Sunday, June 21, 2009


The Healer-King sits on his throne, at the centre of his glass castle so high above the earth. A petitioner kneels on the dias before him. She has come, as so many do, for healing. This she presently recieves.

With a regal wave of his hand, the King causes a great light to come forth. It swirls about him, leaving a trail of stars, and returns to him; in this moment the woman's ailments are healed. She looks at herself with astonishment, and then, remembering herself, retreats off the dias, bowing profusely as she goes. She leaves the throne room; the next petitioner, a man in a white robe, approaches.

"What is your sickness?" the Healer-King asks. "I sense no affliction in you."

"It is not an ill of the body, your Majesty, but of the spirit," the white-robed man replies. "My driving purpose is incomplete, my dharma unfufilled; it was for this reason that I came to you."

"Is this so?" the King asks. "Perhaps you should have travelled to my brother to the west, the Philosopher-King, or my brother in the east, the Bodhisattva-King; either might have aided you. Certainly I can assist you to reach them; but I am uncertain as to how I might otherwise be of use to you."

"Ah, Your Majesty, but you misunderstand the nature of my trouble," the white-robed man replies. "I am of the order of the Hashashin; and my dharmas is that of the Killer."

The King pauses. "You are here to end my life, then," he says slowly.

The Hashashin nods. "It is so."

"Why will you do this thing?" the King asks.

The Hashashin answers:

Your life must end.
Perhaps you committed some great sin;
Perhaps your very existence is an obstruction to the Great Design.
I know not.
I care not.
I am the Killer; and so I will deliver you to the greatest dharma of all,
that is,
which subsumes all others.
The King considers further.

"How will you do this thing?" he asks.

The Hashashin answers:
I will approach you.
and in my hand will be a knife.
Quickly, painlessly, your life will end,
and you will be delivered to the greatest dharma of all,
that is,
which subsumes all others.
The King again pauses.

"Is there any way in which this fate may be prevented?" he asks. "For, you see, I have helped many people, and would like that to continue; and, further, I am quite fond of my life, and would not like it to end in this way."

But the Hashashin feels no pity.
There is no branch in this path;
there is no fork in this road.
Your course was set a thousand years ago;
My purpose is what it is, and may not be halted;
I will deliver you to the greatest dharma of all,
that is,
which subsumes all others.
The King, having heard and understood this, now answers with decision in his voice.

"Come before me," he says. "Kneel, as a petitioner, as all who come before me, on the dias before my throne at the heart of this glass castle in the sky. In this way ritual may be maintained and tradition may be appeased; when this is accomplished, I will offer no resistance, and you may do whatever you must."

The Hashashin seems somewhat suspicious of this offer.

"I see that dagger at your side," he says. "Golden, yes; ceremonial, certainly; but might it not still descend, and wreak a bloody and unfortunate ending upon me, kneeling helpless upon the dias? This seems a fate which I would be ill-advised to consent myself to."

The King expected this; he now draws his dagger, and with a flick tosses it away. It flies past the Hashashin, and into the far recesses of the throne room. "Behold my goodwill!" he declares. "Even now, I render myself helpless; should you wish, you might even now stride directly to my throne, and there work your bloody trade. Such is my trust in you, that one of your order might do proper honor to a King, that I will make such a gesture."

The Hashashin considers this. "For my respect for you as a King, and as a Healer, I will do this thing," he decides; he walks up the dias, and kneels before the King. "Is this as you wish it?" he asks.

"Entirely," the Healer-King agrees, and pulls a cord hanging from the side of the throne.

A hole appears in the dias; and the Hashashin falls.

His dharma is subsumed to Death.

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