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Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
Devan became more and more fearful as he and Kamiko cleared cells. It was an irrational fear, he knew, but it kept growing. He also suspected the Manforms detected his fear, for they would look at him a moment before fleeing.
They sprung their trap after ten cells had been cleared. The Manforms knew they couldn't overcome Kamiko. She was too strong for them. But Devan was another matter. Several of them rushed at Kamiko to temporarily separate her and Devan while others flowed fear at Devan. While Kamiko was busy repelling her attackers, Devan was carried away, frozen by his fear.
They carried him to an empty cell. Devan would never forget watching a Dark Form approach and go around to his back. He felt the talons sink into his back between his shoulder blades. There was no pain, only horror. He was powerless to stop what was happening to him. A Manform larger than the others came into the cell.
"We can't take him to another tower, for the others will surely follow," he hissed. "Since he is on the journey, they will be able to sense him wherever we take him. We are to torture him here until his will to go on is broken. Take him to the topmost cell and put up a barricade so the others can’t reach him."
The Dark Form released him and they roughly shoved him ahead of them and up many flights of stairs until they came to the top cell. There they forced him to re-live many painful and shameful experiences from his past.
"You are totally alone. You've always been alone. No one wants to be around you."
Waves of intense loneliness washed over Devan. He writhed and moaned.
"Well, I see you have had some involvement with drugs," one hissed.
Shame rose up, though that was years ago.
"You are totally worthless. Why don't you just kill yourself? It's not the first time you had that thought, now is it?"
Waves of suicidal thoughts hit him. Devan didn't know how much longer he could hold out before he went mad.
Far below, the three friends were panicked.
"What can we do?" Isabella cried.
"Stay calm!" Agent Lopez commanded. "No need to panic. We can sense him since he has been on the journey this long. Kamiko, you are our best hope since you are more familiar than I am with his flows."
Kamiko closed her eyes to better use her Sensing.
"He's still in the tower!" She looked up. "But up."
"Let's rescue him," Agent Lopez shouted.
They climbed as quickly as they could, floor after floor connected by a wide circular stairway. Suddenly what small amount of light there was from the doorways was extinguished by a darkness that hung in the air.
"They try this tired trick every time," Agent Lopez mused. "Everyone focus on the Beat.”
Immediately the golden Beat infused and surrounded them, providing plenty enough light to keep going.
"You'd think they would learn.”
They came to the barricade, consisting of brush and branches scavenged near the tower.
“We can dig through this, but it will take some time, and I don't know if Devan has that much time.”
“We are close to him. But his flow is weak and sporadic,” Kamiko informed.
“Maybe if each of us flowed the same thing to him it will be strong enough to reach him,” Agent Lopez suggested. “Quickly, everyone, flow your truth stream. Tell him only one thing: ‘Remember your training!’”
A strong red flow flowed through the barricade, through walls, straight to Devan. Dimly Devan realized something was flowing to him. Remember my training? He strained to focus in on it. It took all his strength and will to do so. Yes, that's it! he thought. Training…the Three Great Truths. Yes, the Great Truths. A strength outside himself began to sustain him.
“You are a liar,” he said to the Manform torturing him. “First, I am never alone. Second, I look at who the Source is, not on who I am. And third, the Source is more powerful than you or your Pulsing or your Dark Forms or anything else. And fourth, I choose to believe you can’t stop me from getting up off this floor and walking out that door.”
Devan rose unsteadily to his feet. He flowed a red stream at the Manforms, but it was weak. Sensing this, the Manforms remained where they were, blocking his path. Devan realized he needed help. However, because he had stood up to them, he was now better able to sense the flow from the others.
“He's stronger but still in trouble. He needs help,” said Kamiko.
“Kamiko, flow to him that though he is still fearful, he is stronger than the Manforms if his Longing is stronger than the fear,” Isabella said.
“Yes!” said Agent Lopez excitedly. “That’s exactly what he needs to know.”
Leif looked at Isabella with admiration.
“I remembered something Gerard told us. We each have fears of something,” Isabella explained. “Some just deal with them better than others. But they haven't stopped me from my journey, and neither will they stop Devan. I just know it.”
Devan received the message. The Longing, let your Longing to finish the journey come forth. And with that, his red flow turned strong. The Manforms fled before him. Devan walked out of the cell knowing he was stronger and more alive than he had ever been, even more than when he first heard the voice of the Source, for in battle is found the deepest reality of the truths, the Beat, and the Source.
“He did it! He’s free,” Kamiko shouted.
The three and Agent Lopez hugged and cheered.
“Way to go, big D!” Leif said.
They worked to clear away the barricade. Devan did the same on his end. Soon they were together again, united and stronger than ever.
No more captives were in the tower, and no more Dark Forms. And although the Manforms couldn't fly, there were none of them either. Agent Lopez said that with their clawed hands and feet they can climb down the outside of the tower.
"Don't worry. They are usually reluctant to follow us. The enemy is a bully who doesn't know how to cope with anyone who stands up to them."
Reassured, they completed their trip back to the bunker in good spirits. When they were safely inside and relaxing on the sofas, Isabella asked the question that had bothered her the whole trip back.
"Did we help that first woman whose kids were taken from her, all that much? Was what we flowed and you said to her true, or was it just something to give her a false hope so she could escape?"
Agent Lopez's eyes lit up.
"I am so glad you asked that question. I was waiting for this moment to give you one of the most important lessons of your training: how it all fits together. A real-life example is the best way to teach it, and now we have one. You have had glimpses of it on your raid with Gerard and our rescue of Devan. This is perhaps the most critical point of your training, certainly up to now, and perhaps for a long while to come.
"But I want to wait until morning when you will be rested and can better take it in. It is a big, beautiful picture when you see how the parts come together, one that only the Source could have painted. See you then."
After he left, the four went over what had happened in the tower. They listened intently as Devan described how the Manforms had dealt with him.
"Tomorrow's lesson should be interesting," Leif said. "I haven't seen him this animated, even in the tower."
They agreed it must be something indeed.