Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Preacher

"Adeste fideles... Ave verum Dei!"

The cry of the Preacher resounds around the high dome of the colony. Once more he cried it before turning to the crowd who stood around him. The clothes and uniforms spoke of many affiliations, no few recognise the Preacher and who he represents.

"Te Deum Laudamus!"

"We don't praise the God of a lunatic mad man."

The Preachers thin hand flashed across the speakers face leaving two red streaks from his rings. the speaker, a Captain in the Stellar Patrol reaches for his sword, which the preacher deftly strikes from his hand with his staff. Ignoring the Captain he raises his arms high, the sleeves of his robes fall and reveals that they are heavily scarred. His voice deepened as he roars at the crowd.

"The God of which I speak is the God of the Brotherhood! The One True God!"

"Tell us of this God. Who is he?"

"No! It is treason to even listen to the Preacher. I will have you all arrested!"

The Preacher stands beside the Captain who is a good foot taller than him and rests a hand on his shoulder.

"Is it treason to listen to your heart? That is what you should do Captain. Did you have no doubts when you destroyed the Pirate Cruiser Achilles? Or when you crushed the riots on Rebellion? How much blood have you spilt because it was the orders of a man a thousand light years away? I know this. My God knows this."

The Preacher turns from the Captain and walks amongst the crowd, who part before him. His stick taps to every second footfall.

"The One True God is eternal! The winds call his name, stars prostrate themselves before him! With one command his will is done by the legions of faithful. Devoted followers who will allow nothing to stand in their way. You..." He points to a man, "Would you face untold odds to do what you could? Could you fight on a distant planet, watch your friends die and still be of the same resolve? Would you stand under the onslaught of enemy weapons constantly pounding you? Could you lead your men into a colony defended by five times your force? Would you?"

He points his stick at a man wearing a stained deep space flight suit.

"No I would not."

"Then why should he?"

He points to the Captain and the crowd turn to gaze.

"He. He has done all of what I have said. He has wept at the futility of Imperial conquests. He has dreamt of greater glory. That is what I can offer."

Amongst the bustle of the busy starport it seems silence has descended on the small group.

"Would you like to fight for a cause that is just and noble? Would you like to command a vast army of warrior monks and spread the word of your God? Would you like to sample the gifts of heaven? Would you like to know the way to Paradise?"

He steps closer to the man, the cowl on his robes raising slightly showing a deep, thick scar running down his neck. The man cringes slightly, to the Preachers amusement.

"Would you like to? There is much more than this. Come with me and I will teach you the ways of my God, the One True God. I can show you the way to true enlightenment and offer you the keys to Paradise."

"But the Brotherhood are..."

"Your only chance for salvation. When we march the bells toll and the banners fly high. There is much wailing and lamentation from the enemy who can see from the banners that the end is nigh! Follow me now, join the Brotherhood and learn the true meaning of prosperity, pleasure, honour and fear."

The Preacher walks through the crowd and towards the access ramps of the docking bays. He stops and turn around, those following him stop as well.

"Should I forget to mention, the Brotherhood are not violent by nature. We simply know how to defend ourselves. But when we are pressed, we will fight. Join the Brotherhood and we will defend our faith together. And should we fail then we will become stronger! Armies shall march to conquer and carry back our bones for burial, and we shall become the greatest Martyrs ever known."

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