Book II: Chapter 2
There’s something I think I forget to tell you about Miriam.
She has an unusual gift.
I don’t really understand it, but it has something to do with her being a kind of Body-Mind Master — she can control her body in such a way that she can overcome almost any physical obstacle.
But it’s more than just that, for Miriam is also an unparalleled Mentalist – not only can she communicate with thought alone, but more importantly, she has a strange ability to <influence> others. It’s a talent she calls her Psychic Probe – an Asmovian telepathic skill which, as she once explained, allows her to literally get inside the mind of another person, peel through their cerebral layers, and then reconnect the fibers of their brain in such a way that the other person will do whatever Miriam commands them to!
(Now do you see why Miriam freaks me out? Oh sure, she says that she would never try her Probe on me or Alan, but somehow I don’t trust her).
While I know that Miriam learned these skills ages past, she always refused to tell Alan or I who taught her. I can’t imagine it was Christ. And I don’t think it was Gabriel. I’ve often wondered if Miriam ever dabbled in the dark arts – I mean, we all have at one point, if only because 2,000 years is a hell of a long time to live – it’s gets boring after awhile, you know?
But Miriam is just so pure.
I can’t picture her doing anything other than wear a white dress up to her neck and prayer her rosary beads.
Then again, I’m currently watching her slink around like a secret agent dressed in black leathers and seemingly fully prepared to destroy people’s minds to get what she wants – so there’s that.
But Miriam’s Psychic Probe ability is just weird, man. I believe the technique is dangerous to both her and the person she is trying to influence, but Miriam always claimed that she is so masterful at the craft that she can enter another’s mind with a touch so light that her probing will leave no memory in the mind of the subject — and certainly that it will do them no harm. But does this look like fun to you?
Miriam once told Alan and I that her Probe was conducted in such a way that she does not act until she locates a group of fibers that have a natural tendency to perform in the manner she desires. Although she says it’s sometimes tedious to find such a group of cerebral fibers, Miriam claims she can complete a Probe in the merest fraction of a second — apparently the realm of the mind is a universe with a different timescale.
(Hey, I’m just telling you what she told me. I’m sure she’ll use it during this vision, so you can see for yourself).
Despite its effectiveness, Miriam claims she has only used her telepathic powers as a last resort in the most dire of situations — for she fears being corrupted by its power.
This is probably true, for even I will admit that Miriam is first and foremost a God-fearing woman, ever on guard against being tempted away from The Path. (And obviously far different than me).
However, the capture of our friend Alan by the Antichrist was a situation which surely must have met Miriam’s definition of ‘dire straits,’ therefore I’m sure that she wouldn’t hesitate to use her Probe as often as needed in order to gain access to Ma’bus’ inner stronghold as quickly as possible.
And so, understanding the mystery of how she maneuvered unseen, I watched as Miriam found herself in the innermost courtyard of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace, outside the window to the section of Ma’bus’ private chambers.
At present, I could see that she had shrouded herself within the confines of a statue that towered in the middle of the courtyard. And yet, as I looked upon the sculpture wherein Miriam hid, I felt my spine melt from the evil essence that oozed from the monument’s stones.
The statue was a monstrosity – carved from an unknown red rock, it depicted a beast with seven heads and ten horns. With the scaly-tail of a dragon, its giant body resembled that of a leopard, yet it was poised on humongous bear-like feet that skirted a twenty foot wide pond. Yet none of these features matched the fear-inspiring sight of the seven heads – each depicting the features of a tortured lion, whose eyes showed a ghastly mixture of fear and anger; and while each of the heads portrayed a different scowl, all of them spewed forth a black waterfall. The statue left me with one conclusion: this beast wanted to destroy any who looked upon it!
(Although Miriam and you might not recognize it, I knew that this statue as The Beast of Revelations 13! And thus I knew that Miriam was in deep trouble…)
And yet, if Miriam felt what I felt, she didn’t show it, instead she steeled herself to remain where she was, for the view into Ma’bus’ many rooms that opened up to this courtyard was apparently unmatched by any other vantage point.
Thus, despite the malevolence that emanated from the statue, Miriam kept her cover and waited – obviously hoping to see our friend Alan and confirm that he was still alive.
Was there any hope? I guessed we were about to find out…