B3 — 22. Closure Pt. 1

Nathan’s Change; Sora’s POV


Sora looked around as she appeared on the sidewalk in front of a large building; she quickly recognized it as the Southern Miami Beach Police Department.  Oh, wow, this brings back memories…

  The building had many windows lining it to provide natural light during the day and stood four stories.  Many of the lights were on, and people were coming in and out; Sora’s eyes glancing between the groups. Miami Beach never sleeps.

She was in the middle, between her aunt and Nathan.  Nathan took a deep breath as he surveyed the scene, a small smile of his face as his eyes locked on an officer leaving the building.  “Patrick Wayd, heading home … I assume no one can see us.”

“No, we can move through solid objects yet sit on things when we desire.  Desire is the key, your mental state will create an invisible force for you when you wish to sit; it’s similar to us standing on solid ground.  If you wished it, you would fall straight through the earth, but gravity and the ground are a standard belief; therefore, you do not fall. This realm is centralized by your Intelligence, but it does have its limits, and you cannot affect any other realm while here; unless you have specific magic.”

“Right,” Nathan muttered.  “So,” he turned toward Inari.  “What are we doing here?”

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“Hmm, you tell me.”  She smiled. “You were the one that conceptualized this place as the location you wish to visit.”

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“Great.”  Nathan scratched the back of his head.  “I did think about this place. I mean, this was the place I wanted to be … nothing else mattered to me in life.”

Sora’s left ear folded slightly.  “Really? Nothing else mattered … so, work was your life?”  Looking down, she frowned before whispering. “Sounds like my dad … what does a Police Lieutenant even do?”

Nathan gestured them to a low concrete wall that separates the wheelchair ramp from the stairs.  Sora sat beside Nathan, but Inari simply conjured an elegant chair from thin air and gracefully sat back in it, tails folded across her lap.

Snorting, Nathan took a deep breath.  “Right, okay … so, a Police Lieutenant supervises Patrol Sergeants, Officers, and Detectives that carry out suppression and investigations.  I respond to major crimes, make sure investigations are completed properly, and that the Captain of the department is updated on important details within my jurisdiction.”

“Sounds busy…”

Nodding, Nathan sighed, staring at the cream-colored building across the road “It can be.  I liked to be busy. That’s what got me involved with Eric … I was following up on some discrepancies with one of the detectives under me.  He’s dead now, with a few other officers that were turned into Werewolves.”

“Sorry,” Sora muttered, looking down at her feet.

“What’s there to be sorry about?”  Nathan grunted. “It’s not your fault.  You did what you could … you have a good heart.  Eric’s the one that deserves to burn in hell.”

Their focus shot to Inari as she smiled.  “I completely agree.”

“Wait,” Sora muttered.  “What happened to Eric after we left?  Is he dead?”

Nathan scowled at the ground.  “Death was an easy way out for him, but at least he can’t hurt people anymore.”

“I wonder about that,” Inari mused, casually stroking one of her tails.

Sora shifted uneasily.  “You wonder, but—you never wonder?  You know everything.”

“You have such high opinions of me,” her aunt chuckled.  “I do know a great many things, but there are things that I am unaware of; especially since I am only an Intelligent construct, not your real aunt.  I know what she knew when creating me and only what I’ve been able to observe since that time.

“I do not have the powers of Inari, just her knowledge.  Do I know much of what will likely happen? Yes, but the accuracy of the circumstances surrounding you are complicated by a few factors, including Aiden, yet not entirely unpredictable.”

A low growl rumbled in Nathan’s throat.  “You’re saying … Eric’s alive?”

“Most probably,” Inari nodded.  “Bathin isn’t the type of demon to simply kill Eric.  No, there are other uses for him. It’s not a guarantee, but with the Harold involved, Eric would actually pose somewhat of a threat to Bathin.  My guess, Bathin transported him to a place where he’d be at a disadvantage, such as Hell.”

Sora’s tails twitched at the revelation.  “Actually—hell?”

“As I said, it is the most likely scenario, but there are many other possibilities.  You needn’t worry about Eric though. If he is alive and in hell, then it would be some time before you meet again.”

Bending forward, Nathan gripped his knees, hands white and face red.  “What’s Hell like?”

“Hmm,” Inari crossed her legs.  “Hell—it depends on the layer; they are all vastly different … Dante Alighieri was right about several things, but of course he would be, as he traveled with a demon for a time.  However, Hell is exceedingly more complicated and expansive than depicted.

“I’d speculate Eric would have been sent to either the Third or, more likely, the First Layer of Hell.  Bathin would wish to rid himself of Eric as soon as possible to pursue you. It’s more accurate to depict the Layers of Hell as planes in themselves, composed of all manner of horrors.  The energy permeating that plane is toxic to the human spirit, corrupting the Core.

“Humans that have unlocked their Cores can survive longer, but it depends on the individual and their progress.  What I am performing with each of you will have a great effect on your Cores, and you would likely survive three days in the First Layer of Hell.

“What is it like there?  Think of the First Layer of Hell as a castle; however, a good comparison would be to compare that castle to the size of the Milky Way Galaxy.  The Layers of Hell get bigger as well, not smaller, and that is one of the many reasons for the tremendous conflicts within.”

“You’re kidding,” Sora muttered.  “Wait … if you call them layers, then does that mean they’re like an onion?  Then—how can the first layer be smaller than the inner layers?”

Her aunt giggled.  “Sora, do you think you’d understand how realms operate?  You’re asking me to explain to you the workings of the most complex machine your minds can comprehend and many more complicated things that far outstrips the nuances of realms.  The Intelligence and Spirit itself as an example. Every human spirit has more depth than the entire human realm, but that’s something you couldn’t understand.

“Consider it like a car.  How much of it do you really understand?  What about a spacecraft? Just because you know something exists does not mean you understand it.  You know a car moves forward, but how everything operates, you know not. Jets and boats. These are beyond simplistic, but if asked to replicate the process, you’d be stumped.

“You know it has a combustion based engine.  Okay, how do you make the combustible material?  How do you develop the parts and make them properly to function in a completely unified manner?  These are things you’d need to study, experiment with, and take a considerable amount of time pondering … and it’s nothing, nothing compared to a realm.”

Sora’s cheeks puffed up before letting go of a long stream of air.  “I get it, fine, fine…”

Nathan folded his arms.  “Can we get back to Eric and Hell?  I don’t care how it works … I want to know if he’s suffering.”

“Indeed,” Inari’s head tilted a little to the right, white hair shifting.  “The first layer is like a massive castle that has seven demon factions that rule it; Bathin is a part of one of those factions, and you can be assured that Eric is being tormented in all manner of twisted ways.  He does have Fenris blood though, Founder genetics; weak it may be, he is still extremely resilient and was taught techniques by his mother. Hell’s energy cannot harm him. The demons, however, are another story entirely.  Eric will be subject to many torture experiments; that is if he is alive.”

“At least there’s that,” Nathan muttered.  The silence stretched as he pondered on several dark emotions.

This isn’t good … aren’t we supposed to be helping him overcome all of this?

“Give it time, Sora.  He is working toward it.”

“Inari … could you give me some advice?  Well, I mean, you have been giving a ton of advice, but—there’s something that’s bothering me.”

“Of course,” she smiled.

“If there are real gods … like you.  There are—human gods, humans with their Cores unlocked.  You’ve talked about a few in history, like with the Egyptian Gods.  So—why aren’t there any now—here—on earth?”

“Why are you asking that question?”

“A question with a question,” Nathan groaned, rubbing between his eyes.  “I understand why you’d ask that though … humans are so narrow-minded.”

“Well, that’s a given.”  Inari giggled. “However, that is not why I asked.  Without understanding why you asked a question, you will not grasp the answer.  The nature of the question is important to dissect before identifying possible responses.”

Gods exist … they used to help humans, but now they don’t; wait, well, they might … maybe we just don’t see it?

Nathan’s eyes closed as he scratched his scalp, messy black hair shifting with the action.  “Why am I asking if gods aren’t here? Well, obviously, because they could help a ton.”

“Could they?”

“Sure—they could stop all the disasters and heal people … there’s just, I mean, there’s a real need for something like that.”

“Why?”

“Why?  Why is there a need?  Well—I guess—because…”  He swallowed, deep in thought.  “Because we humans create a ton of problems.”

“And why is that?”  Inari asked innocently.

I feel like your a kid constantly asking why…

“Children are surprisingly intelligent; they’re looking for more, the heart, the Core.”  Inari’s chuckle echoed in Sora’s mind.

“Why do humans create problems?  I guess—is it like, why do the leaves fall?  Gravity, the natural order?”

“If Mary were here, she’d discuss how even monkeys go to war and perform raiding parties to connect a few thoughts; however, humans are different in the manner in which they engage with one another.  Remember what we discussed in regards to resentment; people will ponder, scheme, fixate on some wrong that’s done to them. They’ll fantasize, role play, discuss, and plot their retribution.

“Humans obsess on things, blocking out reason, and focus on how to get even.  You are a dominating society. It’s ironic how many alien movies and stories you create, and have all these terrible advanced creatures come and destroy your home.  You could even see these creatures as gods, but in my experience, there are very few creatures that are anywhere close to humanity’s lust for war. Humans can convince themselves to fight and that they’re a victim for just about anything.”

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