21 Iyar 5779 / Sunday, May 26, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bamidbar
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Mahn’s Inner Doubts    

Mahn’s Inner Doubts

If there was even an ounce of truth to the mysterious Legend of the Wings, whose very name he dared not utter, maybe the old woman was powerful enough to unlock the gate of truth…


Warriors of Transcendence, Part 13

Mahn found himself sitting across from her, overwhelmed and embarrassed. Why did he react so strongly to her words while the others lost interest?   He looked towards the upper level of the Towered City. His spirit was comforted by his hopes to climb higher and higher, become taller, more powerful, all encompassing…An irritating   feeling arose in him, darkening his consciousness, causing him to feel humiliated. There he was, Mahn the Senior Inviewer, sitting like a fool across from this old, self- centered and blabbering hag. What was she whispering? He was overcome with anger. Why was he destined to waste his time down below amidst rude warriors and blathering hags?
"Pure silver…clear as a tear", she whispered, as if comforted by her own words, as if they held rejuvenating powers. As if her future and the future of   others was secreted and hidden within her words.
"Stop!" roared Mahn. He felt that he must stop the nonsense forcing itself into his mind.
"Arise and follow me!" he ordered, exposing the flame on his sleeve.
The old woman was not startled. She had become accustomed to suffering throughout her long life. Would this man take her life? No matter. Nothing of importance remained for her. She followed after him as a shadow, her teeth glistening through a peculiar smile, repeatedly mumbling her mysterious tune: "Pure silver…clear as a tear."
Even after delivering her to the Base Level Interrogators, and explaining her activities to them, he remained conflicted. What did he want from her? Seated in a corner of the darkened room and listening to the Inviewers’ interrogation, Mahn felt increasingly uneasy.
"Why are you frightening people?" a robust warrior challenged the old woman, a small dagger in his hand.
It was obvious that conversation was not his favorite form of communication. Crouched in her corner, the old woman did not even bother to look his way. She sat there almost lifeless, only her head moving from side to side, as if busy solving a complex matter. Two additional interrogators attempted to communicate with her verbally, though their patience quickly waned.
A shrill whistle was heard in the room. The robust warrior had snapped a long, thin whip. Still the woman was not moved.
"Enough!" Mahn uttered, rising up from his seat.
They gazed at him dumbfounded: Why was he interrupting their work?
"Leave us alone," Mahn ordered authoritatively, "I will take it from here."
The three interrogators left the room unwillingly. Mahn remained with the old woman. In the dim light, her face looked more wrinkled and shriveled than it really was. He sat across from her and spoke to her as one human being to another: "Don't worry, grandmother, no harm shall come to you".
She remained crouched in her corner, motionless.
"Are you thirsty?" He asked. She remained silent.
 He was no longer angry with her. He felt overwhelmed, full of questions. After years of monitoring the inner thoughts of others, suddenly walls in his own mind were cracking, and his own thoughts were rushing chaotically. He felt compelled to elicit an explanation from her; he owed it to himself. If there was even an ounce of truth to the mysterious Legend of the Wings, whose very name he dared not utter, and whose mere thought wrought terror in all the Tower’s inhabitants, maybe she was powerful enough to unlock the gate of truth? He suddenly became aware of his thoughts. His commanders might sense these unusual thoughts when he reported to them later! But curiosity and his intense need to discover the truth overcame his fear. His questioning became relentless.
"In a different time, above the water," Mahn repeated the words he had heard.
The words scorched his lips, and he felt the desire to believe them.
"When will this time transpire?" he asked.
The old woman's eyes opened, and they appeared to him like light- filled tunnels in the darkened room.
"Who are you?" she asked.
For the first time since Mahn first heard her whisperings, Mahn noticed that her voice was human, vivacious, full of feeling, young…She asked her question as though she had been searching throughout her entire life for someone and now she was checking: Was Mahn the one?
Who are you??? This question echoed through his mind. He searched within himself for the answer but could not find it. For a lone moment the doors of the future were opened in his mind. He heard the same question repeated again and again, asked by a young woman. And the answer was hidden in her words: You are not who you think you are.
Mahn shut his eyes, yearning to delve into his vision, but it suddenly vanished and the magic faded. The old woman was still in her own world, and Mahn was once again an Inviewer in a dark interrogation room, uselessly questioning a crazy old hag. He did not attempt to understand all that had occurred, and banished the bizarre moments from his consciousness. He went out into the lit hall, where the three warriors were waiting.
"Toss her out into the street", he instructed.
They looked disappointed, as if loot had been seized from their hands.
"There is no truth to her words".
But deep inside he knew how far from the truth his own words were. 
To be continued.
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