strolling into interzone dressed in knee high leather boots and victorian purple velvet jacket over a skull and crossbones t shirt i head for the first opium den i can find away from the main street that crawls with agents attempting to look invisible or blend in but they stand out like priests in an orphanage. it's cold and raining and my purple lensed sunglasses are blurring things but i manage to find a nice intimate bar called, 'exotica' so i wander in and take my place in their more private lounge areas. the decor is quite ornate and soft candle light flickers sending thin shadows across the ceiling. i make y self comfortable as one of the oriental women comes to help me take my boots of. in a matter of minuets i am sitting naked being massaged with warm oils and lotions from the eastern lands, i drink a sweet tea and step into a raised marble bath.
the water glides all around me, as if alive, embracing me, i close my eyes and let my hostess wash me with a soft sponge. i can feel the oils working into my skin, invigorating and replenishing, it's calm and soothing, while her hands are firm but gentle and feminine oozing stress from my shoulders, my arms, my thighs.
when she is finished she wraps a red and black silken robe around me and leads me into the chamber, where the cushions are piled up around the pipe, i nestle in and smoke deep into the lungs where it soaks into the bloodstream. my tolerance is high so i need another few hits, but eventually that wave starts to carry me. my eyes close and i sink into the dream. quickly the shorelines fade, the last thing i see is my hostess smile and the glint in her eye as she puts a cup of sweet tea to my lips.
i'm woken from bliss when a vaguely familiar figure appears in the room, he sits opposite me but does not smoke from the pipe, he locks eyes with me.
'captain mission. i thought i would find you here. not many know about exotica, even the inhabitants of interzone are unfamiliar with it, it's the kind of place people do not find, it finds you.'
i attempt to speak but my mouth is jelly and i cannot form my words, only listen to this strangers.
'you have been traveling for many years now, we were always one step behind you, but we knew you would eventually come here, our agents are everywhere, but you always manage to slip through the nets. remember berlin?'
i attempt to shake my head, i think did i ever visit berlin, yes many years ago, i lived there for a year. but i can't recal the details.
'kreuzburg captain mission, ring any bells, we almost had you, our agent gabriella had made contact but you seemed to vanish before she could bring you in. it was a perfect trap, the beautiful air hostess, the nightclubs, you must have worked it all out and slipped across the border, we had all exits tapped to it would have been into the east.'
i did remember, the dance gabrielle did for me, the seven veils, salome. i also recalled slipping out while she was in the bathroom, walking along the snow covered streets in the blizzard, running as fast as i could towards the east. i ran because if i stayed i would have had to kill her and killing her would have been difficult, it would have haunted me. but who is this prick, what does he want from me now.'
i have had several agencies chasing me but only one has the elaborate schemes and resources to pull gabrielle off, 'the family', ruthless and relentless, and with one aim in mind, to bring me in and torture me.
i reach my hand out for a smoke, a joint, i can't find a lighter but he offers me his.
'yes mission you were quite the escape artiste.'
'fuck you.' i whisper. i know who he is now.
strength is returning but i am also seeing deep into the face of my tormenter, reading his karma, he will die soon, not now but die filled with a false faith in empty void, his bones will be buried and forgotten while he will reincarnate as a frightened civilian in a dictatorship where he will do his duty as he has always done throughout the aeon. it will take him several lifetimes to understand that duty is to ones own truth and he will take several other lifetimes to find a path to salvation. i see his joy is in trinkets and service to one cause, and one cause alone. i wonder if she is close by.
'so what are you dragging it out for, do your duty and be-done with it. i have nothing to say anymore. i ran but it catches up with you, the past, here it s now. before us, face to face. so do your duty.'
he smiles his sad smile and looks melancholy, 'what happened to you mission?'
'i un-wrote my dna and became free.' now it's my turn to smile.
there is a cold breeze that swirls through the chamber then she appears, much older and looking quite ghostly, gravity and time have ravaged her face, she is smiling but not in a playful way, it's a twisted sadistic smile, the smile of a torturer.
i remain silent, my body is so comfortable, my breathing in perfect rhythm, i imagine myself in a float tank, enjoying the 4 hour hit as 'nothingness' comes on and the mind is gone but her voice pulls me back, back here and back in time, so deep is it's resonance.
'what have you got to say for yourself.'
i read her karma and offer her this.
'whether you are coming or going, the whole world is your own self. you must find out whether the mountains, rivers, jungles, and forests exist in your own mind or exist outside it. analyze the ten thousand things, dissect them minutely, and when you take this to the limit you will come to the limitless, when you search into it you come to the end of search, where thinking goes no further and distinctions vanish. when you smash the citadel of doubt, then the buddha is simply yourself.'
i smile and my heart is filled with unbounded love.