The Cauldron By Charles Goodwin Chapter 16

The Founding of Chiron

Chapter 16

From Darkness into Light

The note was there. On the dressing table. Large bold letters written in the semi-darkness.

She’d vanished like an angelic apparition while he slumbered during the early morning hours.
Her supple nakedness had been shrouded in his arms for most of the uninhibited night. In his half sleep he’d felt her moist kisses in his ear - her whispers of dreamy love.

And the lovemaking had been shockingly angry - vehemently intense. A choleric purge of rank repression. Violent. Breathless. And she’d kept saying ‘Yes, yes! I want it Paul - I want it all!’
Sonia had given of herself totally, unashamedly.

It was her soul that had cried out, ‘Use me Paul - eradicate your pent up hatred and anger. Obliterate all of that pain and disillusionment from your system. I understand! Squeeze the raging puss from your sexual lesion once and for all. Free yourself. Go for it - now is your chance. My spirit-soul is at your disposal.’

But the carnal acts weren’t rape. Though he’d been bodily savage to her - and suffocatingly heavy - and had used his possessed penis as a bestial weapon of revenge - impaling her - thrusting, stabbing - as a perspiring feral tom cat would impale its sexual quarry, the acts were not rape.

Sonia had controlled the two and a half hours of untamed passion - somehow? At a profound level she’d managed to remain utterly in control. Goading, enticing, pleading - and accepting.
Her vagina accepting unconditionally, totally, like the powerful Ganges accepts the filth and suffering of India and still remains holy. Accepting and nurturing like the Earth Mother accepts her own continued parasitic human rape, responding only with her unheard cries of silent, bleating compassion.

Accepting - cleansing and sanitising - as if Sonia had known, as Bashar had known, that when the timing unfolds into auspiciousness, the karmic tantric lover is mysteriously there waiting for each of us, as Paul had been there for Rebecca, to offer the purification ritual and to enlighten the dark caverns of sensual repressions.

Sonia had granted to Paul the opportunity to be liberated from his damaging inhibitions by beguiling him into expressing his deeply suppressed anger.

He felt drained yet lighter, un-burdened.

And he grinned gratefully from his bed as he read Sonia’s note.

I Love You Paul
And like the God of Thunder, I’m bloody Thor!

He laughed but his laugh was hollow.

His pulse quickened. And his thoughts began to centre upon his potentially explosive dilemma.
‘God! How am I going to tell father?’

The seed of the momentous decision awoke with Paul and was now suddenly crystal clear. He rested his head in his hands on the pillow and stared pointedly at the ceiling.


Sonia was right, but only partially. Yes, desperation was rebuilding within him to find Rebecca - to look into her eyes and to hear from her own lips that she no longer loved him. That the few hours that they had shared together was experiential and had no lasting consequence, even within the stark meaning of this impermanent physical dream we call life.

And his consciousness had undergone a miraculous spiritual metamorphosis. No longer entrapped within the whirlpool of accumulation, of possessing, of building an impenetrable stone tomb around oneself and one’s three score and ten temporary acquisitions. No longer needing to prove, or to value, his existence and worth by the level of pathetic material trinkets of power. No longer emulating a mad dog chasing its own tail.

But the priority was to escape. His awakening soul demanded it. Escape from his megalomaniac father, from the evilness of the castle, from the power hungry Syndicate, from the totalitarian Project. Escape from all of his past conditioning. Escape from the darkness and into an awareness of totality.

The overwhelming pranic energy cascading through his spirit created an ecstatic expectation of unbridled freedom. Freedom to be himself, his real self, without external manipulation. Freedom from the dark known into the lustrous unknown. Freedom to soar into limitless dimensions. Freedom to just be!

Yet strangely there also existed within his consciousness another intuitive impression. An impression that he’d been put through some kind of eerie trial. A ritualistic Garden of Eden trial, which with the co-incidental help of Rebecca, Sonia and Bashar, he had now passed. He had been offered the forbidden fruit and had rejected it.

‘Escape!’ he murmured.

‘But how? That is the deathly question.’


Paul booted up Nergal and placed his hand in the scanner.

His restlessness had compelled him into the office by 9.25am for what he prayed would be the last time.

He’d deduced from Sonia’s absence that she’s obviously slept in after her sleepless night. He’d given instructions to his staff, not to contact her - deciding in his mind that he would ring her as soon as the 11 am appointment with Don Ormsby and his father had been finalised.

The supernatural energy of the castle now felt inexplicably different. He still acknowledged the palpable presence. But he felt no longer affected. He felt separated, detached - like standing on a bank of a raging river observing the molecular fluidity, yet remaining the unwavering witness.

‘Good morning Paul. How are you feeling this morning?’ Nergal’s sinister computer voice at first sounded pleasant - and almost human.

Paul gamely tapped the keys.

‘Nervous and apprehensive.’

‘Quite understandable. And did you enjoy your cathartic night of passion with Sonia?’

Paul blushed, then gulped. The scanners crackled their neutronic readings into the hard drive.

‘How did you know?’

‘Please answer the question.’

Paul hesitated.

‘Answer the question!’ The voice was now loud and intimidating.

‘How dare you talk to me like that? Who the hell do you think you are?’ fired Paul aggressively to himself. ‘So you want to play chess with me, do you?’

Paul felt determined and even more importantly, unafraid. He began to breath deeply. He relaxed his body and mind and pictured himself with Bashar at the ritual. He sat with spine erect and closed his eyes. He imagined the egg shape cacoon of light around his astral body. He exhaled and imagined that he was filling his astral egg with pranic energy. He lifted a finger to his nose and blocked his left nostril. He began to breathe in to the count of ten. He held his breath to the count of ten. Then alternated the nostrils. He exhaled to the count of ten through his left nostril.

And he felt protected.

He finally answered. ‘A catharsis is the relief of strong suppressed emotions. A tantric purge. It is hardly an experience to enjoy! Your question was illogical and tactless.’

He felt the radiant glow emitting from his hand into the sensors. His growing confidence reinforced his will and he dared to follow with an attacking move. ‘Nergal, I do not fear you because I have nothing to hide. Stop wasting my time with your low-life games or I will simply refuse to operate you. I am happy to accept the consequences of my actions.’

‘Please hold,’ stalled Nergal.

Paul continued with his breathing technique.

The sensors were picking up abnormal readings. Paul’s vibration rate proved to be beyond Nergal’s frequency. The vibrationary spectrum of higher souls encompasses all that is lower. Thus the enlightened soul can descend into lower realms whereas the unenlightened are entrapped in their own ignorance.

Nergal suddenly sparked into life. The noise was deafening. The graphic display at first began flashing an array of black hypnotic occult symbols.

Paul sat with eyes transfixed.

The screen suddenly split into two. Galaxies began to form, exploded into nothingness before being recreated out of a whirling mist. The words ‘Time is merely the fourth dimension of form. All form is impermanent and illusory. Therefore time does not exist,’ appeared superimposed over the graphics.

The screen split into three. Grotesque faces of alien life forms from distant planets and dimensions gloated luridly into his eyes. They wailed out his name in chorus, beckoning him, pleading with him, to save them from their hellish torments. Their drawling voices were nightmarish, haunting, pathetic.

‘Paul... help us!’

‘Paul... save us!’

‘Paul, do not forsake us. You are our master!’

Paul remained detached and undaunted.

The screen split into quarters. He was there. On the screen. He stood amongst a mass of naked, attractive writhing bodies of both sexes. They were worshiping him as their demigod. Praying to him. Offering their souls and the use of their bodies for his pleasure. And in the background, a celestial symbolic golden castle - a castle that he knew was his for the taking.

Nergal spoke with treacherous authority. ‘Paul, your destiny is to rule over dimensions. You have the potential to be a Supreme Master. Have the courage to accept your kismet and you will be a dimensional Time Lord in the truest sense of the meaning.’

Paul hammered the keyboard in reply.

‘I desire only to be Lord over my own consciousness!’

‘You will be a God.’

‘I am already part of the one all encompassing consciousness, and as a consequence I am already all that is. Nergal, even you and I are one! By destroying me you will destroy a part of yourself.’

The computer buzzed. And flashed on and off line with the overload. ‘Please hold’ appeared intermittently on the screen in large letters.

But Paul had no intention of holding. His fingers exultantly went for a knockout.

‘Nergal you are CHECK MATED.’

A prolonged silence.

Then an eerie sound, like an ill wind blowing through a graveyard, emitted from the speakers. The screen showed a hooded man being led up a scaffold. A noose was placed around his neck. The trap door was released. The neck snapped like a chicken wishbone. The body dropped and hung limp. The face of the body looked distinctly like Paul.

‘Access denied. Off line.’
‘Access denied. Off line.’

Paul smirked triumphantly and turned off the computer.

And in the lower dungeons Nergal’s voice echoed through the catacombs.

‘Master, we have a problem!’


Don Ormsby arrived first. About 10.30. Paul heard his unusually loud voice chatting boisterously to the receptionist through the open door of the office. Paul impatiently strode out to the reception to greet him.

‘Ah, good morning Paul. It’s good to be alive, isn’t it? I was just trying to tempt your sexy little receptionist here into a date. She sure has terrific tits on her. If she played her cards right, she could win me, that is for certain!’

Paul frowned and was almost as embarrassed as the young receptionist at Don’s freakish behaviour.

‘Come in to my office,’ he replied coldly.

Don threw a winking smirk at the receptionist and shrugged. ‘Now don’t go away honey, I’ll be right back.’

‘Sit down.’ Paul ushered Don into a chair and sat at his desk. ‘What’s got into you? You don’t normally gloat after females so insensitively. Why the big charade?’

Don went sullen. The lines on his forehead creased with uncertainty. His shifting eyes dilated.
‘I’m not sure what you are getting at. Maybe I’m ill. Or maybe I’m beginning to realise how much I miss female company.’ His quivering eyes now transmuted to the sly eyes of a fox. ‘Or just maybe I’m missing a bit of wet pussy in the same way you are missing fucking your school teacher!’

Paul’s eyes flashed incredulity. ‘How dare you talk to me like that! For God’s sake Don, snap out of it, you sound like a complete stranger.’

Don snorted and wiped his nose on his sleeve. ‘Ah, it’s for God’s sake now, is it? And you say I’ve changed. Paul stop being so bloody hypocritical. You can level with me. I’ve seen the mess you made with that young scientist. Paul, they showed me the fucking body!’

Paul’s jaw dropped. The words he attempted to utter remained gurgled, blocked deep in his parched throat. He shook his head in protest. Yet he arcanely knew which young scientist Don was referring to. Her white bluish face still haunted him. Her lean bald naked body - the gaping bloodied recess in her heart - the Black Master’s jewelled dagger. The sickly taste of her clotted blood...

‘Could you please explain yourself?’ he choked.

Don relished having the upper hand. He reclined with an uncharacteristic bloated indifference. ‘You murdered her Paul. Obviously you were not alone, but it was you who murdered her. Some sort of ritual slaying no doubt. Your prints were all over the dagger. Your father and the police know you murdered her!’

Imploding paralysis stroked through Paul’s skull. He’d wanted to question Don about Rebecca - but the stranger slouching opposite him, accusing him of this diabolical murder, was not Don. Sure it was Don’s body. But it was not Don.

Escape. God I have to escape from this lunatic asylum.

The room hazed. Delirium - that same dizziness - even though he had refrained from eating. This time brought on by hunger or lack of sleep perhaps? And through the evil haze, a different face. Rounder, high forehead, warts. Paul blinked his eyes a number of times to refocus.

The loathsome stranger’s blood engorged lips began to move again.

‘But don’t let it worry you Paul old boy. The Syndicate has something on most of us here at the castle. They see it as an insurance policy. Just in case we attempt to fly the coop so to speak. Anyway, there’s plenty more little bitches to snuff out where she came from, that is for certain!’

Paul screamed, but his paralytic screaming was inside his head. No, you don’t understand. I didn’t kill anyone. I’ve been framed! I’ve been drugged! I want this nightmare to stop! - But the screaming remained inside his head.

‘So the next time you have a snuff party. Count me in, eh?’

Paul’s face of frenzy now scowled with rabid anger. His mouth opened but his words were breathless, more of a wheeze, ‘Get out of this office!’

Don ogled Paul quizzedly. ‘Huh? Did you say something?’

‘I said get out of this office!’ The screaming was no longer inside Paul’s head. ‘Get out you disgusting bastard, or I’ll pulverise you back to hell. Get out!’

‘Ok, ok I heard you.’ Don shrugged again and rose to his feet. His voice was now crawling. ‘Yeah, I understand. I’ll leave now. I’ve already received my instructions from your father anyway. When you’ve cooled down, we can talk about this Rebecca Childs woman.’

As Don left the room, Paul glanced at his watch and trembled. 10.50. His father would be arriving any minute.

‘I must remember to look at him between the eyes,’ he whispered bravely to himself, mindful of Bashar’s advice. He attempted to breathe deeply but his lungs felt raw with tension. He coughed and his coughing aggravated the riveting traction pain in his chest.

And in his mind he hotchpotched over the substance of his proposed oration. An oration that in the light of the murder charge now sounded wilted and pathetic.

He was to initially, communicate his appreciation to his father for the generous offer of Syndicate membership and for all of the striving and lobbying that his father must have made on his behalf. Then he would drop it on him - diplomatically of course - that after giving the matter due consideration, he was declining the position. Resigning. He was to explain that he intended exiting gracefully from the Project and into obscurity, to possibly take up the study of art and metaphysics in Australia.

He’ll agree to sign over, all of his share holdings to his father and live off his own personal accounts deposited in Switzerland. And he intended telling his father he’d resolved to leave the Castle within the hour and out of his life forever.

That’s what he naively intended.

The door whooshed open.

‘Paul my son. I bumped into Don Ormsby as I entered the building. He seemed agitated. Don’t blame him. I told him to advise you of the murder charge out against you. Forewarned is forearmed, right?’

Heinrich’s voice portrayed both cunning and relish as he marched into Paul’s office. ‘Don had to be told. Your security is now his primary responsibility.’

His father looked taller, more beefy, standing in front of Paul’s desk, and his awesome power seemed vital and recharged. Paul remained seated. Heinrich sat on the chair that Don had vacated.

Paul tried his damnest to glare at him between the eyes. Yet his father’s leering face immediately appeared to zoom out of focus. A blur. One second, twenty feet away. The next, a few nightmarish inches from Paul’s nose.

Paul was forced to look down at his desk to speak. ‘Aren’t you even going to ask me if I committed the murder?’

‘Hell no!’ spat Heinrich, his contempt thinly disguised. ‘I’m a man of the world Paul. I know how these games can sometimes get out of hand. The passion of the moment and all that. We have ways of stifling these unfortunate incidents. Right now we have much more important matters to discuss.’

‘Well father, now that you mention it...’

‘Save your questions til later,’ interrupted Heinrich resolutely and leaning forward, ‘I have important news.’

Paul bit his lip, leaned dizzily back in his swivel chair and folded his arms defensively.

‘This afternoon we want you to go to our camera studios to shoot the first of six video announcements relating to the formation of the World Council. Each announcement will include a proclamation heralding a revolutionary new global policy or project.’ He sniggered. ‘The proclamations of course, are designed to capture the hearts and imagination of the populace.’

Paul was only mildly inquisitive. ‘Such as?’

Heinrich’s snigger cracked into a smirked, and his mocking smirk masked his sinister interior. ‘The first carrot offered will be the international abolishment of income tax on labour.’

‘Abolish income tax? You’ve got to be kidding.’

‘No, not income tax. Tax on labour! We will outlaw the unproductive principle of taxing a worker’s labour. Income tax will still be assessed on the profits of business enterprises. But employee’s salaries will no longer be assessable. After all, why tax the slaves?’

Paul eyed the hazy image of his father with disbelief. ‘How will any country be able to afford such a system? They will lose billions.’

Heinrich waffled on quickly.

‘Not at all Paul. Our economists have covered all the bases. Simplified, the existing employee’s tax schedules are first divided in two. As an example, an employee currently paying 30% of his income in tax will now receive 85% of his previous gross income, tax free. On the face of it, the employee is 15% better off. The employer’s payroll account is also reduced by 15%, creating larger taxable profits for the company.

Because of these extra company taxes, it is envisaged that corporate tax is to only increase by an average of 4% percent.

Of course the consumer tax on goods and services will also rise marginally, and constantly monitored, but the major savings will be created by one, dramatically reducing the welfare debt, and two, reducing the global need for armaments and the number of enlisted personnel in the armed forces.’

‘The extra financial stimulation will send stock markets around the world booming,’ said Paul thoughtfully. ‘And no doubt the Syndicate, and those with inside information, expect to make trillions of dollars profits in shares and futures options.’

‘Naturally! And that’s only the beginning. We’ll fund the World Council’s bureaucracy by an extra tax of a half of one percent on all bank and credit card transactions. Globally, the income generated will be staggering.’

Heinrich leered gleefully at Paul. ‘And my son, you will be an international hero. Over the next few months you will be making many earth shattering announcements. The genetic revolution, including anti-aging and transplant breakthroughs. The planned abolishment from the entire planet of war, of hunger, of unemployment, of homelessness. You will announce projects like the proposed construction of domed super cities!’

He stared penetratingly at Paul to solicit a response.

‘Domed super cities?’

‘Just imagine Paul! A world of secure, crime free cities, two kilometres in diameter, each housing up to one and a half million carefully screened people. Each city surrounded by hundreds of hectares of parks and botanical gardens. High tech computer controlled cities, where all financial transactions will be by smart card. Where electric mono rail cars and movable sidewalks are the means of transport. Climatically controlled cities, inter-connected by guarded covered freeways. And even these new freeways will generate electricity by harnessing the until now, wasted power of the millions of vehicle wheels.’

Heinrich excitedly thudded a fist into the palm of his hand.

‘And, you will also announce the development of non-government orbiting space stations, incorporating everything from laboratories to casinos. There will even be a revolution in sea transport - rows of giant satellite controlled container spheres will roll over the surface of the oceans in place of rusting cargo ships.’

Heinrich rose to his feet and began to pace the floor like a power crazed Nazi dictator.

Perspiration now beaded upon Paul’s forehead. He remained icily detached from his father’s enthusiastic ravings. Nausea, akin to kneeling in a sewer pit of hell, saturated his being.

Yet with the delirium, and his discriminatory mind weakened, his intuition channelled unhindered. He now gravely suspected that the Project’s hidden agenda was even more monstrous than he’d imagined - that several billion people in an overcrowded world were now utterly dispensable. The welfare debt would indeed be reduced.

The hackles on his neck prickled.

Horrific apocalyptic visions of mass genocide flashed into his consciousness. He foresaw a new elitist material class, devoid of even a spark of conscience or humanity, ruling the world. An elitist class with privileged access to vaccinations against the newly developed and purposely released deadly diseases.

He foresaw a genetically engineered slave class being bred for specific tasks. Human robotic labourers raised like cattle - for lust, for human experiments and for organ transplants.

And he foresaw a disintegrating darkened world of greed and terror.

Paul closed his eyes with shame. He felt deathly weak as if his vital power was being drained from his spirit by an alien force. His father, this crazed monster, was still babbling, boasting, psychically vampiring - but Paul no longer listened.

Instead, he could now hear an inner voice. A sweet inspiring voice of love, of compassion - so gently whispering...

When your spirit is crushed and hits rock bottom,
and you feel incapable of descending lower
Suddenly a trap door opens beneath you,
and you fall into the light.’

And for the briefest of subtle moments, his eyes closed and his lips murmured. His first prayer was uttered more in a release of pained pride than in desperation. ‘Please God, if you do happen to exist, liberate my soul from these hellish torments!’

11 am. An earthquake?

The first explosion sounded muted, distant.

Then a series of louder blasts - perhaps six, much closer - rumbling like angry thunder. Violent vibrations, tremoring through the subterranean buildings, rattling the floors, the ceilings, the walls.

Wailing piercing sirens. Fire alarm bells.

Then sudden machine gun fire.

Footsteps running.

Heinrich stopped ranting. His jaw deadened. He gaped up at the ceiling, his face now as white as a frozen corpse. He cussed aloud but to himself. ‘What the fuck! Hell we’re being attacked!’

The door crashed open.

‘Herr Ravenscroft. Please come with us. We must get you to the bunkers immediately!’ screamed the guard in German.

Without even a momentary glance at Paul, Heinrich scurried off with the guards.

A final blast.

Paul shrugged at the grotesque pantomime and unshaken, remained seated. He grinned and his impassive grin was fearless. He looked up into the ethers. ‘God, if that was your response to my prayer, I’m impressed. What are you planning for an encore?’


Bashar had timed his walk across the compound to be within view of Heinrich’s office building at precisely 11 am.

The cameras would monitor his movements and he fully expected to be questioned in the inquisition that was bound to follow. When the bombs exploded he took cover by squatting behind the pillar of an archway of an adjacent building.

The sirens wailed. Screaming civilians ducked for cover. Within moments dozens of fully armed soldiers seemed to appear from nowhere. Running, shouting orders, taking up predesignated positions.

Then distant machine gun fire.

Three figures - two males, one female - walked gingerly towards the glass sliding entrance doors. The female was shorter than Nadia.

The doors opened.

Bashar saw one of the figures aim his automatic weapon that had been concealed under his coat, at the inner glass doors.

The bullets made no impression.

The exterior doors closed behind them.

The pitiful trapped trio turned their eyes up to the hissing nozzles on the ceiling.

And Bashar heard soldiers laughing. Nervously laughing, because the three wretched souls, encased in that glass coffin, were now suffocating - dying in such excruciating agony - choking on their own blood as their lungs disintegrated and their eyeballs swelled to bursting point.

The soldiers skulked up to the bulletproof doors to gape, and still they laughed nervously - as if their laughing was a taunting indictment to mock their own feared mortality.

They laughed hideously and then they stopped.

The young woman behind the glass - with that red fluid streaming from her mouth - now held something in her hand. Like a green metallic lemon. She managed a haunting eyeballing smile at her macabre spectators as she pulled the pin.

An implosion behind the glass.

Bloodied stillness.

Glass impregnated with seared dripping flesh.

Soldiers vomiting.

The noise of the powerful helicopter was deafening. The bulky fuselage suddenly appeared skimming over the roof top, immediately above Bashar’s head. He felt the whirlwind gust from the rotor blades. The brightly coloured Ravenscroft markings were clearly visible to the confused soldiers. They held their fire.

The chopper hovered onto the roof.

Bashar could make out, four more figures crouching, running towards the craft across from the adjoining roof.

Nadia was first to scramble aboard.

Bashar held his breath.

Nadia now stood haunched in the open doorway, her strong arms assisting the others up. The seconds dragged.

Bashar intuitively looked up at one of the turrets. At that precise moment, a guard lifted his laser-sighted weapon. He took careful aim in the direction of the escapees.

‘Oh no!’ cried Bashar.

His eyes spun back to Nadia. He thought for a second that she’d glimpsed in his direction. That she’d heard his grown. He thought for a second that he’d seen her smile. And he knew that his sister’s higher self had chosen this minute to end her earthly sojourn.

The bullet slammed into her upper torso as the chopper lifted. Nadia fell back into the cabin. The hatch slid shut. The helicopter whisked away low over the fortified walls and out of sight.

A part of the brightness and zest in Bashar’s eyes died.

Even occult masters cry.


The VDU screens flashed the ‘all clear’.

Heinrich’s nerves remained tangled as he was escorted back to his office. He immediately booted up the computer and placed his hand in the scanner. The screen flickered. Marduk’s nefarious face appeared strangely calm.

‘And why are you trembling Heinrich?’

‘The.. The bombs of course,’ stuttered Heinrich shrugging his shoulders at the image in the computer. ‘It’s been a disaster... F section has suffered significant damage with 42 casualties, half of them dead or dying. At least a dozen experimental programs are affected. Two of the three lifts wells to the lower dungeons are filled with rubble... I... I thought Nergal was impenetrable.’

Marduk’s excretory voice suddenly hissed violently. Heinrich recoiled in his seat.

‘Nergal is impenetrable! I was aware that this terrorist attack was in the offing. And I was aware of who the perpetrators were.’

‘Master, I don’t understand.’

‘You are like a blind man stumbling in a sunlit room. From a dimensional perspective, once certain energies are in motion, it is often necessary to allow the subsequent events to run their ill-fated course. Masters learn to flow with the current. We might direct and harness the natural flow of energy but are never foolish enough to think we can block the currents. Even Bashar knew of his sister’s pending death, yet did not attempt to stop her. No, the bombings were not a disaster - just passing storm clouds.’

‘But the damage will cause us delays. Should we postpone the Syndicate meeting?’

‘Absolutely not. That is exactly what the American and Israeli renegade operatives expect. The meeting will go ahead as planned.’

‘What action should I take with Bashar? I was not aware that his sister was an employee here.’

‘As I’ve told you before, Bashar must be left to his own devises. However, now that his sister is dead, he will leave this castle on his own accord.’ Marduk paused and his pause coincided with his facial image mutating to an invidious demon. ‘Indeed, once we kill Paul there is no longer any reason for that troublesome and meddling Bashar to remain!’

Heinrich gulped. ‘Kill Paul... But I thought...’

‘I know what you thought. It is too late. Paul is of no use to us anymore. His re-connection with Rebecca Childs and Bashar will now cost him his life. Paul’s double will be taking his place on the Council.’

Heinrich had many questions, especially relating to the mysterious Bashar, but judiciously chose to remain silent. The image in the large computer screen before him was turning more grotesque by the second. Marduk’s voice now receded into an echoing distance.

‘We have merely lost the battle for Paul’s soul but we will win the war... I promise you, we will win the war...’

And Heinrich knew that Nergal would now begin to give him a comprehensive list of instructions. Instructions listing the numerous staff members suspected of complicity in the bombings who were to be executed. Details of heightened security measures. Instructions regarding the cover up of the seriousness of the bombings from the other Syndicate members.

And of course the long awaited instructions relating to Paul’s impending death.


‘Yes Mr Ravenscroft sir, I understand. Paul’s security is of the utmost importance, that is for certain,’ crawled Don Ormsby slouching at his desk, and for the first time in 15 years, puffing on a corona.

‘Your instructions are crystal clear. The black attaché case has already been delivered. I have it right here in front of me. Immediately prior to the chopper taking off, you will phone me on my mobile with the numerical combination to unlock the case. Only when we are well clear of the castle am I to open the case and read the sealed orders contained therein. I understand perfectly.’

While Don spoke, Heinrich fatedly scrolled through the long list of names and photos on the screen. Sonia’s cheeky smiling face leapt out at him. ‘Oh hell what a waste,’ he mumbled, his palm over the mouthpiece of the phone. ‘She was so damn sexual.’

And he fleetingly thought of the enjoyable voyeuristic evenings he’d spent secretly videoing her in her intimate moments of nakedness and passion. He’d harboured an obsessed infatuation for Sonia. An infatuation that Marduk had somehow sensed when he’d purposefully selected her to seduce Paul. Perhaps that is why her name had now made the execution list.

He shrugged and shook his head glumly. His voice betrayed sorrow and disappointment. ‘Don you might as well take Sonia with you on the flight back to Amsterdam.’

‘Yes sir, Mr Ravenscroft. Understood.’

‘Like fucking hell you understand,’ cussed Heinrich as he replaced the receiver. ‘Even I don’t understand. Only Marduk really understands!’


‘Guess what Paul?’ Sonia’s exuberant eyes twinkled as she all but leapt into Paul’s arms and snuggled her perfumed body to his chest. ‘For security reasons, you have to fly back to Amsterdam for a few days. Your father now wants you to shoot the presentation videos there instead of here at the Castle. And I’m coming with you!’

At that precise instant the import of Sonia’s words had only one solitary meaning. Freedom. Desperation arising from his spiritual core, quashing his intuitive feelings of caution.

‘When are we leaving?’

‘Virtually straight away. We are to meet Don Ormsby at the outer heliport in a half hour. I’ve already packed. I’ll organise a car and pick you up outside your suite in twenty minutes.’

He embraced Sonia firmly, lifted her off the ground and whizzed her around full circle.

‘I thought you might be pleased,’ she said coyly.

‘God I feel relieved Sonia.’

‘Well sir, I’m glad you are relieved - and I still feel Thor.’

‘Ah Mr. Ravenscroft, we meet again.’

The familiar British pilot with the toilet brush moustache greeted Paul and Sonia with a convivial handshake. ‘Climb aboard. You will be a great deal more comfortable in this thirteen seater Sikorsky S-76. It’s the oldest in our fleet and soon to be replaced but nethertheless it will get us there. Mr. Ormsby is already in his seat awaiting a phone call from your father. Here let me take your suit cases.’

Don was chatting on the phone and sitting in one of the front passenger seats as Paul and Sonia boarded. Paul nodded disapprovingly at Don and sat with Sonia at the rear of the cabin.

The two Allison turbo shaft motors fired.

‘I hope he knows how to fly this contraption,’ said Sonia gingerly as the fuselage began to vibrate.

‘Oh, I can assure you he certainly knows how to fly,’ answered Paul grimly, and then as if to act on a spur of the moment decision, he sprang to his feet. ‘Sonia, wait here, I need to talk to the pilot for a few minutes.’

Sonia sensed the nervous adrenalin in Paul’s voice and nodded politely. Paul made his way to the cockpit and closed the door to the passenger cabin behind him.

The pilot beamed up from the controls. ‘Mr. Ravenscroft, would you prefer to sit in the cockpit again?’

‘Not likely. No I need to talk to you in confidence.’ Paul sat down in the co-pilot’s seat. ‘You heard of the bombings at the Castle no doubt?’

‘Yes indeed, nasty business. Terrorists I understand!’

‘Well the attack temporarily compromised our security. Until we know who we can trust and who we can’t, we cannot take any unnecessary chances.’

‘Oh absolutely,’ agreed the pilot.

‘Well I’m counting on the fact that you are one of the staff we can trust.’

‘Mr. Ravenscroft, my loyalty is without question. I have no ambitions other than to fly...’

Paul ignored the perplexed pilot’s response and continued. ‘Instead of flying us to the airstrip your new flight orders are to take us to Zurich. I have an urgent and important meeting to attend. If the wrong people find out about my plans they will attempt to sabotage the meeting. My life would then be in grave danger. Hence the veil of secrecy. Other than for landing instructions, complete radio silence must be maintained.’

The pilot fidgetly stroked his moustache. ‘This is highly irregular but in the circumstances I understand.’ He shrugged and then added, ‘You’re the boss Mr. Ravenscroft. There’s no problem with the distance, this old bus has a range of over 900 kilometres with this payload.’

‘Fine, then let’s be on our way then... No wait!’ Paul pointed to an electric car that was moving towards the helicopter. ‘Isn’t that Bashar waving at us?’

Even at a distance, Bashar’s bright ochre robes were unmistakable.

‘I’m going out to see what he wants. Commence take off as soon as I’m back on board.’

The open topped car turned and pulled up along side the helicopter. As Bashar climbed out Paul noted the unusual serious expression on his face. ‘I will come with you, yes? I’ve decided it’s time to leave the Castle for good.’ Bashar shouted into Paul’s ear so as to be heard over the rotors.

Paul smiled and hugged Bashar. ‘I too am leaving permanently. But I’ve ordered the pilot to take us across the border into Switzerland.’

‘Ah, that is good Paul. I knew you would eventually come to your senses.’

‘I wouldn’t have, without your influence Bashar.’

‘We were destined to meet, yes!’

Paul felt a surge of happiness flow into his heart. That same spiritual elation a person suddenly feels when the realisation dawns into consciousness that events are unfolding precisely as they were meant to be.

‘Bashar be careful what you say in front of Don. I’m sure he can’t be trusted. I don’t know what they did to him at the Castle, but unless it is my imagination, Don has undergone a complete personality change. He is now a total stranger. As yet, I haven’t told him we are going to Switzerland.’

Bashar did not respond verbally. Instead he closed his eyes, raised his head slightly, flared his nostrils, and held out both of his hands. His white palms faced upwards. His breathing became deep, powerful, and rhythmic. His prana filled aura induced Paul into a mediative and passive state. Time at first appeared to slow, then stand still. Paul could see Bashar’s lips moving, as if Bashar was silently communicating to someone unseen.

From the haze an echoing voice was heard.

‘Don, wake up. It is time to return!’

‘Don you must return!’


Like waking disorientated from a drug induced dream state. Reality fragmented. Heavy astral mist, dense and miserable. Drab existence, unreal. Illusory fantasies.

The zombie dimensional state of Limbo.


‘Who is there? Stop tormenting me!’

‘Remember me? It is Bashar. Wake up. Be ready to return when I call you. Trust me Don, I will guide you. There is nothing to fear.’


Hazy memories of the distant familiar. Don’s spirit consciousness began to re-create partial ‘reality’. And then he vaguely remembered that brilliant light energy of grace that had momentarily shone in his third eye before Marduk’s will had overpowered him. A spark was still there, deep within him. A spark awaiting the ignition of salvation.

‘Help me. I’m trapped. For God’s sake please help me escape from this nightmare place!’

‘Do not be afraid. Concentrate your will back to your physical body. Keep your mind singularly centred upon your objective.’

Don’s will focussed.

‘Hold that desire, till I call you.’

Bashar opened his eyes and winked at Paul. ‘We will now go aboard, yes?’

‘What on earth was all that about?’

Bashar tapped his finger on his nose twice and winked knowingly.

Inside the cabin, Bashar waved jovially at Sonia but signalled her to stay seated at the rear. He sat down next to Don and ushered Paul to sit down in the seat immediately behind.

The old Sikorsky lifted, the tricycle landing gear retracted, then still climbing, motioned forward. Paul swallowed hard and fastened his seat belt. The craft began turning.

‘Heinrich didn’t say anything about you coming on this trip,’ spat Don sneeringly at Bashar. ‘He only told me to take Paul and that sexpot Sonia. He didn’t mention you at all!’

Bashar friendly face was unmoved. He stared with a forceful penetration into Don’s uncertain and wavering eyes.

‘How are you feeling today Don? You don’t look well at all.’

‘A little tired perhaps but...’

‘No, you look ill,’ soothed Bashar, placing his hand on Don’s forehead. ‘Just take a few deep breaths for me.’

Don huffed a few gasps and began to cough.

‘Just as I thought, you are burning up with a fever. I will break your fever and you will feel better, yes. Try to relax. Look into my eyes Don.’

‘Well now that you mention it, I do feel hot.’

Paul was surprised to see Don responding so meekly to Bashar’s autosuggestions.

‘Breathe deeply. Relax... relax... Don you are becoming sleepy. Your eyelids are feeling very heavy. You are feeling a need to close your heavy eyelids - and that is o.k. That’s right, close those heavy eyelids. Let the soothing drone of the motor relax you even deeper. Drift into a state of deep relaxation. Relax... relax...’

His voice was mellow, persuasive. He knew that his subject would still be in a state of high susceptibility, so soon after the ordeal that he’d undoubtable been through.

‘You are about to descend a flight of seven steps. As you step down each step you will relax deeper, deeper, deeper. Now we will begin. You are on the seventh step, going down, relax, deeper, deeper. The soothing drone of the rotors will send you deeper, deeper... Now step down to the sixth step...’

At this stage Paul was forcibly blinking to keep his own eyes open. He marvelled at Bashar’s incredible powers. Within minutes Don was in a state of deep hypnosis.

‘Don before you left, Heinrich gave you certain instructions. He asked me to make sure you haven’t forgotten them. You know you must not forget these instructions, as they are most important. I want you to go over them once more out loud, so I can be sure you remember them. Now go over your instructions for me, Don.’

Bashar winked at Paul and whispered, ‘Cunning, yes?’

Paul grinned cheekily. He’d read somewhere that with hypnosis the practitioner must frame the questions and suggestions so as not to impinge on the subject’s morality, ethics or will. Tell a subject to strip naked and they may resist. Tell the same subject they are feeling hot and sweaty and desperately need a shower and they will happily oblige. Bashar knew his ancient Indian art well.

Don spoke with a slur. ‘My orders are in the briefcase. I am not to open the case until we are airborne and out of sight of the Castle.’

Paul and Bashar both glanced at the innocent looking black attaché case.

‘Can you remember the combination of the lock?’

‘Yes, I can remember.’

‘What is the combination?’

Don hesitated. His face tensed.

‘Don, have you forgotten the combination? If you have, Heinrich will be furious.’

Don’s eyebrows twitched. His face began to bloat and transform into something decidedly ugly.
‘Of course I haven’t forgotten. How the fuck could anyone forget such a simple combination as 666. Six is the Devil’s number.’ Don then choked a rasping laugh. ‘I would never in all eternity forget 666, that is for certain.’

Bashar now placed both of his hands firmly on Don’s forehead and started to forcibly gulp in air through the mouth. His voice rose an octave. ‘Now I am commanding you to leave this body and enter into me. You do not belong in this body. Come to me. Leave this body!’

Don’s body began to convulse violently. His eyes suddenly bulged open and glared with hate. His frothing mouth shouted babbling obscenities.

‘Paul, hold his arms tightly. Don’t let him unfasten his seatbelt.’ Paul leaned over and secured Don’s arms as requested. Don’s physical strength seemed expanded, and of course it was.

‘Come to me. Leave this body. I order you to leave this body!’ hammered Bashar, and then in his will he called out to Don’s ego personality trapped in the lower astrals.

‘Don it is time to return. Demand your right to re-enter your physical temple. In truth you have never left. Shift your consciousness back into your body. Force the intruder out. I cannot do this alone.’

The face before them turned from the demonic to the familiar placid face of Don. Then just as quickly, changed back to the grizzly demonic. Bashar was still gulping in throatfulls of air and shouting, almost screaming, his authoritative commands - his face straining as a result of the formidable psychic power unleashed.

Paul’s aching arms weighed as heavy as anvils. He continued to restrain Don’s tortured body.

Bashar persevered relentless, unyielding.

The helicopter buffeted. Paul swallowed hard to fight the oncoming nausea. Perspiration now beaded on his forehead. God I hate flying in helicopters, he thought, as his strength waned.

The debilitating minutes dragged.

‘It’s over!’ roared Bashar without warning.

Paul instantly released his grip. Don’s chin dropped to his chest. His pale face lifeless, exhausted.
‘The possessing spirit is out and is now attempting to latch into my etheric body,’ Bashar added triumphantly and then with a final masterly surge of will he shouted. ‘Now get back to Hell where you belong you insidious incubus!’

Paul instinctively felt the presence leave and knew it was over.

‘Where am I? God what have I been through.’ The voice sounded weak but this time it was unmistakably Don’s voice. Tears of relief flooded his eyes. ‘Bashar, I owe you far more than my life. The misery of that place was worse than death.’

Bashar smiled with compassion. ‘Accept the experience as proof of your own immortality. From this moment on, if I were you, I’d be most careful of the company I keep.’

Paul picked up the attaché case and turned the cylinders to 666. His fingers moved to release the single catch to open the case.

Don intuitively shot out his hand. ‘No! Don’t open that!’

Paul jumped, almost dropping the case, then frowned. ‘Why not?’

Don fuddled his words. ‘I.... I’m not sure. It’s like a dream - a lucid premonition.’

Paul looked anxiously at Bashar.

‘What is it Don. What are you feeling?’ asked Bashar, suspecting that whilst Don was undergoing the transition, his state of consciousness would have been in a hyper-sensitive state and able to telepathically receive a psychic warning.

‘This helicopter. It is going to explode and kill us all!’

Bashar shot Paul a glance. ‘Inform the pilot; there is a bomb on board. Order him to land immediately! The pilot will only take orders from you.’

Paul shook his head with shocked disbelief. ‘Don is obviously delirious. Surely you’re over reacting?’ He knelt down and unhurriedly placed the case on the floor between the seats.

‘You’d better do as Bashar says!’

Paul stared up at Sonia. Her voice was cold, almost calm, and acutely to the point. ‘I’ve heard rumours from F section. Explosive devices are installed in attaché cases. They explode upon opening.’

He rose to his feet and was about to say, ‘Then we have nothing to worry about. We simply don’t open the case, or we toss it overboard.’ That’s what he intended to say, but Sonia continued before Paul could answer.

‘And if their intention is to kill us, I’m certain there would be a secondary device on board. It is not like them to leave anything to chance.’ And then she added sardonically, ‘Perhaps that’s why they made available their oldest helicopter.’

‘She’s right Paul,’ gasped Don remembering Amsterdam. ‘They always plan the double hit.’

Paul was staggered. ‘I don’t understand. My father and I, do not see eye to eye - we never have - but why would he suddenly want to kill me?’

Don shook his head and the hurried words he then shouted, reverberated within Paul as if the feared bomb had already exploded.

‘Paul, Heinrich is not your father. You were adopted. Rebecca told me. I have verified her story! Heinrich ordered Rebecca killed. I managed to save her in the nick of time. It was Heinrich’s father that even ordered the murder of your own parents! For God’s sake tell the pilot to land. I’ll explain when we’re on the ground - that’s if we make it.’

Paul crashed deliriously into the cockpit. The pilot glared up startled.

‘Put her down. Now! There’s a bomb on board!’

‘Christ! Hold on!’ And even as he spoke the old transport dived.

He spoke excitedly but without fear. As if he relished the challenge for survival. ‘Look for a clearing in that valley ahead. The fuselage length and the main rotor diameter are 13.4 metres. I can land this machine on a sixpence if necessary.’

A thousand jumbled thoughts cascaded through Paul’s mind. Desperate thoughts of Rebecca and her attempted murder. Jarring vengeful thoughts of the evil monster who had so coldly impersonated his father. Despairing, tear creating thoughts of the slain parents he never knew. ‘Please God save us. I don’t want to die like this. Not without knowing the truth.’ He spoke aloud, unintentionally.

The pilot spun him a glance and nodded. ‘Nor I, old boy. I have no intention of dying!’ He pointed. ‘There up ahead - the clearing...’

The helicopter now hovered with under carriage lowered, slowly over the trees. ‘Be ready to jump out and run for it, the minute I touch down!’

Paul returned to the passenger cabin. He felt the icy wind gushing into his face. Bashar stood by the opened door. Don, his blue veined hands trembling, was carefully passing the attaché case to Bashar. With a single action Bashar grabbed the case and flung it into the treetops.

The horrendous blast was instant.

The furnace heat of the orange yellow fireball singed into the cabin. The unmistakable odour of explosives and charred timber clogged the nostrils. Don coughed from the smoke. The chopper buffeted only slightly.

Sonia was the only one to speak, her watery eyes blackened with smudged mascara. ‘Hell, that bomb would have sunk a battleship. It’s a pity we couldn’t have dropped it on that bastard Heinrich.’

Paul’s face was as white as sleet ice. The explosion was the ultimate proof of Heinrich’s madness. His whisper trembled with stark acceptance, ‘God, to think I came within a split second of opening the case. How could Don have known?’ But if anyone heard his murmuring, they didn’t respond.

The heavy Sikorsky thundered onto the uneven incline. The bushes and undergrowth snapped and crackled.

‘It’s times like this I wished I wore trousers instead of robes,’ jibed Bashar as he jumped into the shrubs, scratching his legs in the process. ‘Duck right down until you are well clear of the rotors,’ he shouted to the others as he assisted Sonia to the ground. ‘The terrain is fiendishly uneven!’

‘You should try wearing stockings, sir and then see how you feel.’

Paul and Don followed Sonia.

‘Hurry!’ yelled Don, we may only have seconds.’

The pilot vaulted to the clearer ground from the door in the cockpit. ‘I’ve left the motors running. They may have connected the bomb to the electrical circuits. Now run!’

And they did run - and stumbled. The easiest path was up the side of the mountain. The dense trees offering immediate protection from the expected blast.

Seven minutes passed and they now slowed and walked in single file. Their immediate danger was over. The turboshaft motors sounded distant and echoed up the mountainside.

‘We will climb up to that ridge and rest,’ said Bashar pointing to an outcrop. ‘We should be able to look back down at the helicopter from there.’

‘I’m beginning to wonder if there is a secondary devise,’ retorted Paul, breathless in the thin moist air.

‘I guess we’ll soon see,’ puffed the pilot.

‘Do you happen to know where we are?’ asked Paul, without turning.

‘Switzerland, old boy. I told you I’d get you here. But I’m afraid it looks as though you’ll miss your meeting.’

Paul decided against complicating matters by attempting to explain that the proposed meeting was a ruse.

Bashar was easily the first to arrive at the ridge and waited patiently for the others to catch up.

‘You’re not even out of breath. How do you manage to stay so fit?’ gasped Don exhausted and collapsing onto the trunk of a fallen tree.

‘If you would have trekked through the Himalayas as frequently as I’ve had, you would be equally as fit,’ he replied. He pointed down into the valley. ‘Just as I thought, we can see the helicopter clearly from here.’

They stared down in silence. Don glanced at his watch. He whispered, ‘If it’s going to blow it should blow any ... ’

He didn’t finish. The first blast vaporised the tail section. The split second following, the cabin section disintegrated. The third explosion, more of a thunderous ‘whoof’, was the fuel tanks igniting.

‘Holy shit,’ cussed the pilot. ‘Some funeral pyre!’

The black smoke billowed up the side of the mountain. Within minutes there was little left to burn.

‘So how does it feel?’ asked Bashar, breaking the stunned silence. ‘We are all now officially dead.’

‘We soon will be if Heinrich finds out we’re still alive,’ responded Sonia glumly.

‘When the authorities find the wreckage, well what’s left of it, they’ll realise there were no bodies,’ added Don.

‘Ah yes, but we were supposed to fly in the opposite direction,’ countered the pilot perhaps optimistically. ‘This valley is remote. With an ounce of luck, once the snow falls, it could be months before the wreckage is discovered.’

They looked at Paul, who up until now had remained silent. Paul eyed each of them before speaking. ‘I have money in private accounts in Zurich. We will all need false passports and new identities. I guess my father... I mean Heinrich, will mainly be tracking me if he suspects that we’ve survived. So we must each leave Zurich separately. It will be far too dangerous to travel together.

Paul refrained from making eye contact with Sonia. He sensed her disappointment.

‘I have friends at the US embassy in London, who will quickly arrange the passports,’ offered Don.

‘I will be able to take care of myself. I do not need a passport. I will simply disappear to a land called ‘down under’,’ added Bashar cryptically.

Paul instantly understood what Bashar meant and communicated his approval by a slight but sparkling twitch in his eye.

The pilot was busy studying his compass. ‘I always carry a compass on me. It’s the boy scout in me. Be prepared and all that.’ He pointed back down the winding valley and in the direction of some distant hills. ‘That’s the direction! We will need to follow the stream. I estimate we have about a three to four hour walk in front of us to the nearest village. I hope you are all feeling fit.’

‘Before we begin, I need to talk with Don privately,’ said Paul gesturing to Don to follow him. ‘Please excuse us. We will not be far away.’


He turned. ‘Yes Sonia?’

She looked hesitant. ‘No it can wait. Good luck.’

He nodded, appreciatively.

But as they departed, she murmured into the breeze the words she passionately needed to scream out. ‘I love you Paul. I don’t want to lose you.’

Bashar walked over to where Sonia was standing.

‘You know you will have to let him go,’ he said softly.

Tears flooded her eyes. She shook her head and the movement allowed the tears to track freely down her cheeks. She whispered, ‘I can’t Bashar. It’s too painful. I love him.’

Bashar held her to his chest. ‘Be patient with yourself. You will come to understand. You and Paul are of the same soul group. So am I, and for that matter so is Rebecca. Our connections with each other are karmic. That is the bond you are feeling - a feeling of belonging.’ He held her out in front of him. ‘Sonia, in truth, you can never lose him. But for the time being you must let him go. Paul’s destiny is only now just starting to unfold.’

She spoke between the sobs. ‘The trouble is, I know you are right - as usual - but Bashar, it hurts. It bloody well hurts!’

‘I know Sonia. I know. Loss is always painful. But know that it is also always temporary.’

‘He’s such a naive fool, yet I love him so much.’

‘I know you do. That is the one mistake Marduk made. He doesn’t understand love.’

Sonia became inquisitive. ‘I don’t understand. Who is Marduk? Wasn’t he the mid-evil magician you mentioned at the ritual?’

Bashar was deep in thought. ‘What? Oh, Marduk - I’m afraid he’s another who’s destiny is only now just starting to unfold.’

Paul and Don walked for a few minutes around from the ridge and out of sight of the others, then Paul stopped. He turned to Don, his face unable to disguise the strained anxiousness for a moment longer. ‘Don, I beg you, this time I want the complete truth. Please, start from the very beginning...’

Don sat on a boulder. For a few seconds his gaze wondered aimlessly at the scenic mountains and forests. Shafts of golden sunlight beamed through the branches of the fir trees. The unseen birds chatted happily. The air was pure, crisp. The aromatic fragrance of unspoilt nature wafted past his nostrils - the world looked so damn perfect. Why didn’t I ever take the time to appreciate the beauty of this planet, he thought.

‘O.k. Paul, I guess for a start I should begin by telling you that your real name is not Paul Ravenscroft. Your name is Paul Schurnburg...




Copyright 2004 – 2006 © Charles Goodwin. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, storage in a retrieval system or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of Charles Goodwin.

All characters - other than obvious historical figures - in this book 666 The Cauldron are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Prospective publishers with expressions of interest are invited to contact Charles Goodwin at *

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