Vibrations: Harmonic Magic Book 1, page 24
“I’ll try,” he said, head spinning with all the possibilities.
Rindu clapped him on the shoulder. “You see, Sam, if you know what things others have done, it will help you determine what may be possible for you. With the demonstration just now, you can see that your muscles can be augmented with the rohw, to such an extent that something that seems superhuman can be done.
“All things involving the rohw follow natural laws. Once those laws are known, it is only your ingenuity, imagination, and belief that limits you. You have an advantage in that you are familiar with the science from your world. It has enabled you to learn natural laws that perhaps even the Zouy do not know. With my training, your practice, and the understanding of the laws of the world that you have, you could become one of the most powerful vibrational energy users ever.”
Sam looked into the monk’s eyes, considering. Maybe Rindu was right. There were some things that Sam had wondered about. The more he learned, the more he saw how the laws of nature he learned in conjunction with his world’s science fit in with what Rindu, and even Nalia, were teaching him. As he thought, something he had wondered popped into his mind.
“Rindu, I hate to change the subject, but do you know anything of the relationship between vibrational energy and the taste or scent of food?”
The emotion that painted the face of the Zouy was something Sam had never seen on the man. It was difficult to know for sure because he hid emotion so well, but if Sam had to guess, he would say that it was a mixture of surprise, horror, and—could it be—embarrassment.
His features immediately shifted to his normal blank expression, making Sam wonder if he’d seen it there at all. “Why do you ask?”
“I read something a few months ago about how there are some scientists on my world who believe that the sense of smell works through vibrations. The existing theory is that it works on the shapes of the molecules, a ‘lock and key’ type of mechanism, but there has been some discussion about vibration making a difference. “
Rindu nodded slightly. “I see. Well, it is not general knowledge, but yes, vibrational energy can affect smell and taste. I…uh…tried some things when I was a child at the Zouyim Temple. I had been experimenting with the phenomenon and there were several cases in which I changed the taste of a fellow disciple’s food, mostly through its scent, much to his chagrin.” He was beginning to look uncomfortable. Sam wondered not for the first time how he had ever though Rindu showed no emotion. He had grown to know him so well that he realized Rindu showed emotions on his face, but the expressions were much smaller and easier to miss if you didn’t look closely.
“You used the rohw to play pranks on other disciples?” Nalia asked. “You, the master of following rules exactly? The ‘every rule is a rule for a reason, Nalia, so you must always abide by them’ Zouy?” She had started waggling a finger at him in an exaggerated manner.
“I was young. Children will play.” His face looked even more like stone after being scolded by his daughter.
Sam started laughing at the thought of a smaller Rindu using his prodigious abilities to annoy others. Rindu was unable to keep the faraway look from his eyes and the slight smile from his mouth. Nalia couldn’t resist and she was laughing as well, as was Dr. Walt. There was even amusement Skitter was pushing into Sam’s mind at the image of the small Rindu, one who looked exactly the same as now but half the size. Sam laughed harder at Skitter’s misunderstanding of human growth and the miniature Rindu who was jumping around in his mind.
“That is the kind of thing I was talking about, Sam. If you meditate upon it, I am sure you can discover new ways to use the rohw. Abilities discovered in this way are always more powerful than those which are taught simply because when you must figure it out yourself, you know it more intimately. Try to use the same process for finding a solution to travel to your world and perhaps you will not need the Gray Man’s information.”
Later that day, Nalia pulled Sam aside. “Sam, I must ask you something.”
“Of course, Nalia. Anything. What is it?”
She fidgeted as she paused. She actually fidgeted. “I would ask that you teach me some of your language. I would speak with you in your tongue.”
Sam’s eyes widened and his mouth opened before he realized what he was doing. “You…you want to learn English? You want me to teach you? Why?”
He could sense her embarrassment through her mask. Her words came in a rush, “Forget that I spoke. I am sorry,” and she turned to leave.
Sam gently grabbed her arm and turned her toward him. “No, Nalia. Please, don’t leave. I was just surprised. You haven’t shown any interest in my language before, so it just surprised me, that’s all. I would love to teach it to you. It would be my pleasure, my privilege, and my honor.”
She cocked her head while looking at him, obviously trying to decide if he was mocking her. “It is your language, Sam. I would share it with you, if you would teach me. It may make you feel better to hear a familiar tongue, though you are far from home.”
Unable to control himself, he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her to him. “Thank you, Nalia. That means a lot to me. It would be great to share my language with you. We can start now.” As he released her, he noticed that her arms had wrapped around him briefly as well, and it felt right. No, not right. It felt perfect. When they separated, he immediately felt a small sense of loss, but worked hard not to show it on his face.
He started with her as they had started with him, by pointing at things and saying the names in both Kasmali and English.
Three days later, the party reached Greenfeld. As they came through the rolling foothills in a region that was, as far as Sam could tell, where the California-Oregon border would be in his world, the group took a moment to stop and get their bearings.
Sam looked northward from the top of a hill and could see the land rise and fall like verdant waves. He thought he could see some sort of structures just at the edge of his sight and there was a haze that seemed to be rising and dissipating just above the area. He was sure this was Greenfeld.
“Why are almost all the names South of here from old languages, but Greenfeld and the others you mentioned further north are just common words in modern Kasmali?” Sam asked Dr. Walt.
“That’s a very good observation Sam. Very good indeed. And, of course, you are right that they seem to change as we go further north. I’m not sure myself why the naming conventions are different. Perhaps it was that the early survivors of the apocalypse were more religious and reverent in the South, using ancient names. Perhaps it was because the civilizations there were older even before the cataclysm and the names were carried through. It’s even possible that the reason is that there was one powerful person, or a small group of them, who obtained power early on and named the areas to their liking. I have not come upon anything in my research to indicate why.”
The doctor turned his grizzled, shaggy head toward Sam. “It’s the little things like that, the little mysteries in life, that I live for. How did people think? How did they act? What were they like? These questions may be trivial, but often in history, supposedly trivial knowledge has led to important things. It’s the sheer excitement of finding, knowing, and applying what we find. That is why, in a sense, finding myself stranded here was a dream come true. But enough about me. Let’s head to Greenfeld so you can see another thriving trade town.”
The party was slow in getting started again, lingering on the hill and enjoying the beautiful vista laid out before them. Sam felt comfortable here, as he had never felt comfortable before. He felt as if he belonged here. It was strange and more than a little disconcerting that it would be so for an area in a world separate from his own. He wondered if he would feel the same at this very location in his own world.
“You feel it,” Rindu said. It was not a question.
Shaking his head, emerging from his reverie, Sam turned to see that the Zouy was standing right next to him. He had
“You feel it,” Rindu repeated.
“Feel what, exactly?”
“The energy. The balance. The peace and comfort. You feel the peculiar calmness of the rohw in this area. Is this not true?”
Sam paused before answering. He did feel something. Wasn’t he just thinking about it, thinking that this felt like it should be his home? “I feel something, like I belong here.”
“Perhaps you do, Sam. Perhaps you do. I have spoken to Dr. Walt and asked for a half an hour before we go to the town. I would like you to meditate here with me, explore the unique energy signature of this place. It may be…enlightening.”
The two sat down with their legs crossed in front of them, as always, knees almost touching. Rindu said softly, “I would like you to empty your mind and allow the energy to simply do what it will. Allow yourself to enter the khulim and then experience whatever it is that the rohw has in store for you.”
Sam opened one eye, having closed both as he started controlling his breathing. “You sound like you’re saying the rohw is alive.”
“The rohw is the very thing that makes us, and all else, alive. It is not alive in the sense that it moves around with a particular purpose or that it decides to do something and then does it, but the rohw is life, Sam. A master attempts to understand it as husband does his wife. If he understands her and acts according to her disposition, then his life is happy because his wife is happy. If, on the other hand, the man does whatever he wishes, not taking into account the desires of his wife, then his life will be…unbalanced.”
Sam opened his other eye, both going wide. “Rindu, that was…that was a wonderful analogy. That one is a definite keeper.”
The Zouy’s lips twitched into a momentary smile. Well, it was a very good analogy.
I agree, Skitter pushed into his mind. Even I know that most of his parables are difficult to understand or are just plain crude.
Enough from you for right now. I have to concentrate. On nothing.
“I understand,” Sam said aloud to Rindu. Closing his eyes again, he regulated his breathing and brought himself to the edge of going into a trance.
Sam felt his world swirl, threatening nausea, but then it snapped into focus in his mind. He was standing on something, but inky darkness surrounded him and he could see nothing, no matter which way he looked.
Suddenly, his world swirled again. Feeling disoriented and dizzy, he clenched his muscles and waited for the feeling to subside. Soon, it settled and Sam could see a soft glow coming from his left side. Turning, he watched as a thick rope of light pulsed and gyrated. Not knowing exactly how he did it, he moved toward the rope. His feet didn’t move and he had no other sense of motion other than the rope of light getting larger and brighter. He wondered if he was really moving toward it or he was causing it to move toward him.
As the size of the glowing object increased, Sam changed his mind about what it looked like. It wasn’t a rope, but a pillar of some kind. Except that pillars didn’t twist and move like this one did. The gentle green glow was brighter, but not bright enough to hurt his eyes, even after being in the total darkness just a moment before.
Tentatively, Sam reached out and tried to touch the object, which was now big enough that it dwarfed him. His hand passed through. Oddly, though his hand passed through without him feeling anything with his sense of touch, he did feel something in his body react to the object, a peace or calmness that pervaded his entire body. He still wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but it was alluring.
Taking a breath—if he could actually take a breath in this place within his mind, a place in which he really had no body—he stepped inside the pillar. His vision was flooded with light so that he couldn’t see for a moment. While it drowned out everything else in his vision, it still didn’t hurt his eyes. Maybe it was because he didn’t really have eyes in this place.
When the moment passed and he could see again, he saw himself sitting there in front of him, Rindu facing him and both men breathing rhythmically. He saw a soft glow coming from himself, though it was a yellow-white glow in contrast with the background of soft green. Rindu also glowed, but much more brightly.
The men were not the most interesting part, however. As he looked around, Sam could see that other things glowed as well. Small animals scurrying around in the bushes faintly glowed. Nearby trees and vegetation were also nascent. It was surprising to Sam that much of the foliage glowed a little more brightly than the animals. He saw Dr. Walt and Nalia off to the side, chatting, the former glowing gently and the latter more powerfully. As he looked at her, she stopped, cocked her head, and then looked directly at him. Not him seated on the ground, but him who was watching. He moved several feet away and watched as her head swiveled to follow him. Then, shaking her head slightly, she resumed her conversation with the doctor.
The most interesting thing of all, though, was only revealed when Sam looked more carefully. When he looked deeper, beyond the individual illuminations of each of the living things around him, he saw faint lines. Concentrating on them, they resolved. He was seeing lines of energy criss-crossing in front of him and as far as he could look in all directions. Ley lines. Though they were all straight, they also seemed to curve around the area in which his body sat. It was like the optical illusion he had seen once, made completely of straight lines that nevertheless seemed to curve.
As he studied them more carefully, he realized that the area around them was a convergence point of many sets of lines, all mingling and coming into perfect harmony. He wondered if that was what caused the feeling of balance he had felt.
Motion just ahead and to his right made Sam look toward that direction. As he did, he saw Rindu’s eyes snap open and look directly at him. Then the world lurched and Sam felt like he was falling.
With a start, Sam landed roughly in his body. At least, that was what it felt like. He opened his eyes and had to purposely adjust his vision until he could focus on Rindu’s face, not two feet in front of him. The Zouy had his little smirk/smile on his face.
“Ah, I see that you have seen,” he said.
Sam, still disoriented, only nodded.
“You saw the ley lines? The convergence?”
Sam cleared his throat. “I did. What is this place? Why did I see that? I never did before.”
“This place is a vortex, a meeting of the ley lines. The simple reason you have not seen it before is that you had not developed your sensitivity to the extent necessary to do so. Soon, you will be able to see ley lines without the khulim.”
“I saw all living things glowing, but the glow of the trees was more powerful than most of the animals. Why is that?”
The Zouy regarded him. “Why do you think?”
Sam ran his fingers through his hair. I really need a haircut. “I don’t know. Is it because they’re naturally more in balance, at peace?”
“Very good. Yes, there is great power in trees and plants. They are unhindered by conscious thought and so are more fully able to stay in balance with the universal rohw. Animals, thinking of eating or not being eaten, are more distracted. Trees may become concerned if they do not have water, but they do not worry overmuch.”
“Not overmuch? Are you saying that they think or worry at all?”
“Oh, they sense things and think to a certain extent, but theirs is a different type of thought and sense. Suffice it to say that all living things use the rohw to one degree or another and all are worthy of life and respect. We will discuss it more another time. For now, Dr. Walt has been generous and patient and it would be good if we acquiesced to his desires and move on to Greenfeld.”
“Thank you, Master Rindu. That was…enlightening.”
“As I promised it would be.”
While checking the packs strapped to the rakkeben, Sam glanced sideways at Nalia, catching her looking at him quizzically. He thought he got the sense she was looking quizzically, anyway, though with the mask f
As they topped another small hill, Sam got his first real look at the town of Greenfeld. It was unlike any of the other groups of structures he had seen so far in this world. The houses were loosely scattered and most had small plots of farmed land around them. It looked like the small farms had been shaken in a giant cup and rolled out along the countryside. On the hills or between them, the community spread leisurely throughout the area, which was a valley sheltered in the cradle of high mountains to the East and lower, but still formidable, mountains on all other sides.
The houses themselves were interesting as well. Because of the plentiful source of lumber, no doubt, all the houses he could see were made of wood. They were mostly of the A-frame variety, with sharply pitched roofs that made Sam think that they had heavy snows during the winter. The wide homes looked comfortable and homey, especially with the chimney smoke drifting up from half of them and swirling softly into the sky. It was what Sam would have expected the town to look like, for some reason. It just seemed to reflect the peace he felt from the area. He decided he liked Greenfeld.
Dr. Walt came up beside him. “Do you like this area, Sam?”
“Yes, very much so. It is comfortable here.”
“I always thought so. I have been here several times. In fact, I stayed here for several months whilst excavating some ruins just off to the West there.” He pointed toward a cleft in between two mountains. Then, he pointed East toward the larger mountains. “That mountain range is called the Greenclaw Range, for obvious reasons.” Sam noticed that the mountains were sharp and slightly curved, like claws. “That range extends all the way up into what is Washington State in our world. But then again, I suppose you know that if you are familiar with geography in Telani.”
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