Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Probe

The high priest closed his eyes in meditation. He tried to quiet his mind, setting it upon the mysteries of life and the glory of the unknown. Just then he heard the rustle of curtains. Someone was there to see him.
Nobody, absolutely nobody disturbed the high priest when he was in meditation. Whatever it was, it had better be important. At leisure, the high priest opened his eyes. The messenger was waiting patiently at his door step.
"What is it?" he asked sternly.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, sire, but there is an important matter that you should attend to.", the messenger said.
Watching the look on his face, the High Priest felt disturbed. He was a new High Priest. Inexperienced, nothing of significance had really happened in the two years since he became High Priest. He did not particularly like this position of responsibility.
The large gathering in the premises of the temple did not help.
"What is it?" he demanded from the Second Highest Priest.
"Some thing unusual has occurred." Said the Second Highest Priest, "These people say that something fell out of the skies yesterday night in the Village. The Headman himself came early in the morning to inform us. The people are scared, sire. You should do something about this quickly."
The High Priest decided to go the Village to see for himself.

The object was huge. It stood twice as tall as a man and wide as a room. What it was, was anybody's guess. To the High Priest it appeared to be a vast jumble of metal pipes. As if a thousand utensils had been crushed together by a giant hand. And it had wheels. That much anyone could make out. But these wheels were not wood, nor metal. It was a strange black material. Black wood, perhaps? The work of the Evil?
"When did it come?" The High Priest enquired.
"Last night, sire, just after midnight. As soon as daylight broke out we rushed to the Temple to inform you. It came from the sky, from towards the north and fell in to the fields."
"And had it been just lying there since that time?"
"Till now, yes."
Suddenly the object rumbled. Everyone shrieked and ran at once. The rumblings stopped and the circle around the object stabilized again but this time with a larger radius. The High Priest was having great difficulty in maintaining his composure.
A long arm shot out of the structure bearing what looked like an eye.
"What is that?" the Second High Priest whispered. It was pretty much the thing that the High Priest himself was wondering. The eye rose high and then in a wide circle.
"It is watching us." Said the High Priest with conviction.
"Watching us? What for? Is that its eye?"
The High Priest shook his head. He took a bold step forward.
"Who are you?" he called out in a loud voice, "Why have you come here?"
The Eye turned towards the High Priest. His heart leaped. But he stood his ground. He could not disgrace himself in front of so many. The Eye moved forward, taking a closer look. Then it retracted. The Devil rumbled again and the Eye settled into it.
The crowd kept waiting in anticipation. But nothing happened. They kept waiting till midday but nothing happened. Finally the High Priest decided to leave. He gave orders to be informed immediately if something happened.

The Temple declared the object to be Devil. Some people believed otherwise. There was rumor doing the rounds among the commoners that the Object was actually a messenger of God. The High Priest was making a mistake in not recognizing it as such. There were those who thought that the choice of the new High Priest had been in correct. The one who was the Second High priest should have been the High Priest now. But the dieing former High Priest decided otherwise. The old man was delusional.
The high priest was aware of all these rumors. They disturbed him. It could not do for the people to be unsatisfied with him. He was well ware that the power vested in any man was only as much as the people gave him. It people did not obey his orders he would have no power.
He had to do something about the matter. That night he gathered a force of ten strong and able bodied men. Armed with mallets and hammers they marched to the site where the object lay. Then with strong sure blows they broke down the work of the devil. The object was crushed to pieces.
The next say arose in a new light. People looked at the High Priest with renewed reverence. He became and instant hero. It was advertised that it was due to his supernatural powers that he Devil had been over powered.

No comments:

Post a Comment