The story of Kara Pashna continues in Pan Post 24 as he is greeted by Kamal in the Temple of Kamal. He meets Litik Rjingi, the litik that predicted the end of Indra. Many litiks have gathered so that they may all attempt to enter the same vision and, therefore, get more information and detail from what they see - therefore creating the possibility to avert disaster. To do so, however, means passing through the Other Plane - a plane of demons. The litiks gather in an arena and their minds enter the Other Plane, opening a rift so that the demons could enter. The litiks that did not pass through are awake enough to enter combat and defend their unconscious brethren. After a great battle the demons are dispelled and the litiks who survived share their knowledge. A single alien ship will come and destroy the planet.
Kamal; Pt 2
Kamal is one of the tallest of all gods on Indra. Her gigantic figure looms over Kara Pashna and the Litniks and her burning white eyes stare down at them - unblinking, forever open. Her body is made of grey stone, washed here and there with marble joints or adornments, and she is very square-shaped. She has two heads, one eternally facing forward and one back into the past at what has been. Her front facing head wears a crown of three peacock feathers while the head facing backwards wears a crown of petite clovers. Her back is replaced with a second set of stone breasts and a stomach, giving the illusion of two people stood back-to-back; yet they share the same two legs that are forever able to march forward but never turn to walk backwards.
She wears a green and white robe that hangs loosely upon her grey frame. She stands strong and stubborn in the face of the impending doom one of her own has predicted. When she speaks her lips open but do not move to create her words.
Kamal: "Kara Pashna. Your presence is welcome."
Pashna lowers his head. Bowing and scraping on the ground would be a sign of disrespect to Kamal - she values symbols of strength and not weakness. Given Kamal's love for Indra, Pashna supposes that it's only natural that one of her own Litiks discovered its fate. Whenever in her temple, Pashna feels as though Indra is the most unique and wonderful world in the entire cosmos. He knows it can't possibly be. He knows there must be dozens of worlds out there with sentience-imbued people. But right here in this temple; Indra is everything.
Kara Pashna: "Thank you, dear Kamal. I am honoured to be in your company once again. Indra Day had been a magnificent celebration of patriotism."
Kamal: "Indeed. And may there be many more to come."
She obviously defied the prediction and that gives Pashna his own sense of hope and pride in the power of his people and its gods.
Kara Pashna: "My Lord Jitarayara asked me to join you here and wait for further developments."
Kamal: "Remain standing, oh Kara? That is not the way to solve this. Only a forward march can lead us to our answers. But you may report the results of our experiment to Jitarayara."
Kara Pashna: "Experiment?"
Kamal: "These Litiks have gathered so that they may all channel their focus as one and attempt to view the same prophetic vision as Litik Rjingi."
Of the Litiks, one steps forward. He's wearing the same modern body armour as the others but he wears a green and white robe over it, much like his master's. All of the Litiks of Kamal are wearing the same dress, but not all of the Litiks are of the same order.
Litik Rjingi: "You may observe our efforts, Kara Pashna. But try not to... intervene. No matter what you see."
Pashna grows worried and glances towards Litik Map. The young man just grins confidently in return. Pashna couldn't say why but he liked Map already and the thought of him getting involved in this stunt is troubling.
Kamal: "These Litiks are some of the strongest in all of Indra. Do not fear for them. Those that fall will be honoured and revered for all time."
Litik Map: "Assuming the world doesn't get blown up!"
Kamal: "Litik Map. The world will not get blown up if you succeed in finding an answer."
Litik Map makes an embarrassed bow of his head, though Pashna doesn't think it's an overly sincere apology as the young man chuckles when he makes the gesture. Kamal, along with most gods of Indra, isn't big into punishment for trivial offences and she ignores the Litik's poor manners.
Litik Rjingi: "Kara Pashna, you may wish to follow us into the next room. You'll find others have arrived to watch the event too. You should join them."
Map jumps at the chance to grasp Pashna's hand again and he half-drags the Kara through an arch into the next room. The room is wide and overlooks an arena below. The arena is small and Pashna thinks it's for theatre shows rather than displays of combat. Today, however, it would be combat. There are no seats. The people that have gathered are few in number and are leaning on the banister to look down into the arena. There are already a few Litiks down there. Map leaves Pashna on the balcony and goes to descend into the sandy pit.
When all of the Litiks have gathered, everyone falls silent. Pashna glances at the others gathered. Several of them are Karas like him. None are from Jitarayara though. Bernard coos and flutters down to sit on the balcony and watch the proceedings down below. Pashna wonders if he's able to record visuals as well as sounds.
Above the arena emerges Kamal, who rises up and looms over it. While she may be much taller than the arena floor, her stone breasts are level with those in the balcony. Pashna catches one of the younger folks staring and rolls his eyes. Stone, he wants to remind the boy. And yet even Pashna longs to reach out and touch them. Not because they're sexually attractive but because the rough, stone of such a god would be incredible to feel.
The Litiks are standing, their heads bowed to the sand. Pashna sees that Map is on the edge of the group, though it's not easy to make out so far away. Somewhere around the middle he thinks he can make out Litik Rjingi.
An aura begins to materialise above the group in the arena, a swirling purple-red mist. Some of the Litiks reach a connection to enlightenment and their heads crane back and their white eyes glow with a white energy-mist rising from them. Then come the heinous monsters of the Other Plane. The creatures are red and blue, jagged shapes in Indranoid shapes. Their heads are elongated and their jaws are wide with blood-stained fangs. Their eyes are hollow and black. They rush at the Litiks who are connected to the Other Plane's vision bestowing powers. Those Litiks that had not yet reached enlightenment break away and defend their brethren using long staves that they conjure up. The staff is an age-old weapon of Litiks and while their dress and techniques have advanced over the centuries, their weapon focus remains.
He sees that Map may be amongst the defenders. The young man whirls his staff into the face of one of the demonic creatures and its neck snaps. However that doesn't kill the beast. It merely continues to attack with his head lolling to the side like a dead weight. The monster swipes Map, knocking the Litik flying across the sand. Pashna grips the balcony in panic. Several of the other Litiks have been felled, either dead or injured. He sees one demon chewing on the skull of one of the younger Litiks that had been defending an enlightened one. The demon chews slowly, slurping up the bulbous part of the head but his eyes are fixed on his next target - the enlightened Litik. Pashna wants to throw something at the creature. Stop it, distract it, anything. He feels a deep wave of resolve, no doubt being instilled by Kamal who watches the event below her. The creature finally discards his meal and leaps. The enlightened Litik becomes prey to the beast too. Pashna cries out and finds he's not the only one. Others are shouting in anger and horror at the creatures as they continue their rampage.
Pashna spies Map on the offensive again. Map's staff first snaps the neck of a demon, then, still spinning, cracks the monster's left shoulder. He spins and, before the demon can change to attack with its right, he had broken the arm at the elbow. The monster is significantly depowered without its primary modes of attack and he relentlessly clubs the beast to a pulp. Pasha feels a wash of bloodlust and cries out in Map's favour.
Then, all of a sudden, everything stops.
The mist vanishes, the demons vanish and the connection to the Other Plane is broken. The enlightened Litiks are waking up from their vision. A collective vision, hopefully. The death count is higher than Pashna had been expecting and he instantly begins to pray for their remembrance.
Kamal: "With Jitarayara's aid, a monument shall be built to honour these brave Litiks of Indra..."
Her voice sounds like a whisper as it echoes over the silent people.
Nayaraks enter the arena. They're the lowest of the religious ranks and yet also the busiest. They do most of the work. Healing people, helping people, teaching people, organising people. Here they help those alive to recover their senses with drinks and blankets, while other Nayaraks begin to arrange the bodies of the fallen. Pashna sees that one of them bursts into tears as he begins to arrange a body. He's consoled by one of the Litiks. Pashna feels like he needs to be consoled too.
Some time later they are seated in a small, ovular room, with chairs arranged around the room. Pashna is seated with Litik Rjingi, who waits for the meeting to begin before he stands up. The room's walls are made of sutade, a liquid substance that is actually solid in its membrane. So a wall of sutade, once erected, acts like a wall and yet within the membrane the liquid bubbles happily with a dark blue colour. There's, again, no ceiling and, instead, there is only the immense stone face of Kamal. Her square nose is low enough that Pashna might have given Rjingi a boost up to touch it.
Litik Rjingi: "From our Litiks, ten of us were able to gather in a single vision. One more experienced a similar vision, while the rest found themselves in visions of other events."
Pashna wonders if those Litiks who didn't find themselves in the collective vision would be disappointed or relieved. Those like Map, who didn't even reach enlightenment before the demons arrived, are likely lamenting their inability to defend all of the enlightened ones. The worst fate of all, drowning in guilt.
Litik Rjingi: "From the vision we have been able to gather more clear information on what is likely to come. Aliens."
There's a murmuring amongst those not privy to the vision.
Litik Rjingi: "They will come in a rain of fire."
Kara Pashna: "You mean weapons?"
Litik Rjingi: "And attack. So perhaps yes. A single space-ship will arrive. Immense in size. They don't seek conquest. They seek the world's demise."
Kara Pashna: "This sounds like something from a horror story."
Litik Rjingi: "I know..."
There's a long silence. Everyone has questions but nobody wants to ask them.
Kamal: "And so, preparation is needed."
Kara Pashna: "I will inform My Lord Jitarayara of the news..."
He stands and leaves. He trembles with fear as he records his report of the events and the news. Aliens. Unimaginable.