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Monday, October 14, 2019

Indigenous Peoples Day – Not Columbus Day


Let us forgo the celebration of Christopher Columbus today, with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, he made an extraordinary crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, but with that being said we must recognize that Christopher Columbus was a monster.

He set out on his adventure and sailed in pursuit of his vanity, of wealth and titles. He sailed across the Atlantic four times and back; and he became wealthy, he earned those titles, but his vanity was never satisfied.

He was born in obscurity, an Italian from Genoa. As a boy he went to sea where he learned the skills and the knowledge that brought him to a captaincy.

In this aspect he was remarkable, and deserving of respect.

He became an adventurer in the service of the monarchs of Spain; Ferdinand and Isabella. He made his first voyage for them in 1492, as I learned by song, when I was a boy, that Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue.

He set sail on September 6th, and sighted land in what we now call the Islands of the Bahamas on October 12th. He named the island that he landed on San Salvador; exactly which island this was, is now lost to memory.

He expected to be in Asia, but to his surprise, and to the surprise of everyone back in the Spanish and European courts, there were other continents and other oceans they had yet to traverse in order to get to India.

They still wanted a westward route to India, but they were more than happy to discover the truth and learn the real shape of the world.

Columbus opened up these new continents and all of their peoples, to the incessant appetites and cruelties of the Europeans, to their hunger for gold, and for land and for war.

Columbus never sailed past the Islands of the Caribbean. He never set foot in what came to be known as the America’s, and his life was not without controversy.

He became wealthy and earned titles, but he was also arrested, jailed and relieved of his governance, before eventually being released.

His heirs did not inherit the titles he had earned, he never entered the true nobility. He died at the age of fifty four, a sailor from Genoa, Admiral of the Ocean Seas.

His coming to the West, was the beginning of the end for countless peoples, for tribes whose names history did not record, peaceful people who were captured and enslaved, and worked to death, the encommendero system began with him under the tyranny of Spanish rule.

We should note him for his historical significance, but the truth should be told and not celebrated.

Columbus was a harbinger of death.


Given 1st - 2018.10.08

Emergence 4.0 - Part Six, The Empire; Chapter Thirty-nine, Priest


Week 41, 2019


El had been an outsider since the moment he rejected the Empire and entered the rebellion.

The general staff was elated when they were informed that he was ordered to leave military service and enter the priest hood. Regardless of the fact that this was yet again, another transcendent movement for him between the castes.

They had spent their entire lives in his orbit, and they were eager to be free of him.

The Imperial Cult reached down and pulled him up.

It was another unprecedented event for the entire Empire to celebrate; his rise from the status of a rebel and outcast, to the most exalted class of being; a Priest of the Imperium.

El’s followers throughout the Empire grew by an order of magnitude. 

Once again, he started on the lowest rung of the religious orders.

He was an oblate.

He was given the mark of humility, tonsured as any beginner would be.

In his new position, he had more rank than all of the generals with whom he had formerly served, though less power.

His home planet became a place of pilgrimage

And though he had experienced a life of opulence as a Field Marshall and as a chief administrator, the world that the priestly caste dwelt in was different by an order of magnitude.

The luxuries were understated, they were simple, even for the priest at the lowest level, there was not even a hint of want or need.

It was required that he take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

These vows were virtually meaningless in the context of the wealth he was surrounded by and had access to, regardless of whether he owned that wealth or not.

Simple and abundant, food and drink were everywhere, the finest of everything.

Every novice was required to take the vows, but depending on the track they were on the vows were not necessarily for life.

After the age of maturity, after their time of training and education, after a period of service as an acolyte most members of the priestly caste would return to their home worlds to support their families and their dynastic ambitions.

Some would remain in service, a few others would join the austere contemplative societies where they would continue to live selflessly in service to the Continuum and the Collective which they aspired to

El entered the sacred order without any thought for himself or his future.

He had no family to return to. He was alone, independent, with no thought whatsoever of his safety or security in his new role as a priest.

He accepted it like he had accepted everything he had been asked to do since his resurrection.

El was initiated into the mysteries and his eyes were opened.

He became, once again, a servant. It was a position of familiarity and comfort.El preferred the regulated life.

He was the oldest novice ever to be tonsured.

He was wise and he was quiescent. He facilitated rather than competing with the ambitions of his peers.

As with every other aspect of Imperial life, the priesthood was divided, first by gender, and then into classes.

There was no escaping these divisions.

Men and women each had their province of control and influence, and yet women were always subject to men.  

There were two basic divisions within the priesthood. There were the officiants of the sacred rites, and there were the holy orders, forming the service societies and contemplative sects.

As with every other strata of the Empire, whoever you were, wherever you went, you knew your rank, and you were bound by protocol in relation to it.

Every member of the priestly class had some choice as to what path they wanted to pursue, though in reality most people were governed by the needs and desires of their families.

The vast majority of priestly power resided in its bureaucracy, the management of its land holdings and the officiation of the temple rites, to which every citizen of the Empire was bound.

When faced with the choice of which path he wanted his career to follow, El went deep, as was characteristic of him. He became a brother and followed the contemplative sects into the paths of mystery, austerity, and aesthetics.

He wanted to do more than officiate rituals or manage a temple, he wanted to discover the meaning of existence.

He felt that at long last he would find a place of peace where he could age, and end his days in quiet.

He was always a conformist at heart. That was the secret to his success in leadership, though he did not know it.

Leaders conform to the expectations of their followers, they are shaped by them, their ability to represent those expectations is why they are trusted.

We find among the greatest leaders those who have the most felt need to belong.

From his youth in the rebellion, during his years in the resistance pursuing his quest for justice; El was obedient, a follower, not always of people but to the multitudes and their ideals.

He had been the unparalleled leader. His commitment to deliver what the people desired and expected of him, what they expected of the Empire, and of the faith, this drove people to him.

He was a follower of ideals. He did not give the people a voice, he was their voice.

When he spoke from the heart, it resonated in theirs, because their feelings and desires were one and the same.

In relation to his principles he was relentless, unquestioning. His ideals were like pillars made of diamond, as clear as daylight and as solid as foundation of a world.

He never wavered, and that is why he succeeded when he was returned to life, when he ended his rebellion and went into service for the Empire.

The role he played was different, it was different on an order of magnitude, but he followed it with the same simple conviction.

El believed in his heart that the fate of the people, of trillions of people rested on the proper function of government, and that peace and prosperity would follow for everyone if each and every person obeyed its dictates.

Then he met a woman, a Sister and he fell in love.

While he would have preferred to remain in the holy orders of the contemplatives, that was an impossibility.

His following stretched across the million worlds of the Empire. The people clamored for news of him, in its absence they wove stories and legends of their own.

After years of servitude and study, he was initiated into the mysteries, and ordained into the order of the priesthood.

He became an officiant of the sacred rites.

The temples he served in were overflowing with people, people who would spend years on pilgrimages to receive his blessing.

El was held in the highest esteem by his colleagues, all of whom were eager to trade on his fame.

Every day he carefully reenacted the rituals and repeated the sacred chants, which the people were taught would carry them to eternal life. He reenacted the rituals for himself and on behalf of others who believed that they would open the gates of the Continuum to their dead and dying loved ones.

The Imperial Cult sent him on his own pilgrimage, he visited thousands of worlds.

El handpicked the coterie who attended him.

The loving sister went with him everywhere he travelled.

They stole time together in the quiet moments of the evening, in the deep of space, on the trek between worlds. He told her stories of his youth, and the rebellion, of his service as a soldier, of the sacred moment when he had been returned to life.

Her name was Imogene, she was from an exalted family, jaded and skeptical of all the sacred rites, as most of the priestly class were, but she was not skeptical about him.

They were passionate for each other, they were loving and kind.

His affair with the Sister was illicit, but he loved her, and she loved him.

When he looked at her he could not tell the difference from the one woman he had loved more than any other, his rebel wife, a hundred years past, she was her twin, separated only by time and distance, class and caste.

Imogene never cared a bit for the rules that bound her ancient house. Like most members of the ruling families in the priestly caste, she was a nihilist.

While he cared only for her.

They had both sworn vows of chastity, vows which she believed were meaningless long before she took them, knowing they were not binding, having been given proof of that when she was seduced by the officiant who presided over her initiation.

Such vows, as far as she was concerned, were for appearances only, and were only meant to be a tool for the governance of those on the lower rungs of the social order.

A death sentence could be served for such violations of the rites. Those few people who had been convicted of those crimes were actually being punished for other reasons, for political concerns.

As a novice she celebrated such executions with carnal delights, reveling in the slaughter of illicit lovers. 

His willingness to break those vows, and the anguish it caused him, captivated his audience in the Collective.

It was out of character, it was unpredictable. There was a great potential risk to both him and her.

The Continuum ensured it would continue.

His followers multiplied.

With the blessing of the Collective, and by the favor of Continuum, he had advanced in rank among the religious orders, and in the hierarchy of the priesthood.

He had advanced despite his carnal crimes or because of them, he would never know.

It was a favorable development in the narrative of his life.

As far as the Collective was concerned, during his time in the priesthood his story had begun to tire, this was not dissimilar to his tenure as an administrator when he served in the armed forces.

Now in the context of his romance, thousands of intriguing dramas sprang up in relation to him.

Throughout the Empire millions of El’s followers took to extremes to demonstrate their love, and faith in him.

Planetary rebellion sprang to an all new high since the time he left military service, and now Revolutionary movements were being carried out in his name, and rebel forces now included former members of the military caste who wanted to see him elevated to the Imperial throne. 

The details of these conflicts were not reported to him, he was aware of them and did what he could from his position in the priesthood to quell those conflicts, but he was no longer a general and therefore his influence was limited..

He was a monk and a priest and he was in love, engaged with a member of a royal house in a passionate affair.

He did not want to be bothered with the responsibility to resolve those conflicts.

His thoughts were only for Imogene.

The Continuum loved the intrigue of his cover-ups.

They made him a bishop, and overseer of the flock, and then a Cardinal, in order to free his time, to give him the space to develop his relationship and sink deeper into his desires.

The masses, knowing nothing of his transgressions, adored him even more.

They made him Abba, the head of the most exalted religious order, the most secretive and the most influential, they positioned him as the head of the Imperial Temple, answerable only to the Emperor himself.

El was fully actualized, he had become the most powerful figure in the Empire that the Empire had ever known.


Emergence 4.0
Part Six, The Empire

Chapter Thirty-nine, Priest

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

A Homily - The Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


First Reading – 2 Kings 5:14-17 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 97(98):1-4 ©
Second Reading – 2 Timothy 2:8-13 ©
Gospel Acclamation – John 6:63, 68
Alternative Acclamation – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Gospel According to Luke 17:11 - 19 ©


Be mindful of how you read the sacred text. It is easy to misconstrue the gospel, and the way may be lost in jingoistic mythology.

The story of Naaman the Leper is one of these tales that threatens to blind us to the purpose of the good news.

On the one hand it relates a story of healing, in this way it is in alignment with God’s promise to cleanse all of us from our hurts and wounds, from the disease of sin.

That is God’s plan for us, to make us well, but the realization of that plan is not of this world.

We must not be confused into believing that this is a story of miraculous faith, or the magical powers of the prophet Elisha, or of God reaching into the world to cause a radical transformation in the life of a single individual.

God does not intervene in our affairs, not even to help us. God has made us free, and the whole of creation with it, and that freedom precludes divine intervention.

The authors and editors of the Book of Kings fail to understand where the real presence of God resides: it is not that the one and true God, creator of the universe dwells in Israel and in no other place, but that there is only one God, the one God is preached in Israel, but the true God is in all places at all times, and with everyone.

God dwells in the human heart and speak to all of there.

Listen!
It is right and good to praise God, the creator of the universe, because creation is miraculous, and beyond the scope of human comprehension.

But know this: God is not a giver of victories. God has no enemies, and in God, within whom all things exist and have their being…in God there is no conflict.

It is not God’s justice that is shown in the doings of human beings, it is human justice, and when human justice approximates the justice of God, it will be characterized as merciful and good.

Have faith in this: God is kind and to all people, God loves us equally.

God’s power is everywhere, god’s spirit animates the voices that give God praise.

If you are an instrument of justice, judge fairly, judge kindly all-the-while remembering the love of God.

Consider what the good news is:

The Good news is the promise of resurrection and life after death, but it is more than that.

The good news is about the life we live here on earth. The resurrection is meant to ground our trust in the hope that we are all included in God’s plan for the salvation of all people, a plan which God will carry out even in regard to those who do not know of God’s plan, or who knowing of it, do not participate in God’s plan while they are living among us.

God will save even those who view God as the enemy, those who suborn the truth, and harm their brothers and sisters.

Christian faith is grounded in our belief in the reality of the resurrection, and the hope that it applies to us as well. The kindling of this hope is meant to free us from the bondage of the world and allow us to live a life of service right now.

Let us live with this passage for a moment.

God is calling us to be holy, at all times, God is speaking in the heart, pulling at us, inviting us into the compassionate life, a life of wellbeing.

God, the creator of the universe; God does this out of love. This was God’s plan from the beginning of time. There is not one of us, not one child of God, not one being in the whole of creation, who is outside of this plan.
It is not that God has abolished death as much as it is revealed that the death of the body is merely a transition, which we all pass through on our journey toward the creator.

The gospel is this; God loves you, and you are saved. You are not saved for anything that you have done, you did not earn it, you are saved because God loves you.

The promise of salvation is not that you will be spared from suffering and torment in hell, or that when you are judged God will forgive you.

God has already forgiven you. You are already saved.

God has prepared you, and everyone for eternal life.

Believe it! Let the goodness of the promise flow through you now, and start living this life as if it were true.

We are not called to believe in the idea that Jesus is this or that, the Holy One of God or anything else, we are called to act on the principles of his faith, to live lives of charity and service to each other.

It is wise to be thankful, to share your thanks with the world, and in your thankfulness give from your bounty to those in need.

This is the way.

Remember this, God, the creator of the universe, God loves all people. God loves the clean and the unclean, the leper and the person in full health. God loves them both alike. God’s mercy is the inheritance of both.

Consider the Gospel for today, all of the lepers were healed of their disease, one came back and gave praise to God; only one of them was grateful, returned and gave thanks.

You may say that the one who returned and was healed according to his faith and trust in God.

The others were healed nonetheless, they were saved according to God’s grace and mercy.

The important thing to understand is that all were healed, God did not hold back God’s mercy, God saved them all.


First Reading – 2 Kings 5:14-17 ©

Naaman the Leper Returned to Elisha and Acknowledged the Lord

Naaman the leper went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. And his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child.

Returning to Elisha with his whole escort, he went in and stood before him. ‘Now I know’ he said ‘that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel. Now, please, accept a present from your servant.’

But Elisha replied, ‘As the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing.’ Naaman pressed him to accept, but he refused.

Then Naaman said, ‘Since your answer is “No,” allow your servant to be given as much earth as two mules may carry, because your servant will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any god except the Lord.’


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 97(98):1-4 ©

The Lord has shown his salvation to the nations.

Sing a new song to the Lord
  for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
  have brought salvation.

The Lord has shown his salvation to the nations.

The Lord has made known his salvation;
  has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
  for the house of Israel.

The Lord has shown his salvation to the nations.

All the ends of the earth have seen
  the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
  ring out your joy.

The Lord has shown his salvation to the nations.


Second Reading – 2 Timothy 2:8-13 ©

If We Hold Firm then We Shall Reign with Christ

Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal – but they cannot chain up God’s news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen, so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that comes with it.

Here is a saying that you can rely on:

If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.

If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.

If we disown him, then he will disown us.

We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful, for he cannot disown his own self.


Gospel Acclamation – John 6:63, 68

Alleluia, alleluia!

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life;
you have the message of eternal life.

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Alleluia, alleluia!

For all things give thanks,
because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 17:11 - 19 ©

No-one Has Come Back to Praise God, Only this Foreigner

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’


28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Political Courage - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
10.12.2019

Political Courage


Finally we have witnessed some political courage.

Former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee against the orders of the State Department, and the wishes of Donald Trump.

Ambassador Yavanovitch is still employed by the State Department, but in her wisdom she chose to acknowledge the authority of a House subpoena and testify, choosing to ignore the illegal demand from the Secretary of State that she defy the Constitutional privilege of the Congress to exercise oversight on the executive branch.

It just took a little bit of political courage, some honesty, and some common sense.

There are other State Department Employees and Foreign Services Officers who have said they will follow this example, together they will peel the lid back on this corrupt administration and expose their criminal machinations for the bribery and extortion rackets, T-Rump and his cronies have turned our foreign policy into.

Every other member of this administration who love America, who believes in democracy, who respects the Constitution and cares about the oath they swore to protect it must follow suit.

Turn over the documents that have been subpoenaed by congress, show up and testify if you have been called. Forget about the phony claims of executive privilege and so-called “blanket immunity” that have been asserted, those claims and assertions are all outside the law.

Be a hero, stand-up, perform the duties of your office; do it for the sake of America, forget about you allegiance to the orange menace who occupies the oval office; remember, he has no allegiance to you, to this country, or the rule of law.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Broken


The search never ends
A longing for tenderness
To ease the hard life

A little loving
Learning, to be touched by you
And be vulnerable

Open to the world
The long journey of desire
The restless slumber

Eternally dreaming
The absolute end of things
Drowning in laughter

Taken and shaken
Beaten inside our thin shells
Like a broken yoke

A bloody remnant
Swallowed by the truth, eaten
Without thought or care

Monday, October 7, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Part Six, The Empire; Chapter Thirty-eight, General


Week 40, 2019


In the post of an agency chief El enjoyed a life of luxury well beyond the grasp of the ordinary plebian, and though the demands on his time had lessened, he filled his days with attention to duty, examining and reexamining the reports he was fed from those beneath him in the administration.

He was old, though he did not feel it, and he thought this would be the pattern for the rest of his life.

He believed that he had finally arrived at a place where he could use his influence, and management to improve the lives of the people; there food supply, their access to clean water, and medicine, leisure time and rest.

El was transforming the world he managed into a haven of tranquility.

He was wrong.  

In his tenth year as Planetary Secretary, he received orders to report to a military entrance processing station. The Empire ordered him to service, taking away his hope for a better world.

His people reacted with a mixture of dismay and veneration.

He did not balk, or look back.

He resigned his office without fanfare or ceremony.

He had no family to say goodbye to.

He was ninety years old.

He became a foot soldier, entering a new way of life.

He received the blessing of the Temple, and once again his elevation to a higher class and different caste was met with awe by the audience who followed his story.

Then he went to war.

He served in the infantry with distinction. El was a brilliant combat engineer, as fearless as he was tireless.

He risked everything for his comrades, putting their safety and security above his own, falling back on the instinct and experience that had made him the greatest rebel commander in memory. Now he turned his guns on rebels throughout the Empire. He was relentless when called to be, and merciful when he could be. After one year in combat they pulled him off the line, the Collective loved his heroism, but feared for his life. They did not want to see him lose it in hand to hand combat.

El was a shining star, but displayed too much gallantry. This put him at odds with his fellows, it unnerved the Collective.

There were too many moments in which he hesitated in combat, giving his opponent a chance to surrender before the kill.

Those watching him often experienced these moments as judgement on them.

He volunteered for every mission. Sometimes entering two or three engagements in a single week.

When he was wounded he went to hospital, got sewn up and returned the next day for duty.

His life was now the armed forces.

As old as he was, he looked forward to ending it there.

El pursed his duties like he had in the bureaucracy. He was single minded and focused, determined to set an example for everyone he served with, to his commanders and to all of the people he knew were watching his life through the Imperial networks.

He believed that his life had been spared for a reason, and he had been blessed with longevity so that he could fulfill it.

If the Gods wanted him dead they would take him. If they wanted him alive they would spare him.

He thought nothing of it.

When the command pulled him off the line, they raised him in rank and made him a yeoman.

This was a bitter disappointment to El.

El’s former life in the bureaucracy could not be considered as real experience or earn him a promotion as a yeoman because it was experience from a lower caste, it meant nothing to the military command.

Nevertheless, serving in the bureaucracy prepared him for the work in front of him, and he came to it as a celebrated war hero, decorated and wildly popular with the media, he was able to implement processes that streamlined the way records were kept, transferred, accessed and compiled.

El had reveled in the exploits of the infantry, the comradeship, but he did not resent the break or the rest. He had not enjoyed the killing, or watching his fellows die.

His audience, both in the Empire and in the Collective, grew tired of watching him shuffle papers again. Having seen him as a soldier and a hero, the Collective was not satisfied with his return to normalcy, and the Continuum was eager to push his experience and the narrative it produced to new places.

They wanted more from him.

He went back to wars as a medic, the most dangerous of all professions in the military.

He studied for it.

He trained with the same zeal he brought to all of his endeavors.

He took his oath, dedicating himself to the preservation of life. He took it seriously, and he risked his own life time and time again, suffering serious injuries to recover the fallen, whether they were soldiers of the Empire, or rebels.

Everyone was a citizen he told himself, belonging together as conjoined links in the great chain of being, and he was there for them, for each of them. Like himself, every rebel had a story to tell and every one of them could be redeemed.

As a rebel, and a soldier he had mastered his feelings of fear. He set fear aside and treated it like a curiosity. Fear was nothing more than an itch in the mind, it was a tickle that could easily be ignored.

While a prisoner under torture fear vanished from him altogether. Even pain became an experience that measured as near to nothing. Only life mattered, the preservation of it, the risking of it, or the elimination of it, whatever was called for in the moment.

He answered the call of duty dispassionately.

As a medic El never shrank from danger. He ran to the aid of the fallen, crawling to them if he had to. He did whatever he could while his limbs could propel him.

He was a paragon of virtue.

His audience loved him, they worshipped his willingness to sacrifice himself for the sake of his comrades.

The command rewarded him time and time again, holding him in the highest esteem, and they continued to decorate him, engagement after engagement, wound after wound.

It propelled him to glory, but it also awakened him to the suffering of others.

He did not shrink from opportunities to be merciful to the enemy.

This set a poor example in the minds of his superiors, but the Collective loved it.

After he had completed a thousand missions, and Continuum was satisfied that they had squeezed every last thing out of his current story ark. They promoted him to the rank of officer, gave him a commission as a member of the cavalry.

He returned once again to training, learning the complex controls of the war machines, he became a pilot.

In the cavalry El mastered every type of combat craft; land, sea, air and space. It was another long period of arduous training. He spent years of his life learning all the technical details of the equipment he operated, their munitions, how to repair them, maneuver them and use them for deadly effect.

He became a weapons master of the first order, an Equestrian, a knight.

His experience as a master of cavalry combined with his years of experience in the infantry; both as a combat engineer and as a medic, made him the most highly trained member of the armed forces there had ever been.

The ease with which he learned the controls, and the rapidity in which his skills developed into something like artistry was shocking to his trainers, they had never seen anything like it before.

Their observations substantiated the myths that were constantly perpetuated about him.

People believed he was descended from the gods, a child of the gods, the believed that he had come back to the Empire from the Continuum, to live with them, to observe them, to share their pain.

His comrades worshipped him like a god as well, whether they believed in his divinity or not. They wanted nothing more than to fly missions with him and watch him fight.

El loved flying, being at the controls of the greatest vehicles that had ever been constructed.

He loved flying in the quiet of space, he loved to watch the silent explosion of energy weapons and the quick fires bursting from breached hulls in the vacuum of space, he loved the beauty of the bright lights and flashing colors.

Those moments were freeing, they gave him pause to contemplate his extraordinarily long-life.

He retired from combat as the Empires greatest Ace; living or dead.

He had been deployed in countless engagements, on thousands of worlds.

He was a suppressor of conflict.

His heroic image was brighter than a star going nova.

Rebel squadrons would surrender when they knew he was in the field.

He was a harbinger of victory.

Cults of worship formed around him.

Even past the age of one hundred years, he maintained the strength and vigor of a man in his prime. This was interpreted as evidence of his divinity.

Many of his superiors were jealous, and some of his contemporaries as well. The jealous wanted to eliminate him, which was a part of the reason he saw so much combat.

The conservatives simply wanted to return him to the bureaucracy, to take the limelight away from him and groom him for command

They pulled El from combat and made him an aide de camp.

They told him that with his experience, in this new position he would be able to actualize the full range of his talents in service to the Empire.

While this was less entertaining for the Collective, the Continuum saw the potential for an even greater narrative to manifest itself through the exploitation of his unique position.

Together they were creating the greatest single story the Collective had ever absorbed, and it was the only narrative running that could compete for the attention of the membership with the drama and intrigue that flowed from the planet Earth.

When El was elevated to the Imperial Command, the whispering about him among the worlds of the Empire became harder to ignore. People began to truly believe the rumors that he was of the Continuum, that he was a divine being, an angelic messenger, a scion of the gods, those rumors became more and more concretized in the minds of the people, until they became an actual part of his narrative.

His promotion to Field Marshall precipitated chaos in the Imperial Cult, in the centers of command, and in the royal court.

El thought nothing of those whispers, he acted as if he could not hear them.

He followed orders.

When he was in command, he followed protocol.

In everything he did he allowed himself to be governed by others. 

He accepted his position in life, rising to the challenges set before him.

It was as if he were a party to his life, merely an observer of it.

As a general he became the greatest peacemaker the Empire had ever seen.

He resolved conflicts merely by showing up.

Abuses of power, matters that had been routine in the years before he took command of the Imperial Armies, they all but disappeared.

He was temperate.

He was just.

And his story began to lose its luster.


Emergence 4.0
Part Six, The Empire

Chapter Thirty-eight, General

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

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