scattering and binds it all together.

☞ The readers try to find similarities between them and the lead. They form a bond with the lead to live into the story better.

How to make a lead character strong

☞ A lead character needs to be strong. Not in the strength of muscles and attitude, but his/her strong presence in the story. The more events you relate to the lead, the stronger his presence will become in the story.

☞ The lead needs to be bold. Boldness here doesn’t mean personality. The personality can vary from goofy to angry to shy to introvert. The thinking and emotions of lead must be deatailed enough for the readers to have a decent idea about his/her way of thinking. The impact of the lead’s emotions must be bold.

Relation to the supernatural

☞ If you plan on adding supernatural in the story, add it according to your lead. This will bring him out in the focus and you can move forward smoothly without having troubles from side stories.

☞ Giving your lead a unique supernatural skill greatly improves the storyline.

How to make readers like your lead character

☞ You can make the lead’s past tragic (many writers do this) to gain the support of readers.

☞ You can give the lead an important secret. It makes the story more thrilling.

☞ Don’t make the lead always win.
We all like happy endings. But too many happy endings deteriorates the reader’s interest by making the story predictable.

☞ Death of someone dear acts like gum for people. They sympathize with the lead and stick to the story.

Skeleton to design a lead

☞ Define the purpose of the story and create the lead’s character accordingly.

☞ When you have decided your world and timeline, create the personality of the lead.

☞ Create his family and his friends, as well as his own history. Note it all down, because this will help you a lot in designing side quests when you move further into the story.

☞ Decide an accent and a manner of speaking for the lead.

☞ If your lead is good boy, then add some bullies into the story.

☞ If your lead is a bad guy then add some people in the story whom he envies.

These are some most basic tips. You can do whatever you want with the lead as you are its God.

Your great grandpa is a living god??? Holy crap! – Ch 4

Gargoyles are creatures of churches. They either live under the protection of a holy man or are slaves to demons. A free gargoyle is open game for everyone who wants complete knowledge of aura around them. Since there are hardly any Christians in India, and lesser in north India, finding a gargoyle is a rare occurrence. Well… if a gargoyle finds you, then its even rarer.
I was gaping at him, my eyes wide as coins. I completely forgot about the demon beside me until she hissed at the gargoyle and tried to catch him through the bars.
“I knew you were following me!”
I hastily aligned myself to face both of them at once. It was strange that I had exposed my back to a demon. Our similar auras must have caused this. The gargoyle was sheepish when he perched on the door of the van.
“It was for your own good, princess.”
I glanced at the demon. Princess? That explained a lot about her story. I turned at the sound of a man entering the van. He was garbed in black from head to toe. But it were his eyes which told me he was an Icchhadhari Naaga, were-snakes for the rest of the world. They were native shape-shifters of India. His eyes were pure gold and slanted as all reptiles. Grace flowed from his every movement. The demon beside me stared wide eyed at him.
“Vasu! I thought you were dead! They even showed me your dead body sent back from the plains! What are you doing here?”
Apparently she was quite friendly with him and hugged him when he opened the crate to let us out. They were busy hugging and I was trying to find escape routes when the gargoyle turned to me.
“Don’t leave Akshat. You are not safe.”
Right. As if i didn’t know about the cell hunting me. The gargoyle studied my expression and held out his tiny hand to me.
“You can call me Liam. I have been following you for quite a while and you really impressed me with that train stunt of yours. I was about to jump in to save your neck but you managed it yourself quite fine.”
I shook his cool hand and turned to the Icchhadhari. He was looking at me and smiled. “You are one brave fellow, you know that? I am Vasuki Parvatesh. But you can call me Rocky.” I shook his hand to find it warm. Not cold like other Naagas. He looked at my gaze and winked.
“Its a curse of a Churail. Don’t worry about it.”
But I saw worry in his eyes. It was not natural for a Naaga to have warm blood. It was opposite to their every natural instinct. Liam landed on his shoulder.
“I presume you have acquainted yourselves with each other?”
He said looking at me and the demon. Before I could say anything she replied.
“Not really, but he is an interesting one.” She turned towarda the Naaga and continued “Hey Vasu! Did you know all they teach us about the reapers is crap? And we are considered monsters here. And they also have no idea about any of our classes or clans.”
She seemed eager to talk to the Naaga, and by the spark in her eyes, it might be that she had a crush on him. I was left out and felt very un-informed.
“Exactly who are you guys? And why did you help me? The way she was reacting to me made me think you demons consider us savages. And what about the Hell academy?”

The Naaga looked at me and folded his hands in a formal namaste.

“I am the personal bodyguard of the royal family of the Raavana demon clan. The lady here is Princess Agnishikha, heir to the royal family. We have been looking for individuals like you having a mixed parentage. And I would be deeply sorry to inform you that the Reaper Cell knows about the Xanthis army and are on their side.”

I didn’t know what to say. I simply couldn’t forget what I had been told about demons and the ones I had seen in the reaper cell prisons. These two here were a lot more civilized. They could have easily passed as normal human beings. And I felt a strange kinship between me and the female demon. But what they were saying was completely absurd. The reaper cell hunted demons. I have been trained all my life to hunt them. The only odd thing being there had been no visits of the Yamadooots since my arrival in the Cell. When I thought about it from the demons’ point of view, I definitely found a pattern. We were sent to specific areas to hunt specific demons a lot lately. The Cell’s activity kept going less and less as the demon activity grew. And they sent only a few chosen reapers to hunt the demons. With a jolt I realized my three assassins were also from that group. Their story explained a lot, but I simply couldn’t believe a demon, could I?

The Naaga looked at my indecision and said.

“You don’t need to believe me right now. I cannot expect you to do so. But I can show you the proof if you accompany me.” The gargoyle bobbed his head in agreement. The female demon was looking at me expectantly. I was not an idiot to walk in a demon’s lair, but they could have killed, tortured, and hurt me a lot if they wanted to. The night was quite and they could have gotten away quite easily. But I needed some proof of goodwill if I was going willingly with them.

“I will go with you.” Their faces looked eager as I scanned them. My gaze stopped at the Naaga’s face. “But as a proof of goodwill I want your Naaga-Mani” A Naaga’s life force was connected to its Mani. The more power the Mani held, more powerful the Naaga became. Everyone looked at me stunned. The female looked outrageous and was about to say something when the Naaga snorted and took out a bright green crystal from his inner pocket. He tossed it at me and I caught it. I felt the strong amount of aura emanating from it. It was like touching a rock of water and i felt it slip in my hand. I looked at the Naaga and saw him like he originally was. without the aura giving him a more human like appearance , he almost looked like a snake now. His eyes were more pronounced and his scarred face had a tinge of green in it. He slipped his tongue out and I shuddered finding it forked. I threw the Mani back at him. He looked shocked, surprised and there was a hint of admiration in his eyes as I motioned him to keep it.

“I am not a monster as you people think. I just wanted to see your honesty.” The gargoyle laughed and the princess stared at me wonder in her eyes. the Naaga was smiling and to escape the babbling, I asked him.

“So… where do you want to take me? To see the proof? Somewhere here in Kolkata?” I was in Kolkata and the area was called Sonagachi. “The first thing we should do is to make your trail cold so that the IRC doesn’t follow you.” The Naaga said and the gargoyle groaned. “Oh come on Rocky. I don’t want to puke anymore.” I was a little unhinged by the gargoyle talking to his demon master in such a way. They always used ‘Master’ in a sentence addressed to their owners. The Naaga smiled devilishly and turned to face the female.

“Watch it closely, Princess. This is how I orchestrated my death.” He moved a few paces back and drew an equilateral triangle on the ground with a stick. Then he started mumbling in Sanskrit and touched his Mani to every apex of the triangle. The Mani seemed to leave some of its greenish glow on the ground each time it touched the triangle. He motioned me forward and to give him my hair. He had trusted me with his Mani, which is considered to be a Naaga’s soul. I knew that body parts were powerful tool in demon magic. But I had to return his trust and I plucked a few hairs from my head and handed him. He touched my hair with the Mani and chanting in Sanskrit, put them on the three glowing points on the ground. He retreated slowly from the triangle and made a circle around it with His Mani. It left a blackish part near my hair and I watched it closely to find it the same colour as my aura. He stepped back a few more places and stowed his Mani back into his pocket. He stopped chanting and closed his eyes in concentration. The air became still around us and every sound seemed to die. I could clearly hear my heartbeat and looked around nervously. The gargoyle was sitting on the van, and the Princess was staring at the figure on the ground with wide eyes. The Naaga suddenly jerked open his eyes and collapsed at my feet. The female demon started to move forward as me but the hair at the back of my hair tickled and instead of going to the unconscious Naaga, I grabbed his hand and pulled him away from the triangle. I had barely moved five feet when I heard a loud rumble from the sky and looked up find a pure golden thunderbolt heading straight for me.


 

 

 

The area washed in pure golden brilliance and it hurt my eyes even when I had shut them close. The lightning didn’t struck me. The triangle was hit. Their was a tremendous boom of explosion and we all were thrown backwards. I hit the side of the van and my breath whooshed out when the Naaga landed upon me. Just as quick as the lightning had come, it vanished and we slid to the ground. i waited for a few seconds waiting for the pain to hit. But nothing was broken and I slowly sat up. The triangle was covered in smoke and i looked for the princess. She was also slowly getting up and hobbled to me when she noticed me. There was a rattle from within the van and the gargoyle crept out. His eyes were wide with fear and shock as he stared at me.

The Naaga coughed and slowly opened his eyes.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” He croaked. I helped him get up against the van and the Princess got him a bottle of water. He leaned on the van and stared at me. He took a sip and coughed.

“What was it Vasu?” The princess was truly scared. He pointed at me.

“It was his aura. The aura in his three hairs.” I snorted. “Excuse me?” I said. “If you haven’t looked already, My aura is black. I am a reaper you idiot. Not a god.” Only Gods had gold auras. Goddesses had silver. The Naaga seemed unfazed.

“No. Look at the triangle” He pointed at it and I looked. I was shocked to see my body lying there in the clearing smoke, burnt and battered. Their was no trace of the triangle. “I used the aura in your hair to replicate your body. The bolt was the colour of your aura and the power it contained was the amount in your three strands of hair.” I looked at him to see if he was joking. But their was genuine fear in his eyes. The female demon looked confused. “But Vasu. He has the same aura as mine. The amount is same too. How can some one change his aura? Its not possible.” She was right. But my body and the lighting said otherwise. “Changing the aura is not possible. But binding it? It can be done.” It was the gargoyle speaking. All of us looked at him questioningly. He inched closer to me and looked right into my eyes. “Your aura is black because it is bound. Someone didn’t want you to use your full potential and I agree with him.” I was utterly shocked. MY aura was not mine? Was it some kind of joke? But before I could say anything The female demon asked. “But why would anyone want him not to reach his full potential?” The gargoyle sighed and turned to her. “You saw how much power his hair contained. He could have blown an entire country by mistake if he had his full aura.” The gargoyle took my hand and closed his eyes. He shuddered at what he was doing. Gargoyles can discovered everything about a person by reading their aura. They were handy to have with, as they could scan anyone by scanning the area to find someone with distinct aura. He opened his eyes and said.

“I have read your aura Akshat. The reason your aura is gold and was bound, is in your history. Your great-grandfather is a living god.”