Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor
Volume XI, Issue XXIV
He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.
-- Adolph Hitler ( יִמַּח שְׁמו )
Ransom’ was dying. He stood on the green of the college looking across time. It had been almost seven years since the disappearances and he had seen a small but dedicated students come through the institution and then go out to change the world. The latest to depart had been ‘Joe’ and Claudia, who left to pastor a group of Lakota in the ‘Lower 48.’ Claudia was part Lakota herself, so this was for her a return to her roots.
Joe’ had finished his sabbatical year and then become a teacher for a while as their daughter Lucy grew into a young girl. Now she would have playmates and adventures under the open sky. Mrs. Kinsinger went with them, as a mentor and a ‘grandmother’ to Lucy. ‘Ransom’ lovingly closed up the little parsonage house.
There was never any thought of him moving into the place, for ‘Ransom’ it held too many ghosts. Memories flooded the old man every time he walked past it… happy dinners with laughing children present… Macaroni and cheese, and wonderful conversation centered on the Magnificent One and His work! He was often seen walking among the hollyhocks now. The little garden refreshed the old man’s spirit.
He longed to go out once more to encourage the groups. Perhaps he would even pop in on ‘Joe’ and Claudia… no, too risky. He would not endanger their little family as there was always the possibility he would come followed by unwelcome guests!
The Way’ was more centered in Jerusalem now, for Israel still stubbornly resisted the one world government and the one world church, holding fast to a long-standing policy of religious freedom. The groups in CORVINUS, the capital of the world, were unfortunately, to put it mildly, a mess. CORVINUS was a city where not to aspire to power was a great sin and a lot of the city’s raw ambition and cunning were finding their way into the groups. A simple refresher course in the Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit seemed in order. That is why ‘Ransom’ found himself in the bustling city once more.
He had followed the usual circuitous path of travel into the city so as not to allow tracing to Big Diomede but as he presented himself to the oldest group in CORVINUS he realized the trap. Inquiring about old friends there he learned that all had come to some sort of unfortunate end. The people he spoke with now were unfortunately untrained in the basic truths of ‘The Way.’ Not only that, they seemed all too integrated with the decadent culture around them… flowing all too freely in and out of it.
Staying there for a time, he tried to rekindle the fire of interest in spiritual things. The talks in the groups were now more about tolerance for different lifestyles and the need to unite with the Worldstate religion. Too late he realized that he was simply a dangerous element that his present hosts would have to dispose of.
He was placed under house arrest and though he could have visitors he was no longer free to come and go. He had learned the old texts well enough that this came as no surprise to him. Younger members of the groups came quietly to the house and seemed truly eager to learn the Way of the Spirit, but the established leadership of the group now shunned him.
One day he answered his door to find armed ‘enforcers’ there. He was walked through the streets of CORVINUS in their custody. He noticed the cranes as the beautiful Alaskan capital was being fundamentally transformed now. Gargantuan skyscrapers and domes were taking shape around huge paved plazas that had been freshly slashed through the gentle city’s fabric. The designs seemed eerily taken from Albert Speer’s remaking of Berlin in the Twentieth Century. The result was brutally ugly.
Escorted through an oversized doorway into a disturbingly scaled hall, ‘Ransom’ found himself standing before Emperor Alexey Corvinus.
The interrogation was long and unpleasant. The Emperor wanted to know of his brother, of course, and secondly any information that might be used to suppress ‘The Way.’ ‘Ransom’ was tight-lipped and stiffened as Corvinus slapped him and threatened more severe punishment. Corvinus realized this was a man who would not give him the information he wanted… even as he was tortured to the point of death, so he chose to make him a public example.
The most severe punishment in Worldstate was beheading by the enforcers, but CORVINUS now saw himself as the leader of a revived Roman Empire. His younger brother had indeed installed him as a god in the minds of many in the inner circle. Soon the world would cast off all archaic entanglements and stand poised to enter a new millennium of progress. This great leap required the severance of old ties. No, beheading was not enough here. Roman history provided an even crueler and more public form of disposing with enemies of the state. ‘Ransom’ would be the first to taste it as it was reinstated in CORVINUS!
(to be continued) [click to read]
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