Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jesus Murphy: Evolution (Ch. 21 - 25)

The Final Chapters
- Chapter 21 -
Not Okay
The water was splashing about as Jesus opened the dingy, rust-covered faucet of the bathtub. He cringed and shut them off when he was surprised by Madonna Riviera.

"Don't you knock?" Jesus asked, shaking the water off of his arms and detouring Madonna out of the bathroom.

"I did, nobody answered. Where's Martin?" Madonna queried, following Jesus into one of the abandonned bedrooms on the second floor. The light that came from outside was muted by the dark, dusty shades that hung in the bedroom windows. Madonna could barely see where Jesus had went. She couldn't see him anywhere.

"Jesus...?" Madonna tip-toed out of the dark room when Jesus shot out of the bedroom behind her and slipped a dirty old pillowcase over her head, blocking out the dim light  and the sound around her. Madonna struggled against Jesus' tight hold and she eventually was able to raise her legs and push herself off a wall, falling over Jesus and both tumbled down the creaking staircase.

Jesus rolled over Madonna and reached the bottom of the stairs, unconscious. There was a giant gash across his forehead and blood dripped out of his left ear. The staircase was starting to groan and sway. The seventh step was loose and cracked and when Madonna reached that step it snapped in half and caused a ripple effect with the other planks. The whole staircase gave way and Madonna dissapeared below the rubble.
The house was quiet as dust filled the entire first floor.

There was a slight distortion in his hearing when Jesus awoke. He was greated with a great buzzing in both ears and his vision was slightly blurred. His normally blue eyes were hidden behind a thick layer of bloodshot veins and cracked skin. His kept hair was dishevelled and the blonde streaks were turning brown. When he tried to get up, pain shot through his ribs.

Jesus looked around and noticed the wrecked staircase protruding from the basement, sticking upwards like a wooden iceberg. He couldn't see Madonna anywhere and the last he remembered, she was falling and tumbling right behind him.

"Madonna!" Jesus tried screaming but it came out more like a whisper. He could barely breath, his lungs would hurt his ribs as they expanded to let the air in. What have I done? Jesus thought. As he shifted around, he found the cause of his pain. His ribs weren't cracked, nor broken. One of the steps had snapped away from the rubble and the nails that kept it in place had found temporary shelter in Jesus' torso.

He exhaled and grabbed the plank with both hands. He cringed as he pulled the nails out of his side. Jesus slid himself towards the wreck and started removing the debris that was covering Madonna. Pain and remorse shot through Jesus, knocking him back. The room spun around him, darkening at the edges, blurring between black and purple until Jesus found himself in total darkness and one woman stood in front of him.

"I told you I would visit you once again. And that it would be my last visit. And that I would finally bring you home." Madonna said, towering high above Jesus.

"You're not Madonna! Where is she?" Jesus screamed, getting back up on his two feet. He didn't feel pain in this place.

"I am her and she is I. I see you still haven't understood what is happening. I wasn't expecting this, Jesus. You have to grow. Or all is doomed."

"What are -"

He was cut off. The blackened room twisted into itself, blending back smoothly with the normal décor of Martin's house, minus the twisted staircase. Jesus was still half-sitting against the living room wall when Madonna walked in.

"What's up, Jesus? Where is Martin?"

Jesus couldn't believe his eyes. Madonna was okay; there was no broken staircase behind her. Madonna must have seen the look on his face at the surprise.

"Jesus, what's the matter?" She asked, a smile forming on her lips. She brushed a few strands of rebel hair behind her ears and extended a helping hand to Jesus.

"Come on, get up!" She said, and walked away towards the kitchen.

Martin had made slight progress. There was at least cabinets now lining the wall. The sink was still spraying rusted water but at least they could cook a decent meal. Madonna rested against the countertops and gave Jesus her usual "what's going on" eyebrow raise.

"What?" Jesus said, arrogantly, looking away from Madonna.

"Don't 'what' me! You look like you've just seen a ghost!"

"And you act like you don't know what's going on!"

"I don't, Jesus. Don't forget who you're talking to, young man!" Madonna shot back. Authority, not anger, resonating in her tone. Something almost maternal had externalized itself.

"Who are you? What do you want from us? From me? I know you're not one of us" Jesus answered, letting his anger guide his words, something he regretted the moment he spoke. Madonna was a very powerful Agent. It was unwise of anyone to anger her.

"And what makes you so positive that you're one of them, as you insist on dividing your people, you selfish little brat. How dare you question my loyalty, my affiliation to the Boss and to your uncle? The man who took you in when you had no one else to turn to? You ungrateful little..."

At that moment, Madonna caught herself. She too had let herself get absorbed by her anger. She straightened her purple blazer and simply walked by Jesus and towards the door. Jesus wasn't going to let her walk away from this one.

"I know Anna is your sister. And I think she has been visiting me lately." Jesus said. It had the desired effect. Madonna stopped short of the door and turned around. Her anger had been replaced by confusion.

"How do you know that? What do you mean she has been visiting you? Jesus, she is a dangerous person." Madonna said, walking back towards the galley kitchen.

"Twice now did I get a visit from someone who looks a lot like you but I know it isn't. Everything turns black and then you appear. The first time, you told me I would heal the world, and I healed a man. This time, you told me to change or else everything was doomed. I see stuff too. Bad stuff."

Madonna's eyebrow cocked a bit. She was taking in what Jesus was telling her, confused about certain aspects.

"Sit down, Jesus. It's time I explain to you who I am, where i'm from and why i'm here. First of all, my real name isn't Madonna Riviera. And this place you call Jerusalem... Well, it isn't the only place like it in the Universe. And some people will stop at nothing to destroy every last place like this one."

"What is your real name?" Jesus asked. He couldn't think straight and it was the only thing he thought of at the moment.

"My real name is Maria Simeon and where I came from, there was a boy -"

They were interupted by a knock on the door. Jesus wasn't expecting anyone and Martin had left for his interview and shouldn't be back until later in the day. They walked out of the kitchen and just as Madonna stepped inside the hallway, the front door blew off it's hinges and bounced off the walls until it made contact with Madonna's face, knocking her out.


Jesus knew it was the Sicarii. He grabbed his bag off the counter and ran out the back via the sliding glass doors. How did they locate him?

He had to find Martin.
The Final Chapters
- Chapter 22 -
The Burning Bush

Jesus jumped over the fence, his long curly hair blowing in the wind behind him. He ran across the neighbours yard, crawled under the chain link fence and repeated the endeavour numerous times until he reached one of the side streets that broke off from the main road.

He stopped only for a second to catch his breath and continued running towards the abandonned sawmill. He knew that's where the Agency hid their Bethlehem branch of activity. He passed by the Burning Bush, the only club in town. For some unknown reason, it beckoned him inside. Jesus stopped to look around, made sure no one was watching him and he darted inside the club.

The place was crowded with locals and kids from neighbouring towns. It was smoky and the music resonated deep within our hero's ribcage. A large man came up to him and asked for identification. Jesus hesitated, unaware of this procedure.

At that moment, a girl with flaming red hair walked up to the bouncer and whispered something inaudible in his ear. She smiled at Jesus and gestured for him to follow her.

The attractive redhead guided him to a private room in the back of the club, next to the oversized DJ booth. When he stepped inside the room his eyes had to adjust to the stark red lights that gave the room a sombre tone. The girl took a seat on the velvet couch and brushed her shining crimson hair behind her back.

"Have a seat, Jesus. I won't bite" She said, smiling.

It was her energy that had drove Jesus to stop running. It was her energy that beckoned him inside. He sat down next to her, his palms sweaty. He was racked with nerves.

"You're so nervous. I'm not use to seeing you like this."

"We've met before?" Jesus asked, shifting in his seat. She was overflowing with joy and it made Jesus uncomfortable. She talked to him with such familiarity. He couldn't stop himself from looking into her piercing green eyes.

"I'm so sorry. You must be confused about this all. I'm Maghdalyna Saint. This may come as a shock..." She looked away from Jesus. He could tell that she was just as nervous as he was. She didn't look much older then him yet wisdom and strenght leaked through her pores. Something about her was familiar. "You may not want to believe me but this world depends on you."

Jesus hadn't expected her to say that. With everything that was happening, her statement felt oddly out of place and, he had to admit, kind of late.

"I don't know recognize you but let me assure you that I am very well aware of what's to come for me. I felt compelled to come in here. Your energy drew me in." Jesus answered.

Maghdalyna smiled, her eyes glowing with happiness. She stretched across the couch and wrapped her arms around Jesus, kissing him in the hollow of his neck. She whispered into his ear: "You being here means it's too late."

Jesus didn't move. He felt cold tears strolling down his skin. He lifted Maghdalyna's head and looked into her eyes. "Who are you?"

She composed herself and arranged her light pink blouse. She rested her hand on top of Jesus' and her eyes creased at the ends as she smiled at him. "You can call me Maggie. I want to tell you so much, Jesus." She struggled with her words and it was apparent she was holding back.

"Then tell me." He begged, pressing his hand into hers.

"I can't. You're not even suppose to be here, Jesus. You're suppose to be training and learning. Where's John and Judeyah? Where's Marty, or Maria? Where am I, Jesus?"

A shiver ran up Jesus' spine. He didn't understand what she was saying yet something about her last sentence chilled him to the bone. Where was she? She was sitting in front of him, her hand in his.

"I've said too much. There isn't much time left. You have to stop them, Jesus. You cannot let them win. The balance is depending on you."

Jesus let go of her hand. She backed away, offended.

"Why does everyone depend on me?"

"Why can't you just accept your role, Jesus? Your defiance is threatening what little good is left."

"How can I defy what I don't even understand?" Jesus shot back, unable to pronounce her name out of fear that speaking it would mean remembering her. Something about this all was just so odd. He felt detached from this, as if he was still running outside towards the sawmill.

Just as he was thinking that, he blinked and found himself standing in front of the Burning Bush. He looked around to make sure he wasn't hallucinating. The front doors were barred with wooden blanks, graffiti covering the dirty display window. The place was abandonned.

What was that? Jesus thought. He was just about to continued his run when he spotted Martin at the end of the alley besides the abandoned club.

"Jesus!" Martin screamed catching up to his nephew. He patted him on the head and hugged him almost to the point of suffocation. "I found the house in shambles, I thought you were..."

"I'm okay. What about Madonna?" Jesus asked, never thinking he would have worried about the woman he had felt so much anger towards.

"She's okay. She managed to take care of several Sicarii members. What are you doing here?"

"I was running towards the sawmill when I got...distracted. Dad, I don't think I'll fulfill the prophecy"

"And why do you say that, cowboy?" Martin asked.

"Because I just talked with Maghdalyna Saint. She told me it was too late. She mentioned John and Judeyah and I think you too. But that's not why I believe her."

Martin looked uneasy. Jesus doubted that Martin didn't expect what was coming next.

"I believe her because when she touched my hand, I felt a connection. She said she knew me and now I remember her."

"And where do you know this woman from?" Martin queried, helping Jesus find the answer that would unlock everything.

"Maggie Saint is my soulmate in this life and all the others like it." Jesus found himself saying against his will. The words had formed themselves on their own.

"I'm proud of you, cowboy. It's time for you to get ready for what's to come."
The Final Chapters
 - Chapter 23 -
What's To Come

Martin was further up ahead, checking around the corner of the public library. He signaled to Jesus to come over. They we're just in front of the abandonned sawmill. There didn't seem to be anyone in the streets, as if the city had been evacuated somehow.

Jesus followed Martin's orders and began running towards the sawmill. He jumped over the chain linked fence and fell hard on his back. He turned on his side and saw Martin running in his direction. He was just about to jump the fence when a member of the Sicarii came around the corner and fired at Martin.

The world stopped as did Jesus' heart. Everything was silent. Martin grabbed at his chest as blood spilled from his wound. Defeat shadowed his face just as he collapsed face down on the hot pavement.

"Nooo!" Jesus struggled to get air back into his lungs. Sicarii members were swarming towards the sawmill, hundreds of them. Jesus managed to get on his knees when he felt it coming. The edges of his vision began to blur into a swirl of mauves and purples. Everything turned black and he was kneeling in front of the woman who claimed to be Madonna Riviera.

"You have to stop running, Jesus. They are at your front door." She said, not an ounce of sympathy found in her voice.

"I know who you are, Anna Simeon." Jesus said, spitting out her name with disgust.

The woman laughed and walked around Jesus. "You know nothing! That is what will destroy your world, Jesus Murphy. The Sicarii, as you call them, are going to win. This place is already doomed. Rest assured, I am who you call Madonna Riviera. My word is to be trusted and before this war is over, I will bring you home."

The darkness began to fade away and Jesus found himself inside a white bare room, looking up at Madonna.

"Where's Martin? Jesus, where is he?" She asked, and Jesus detected sadness in her voice as if she anticipated the answer he was about to give her.

"They...they shot him." he answered. He felt disconnected from his body, as if he wasn't the one saying those words. It couldn't be true. Nausea overcame him and he leaned sideways to throw up.

"This can't be" Madonna said, pacing around the room, unable to stay still in one place. She looked back at Jesus. "We don't have time to grieve, Jesus, the Sicarii are here. We're trying as hard as we can to hold them back but once Anna arrives, there won't be much time left to act"

"Didn't you hear me? Martin is dead. They shot the only person that was ever there for me. I don't care what happens. This place is doomed, Madonna. You told me so yourself."

An Agent was just about to enter the room but Madonna asked for more time alone with Jesus. She wasn't going to give up on this place without a fight.

"Listen, Jesus, that vision of me isn't me. I don't think the way she does, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can stop them. Don't you understand the consequences of them getting at you? The balance will shift and evil will have the upper hand, Jesus. Damn it, get your head out of your ass for a minute and think of the repercussions. If the balance shifts, every single person here dies, Jesus. Get it through that thick skull of yours."

Jesus lowered his head in shame. He was always thinking about himself. Why didn't he understand? Why didn't anyone tell him anything? Why him? He was so busy thinking about himself and his own troubles that he forgot to stop and ask if the world was still turning. He didn't have the luxury to sit at home, make friends, and enjoy life.

"I'm scared, Madonna. I'm confused about everything that is happening. Life doesn't make sense here, there's no time to ponder or appreciate. My whole life was a speeding bullet."

"And it's time for that to stop, Jesus You can stop this."

Madonna placed a gentle hand on Jesus shoulder' just in time to feel the cold splash of his tears. He looked up into her eyes and smiled. He wouldn't let Martin down.

"Tell me what I have to do"

"It's simple" Madonna answered, "You have to heal them of their anger. Heal them and good will triumph."
The Final Chapters
- Chapter 24 -
A Long Awaited Discussion

Jesus was washing his hands in the makeshift bassin. The sawmill was old and in pretty bad condition. Everything had been removed and gutted leaving a blank canvas the size of a commercial hangar. The Agency had been smart in leaving the main floor as is and set up their camp in the basement.

It was dark and humid below ground but there was only one way in and several feet of solid steel seperating them from the ground above. With Madonna by their side, they had little to fear. That is, until Anna shows up.

Jesus emptied the hollowed bark that was used as a wash bassin and hung it upside down to dry. He was just about to leave the room when he was surprised by Madonna.

Something about her drew him in. Her presence alone beckoned submission. She glowed like a light tower in a purple night sky. She was so youthful yet her grey eyes betrayed her age. Madonna Riviera was the essence of beauty -

"My eyes can make people do what they want. My ears can hear their thoughts. Although i'm flattered by them, I suggest you opress them at once." Madonna said, walking out of the room and gesturing at Jesus to follow her.

Jesus felt his face reddened and swell with embarassment. He lowered his head and quickly stepped out of the room and soon caught up with Madonna who kept a steady pace. They were walking down a long steel corridor and Jesus couldn't help but to think of the story Martin had told him. Anna Simeon had guided Martin down a similar tunnel, this one maybe, and his life changed forever.

"Where are we going?" Jesus asked, slightly apprehensive of following Madonna down a winding tunnel.

"Don't worry, Jesus. The Boss has requested a meeting with you." She answered.

"The Boss?"

"Will you calm your nerves a bit, I can feel them vibrating in my skull." Madonna said stopping in front of a rounded door that had no knob. As far as Jesus could see, it had no mechanism to open the door.

"Were here. Don't be afraid, you'll find he isn't that much of a stranger."

Madonna winked and pressed her right hand on the door. A purple beam of light glided over the door like a scanner and then disapeared. The door slid open and Madonna waved her hand towards the dark room.

"Destiny awaits"

"Right..." Jesus sighed and stepped inside the room.

The door closed before any lights were turned on. Jesus remained still in the dark for quite some time until several small lilac coloured globes descended from the ceiling and lit the small room that housed but a chair with one man sitting on it.

"Uncle're The Boss?" Jesus let out, his fears washing right off.

"Hello Jesus." Michael got up from his chair and walked towards his nephew. "You look just like her. Your mother. Mary."

"So this is why you haven't been around all my life?" Jesus threw back, noticing immediately the anger in his tone. He didn't care. Martin had struggled all along and Michael was the mastermind behind everything.

"So much anger inside you, Jesus. You remind me of her. She had a temper -"

"Stop talking about my mother. She didn't hide behind a title. She didn't abandon her family."

"She didn't have to make the choices I made. Anger filled me too once. I'm sad to say you're mother passed before I changed my ways. But I haven't missed a day of your life, Jesus. I have been watching over you for some time."

Jesus rolled his eyes and turned around. He didn't feel like talking with his uncle at all. He didn't care how powerful Michael was.

"When will you understand that this," Michael said, emphasizing on the last word, "this, this place, this country, all of this is but a small fraction in a war that surpasses any concept of time your small, arrogant, ungrateful mind can even process. Snap out of it, Jesus."

At those words, images of a large country home with sheeps suddenly flew by in his mind. It was followed by another picture, this one much older, set in a valley high above a roaring river. Another of a girl with red hair. She's being stoned. One of him as a child with his mother and another as a teen, Mary standing beside him.

"Snap out of it, Jesus"

He's playing ball with Joseph at Malcom's fiftieth birthday. He's marrying Maghdalyna Saint. Over and over again. Madonna laughs and gives Jesus a hug. Everything is so different yet Jesus didn't want the images to stop. He forced his eyes shut.

"Do you see now, Jesus. What you are. What you need to do. Save us, Jesus."

Jesus eyelids shot open exposing two bright white spheres.

"I see them all. I feel them." Jesus said, turning to face his uncle. "I keep seeing the same image. A large bare valley with a river raging by below it. Where is that, Michael?"

"That is the Birthplace, Jesus. Don't forget it again."

Michael, satisfied with the outcome, walked out of the room and it took but a few seconds before Madonna hurried inside to see Jesus. She noticed his white eyes immediately.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?"

"Is that what we're fighting for?"

Madonna smiled. "That's exactly what we're fighting for, Jesus.¸"
The Final Chapters
- Chapter 25 -
Madonna's Training

"Remember what I told you yesterday?" Madonna said, writing the word ANGER on the chalkboard behind her. "You will have to get rid of this to be able to heal them."

She walked over to Jesus' wooden school desk and sat on the edge of it, peering down at Jesus over her lilac glasses. "What makes you angry, Jesus?"

Something sparkled behind her grey eyes and before Jesus knew it, he felt Madonna inside his mind. She was searching through his memories, he could see her inserted in the background. STOP IT.

Madonna fell back and brushed off her skirt. "That was good, Jesus. You felt me, and compelled me to leave. You'll have to try harder." She removed her glasses and jacket and sat across from Jesus. "I'm going to go into your mind, now, Jesus. It's the only way for me to truly test you."

"What do you -"

The room began to shake and books fell off the shelves. Picture frames smashed on the ground below and soon everything was black safe the purple trimming that seemed to line Jesus' vision. Madonna stood in front of him, much like her doppelgänger. But Jesus knew she was the real Madonna, the one he could trust.

"I want you to know I never ventured this far into your mind. The one who has lives in a parrallel universe. She is from the Birthplace, Jesus. You see, long ago there existed but one world and that was the Birthplace. Goodness triumphed and the people lived happy without sin. There was no greed, no pride. There was but joy and freedom.

"One man wanted more then that; the Fallen One. He toyed with physics and manipulated science until he was able to create a portal into other worlds, which have come to be known as the Shadowlands. He wanted to have his own world, his own reign of terror. What he didn't know was that he had opened a ticking time bomb.

"The Shadowlands ressemble the Birthplace in many ways but each realm carries it's own unique environment. People change, events unfold differently. The balance of good and evil is thin in the Shadowlands and when the balance shifts here, it does the same in the Birthplace.

"When the portal was open and the Shadowlands were created, each realm began to evolve gradually and at different pace. One thing remained the same in every place, and that is you Jesus. Every Shadowland can count on you to defend it.

"We are all shadows of ourselves in the Birthplace. They are trying hard to close the portal ever since but our energy has grown throughout the years and the only way for the portal to close is to destroy the Shadowlands by reuniting the energy.

"Prophecy states that a young man born from divinity will close each Shadowland and reunite the energy back into the Birthplace. There is a select number of people who can travel between the Shadowlands and we've made it our personal mission to make sure the prophecy happens in it's natural course.

"The Birthplace however is eager to set the balance straight again and have unleached some of their fiercest warriors to speed up the prophecy. We believe this will only make the balance shift because the young man isn't ready until he is a grown adult. It tricks the prophecy. Do you understand a bit more now Jesus?"

It couldn't be any clearer. What Madonna was telling him registered at the core of his memory as if he lived every single life in every single Shadowland. It must be this place they're in, this black void. His mind, Madonna had said. He couldn't let them destroy him now.

"Only one thing doesn't fit. Are you saying the Sicarii are warriors from the Birthplace? I thought they were fighting for the Fallen One."

"The Sicarii? They are not to be feared. Once we finish this conversation you will heal them of the hatred that eats away at their soul. No, the Sicarii are worthless sheeps that follow the Fallen One. What you must truly fear is the Adephi; People in the Shadowlands call them Angels."


"Yes, Angels. The Adephi are a male-female couple who originally populated the Birthplace. They chose to remain neutral in the war between the Fallen One and the Almighty Source until now. They feel the balance is threatened but they have no idea that their interference is making everything worst."

"And somehow I have to stop all of this?"

"Your mother was hand-picked to give birth to you, Jesus. You have direct energy from the Birthplace which makes your powers much more powerful then mine. The white eyes is just the beginning. You have to release the anger. Think of what I just told you, everything I said about the balance of good and evil. I will leave you here to think in this place. Think of everything that is at stakes and then question that anger that lives inside you. I want you out of here in five minutes."

As soon as she was done talking, Madonna vanished out of thin air and left Jesus alone in the nothingness she had created. Jesus was given a task yet he couldn't even begin to think about what he could do to heal this anger. An emotion he wasn't even sure existed in him. He didn't feel angry.

He felt many other emotions stir up inside him though. Not knowing his mother made him sad. The abuse he suffered at the hands of his father made him feel hopeless. Having loved and lost the only person that ever cared for him pained him in a way he couldn't even express. Fighting a war he had no real connection to left him confused and curious.

He never once stopped to think that all these emotions combined made him feel something different towards the world. He wanted to scream out how unfair it was that he never got to hug his mother, never got to feel love from his father, never got to say thank you to Martin, never got the chance to take a stand in the war that was meant on destroying him. That, he finally understood, made him angry.

He tried to think of ways to rid himself of this anger. However, Jesus didn't even know where to begin. He placed his palm on his chest and tried to heal himself as he did with others before. Nothing happened. He didn't feel the burden being lifted from his shoulders. Maybe he couldn't heal it so easily. All of this troubled him and he began to drift to thoughts of Joan.

He hadn't loved someone else as much as he had loved Joan. At the mere memory of her smile, Jesus' palm began to glow and then warmth began flowing through it. He placed it on his chest and closed his eyes.

When he opened them again he was in the basement of the abandonned sawmill, Madonna Riviera staring blankly back at him.

"So, how do you feel?" She said, a slight nervousness seeping through her calm nature.

With bright white eyes and glowing palms, Jesus looked up at Madonna.

"I feel divine."

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