Sunday, June 17, 2012

Auralogy - Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Made on 7th December 2011, Revised on the date specified.

I am alone all the time, but it’s alright; Being alone or not, I don’t care.

Jackie curled himself up on his plain white bed and gazed into nothingness. The bright and dark sands flowed with a continual pace in the hourglasses as times went. This is Jackie’s Heart Room, filled with nothing else other than myriad hourglasses and clocks. Conspicuously, a huge hourglass filled with bright sand at the lower bulb and dark sand at the topper bulb showed up in his room. The sands in both sides of the bulb flowed towards the neck together very slowly and something rather noticeable was blocked from sight behind the giant hourglass, perhaps it’s something that could not be removed yet could fill Jackie with anguish even with just a glimpse. Jackie gasped and turned to the other side of his bed to avoid a direct vision to the giant hourglass.

Heart Rooms are built based on one's personality along with feelings and this room actually showed how empty is Jackie’s spirit – dull and void. Hope and despair stand different sides in his mind and are having an intensive push-and-pull all the time. He hoped that one day the balance in his mind would get destroyed and made both his hope and despair fall with pride. He wished for anything else that could allow him to get out of all these odd feelings that tangled him since months ago. He was desperate, desperate to get extrication, indeed.
In deep sorrow and pain he was yet his face showed no expression.

He listened to the clocks ticking as the ticks are his own heartbeats and the sands that flow in the hourglasses are the flow of his own blood. Sometimes an old-fashioned phonograph would appear and play some simple light music to fit his mood. The snowfall in the room has never ended because Jackie’s aura is Winter-based. The snow crystals, depends on his mood, are sometimes murkily black or palely white. He only feels comfortable when he is in his Heart Room and mostly one will enter one’s Heart Room when one is unconscious or asleep; however he was not sleeping at all. Applying the basic law of Auralogy, he affected the region of his room with his aura and materialized his Heart Room. Still, it does not actually materialize and corrode his previous room; it only cloaks the region and is hardly noticed by normal people.

A knock on the door out of his Heart Room raised him up; he woke up and put on his glasses back. His Heart Room minimized and was distorted back to his heart. Alicia, who was waiting outside patiently, informed him that there were three visitors in the living room who wished to see him. When Alicia told him so, the room got frosted and defrosted very quickly, it seemed like Jackie’s aura went out of control and radiated throughout the room for a sec. He went downstairs and was a little surprised to see Ryan, Lukas and Winry there. Jackie raised his eyebrows slightly and mumbled something with his eyes beaming at somewhere else. Inaudible words he spoke and then his classic scowl on his face was followed.

Opening :

“Good to see you again, Jackie” Lukas greeted Jackie politely but Jackie showed little pleases.
“What’s your motive?” Jackie asked a direct question that seemed rude but he asked it somehow in a depressing tone. “Jackie, we just want to talk to you, you have been acting really strange lately.” Ryan stepped affront and told him their reason of visiting him. “I am alright”, Jackie knew that it would only make himself to look more suspicious if he chased them away instantly after claiming himself to have no problem. Thus he asked them to be seated and he sat down too. Alicia poured some tea and Ryan’s face brightened upon sipping it. “You do have a good maid”, he praised. Jackie thanked him for his praise but Winry then knocked Ryan‘s head as she said, “That’s not the freaking point for being here.” He rubbed his head as he whimpered weakly.

Winry calmed herself and began, “Jackie, are you getting stressful recently?” Jackie gave a steady reply without even a slightest hesitation, “I am not”. It seemed like Jackie was really hiding his everything from them.
Another dead silence it was until Lukas decided to get to him indirectly with another topic, “You see, Jackie. Demons have been increasing these days, not only teenagers with the most sensitive emotions all the time but adults with the most stressful daily routine too. Our works are getting harder and so……”

Ryan agreed with Lukas’s view and he interrupted, “How I wish that they would stop transforming into one”, Jackie went flinched by his line but he went calm very shortly after, Ryan’s interruption certainly messed up the whole plan. He finished up his whole cup of hot tea and started talking after aligning his glasses, “We could never prevent that from happening because we, Homo sapiens have strong emotions and they could be converted from love to hatred, hatred to love fast at an equal rate, same goes with hope and depression. A stupid wish it is, Mr Law.”

He continued , “Nothing could be done because our aura has a negative pole that produces negative energy spores whenever we feel upset and that would hinder the movement with their weights or we commonly call it ‘stress’. They would only turn more humans into demons; this world is hopeless, filled with greed, terror and countless tragedies, our fight as an Aurelist shall never end as long as the misfortunes go on.”
Jackie’s talk enraged Ryan, “We are not here for your preachment of what we had learned in Ferdiarua! We know all that!” he grabbed Jackie’s clothes after standing up as he scolded.
“Then why would you rant…?” Jackie’s question was answered by Ryan at a very instant by saying, “I am not ranting at all!”
“Yes you were, your aura doesn’t lie and I can see it so. Also a true pianist shouldn’t be this rough. Behave yourself for the other job you have.” Jackie’s line made Ryan went more wild until he wanted to punch Jackie in his face but it didn’t happen as Winry clamoured, “Stop arguing!” loudly. She sniffed and went on with sobs in her line, “I was the one who suggested all these as we are trying to get to you but take on look on what have you done. You even started an argument with your partners who were with you for the past few months!” Her eyes were filled with tears but she tried to hold them.

“What’s wrong with you? You are not like the Jackie I heard from the others” Lukas questioned for Jackie’s strange reactions which were totally opposed with the statements from the other Aurelists before he came to Allocer High. Ryan was trying his best to inhibit the rampaging furies in his mind. Both Winry and Ryan seemed in an absolute agitation. However, Jackie kept his calmness and aligned his glasses.

“We want you to have Lukas along whenever we go for a mission so we planned all these for you, but it almost caused a breakup over something so small” Winry explained as she held her fists tightly.
Ryan, with a disdainful look as he was angry of Jackie, said that Jackie was not the only one who could see aura, he could see it too. Then he glared at Jackie to see his aura and his eyes went wide like saucers along with his strength ebbed away from his legs suddenly, he fell onto the sofa behind him and went wordless.

“Having more partners? It’s impolite to tell but I am not going to get partners anymore and I will forward an application to my uncle to move you guys to the other groups, being in any of them would be far better than being in mine. I don’t need partners after all.” Jackie’s decision had struck them with a stunning spell. They wanted to talk but a shroud of coldness raided the room out of the blue. The severe coldness ran all over their bodies like the biting wind, the coldness, however, only lasted for a second. Still, they could feel it. But then, how could they feel so frigid on such a warm spring day?  
Jackie aligned his glasses and a very slender beam of silver light came somehow not from his glasses but from his left eye. To be odd that Jackie’s pupils were both black that time, maybe it was the reflection caused by snowflake-shaped emblem which was adorned on the left chain of his glasses. Jackie’s glare at an instant was startling the most. He rarely does that and it seemed like he had really been driven up the wall by his friends’ unnecessary concerns. An eccentric one he is.

“What?” Lukas could not believe what he had just heard from Jackie. Jackie apologized for his rejection and called Alicia to send the guests out as he went back into his room. On the way he didn’t even turn back even though they asked him to wait for lots of times. Ryan was still quivering on the sofa; he was truly terrified not by what Jackie said but his aura instead. “Jackie’s aura……I can’t believe my eyes, it’s not only huge. It’s so dark until it doesn’t even look like an aura anymore; it looks more like a giant monster to me.”

Lukas did understand Ryan’s fear as he also had a sneak peek on Jackie’s aura when they first met but he acted as if nothing happened and continued chatting with Winry with his bright smile on; he pondered a little and beckoned with his hand, informing his friends to leave. He turned back and Winry trailed with her hand dragging Ryan who was still in stun. “Wait!” Alicia asked them not to leave and seemed like wanted to have some clarifications for Jackie. She begged for a longer stay in Jackie’s mansion and went to the kitchen after they had returned to their seats. She filled the empty cups with fresh milk and prepared them a plate of almond butter cookies she baked. “It would be an honour if you ever taste them”, she said it with a sweet smile on her face. Ryan took a bite and the overwhelming tastiness that exploded in his oral had just swept all his fear just now away. “It surely works wonders with milk!” Exclaimed Winry as she ate a piece after dipping it in cold milk. Alicia bowed slightly as she giggled and thanked them for their compliments. Alicia sat down and there started her personal story-telling.

“I worked for Jackie since long time ago, way before getting known to you two, Winry and Ryan. So I am somehow glad to be able to see the previous him. Last time, I was one of the victims who transformed into a demon due to the trauma I got upon losing all my family members in an accident and Jackie was the one who came to me and saved me out. Since I have nowhere else to go, I made up my mind to take care of Jackie as a maid. I don’t need any salary; it’s more than enough to be able to stay inside a comfortable mansion with a nice master. Jackie did decline to employ me from the start but eventually I got in after his uncle had convinced him. Jackie was a really nice person before he started as an Aurelist officially. Fate brought us upon when I was the one whom was involved in his Aurelist test to get purified by him. I trust him as well as Ferdiarua; they help the people from becoming a terrifying monster and keep this world safe. I know I can’t help much but I’ll try my best.” Alicia exclaimed her happiness and gratefulness towards Jackie. They were all ears at her story and stayed quiet. After that, she took a piece of cookie on the plate and began eating it, the sound she made when she munched the cookie sounded so cute.

She only continued after finishing up the whole piece of cookie, “He always helped me to cook or sometimes he would cook for me, we always eat and chit-chat together. His cooking experiences should be quite adequate thus his skills are good. He doesn’t treat me like a maid. Jackie was really nice just that I don’t know what had happened to him recently. Please don’t ill-treat him.”

All three of them shook their head helplessly, Winry told her that it was not that they didn’t want to treat him nicely, it was just that Jackie enclosed himself way too much. Ryan also asked her whether she knew the possibilities that caused the change in Jackie or not.
Alicia contemplated then she made a nod while she said “Yes” as if she recalled something, “I remembered I did hear something when I was preparing tea for his uncle in the kitchen. It was something about his partner being dead; I didn’t get it much because it is a sin to eavesdrop others.”

“What? His partner is dead? His partners are still alive here what?” Ryan was bewildered of what Alicia heard from Jackie when he spoke to his uncle. “I am not really sure of what I heard, it’s normal for you not to believe it too.” Alicia said it with blushes on her face.
“Okay, we’ll give a try in investigating Jackie with this clue.” Winry said as she smiled sincerely. Alicia’s cell phone in her pocket made a sudden vibration. It was a message from Jackie telling her to accompany them. “Ah, it’s a message from Jackie, told you that he is really nice just that he’s not good at talking or rather shy.”
A line echoed in Ryan’s mind, “If he’s really nice he wouldn’t have left us with a cute maid but sure, I’m always willing to”. Winry appeared to be very capable in reading little boy’s mind and she gave him a powerful slap on his back as she moaned, “Uh, uh, uh.” Ryan coughed like a severe patient as his back had just took a critical hit from a violent girl.

“Well, sorry to say but we got to go, it’s quite late now.” Lukas left his seat and said so. Alicia nodded and she followed them to send them out. Before stepping out of the mansion, Lukas touched the table near the entrance and the table was frosty. “Is there anything wrong?” Alicia asked him but Lukas said “No, not at all. No dirt can stay in this mansion with your beautiful hand, my lady.” with a bright smile. Ryan didn’t follow them as he was still munching in the living room and wished to chat with Alicia longer; Winry came back to knock his head and dragged him out.
On the way of heading home, Winry commanded Ryan to stop acting like a pervert but Ryan claimed that it was his own rights to do so. Ryan asked why Winry was so meddlesome and she answered, “It’s because you are just a piece of garbage on the roadside. I could not bear to see naïve girls being dirtied by garbage.” Winry’s line is simply offensive enough to make someone who is sensitive to commit suicide. “Excuse me, you evil and senseless witch, I am not a garbage, please make your statement right.” Ryan replied angrily. “Oh wait, of course you are not a piece of rubbish.” Ryan was pleased with her line and nodded. “You are something worse than a piece of rubbish; you are just something that even the microorganisms would detest. No word could describe your uselessness.”
“WHAT!?” Ryan made an uproar.
They argued behind Lukas and Lukas didn’t even bother to listen to their quarrels.
“Winry, Ryan, I have something to ask”, Lukas stopped walking and turned back to them, he asked whether did they feel very cold suddenly just now when Jackie decided to get them away. Both of them said yes with a surprised look as they thought it was just a nasty illusion.

“It is not an illusion, it was Jackie, I checked the furniture before leaving, the whole house was frozen just now but the glaciers vanished fast.” Lukas told them what he thought and then he asked Ryan whether he met the same thing before. Ryan said that the day when he had his piano practice in Allocer High, it was strangely cold even though the sun was blazing outside and the hall was not air-conditioned. Coincidentally, Jackie was there too until he finished his play.
“His aura is winter-based, I am pretty sure” Winry affirmed of what she said and both of them agreed too.

“But, such a strong aura that could freeze the whole house and kept a hot hall cool, no wonder he is the strongest Aurelist here and he has to keep himself calm all the time” Lukas was amazed by Jackie’s ability. “At least we don’t have to switch on any air-conditioner when we are with him”, Ryan’s lame joke was rewarded with one Winry’s free knock again. “Enough you, I am getting bored of your silly jokes; I beg you to look at yourself before laughing at somebody else and act like a clown.” She always gets irritated by Ryan’s stupid jokes that come out from his thoughtless mind, such a mischief.
“Well, see you guys tomorrow”, Lukas bade them farewell and then he left with the teleport pentagram he drew on the door of a random neighbouring house.
“Wonder if his handsome face gets slammed by owner of that house if the pentagram didn’t work……” Ryan’s mutter was traded with another free knock from Winry. “Ouch!” Ryan exclaimed.

Back to the Mansion of Integrity where Jackie lived, Jackie sat on his bed quietly and let golden sunset shower him.
“It’s alright…… I am alone as usual, I had made used of being alone for long enough. You guys can keep on becoming heroes or heroine with the other Aurelists; I can eliminate the demons all by myself……” He mumbled. A pigeon growled and flapped its wings as it landed on top of Jackie’s window. It caught the narrow border of the window and trembled as it tried to build its nest on the sharp corner of the window. Jackie caught it as it fell and he tapped it tenderly. “Why would you choose here- the place where it lived with someone who is going to give up everything in his life?” Said Jackie with tears in his eyes. The pigeon growled and Jackie went on, “Maybe I should struggle to make a way out of my contract.”
A phone call from his uncle who was also the head of Ferdiarua pulled him out of the valley of misery. He quickly moved the partially built nest into his room and put the pigeon carefully onto it. Jackie took his phone out from his pocket and accepted the call.

“Hello my boy, I have a mission for you.” His uncle told Jackie his purpose of his phone calls after getting greeted by Jackie.
Jackie asked what mission was it and he said it was a demon hunt at the Silver Church. It was confidential because if the people knew that the demons had intruded such a sacred place like Silver Church, it would be a big disgrace to the priests and bishop in it. In additional, a demon that could penetrate the holy shield must be strong and it would be more suitable for a sergeant Aurelist like Jackie.
His uncle then said “No” repetitively upon hearing Jackie saying, “Alright, Uncle I will handle it myself.”
He said that another sergeant Aurelist who was also a priest in the Silver Church was waiting for him there. That Aurelist would be assisting Jackie in slaying the demon. Jackie‘s attempt to reject his uncle to let him to have a partner failed as his uncle ignored his rejection and hanged up the phone.
A train ticket with “???” written as the destination glided into Jackie’s room through the opened window. It must be from his uncle. Jackie sighed as he took the ticket and headed to the Goetic Train Station via the teleport pentagram he drew on his door. The Goetic Train Station also offers rides to the other unknown places and Silver Church is one of them. They could not be accessed directly via the teleport pentagram as they don’t exist on the land where Jackie and his friends stayed.
“Jackie? Are you still there?” Alice spoke as she knocked on the door few times. Her call would certainly get unanswered and she opened the door shortly after and only realized Jackie had already left. 
“Jackie, be strong, I don’t really know your plights but please, don’t become a demon.” Alicia said softly in the empty room and she gently closed the door. In the living room, she prayed to the God for Jackie so that he would not get killed by a demon or transform into one anytime in future.

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