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​Chapter 10
The Land of Constructs

...casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…  2 Corinthians 10:5  NKJV

     The four were up bright and early the next morning. They were too excited to stay in bed any longer. Along with the excitement was concern. How would they fare? Were they prepared? Gerard seemed to think so.
     "It’s simple," Gerard said dryly. "Just keep in mind all you've learned."
     Leif didn't know if Gerard was fooling with them or not. The four waited a short while until Gerard joined them for one last goodbye. They hugged and some teared up.
     "You have done well. Maybe I'll see you again. If not, we agents have ways to find out how you’re doing."
     Gerard saw them to the path, then watched until they were out of sight. The path ran steeply downhill, leaving the Center and its cliffs behind, before leveling out to grassy fields dotted with flowers and trees. Here and there a bird was seen enjoying the sun. No one spoke, each lost in their thoughts, and each very aware they were on their own and enemies were out there. They had to keep their Sensing sharp.
     “Gerard said to keep walking until we come to the buildings of the Land of Constructs,” Leif said. Gerard hadn't elaborated, as usual, only adding that they were to find the agent who would be in the plainest building they saw.
     "What if there are several plain buildings?" Isabella asked Leif as they walked.
     "Gerard said there won't be."
     They walked the rest of that day and part of the next. Devan was the first to notice the tall edifices in the distance.
     "What in the world?" he exclaimed.
     As they walked closer, they could make out more and more of the buildings.
     "Some of those must be five stories high or more," Leif observed.
     One last bit of walking found them at the edge where the buildings began. They had arrived in the Land of Constructs.
     It was building after building with signs announcing what they were. Signs that advertised "The Game of ...,” "The Business of ...,” "The Temple of ....” Virtually anything you could imagine was present. Some had bright flashing lights and many had music blaring from inside. Occasionally someone would come out extolling the virtues of whatever was on their sign, and encourage the four to come in. They politely refused, but had to be insistent with the more persistent ones.
     The odd thing was they had a desire to go into some of them, though the desire varied from person to person, and from building to building. This troubled them since Gerard had told them how well they had done during their training.
     "However," Leif reminded them, "Gerard also said Constructs were dangerous precisely because they did tempt people."
     It was a relief when they came to a small, plain building with no glaring lights or music, just a plain wooden sign: “The Temple of Longing.” The building matched Gerard's description. They walked in and found themselves in a large room with chairs in rows and a podium at the front. The furniture was simple, nothing fancy. Sitting on the front row, half turned to see them, was a woman. She looked to be in her forties and still had an athletic build that showed a long-time commitment to a healthy lifestyle. She smiled at them. Rising, she came with hand outstretched.
     "Hello. I was expecting you. Welcome to the Temple of Longing. I am Agent Angelique."
     She shook hands with them, calling each by their name and pausing a moment to look into their eyes.
     “Come, sit. You must be tired.”
     They liked and trusted Angelique immediately. She radiated a life and contentment that could only come from constant contact with the Source.
     "You need to learn more about Constructs. Gerard didn’t tell you everything. I know you have a lot of questions, but maybe I can answer them as we talk. What have you learned so far?"
     They told Angelique about their training time with Gerard. She asked about the raid and what they already knew about Constructs.
     "As Gerard told you, a Construct is a building constructed from a person’s own desires, hopes, fears, and weaknesses. It comes from within them and happens when they decide to live in their Constructs rather than finish their journey. 
     “A person can have many Constructs of different types. People are complex. Every Construct is built on two things: the fear that life has no meaning, and the belief that it is up to each person to find things to give their life meaning.
     “There are many various types of Constructs. They fall into four broad categories, though multiple categories can overlap. There are Moral Constructs, Competition Constructs, Belonging Constructs and Escape Constructs. Each Construct you see here falls into one or more of these categories.
     “Moral Constructs include things involving a code of behavior, good or bad. This includes religions, philosophies, and rules of conduct that people come up with collectively or individually. Competition Constructs include jobs and sports. Belonging Constructs include friends, clubs and marriages. Escape Constructs include games and entertainment media. Don’t misunderstand me. Most of these are good things, but even a good thing becomes bad if we put them ahead of the Source. That’s what makes them a Construct.
     “I know I am throwing a lot at you, but your first assignment is to go out and look at more of the Constructs and see if you can tell which category or categories they fall under. Keep in mind that the Constructs you see here were built by those who yielded to the Pull, while those in Back weren’t. That’s a big difference.
     “Also, and this is important, you have probably already discovered some of the Constructs exert a pull on you. Remember which ones. We will need to analyze them. You are more used to Constructs than you realize. Most of Back, where you grew up, is made up of Constructs, some of them of your own building. Some of them you weren't even aware of.
     “But now, with the Sensing and the flowing, you can bring them into the light. It will be difficult. You may face some things about yourself you have hidden deep within you. But that is for later.”
     Angelique stood up.
     “Let me show you your rooms. Tomorrow you can go out and see what you can discover."
     "Which Construct does sex go in?" Leif wisecracked.
     "All of them."
     Leif laughed but stopped when he realized Angelique was dead serious.

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