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The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) - Literature (2) - Nairaland

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"Desire" By John Mfon / The Great War / Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) (2) (3) (4)

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 9:10am On Jan 12
bigbauer:
Are uninvited guests welcome?


grin
Of course, everyone is welcome. Be sure to invite anyone along.
Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by statistics1(m): 9:51am On Jan 12
nice one bro.. its making sense...

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 8:12pm On Jan 15
Chapter Four

The girl ran, her feet beating a steady thump thump on the drying grass. The recently cleared field was open on all sides. But even with the moon at its peak on a clear night, her stalker was concealed from her sight and senses.

The endless field that had been all drying grass for as long as the girl had been running, took on a new appearance. She began to feel stones under her feet, piercing her sole and drawing blood.

Her bare feet shrieked with the cutting pain it felt but she went on. Some hidden sense warning of the unpleasant things that could happen if her stalker caught up with her. She ran on, her breath coming in panting gasps.

Some stones more uneven than the others tripped her, her arms flailing, and before she could regain her balance, she fell. As she fell, her hands came forward, breaking her fall. The exhaustion she had been keeping at bay finally caught up with her.

Her hands were pierced by the stones. This time she couldn’t bring herself to stop the scream that erupted from her mouth. It came out high enough to silence the sounds of the nighttime creatures she hadn’t noticed in her run away from whatever was chasing her.

Everywhere was ominously silent, her panting was the only sound in the endless field. She turned around to lie on her back, her face up towards the clear night sky. Something pushed at her senses, urgently nudging her to look towards the direction she had been running from.

She did so, and the sight of what was coming her way had the fine hairs on her body rising up immediately. Goosebumps covered the entirety of her body. Her heartbeat increased so quickly she feared her heart would burst.

The sob that was building caught in her throat. She decided then that she will give no cry or sign of weakness, as the thing of deep and formless shadows approached her downed form.

“How long you have evaded me, and now my patience and persistence has been rewarded.” It said, its voice eerie and oddly indifferent.

She swallowed hard, and said, her voice raw. “For someone who claims to have been searching for me, you seem not to care that you have found me.”

“You are right. I don’t care,” It said.

In a movement so fast, she could barely open her mouth to say a word or issue a scream. A whip of shadows flashed towards her.

It was a searing pain, and she screamed so deep, her scream pierced the dream world and into the one of waking, where she got herself to be the center of attention in a room filled with people eating and talking quietly. All that sound of cutlery tapping plates and gentle conversations silenced now in the wake of her piercing scream. Their eyes all turned to her.

She had somehow dozed off resting out of sight against a wall behind the counter. During her screaming, she had brought herself out of her resting place to stand behind the counter in full sight of everyone.

“We are sorry everyone. Please, I will address the situation now,” Mrs. Sawa, her madam said.

She walked from the doorway of her office into the restaurant and went behind the counter, taking hold of her arm forcefully and dragging her along. “I will be taking care this,” she said to the patrons who watched her every move.

Dragging her along into her office, she forced her in and locked the door. “You this stupid girl, what do you want exactly?”

She didn’t answer instead her face was turned to the floor, her eyes staring at the green rug.

Mrs. Sawa grabbed her left ear, twisting it hard. She winced, leaning towards her madam’s hand. She wasn’t stupid enough to hold her madam’s hand. She instead bore the twisting of her ear in silence.

“Didn’t you hear me, Narasiwi? What do you want exactly? I gave you something to do with your life, and you still choose to make my life harder. The other day, what was it?” She still didn’t answer. “Answer me,” Mrs. Sawa shouted into her ear.

Narasiwi winced. “I broke some plates,” she said.

“Listen to yourself. You broke some plates. And what did I do? I forgave you, even when it wasn’t your first time. I didn’t deduct it from your salary, wasn’t I nice enough?” She twisted her ear harder. “I forgave you, and now I am asking you. What do you want exactly?

“Are you tired of working for me?” Narasiwi shook her head. “Then why can’t you act normal, and stop giving me troubles.” Mrs. Sawa pushed her away.

“I am sorry, ma,” she said, her voice shaking.

“Sorry for yourself. You are more trouble than you are worth. Just go out there and do your job. Any more misconduct and you can say goodbye.”

She nodded vigorously.

“Are you suddenly deaf? I said go out.”

She moved out of the room. Careful not to trip herself as she rushed out.

“What got into you this time around?” A voice asked as she entered the steamy kitchen where the chefs were busy preparing the food orders.

She gave a single nod to the owner of the voice. “Nothing.”

“Nothing?” The owner raised an eyebrow. “What I heard from here didn’t seem like nothing.”

“Maybe she took the wrong dose this morning, she hasn’t displayed like this before,” one of them said, as she chopped the carrots.

The others in the kitchen laughed. A look around from the woman who talked first to Narasiwi shut them up.

“Sarah, I didn’t ask for your opinion. You can face what you are doing and get it done faster,” the woman said.

“Yes, Mrs. Arl,” Sarah said.

Everyone continued their work after that. Narasiwi was used to the mocking, it didn’t affect her much.

“Was it a bad dream?” Mrs. Arl asked.

“No. Thank you, but it was nothing. I am fine.”

Mrs. Arl nodded, and said, “If there is anything you can tell me. Is that all right?”

Narasiwi nodded. “Thank you, Mrs. Arl. I will.”

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 8:16pm On Jan 15
The day went well without any other mishap, a fact for which she was thankful. She doubted her chances were good if Mrs. Sawa sacked her. As a secondary school certificate holder, her chances for gainful employment were very low. Coupled with her lack of skills, she knew she could never find a job as well paying as the one with Mrs. Sawa.

She knew the struggles of other orphans like her in a highly populated city like this one. It was something she was grateful for, not having to be in their situation. She had lost her parent to a motor accident which claimed the lives of everyone aboard the bus. The bus her parent were in had collided with a trailer.

It had been the most sad event in her life and a turning point. She had made a sale of the meager possession her parents had, and left their room and parlour apartment when the rent expired knowing she couldn’t afford it. She had no family member that she knew of, and her parents weren’t friends with a lot of people. She had left the area, trying for an area that suited her new status.

Those few months she did low paying odd jobs were the hardest of her life. It was with luck that during an errand for one of her former boss that she met Mrs. Sawa. She still found it hard to believe the little help she offered to Mrs. Sawa could get her a job.

She closed for the day at nine. After every of the workers had gotten out of the restaurant, Mrs. Sawa locked it, and went to her car.

“What happened?” Sarah asked as she and Narasiwi made their way to the bus stop, being the only ones who lived far away from the area the restaurant was.

“Why do you care? I am not interested in being your center of gossip.”

Sarah placed a hand on her heart, getting in front of Narasiwi. Feigning hurt, she said. “You wound me, Narasiwi. I want to be your friend, why are you pushing me away?”

Narasiwi laughed, going past her. “Go and try your wiles elsewhere.”

“At least you are getting smarter. Maybe if you stop acting like a loon people won’t stay away from you.”

Narasiwi kept going forward, walking faster than normal. She ignored Sarah’s mocking words behind her.

She arrived at the single room apartment she called home. Her apartment contained a gas stove, the ceiling fan, the small mattress, her shoe rack, her foodstuffs, the bag containing her clothes and other useful stuffs.

She went to the window and slid it open, allowing in the fresh air. She sat on her bed, watching the night sky through the open window. After some time, she stood up and drew the curtain over the window.

She switched over the electricity, and plugged the charger into her phone. She brought out her reading lamp and one of the textbook she had from her secondary school days. She had never let her situation deter her resolve to further her education.

Mrs. Sara paid her a good monthly salary and she had been saving a very ample part of it in the bank. She planned to start learning a good trade before the year ended. She hadn’t been able to decide on one yet.

She refreshed her memory every night with the books she read.

Narasiwi had her life going well except for the bad spells that sometimes marred a good day. Like the one that happened earlier today. She had been having dreams like that, but this was the first time whatever it was, pursuing her, had caught up.

Sometimes, her body seized up unexpectedly, and usually left her disoriented when it resumed itself. Causing her to lose her balance and stumble, like what happened during the plate incidence.

These were things that she had not told anyone about, and they were always a heavy weight on her heart. She brought out a small box from where she kept it under her clothes in the bag. It contained all the keepsakes from her time with her parents.

The picture of her parents and her two year old self, the three of them smiling at the camera, her face cheerful. One of her mother’s ring, the one she had kept to herself after selling the other jewelleries she had. Her father’s treasured hat, which he allowed no one wear, but still found its way to her mother’s head on occasions.

It was as usual a bittersweet recollection of pleasant memories, and her loss was never more profound as of those moments. Enjoying the treasured memories of their time together and also remembering painfully that there will be no more moments to create memories of again.

This always brought her pain at their loss to the fore. She cried then. Looking at those mementos always brought to her the feelings that her parents were with her, if not in body then in spirit. And she talked to them, explaining to them her plans, her troubles, her feelings.

She fell asleep, looking at those beautiful keepsakes she will forever treasure.

***

In the dark room, an oppressive feeling pervaded the air. Her shoulders bowed under the weight of the presence she shared the room with.

She bowed to the waist. Even though the room was totally dark, to an extent she couldn’t see her own hands. She knew well enough that the man who at the same time was not a man, inhabiting this room could see her perfectly. He had shown more than enough examples of his abilities to do so.

“What do you have for me, dear Sawara,” he made it a statement.

“Good tidings, Lord. The item has been confirmed to exist, and the reports that came in tells that its signals had been picked up twice, though they were brief and very weak. They have its general location to be in the western part of Aguna. The exact location is still unknown, but they are assured of pinpointing it soon.”

The man chuckled. “That is good, Sawara. Have them bring every of our searchers there. I want the net spread thick and tight over those places in Aguna it might be. Something tells me it won’t be leaving there soon.”

“Yes, Lord,” Sawara said. “Your wish is my command. I will do as you have ordered.” She placed her fist on her chest.

“Go and do so, Sawara.”

She turned around, and made a beeline for the door. She had done this enough time to know where it was and not stumble around. She opened the door and closed it behind her, going through and out of the equally darkened hallway. She came out to the soft light of her office, and issued via the telephone, the instructions she had been given.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 8:18pm On Jan 15
Hi everyone, that is today's chapter. I will love, and humbly wait for your feedback. Thank you, everyone, for following.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Christie171(f): 10:07pm On Jan 15
Very beautiful and interesting story.....wish you'd update more frequently. Thanks for your efforts.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by jadeliyi(m): 8:15pm On Jan 18
hy giamem who is the new girl and how is her events connecting with john.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 10:06am On Jan 20
jadeliyi:
hy giamem who is the new girl and how is her events connecting with john.
Her role will be coming into light soon. Please bear with me.
Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by jadeliyi(m): 7:35pm On Jan 20
Giamem:
Her role will be coming into light soon. Please bear with me.
ok pls whats up with our update! don't keep us starving.
Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by extremelygolden: 9:30pm On Jan 20
Keep it up, Giamem, you're doing a good job.
Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by jadeliyi(m): 6:47pm On Jan 30
Giamem Come on here, don't stop like that nah.
Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 2:34pm On Mar 25
Hello guys I am sorry for abandoning this story for over a month, I beseech you all to please bear with me. I will be continuing this now and will drop an update today.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 2:44pm On Mar 25
Chapter Five

Waking up in the room had him disoriented. His head throbbed with a rhythm that left him gently groaning, and wishing he could be back in the gentle embrace of blissful sleep. Opening his eyes, he was confused at first of his whereabouts. His eyes had trouble focusing on a particular point, moving slowly around and blurry.

An infinitesimal moment passed, and little tidbits began entering his conscious mind, his vision becoming less blurry. As he began identifying little things like the way the table was placed at the wall end, the odd assortment of gadget pieces on it; the pattern of the floor and the odd bits. His vision began sharpening, and he came to the realization that he was currently lying down on the bed in his room.

Or I am just in a dream of my own wishful thinking.

He tried sitting up, and immediately regretted the stupid action. The throbbing went numerous scales higher to a pounding of a crazily fast tempo, that left him short of breath and sweat drenched in the pleasantly cool room.

“You are awake already, though, I would have liked it better for you not to try killing yourself,” he heard Pallas say. He had his eyes closed and dared not open it as the pounding went down slowly.

“You almost blasted your nerves apart with whatever you did, it was a wonder you were able make it back here alive.” As she talked, he felt something pierce his shoulder.

When whatever it was, likely a syringe, was removed. He felt a strange bliss overcome him.

In that moment of euphoria and steadily encroaching oblivion Pallas word pierced his mind saying, “that will be the last dose, sleep well.”

He woke up again. The amount of time that had passed he wasn’t sure of. But he knew it must have been much as he felt well rested and ravenous, both things that were absent in his first instant of consciousness. He didn’t try sitting up this time around.

Pallas came in through the door, passing through the wood as if it were of no substance. Her antics sometimes amused him, but she had come as he knew she would.

“You look well enough, considering your close brush with death,” she said to him.

“Was it that bad?”

She gestured at him on the bed, “it did not look that way at first, but then I noticed what was happening to you under the cloned skin. I had to take you into our little clinic, and begin your diagnosis. The situation of your condition was beyond critical. Your Central Nervous System was greatly strained. You were near being in a permanent vegetative state.”

“It was that bad.”

“Yes.” She answered.

He noticed she had more animation in her tone, “how is Lola?”

“She is currently awake, sitting at the dining, and waiting for you. Joining her there for your dinner would be the best course of action.”

“Dinner? How long was I out?” He asked her.

“Approximately forty hours.”

He sighed deeply. That had been unforgivably long considering how fast everything was happening. A lot he was still trying to make sense of.
“I will take your advice. Will I be able to walk there? I haven’t tested my legs in approximately forty hours.” He said, glancing towards his legs.

“You should be able to. I will grant you help if there is need.”

He sat up slowly, this time with no adverse effect and gently brought his legs down. His legs firmly placed on the floor, he pushed himself slowly with both hands placed on the bed to his feet. His balance was horrible, but he had Pallas help as she promised, her body holding him upright as he leaned against her till he had a shred of balance.

He laughed gently, she looked up at his face as they were locked in an embrace. “You are going to have to free me if we are to walk out of here.”

She moved slowly backwards from the embrace, her arms stretched forward so he held on to them as he gained more of his balance.

“I think I can walk alone now,” he said as he felt more confident of his steadiness on his legs. He removed his hands.

“Hold on to one of my hands.”

He did as obliged, and she led him to the door, and they walked side by side down the corridor to the sitting room.

*

Lola sat at the dining, looking at the food Pallas had served. Her worry for her brother had taken a great toll on her, stretching her nerves, and reducing her appetite for the food Pallas had been serving her.

Despite Pallas assurance that her brother would be fine, there was still the worry nagging at her that the artificial intelligence was hiding from her the real state of her brother’s condition.

She looked in the direction of the door that led into the sitting room, waiting her brother to walk out from there. She fixed her eyes on it, resolving not to look away until she saw him walk out of there as Pallas had promised when she left a few minutes ago.

She looked at him walking hand in hand with Pallas, and though he looked weak to her eyes, her joy knew no bounds as he walked out of that doorway.

She stood up and ran gently towards him, embracing him while being careful not to hold him too tight. She pulled back, her eyes catching the somehow amused look on Pallas face, before her eyes turned back towards him and the smile on his face. He patted her hair gently, and she moved to his other side. She and Pallas guided him to the dining to take a seat at the head of the table.

She took it on herself to serve the best of the meals available, piling on his plate the best meals that ought to help him recover faster. That amused look was still on Pallas’s face, following her every movement. After she was satisfied with the food she had served him, she took her seat.

He ate the food slowly at first, and as he dug into it with apparent gusto, she couldn’t help the smile that lit up her face seeing well enough to enjoy his food.

That simple act had her relieved and happy, giving her the assurance she needed that he was well. She took her own food, relishing the sweet burst of the good food on her tastebuds. She glanced at Pallas and she was shocked by what she saw, her eyes widening a bit as the AI drank from a teacup and nibbled on a slice of bread.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 2:48pm On Mar 25
“You can eat?” She asked the question, before she thought better of it.

Pallas frowned “Obviously I can, have I led you to believe otherwise,” she answered.

Lola shook her head, “It really seem strange, and I have seen a lot of that with you. It only never crossed my mind that you could eat or you would need to.”

“I understand how that will seem out of place in your mind. I don’t need to eat, I just enjoy a good meal now and then.”

“You enjoy?” Lola asked.

Pallas snorted. “Forget it, I am not having this discussion with you now.”

Lola wondered what strange things she might still discover about the enigma that was Pallas. She glanced at her brother who looked like he had taken as much of the meal as he possibly could.

“What happened, brother? You were confident you weren’t going to be discovered. Look at how it turned out, you almost made me sick with worry.”

He cleaned his mouth with a napkin before he answered her, “They were prepared, and I underestimated them in regards to the length they will take go.”

She listened to him as he narrated his ordeal at the OCDA headquarters, everything that happened and his eventual escape.

“That was a stupid and dangerous thing to do. Whatever that function you used was, I am certain it has its own access terminal and requirements for use,” Pallas berated him.

“I didn’t have the option of doing anything safe, it was that or get captured.”

“I understand that, but it was a great risk to take for something untested. A great number of things could have gone wrong.”

“He is here safe now. It is fortunate everything worked out fine,” Lola said, “now that they know about you, how are you going to go along with your plan to get the people who started this mess.”

“When I am done here, I will have Pallas analyze the program I have with me, and plan my next step carefully,” he said.

Pallas nodded at that, her face taking on a look of introspection before she disappeared, deliberately leaving an afterimage of herself.

Lola looked away from where Pallas had been sitting before she disappeared and looked at her brother, not surprised to find him looking back at her.

She smiled at him, “Are you recovered fully?”

He nodded, returning her smile.

“Are you going to go after them? Why don’t you let everything play out. The OCDA has more than enough people to find their lost artifact and apprehend the ones behind all this.”

“They happen to think I am the one behind all this, and I am the one they will be after. I just need to clear my name and everything will be fine.”

“They didn’t believe you the last time you told them so, why are you sure they will now.”

“Last time everyone was angry, I am sure cooler heads will prevail the next time we meet.”

Lola looked at him, letting him see clearly the doubt in her eyes. He only smiled, stood up and came to her before gently patting her shoulder and moving towards the corridor leading to the other rooms.

Lola watched him go, praying for his safety and that he was right in his assumption that he will clear his name.

* * *

In the conference room, Aina sat at the head of the table, Kelvin to her right, and other top members of the OCDA occupying the six remaining seats. Her face was stoic, doing well enough not to reflect the roiling emotions going on within her. The anger, sense of betrayal, fear and rage she was feeling only had one face representing it, and it was that of John Orinigba.

She was going to make sure she tore him apart piece by piece, the next time she got her hands on him. He was the source of all her current problems, and she feared not only for herself but for everyone, what will happen if he had his way with whatever sinister plan he had cooked up.
She had to get her hands on him, before he does anymore harm than he had already done.

“We are clearing the whole system and returning it to its default mode. This process will take a lot of time, but we are confident in our abilities to get it back to a secure state,” the lead technician was explaining to the seated people in the room of which Aina was among.

“We are sure of your ability to do the job well,” Aina told the woman, “I have one question for you. What happened when we were about to apprehend the intruder? What was that disappearing act he pulled?”

“As I have explained earlier, madam. Whatever happened then appeared in all the system logs as a power surge, a very powerful one. Whatever function he used, if it was part of the building, we have never seen it before.”

“I had to be sure all has been accounted for. You can return to your work, if we need your presence again we will call for your attention.”

The woman nodded, and made her way out of the room.

Silence reigned for some time, and no one wanted to break it as they were at a loss for what to do. The blatant breach of the building’s defenses was a new occurrence, nowhere in their record had such a thing occurred before. One person having total control of the whole system, that he could hide his activities was still a shocking concept to absorb. The realization that they had been harbouring one of the most dangerous criminals and had given him access to their systems only added to their mistakes.

“Well?” Aina asked everyone in the room.

“We have tried a search for artifact twenty-seven from the system here. We couldn’t trace it, and my guess is that it has already been cloaked somehow,” one of the men seated in the room said.

Aina sighed, “I know that already. Tell me something I don’t know.”

Kelvin cleared his throat. “There has been an influx of people to the western parts of Aguna.”

Aina laughed, “How is that any of our concern? People move in and out of this city, and if they are causing trouble that is the job of the police.”

“I think we might find something of importance here. They aren’t ordinary people, a good number of them are mercenaries. They are causing no trouble as yet, but their pattern of movement suggests they are either spying that part of the city or they are on the search for something.”

“That is interesting, we should look into it. Any new thing before we call this meeting off?”

“I received a report before this meeting was called, I am still looking into it to confirm its veracity. But the report stated that John Orinigba was spotted on the CCTVs at Lewang’s train station, he was on the arriving train.”

The silence in the room was total in its intensity.

“Why wasn’t I informed of this immediately?” Aina asked, hitting her fist on the table.

“I had to be sure, as the report itself is baffling. He has been careful enough not to allow his face to be captured, and he has enough skill to make sure of that. I had agents trailing him. They haven’t seen him since he left the train station physically or on any surveillance system, but they are still on his trail.”

“I do not care if he appeared once and didn’t appear again, for all you know he could have made a mistake. You should have informed me, the moment you spotted him.”

She turned to Kelvin. “Get me two teams of four agents each, I will be leading them myself.”

“I will do that immediately we are done here,” Kelvin told her.

“Is there anything else I should know about?” When no one answered in the affirmative, she rose from her seat, “that will be all then. When it is safe to do so, I will love to be kept abreast of all reports.”

The others stood up and were about exiting the room, when she said. “Someone should get a plane ready, I will need to transport my team directly by air to Lewang.”

“Your plane will be ready by the time you need it, Agent Aina,” one of the men replied her before he exited the room.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 2:59pm On Mar 25
Christie171
Jadeliyi
Extremelygolden
Statistics1
Bigbauer
Greatme2good
Neemike
Purity23
Ifud
Ann2012
Khriztarl
Jupitre

Hi guys. I apologise for the broken promise. This time around I promise not to be erratic with the update.

I will make sure I drop another one tomorrow. And I will make sure to keep it coming steady.

Enjoy as you read. And please show me your goodwill by accepting my humble apology.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 11:27am On Mar 26
Chapter Six


John sat on the bed in his room, his eyes were unseeing of his environment as his mind was locked up in thoughts of what to do. He had to accept within himself that whoever was behind the kidnap of his sister and the stealing of the artifact was beyond formidable and had everything planned out. His only hope was to wait on what Pallas will make of the signature he copied from that intruder in the OCDA.

He blinked, looking up at the white ceiling that held no clue for him. He wondered if he should seek divine assistance, but the great mother had been resolute in her silence to him. He hadn’t heard in a long time from the gentle voice that guided him, steering him through the path that had brought him where he was today. He was certain of her presence which has never forsaken him, the gentle caress at the nape of his neck, that buoyed his confidence and assured him that she will always nudge him in the right direction.

He expected to have heard her gentle voice, but having otherwise not heard anything from her, he considered praying to her. He had done it before, a lot of times, but never to ask something of her. He had sang praises to her name and given her thanks.

He sighed, and got up from the bed. He walked to the middle of the room and lowered himself to his knees, he brought his forehead down to the floor, both hands out beside his head to support him.

He did as he hadn’t done in a long time, a time long in the past, when he was still a boy and lived with parents who were devout. He prayed for all he was worth, for guidance.


*

Pallas had analyzed the data from the device she removed from under John’s tongue. Though, she knew not what most of it was, possibly the artifact’s signature. Such thing was not a part of what she knew of and she had found no reference to such thing. She had a strong idea what the remaining part of the program was after running it through a thousand different processes and she was on her way to John’s room to tell him of her discovery.

Having chose to walk to his room from the underground complex, she passed Lola’s room. The girl was barely awake, reading a book on the chair in her room. But she was dozing already with the book about to fall from her hand. Pallas thought to enter the room and wake her, and help her get into a comfortable position for sleep, but she discarded the idea. The girl could take care of herself perfectly, even if she fell off the chair, it won’t hurt her much.

She walked past the room. The information she was about to share with John was detailed and important, and she was sure he would find it delightful as it will give him a sense of how to continue his mission.

He was in a strange position — one she knew had to do with praying or paying obeisance to one’s god. She didn’t know John had such need to seek divine assistance or being pious.

As she stood in front of his door, she debated whether to open the door or wait till he finished his prayer.

The door to Lola’s room opened and the girl came out, her eyes showing clearly she was recently asleep. She yawned as she moved towards Pallas, rubbing her eyes, the hem of the overly long nightdress she wore dragging on the floor.

“What are you doing here?” Lola asked.

“The same question I should be asking you.”

“I wanted to tell my brother something before I go to bed,” she replied, and looked at Pallas.

“I am here to see him,” she replied, not saying more.

Lola blinked once and said, “Then why don’t you knock or…,” she brought her palms together, then moved them apart, “you know, disappear here and appear inside.”

She moved to knock on the door, but Pallas held her hand. “He is praying. Let him be done with that and we will enter.”

Lola looked at her, frowning. “How did you know that.”

“I see everything that goes on in this house,” she replied casually, “I think you should have known that by now.”

Lola moved back from her, and Pallas freed her hand, “That is spying,” she said.

“Is that so?”

Lola looked at her with suspicion, as if wondering what she trick was about to pull. “Yes it is.”

“If you have to consider that this house and the whole of the land it is situated upon is a field that contains my whole essence. Wouldn’t you consider it that I am just being aware of my self as you are aware of every part of your body,” she said, pinching Lola slightly.

She flinched and pouted, eyeing Pallas with obvious displeasure at the little sting.

As they stood there, one eyeing the other, the door opened and John was about to step out before he noticed them.

“I was on my way to come see you,” he said to Pallas, “but you are here already, come right in.” he moved aside, opening the door wide to allow her come in.

“You were about to come see me?” Pallas asked.

“Yes, of course.” He furrowed his brows then nodded, rubbing his face with one hand. “Yes, I could have just called you.”

“I hope you are well enough. A lot more rest will be very advisable,” Pallas said as she walked in.

“I am well enough and will take your advise.” He turned then to Lola, “you aren’t asleep yet?”

“I want to see you. Can I come in?” she asked him.

“Of course.” John told her, letting her in and closing the door behind her.

Pallas raised her head to look at the girl as she sat beside her on the bed and smiled at her, she didn’t smile back, but Pallas saw the hint of one on her lips. She looked at John who sat on the only chair in the room, facing both of them.

There was silence in the room, none of them speaking, waiting for someone to break the silence. As Lola was about to speak, Pallas spoke up.
“I found out what it is, it is totally innovative. It was designed for the search of something in particular. From the analysis I made, it is required to be in very close proximity to the subject of the search. The signal it searches for is something—with the data I worked on— I believe to be erratic and short-lived. But to combat that, the program was designed to be carried in a lot of devices, allowing for them to become a network that can easily pickup the signal and allow for the ease of getting a lock on it quickly.”

Lola blinked, John only sat there his face set in serious mien, his gaze set to the floor, eyes thoughtful.

He raised his head and looked at Pallas their eyes meeting. She wondered what exactly he was thinking, but she knew the likely question he would ask next. “That means if the signal has been detected, there would be a good number of certain people converging at a certain place. Where is that place?”

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 11:30am On Mar 26
Pallas grinned widely, with more than enough effort given to reveal as much of her teeth as possible. “Here in Aguna.”

There was a sharp intake of breath from Lola. Pallas thought it was probably the mention of it happening in the same state as she was. Her brother was calm though and he said, “I am not going to like the next thing you have to say, am I?”

If Pallas could have been grinned wider without the risk of scaring the girl sitting next to her, she would have. But she kept her, never letting the amusement fade from her face. “It is in the western parts, and,” she paused, letting him anticipate before she confirmed his fears, “it breathes and walk on two legs.”

As she was talking, his eyes had been widening , and by the time she was done he was near fainting, his breath coming in short gasps. By the time he got his breath under control, he spilled a lot of curse words to make Lola scrunch her face up. Pallas only laughed, making the girl glance at her.

“What is happening?” Lola asked.

“Something beyond a simple set up and kidnap.”

She looked at him, her face betraying her lack of understanding.

“Pallas, what do you think it could mean or be. The OCDA not discovering it all this while has to mean something,” he said.

Pallas shrugged, “I do not know. You have more knowledge than I about matters such as this.”

He sighed. “I know you must have come to some conclusions about all this. I need those conclusions, please.”

She raised an eyebrow. “You do?”

He nodded. Lola only looked at them both, and sighed before she rested her back on the bed facing the ceiling.

“Well. There is the signal which is too weak, and the program has shown that the search needs to be targeted. This implies that its existence is already known beforehand to some certain people.

“It is less likely this is happening from within the OCDA itself, but some rival organisation or some very powerful people.

“Whether the artifact is powerful or not, I do not know. But I do know it is very important and likely to be dangerous.”

John looked towards the ceiling, brooding, “Pallas, this is proving to be beyond what I imagined, on a very big scale. Do you think I should share this with the OCDA, they are equipped to handle it better.”

Lola sat up quickly at that.

“While you sit behind, and manipulate events in your favour from afar, and get the one behind it when the time is right and come out the hero?” Pallas asked.

He smiled at that, and shrugged. “Something like that.”

“That is exactly what you should do, brother. That was why I came here, to convince you. You need not take part in all this. I have been thinking. We can get out of this country, with new identities, I know you can make that possible. We can start over again, and you need not work in such dangerous places again,” Lola said.

John only sighed and looked away from her, wistful.

Pallas smiled softly, “What about me, am I not a part of your plan?”

Lola looked at her, “You can come along if you want.”

John’s body shook with suppressed laughter. Pallas said, “have you forgotten what I said about being contained within this place.”

“Oh. You can’t truly move away from here?” Lola asked.

Pallas only shook her head, she faced John. “If you inform the OCDA of this, it might complicate the situation. Doubtless, the people behind this will have contingency plans to handle any possible situation. I will advise you to keep their current operations that we are aware of under close surveillance, and wait for the opportune and unexpected moment to strike at them.”

John nodded his head in agreement.

“You both need your head checked. I am out of here and done with you,” Lola said walking out. “If you two gain your senses back let me know.”

They both watched as she opened the door and banged it shut as she closed it. They looked at each other. Pallas shrugged, John stood up from the chair and moved to the bed.

“If that closes it for the day, I will love to say goodnight,” John said.

“Goodnight, then. Move aside, I will be sleeping here.”

“You sleep?”

“Am I talking to John or his half-wit sister?”

“Ah. She is really smart, you know?” John said as he moved to allow Pallas join him.

“No more talk. Goodnight.”
Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 4:22pm On Mar 27
Chapter Seven


The plane was taxiing on the runway when Aina woke up from her controlled slumber. During the takeoff from a special hangar at the Aguna domestic Airport, Aina’s mind has been obsessed over the many possible reasons for John appearing in Lewang. As far as she and everyone at the OCDA were concerned, the place was dead.

The place registered nothing on the spiritual plane. The reason for this was discovered after many explorations by the OCDA, the cause for this phenomenon was found not to be artificial (man or god) but natural occurrence, an anomaly of nature. Sometimes, she thought of it as a way of nature making its joke.

Since the place was spiritually dead, it gave John an advantage to hide himself in another disguise without being discovered. It would have been a great way to hide from the OCDA, and with his supposed skills, possibly till his death. To have exposed himself in such a manner as he did was too blatant to have been a mistake. She wondered if it was a taunt at her, but dismissed such thought. She needed herself calm and focused for the task ahead, whatever reason he had to expose himself such, it will be best he revealed it himself when she had him apprehended.

The members of her eight strong team were ready in their combat gears. Each man or woman was the best at what they do. She was confident they were more than enough to fight off whatever John threw at them. All of them stood at attention in the plane, ready and waiting on her to lead them off the plane.

She stood up from her seat, walking down the row of seats. She reached the airplane’s door and waited as it opened downwards, bringing in the sight of the cloudy heavens. The atmosphere was noticeably cooler on the deserted runway, as Aina climbed down the stairs, her team following closely behind.

The welcoming team from the operation center in Lewang had arrived before the plane landed, and the four men were walking towards her team. Both parties met midway between the plane and the land vehicles that was there to transport Aina’s team and the welcoming team back to the operation center.

“Good afternoon, Agent Aina. I am Alvene from the Lewang operation center. I and my partners are here to see to your transportation needs and welcome you officially to Lewang,” he said, and stretched out his hand for a handshake.

Aina looked at the little smile on his lips as she shook his hands, which he held almost reverently. “We thank you for your hospitality.”

She moved away from him and continued on her way to the vehicles. As she happened to glance back, she saw a member of the welcoming team try to collect a large case from one of the woman in her team, probably to help her carry it, and stepping back as the woman glared at him.
She stepped through the front door of the minibus, barely glancing at the driver who sat behind the steering. She moved to the back of the bus and took her seat. The members of her team began to enter one after the other, each taking their seat till the last person entered. The driver started the engine and soon began to drive away from the deserted runway.

Aina closed her eyes again, forcing herself into slumber. She needed to conserve her strength and make sure her mind was well rested. She needed to be at her peak to face whatever will happen in the coming hours.

*

When the vehicles reached their destination, Aina came awake, the cessation of motion bringing her out of her slumber. Her team were all on their feet and once again waited for her to lead the way, which she did.

She came out this time to the sight of a beautiful manor surrounded by a wide stretch of carefully mowed lawn. She wondered how the OCDA agents here were able to keep the place pristine and pleasing to the eye.

She came down from the bus, and heard a member of her team whistle. She was sure the person was also wondering about the lawn, and others were joining too, she didn’t look back. She followed behind the welcoming team on the pathway between the lawn, her team close around her. The vehicles had moved away, probably to be parked in the garage.

She and her team walked through the double doors behind the welcoming team into a large parlour that had its roof on the second floor. The place was well furnished, showing an high taste for aesthetic décor. This place and the apparent display of luxury was beginning to make her wonder what the OCDA agents here actually did with their time.

They moved to the kitchen which was in no way inferior in its décor and luxury, as it featured all the implements for a master chef. The welcoming team stopped before a wall, and Alvene moved forward and made a series of knocks and taps on it. He shifted back, and a door shaped imprint appeared on the wall, then slid apart to show an elevator car large enough to accommodate the whole team with more space to spare.

Everyone entered and waited while Alvene pressed a series of buttons. The descent was barely noticeable. The elevator door slid open into a brightly lit corridor. The welcoming team led them down the door filled corridor, through a series of turns, and finally into a large hall occupied by what Aina thought was the majority of the agents present in the operating center.

Aina noticed that this building was different from the luxury palace above it, in its totally utilitarian décor. The hall was silent as the welcoming team led she and her team to the podium, where a man and two women stood observing their movement through the assembled crowd.
She reached the podium climbing the stairs from the side, her team following close behind. The welcoming had diverted their path and joined the crowd at the front. The man stepped forward, the women walking by his side. She met him and took his outstretched hand. The handshake was brief.

“Welcome, Agent Aina. I am Katu, and my associates here are Agent Fila and Agent Vendi,” the two women each indicated with a nod when their name was mentioned, “and on behalf of every agent of the OCDA, a majority of whom are present here, I welcome you to Lewang. I also pledge to you their collective support in providing assistance to you for the duration of your mission and stay.

“We humbly welcome you to our home.”

Aina thought the man was in a sense pompous, but she also saw the bond which everyone in the hall shared, which was evident in his every word. She felt the sense of a tightly knit union amongst a people who hid nothing from each other. She saw them as a single consciousness. She doubted there would be any secret here.

“My team and I thank you all for warm welcome, and we promise not abuse your trust,” she said to the man and his two associates, then turned to the agents assembled beneath the podium.

“My stay here is possible to be a long one, and I promise not to interfere with your daily operations. And on the other hand, my stay here might be short, and as you have promised to me your full support, I promise not to ask more than any of you can give.” She said, paused a breath and continued, “My team and I if you will permit would love to get into our business here as soon as we can. Once again, I thank you for your warm welcome.”

“Of course, Agent. We have prepared a suite for the duration of your stay. Alvene, would lead you there.” He turned to the agents in the hall and said, “You can all return to your duties and leisure.”

As the agents departed the hall, she heard murmurs cut across different groups among them all discussing what she guessed was the same topic. The man, Katu nodded her way before departing, his two associates following by his side, they were talking in whispers.

When everyone departed the hall, she jumped down from the podium. The man who introduced the welcoming team, Alvene, stood there, his eyes were on her as she moved towards. Most members of her team repeated the same action she performed, except the woman with the case. She rolled it down the stairs of the podium.

“Please lead the way to the suite.”

“Please follow me.”

He moved to her front and led she and her theme out of the hall, he moved right leading her deeper into the complex. They followed a straight path until he turned right into a short, wide corridor that led to a door.

He moved aside and swept his arm to the door, she reached the door and turned the knob. She pushed open the door and entered into a large parlour. The room had a large screen on one wall, five computers were placed on a desk with an equal number of swivel chairs. A sofa was placed fat back from the screen. The dining was placed farther back, near another wall. She saw five doors at the opposite side of the doorway she stood in. She moved inside and Alvene followed her in, her team moved in behind, and moved around the room, some of them dropping their packs on tables and chairs.

Some had moved to check the other doors. “The four rooms from the right are bedrooms, and the last one is the lavatory,” Alvene told her.

“What is this place for?” She asked.

“For receiving the occasional dignitaries.”

She raised an eyebrow.

“Only OCDA members. No outsiders.”

“Do you have any facility here capable of generating a spiritual field?” She asked him.

He looked at her, probably wondering why she asked such a question. She knew they had one. “Yes we do,” he answered, “this room is capable of creating one. Should I show you how?” He asked.

She nodded, telling him to do so. He moved to the left side of the screen and she followed behind him. He opened a panel in the wall, and flipped a switch. Immediately he did so, she felt the change in the air, and she was sure her team felt the same, as they looked around trying to pinpoint what caused the change they felt.

Alvene looked at her, and she told him to leave it on. “What have you people been able to discover about John Orinigba’s whereabouts?” She asked him.

He shook his head. “Nothing, but we are sure he is not in any hotel or any rented house. We have also surveyed every building in the city and we have checkpoints everywhere around the city. But we still can’t find a trace of him.”

“I see. What exactly do you do, Alvene?”

“I liaison for the OCDA to the Lewang authorities, Agent Aina.”

She nodded. “Do I have access to the data concerning the search for John?”

“You have access to all our data.”

“It will seem I do not have need for more of your services then. Thank you for your time.”

“It is my pleasure. You can call for me anytime you need me.”

“I will.”

He left the room, closing it behind him. She moved to the door and slid the two bolts on it into place.

She turned to her team, and nodded to the woman with the case, who stood in the middle of the room.

The woman nodded back, and laid the case down. She squatted and opened it, she brought out the first item on top, a device that looked like a sleek, rectangular DVD player. She moved to the desk with the computers and plugged the cable behind the device into the USB port on one of the CPU. A few seconds after she did this the device came to life, soon after it changed its shape and morphed into a cube. They all watched, gathered around the case on the floor, as the woman placed the cube on the desk. Immediately she did so, a blue hologram of a face appeared on the top of the cube. The woman did something on the computer for some time before coming back to join them around the case.

“No surveillance,” the woman said as she joined them, directing this at Aina.

She nodded. The others were looking between she and the woman, then back to the hologram, its blue light was dimming and brightening at a slow interval.

Aina squatted before the case and pointed at the pulsating hologram. “That thing over there will help us solve the problem of finding our fugitive. It will process all the data available to it in this operation center and run a lot of algorithm in helping us determine the position of our elusive fugitive. Beyond that, it can do nothing else. The planning and execution we will have to carry out ourselves.”

She brought out another case from inside large one on the floor. She opened it and within was three guns, which brought surprised gasps from the members of her team. She brought out two more cases that also contained the same type of weapons. “This is the only thing I know cam deal with him. I would love it if you try not to shoot at his head and torso.”

They all nodded, and affirmed to do as she asked. “It will take some time before we get any tangible result. I will advise we all rest before that time comes.”

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 4:31pm On Mar 27
*

“She is a field agent, you know?” Someone said.

“Really? I thought I was the one sitting my behind on a chair all day,” another person answered the first one.

“Stop being obtuse, you know what I meant,” the first voice answered.

“How would I know that? I am not a mind reader,” the second voice replied.

“You know what she did before that,” the first voice was sounding exasperated.

“Will you two shut your mouth,” a voice Aina recognised as belonging to the woman who rolled the case in said.

“Who are you? Shouldn’t you be asleep?” the second voice retorted.

“I would be, if you had thought to keep your mouth shut. She might hear you, you know?”

One of them snorted, and everywhere was silent.

“What’s happening with that thing?” the first voice asked, after some time.

“I don’t know, let’s ask the expert.”

The woman sat up from beside Aina on the sofa. Aina opened her eyes and saw that the hologram was pulsating faster than it was before. She sat up and watched as the woman worked on the computer it was connected to. She looked to the large screeen on the wall and saw as the image of a building was displayed on it.

The woman looked back, and saw Aina awake. She gestured at the large screen and said, “That is it?”

Aina stood up and walked to the woman. “Can I get a better look than this?”

The woman did something, and a 360 view of the building was displayed on the large screen. It was a large warehouse.

“What is it used in storing?” Aina asked the woman.

“Just about anything. It is currently being used to store farm machineries.”

Aina went back to the large case and brought out another case within it. She took the case to the woman, the others were already gathered behind the woman.

“Connect the drones,” she told the woman, as she took out the five lightweight drones from the case.

The woman did so, and Aina directed one of the team to open the door wide.

“Give them the location and directives.”

As the woman did so, Aina moved to another computer, and accessed the operation center network. She selected Alvene’s profile and messaged him, telling him about the drones and to find someone to give them access above ground.

As she finished the message, the drones began to move away, outside the room, they all watched their progress from the large screen.

*

They were all fully geared and ready hours after the drones exited the room.

It was twelve midnight and they were well rested. They left the room, with Aina leading and the woman exiting last, this time with a small case in her hand and her weapon slung from her shoulder.

The corridors Alvene led them through had been cleared of people, and they reached their transportation above ground without anyone seeing them. Alvene had barely reacted when he saw the weapons they were with and their complete gears.

They entered the minibus and Alvene took the drivers seat. He drove them out of the compound and after a while, two other vehicles followed behind them.

They reached the warehouse and they all alighted the bus, Aina got down last but not before telling Alvene, “Just one hour.”

They broke into the warehouse, two people leading in guns up, and the others following behind in formation.

There was no one in sight, but the machines stored did not allow for much to be seen. They all took cover and waited while the woman opened the case and brought a tablet, she worked with it and a number of miniature drones rose from the case. They spread out and formed a perimeter. After a while the woman signalled and they all got back in formation. They followed systematically behind, after the drones had carefully swept the area.

They did this till the woman signalled again, she moved towards Aina, and after a quiet discussion, Aina said to her team, “There is a staircase leading below ground. We follow in pairs, four stairs apart,” she pointed at the woman, “she takes the midpoint.”

They continued onwards, climbing down the winding stairs. They were near the last step when the woman signalled a stop. She moved to Aina at the front and showed her the display on the tablet.

Aina cursed under her breath. “How has this place been under the radar all along?”

“This place has been in operation for a long time. There would have been more than enough time to do it over the years.”

“How large is it?”

“An acre give or take.”

“Just for this?”

The woman shrugged. “Should we continue with the mission?”

“Of course. Show it to the others, and lets plan how we are going to successfully navigate this maze.”

“That place might have an exit, and he might have escaped us.”

“We shall know that if we cant find him.”

*

Getting off the staircase, they entered into the maze. The maze was wide enough to allow three people abreast, but they continued forward in pairs.

The drones were sent forward to map a section of the maze before they proceeded forward. They were turning around a corner to avoid a dead-end when the two men at the end let off shots that tore a chunk out of the concrete.

“Moving target,” one of the men reported.

“Did you get a visual?”

“It fits the spec.”

“Get two drones over there.”

They waited a while, before the woman indicated a negative.

“Let’s take another route backwards. We might blindside him that way.”

They took another turn, mapping the maze as they went.

They were turning around another corner when it happened. The woman with the tablet was about making her turn around the corner, when the wall beside her opened. She was grabbed by strong mechanical arms, and it was over before she could let out more than a cry of surprise and the others could react than turn to her.

“Damn!” Aina exclaimed. The incident had put everyone on edge, and away from the wall. They could only look at the already closed wall which had no seam or crack to show where it had just swallowed one of them.

“We have to go on blind. If we get him, we can get her back. We have to continue carefully now,” Aina said.

They continued on, careful to keep away from the wall. The floor beneath the rear members of the team opened inwards, and one of them fell in completely while the other one held onto the floor with his hands. One of the men before them tried to help him up, but before he could reach him the floor he was holding unto bent inward and he fell. The floor snapped back in place with no evidence of ever opening.

“We have to go back, Agent,” the woman beside her whispered, “We can bring in weaponized drones to finish him off.”

“If we get back,” someone muttered.

“What about your comrades? We just can’t write them off,” Aina said, ignoring the mutter.

“Yet,” the woman replied.

“Everyone, we have to move faster now. Single file, three steps apart.”

They made faster progress. Aina led them back towards the entrance they took in. They reached a dead end and were about to backtrack when the floor opened under the rear member. The person behind him tried to pull him, when the floor opened beneath him too.

Seeing the possible pattern, the person next in line tried to jump back but wasn’t fast enough. The next person had began to move back when the floor opened directly underneath him.

Aina and the woman beside her had already pressed themselves to the wall, and both waited with hardened expression. The floor stopped opening when it reached their front, and provided them a view of its darkened depth from the ledge they stood on.

The wall directly behind the woman opened in and swallowed her. Aina was left standing alone, the floor still opened before her. She thought of what next was going to happen, and she didn’t like any of them.

Then John appeared on the other side of the chasm. Her reaction was instantaneous. She tried bringing up her weapon, only to find her hands immobilized. She looked at her arms and found them held by steel arms, she was disarmed and held immobile.”

The floor began to close back and he walked slowly across to her. he looked her over, smiling. “You know this is where I have always wanted to have, your back to a wall.”

She looked at him calmly and said, “Where are they?”

“Your team? They are somewhere better than you are.”

“What do you want?”

“To humble you,” he answered.

She laughed. “You are going to leave me alone? I will make sure you regret that.”

“Your arrogance will always be your undoing. You always have a need to display the obvious power you have over others. I have you with your back against a wall with nowhere to go. I could as well kill you for your useless threat.”

“Why don’t you do so. You can’t, can you?” She said with a derisive snort.

“As I said I want to humble you, not as you would love to kill you.”

“How do you plan to do that. Hold me down and do what?”

“Don’t flatter yourself. I am just here to help you, to show you that no matter how strong you have come to see yourself, those weakness you are trying to build a wall around are still there. You, Aina, are not indomitable.”

“You have shown that already,” she said looking herself over.

“No, I haven’t,” he said, and brought a small cylindrical object out of his pocket, he pressed it to her neck where it attached itself to her neck. “Now I have.”

She watched unseeing as he left her there. She fell to the floor on her knees and she barely took note. Her eyes were filled with tears and her body wracked by sobs.

All that happened after, as she crawled across the floor, her body wracked by heart wrenching sobs, she took no notice. Only the visions that tormented her were all that mattered, as she fought in her head to break their hold. But John was true to his word, she lived and relived them, the moments that broke her heart and those that made her shed tears in secret.

Oblivion if it ever came would be a blessing long overdue.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 2:25pm On Mar 29
Chapter Eight


Narasiwi had worked hard at serving the morning customers, and now that there was a lull in the traffic. Most of the customers having left with their appetites sated and with satisfaction printed boldly on their demeanour. The ones who remained were also leaving, Narasiwi clearing their dishes.

She was about making use of the free time to take a rest, when Mrs. Sawa called her attention. She sighed inwardly, and made her way grudgingly to the woman’s office.

The woman was already moving behind her desk. As she sat, Narasiwi said, “You call me, Madam.”

“Yes, my dear. Help me call Sarah, I want both of you here together. Now be a darling and go get that done.”

“Yes, Madam.”

She moved out of the office, and went about the errand. She went to the kitchen, throwing pleasantries around, and met Sarah exactly where she knew she had find her. The girl sat with two other workers and they were doing what Narasiwi knew would be useless gossip.

She moved to the group and forced herself into Sarah’s field of view. The girl looked her up and down, a disdainful tilt to her nose.

Before she could get a word out, Narasiwi said, “Mrs. Sawa is requesting your attention.”

Sarah snorted. “Is that why you cant even say a simple good morning. Did you lose something overnight?”

The others chuckled quietly. But Narasiwi was unfazed, she continued, “She wants you urgently. Or should I go tell her you are too busy?”

“Fine, fine, fine. I am coming. I wonder why she would send you though, if you could not even have the common sense to greet,” she said, standing up.

“You can ask her yourself.”

They walked out of the kitchen, both keeping a recognisable distance from between themselves. They arrived Mrs. Sawa’s office, and stopped at before the door. Waiting for who will lead the way in, Narasiwi moved forward and pushed the slightly ajar door open.

They stopped before Mrs. Sawa’s desk and Narasiwi said, “I have brought her here, madam.”

The woman did not speak but only watched them both. This went on for some time, and both found their eyes wandering about, settling on everything and nothing. Their hands fidgeted with their uniforms, trying to straighten anything out of place.

After a long excruciating while that Narasiwi was sure the woman felt they had fidgeted around enough, she spoke. “I want you two to go fishing together.”

Narasiwi could not decide who was more surprised and bewildered between she and Sarah. The look on their faces must have been more than priceless because it made the woman laugh out.

“Look at you two,” she said, gesturing with one hand at them, “one would think I told you two to go jump before a moving train.”

She waved her hand, “I was just joking with you two, there is no fishing.”

Narasiwi and Sarah both released a sigh of relief.

“But there would be fishes,” the woman said, they both looked at her confused, “I need you two help me go carry some fishes and other seafood at the Aguna seafood market, can you do that.”

They nodded carefully, both speaking out in the affirmative.

“That is done then. Mrs. Arl would be driving you there. One of you should help me call her here when you leave,” she said, “that’s all. You both can go wait for her by the van while I brief her.”

They both left the office. Sarah was about making her way outside when Narasiwi said to her, “You should go call Mrs. Arl.”

Sarah turned to her, her face was angry and she said, “Who gave you charge here? You can either stay there or go call her yourself.”

“I did the first calling, you can do the second one.”

She hissed. “Well, what stops you from continuing where you stopped, idiot,” she said, turning her back and striding purposefully outside.

Narasiwi shook her head, watching the girl’s back disappear from her sight, and went to call the woman.


*

Narasiwi watched from beside Mrs. Arl as Sarah moved around all worked up on one side of the van.

She had thought it wise not to go wait by the van with Sarah with her earlier demeanour, and it seemed she truly chose wisely. She didn’t want to be at the receiving end of the girl’s anger.

“What’s got her all worked up?” Mrs. Arl asked her.

Narasiwi shrugged, “I honestly don’t know.”

The woman looked her in the face, she turned back to Sarah who now watched them coming with obvious impatience. She inclined her head towards her, “Why don’t you go ask her, if honestly you do not know.”

Narasiwi forced a smile. “There is no need for that, she will be fine.”

The woman only shook her head, and walked faster towards the van. When she neared Sarah, she smiled at her and touched her shoulder, “Sarah, my dear, what’s wrong?” She asked.

Sarah held up her impatient demeanour for a time before sighing heavily, the impatience draining out of her. She smiled at Mrs. Arl and said, “Nothing, Mrs. Arl. I am fine.”

The smile looked forced to Narasiwi, who shrugged at Mrs. Arl as if to say, I told you.

Sarah was looking suspiciously at Narasiwi after the shrug, but Mrs. Arl said, “Ok, dear. I am sure you are right.”

She went to the driver’s side of the car, and opened it. Sarah tried the back seat door and it opened. She hopped in but not before giving Narasiwi a last suspicious glance.

She opened the shotgun seat and joined Mrs. Arl at the front.

“Now, dear, use your belt. We are going to drive on the highway,” Mrs. Arl said as she started the car. She drove out of the parking space and into the road. She turned on the car radio, and tuned in to a hip-hop music channel.

“My dears, why are you both silent, don’t you like the music. I thought this was one of your favourites, Sarah.”

Sarah didn’t answer. Turning back, Narasiwi saw that she had her face glued to her phone. “I think she has found something more interesting than the music,” she said to Mrs. Arl.

“Ha ha. What of you, Narasiwi?”

“I am fine, Mrs. Arl.”

“What’s with you two? Don’t you talk?”

“We do,” Narasiwi replied, “insults and taunts.”

“Why is that? You two are of the same age, I would think being the two youngest in the restaurant. You would be friends.”

Narasiwi looked uncomfortable. “It is not my fault. She is the problem.”

“Who is the problem?” Sarah asked.

“I wasn’t talking to you,” Narasiwi replied her hotly.

“No, of course not, featherhead. You were just talking about me.”

Narasiwi was about to turn back and give her the exact reply she deserved, when Mrs. Arl shushed them both.

“I think I enjoyed your silence better, if you both have decided to start acting like children,” she said before cranking the radio’s volume to the maximum.

The remainder of the journey was completed in a music filled silence.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 2:32pm On Mar 29
*

They arrived at the large market which sprawled across a large area. Its far borders were far beyond where they could see it.

“The man’s shop is on the H block of the market. Find the shop labelled H-14. Ask for Mr. Ghar, and tell him you are from Mrs. Sawa. Both of you should be on your best behaviours. I will be waiting here, please be quick.”

Sarah got down from the back, and moved away from the van.

“We will be quick about it, Mrs. Arl,” Narasiwi said before getting down.

“You both should stay safe, dear. And follow her, she knows the way.”

Narasiwi moved towards Sarah who had started moving forward. She caught up with her. “Couldn’t you have waited for me?”

Sarah looked her up and down. She started forward again, deftly navigating through the traffic of the bustling market.

Narasiwi followed behind her, “What have I done?” She said, touching her on the shoulder to stop her advance.

Sarah slapped her hand away. “Don’t touch me.”

Narasiwi followed behind her, resigned to be given the cold shoulder for the rest of the errand.

They reached a thoroughfare, and Sarah followed along the right side without crossing over. Narasiwi was about following her when she looked over at the other side. A fishmonger was selling and cutting fishes, as his shop workers moved around, bringing out new fishes and packing the cut ones for the waiting customers.

But that mundane sight wasn’t what caught her attention, she stood transfixed as something so out of place moved in her sight. The small blue-winged butterfly beat its wing, flying above all the hustle and bustle of the market. The sight transfixed her, and she only moved when she noticed someone beside her, following her line of sight.

She broke her gaze and looked at Sarah beside her. That she had noticed her absence meant that she had been monitoring her backward glances.

She looked at where Narasiwi was gazing at before and looked back at her before scoffing. “You stood there drooling like you had never seen an ordinary butterfly before. If you want to get lost, let it be when you are on your own.”

She moved away. Narasiwi looked back at where the butterfly was, but it was gone already. Leaving behind no evidence of its passage.
She followed Sarah and caught up with her, staying by her side this time. The girl didn’t move forward, nor did she show any indication of noticing her presence.

“You still haven’t told me why you angry with me, more than the usual.”

“You shouldn’t have come along.”

Narasiwi wondered if that was a joke. “You were there when Mrs. Sawa told me to.”

“You should have refused to.”

“Is that some kind of joke?”

“Look here,” Sarah said, stopping, “Can’t you just say a no for once. She won’t kill you.”

“No, she won’t. She will just take my job. And I don’t see you offering me one in return.”

She snorted, “Just forget it. You won’t ever change.”

“So, that over. Can we go back to our usual. Without you hating me more than the normal?”

“We can’t be friends,” she said, and shrugged, “and I was just angry. I don’t hate you, you know.”

“Of course, I know. Our love is one of a kind tough love.”

Sarah laughed at that.

“So why do you hate me?”

“I will tell you that when you tell me what is troubling your naps and rests.”

Narasiwi looked away at that. Sarah tightened her mouth and they continued forward.

Narasiwi fidgeted with her hand. “It is not that I don’t want to tell you. It’s nothing really, it is just bad dreams.”

“Are you sure?”

Narasiwi nodded. “I have done my part, now you.”

Sarah shrugged. “I hate competitions.”

Narasiwi was confused for a while, her brows drawn together in thought. When the realization of what Sarah said hit her, she only shook her head. “You need your head checked. You think I am competing Mrs. Sawa attention with you.” Her eyes widened as a realization hit her. “That was why you were angry all this while.”

Sarah nodded.

“Well I am not.”

“I believe you.”

“You do?” Narasiwi asked in surprise.

“And now we are at the end of this road,” she said, looking up.

Narasiwi noticed then, that they had reached their destination.

*

The errand went smoothly, and they returned to the van, with the wrapped frozen package carried between them. Although Narasiwi still thought Mr. Ghar overly friendly. Such people, in her opinion were to be watched out for.

They deposited the goods at the back of the van, and both moved to the positions they were before on the ride to the market. During the return leg of their to Mr. Ghar’s shop, they had both discussed their relationship with each other and had come to hold on to a position of no more rancour between them. They both agreed to resolve all differences they had with each other, and pave the way for something that could possibly lead to a friendship.

Mrs. Arl looked at them both as they sat in the car, but said nothing.

*

After the lunch rush, which Narasiwi noticed had more than the normal customers than the restaurant normally received. She was almost at the last of her strength and doubted she could last till the closing hour, but somehow Mrs. Sawa had given her the rest of the afternoon off.

She had a nagging feeling Sarah was behind that. She had gone to thank her, but she denied it intensely. Narasiwi had only snorted at that, which left them both laughing. The others, except perhaps Mrs. Arl wondering at the two of them.

She had left after saying goodbye to both Sarah and Mrs. Arl.

She was walking along the road, a bounce to her step, and a cheerful smile uplifting her tired face, when she noticed a man who sat on the veranda of a confectionery shop watching her intently. She felt self-conscious, but looked back at him with an eyebrow raised. He looked away with an apologetic smile, then looked up as the door of the shop opened, and a girl came out. She was with a shopping and she went to join the man at the table.

Narasiwi looked away from them and continued on her way home.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 3:20pm On Mar 29
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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 3:21pm On Mar 29
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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Smooth278(m): 12:46am On Mar 31
Nice story, welcome back... Hope we will get regular updates during this stay at home period!!!

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 2:53am On Mar 31
Smooth278:
Nice story, welcome back... Hope we will get regular updates during this stay at home period!!!
Yes.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 11:11am On Apr 06
This chapter is dedicated to my secret "liker", you know yourself.


Chapter Nine

John had changed his appearance again. This time taking on the appearance of a dark-skinned man with large-toned muscles.

He and Pallas had been the only one in the underground room where the cosmetics was done. After the debacle last time, Pallas had expended a lot of effort to upgrade the skin armour. She promised that it had been renewed with extra layers of protection added.

Pallas had also been able to compress the program for searching the artifact, and installed it into a mobile phone which was designed for the purpose.

John was sure the other searchers would have the programs installed in such innocuous seeming device to ease their blending into the crowd.
They both came up from the underground complex, and made their way into the sitting room. John wore a casual t-shirt that accentuated his muscles and a dark jean trousers.

Lola was at the door, backing it. Her face showed her strong determination. John knew whatever happened next, which he had a fair idea of, she would not budge unless she had it her way.

He looked at Pallas who stared right back at him. She shrugged and said. “I am not the expert here, you are.”

John moved forward and stood before his sister. “Good morning, Lola. How was your night?”

“I am fine. Good morning to you too,” she replied. Her reply was rushed like she could not get the words out fast enough to get to the next stage.

“Yeah. I will be going out this morning. I need you to be home and stay safe,” John told her, his tone patient.

“I know that. I know. It is just that I am also going with you,” she replied him in the same manner.

When she was done, Pallas laughed from behind John. John was confused, debating whether to join in the laughter or not. His sister still held that expression on her face in place, not a bit daunted by Pallas’s mocking laughter.

John sighed, shaking his head at her silliness. He continued in a tone both gentle and firm. “As much as it will be fun to have you with me, I am not going on a picnic. It might get dangerous out there, there is a good chance for that. You are not trained for whatever might happen where I am going, and I don’t want to be worrying about you in a potential danger zone.”

“And you are trained for it?” She asked, this time crossing her arms and raising her chin.

Pallas sniggered at that.

“Yes, I am,” he replied her question, matter of fact, “I did more than just sit before a computer at the OCDA.”

“Well,” she replied, taking time between her words, “you can both protect and teach me at the same time.” She finished with a smile.

Pallas laughed louder and longer this time. “You must have finally lost something important up here,” she said, tapping her head with her index finger.

“This is not a joke, Lola. A real life situation is different from whatever you see in the movies. I can’t teach you to react in the right manner in a dangerous situation, in a few hours,” John told her.

“Well, I will learn. It can’t be that dangerous, even if it is, you would do your best to keep me safe,” she replied him.

“To serve your stupidity and selfishness at the expense of his own life?” Pallas sneered. “Let me get this idiot out of the way. I will deal with her myself, and get some sense into her.”

“There is no need for that. She will get what she wants. We go together,” John said.

He had given the matter some thought and found that leaving the house for a while, even a day would ease her.

“That is a really… not good decision,” Pallas said.

Lola sniffed at her and said, “I wonder who made you an authority on decisions.”

“She needs a makeover,” John said to Pallas who was about to give a retort.

“Of course,” Pallas said, “Maybe one that would show plainly her stupidity at a glance.”

“I am not stupid, and I get to choose what I want, not what a zeros and ones can output,” Lola told her.

“Please, lead the way, Pallas,” John said quickly, and threw a warning glance at his sister.

*

The result of Lola’s makeover was lovely and remarkable. She had chosen to take on the appearance of a classical beauty. Her face had the best of all features, each of them in perfect harmony with the other. The perfection of features was extended to every part of her body.

As she and Pallas came out of the underground complex, John wondered anew at her motivation to follow him out. Whether it was for a chance to test her artistic ability with the cloner, or to go out of the house with him.

Pallas had a displeased look on her face. “You could as well have made your hair blue and added on a lions paw,” she said, “are you going for a fashion show or what.”

“It is better than whatever you could have come up with,” Lola replied her.

“Why are you being willful? This would get everyone looking at you with more than a glance,” Pallas told her.

“Pallas is right. this is the opposite of what we need,” John told her.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by Giamem(m): 11:14am On Apr 06
Lola looked him over. “You don’t seem to have done as you are preaching.”

John shook his head, “You are wrong. No one would take more than a glance at me, my current physique is common place over there. Anyways, are you ready?”

“Yes I am,” she replied, with no hint of nervousness.

John wondered if the current body she wore was one she had always envisaged. One she had taken in more than one daydream or real dream.

She was at ease with it, something John had found hard to master. It was like she wore it both in her mind and body. To have turned that image into something tangible was a spectacular feat, and she looked more than pleased with herself.

John moved towards the door with her, allowing her to precede him.

*

John decided a public transport would be the best choice. He had packed enough cash with him.

They boarded a bus going the direction he wanted at the bus stop. As expected, Lola drew more than normal attention, but she wasn’t bothered by it. John could even have sworn she enjoyed it.

John made sure to stay near her, and in the bus put himself between her and everyone at the backseat.

John couldn’t define the role he currently played. The overprotective brother who was trying to protect his beautiful sister from dangerous advances, or the overzealous bodyguard who was trying to protect his beautiful model client from… trouble.

As the bus moved, John was beginning to wonder if he should have taken a private cab.

Lola had a small smile on her face throughout the ride. She looked outside at the rushing scenery most of the time.

John was sure her smile came as a result of being in the body she had always wanted.

*

John decided he could not do much of what he wanted that day. Not that it would be much work, he also had no control of it. He was hoping not to be in a tight fix if by chance the artifact was pinpointed that day.

He took out the mobile phone, the artifact hadn’t made its presence known. He opened an app on the phone, and saw the tiny dots that were the others contributing to the strength of the signal detection. Pallas had made sure the presence of his device was undetectable.

They had gotten down at a place that was mostly comprised of supermarkets. Lola couldn’t take her eyes off the items displayed outside the building or those from the windows.

John obliged her, letting her go in and get whatever she wanted. But requested it should be portable.

Her face lit up and she pulled him along. He joined her reluctantly to do the shopping.

Neither the shopkeepers nor the other shoppers could keep their eyes off her.

They moved around the different avenues, enjoying the bustle and wonders of this side of the city.

After Lola must have gotten her fill of the outing, she proposed they have lunch before making their way back home.

John was glad she was ready to go back home, and he won’t have to be saddled with her till the evening. That was if she did not plan to enjoy the night life of the city.

Lola stopped in front of a restaurant serving confections and pastries.

“I thought you said lunch?” John asked her.

“What is your idea of lunch?” She asked back.

“Nah. Just get what you want. I will be sitting here,” John said. Indicating the veranda of the restaurant which had its own chairs and tables.

“Ok. I will be back soon,” she told him.

“You better be,” he muttered after her.

John sat there. He had his chin on his hands while he waited. After a time he relaxed back in the chair and brought out the phone. The status was still the same as he knew it was. He checked to see if any of the other searchers were around, none were.

He put the phone back in his pocket. He looked towards the street and found he couldn’t look away.

The young woman who could not be more than a few years older than his sister walked on with a smile on her face and a bounce to her steps.
John found he couldn’t look away even if he had wanted to. He wondered what had put such a joy-filled smile on her face.

She must have felt his eyes on her, for she looked directly at him. She raised an eyebrow as if to ask why he found her so fascinating.

John looked away with what he hoped was an apologetic smile.

The door of the restaurant opened then and Lola came out with shopping bag. She joined him at the table.

“What took you so long?” John asked.

“I was trying to get something that would befit that robot. Do you know how hard that is?” She asked him, joking.

“I am sure you’ve had your lunch,” he said.

“Of course. I also got something for you,” she said.

She tried bringing it out of the bag, but he stopped her.

“There is no need for that, I will take it when we get home. Please let us go,” he said.

“Are you sure?” She asked him.

“Of course, I am.” He stood up and took her hand. “Let us go home, Lola.”

“Ok, ok,” she said and stood up. John took the shopping bag from her.

They walked away from there, to the bus stop. Where they boarded the bus that would take them on their way home.

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Re: The Great Tribulation Of John (fantasy) by ToyBoyAaron(m): 11:35pm On Apr 06
Great job bro. The way you play with words is amazing and you are great at what you do.

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