Another chapter in my story.

I like this one, I’m currently on chapter 17 and looking back my chapters seem to have become less and less polished, I actually enjoy reading this. which I hope is a sign of good writing not of narcissism. let me know in the comments what you think. THATS RIGHT YOU, that means specifically you that one person. probably the only one person who has stumbled across this. I COMMAND, I request, I beg, I cry in lonely anguish. PLEASE, let me know if it sucks.

Chapter 6 

After the final flight from Earth one would have thought man would never be united again, such a collection of cultures, races, languages, proved too much of an obstacle, not even confined to a planet could mankind work out his differences. But in space an endless black sea. Man paired together. The great genius of this pairing was that theology would no longer be taught as the study of God. It was taught as life. I offer this as the reason why Christainity succeeded where so many others failed. Life was taught as an act of service to God. Had not this been agreed upon, or had a majority of the people not been christian who knows where man would be now. 

  • Niles webber, the last heretic to be executed. 3009 A.D 

“ He is a surprisingly fast learner.” Eli said as he set his tray down. Jasher sat alone in the mess, reading the analysis of several tissue samples from the Azerath, the name Wil had given to the spidermen. Eli dropped in the chair opposite him.   

“ So which is it?” Jasher said absentmindedly. 

“ which is what?” Eil responded. Jasher looked up smiling slightly. 

“Just a week ago you were giving speeches on the simplicity of the natives, and how he would never be able to understand our technology as anything more than magic. I think you would have invented a whole religion just to maintain the illusion had not Benard stopped you.”   He leaned back in his chair, smirking. “ Is he a fast learner, or a stupid savage?” 

“ Even I can be mistaken once in a while.” Eli said with mock humility. “He is a very fast learner, He can almost speak Common fluently, with only two months of study.” Eli leaned closer over the table inviting confidence. “ Listen, I’ve been meaning to ask you…. Did you read over it.” Jasher had read over It. A collection of heriese concerning the biological process of evolution. Jasher lowered his voice, though they were nearly alone in the mess. 

“ Eli, I looked it over, it doesn’t make sense, there are too many gaps, DNA doesn’t produce new information.” 

“ And where are you getting your research? Of course academic stance supports the Church’s belief in some ancient fairytale.” 

“ If we doubt everything then what do we choose to believe?” 

“ Only that which we can observe?”  

“Is that truly what you are doing? Simply looking at the evidence?” Eli snorted in disgust. Jasher continued. “ What do you gain from this? What do I gain from this? We could be imprisoned if this is found out.” 

“ unlikely, they only imprison those who teach heresy, neither of us meets that criteria yet.” 

“Yet? Again what do we gain? The church has functioned peacefully for 973 years. Why not let it have its doctrine.” 

“ Because it is a lie!” Eli’s voice had risen enough that the few scholars in the mess glanced at him. He glared around then lowered his voice. “ Man has been enslaved by this lie for too long. We are slaves to a pretense, an idea, and truely we are slaves to the old men who run the show. Imagine if we, you and I, Jasher, were the ones who freed man from those shackles. We could be the ones who killed God, once and for all. leading Man to a new brighter future. One not built on man serving a murderously jealous creature in the sky, but on freedom.” 

Jasher was horrified. 

“ What you propose will lead to complete anarchy.” 

“ Then you do not disagree with me. You only protest because of the interruption of our quite comfortable lives.” 

“ If we tear the foundation out from under the feet of the people they will have nothing to stand on, the fleet will descend into chaos, it will be old earth all over again. Thousands could die. Where is the good in that? ” 

“ You protest only because you have been told, by the church, what good is. Yet the church will break its own rules to maintain order. They declare ideas against their teachings as heresy. They put to death those who would teach these ‘heresies’. They will not let man decide on his own what to believe, instead thrusting their own truth upon him.”  Eli’s face grew solem. “ I have read the heresies, I have learned from men dead, and men put to death for having the courage to speak the truth. There is no God. There is only the wishful thinking of man. Better to live with the truth than to be a slave under a lie.” 

Jasher’s gut grew cold. They had all been taught from the moment of birth that God was real. Yet the older Jasher grew the less real God became. He had achieved his doctorate at age twenty, fairly unusually but not unheard of, by that time God was just an idea to give commonality to the fleet of 1 billion souls. Perhaps there was a god, perhaps he even resembled what the church taught. This was something new, not the indifference of the academia. Defiance, Denial, Rebellion. 

“ Jasher, I am not alone in thinking these things. There are others in academia that believe as we do.  We who make the ships, design the life support, conquer gravity, we who are best suited to guide mankind, are just tools in the hands of the Cardinals. A lowly priest has more power than us. While we design vessels that can travel lightyears in weeks, they send their medieval dogs to enforce their teaching with weapons barely more advanced than clubs.” Jasher felt the irony of seeing this man, who could not take life seriously transformed suddenly into a zealot. 

“ Why do you tell me this? Again, what good does it do either of us?” 

“ Because I am just a historian, Mark is a physicist, Jacob specializes in Mechanics, they perhaps could make a weapon, my only weapon is words, but you have power of life and death. You are the new god of this age. You can create life, you can modify life, you can take life away.” Eli drew up a holo. “ He is the key.” It was a live feed of Wil. “There is what man was meant to be, trial and error have smooth his rough edges, strengthened what all our comfort could not.  If ever there was a proof for evolution it is him. The church will manipulate the data but you and I, we see clearly. With your backing I would have some legitimacy,” 

“ With my backing? With my backing we can enjoy a meaningless life in isolation as prisoners.” 

“ You are already a prisoner.” Eli hissed. He opened his mouth to continue but then stopped, face growing pale. Jasher turned to see the knight approaching. Carrying a tray of his own. 

“ It seems I interrupted a rather intense discussion.” He said, setting his tray down. “ I hope you’ll forgive me for intruding.” Eli’s color was changing from white to green. 

“ No.. no trouble at all…. I was just leaving.” He got up abruptly, jarring the table as he made a hasty retreat, the live feed winked out as he left. Uther smiled as he observed Eli’s untouched tray, left behind in his hasty retreat. Jasher could not look at the man. He felt a mixture of shame and fear. Like a child caught in the act. Uther took a meditative bite of his porridge. 

“ Did I ever tell you how I came to be on the Corinthian?”

“I assumed because they needed a knight to oversee such an important expedition. I’m glad you were there on the surface.”

“ as am I. But I was not assigned to this ship, I came because my brother in arms Luke was transferred off this ship just before its launch. I was on my way to exchange a last goodbye before he jumped to earth. He had been ordered off, there would be no need for a knight on this expedition, by order of the Cardinal. He left in the shuttle that I came on.”  There was an awkward silence as Uther studied his tray. Jasher ventured a timid question. 

“ But wouldn’t that order include you.” The Knight smiled. 

“ Perhaps…..” 

” But… I thought you served the church?” 

” I do. Tell me, who does the church serve?” 

” the people…?” Uther’s face grew hard at his answer. 

” Wrong. Your answer shows what dark times approach us. The church serves Christ. The church is not an instrument to administer to the poor, or to tend the needy or to enforce justice, or to maintain order. It is first and foremost God’s bride. an offering of worship to him. when we forget this and make the church an instrument of worldly good we strip it of all its power.” There was silence again for a time. Then the Knight began to speak again. 

“ I have killed seven men like him.” Uther said motioning the direction Eli had left. The admission caught Jasher off guard. There were executions but only for extreme offenses, such as murder. None were executed for Heresy any more. 

“ I have never liked the killing. Two of those seven stand out. In their eyes, before I killed them, I saw no fear, only desperate sorrow, regret to make the soul sick. Their crime, a life taken in anger. I was sorry for them.” There was silence for a time as the knight ate. He paused in his eating again. “ I have arrested and locked away sixteen heretics. I would trade the lives of all sixteen of those heretics for the lives of those two repentant. In anger they destroyed an image bearer of God, but the others, would seek to destroy our knowledge of him, if they could they would throw down the one good creator and set  themselves in his place. I sense that  your friend, Eli, would do the same.” Uther leaned back in his chair, arms crossed. Jasher felt compelled to speak. 

“ It was nothing, just speculation among friends.” The Knight let out a sigh. 

“ Do you know why I stayed here on the Corinthian?” Jasher was again caught off guard by the change in topic. 

“You… felt it your duty to remain?” 

“Indeed I did. As the ship was about to jump I received an order from the Cardinal himself to abandon ship,  take a lifeboat if I had to. I ignored that order. I believe God has placed me here to do my duty.” Uther Idley prodded some of the food on his plate. “ The fleet is now very far away. In its heart it rejects the law of God. But this is an old but new planet, and we must not forget the name of God. In the orbit of this old but new world there is an old but new law, one that has not been upheld in recent times.” Jasher looked quizzically at  the Knight. “ In you Jasher, I do not see the hatred of all that is good, so I warn you now. Justice will be done to those who oppose God, I would not be among them if I were you. There is a time, coming soon, when the church shall be united with her bridegroom, and every knee will bow, either in anguish or joy.” The knight finished his food in silence. Jasher sat across from him, terror slowly making its self known. When the Knight had left Jashers mind turned to why the Knight had said such things. Was he really a rogue knight, did he really imply that he would kill Eli and all like him. Then it came to him. 

 He was trying to scare me into confessing, or giving Eli away. Yet he had nothing to confess, he had read several heretical texts but that was only frowned upon, not punishable by anything. He felt a mixture of bemusement and some small anxiety. The Knight had no evidence. Jasher was guilty of nothing. Eli was guilty of nothing. It was the Knight trying to smoke out his prey. Behind all his self assurance a shadow of a thought remained. 

What if he really has gone rogue?

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