Instant Recap: Gavin is a little boy growing up in the Valley of the Moon. Alone in the woods he called on the Sun God, who descended in the form of his late father Apollo. Gavin intuited that he had a spiritual twin sister; Apollo confirmed this, and said that the two were destined to meet and marry, but that dark forces stood in the way.
3. Magic at Montauk
Lilith drove through Camp Hero State Park on the southern edge of Long Island leading up to Montauk Point, its extreme eastern tip. There were only a few other cars and a smattering of picnickers along the roadside. She turned into a narrow byway snaking through a patch of woods that concealed their destination from casual sightseers: a building of very curious design. “The last relic of the old airbase,” said Col. Preston to the people in the back seat. It had white steel walls with cylindrical abutments at the two corners facing the drive; there were windows only on the ground floor, except perhaps for the strangely bulging opaque glassy hemisphere high on the wall to their left. The roof featured an array of antennae to rival that of the Montauk Tower.
On the front wall there was what appeared to be massive sliding panels, but an ordinary-looking door opened just as everyone was getting out of the car, and a man stepped forth to greet them. He was casually dressed but gave the Colonel a crisp salute as he said, “Good afternoon, sir.”
Preston barely raised his hand and said, “Is everything ready for the op?”
“Yessir. Will you come through the building?”
“Not everyone in the party has a clearance, so let’s just stroll around the perimeter.” Under his breath he added: “Knock off the military formality.”
“Yessir… er, okay, Nick.”
To Lilith and the little family Preston said, “This is my friend Bill. He works here.” After an exchange of ‘Hi’s, Bill led them to a formidable barred fence adjoining the left side of the building. He pushed open a gate in a fluid movement, but Annie’s sharp eyes noticed a slight electric flash on the metal plate, which had read his palm-print.
The group walked along a flagstone path on a lawn between the building and a solid wall of vegetation almost as tall; closer inspection showed it to be a metal fence which the shrubbery all but concealed. They walked directly under the protruding hemisphere, and Annie asked, “What’s that funny window?”
“One of our hi-tech toys,” said Nick with a grin; “it’s a kind of magic mirror.”
“Yow, like the one the queen had in Snow White, that could tell her what was happening in the whole country?”
“You got it! But this one is even better, because it can tell us what happened long ago, or even things that haven’t happened yet.”
“That’s pretty strong magic! Can I look in it?”
Nick glanced at Lilith, who said, “It so happens there’s another one around back where we’ll do our little ritual, and it will help us in the magic.”
“Yay!” squealed Annie, “I can hardly wait!”
She looked at her parents, but their faces were filled with trepidation. “Don’t worry,” said Lilith, “it’ll be a hoot. Have I let you down yet?”
“I have to admit,” said Richard, “that as strange as some of it
seems, your… um, esoteric practice has brought us lots of good things, and some of it’s been downright miraculous.”
They emerged onto a spacious landscaped acre facing the sea. The most prominent feature was a circular plot of lawn nearly encompassed by a wall of brickwork in a tasteful maroon, just tall enough to sit on. It was a horseshoe shape, and at the open end the grass melded into a narrow stretch of sandy beach. Lilith gestured and said: “Voila, our magic circle.”
Bill said, “Will you need me out here anymore, Nick?”
“No,” he replied; “you know what to do inside.” Bill almost saluted again, but flexed it into a hand-wave and disappeared through a door directly below another “magic mirror”.
Lilith led the way into the circle and they passed single-file down a three-step stairway. Annie trotted to a flat stone disk set in the ground at the exact center, stood on it and twirled around. “Good girl!” said Lilith ~ “you tapped right into the magical vibe. That’s your spot for the ritual.”
“It is?” she said with a sense of wonder.
“Must be. It drew you to it like a magnet.”
Annie did a little dance-step on the disk and said, “No wonder ~ it’s metal. I thought it was rock, but now I feel it.” She touched it with her hands and confirmed the impression.
“Oh,” said Karina, “there are smaller disks at the edges.”
“Yes, three of them,” said Lilith, “all at compass points.”
“Like in our other rites,” said Richard, “but usually there are four.”
“This circle is adapted to the special geography of the rites we do here. The fourth compass point is projected…” Lilith swept up her hand to the sea ~ “out there. And if all goes well, that place in the circle will be filled by someone who needs a lot of room to stand.”
“The Archangel!” said Karina.
“Why are the disks made of metal?” asked Richard. “Is there some kind of tech involved?”
“There is indeed,” said Lilith, “but not merely of the mundane sort.”
She looked at Nick, who said the magic word: “Psychotronics ~ an artful interface of high tech and psychical power. And we’re right on the cutting edge of it here at Montauk.”
“Is that how the magic mirror works?” said Annie.
“Hey, you’re very sharp!” said Nick. “I can see why Lilith is so impressed by you.” He made a strange movement of his two hands, then gestured dramatically at the big glass hemisphere. It suddenly lit up in a vortex of coruscading colors and emitted a low hum.
“Wow!” said Annie as she leaped into the air and then did another pirouette on the disk. “That feels great!”
Karina clutched her husband’s arm and looked fearfully at Lilith, who responded with a “tsk-tsk” shake of her head and said, “Now what did I tell you? If it feels good, what’s to worry? But here, you can try it for yourself.” She led them to the point in the circle opposite the sea, where the stony metal plate was a semicircle in the ground bordering the wall. “The two of you can sit down, since your part in the rite is passive.” They followed her instructions and sat on the wall. “Just keep your feet on the plate ~ you’ll get the full effect and see everything there is to be seen.”
“Whoa!” said Richard, “you’re right, I feel it already, and it’s pretty nice ~ like a pot buzz.”
Lilith smiled indulgently. “Just wait’ll we get into the gist, and it’ll be more like acid.”
“Or Salvia Divinorum? We tried that once and it was out of this world.”
“Ah, I see you’re connoisseurs,” said Lilith laughing. “Just sit tight and enjoy the show.”
4. Invasion of a Body-Snatcher
With Annie still standing in the center, Lilith and Nick circumambulated the circle three times in opposite directions, chanting an arcane hymn which crescendoed each time they passed each other. The psychotronic lens on the building reverberated in cadence, making eerie sounds that were not quite music and sometimes emitting subtle arcs of light into the circle. Annie and her parents all felt a current of rapidly escalating energy, creating a sense of high expectation. Then the Magus and Priestess took their stances at opposite points of the circle, and did a series of chants which Richard and Karina recognized from earlier rites.
Then it changed: their stylized gestures became more dynamic, and they intoned a new lexicon of chants in which the word “Shekinah” was prominent and also Lilith’s own name. Then they switched from the familiar Hebrew of Western magic to something totally different: OM Namah KaliMa, Jaya Jaya KaliMa, MahaDeva OM.
“What the heck is that?” asked Richard.
“Sounds like Sanskrit,” said Karina. “I studied it a little in my Global Religion course.”
Annie had been paying rapt attention to the rite, but now she began dancing in fluid motion to the tune of the chants. Nick and Lilith were directing the energy of their sweeping arms and flexing fingers toward her, and soon the three were in a totally synched oratorio.
Suddenly Annie started chanting. The hackles rose on her parents’ necks and chills ran down their spines, for it was in a preternatural voice like nothing they had heard from her before, and almost like nothing human. It climaxed with a virtual banshee howl as she sang: OM Namah DeviMa, Kali Aham!
She was enveloped by a vortex of energy so formidable that it was lucidly visible even to the pedestrian eyes of Richard and Karina. With plasmic power projected from their motile hands, Nick and Lilith caused it to magnify and ascend, and then directed it toward the vast shimmering surface of the Atlantic Ocean. It coalesced into a column of sparks at what could have been a hundred yards or a couple of miles out over the water ~ it was impossible to estimate the scale of what the people in the circle were seeing. The column became thicker and gradually morphed into a humanoid form of towering proportions, just as Lilith had promised.
The parents gasped in unison and Karina said, “My God, it’s the Archangel! And it’s glorious! Do you see those golden wings and feel the heavenly ambience?” Richard nodded his head agape, whilst thinking: This is a whole ’nother world beyond Salvia! All trepidations about their daughter’s welfare were utterly dissolved in their ecstatic wonderment.
This was darkly fortuitous, for if they could have looked into her eyes right now it would have seemed that the pupils had expanded over the whole of the eyeballs, turning them into white blanks, so that she resembled her comic-strip namesake. The white eyes were fixed on the leviathan standing upon the sea, which appeared not angelic at all but distinctly robotic. This view of the vision was shared by Nick and Lilith, who opened their arms to it and chanted new verses in a deepened guttural rumble, with a refrain ending in the name Gamaliel. The creature coagulated into the semblance of full corporeality. It had snaky metallic arms, one of which ended in a claw and the other in a hand whose fingers were gunbarrels or missile launchers. Its head had a hideous visage, with two big-screen TVs for eyes, satellite dishes for ears, a nuclear missile for a nose, and something resembling a car’s front grille for a mouth. The diabolic form was a mechanical colossus, veritably a Macrobot.
The man, woman, and child who had conjured this kraken called out in a chthonic shout: “Hail, Adramalek! Adonai be praised, for the Golem walks again!”
In a voice that seemed to rise from the deeps of the abyss upon which it stood, or levitated, the Macrobot said: “Faithful slaves of Iaoldeboath, a boon I grant to thee. What would ye ask of me?”
Lilith chanted “O Adramalek!”, and was echoed by Nick: “Mighty Adramalek!” Then together they sang: “Let Kether become Malkuth! May the Bride of God awaken from aeons of slumber, aching for thy embrace. The vessel is ready; fill it forsooth with her essence.”
The Macrobot spread out its serpentine arms, then clenched its mismatched hands into fists. It said: “As ye will, so mote it be. Now adjure our Goddess by name.”
In a long, drawn-out basso, Nick chanted Shekinah. In a sensuous banshee soprano his Priestess sang Lilith. Then they gestured in sync to Annie, who raised up her arms to the robot and somehow uttered a sound that rattled the adamant walls of the fortress behind them, shook the ground like a quake, and blew billowing waves over the surface of the ocean, as she bellowed: KALIGAR!
“Yes!” said the Macrobot, “you are the one! And now become thyself, O Avatari of the Iron Age, mistress of this, our Yuga.” On the part of its metal torso corresponding to the loins of a man there was a switch with a handle pointing down. The clawed hand flicked it up, opening a hatch
from which there extruded a segmented tube like a plumber’s snake. It hurtled down through the air, becoming longer and longer, until it attached itself to the crown of Annie’s head.
Tethered in this curious way to the creature, she glowed with a malefic energy funneling into her through the tube. Her body began to grow and darken, her mouth twisted into a sardonic grin, and her eyes narrowed to furious slits. She sprouted additional arms until there were six of them, each with a weapon in its hand. When she was twelve feet tall the preternatural infusion ceased, the cord popped off the top of her head, and she raised her cyclonic voice in a new chant: OM Namah Yeeloheem, Kali Aham! And there she stood, the Black Goddess Kali of Hindu lore, the Dark Mother, the Eater of Souls.
Kali turned slowly about on the disk glaring at everything around her, as if she were looking for her husband Shiva so that she could trample him under her feet. When her eyes met those of Nick and Lilith in turn, their exultation at the success of their working was shot through with the shock and horror felt by
Victor Frankenstein when his brainchild was galvanized into life. When Kali looked at the puny human parents of her vessel, however, she saw only the joyful glaze of those lost in a dream ~ for a glamor had been cast on their eyes, causing them to see the spawn of hell as an angel of light: Kali in her opposite aspect as the benevolent Mother, cast in the image of the postmodern icons favored by the new generation of white Western Hindus, radiating unconditional love from her bright blue eyes and creamy white skin. Their hands were closed prayerfully over their hearts as Karina said, “Om Namah KaliMa,” and Richard added: “Hail Mary, full of grace!”