Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor
Volume XI, Issue XXV
Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of G-d is in Heaven, even so let it be." -- 1 Maccabees 3:58–60, as quoted in a speech by Sir Winston Churchill
Mátyás Corvinus walked on alone to meet his brothers. He was wearing the purple cloak of a Worldstate ruler and had donned the official sword in its scabbard that signified his status. He walked alone out on the great bridge. The Eastbound span between the islands was showing its age and had been closed indefinitely for 'repairs.' There was no money for repairs so the older bridge and its memorial chapel remained abandoned. Here the ashes of the visionary who built the bridge and his wife were interred and the lives of everyone who had died on the bridge or its approach roads were remembered.
The chapel's glass pipe organ was silent. No one had played it since Pastor Greene's disappearance and this beautiful instrument was all but forgotten as well, for those who loved it were gone. Corvinus walked past the silent memorial and wondered at the genius necessary to join continents. Assembling the people of the world under 'one' government seemed cheap in comparison. As Corvinus had learned the rich stories surrounding the family that built the bridge, he wondered at miracles like inspiring Granddaughters. He thought much less now of rule by intimidation.
He walked alone across the suspension span past the chapel. Descending toward the International Dateline he saw two figures, clothed as he was, alone as they walked toward the line from Little Diomede. The three men greeted each other at the line that marked the 'end of the world.' Mátyás stared at his brothers, standing firmly in yesterday as they in turn stared at him, standing in the day to come. Alexey spoke first: "Hello Brother," he spoke in greeting.
You have joined 'The Way,'" spoke the youngest brother, the spiritual leader of Worldstate. "You know the punishment for doing so, for you have administered it enough times. Prepare to die, for there is no Divine who can save you!"
Three cloaked figures drew their swords on a darkened bridge. Alexey set into his brother, cautiously at first, remembering that Mátyás had always been the superior fencer in their youth together. As they parried, Mátyás said: "It is true that I have found 'the more perfect way.' We have only ruled because the Divine permitted it, and that to an end that He has determined." Alexey attacked harder with the sword. The youngest Corvinus stood back both in courtesy and as a 'spiritual' man. He would not fight.
Blades flashed, moves remembered from childhood were reenacted on the bridge across days. A fast step here, a thrust there. A leap to the wall and a surprise repositioning... a parry... a deadly thrust and death narrowly averted. "You are rusty, my brother," Alexey gasped, as he overexerted himself to meet his brother's strength. Mátyás countered with his own swordplay but spoke to his brothers of the promises of the Divine. His mission was not to kill or survive now, but to bring Redemption to his siblings. They appeared to halt and take it in for a moment here and there, but all too quickly they caught themselves. The battle raged on!
Then there was the moment. Alexey and the youngest brother in unison shouted: "WE REJECT YOUR SO-CALLED DIVINE!" "We want NOTHING to do with this 'Grace' you claim to offer. We will be DAMNED before we bow our knee to this G-d!" And so, the brothers Corvinus unwittingly spoke prophetically of their own end.
Mátyás Corvinus raised his sword straight into the sky, held by both hands, and closed his eyes in the manner of a warrior standing victorious in the face of his own certain death. "Into Your hands I commit my spirit," he whispered as Alexey's swift blade found its mark. The blood of the man who in his own strength and cunning once sought to change the world now ran freely onto the pavement and flowed into today and tomorrow. Too late, the brothers Corvinus would see it joined with the blood of another that flowed into all time.
(to be continued) [click to read]
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