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Chapter 4: Jacob and Samuel.
At the age of 13, by the arrangement of the island (with a not-so-clever hog involved), Samuel discovered the other Roman sailors’ village, and very soon he moved in with them. The island was very pleased to see that. The young prodigy finally broke free of his evil mother’s influence. What else was better than that? He started to secretly teach Samuel how to building things, and how to use various Egyptian devices to perform some miracles. To Samuel, all the ideas came naturally, like he already knew a long time ago. Soon he became the leader of the village at a very young age. The sailors regarded him as a prophet sent from the Athena.
One day Samuel talked to the island, “I want to leave this damned place!”
The island completely agreed, “Good, part of a protector’s job is to go around the world and search for talented babies. You will travel a lot after you become the protector.”
“But I don’t want to kidnap other people’s baby. That is WRONG!”
“It is for a good cause, definitely worth the effort.”
“Uh...” the island was a bad liar, “If the light in the cave goes out ... uh... so the rest of the world.”
“You are lying! You are such a bad liar.” Samuel cried out, “Nothing will happen if the light goes out. It is just you dying.”
“Uh...” the island found himself being caught red-handed, unable to speak, it was very hard for a machine to lie.
“I know you treated me well, but I am sorry that I won’t be your protector.”
“Didn’t I help you enough?” The island said in a sad voice, “Didn’t I teach you everything I could? I think of you like a son. Why can’t you just offer a little protection in return?”
Samuel looked at the alien, who was in his real mother’s shape. He(She?) looked quite upset. He felt sorry for him, but still he had to say it, “I am really sorry. You are the best God that I ever know. But I have already grown up. The power you gave me should be used for the better of the mankind. I should use my special abilities to help them before I die. Staying in the island and avoiding human contacts are not the ideas I like. So I have to go, please don’t stop me.”
They were both quiet for a long while. Samuel looked at his almighty master with a determination.
Finally the island said slowly, “I won’t let you get off this island. I will keep reminding you your duty until you accept it one day.”
The boy stared at the island, who faked as his dead mother, and said, “Alright then, if you choose to do it this way. One day, I will find a portal to leave this island. I know they are here somewhere. And if you try to stop me, I will kill you and drop you to the bottom of the ocean.”
The island felt a chill so cold that he was trembling (figuratively speaking). It was like back to that day, when Imhotep demanded to be his master. He couldn’t kill the boy because he loved him too much, but he knew the boy was too rebellious to become a protector, but he didn’t want to give up just yet. Time, he thought, only time could change his mind. Since time is all I have, I would keep waiting and waiting, until the day he returns and takes the job.
Time passed slowly, swiftly and irreversibly.
The island tolerated “the mother” for another 17 years, right after she gave Jacob the title of protector. He helped “the mother” kill all the Romans and burned the village to the ground, in order to infuriate Samuel. He was not disappointed: Samuel took the knife and killed her, just as he planned. What he didn’t expect was that the always quiet and tame Jacob, in a sudden fury, severely beat Samuel into a bloodbath and dropped him down in the cave.
When Samuel, who was carried by water, reached the fountain of sacred water, the island immediately turned down the energy shield level so Samuel wouldn’t die right away. Then again, he faked as Samuel’s real mother, a trick that he had been using many times before, which was the most effective.
With blood dripping from his mouth, Samuel saw his mother walking gracefully from the deep of the cave. She always looked extraordinary beautiful. He remembered that she was exactly the same way 17 years ago. Immediately he knew the island needed something important from him, otherwise he wouldn’t have shown in his mother’s form. Maybe the moment had finally come.
The moment of the ultimatum.
Not surprisingly, his fake mother looked at the badly wounded Samuel and said, “My child, this is the last chance that you can become a protector. All your friends and followers are dead. Your brother hates you. There is nothing else for you in this island anymore. Now drink the water and become my protector!”
With broken legs and bruises all over, Samuel almost drowned in the sacred water. He felt a strange powerful reaction boiling up inside his body. At that time he didn’t know that he had involuntarily drunk too much of that water. His power was already way beyond any previous protectors. The island didn’t mind because he expected Samuel would agree. Let him drink as much as he liked.
Knowing him for so long, Samuel knew the island always wanted him to be the next protector, and he already gave him so much power and taught him so much knowledge. They were like father and son. At that time all he needed to do was saying “Yes”, and he would have everything.
However, he opened up his swollen eyes, and spoke like a hero, “I will never kidnap a baby like that evil woman. She was a protector when she killed my mother. I hate her and I hate this job. You will never get me into it.”
“Why are you so against me? I did nothing but teaching you and raising you like my son. Why even at this moment you still don’t want to protect me?” The island felt deeply hurt by his rebellion.
“Why should I protect you? You pathetic old fool.” Samuel felt that all his strength was back. The sacred water had completely healed him in just a short moment. He stood up and said, “All you have been doing is hiding and hiding. Did you ever do anything good to the human? I want to go out, and I want to use my power to help my people. Why can you just let me go?”
“Your race is always busy killing each other outside.” The island said it ironically, “there is nothing for you there. You will care for them, fight for them and eventually die for them. I won’t allow that from happening. I would rather kill you now.”
“Do it then, what are you waiting for?” Samuel stood like a giant. He knew that this time the island wouldn’t let him go. In fact he didn’t plan to escape.
The Samuel’s dead mother, faked by the island, came up to him. She slowly gently touched his firm cheek and spoke in a sad voice, “I am really very sorry for this. Your mother wants to tell you that she is incredibly proud of you.”
“I’ve never actually met you, but I know you are always around.” Samuel said, “I love you, mom!”
The yellow light suddenly turned up to a thousand magnitudes stronger.
Life is precious, but don’t forget the soul, it is even more valuable.
Samuel is dead, but the island cloned his body and put him gently on the creek, the place where he played most as a boy. He also made sure Jacob would find him. It was a disappointment to see Jacob placed his body together with the evil woman. Clearly Jacob never understood his brother, or his fake mother. He got a pure soul, but it would require a long time of training for him.
The matter was settled, but the island was still in trouble. He didn’t know how to deal with Samuel’s soul. Over the past 17 years, he gave him so much hope, taught him and trained him so well, that even his soul was highly unusual. In addition, he drank a lot of water in the fountain before he died. So his soul inherited a lot of powers from the island. He couldn’t constrain it in the jungle. It escaped the prison the first night it was thrown there. Since then it roamed around day and night as a column of black smoke. If it got hold of a soul, it could fake his human’s appearance and voice. It could also read souls by flashing the person. Everything that the island taught him, the soul still had it. The big trouble was, what should he do with this monster?
He could terminate it in a second, but it would mean he had to kill him again. It was extremely difficult for the first time already. However, if he let it leave the island, it would avenge his murder by telling outsiders all the secrets of the island. He wouldn’t be able to hide any more. Very soon the whole world would come visiting him. He might be sunk by the sheer weight of the visitors.
Finally the island decided that: Let it stay in the island. The time-space shield on the edge will stop it from going out. It will be very angry about being held in this place, but whatever it plays out, it was fine with me. I just need to make sure it won’t kill Jacob and his candidates.
Jacob had a very tough job to do.
It was a bad start in the beginning. His mother was supposed to teach him everything about being a protector, but she was killed in a hurry. The island didn’t like him, so he got little help from him. Therefore, he didn’t know that, in order to find a replacement, the best way was to kidnap a baby.
Now whenever he tried to get some potential people to the island, his brother’s soul would kill them all before they become candidates. A slave ship called “Black Rock” was coming to the island. It contained some good people, a good chance to find a candidate. He even persuaded the island to provide a little extra support. Following the plan, the island raised an incredible thunderstorm, pulled the ship near, lifted the whole ship and placed it in the middle of the island. It was a shame that the stone statue was destroyed during the process, but it was a job well done nonetheless. However, by the time Jacob got there, Samuel already killed almost all of the crew, except one. It was the one who had a serious damaged soul. He felt like Samuel was mocking him, “OK, I just leave you this one, and let’s see how you deal with it.” That miserable man couldn’t be a candidate, not in a million years. But he used him anyway. It turned out that he was a good slave. He always did what Jacob told him to do, though Jacob knew that he was still thinking about Samuel’s deal all the time, so this slave, Alpert, could not be fully trusted, but at least he was useful.
By the way, the price that Alpert had asked for his service, it was too cheap. Immortality is an easy thing in this island. He could give it to any of his slaves who wanted it for free, because actually it was more like a curse. Nobody liked to be someone’s slave forever. That’s why protectors were always running around looking for the next baby candidates, so that they could hand over the job and be free. The island promised each protector, if they found a good replacement. He would transport them back to Tunisia, and they would start their new life as mortals. Each time a protector left the island, the island would personally appeared in his alien shape and shook his hand and congratulated him for his freedom, and the talk usually carried on like this:
The island: “Do you want me to visit you after you are out?”
The protector: “No. I am afraid that the next time I see you it will be extremely unpleasant.”
The island: “OK, I am just kidding. Goodbye, my faithful one.”
The protector: “See you in the next life, master.”
After thousands of deaths, Jacob finally got the hang of the job. He had 3 rules: Number one, nobody leaves the island, except the one he permits. So no matter how scared you are, you stay. Number two, no contact with the outside world. Everyone lives in the most primitive way possible, wearing the simple clothes and no shoes. This way everybody is poor and suffering, and they will remain simple and controllable. Rule number three, whoever has a bad soul has to leave the village and live alone. We won’t kill you, but let’s see how long you can live out there with the monster.
Under his command a small village was established. The followers all listened to Alpert, and Alpert listened to him. Alpert taught each of the villagers Latin so they could all communicate. Occasionally the black smoke would come, but they were all prepared. The ash offered by the island blocked the black smoke from getting in. Jacob had no idea what that ash was, neither did he bother to raise the question. Alpert and his followers were silent too. Besides that, the underground of the temple was a place that the black smoke frequently visited, but he never entered the temple in the upper part. Nobody knew why, except Jacob and the temple abbot, Dogen.
A long time ago, before Samuel’s death, the island made the young prodigy promised that, as long as the temple was still functioning (with the abbot in it), he wouldn’t disturb them. It was a promise that Samuel was still keeping. Obviously Samuel and the island had a very complicated relationship which Jacob couldn’t understand.
That’s right. Under the temple there were places where they once bonded as the master and the prodigy, or even as the parent and the child. A lot of sentimental value was there. The temple was one of the very few things Samuel still treasured.
The ruling of Jacob had been relatively easier since they got the black ashes. The only problem is, unlike his precedents, Jacob always failed to find a replacement. He was on the job for the longest time, broken all the records.
He was very upset by it. Being a slave for a life time was already unbearable. Imagine that being a slave for many lifetimes. It drove him to the edge of the madness. The only thing that could calm him down was weaving, which his “mother” taught him when he was little. He found peace when he heard the sound of the loom. It made him feel like his “mother” was still there.
Samuel sometimes appeared in human shape, as himself. His visits always scared the villagers to death, but over the years they learned two things: one, that he will not kill you if he let you see him as a human, at least not right away; two, if you have a good soul, he will be less likely to kill you. Most of the time, Samuel appeared just to tell the villagers to bury a body, or go somewhere to clean up a really bloody mess. The villagers were deeply bothered by that. After all, none of them really wanted to clean up the extremely gory mess that Samuel had left.
It was one lovely morning in 19th century. Jacob caught a fish and ate it just like any other days.
He actually never needed to eat. He was doing it so he could still appear as a human.
Outside of the white sand beach, far in the horizon, a trading ship with 3 large masts appeared.
Samuel (Aka the MIB, smokey, the monster) appeared as himself. He looked at the ship and frowned.
“Mind if I join you?”
“Please. Want some fish?”
Man, we both don’t need to eat. This is really hypocrite. Samuel thought as he replied in the same hypocrite fashion, “Thank you. I just ate.”
Lying bastard! Jacob thought, what did you eat, uh? White smoke?
Samuel sat nearby.
Jacob said, “I take it you are here because of the ship.”
Now you are on the business, Samuel thought. “I am. How did they find the island?”
Jacob replied, “You’ll have to ask them when they get here.”
That was utterly irresponsible! Samuel was angry, “I don’t have to ask. You brought them here (to get killed). Still trying to prove me wrong (that you will never find a replacement), aren’t you?”
Jacob: “You are wrong. (I will find a replacement.)”
Samuel: “Am I? They come; they fight; they destroy. They corrupt. (Then I have to kill them all again.) It always ends the same. (No one is left to be the protector.)”
Jacob: “It only ends once (when I successfully find a replacement). Anything that happens before that is just progress. (I don’t care how many people will die in the progress.)”
Samuel stared at his former brother with disbelief. What kind of cold bloody animal had he become? He remembered him as a boy. At that time he was so innocent and never hurt a fly. Now where was the brother he knew?
Slowly, he said, “Do you have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?”
Get a number and wait in line, Jacob smirked, “Yes.”
Samuel: “One of these days, sooner or later... I am going to find a loophole, my friend. (You are not my brother anymore.)”
You are bluffing. Jacob thought. “Well, when you do, I will be right here.”
Alright, all warnings were out. It’s time to devise a plan. Samuel said to his enemy, in the same hypocrite tone of his, “Always nice talking to you, Jacob.”
You just waged a war and talk to me like this? That is an insult! Jacob faked the smile and replied, “Nice talking to you, too.”
In just a few words, a war was declared.
Samuel started to get busy.
First thing, everyone in the new ship was slaughtered.
Second thing, finished the wheel of time. With the knowledge that the island taught him, he easily align a small Tisillium core’s space-time jumper with the wheel, so that when the wheel turning forward or backward. The time period on the island will turn back and forth. Because it was a small core, and the wheel was very primitively designed. So it couldn’t jump through the timeline too far, roughly when turning 1 spoke, the island will jump 10 years. It was just a fail-safe device. Samuel thought, “If there is anything goes wrong, at least I can jump back 10 years and started all over.”
The 8-spoke wheel looked like some symbol he learned before. In a moment, he remembered, so he named it “the Dharma wheel” and wrote it on the wall in Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The island watched him secretly. He was proud of him for building such a powerful device in such a simple way. Though many years ago he decided to be neutral between Jacob and Samuel, but in his heart, he always wished Samuel to be the winner.
It was a little unfair that Samuel could harness the true power of the island, while Jacob was only able to direct his followers to do trivial things. Well, as someone once said, nothing is fair in love and war, right?
After finishing the wheel, Samuel felt like something was missing here. What if someone else found this cave and turned the wheel? He had to develop some kind of security system. Looking at the Tisilium core, he got an idea. The core was originally used to transport pharaohs from Tunisia to the island. Why not just keep this function, and reverse it? This way, if his enemy came and tried to turn the wheel, he would be teleported to Tunisia before he could touch it, while at the same time Samuel can turn the wheel anyway he wanted, because being a smokey, he couldn’t be teleported. Good idea! He started the modification right away.
In reality, things usually are not going your way. Sometimes good ideas end up in bad practices.
Samuel found out that truth while inventing this wheel. The small Tisilium core was in a power saving mode. So the teleporting function would not be activated until someone turned the wheel. It was a little dilemma. The teleporting system was supposed to stop someone from using the wheel, but it would only work when someone already using the wheel. Samuel’ knowledge of Tisilium core was limited. He didn’t know how to turn the power saving mode off.
The hell with it! It’s good enough for me. Samuel thought, if someone dared to use it, he would be kicked out and never come back. On the other hand, I could always come here and fix the time wheel.
It was a not perfect but passable solution.
Alright! The third thing to do, was to find some army forces. Jacob was immortal, but his servants are killable. With a team of trained soldiers, Jacob’s little league of villagers will be crushed for sure. Let’s see how you find a replacement alone. Samuel decided, from now on, I will bring people to this island too.
The years between 1900 and 1945 were peaceful. There were no more visitors to come and get murdered. The black smoky monster stayed deep in the jungle and doing who-knew-what. Jacob built a lighthouse and was busy with it. Those two adversaries didn’t see each other for a long time, but deep down they both knew that it was the eerie silence before the storm. There was no doubt that war is coming.