The sisters sat in stunned silence, watching the Doorkeeper medical crew remove the CPR machine leads from the senior seeker’s chest. Janet raised tear-stained eyes to Marko’s grim face and he placed a comforting hand over hers.
“So is he…dead,” she asked.
“Yes, the soul was severed from the body.”
“Isn’t there anything they can do?”
“They might attempt a soul retrieval, if they’ve got a shaman on the premises. It depends on what is specified in his advance directive.”
“It’s just a document that lays out what his wishes are as far as medical treatment and resurrection.”
“Where are they taking him?”
“Down to the morgue.”
“They have a morgue in this place?”
“Of course they do. The Doorkeeper compound was build to be self-sufficient. Kind of like the Vatican, it’s practically a small city unto itself. They certainly run the place like they don’t have to abide by the law. Let’s get out of here.”
“Where are we going?”
“Well, since their attempts at tracking Jagathy down via the astral plane failed, we’re going to have to go back to doing things the old fashioned way. We need to finish going over Mukesh’s office for clues to his whereabouts.”
“I’m still shook. I can’t seem to wrap my head around what just happened. We just saw a man’s soul leave his body. Where did you say he went,” Andrea asked.
“To the astral realm.”
“What the hell is the astral realm? Is it a physical place like a city or state?”
“Then what exactly is it?”
“I’m no expert, but from what I understand it’s a plane of existence through which you can enter different dimensions.”
“But the dimensions aren’t physical locations?”
“They exist as pure energy. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe the uppermost dimensions are heavenly realms and there are four below us that descend from purgatory to hell.”
“Sounds complicated to me. How was that seeker supposed to navigate through all of that and find Jagathy?”
“By following the jinn essence through the fifth dimension, which is our plane of existence.”
“What do you think happened to him?”
“I have no idea. If he somehow wound up in one of the lower dimensions, then something could have attacked him.”
“A spirit or some lower entity…”
“Like a demon?”
“Yes, that’s entirely possible. It’s also possible that he actually found Jagathy and Mukesh did something to him.”
“But what could they possibly gain from attacking the seeker’s soul?”
Marko was no longer listening to Andrea. Something she said had sparked an idea which filled him with horror. He abruptly turned in the opposite direction, rushed to the nearest staircase and descended two steps at a time. Caught off guard the sisters had to run, in order to catch up with him.
“I thought we were going to Mukesh’s office,” Janet said.
“I’ve just got to check something first.”
“Where are we going,” Andrea asked.
“Down to the morgue.”
Marko went silent again, leaping over the last four steps and taking off as soon as he landed. He turned to the left and ran down a long florescent lit corridor and wrenched open the third door on his right. Janet reached the door next and rushed in to find Marko staring down into an empty refrigerated cadaver drawer. Andrea came in behind them, panting and bent forward to rest her hands on her knees.
“What are we looking at,” asked Janet moving to stand beside him.
“The place where the seeker’s body should be.”
“Maybe they put him somewhere else.”
“And maybe he got up out of this drawer on his own,” said Marko grimly.
“Are you saying he wasn’t dead,” she asked hopefully.
“You know as well as I know that he was dead. You saw for yourself that his soul had departed from the body.”
“So, what are you saying,” asked Janet nervously.
“I’m saying that some entity other than the seeker’s soul came back from the astral realm and entered his body.”