The Hidden Yogi 1. Escape to the Library

PART 1 Escape to the Library
Whoosh! I finally made it! Refuge from the Foundation and the GOC! All this uproar just because me and my consort flew, naked as Jaybirds, in the Cowgirl Position over New York's Central Park and then around the United Nations building. Where's the HARM? I say. Yes, it made the Daily News front page, and yes, that created a situation where the Foundation would have the impossible task of wiping the memories of several million people to keep it quiet. But did that mean that I and my consort are to be labeled an "anomaly", with one set of GOC thugs out to kill us and another set of SCP thugs trying to imprison us for life?

So here I am at the Wanderers Library. Who AM I? For now let's just say that I'm the Hidden Yogi. My grandfather always admonished us all, "Never travel without a change of names." So Hidden Yogi for now. I have another name or two, but since, on the Ways, you don't have to show a passport, they don't matter too much. Besides, since I'm now on the run from having escaped the Foundation, I need to cover my tracks for a few weeks.

You'll laugh when you hear what happened with those doofuses. They tried to have one of their phony Doctors "interview" me about my powers, but after what had happened, I wasn't having any of it. The yo yo's actually took me by slipping a Mickey Finn in my second Bombay Sapphire Dry Martini as I was relaxing in a lIttle hole in the wall bar just a block or two north of Washington Square!

So I said to Dr. Handless right up front, "Now look, there's been yogis that could fly on this planet for hundreds of years, so you have no business calling me an 'anomaly' just because there aren't many of us and YOU don't get to see us much. How do you know I'm a yogi? Well how many other human beings can fly through the air?

"We normally keep to ourselves in our enclaves on the other side of the planet, and make use of the Ways, but outside of the Ways our teachers ask us to dress like everybody else. What? What's WRONG with my clothes? It's just a safari hat with a peacock feather in the Cherokee Nation beadwork band, and a chocolate Hawaiian rayon shirt with yellow Hibiscuses on it. Others wear them now and again, some of us also wear Navajo silver and turquoise bolo ties in public like I am, and there are a few of us with bushy gray beards and beautiful gray pony tails like me. How don't I blend in?

"Oh, I see, I look like a half assed Santa Claus smashed on the beach at Maui, do I? As built by Dr. Wondertainment! That's really rude to say that! I'll tell you what, after I get a nap, I'll SHOW you a Santa Claus routine the like of which you've never seen. Now get out of here and let me sleep off your Mickey Finn a little more. I still have a headache from it."

When you get tangled up in one of those recorded interview "logs" over there, you have to take charge immediately. The only "research" they're doing with them is trying to find out how to "contain" you in your prison cell more effectively. So the last thing I want to tell Dr. Whoosis or anybody else there that besides flying, I'm also strongly clairvoyant and can walk through walls. Yogis do that stuff. But I could see that all the walls were alarmed and I couldn't penetrate them with out causing a ruckus and having a posse set out to capture me immediately.

But they didn't alarm the ceiling, and it was lunchtime. So just like old Santa, I laid my finger aside of my nose and giving a nod through the ceiling I rose. Then the ceiling after that, and the ceiling after that, until I was out on the roof. It wasn't snow covered, it was tar covered. Yuck! That's no problem for me. If I can get through a ceiling unscathed, I can handle tar, so then I just flew far, far away. Unfortunately, I also flew past the cafeteria windows. Since my destination *was* far, far away, I stuck my hand into the etheric buffers and pulled out the carpet that I occasionally use on long haul flights. It's a lot more comfortable and less tiring than just flying in the Lotus Position. I was already 30 kilometers ahead when I faintly heard the bells and sirens in the distance. By the time they got through all their silly protocols and put somebody on the street to start looking for me, I was 50 kilometers away. Heaven knows who saw me, and Heaven knows how many memories the Foundation had to try to find and wipe now.

I kept flying until I found a certain very old little gas station convenience store in a certain little town I know. So I put the carpet back and landed. When I walked in, I asked the clerk for the key to the men's room and ambled about for a bit until the clerk was busy checking out multiple customers. Then I went to the outside of the building, unlocked and reclosed the door, put the key gently on the wash bowl, spoke the word "circumstances" and stepped through the restroom mirror. Now I was in one of the crossroads of the Ways instead of one particular place. With the door closed behind me I could take a little unbothered mental time to find one of the Way portals to the Library. I was in luck. There was one on the Way right in front of me to another crossroads, this one with a Library entrance.

I have to say that you guys have put up one heck of a good spell to keep that door shut. Whatever it is about the Foundation, it could tell I just came from there and that oak door wouldn't budge. It took me a full twenty minutes to work out a counter-spell to push your spell aside. But I still had my old magical chops from long, long ago, so when the door opened, I walked through, dissolved my spell, and the door slammed back hard taking your spell with it. And that's how I got here.

My real name is Karmakshanti Vyapini. No, I'm not Indian, that's just the Sanskrit translation of my name from Tibetan. No I'm not Tibetan either, but my guru who gave me the name is. An English rendering would be, roughly, "SHE whose patience pervades everywhere in the Multiverse". No, that's not ME, that's the enlightened Woman of Wisdom that came and took me in her arms in meditation. We call 'em *dakinis* for short. SHE was the ONE who I was flying with naked at the start of all this, and SHE dissolved back into the space where SHE abides, which is everywhere and nowhere.

You look a little puzzled. We could take all day to explore what I do in meditation, and what I've discovered there. Suffice it to say that I first met my guru, by "accident" in my teen years in Three Portlands. He bestowed that name on me then with the compulsion that any other name I chose or was given had to start from that name, which was now my true one. It reads unpronounceably for an English speaker in Tibetan, so I use the Sanskrit.

Still is my true name. It's the name in which I'm applying for a Wanderer's Library card, and the name on my Deer College Allumni Card for which I ask the Library to also grant to me an A-class study carrel with closeable and lockable door. I have many things to research and no regular home.

Deer College? I graduated from there in '72. My specialties were Art History and Ceremonial Magic. We were go getters and busy beavers, that class, and most of us who were sharp graduated in the third year instead of the fourth one. Life was new and Magic was fresh and the World awaited. I graduated Mage Magister. You've never heard of that? Doesn't surprise me. Deer doesn't give out that degree very much, maybe once every five years. There were two of us in that class, myself and Lizzie Worthanstall, aka the Blonde Witch Bombshell. We still are the only two Magisters that have graduated at the same time.

I just had the aptitude for Magic, it fit me like a lock and a key, and maybe also I had the power of my guru's blessing, since when I first met him he said to study the world before I came to him. Lizzie had the aptitude, too. And we both weren't afraid of hard work. We were friendly rivals that whole three years of casting and warding off spells from each other. You don't know how hard it is to whip up a counterspell when you've been turned into a toad! That one got me mad, and I sent a self propelled razor strop to tan her behind.

I and my four sisters grew up with that discipline medication from mom and dad, and when the eldest of my sisters turned 16, she was given the house babysitting job, and she was also allowed to use the strap doing it. Lizzie probably grew up that way, too, as you'll hear in a minute. They say these days that it's child abuse and makes children far more aggressive when you do that. Back then it was merely rather strict parenting. And if you had grown up in Three Portlands in the 1950's and 1960's when I did, you HAD to be agressive to keep yourself from being bullied just because your mom was a practicing witch. They also still paddled both boys and girls, in the Three Portland schools, too. I knew this directly by having punched out a bully in the school hallways while my girlfriend cheered. We all were sent to the Principal over this and he objected in the strongest possible terms, which left all three of us crying our eyes out.

So Lizzie got a real surprise after turning into me a toad. Of course this was exactly the last thing I should have done in the early 1970's of first wave Feminism. Much of that Feminism *came* from Deer College, actually, though participants on the other side of the Veil didn't know it. The then Deer president Ms. Heather Davis took a very active interest in College discipline and intervened in it routinely, particularly when Women's Rights were involved, as was certainly the case of my little temper tantrum. She probably didn't "burn her bra", as was the Feminist fashion then; genetics, middle age, and a few extra pounds had made her underwire bra indispensable. But, otherwise, she was on Feminist point.

When Lizzie made her complaint, it went immediately up from the Dean of Discipline's Office straight to Ms. Davis. And so did I.

"Now you know that this little trick of yours is already enough to have you expelled. You're one of our best students and I'd like to keep you, but YOU have to learn for good to treat your fellow women students properly. You would NEVER would have sent a spell like that to a male mage, and you DON'T do it to a female witch. I want you to sit down and write a *sincere* letter of apology to Elizabeth for failing to give her the respect she deserves!"

So I sucked it up and wrote one by hand at the front of her desk; wrote the very best and least resentful letter I could. I was scared shitless of ruining my college career. I could also see that Ms. Davis had a point. I would never do that to a male student for fear that they would punch in my teeth. I would also never have dared to do it to my strict older sister, either. After she read it, she said, "I'm very satisfied with you, Karmakshanti. This letter is exactly what I hoped you'd write."

She then had Lizzie brought in by her secretary. There was a storm of anger still in Lizzie's face and a wince in it as well when she walked, so it was clear that her magical strapping still kept her legs and backside on fire. I knew that feeling very, very well. Lizzie had also brought the strop and was folding it and unfolding it in her hands.

"Elizabeth," I said, eating as much humble pie as I could, "I'm truly sorry for what I did. It was wrong. And Ms. Davis has a letter of apology I've written to you stating in detail *why* it was wrong."

As Ms. Davis handed Lizzie the letter, she was staring intently at that strop. It required very little clairvoyance to guess what that all meant. I kept my clairvoyance a secret anyway. I wanted no one, friend or stranger, to be constantly looking over their shoulder for me. So I bowed to the inevitable and said, "Ladies, I will do *anything* you ask of me and abide by any judgment you make of me."

They glanced at each other again. He must know. Lizzie got a grim little smile on her face. Ms Davis said, "I've got to go to a meeting, but I invite the both of you to use my office to work things out between you. I've told my secretary not to disturb you under *any* circumstances."

When the door closed, Lizzie's little smile got broader, "You know what happens next, don't you?"

"Yes, ma'm." Just what I would have said to my sister. I was already standing up and loosening my belt to allow my pants to be pulled down.

"Then bend over and put your elbows on the seat of that straight chair you were sitting in."

She belted the living piss out of me, and didn't stop until my bare bottom and upper thighs were covered in welts and my face was covered in tears. Lizzie tanned my behind as well or better as any in my family. She clearly knew quite well about both sides of a strapping. As I stood there still crying with my pants and underwear around my ankles, Lizzie came close to my right ear and put her arm around my left shoulder, "I want you to know that this strop appeared just as I stepped, all wet, out of the shower. (Ooo! No wonder she was still sore!) I forgive you. Totally. And we'll never refer to this again. I'm still your friend. That's all that's important."

Just like my sister would have, and I told Lizzie so. After that, she gave me a huge hug, also like my sister, and said, "C'mon brother, pull up your pants and I'll buy you some coffee. I shuddered a little to think of the show the barista would get of both of us sitting down very slowly and gingerly and grimacing when we hit bottom. But I noted well the name she had called me. Brother. She'd never called me that before, and never called me anything else after all the way to Graduation. And then we parted. Forever.

Yes, we played rough, just like Deer College Rugby, which I lettered in. But we each respected the other highly and I still have a ligament click in my left hip from when she sent me to Mexico to tumble all the way down that Aztec pyramid. I'll never forget the embrace and the torrid kiss she gave me on Graduation Day, nor the good wine and fresh trout dinner, and the sleepless night that followed after. Blonde Witch Bombshell, indeed.

Don't know what she's up to now. It's magical bad form to use your clairvoyance offhandedly, so I don't go looking. My Senior Thesis? "Sigils: History, Powers, and Practical Utility". It's here in the Library. Get a docent to find it for you some time. It's well thumbed and has lots of stains of candle wax, holy oil, and consecrated wine on it. Last I heard from someone who used it, it also has a lovely smell of burning Storax, Benzoin, and Frankincense. Be that as it may, here comes my new card and key 308. I'm going to snag a docent and find my carrel. Nice talking to you. If you'd like to stop by and chat, remember #308. I'll be in there most days for quite a long time.

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