Here is chapter 3 and the meeting between Jack and the Ancient One, please enjoy.
As Jack entered Kamar-Taj, Jack was greeted by a long hallway. Once the man closed the entrance, he led Jack down the hallway and into a large square room. Inside the room were many other people dressed in robes, with one of them, a bearded old man with glasses, sitting behind a table reading a book.
"This is the sanctuary of our teacher, the Ancient One." The man explained.
"The Ancient One? What's his real name?" Jack asked.
The man simply stared at him nonplussed, making Jack slightly uncomfortable before remembering what he had said just minutes before.
"Right, forget everything." Jack said before entering the large square room.
As he entered, Jack gave a small bow in thanks. "Thank you…woah!" Jack exclaimed as two robed people came from behind and took off the jacket he wore. Another came and gave him an empty cup, while another, this one a bald woman poured him some tea.
"Thank you for seeing me Ancient One." Jack thanked, only to be confused to see the sitting man suddenly get up and slowly walk out.
"You're very welcome." A voice from his side said.
Turning, Jack saw that it was the woman who was pouring him the tea that had answered him. Jack again turned to the departing old man and the one that brought him here in confusion. He then realised that the woman was actually the Ancient One.
"Thank you Master Hamir. Thank you Master Mordo." The woman thanked before walking towards the table and setting the teapot down.
"Mr Darby." The Ancient One greeted.
"Doctor, actually." Jack replied.
"Well not anymore surely." The woman said with a small smile. "Isn't that why you are here?" She asked.
"Yes." Jack answered.
"You've gone through many operations before coming here. Seven, correct?" She asked.
"Yes." Jack answered slowly, still trying to wrap his mind around this. "This is good tea."
"Thank you." The Ancient One thanked.
Jack knew that he did want to drag this on for too long and simply got down to business, all while not trying to seem to disrespectful. "Did you heal a man by the name of Johnathan Pangborn?" he asked.
"In a way." The woman answered as she began to make another own cup of tea.
"You helped a man walk again." Jack stated.
"Yes." The Ancient One said, smiling.
"How did you correct a complete C7-C8 Spinal Cord injury?" Jack asked.
"I didn't correct it." She replied, confusing Jack. "He couldn't walk. I convinced him otherwise." She stated.
"You're not suggesting it's psychosomatic?" Jack asked.
"When you reattach a severed nerve, is it you who heals it back together or the body?" The Ancient One asked, stirring her cup.
"It's the cells." Jack answered.
"And the cells are only programed to put themselves back together in very specific way." She stated.
"Right." Jack agreed.
"What if I told you that your own body could be convinced to put itself back together in all sorts of ways?" She asked, less of a question and more of a hidden fact.
Jack was floored. What this woman was talking about was something that has been theorised by many doctors. "You're talking about cellular regeneration. That's leading–edge medical tech, is that why you're working here without a governing Medical Board? I mean just how experimental is your treatment?" Jack asked, the doctor in him was jumping up and down at this revelation.
It seemed that what he had asked amused both the Ancient One and Master Mordo, who was drinking the tea that she had given to him.
"Quite." The woman said.
"So you've figured out a way to reprogram nerve cells to self-heal?" Jack asked in awe.
"No, Mr Darby. I know how to reorient the spirit to better heal the body." The Ancient One explained.
This jarred Jack and it took him a moment to regain some shred of focus. "The spirit to heal the body." Jack repeated slowly, getting a nod from the woman. "All right. Uh…how do we start? Where do we begin?" he asked.
The woman walked towards the table and took a book from it. Opening the book, she then showed him a picture of the body sitting in a crossed leg position. Jack simply stared at the picture in confusion.
"Don't like that much?" The Ancient One asked smiling widely.
"Oh no, it's really good, it's just that I've seen it before in gift shops." Jack replied.
The woman then turned to another page, this time showing the picture of a man, with the nervous system on display with man points running throughout the body along the nerves.
"Acupuncture, great." Jack once again replied blandly.
"What about that one?" She asked, turning to another page.
"You're showing me an MRI scan." Jack answered as he began to both get frustrated and upset that this woman would show him these pictures. "I don't believe this."
The Ancient One put the book down and began to speak. "Each of those maps was drawn up by someone who could see in part, but not a whole." She explained.
"I spent my last dollar getting here with a one way ticket, and you're talking to me about healing trough belief." Jack stated, utterly frustrated.
"You're a man looking at the world through a keyhole that you've spent your whole life trying to widen that keyhole, to see more, to know more. And now on hearing that it can be done, in ways you can't imagine, you reject the possibilities." The woman explained.
"No, I reject it because I do not believe in fairy tales about chakras or energy or the power of belief. There is no such thing as spirit. We are made of matter and nothing more. We're just another tiny momentary speck in an indifferent universe." Jack said, seething at the fact that this woman truly believed that such a thing was possible.
"You think too little of yourself Mr Darby. Or have you forgotten what Optimus Prime once stood for." The Ancient One asked.
"How could you possibly know that?" Jack asked in shock.
"I know many things. Things that once was, is and can be. But you still haven't answered my question. Have you forgotten what Optimus stood for?" She asked once again.
"Optimus believed in the power of choice, the protection of lie and liberty." Jack answered slowly.
"He also believed that no species, no matter how momentary or insignificant life may seem, it is still something worth believing in." The Ancient One continued.
"Okay so maybe you know things that you shouldn't, but that still doesn't mean that you can see through me." Jack said, walking up close to her. "Well you don't, but I see through you." Jack said, poking at her.
However as soon as he placed his finger on her once he finished she grabbed his wrist, twisted it and did an open palm strike upon his chest with her left arm, throwing him back. However instead of falling down, time seemed to slowdown and he suddenly found himself floating in mid-air. He say his body being held up by Mordo. Looking at his hands, he could see they had colour and were almost see through. With a wave of her fingers, the Ancient One almost seemed to pull him back and Jack soon found himself standing upright.
"What the hell did you just do to me?" Jack asked, almost lost for words.
"I pushed you astral body out of your physical form." The Ancient One answered.
"Wh….What was in that tea? Psilocybin? LSD?" Jack asked, trying to convince himself that what he had just experienced was not real.
"It's just tea. With a bit of honey." She replied.
"What just happened?" Jack asked, looking around.
"For a moment, you entered the Astral Dimension. Something that you should be quite familiar with." The woman said.
"The ShadowZone." Jack stated.
"Yes, what you experienced when you entered that dimension was something few could. The Astral Dimension is a place where the soul exists apart from the body." She explained.
"Why are you doing this to me?" Jack asked.
"To show you just how much you don't know." The woman answered, before placing her thumb on his forehead. "Open your eye!"
With a great force, Jack was pulled backwards. The world spinning around him, stretching and twisting as he seemed to fall endlessly out of the building and into the sky. Screaming in fear as he seemed to be spinning in circles climbing higher and higher above the clouds until he was in the upper atmosphere.
"Nonononononono! This isn't real! This isn't real! This is…." Jack seemed to stop as he slowed down to a stop to see a butterfly flying without a care.
Stretching his hand, Jack touched the butterfly, only to be pulled once again as soon as his fingers touched its wing. As he was pulled the world continued to spin he seemed to enter some sort of hole as multiple colours seemed to stream past him. Flashes of lights streaked by him.
"His heartrate is getting dangerously high." A voice seemed to speak from all around him.
With that voice everything seemed to slow down and stop as he suddenly found himself sitting on a chair with the Ancient One standing beside him.
"He looks alright to me." She said as once again the world stretched and he was once flying, pulled in several directions at once with no sense of direction.
"You think you know how the world works?" her voice sounded out. "You think this material world is all there is?" Images flew by and people flew past him, their voices drowned out and distorted as if he were underwater. "What is real? What mysterious lay beyond the reach of your senses?" People, but ghostly white seemed to float by him, walking through solid objects or even past each other. "At the root of existence, mind and matter meet." He suddenly found himself in space, stars around him exploding. Floating around he was suddenly pulled once again through a black hole and in front of a large brain, pulsing. It suddenly exploded in a bright flash, like a supernova, causing Jack to shield his eyes. "Where thoughts shape reality." Upon opening his eyes he saw a flying train lying around, hands walking on their fingers and trees talking. Feeling a tugging on his legs, Jack looked down to see a hole under him before he fell through it. "This universe is only one in an infinite number." As he fell, a light appeared before him and suddenly he seemed to smash through something. Floating around, he saw mirrors all around him showing himself in different stages of his life and those not his own. He saw himself getting married to Miko in one. Another with him wearing the Iron Man armour, while another as him with a flaming skull on a motorcycle. He even saw one where he turned into an Autobot and another where he wielded Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. "Worlds without ending. Some benevolent and life giving." He then seemed to fall into one of these mirrors only to find himself in some kind of corrupted space, where the sky was purple and dark green with parts of land floating around and planets as large as Jupiter floating in the sky. "Others, filled with malice and hunger. Dark places, where powers older than time, lay ravenous and waiting." As he floated around he saw Unicron, as large as a planet swallow an entire planet. He also saw a large person, with his head encased in fire, with nothing but the black irises for eyes and its mouth. Both the creature and Unicron seemed to notice him and he suddenly found himself floating towards them, faster and faster before darkness took him and he found himself in empty space. "Who are you in this vast multiverse Mr Darby?" The world again stretched and Jack found himself falling and falling down the tunnel of colours before crashing through the roof and landing on the floor, face first.
"Have you seen that in a gift shop?" The Ancient One asked condescendingly.
Looking up, Jack slowly got on his knees and looking at his shaking hands, Jack stared at the woman and said. "Teach me."
"No." Was the answer she gave him, and the next thing he knew, he was thrown back outside the door with his belongings.
"No! No! No! No! No! No! Open the door! Please!" Jack pleaded as he banged on the door.
Five hours later and Jack was still outside, banging on their door. He hadn't eaten or even taken a break, just kept pleading with them to open the door. What he saw in there proved his statement true as he had once again had his world turned upside down. This time literally. It also allowed him to look at his life and what he had in it from a different perspective. The one thing he could not shake however was what he saw or what he thought he saw was himself and Miko getting married. It was something that he had never even thought of and yet it somehow felt right.
It confused the hell out of him but it also made him sad as he remembered the last time he spoke to Miko. He wished he could take it all back and just apologise to her. But he knew her, she would not forgive him so easily, nor should she. He hurt her, he knew that now. And as he kept banging on the door, he realised something else. He had become the door, shutting people away, even though they tried to help him.
"Don't shut me out." Jack said quietly as he sit in front of the door.
Not a moment later, a loud buzz was heard and the door was flung open, sending Jack tumbling inside and on to his back.
"Thank you." Jack said.
As soon as he had gathered everything room outside, Jack was led by Mordo, who had told him that the Ancient One had decided to allow him to learn their ways, to his room. As Mordo opened the double doors, he indicated for him to enter, telling him silently that this was his room. Inside the room was a simple table that was right next to the door with a large window just in overlooking the courtyard outside. Opposite the window was the bed and at the foot was a table and a table with a basin and a mirror.
"Bathe. Study. Rest. Meditate, if you can. The Ancient One will for you in the morning." Mordo stated as he lit a candle before handing him a slip of paper.
Taking the paper, he looked down and written on it was the word Shamballa.
"What's this? My mantra?" Jack asked.
Mordo looked at him strangely before showing him a laptop on the table. "It's the Wi-Fi password." He answered. "We're not savages Darby."
"Mordo wait." Jack called out.
"Yes?" He asked.
"I wanted to thank you, and to also apologise." Jack answered.
Mordo looked at him in askance. "Apologise?"
"About the way I acted before, it wasn't right and I'm sorry." Jack explained.
Mordo stared at him for a moment before giving Jack a small smile. "Apology accepted Darby."
"It's Jack. You can call me Jack." Jack said.
"Alright." Mordo said before closing the door.
I know that this chapter does not have that much changes, but let's not forget that this is a different Jack. I also hope that you liked the little wink to my Iron Man Jack. If you have any questions please PM me and leave a review if you have anything to say about this chapter.
Remember to have an Awesome Day!