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Chapter 9
Introduction to Constructs

     Everyone was excited back at the Center after the raid. The four had confidence they could hold their own against the Dark Forms.
     "Don't be so cocky," Gerard warned.
     “First, the Source is the power behind your flowing. Your flowing would have no power if you tried to use it contrary to the three Truths. And second, the Dark Forms rarely attack directly. They attack at a moment of weakness. We made them attack us on our terms. We had them at a disadvantage. But you did well. You flowed well with the Truths. I'm proud of you."
     "But who was that strange lady we found?" Leif asked.
     "We will discuss her in the morning. Let's rest up from the raid. Sleep in until noon. We’ll begin class after lunch. You’re more tired than you think. You are still keyed up from the raid."
     The four were almost too excited to rest, but they eventually drifted off to sleep.
     The next afternoon in the classroom, Gerard began.
     "The woman we rescued, though she wouldn't call it that, was caught in a Construct of her own making. The Pulsing tempts us to build Constructs so we won't go on. We let that be our purpose in life rather than finding out from the Source. The Pulsing uses our weaknesses and desires to know what to tempt us to build, so the more honest you are about yourself, the better off you will be.
     "Almost every edifice you will see in Beyond is a Construct. Those cabins in Home were Constructs. Beyond was intended to be a place where you keep moving and not settle. That woman had built a Construct within which she believed herself a powerful warrior, capable of raiding a nest by herself. She saw herself defeating the enemy, but instead, she was just wearing herself out. The enemy lets her keep thinking that because she was no longer concerned with her journey. That's how dangerous Constructs are. They are hard to dislodge because we have buried some of our greatest weaknesses deep inside us.
     "I want each of you to write down one weakness you have. Be as honest as you can."
     The four paused a moment, thinking.
     "Would anyone want to read what they wrote?"
     No one raised their hand.
     "Therein is the problem. Constructs are built in the shadows. They flee the light of exposure. And while no one cares to expose their weaknesses, you must realize how important it is for you to be as open as possible."
     Isabella hesitantly raised her hand.
     "Good, Isabella. Read yours."
     "I can be stubborn."
     "Interesting. Next?"
     "I avoid new situations and have trouble making friends," Devan ventured timidly.
     "Okay, it's a start. Next?"
     "I would rather not read mine," said Kamiko. Gerard looked at her intently for a moment.
     "All right, but you must face it on the next step of your journey."
     Kamiko looked troubled. Leif spoke to break the awkward moment.
     "I sometimes try to tell others how to live their life."
     "Hmm," replied Gerard. "Well, as I said, you will face yourself as perhaps you never have before. The Dark Forms are the greatest enemy you have faced thus far. Where you are going next, your greatest enemy will be you. Up until now, you haven’t needed the healing flow much, but you soon will. That’s the power of truth. The truth flow brings the weakness into focus and the healing flow heals so you are less vulnerable to the Dark Form attacks or to building Constructs. And you will face enemies larger and more powerful than the Dark Forms.
     “That’s what happened to those still in Back, the life you led before coming to Beyond. People built Constructs to give their life purpose. They joined their Constructs into clusters of like-minded people. Each person has many Constructs they spend their life in. It’s sad. Unless they respond to the Longing, they will live and die in Back. Live and die in their Constructs."
     Isabella raised her hand. “Tell me again what a Construct is?”
     “Anything that stops you from continuing your journey. You will see specific examples on the next leg of your journey. I will let those answer your question.”
     "How awful. We could easily still be in that situation," Kamiko observed.
     "You can still fall back into it,” Gerard reminded them. “But don’t forget you have help. The Source has agents, too. After a person reaches the end of their journey, they are sent back to Beyond and Back, to help others with their journey.”
     "Are you an agent, Gerard?" Devan asked.
     "What do you think?"
     "I think you are."
     "You would be correct."
     "Well, I won't be tempted to make any Constructs!" Leif remarked forcefully.
     Gerard fixed an intense look on Leif.
     "I guess you'll find out, won't you?"
     Leif wondered what that meant.
     “Class is over,” Gerard said. “For the rest of the day practice your flowing and consider what Constructs might hinder you."
     Gerard walked out of the room.
     "I wish he wouldn't be so warm," Isabella commented wryly.
     "He cares about us, deeply," Leif replied. "I can tell. But I think agents are advised not to socialize too closely with us. It could cloud their judgement."
     After the four had gone on several more raids, the day came when Gerard announced, "You will resume your journey tomorrow. You are now official Journeyers, those who have finished their basic training. Congratulations.”
     "But Gerard, we need you," Leif pleaded.
     "No, the flowing and the Beat will guide and protect you. Trust them. Trust the Source. You aren’t alone.”
     Gerard’s expression softened and his eyes had a warmth previously held in check.
     “Now go pack your things. You leave in the morning.”
     “I told you he cared deeply about us,” Leif said after Gerard exited.
     For the first time, it hit them hard that they had become so accustomed to Gerard and the Center that the thought of striking out on their own was intimidating. They talked among themselves before going to bed. They were confident, but also nervous.
     "No one said this would be easy," Leif stated. "Does anyone want to turn back? Now would be an obvious time."
     "I'm okay," answered Isabella.
     "Me, too," joined in Kamiko.
     They looked at Devan. With a big sigh he said, "Let's go for it."

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