The last few hours were really challenging for me. And I realized that DIGITS was no ordinary school. That bamboo door and the darkness behind it hinted towards something so subtle that it was beyond the reach of my mind. What was Prof. Florence doing there? Who was the girl in my dreams? “Time”, she had said. I had to wait. Patience was the only answer. Reality was horribly drunk.
Last practical was remaining of my second day – Recreational Geometry. Previous lectures and practicals were (after Literature, of course) –
Acoustics (L), Logic (L), Monumental design (P) and Cartography (P).
And now, Recreational geometry (P).
Recreational Geometry practicals were real fun. We were told to made shapes out of thin air. Whatever shape we can imagine and then analyze the same shape and present a report on it. I didn’t know how I was able to create a shape (three-dimensional, of course) out of thin air. I had created a blue octahedron. A hologram, of course. How? I had no idea. But that was the beauty of it. It represented something. It was a part of my imagination, it had to have a meaning and a relation with me. Then Prof. Lester spoke,
“What you are doing is shaping your thoughts, literally! The environment here is created so that you can unbound your imagination. Your thoughts are tiny bundles of energy. What you do here is channel your energy and realize your thought. The holographic processes just project the shapes, they have no idea why that particular shape emerges. Nor do I. Many scholars have failed to decode this phenomenon.” He spoke with a mystique voice.
“Excuse me, Professor?” A hand shot up in air. It belonged to Ileana.
“Yes, Miss Walder?”
“What do these shapes or structures signify? I don’t think that they just appear because of energy concentration in space and holographic projection.” Curiosity! Well, I had the same question in my mind. I was glad, she asked.
“Exactly. They do stand for something. They stand for the mysteries of your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is a mystery in itself. Many psychologists are still lacking the knowledge to tackle its questions. What causes that particular shape is unknown. According to one hypothesis, it depends upon the size of thought concentration in your subconscious mind. But what those mysteries are, are better known to you than anyone else. So think what those mysteries are. And that…” – Subtlety was his style – “… is your homework. To find what are those mysteries. ” Homework was boring on the ‘otherside’. But the homework here was an opportunity to ‘learn’ something new, rather than just ‘decoding’ the problems behind the textbook.
Prof. Lester concluded the lecture. He left in a hurry. I had a few questions, but maybe I can send it personally to him. And with this lecture ended, my second school day. When I returned to the lecture with Ameline, it had already started. But the professors here are nice enough to let us enter in and as a complement threw a smile at us. In Acoustics, we got to hear different sounds. Not a pleasure to my ears which were used to Beethoven, Bach and Mozart.
Logic was fun too. And so was monumental design, which resembled pottery on a scale of art. We were shown many three-dimensional holograms of famous monuments. Right from their base to tip we were shown how these structures were build. But the interesting part was history behind them. And these structures were NOT from the otherside. But belonged to highly advanced Elder city. Cartography on the other hand, was really enlightening. We got to know the challenges involved in creating maps. Prof. Hemingway was a great storyteller and one of the cartographers who had created the first map of Elder. He ‘lived’ the word Elder as he was 103 years old and still on his feet. He used an exoskeleton for support but his voice was as bold as thunder.
I didn’t have my lunch so Ameline took me to Lieu de nourriture. And to my surprise, Ileana joined us. Ileana had brought Mr. Walder’s car. It looked very much like Rolls Royce Ghost, but not as long. But still it adorned all the luxuries. Ameline was sitting on the seat beside Ileana, in front. And me, at the back. She was driving swiftly like a plane.
“How did your training go?” Ileana asked.
“It was… okay. He had a difficult time.” Ameline answered.
“Advik, you’ll have to work hard, really hard. You won’t stand a chance against Bestial.” Ileana said.
“I… I know.” I said.
“Oh please! Can’t you stop stammering? It’s so irritating.” Ileana was returning to her usual behavior. Something that I was expecting.
“Stop shouting at him!” Ameline interrupted.
“Here she comes again!” Ileana’s temper was rising. And I realized how life-threatening a situation can get when these two girls are under the same roof.
For the next few minutes, I was able to hear two different voices cursing at each other. Some familiar words. I was surprised to see how cleverly Ameline avoided Ileana. And I was relieved. Peace, at last. Dizziness was taking over. My eyes slowly closing and I sank in the comforts of the seat. Voices faded away.
I was somewhere else, what looked like an island. A very small island. The water surrounding the island was crystal clear. A few unfamiliar species of aquatic animals were swimming down there. The sky above was blue. Fresh breeze of salt contained air was blowing gracefully. Suddenly, the whole scenario overturned. The blue sky was not blue anymore. And the water was no more crystal clear. It was deep crimson. And I was not on the land anymore. I was in the water. I was drowning. My weight, increasing with every passing moment. But I was not the only one drowning. There were two other people along with me. My parents. But before I can react, they were swallowed by the sea. The crimson red sea.
Then I felt someone touch my hand. It was the same girl from my previous dream.
“Time” She whispered, “Wait for the right time.”
And the next moment, the whole world was shaking vigorously. And it woke me. Another dream. I was still inside Mr. Walder’s car. Two eyes staring back at me. Ameline!
“Ileana, he is awake.” She shouted.
“Are you okay?” Ileana spoke through the window. She was accompanied by two other persons, whom I recognized as the same Dew and Iro who had introduced me to this world.
“I… I am f-fine.” I gulped water from the bottle that she offered.
“You may go. And thanks for coming. I think he is better now.” Ileana told Dew and Iro. They waved at me and left. Ileana sat back into the car and we were back on the road. Ameline was sitting beside me. Looking horrified.
“What happened?” I asked.
“What happened! You are asking wha…” Before Ileana could complete the sentence, Ameline interrupted.
“Please, Ileana, he has no idea.” Ameline’s voice rising.
“Fine. We were not able to find your pulse. We thought you were… you were dead.” Ileana spoke with a hesitation.
“What?” Out of thin air, Ocean Walder appeared on the seat besides mine.
“Ocean, can’t you warn us before you teleport yourself, you jerk.” Ileana lost her temper, again.
“Sorry. I got the news and I immediately teleported here. Glad he is not dead.” He said looking at me with a you-are-not-dead kind of look.
“I… I don’t understand any of these.” I said.
“Even we don’t understand” Ameline said.
“I think must be hungry. Even I am hungry.” Ocean said. His stomach was making weird noises.
“Ocean!” Shouted Ileana.
“Wait. I think he is right.” I said.
“Fine.” said Ileana. And then she pushed the throttle and the car was in air. And within seconds we arrived at the Lieu de nourriture. Ileana and Ameline walked ahead of me and Ocean. They were whispering something.
“I think he is here” said Ileana.
“Who?” asked Ameline. The answered fixed my feet on the place.