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The Wrath Of Kali
Second Voyage Of The Time Beings Trilogy
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-417-9
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Science Fiction/Dark Fantasy
eBook Length: 113 Pages
Published: July 2018



From inside the flap

Can the world really be saved from nuclear annihilation? At the end of their first voyage, after having apparently delivered humanity from the end of the world, the original superheroes Hanuman the monkey general, Vibhisana the seer and Kalika the Goddess of Time came face to face with the hidden figure behind the end of the world: Kali the demoness.

In the second installment of the trilogy, Time Beings II: The Wrath of Kali, Andrew J. West takes the scenario established in Forward to the Past—where mythic characters from Hindu mythology try to turn the wheel of time away from imminent cataclysm—to an all new level.

In a desperate attempt to undo the work of the demoness, our heroes must travel further forward into the past to confront historical mass murderers such as Genghis Khan as well as save (or maybe not…) such luminaries as Archimedes of Syracuse (the mathematician and inventor), the Trung sisters (the ancient Vietnamese heroines), Hypatia of Alexandria (the mathematician and philosopher), Jesus of Nazareth and many more.

“Counterfactual history is actually an enjoyable way to explore and learn about factual history,” said the author. “And with central characters drawn from Hindu mythology, in which I’ve developed a keen interest since moving from Australia to live in Thailand fifteen years ago, it’s also an unconventional but informative way to learn about other cultures as well as the history of other times and places.”

The Wrath of Kali is the second of a trilogy of adventures in which Hanuman, Vibhisana and Kalika fight off demonic forces of apocalyptic destruction… Stay tuned for Time Beings III: Edge of Yesterday.

Apart from this trilogy, Andrew J. West has written many articles for Bangkok Post and authored Thai Neotraditional Art (2015) and Destiny to Imagination: Prateep Kochabua (2013).

The Wrath Of Kali (Excerpt)


Chapter One

Superpox

The metropolis is near silent, only the caw of crows feasting on countless corpses-many millions of them, most stripped naked-breaks the stillness. Vibhisana the seer and Hanuman the monkey general pinch their noses and endure the reek of decomposition as they step among the rotting cadavers covering almost every inch of ground. They kneel and examine one of the rigid bodies, that of a man dead for not more than a few days, as are all the others. He is stripped of most clothing, which appears to have been torn off by the man himself in his final moments, tattered rags that now lie about him encrusted in dried vomit and gore. His flesh is completely covered from head to toe in raised pustules. Most disturbingly his blistered face is contorted gruesomely, with mouth agape, having suffered the excruciating convulsions of violent death throes.

"'Tis clear the entire population perished suddenly," says Vibhisana. "'Tis as if they all dropped dead where they stood, leaving not a soul to bury or burn the bodies."

"This miasma is worse than the one that rose up from the trenches of the Great War!" exclaims the monkey general. "How couldeth such a calamity occur?"

"This malady I know," says Vibhisana.

"Thou hast seen this manner of affliction before?"

"Yea, 'tis smallpox, but I have never seen it so lethal. Yea it kills, but most survive, though scarred and oft left blinded. Come, let us escape this nauseating stench."

They make haste to get back aboard Kalika the vimana-a golden pyramidal flying ship with propellers and a large circular mirror mounted on top-and they rise above the polygon-shaped intersection flanked by neon-lit billboards and advertisements where the profusion of corpses is at its greatest. Kalika then cruises down one of the long avenues between the tall but empty buildings of the city that sprawls across three islands.

"Kali the demoness hath indeed re-wrought the Cataclysm upon the humans as she claimed, but she hath not scorched the earth in atomic flames, she hath stricken it with a pestilence most virile," observes Vibhisana.

"Verily. When we thought we had saved the humans and Kali appeared to us with the head of John the Baptist in one of her four hands she said before leaving us, and these were her exact words." The monkey general repeats them in a coarse tone imitating that of Kali, "'Their fate changeth not. Mark my words, return to the heavens and do not disturb thy state of bliss for a second time on account of the doomed humans. Their fate is sealed. If ye interfere again, ye triumvirate of miscreants shall feel my wrath!'"

"'Tis indeed the wrath of Kali."

"The demoness's hand must be behind not only the wars that we intervened in during our first voyage," says Kalika, "but all the major wars of the humans leading to their ultimate destruction. 'Tis clear now she would not stand by and let her handiwork be undone by us."

"I can still smell the demoness's presence lingering amongst us," says Hanuman with a grimace, more perturbed by Kali's recent invasion into the sacrosanct space aboard Kalika at the end of their first voyage than by walking among the corpses littering the city square.

"Ah, but if Kali had not come aboard I would not have sniffed her rank odor and would not now be able to track her path upon the Realm of Humans," comments Kalika.

"Thou canst track her?" asks Vibhisana.

"Verily," she responds. "We must enter the Time of the Gods and turn back time to determine the events that have happened here. The demoness Kali lieth behind this wickedness: wickedness which we must undo."

"Verily we must! I fear her not!" exclaims the monkey general pounding his chest.

"Of course, we must!" proclaims the imperturbable Vibhisana.

Without further ado, Kalika enters the Time of the Gods and turns the arms of the clock slowly backward until, having advanced three days into the past, the corpses almost all at once reanimate in reverse. The trio are amazed not only by the disease's lethality, but also by the swiftness of its spread. It blows as a death-wave through the city's many canyons of avenues and valleys of streets with the speed of the wind from one side of the metropolis to the other in a matter of no more than a single hour.

The devas move into the future watching in slow motion as the multitude die the same horrific death. One minute a person is completely healthy. The next minute their heads are filled with a fire-like torment and their eyes begin to ooze blood. The minute after that their flesh erupts in lesions that issue black gore. In the final minute of life, they choke and spasm, vomiting dark blood until expiring in horrific agony.

"Vibhisana, thou said thou had seen the smallpox before. Dost thou knowest of a cure?" asks Hanuman.

"'Twas in days of yore when I saw this malady last, after the defeat of Ravana and the demons of Lanka in the war with Ayodhya. After Rama was crowned king and the monkey army had returned to the forest, the kingdom was stricken by smallpox. King Rama, knowing I am well versed in herbal remedies, asked me to find a cure for the affliction. Though I could not find a remedy-I fear there is no cure, not even a magical one-I developed an inoculation against it.

"I took a sharp iron needle, dipped it in the crushed scab from a pox victim's ulcer after they had recovered and scratched the skin of the healthy with it. Although the healthy fell ill and had blisters around the scratch mark, they did not die and became thereafter immune to the disease. Those pitiable souls who suffered from its worst effects would take a week or more before meeting their doom. The afflicted would go as far as cutting off their own hands and feet as well as their privy parts-which were especially infested-in attempt to defeat the disease, 'twas so grievous."

"Perchance," proffers Hanuman, "poison hath been cast into the city's wells?"

"We shall see. Let us follow the spread of the pestilence to determine its origin."

They trace the deadly pathogen back across the city, finding it to have begun in an area of dense high-rises at the south end of the city's main island. They soon establish it had not begun in one of the many tall glass and steel structures, but find its origin to have been a stone building with a colonnade of six fluted columns draped with a huge red, white and blue flag. Above the portico, a pediment houses a series of marble sculptures that would under normal circumstances impress the pair of devas with its fine craftsmanship, but they ignore it, instead focusing their attention on the doorways leading inside. The entrances are far too small to accommodate the vimana.

"What shall we do?" Hanuman ponders out loud.

"Kalika cannot goeth inside," voices Vibhisana, also thinking out loud. "But we can see inside." He points at the many large windows around the building. The vimana levitates in front of each going backward and forward in time in slow motion, the devas watching for the first sign of the plague. They find its source to be an office emblazoned with a mercantile emblem and the words "corporate headquarters" in high relief gold lettering.

The first victim is an attractive young woman with long brunette hair sitting behind a rounded desk beneath the emblem. The desk bears smaller lettering that reads "reception." She tears open a letter with what appears to be a dagger and removes a blank piece of paper laced with powder she breathes in. Within seconds she and everybody else in the room is infected. Before the first victims are dead the plague spreads throughout the entire building and into the street.

"This incurable malady may still be spreading," speculates Vibhisana. "It seemeth unstoppable."

He utters a mantra asking the vimana to travel at first in the direction of the prevailing wind, but after finding nothing except a trail of death to the west, they travel in the other three cardinal directions. They discover that not only has the wave of death spread out from this one location, but that the same sequence of events has unfolded in multiple cities around the world, eradicating humanity in seven days.

The devas are horror-struck.