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The Paqu of Jarra

Posted on Wed Jan 6th, 2021 @ 5:54pm by Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: Healing of Minds
Location: Bajor Village
Timeline: Current

The paqu crested nearby into a shallow swirling pool. He recalled the first time he had been led into the water. It was refreshing but cold, leaving him shivering even after the monks stoked the fires and wrapped him in towels to dry, he remembered the teeth chattering and shivering. Slowly coming to terms with what was about to happen next, he entered the small changing hut and disrobed. In return he pulled a white cloth over his broad shoulder, a symbol of purity, which consequently barely covered his lower regions. He was much smaller the first time he had ever done this.

He stepped out of the hut and acknowledged the two monks who were bowing to him. A member of the council of five stood next to the swirling pool, waiting for him. He made his way to the water’s edge and nodded to the council member, then addressed him by name. “Hops. You always were the life of the party.” Then he took a deep breath. “So, here again. Would you like a cannonball or a swan dive?”

“A simple wade in will do. But first, do you remember the ritual chant?”

“Right to the point. I believe I do, there were so many afterall.” He braced himself for the cold waters and then walked in until his waist was covered and the waters swirled around him in a perfect circle, neverending. He struck a pose with his hands, left hand on right elbow, right hand up in a gun shape, index up, thumb towards himself and three remaining fingers down.

He closed his eyes and recited the chant. “I am now choosing to cleanse myself of all thoughts, situations and energies that are no longer of service to my highest and greatest good… across all planes of existence, all universes and all lifetimes. I ask the paqu to purge all energies that are less than love be transmuted from this vessel for the good of all, so shall it is, so shall it be, abrem.”

Hops had entered the water and as Remal finished, Hops pressed his hand upon Remals forhead and pushed with enough force to unbalance him, sending him splashing into the water, back first. The sudden chill was not unexpected, but it did shock his system more than he expected. He breathed out even as a hand from Hops pulled him back out of the water and assisted him into a standing position.

He coughed and sputtered the water from his mouth, then attempted to say “Refreshing.” But was interrupted by Hops, “Again.” As he pushed Remal under once again with lightning speed. The sudden impact thrust Remal’s mind places it didn’t want to go.

He clearly heard a woman screaming yet could see no face. There was a dark haze surrounding the scene, clouding his vision. By the time things began to clear, he was pulled from the water once more. Coughing and spewing water from his nose, his mind unsettled, he grasped Hops’ arm for stability.

“You must choose to let go, Brother. Let the jarras wash it away.” said Hops.

Remal instantly grew frustrated that he was being told what he needed to do, despite him already trying to do that very thing. He had come here of his own volition. He had made the choice to be punished for straying from the path. He was already questioning the path set down from the Prophets and the path he was choosing to walk when Hops dunked him a third time.

The woman screamed again. Her voice, one of anguish but also of joy. He recognized the tone and the volume. It was Rhen. He had heard her cry out like this before, long ago, perhaps in a dream. She was hurt then too. But this was different. This was accompanied by labored breathing. Just as he was about to run out of breath, he heard a baby cry followed by children laughing, and waves crashing on the shore. This was his original vision coming to pass. A wife, a house, children playing. This was his original path sent to him by the Orb of Prophecy. And then it was gone again, replaced by the face of Hops.

Remal was coughing and using Hops to steady himself. “You know, I always did like Barley better.” He squeezed out.

Hops responded, “You use humor to mask your pain. Clearly, the jarras’ power is not enough for you to be properly cleansed. Stronger methods may be needed.”

Remal’s eyes grew large. He was not prepared for what came after the tear-filled river. His doubts already filled his heart, weighing on his soul. He closed his eyes and saw Rhenora, her smile, her blonde hair, even with the splattering of gray it had developed over the years, it was still shining in the sunlight. When he breathed in he could swear her scent was on the air. And when he opened his eyes and looked at Hops his response was clear, “I will do whatever it takes.”


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