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Tiffany Korta

Karma, Yakshini, Karma

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Lucy sat on the roof outside her room allowing the sight and sounds of Little India, and the rest of the city wash over her.

She had just returned from seeing the latest Bollywood blockbuster with her boss/friend Padma. For a woman use to the silent black and white movies of the 20’s the riot of sound and color was a revelation to her. And she had loved every minute. A chance to dress up she had abandoned the drab black suit she had worn since her awaking for a colourful summer dress and a pair of wedge sandals.

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Well enough fun time to give back she was about to return indoors to change, ready to help out at the mission, when she spied something out of the corner of her eye.

Walking, well floating down the road was gossamer like figure almost invisible in the night. It moved unseen among the few people still on the street. It could be nothing, but after a month of demon, vampire’s and metal men she thought it best to check the spirit out in case it was a threat or even in trouble.

Not even pausing to change Lucy closed her room window and stepped of the roof of her home.

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Lucy followed the wispy shape for about a block before deciding she needed to do something to stop this spirit? Ghost?

So she went for the simple approach and stepped out in front of the figure. The figure coalesced into a humanoid figure of a very voluptuous young woman, almost to comedy proportion. Her stern face had very obvious South-Asian feature. Her very long hair and her clothing, looking like a Sari, flapped around her like blown with an invisible wind.

“तà¥à¤® कौन हो? तà¥à¤® मेरा पीछा कà¥à¤¯à¥‹à¤‚ कर रहे हैं?â€

Hindi she recognized that, Lucy racked her mind for the few words she understood.

“नहीं ... बोलो ... हिनà¥à¤¦à¥€â€

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The spirit look exasperated at Lucy, before zipping of towards a nearby alleyway. The spirit actually reacted so quickly that Lucy had to run to catch up.

And still it was too late.

As she watch powerless to help the spirit had trapped some occupant of the alley. Lifting them into the air the spirit encircled the form causing them to shift and alter, this took only a few second and then standing there was the spirit made flesh. Taking a few tentative steps it stood in front of Revenant before speaking.

“Now this is much better. Why exactly are you following me?â€

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Lucy was briefly taken aback, but not for long she had seen many strange things in this city over the last month. And from what she had heard she had missed the even weirder stuff.

“A strange floating spirit tends to attract attention. What have you done with the previous occupant of that body?â€

This flawed the woman for a few second “Oh you mean the body. The spirit sleeps, she is unharmed. When I am done she will be rewarded handsomely.â€

“Actually I think it was a he...†she couldn’t help but smile at this, before regaining her composure. “What guarantee do I have that you’ll return the body?â€

“Then she is doubly blessed. You have my word. What else would you need?â€

This gave Lucy pause she remembered hearing somewhere that spirit have strange laws and customs that they must follow, though she hated to admit that she didn’t know enough to know from certain. If it came down to it she knew people who could possibly help. Really she had no choice but to take this on trust.

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“Okay then let’s start again. My name is Revenant. Who and what are you, and how can I help?†if she helped she could make sure he got his body back.

The spirit made flesh gave a little smile, guaranteed to get most men, and some women’s pulses racing.

“I am Kapalini a Yakshini. I serve Kubera by guarding treasures hidden in the earth.â€

She sagged, for the first time looking like real woman.

“I made a terrible error. I allowed a powerful and holy object to fall into the hand of a powerful Sorcerer. I followed him here to this strange city and now I must attempt to recover the object before I can return home.â€

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It didn’t take long for Revenant to make up her mind.

“Okay let go Kapalini.â€

Without saying a word Kapalini swept past and started walking down the street. Wordlessly Revenant fell into step following the strange creature down the streets of the West End.

She wasn’t sure who lived in the area now, but when she was growing up it was where most of the Eastern Europeans lived. She smiled at the thought she could still swear in half a dozen European languages.

And a small part of her childhood still stood the shop.

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It large glass windows never showed any good, and she could never remember them broken despite a lot of kid with stones. It was never open and she never knew what is sold. But yet the old store looked just how it did all those years ago.

“The item we seek is in this building.†Kapalini’s voice was a matter of fact.

Lucy look thoughtful “Yes, but we can’t break in it’s…â€

Kapalini walked up to the door and swept her hand, there was an audible click.

“But the owner seems to have left the door unlocked†at this she actually smiled.

As she stood there staring at the shop, the ten year old in her was daring her to enter the place.

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Beyond the door was a rather old looking store, well old compared to the modern glass and plastic modern stores to her this was the kind of store she remembered for her youth.

But that wasn’t what draw her attention, on the counter ahead of her was an intercity carved wooden box.

The wood was slightly red carved with intricate detail in that distinctive Indian style. And it seemed to hum with power, a lot of power.

“That it isn’t it, the treasure you gave away. What is it exactly?â€

Here voice had that reverent tone “The Janma Kosa.â€

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She carefully stepped over the threshold into the darkened shop, she glanced around seeing that all the shelves were mostly empty, the only features of the store being the box itself and some kind of sculpture in the corner. Well that later first the box.

The box almost hummed as she got near it, examining the intricate carving, some kind of noble woman she’d guessed, feeling some trepidation at the idea of touching the box.

Unseen behind her Kapalini stopped confused unable to cross the threshold.

“Magnificent isn’t it.†Said a voice from the back of the store.

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From the back of the store strode a South Asian of indeterminate age. Sharply dressed in Nehru jacket he looked like any number of businessmen she had seen in the last couple of weeks. He did carry himself with a confidence that suggested he was use to his order being carried out.

“The box I’m talking about of cause. Though I’m sure you’re a charming young lady Ms. Harker. Word getting around in a community such as ours.â€

He stepped closer so he has face to face to Lucy.

“Have you noticed that the box resists you? My research suggests the results of opening the box are even worst. Possibly terminal.†His eyed glowed “But do you know what power this box possesses? What this box is?â€

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Lucy glared at the man, but didn’t say anything. The villainous monologue was a cliché even in her time, but useful never the less.

“When Queen MÄyÄdevÄ« was pregnant with Siddhattha, the future Buddah, she rested in the shade of a Asoka tree where the Buddha was born from her side. From that tree this box was made.†A manic gleam was in his eyes “or so the legend goes. Even if not true the box has potential unlimited power.â€

A grim smile “For me to open the box would be certain death. And it resists all magical means. But you, you can open the box and resist it’s effects. And if not…†he let the threat hang in the air.

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Lucy stood there and folded her arms over her chest.

“You obviously want the power for your own selfish needs. That’s probably why the box won’t let you open it.â€

“So you won’t assist me?â€


“Watch out Revenant. “For the first time Lucy noticed that Kapalini couldn’t enter the shop, as if stopped by some kind of barrier.

“And you’re poor Yakshini; she can’t enter as she’s a spirit in the shape of a woman. And no spirit can’t enter unless I allow it. As for you…â€

A burst of black fire shot out towards Revenant.

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Kapalini watch the poor woman engulfed in a black magical fire. The poor creature, she decided to help without provocation just because it was right. A she was stuck out here because…

Wait didn’t the man say it was because she was a spirit in the shape of a woman. But this Revenant was magical she could feel the power. She was a spirit in the shape of a woman, but what if she became a woman with a spirit inside?

She concentrated and drew forth the power around her. It should have been difficult but with the power of the box.

She stepped over the threshold.

The flames washed over Revenant rolling off her undead flesh leaving her unsorched and unharmed. The same couldn’t be said for the fabric of the summer dress which boiled away into nothing. Only a few scraps of material fluttered to the ground. Only her sensible, but silky underwear remained strangely unaffected by the infernal fire.

Revenant stood there defiantly seemingly unaffected by her sudden near nakedness. Her voice was quiet almost a whisper.

“That was a mistake. I’m afraid I’m really going to have and stop you now.â€

“I think not dear. And look here’s your newly minted friend. Luckily I bought a friend of my own.â€

From the corner of the poor a pair of baleful red eye flickered into life.

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Revenant wasn’t happy at all, she rather liked that dress. But first things first, she quickly measured up the two opponents and decided to take down the South-Asian mage. Vaulting over the counter Revenant stuck out and elbow planning to strike to startled mage. The strike was good but he rolled at the last minute so the elbow barley contacted.

Kapalini was having better luck with the creature of clay he had activated, with a few gestures and some mumbled words in Sanskrit a series of rents appeared in it “fleshâ€.

The Mage responded to Revenant attacks by standing back a launching another burst of dark fire, only to have it again roll off of her porcelain skin.

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This needs to go quick Revenant though, the two of them are dangerous and I can’t risk harm to Kapalini. So in a totally unsubtle move she pushed herself up on the counter, only to bring an hand down on the Mage’s shoulder. The strike must have hit true as the Mage just simply crumpled to the ground in shock.

Meanwhile Kapalini had also focus on the Mage, probably for similar reasons, though she chanted her incantation nothing seemed to have happened.

The Golem and simple creature of magic focused on Revenant, crashing through the counter it struck a solid blow with its massive fists. A surprised Revenant went flying through the doorway into the store room beyond, thumping into the rear wall of the store.

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Already the big black bruise the Golem caused was fading away to nothing, though Revenant was still picking herself up from the floor, luckily the Mage was in a similar state, if not worst. He did however seem to be immune to the casting of the Yakshini.

The Golem however wasn’t harmed in the slightest bringing his fists crashing down on Kapalini knocking her senseless to the floor.

Revenant was still groggy but one thing was certain, the young (in her mind, she was probably older than even her) Yakshini was struggling to cope with the enemy. She couldn’t bring herself to see anyone get harmed in her name. Only one thing to do.

“Okay I’ll do it. Deactivate that†she gestured to the Golem “And I’ll open your box.â€

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The man held up a hand and the golem stopped in it's tracks. He walked towards Revennat unbuttoning his jacket

“See I am not a complete monster.†he draped his jacket over Revenants semi-naked form

Revenant stood up, adjusting the jacket, and walked over to the young Yakshini put a hand gently on her shoulder.

“Are you okay there?â€

The young Yakshini gave a weak little smile.

“And now the box if you would.â€

Revenant replied through gritted teeth “Of cause.â€

they returned to the other room where the box stood on the counter. Lucy felt rather sorry for what she had to do it was a beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

Grabbing the box firmly with both had she turned quickly smashing the box over his head with as much force as she could manage.

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The force of the blow caused the dark magician to collapse to the ground completely stunned by the powerful blow. Thankfully the golem didn’t spring into life with his masters unconsciousness.

The box must be more substantial that she would have expected, it still looked pristine untouched by the force of the blow.

Slinging the captured wizard over her shoulder she went to the back room to help poor Yakshini to her feet.

“Let’s get you out of here. And this back to its owners.†She waved the box vaguely about.

Together they stepped out of the shop, and into somewhere out.

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Sunlight poured down on them an air felt crisp and fresh. Above them was the towering majesty of an ancient mountain range, from Lucy’s limited knowledge it looked like the Himalayas. In front of them was a low flat temple that she guessed was Hindu in design. On the side of the building were a number of bas reliefs, some of the subject matter made even the open minded Lucy brush.

“We are now in the realm of Alaka home of Lord Kunera and the Yakshini, my homeâ€

Coming from the gate was a man with something on his back, on coming closer Lucy could see it was a smaller man. As they drew near the larger man knelt down and the little man dismounted.

“No, no, no. That will not do at all.â€

The little man waved his hand in an intricate movements and the jacket that the mage had given her begin to twist a change into a fine silken Sari in black with silver trim.

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