Knocking gently on the door frame to Jama's Hospital room, Yiska enters. "Hey Jama, looks like they kept this room ready just for you," he says as he smiles and notices the plants and her assorted magic stuff.
"Room?" Jama manages a wan smile. "XSWAT has a whole wing. If this keeps up, this one will be mine, and I think Tyger has his reserved down the hall." She tries to be cheerful, but Yiska can see the tiredness in her face and eyes. "So, did you come to bring more flowers?"
"Ah, no, sorry. Nothing so light and cheerful. I, ah, just wanted to let you know I've seen beyond this world before. It was that time in Omega when Hope van Goren allowed me to look into the door.... The world beyond looked exactly like the sky in Rio did that night. Whatever those pulsing red stars are, they desperately want to enter this world, and I think they are the true enemy."
Jama's grin vanishes as if someone had thrown a switch. "I see." She glances at the line of plants along the window sill for a moment before speaking. "When the sky opened over Cristo Redentor I felt a rush of power. Something I've only felt once before—in Omega. It is a heady feeling... I can almost understand why the Nominus Circle did it.
"The red stars... they seemed like eyes to me. Hungry eyes. Do you think those are Entities? In their real form?"
"Perhaps, more like demons though. Most entities seem to want to survive—In a very violent way, mind you. But entities like Ys-- err, 'John' seem more purpose-driven. And he obviously had a master of some sort. I think that's what those red stars are, demon kings of some sort."
"Rangda," Jama replies, "Demon queen of the leyaks, devourer of children, general of the witch armies of Bali. Mortal enemy of Barong who defends us from evil." She pauses, and then shakes her head. "Sorry, Yiska. I was thinking out loud. But, I find your comment on demon kings to be interesting. Did you know I found a listing for... 'John'? In an ancient text giving the hierarchy of demon princes in the Judeo-Christian Hell?"
"No? In all honesty, you loose me sometimes in those reports and in meetings. I guess that means we're dealing with some pretty serious earth-shattering stuff here. But, I didn't really want to bring that much back up, I know how much it bothers you. What I wanted to talk to you about was what was keeping them at bay. Specifically in Van Goren's house. Do you remember the singing and the bright white light?"
"No..." Jama looks confused. "When was this?"
"When I looked beyond the door in Omega I saw an inky blackness filled with red stars. But in front of me was a great field of white light and a woman standing and singing such a beautiful song. What shocked me the most was that I recognized the woman, she..."
"...was Director Cadbury." Jama finishes.
"How...?" Yiska's expression was one of total astonishment. "How on earth do you know? Did I miss that memo too?"
"I..." Jama looks confused for a moment. "I don't know. It just came to me... I'm not sure why... but it seems obvious to me know. I think there's more to her than we know. Much more."
After a brief pause, Yiska says, "So what does that make her then? An angel? If so, why is there only one of her and so many stars? Should we tell anyone else?"
"An angel?" Jama looks thoughtful. "I don't think so. At least not as defined by Judeo-Christian or Islamic faith. She isn't a messenger, but... acts more as a guide and perhaps a guardian, although an indirect one." As she speaks, Yiska notices Jama becomes more relaxed, at ease, finding solace in something she can grasp—in a figurative sense. He also worries her discourse may soon go beyond his meager knowledge of the supernatural.
"I don't think she's a tenno, either, as they are celestial spirits and companions of bodhisattvas." Jama smiles, "And I don't think Cadbury is a Buddhist. But, she could be a deva, a demigod with certain supernatural powers who gives protection to humans. Or perhaps, she's an apsaras, a spirit of the sky, air, and waters...." Jama's voice trails off.
"Yiska? You said you saw her singing. Was she dancing too? Apsaras are handmaidens to Indra, the god of war and weather, and known to be shape shifters, patrons of gambling, dancers to the gods, and spirits of nature."
"No, not dancing," Yiska says, letting all of the spiritual mumbo-jumbo fly over his head. "Concentrating very strongly. I was thinking... Do you remember the last room in Van Goren's test before the dining room? When Hope came in and asked us to leave because it was 'her' room? All that California memorabilia all over the walls? I've always thought Cadbury looked like a 50's movie star... could she be the collective spirit of California?"
Jama blinks and mulls that one over. "You mean some sort of manifestation of the people's subconscious? I'd have thought she'd have vanished once the Cataclysm struck and there was no one to think about her. I don't know. Perhaps. Do we know how old Cadbury is?"
"I have no clue. I don't think that asking her would be appropriate since she knows that I know, or something like that. She turned and saw me when I looked beyond the door. Sergeant Hemelshot might be able to figure it out though."
"Then I think we should tell the Sergeant what we've found out. Ask him to check the public records on Cadbury, see if he can find anything about who she is and where she's from. And maybe tell Carpenter, too."
Yiska ponders for a moment, "Sergeant Hemelshot, sure. I don't think much disturbs him. But I'm not sure how Carpenter would take this kind of information... I didn't really take it well, I didn't think it was possible. I'm glad I told you first though. How you ever guessed that it was Cadbury is beyond me."
Jama smiles. "It seems obvious in retrospect. So yes, please, call the Sergeant and have him come over. I wanted to talk to him anyway."
"You sure? Sergeant Hemelshot's not the best 'get-well' company. He tends to get us shot up, eaten, electrified...."
"He? Or XSWAT?" Jama shakes her head. "We have a dangerous job Yiska, and we need to train better as a team if we expect to do better in the future. And all jokes aside, Sergeant Hemelshot does care for us, even if he doesn't show it well."
"Well, you look determined. I'll put in a call when I leave. It's nice to see that you're doing better, we all miss you down at the Precinct. Don't get well too soon, though, Sarge is training us pretty hard. See you later, Jama."
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