21. The Scale of Bethesda.

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The Scale of Bethesda.

A voice suddenly spoke and Havillah skittered back in surprise. A light chuckle emanated from around her and she turned, this and that way in an attempt to seek out its source. She was not successful. In fact, there was no one there. Just an empty road and the ocassional building here and there.

"Oh Havillah," the voice sounded like it was laughing at her. Its timbre, warm and smooth like milk. A sound that reverberated in every part of her being, leaving her scared and comforted at the same time. "I thought you knew?" It asked her, even though she felt deep within her that it already knew the answers to all its questions.

"Who are you?" she mustered the courage to ask it.

"Come follow me and I'll show you." the voice replied.

"Follow you?" The girl wondered how even as the feet beneath were swept off from underneath her and in an instant she found herself outside the Western District and in a different zone. The Central District, she muttered even as she looked the familiar surroundings and the huge derelict mansions that rose up to kiss the afternoon sky. There was no sign of life about her save for the occasional chirp of a bird or the sound of the crickets hiding in the shadows.

"The abandoned district?" There was no answer that was offered for her questions. Instead, a strong gale appeared to brow across the land, shoving her into a singular direction, the direction she realised, of the temple that she had discovered on her very first day there.

"Really? You couldn't just land me there?" she complained even as her irritation at being manhandled got the best of her and gave the clout that she needed to question the voice.

"Havillah..." A light chuckle filled the air and once again she was reassured or the presence that had her doubting her own sanity. Who was he - she? She could not make up her mind as to what it was. It's gender. The gender of the voice or the owner of the voice that had just kidnapped.

Despite her reservations, her curiosity drove her to walk up the front steps and to the massive front doors of the temple. Her apprehension however made her to stop there, hesitating even as she reached to touch the double doorways that she now found, bore a striking similarity to something that she had seen before.

"If only I could remember?" she thought to herself, tracing her fingers over the carved markings that were engraved on the gilded double doorways.

"Go in." As if to obey it, the huge metal doors creaked open and the gale shoved her inside, imaptient to get her through and into the darkened interior of the golden temple within. As Havillah set foot on the threshold, a bright light burst out from the floor beneath her foot to the ceiling. A bunch of lights flickered high above her and what resembled tiny, but multiple hope crystals tangled down from glowing threads appeared above her in a shape that resembled a crystal chandelier.

Did I just do that? she thought, even as she turned to observe her surroundings now glowing in this new light. "What is this place?" she inquired of the voice.

"What do you think it is Havillah?" the voice replied as the atmosphere around it grew a little too serious.

"I do not know. The people here call it a temple, but of what diety I have no idea." She replied truthfully. "What were those carvings marking its doors?" she chanced another question.

"They are called the Marks of the Called." The voice replied. "I am surprised though, that you are asking that question considering who you are and where you have come from."

Havillah's eyes narrowed, frowning as she thought on that weird response. "Somehow I feel like you are incapable of being surprised." The girl stated, but was answered by silence.

"What is that on your robes?" the voice finally spoke after a prolonged moment of silence. Havillah's eyes dropped to her robes and she gasped as the realisation settled in.

"The Mark of the Called?" She questioned.

"Yes, it is the same as the embroidery on all the other gowns." The voice replied.

"I assume that it has some meaning then and is not just some form of decoration."

"Yes, you are right to assume so. Move on..." it replied even as another gust of wind blew in to push her forward.

"Will you please stop doing that?"

"There's a lot that you need you to see before the good Captain comes along looking for you." it replied with the hint of seriousness still lacing its once playful voice. "Move on into the courtyard." It added just as the wind whipped around Havillah robes, lifting them even as they moved her across the entire length of the hallway and through another door that led out into a courtyard. Dazzling light filtered through into the open space and Havillah squinted even as she looked up to stare out into the sea of crystal glass where a roof or nothing at all should have been. All around her vegetation flourished and it was such that it resembled a beautiful tropical paradise with all sorts of fruit trees and flower bushes filling it. Moving further into the courtyard, Havillah noticed a long winding corridor. One that snaked around another central building and in the middle of it all,  stuck into the wall of the central building was a golden door that she moved closer to inspect.

"What is this?" She inquired, staring now at the markings that were emblazoned on the yellow door and that were quite distinct from the others she had seen at the first doors. They too seemed somehow familiar, but she could not really place them or remember where she had seen them before.

"The Mark of the Chosen."

"Called? Chosen? Why is it Mark now and not Marks?" the words played over in her mind even as she tried and failed to decipher their meanings. As she continued to stare and trace the beautiful carvings with her fingers, something else caught her attention and she turned to see what could only be describe as a very huge scale. Not withstanding, the scale was quite different from the ones she had seen in Sanctuary scrolls back at home. For, instead of the scale being small and crystalline, this giant scale was all golden, albeit a dull golden with the three bars being brazen with a dull sheen about them that spoke of their inertness.

"What is this?" Havillah questioned for the third time and the voice replied, "The Scale of Bethesda."

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