Chapter 6- Charles Veritas

Chapter 6- Charles Veritas

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 6

 

Charles Veritas

 

 

            Charles could already see his homeland from above the Full Moon. The Full Moon was the smallest of Judicium’s three airships but the fastest. Because of its small size and speed it seized being a battle airship and became a transportation airship between the Three Judgments. The Full Moon was painted all in black with a royal blue balloon.

            Judimia had changed much since last Charles had laid eyes on it. When he lived there it was still called the City of Justice by the people, now they called it the Crystal City of Dreams. The new alias derived from the revolutionary energy source of crystallite fuel. Crystallite was a rare organic crystal that had been Judicium’s sacred treasure for as long as their history told. Originally, it’s only worth had been its value for its rarity and beauty. Over the years they found out that the organic crystals produced a unique energy that could be applied to a number of things. It’s most popular use was a drug that intensified all the senses known as cryst. That drug was later enhanced to a serum known as crylist by Judicium to help create super soldiers, better known as Judicium’s Youth. More recently, they learned how to use it as a fuel, to which they applied to airships and weapons, and word on the streets claimed that Judimia was now completely running on the fuel. Charles hadn’t truly known what that meant until just now. Stars like a night sky lighted Judimia. It was unlike anything Charles had ever seen before.

As soon as the Full Moon landed, Charles went outside to get a closer look at the manmade stars. The buildings in Judimia had always been larger than those in the other cities, the smallest tiling up to four floors instead of two. The buildings seemed to still be made of the same brick structure as before but now they had a smooth thin slick layer of white sheet over it, giving it a more uniform and cleanly exterior. The city still had the same canals and bridges, source of travel hadn’t changed either, everyone still rode horses and carriages, the city had however acquired a new tint. The streets had poles with a blue crystallite glow at the tip, trapped in a glass sphere. Even the lights coming from the windows were unnatural and cool. So these are the stars everyone has been going crazy about, thought Charles. Judicium shines brighter every day.

            A carriage was waiting for Charles to take him to the Fuhrer’s castle. The carriage was white with Judicium’s emblem, the sun and moon, engraved on its doors. The curtains had the Fuhrer’s seal, a shining sword piercing a black heart. The rider, a well-dressed Judician, quickly recognized Charles and signaled him to come. Charles had never met the man, but he assumed the rider was looking for a large man with a scar from the corner of his left eye to his collarbone. He’d always scorned how easily identifiable the scar made him.

            Charles entered the carriage, closed the curtains, and took his seat quietly. It was a lengthy ride to the castle and he figured he’d get as much peace of mind as possible. He knew it would be a long day. The Fuhrer didn’t waste time on miniscule meetings.

He had met the Fuhrer on numerous occasions in the past. His first encounter with the Fuhrer was when the Fuhrer was still just Xavier Starfall, and they were both just soldiers in Judicium’s Light. The last he’d seen of him was when the Fuhrer named him the Head of Judicium’s Youth. The two had never shared a deeper bond than just two individuals doing their duty. Of course for Charles it went deeper, much deeper. As a citizen of Judicium, the Fuhrer was his reason for living. His life was only another piece and tool in a much bigger playing board for the Fuhrer to use as he pleased in order to create the perfect world.

            The carriage suddenly came to a halt. “Why did you stop?” asked Charles, annoyed.

            “A woman wants to see you, sir,” answered the rider.

            Charles pulled the curtain to the side. Outside was standing a woman wearing a lavender and white dress with a corset tightly wrapped around her torso, squeezing her full breasts together. She was wearing white long silk gloves and a dark purple hat with a twisted fabric, tilted at an angle on her head. Her hair was cream and tied delicately towards the side, leaving soft curls falling upon her slender and bare shoulder. Her eyes were royal blue and her lips scarlet red. She had the look of a mature woman on her mid to late thirties but with an elegance capable of matching women in their twenties.

            “Do I know you?” asked Charles, bluntly.

            The woman smiled. “Perhaps not in person, but I’m sure you’ve heard of me. Would you mind letting this pretty lady inside?”

            “I have somewhere I have to be.”

            “But we’re headed the same way. The Sun Castle is a long way on foot. I promise I won’t be a bother.”

            Charles took a closer look for any sign of status or title. Her wealth was clear at a glance. Her station was not, as it often seemed with women of high status. Women…“What is your name?”

            The woman smiled mischievously. “Grace Evergrant.”

            The Queen of Propaganda. And to think I thought I might’ve gotten some peace of mind until I reached the castle. “Come in…”

            She elegantly stepped inside the carriage and took a seat beside Charles. As soon as the door to the carriage was closed, Charles closed the curtain immediately. “I’m not shy. No need to close the curtains, Headmaster Veritas,” teased Grace.

            It wasn’t hard to assume the reason behind her surprise visit. In the upper world of significant individuals, the only intention in any unauthorized meeting was to either win a friend or lose an enemy.

Queen Grace controlled all propaganda, a power Charles strongly felt no one but the Fuhrer should have, much less a woman. That was simply how the Council of Seven worked though. Seven positions with complete and utter control over their field, all of which respond strictly only to the Fuhrer. It was efficient and necessary for one man to be able to rule an entire world.

            “Spare me your jests. What do you want?” Charles had no patience for her bullshit but he did care about what her friendship had to offer. No one got anywhere alone, and without people behind you, no one would be afraid to step on you. But having played the game before to reach the top, he knew that a friend like Queen Grace was best approached with caution.

Grace Evergrant was too much of a saint to be one. As a Shadow, Charles knew all the figures of note in his country and could give you an entire profile on them. For many, he knew things not known to the public. The type of things that guaranteed a trustworthy friendship. He could honestly say he already had dirt on every single member of the Council of Seven. All except one.

Grace Evergrant.

No matter where you went or whom you asked, not one person had one truly bad thing to say about her. She controlled the masses’ loyal minds with the media, so them not having anything so say was to be expected. But Charles knew ambitious people, and ambitious people in high positions always had something bad to say about those above or beside them. Yet all Charles had ever heard was how beautiful she was, how much the people loved her, how well she controlled propaganda, how well she served the Fuhrer. She was a shining angel in the midst of hell.

            Grace pouted. “Such a serious man. But I guess I could expect nothing less from the Head of Judicium’s Youth.” She placed her delicate hand over Charles’s hand. “After I heard you were coming, I was anxious to meet you. You’re such a conservative man that I’ve never had the chance. A shame, considering your wife and I used to be such close friends.”

            Charles moved his hand from under hers. “If you’re hoping to befriend me, spare yourself the trouble.” He refused to show any signs that he entertained the idea.

            “I could, but then you might just leave here empty handed after your long trip. I’ve been so very looking forward to your arrival, it’d be a shame to watch you leave so soon. You’d find that a friend in me has many uses. Uses that a man like you direly needs if he wishes to take the seat of the Moon. Even you must know that you’re not very popular amongst the council.”

“I’ll take my chances.”

            “Then you must either be a foolish man or one who’s chained down by those he loves. It’s understandable; a father must look out for his wife and children first and foremost. And we all know how much you love your family.”

            She thinks she knows me. “It seems you’ve done your research on me. Perhaps you already know then that I don’t do well with friends. I have a big problem when it comes to trusting others.”

            Grace smiled mischievously again. “After the Crimson Treason, who could blame you?”

            Charles’s hands twitched. He thought about strangling her to death right then and there. The details of the Crimson Treason were no secret to anyone of note in Judicium but no matter how many times people threw it in his face he could never get used to hearing it. “We’ve already established you’ve done your background check on me. What’s your point?”

            She smirked condescendingly. “And here I took you for a smart man. My point is simple, Charles. Whatever you were in Lumina, you’re not here. Here you’re nothing, and until you pave your way up, you will remain nothing. Despite that there is some worth to you yet. I mean for you to relish that worth. I am offering my hand to you as your first friend in the council.”

            “You think very highly of yourself. You offer me your hand as if it’s the only chance I had. And here I took you for a smarter woman.” That removed her arrogant smirk. “Let us be honest here, Queen Grace. I would not be here in this city if there were anybody else. I’m here because I’m the best at what I do. Whether the council likes it or not, I will be Judicium’s Moon. And as for friends, I’ll have the entire Shadow under my command. And if you’re offering your hand to someone who is nothing, it’s because you yourself are in need of a friend.”

            Grace found her smile again. “That’s where you’re wrong, Headmaster. If I may be blunt, I only wish to maintain the natural order of things. I don’t have enemies. I’d like to keep it that way. The last Moon understood well enough.”

            “A shame he died.”

            “Truly. Some say his heart attack came rather unexpected.” She looked at Charles observantly. “But I care not whether his death was planned or whether God felt it was his time to go. As for the others in the Council of Seven, you’ll find they won’t be as uncaring. Most want you dead.”

            “A fact I’m well aware of.”

            Grace took a deep sigh. “You truly are as stubborn as they say. If your enemies aren’t reason enough to befriend me, and neither my power as Queen of Propaganda, you leave me only but one choice. I was hoping to save this for later but I like people to love me from the moment they step into my territory.”

            “What could you possibly do that’ll make me want to befriend you?

“Perhaps you weren’t aware, but me and the Moon were very close before he died. He was a good Moon. He knew enough to play me at my own game, but never did. Why, I could not say. Perhaps he never had any ambition passed serving the Fuhrer. No greater goal in life to achieve. Most of us want to change the world, and help the man we all treasure most do it. He didn’t. He didn’t care what the world was like. He just wanted a purpose. A perfect world was probably something he never wanted.”

            “Spare me,” interrupted Charles. “I knew the man better than you.” That much he was sure of. As for where she was going with this, he hadn’t the slightest idea.

            “Indeed you did. Otherwise you’d never trust him with secrets like you don’t even do your own family. Then again, if I’m not mistaken he was like a father to you. Also the only reason you didn’t find yourself dead after the massacre you caused on our people. It was because of him that you had a shot at redemption; with the condition that you cut all your ties with the blood haired scum we all know you love so much. A curious thing what the Fuhrer might think of you if he found out you never did.” The grin on her face was one of victory.

            So the Moon talked. Charles knew the late Moon to be the kind of man to die with his secrets. “What leverage did you hold against him to get him to talk?”

            Grace opened a big white smile. “Perhaps I’ll tell you once we’re friends.”

            Charles felt his hands twitch. I haven’t even been ascended yet and the c**t already made me her b***h. “You’ve already made it clear we are…I only pray your friendships aren’t entirely one sided.”

            She grasped his hand once more. “I’m glad we could see eye to eye, Charles.” She gave him a kiss over the scar on his cheek. “You’ll find my friendship is quite handy. As early payment, I mean to warn you for what you’re about to walk into.”

            Charles rubbed the lipstick off his cheek, disgusted. “I think I have a good idea. But I never turn down information, especially from the inside.” The old Moon can wait. “What do you have?”

            “As you said, the Fuhrer means to elevate you to Judicium’s Moon, but not on honorary terms. He knows you’re the best and the only one who could lead the Shadow in these times, but the council has given him reason to suspect you. Essentially everyone in the Council of Seven thinks you murdered the late Moon. If I had to wager on it, I’d say you killed him too. Lucky for you, no one really cares. The Moon wasn’t well loved either. And no one thinks you murdered him in mind of treason, but rather only to elevate your own standing. Those that want you off the council of course will manipulate the story as treason. You already have one stain on your record.”

            “I didn’t kill the Moon.”

            “As I said, I don’t care if you did. Those you’re previously acquainted with are your worse enemies. But there’s a way to tame each and every one. The first on your list should be the Prophet. It’s no secret you’re not a devoted follower of the Church, unlike normal people. The Prophet fears you wish to separate the Church from Judicium, as you’ve already separated it from Judicium’s Youth. He will do anything to take you down.” And I him.

            “Next in line is Judicium’s Sun. You fought side by side in the Crimson War but he’s never forgiven you for the Crimson Treason. Most of us believe the Cruorians genuinely took you for a fool but he believes you were in on it, and still believes you are. He’s quite the conspiracy theorist. He thinks you’re paving your way up in order for another large-scale attack on Judicium from right under our noses. Lucky for you, the rest of the council thinks him nothing if not paranoid. Were he to find out about your little secret however, they might just be inclined to believe him.” As if I need you to remind me of that.

            “Moving on to the last. Judicium’s Hammer, if I’m not mistaken.”

            “Just so. The Hammer’s stand against you is not so much personal as it is a moral clash, unlike the other two. The Hammer is a righteous man who believes in the unification of all races. Contrary to the Sun’s conspiracy theory, he’s against how much you hate the Cruorians. He calls your management of them borderline genocide. Were it Black Coats in the lower districts of Lumina, you’d find little cooperation in your operations. Alas, and ironically, the Sun controls the White Coats and he’s as much a racist as you and willing to give his aid. He thinks in helping you annihilate the red haired scum, he’s making you slaughter your real allies.”

            Charles had to laugh at that, inside. “Well it’s good to know my enemies aren’t all friends. So, how do I go about taming them so as to get them off my back without killing them?” Not that I actually need your help, just curious to see if you’re as good as you think.

            Grace smiled courteously. “Weren’t you the one who said you were hoping this friendship wasn’t entirely one sided?”

            So let me guess. For every favor I do you, you do one for me?”

            “So you’re a smart man after all.”

            “And just what exactly is the nature of these favors I will be doing for you?”

            “I’ll let you know as I need them. Until then, I’ll make sure to keep your enemies at an arm’s length from you.” You should worry more about keeping me at an arm’s length from you.

 “I have one last question,” he said. “This one is not of an enemy.”

“Go ahead.”

“What does the Fuhrer think of me?”

She considered it for a bit before saying anything. “What exactly, I can’t say. He hides his true feelings behind his charismatic smile. If he fears you, he doesn’t show it. He’s at the very least aware of your talents. And he would lead us to believe that he has faith in your loyalty towards Judicium. However, what goes on in the Fuhrer’s mind you’ll soon learn is a mystery to all of us.”

            “Thank you.”

            “For what?”

            “For letting me know our Glory believes in me.” For me, that is all I need.

 

***

 

            The Sun Castle was enormous. Two layers of fortified walls and a steel gate surrounded the castle. Passed the second gate, a large bridge had to be lowered in order to cross through the water surrounding the castle itself. The castle had seven towers linked to it, one for each member of the Council of Seven, and three more surrounding the main structure. Bridges forming a crescent ring interconnected the towers. At the back of the castle you could see parts of the Fuhrer’s airship, the Final Judgment. That much hadn’t changed since the last time Charles had seen it. What had changed, however, was the demeanor of the castle. It looked parent to the city in its sleek and pure white walls and manmade stars.

            As they entered the castle, Grace Evergrant locked her arm around Charles. At first he attempted to pull away but found her grip iron. He quickly decided it might be better to be seen with her at his side. If his enemies knew they were already allies, to attack him would be to attack her, who he imagined were already her friends.

            They were walking down a golden carpet leading to the council room when they ran into another council member. He was wearing a deep blue frock coat with a mantle, a matching top hat and vest, and a golden cane. The man appeared to be in his late forties. He was slim with a stretched out snake-ish face lacking a single wrinkle. His nose and lips were thin, cheekbones defined, not a hair on his jaw, two well-maintained whiskers for a mustache, and the thinnest golden eyes Charles had ever seen. Charles knew the deep blue coat and golden scepter to belong to the President of Banking, Malkar Gilles. The brother of his second most hated clergyman, Cardinal Gilles.

            Malkar eyed them both suspiciously. “I see you’re already well acquainted between the Queen’s legs.”

            Grace returned a spiteful smile. “A treat you will only ever dream of, President.”

            “I consider that a blessing.”

            “You seem to consider all your shortcomings a blessing.”

            “Everything happens for a reason. Therefore, all outcomes are nothing but God’s blessings.”

            Grace led Charles past Malkar and continued moving forward. “For the love of God, you sound like Adamus.”

            Malkar joined in line with them towards the council room. “Did you hear? It turns out the Speaker won’t be able to make it today after all.”

            That bothered Charles. “The ascension of a new council member requires the attendance of all current members. What could he have that’s more important than doing his duty?”

            Malkar glanced at Charles more condescendingly. “It appears the talk of your audacity was not misplaced.”

            Grace glared at Malkar. “Well, he’s in the right. Why won’t the Speaker be attending?”

            “Because he’s doing his duty. There are more important things than the ascension of a new Moon.”

When they reached the entrance to the council room, two White Coats opened the door. The council room was the essence of a crystal city. Every inch of it shimmered like a mirror. The floor was black marble so shiny that when Charles gazed down on his reflection he thought he was standing in the night sky. The ceiling was high, surrounded by shimmering white walls. Against the walls, pillars with crystal statues of angels holding artificial candles with crystallite azure lights stood heavenly. In the center of the room there was a sleekly decorated large rectangular table with a crystal chandelier emanating an azure glow hanging above. Sitting around that table were the three members of the Council of Seven that liked Charles least.

            The first he noticed was one whom he had fought beside many times in the battlefield, Edgar Gallivus, Judicium’s Sun. He was dressed in the formal white of Judicium’s Light. His uniform was much like the typical White Coat only much brighter. He wore a white frock coat with golden cuffs, golden lining, golden buttons, cream vest, golden frilly cravat, cream thigh-high leather boots, and to signify his title as Sun, a golden cape over his left shoulder. Edgar was tall, but slim and lean unlike Charles. He was of an age with Charles but it showed more. You could see wrinkles on the sides of his pale grey eyes and frown lines on his forehead. His jaw was broad and hard, his smile cynical and sadistic. The man looked older, but he was much as Charles remembered.

            Beside him sat his black counterpart. The head of the Black Coats, better known as Judicium’s Hammer, Kramer Godsbane. Kramer’s uniform was identical to the Sun’s except where Edgar had white Kramer had black, where Edgar had gold Kramer had red, and where Edgar had cream Kramer had grey. Kramer was an older man with a grey beard and mustache that melted into one, falling against his chest. He was stocky and strong, similar to Charles, but not nearly so big. His green eyes were kinder than Edgar’s and Charles’s but no less stern. Charles had had his share of encounters with Kramer in the past, none of them good.

            Across from them sat the man Charles easily despised the most. Prophet Adamus. By far the oldest of the council, the Prophet was the head of the Church. He wore white robes bathed in jewelry, a tall hat, and a white and gold scepter. The Prophet’s face looked like it was melting, his eyes hardly visible, but his irritating kind smile as clear as ever.

            Charles was relieved when Grace took a seat beside the Prophet so he wouldn’t have to sit next to him or the Sun. President Malkar sat across from Charles. As Charles took his seat, both the Sun and Hammer glared at him, but neither said a word.

            “We haven’t even begun the meeting and already I feel the love,” said Grace, in a carefree tone. “Where is the Fuhrer?”

            The Sun shrugged. “He was held back due to the business with the Speaker.”

            Charles was tired of hearing of disappointments relating to the Speaker. “Just what exactly is going on? First the Speaker can’t make it, now the Fuhrer is late. This is preposterous.”

            “I’m sorry, did I arrive late? I must’ve missed the ceremony when you elevated to Judicium’s Moon.” said Edgar, sarcastically. “I need not tell you anything, Charles. So I suggest you watch your tone and mind not to forget your courtesies.”

            Charles held his tongue. Enjoy your superiority while it last, Edgar. Soon it will be you who will be minding his tone and courtesies. Grace jumped in instead. “Bright Edgar now is not the time to quarrel with one another. And spare us your arrogance. Charles has all but ascended to Judicium’s Moon. There’s no need for secrets amongst us.”

            “Indeed,” agreed Kramer, the Hammer. “I like him no more than you do, but alas, if the Fuhrer has set his mind, it is not for us to argue.”

            The Prophet leaned over to look at Charles. “While that is true, all that the Headmaster wishes to know will soon be spoken of when our Glory arrives. Charles, perhaps you would like to fill us in on the situation with Paradise Lost instead.”

            So they intend to keep me in the cloud. Edgar and Adamus are probably getting a kick out of this. President Malkar seems to have no intention of telling me either and Queen Grace is feigning ignorance. “Paradise Lost dwindles with every coming day,” answered Charles. “The last blow we dealt them dug deep and the remnants of their organization are finally losing hope in their lost cause. Once I become the Moon, I can guarantee an end to their folly by the end of the year.”

            Bright Edgar was unconvinced. “Those are bold claims.”

            Just Kramer was aggravated. “Assuming the two of you don’t cause a civil war before then.”

            “Your love and respect for the Cruorians is naïve, Kramer,” said Edgar. “They won’t rebel after having just lost the war. If they couldn’t win when they had an entire kingdom, what makes them think they will have a chance when they are starved and disorientated? Let Charles redeem and prove himself as Moon by putting an end to their petty resistance.” He truly believes I’m in league with them. It seems Grace’s information is credible after all.

            The Prophet shook his head. “The Cruorians have already lost the war. What a couple members of a resistance do is not reason enough to punish an entire race.”

            “We are only punishing the guilty,” corrected Charles. “Judicium is a united nation with a united cause. Turning a blind eye to those that plot against us at night is as much a crime as any.”

            “I agree,” supported Edgar. “They will not ever serve us loyally as long as they cling on to hope that their kingdom may be restored. Until Paradise Lost is completely eradicated, every Cruorian is an enemy.”

            The Hammer slammed his fist on the table. “What the two of you promote is genocide! Those days ended when our Glory replaced the previous Fuhrer.”

            “There are some things that are better left unchanged. Why give the illusion that we respect them as equals?” A man in the council with some sense. A shame he hates me.

            “Even so, it still does not justify the careless massacre on an entire race. We are all children of God at the end of the day,” argued the Prophet.

            President Malkar threw his head back and rolled his eyes. “This argument is pointless. Your Holiness, Just Kramer, argue all you want but your words fall upon deaf ears. You’re speaking with the two most racist and proud men on Judicium. As long as Judicium’s Shadow has been tasked with eradicating Paradise Lost and Judicium’s Light with maintaining the Cruorians, they are entitled to handle the problem as they please. If the Fuhrer hasn’t stopped their methods yet, it’s because he won’t. So please, I’m not about to hear this argument every time we have a meeting now that Charles has joined us.”

            Malkar succeeded in ending the argument. A long awkward silence followed until the door to the council room opened once more. In unison they all stood up, crossed their arms, closed their eyes, and stared down. “My Glory!”

            It had been years since Charles had last laid eyes on the charismatic smile of the Fuhrer. His eyes were still two suns but white had found its way into his golden locks that wrapped around his head and full beard. Age had not been kind; the years of stress were visible on every wrinkle and white strand of hair. His elegance however, still reflected on his clothing and demeanor. His frock coat was closer to a casual coat like the one Charles wore, lacking the wide cuffs of the military coats, but still reaching as far down as his ankles. It was black with golden buttons. Over his left shoulder he wore a black cape emblazoned with the golden sun and blue crescent moon in front of it. His vest was gold, his frilly cravat and his thigh-high leather boots, white. Beside him, stood his two masked bodyguards. Joy and Tragedy.

The one with the ebony tragedy mask was Tragedy, the brother. The one with the ivory joy mask was Joy, the sister. Together they were known as the Harmony Twins. The late Moon had once told Charles their story. It was a tragic one with little joy. The Harmony Twins were only seven when they were found bathed in the blood of both their parents. Joy was laughing hysterically by their father’s corpse with a gun at her side while Tragedy was crying in agony on top of their mother’s corpse with a knife in his hand. The father had been shot in the head and the mother butchered to death. No one ever questioned who killed the parents. Why they did it though, people could only speculate. By the time they found the Harmony Twins, they were no longer speaking. No matter how much they tried to reach out to them, Joy only laughed and Tragedy only cried. The only story they had were the whip scars on their backs and signs of rape, but the brutality of their sin could not go unpunished. The Fuhrer, Xavier’s father at the time, had no choice but to lock them up. Even behind bars though, the laughter and crying never stopped. For ten years they cried and laughed until eventually no one could bear it any longer and the Fuhrer had both their tongues cut out. But it only made it worse. Joy still smiled and Tragedy still shed his tears, only now they took out their vengeance on whomever they could. After the Fuhrer heard how they both murdered their cellmates, he sentenced them to the gallows to be hanged. But on the day of their execution, Joy smiled one last time, and Tragedy cried one last time, only the smile was peaceful, and the tears were happy. The Fuhrer saw that he was bringing an end to their misery by putting an end to their miserable lives, so he decided they would not die but instead live a miserable life of redemption. He stitched both their mouths closed so that another sound would never escape either and send them to Judicium’s Youth. Although they were already almost grown, in their minds they were still children. Now they are trained killers, some say the best in the country.

            The Fuhrer nonchalantly made his way to his spot on the council table. “I apologize for the delay,” said their Glory, kind and genuinely apologetic. “It appears we can no longer ignore these True Believers.” He took his seat at the end of the table. “Our Speaker will not be joining us today. He’s busy finding a trail to this recently self-proclaimed messiah and Son of God.”

            “Son of God…?” Charles heard himself say in disbelief.

Charles was well acquainted with the religious fanatics who called themselves the True Believers. The term had in fact spawned from the Cruorians when they went to war with Judicium for supposedly ridiculing the Church and God. Even after the fall of Cruor though, there were still those who considered themselves True Believers. The True Believers only answered to the Church. While to Charles that alone was a sign of direct defiance, many argued that the True Believers didn’t harm Judicium’s order in any way by doing so. The Fuhrer seemed to agree, but Charles had always known sooner or later it would grow into a threat.

            The Fuhrer folded his hands. “I almost missed you there for a second, Charles. Sorry if it seems I am undermining your ascension. It appears Judicium has more problems these days than just Paradise Lost. We will perform the ascension ceremony after I bring you up to speed with the situation and this council meeting is concluded.

            “Over the last couple days the Speaker has heard rumors of one who calls himself, the Son of God. Talk of a prophesized messiah had been heard plenty of times before, we thought this simply another empty tale. It turns out there is indeed a man out there who apparently claims to be the Son of God. Claims of his miracles are spreading all over and Eden is practically overrun with these True Believers. While order remains, our hold on the city is but an illusion.”

            Charles turned to look at the Prophet. “I don’t understand, can’t the head of the Church, the Prophet, easily put an end to this madness. You control the Church. Declare this messiah a heretic and have him burned or crucified.”

            Sweat dripped from the Prophet’s drooping features. “It’s not that simple…this heretic, what he rightfully is, is nowhere to be found. The people protect him…they say nothing.”

            “Be honest,” said President Malkar. “These True Believers call the Prophet the Fuhrer’s b***h. They follow the Church, not Adamus. In truth, he’s nothing more than a figurehead to them. He has no real power.”

            “Even so,” argued Charles. “The Church and all of its figures of import answer to him. If he were to declare this messiah a heretic, they would have to do the same.”

            “And they might,” joined in Grace. “But what guarantee is there that they will actually try to find and execute this heretic? There are those high within the Church that are silently True Believers. This messiah sparks the possibility of rebellion. The possibility of the Church regaining its lost power.”

            Charles clenched his fists. “Do you have any idea how much this issue can escalate if word of this messiah reaches the ears of Paradise Lost? It would add hundreds if not thousands more to their cause. Before you know it we’ll have a resistance in every city, town, or village in Judicium.”

            “Which is why I’ve kept the media on lockdown. The newspapers mention only enough of the True Believers to quench the little curiosities people might have. Outside of Eden and its surrounding towns and villages, this messiah is nonexistent.”

            “If it has spread this much, it’s only a matter of time before word reaches the streets of Judimia and Lumina.”

            “And what would you suggest, Charles?” asked Kramer, irritated. “Would you have us annihilate the Church as you would the Cruorians?”

            “That would be a start…”

            Edgar warned, “Eradicate the Church and the entirety of Judicium will rebel. Some of us actually believe in a power greater than our own. The majority of us still worship God.”

            “How come I’m just now learning of this? Judicium’s Shadow should’ve been all over this in Eden.”

            The Fuhrer spoke, “I commanded our late Moon to keep it a secret from any areas not involved with the conflict. We couldn’t risk any leaks. I’ll have a Mentor in the Shadow of Eden fill you in on all we have later. However, I won’t have you troubling yourself with this heretic of ours until after you’ve completely eradicated Paradise Lost. I’ve let you handle things your way so far, I pray you don’t disappoint me.”

            “You have nothing to worry about on that account, my Glory.”

            “Marvelous.” He turned to his attention to the other council members. “As for this heretic. Prophet, do not declare him a heretic until we have a lead on him. The longer he remains a heretic and free from our grasps, the more people will believe in him, and the less people will fear us.”

“Understood,” said the Prophet.

“As for the True Believers, Queen Grace I want you to spread false rumors on all over Eden. If a thousand miracles start to happen and half turn out to be nothing but cheap tricks, so will the others.”

“That won’t be a problem,” she reassured, confidently.

“Just Kramer, you will use these rumors to capture and interrogate any publicly announced True Believers you think might know something. Those that do, torture them until you squeeze out everything from them, then kill them. For those that don’t know anything, kill them anyways. Bright Edgar, I want the White Coats in every area in the perimeter of Eden. Follow the same lead as the Hammer. Capture, interrogate, kill. Anyone who shows any resistance, kill them too. But if any of you happen to stumble upon this Son of God. Capture him alive. I’d like to meet him. Understood?”

            The Council of Seven crossed their arms in unison. “My Glory!”

            “Marvelous. Now, let us initiate the ceremony for the ascension of the new Moon.”



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
As the scope of the story continues to grow, how do you think the conflict will escalate?

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Your way with details are incredible. I wish I could describe things like this, but I always fail. XD But I am starting to like Charles a little more halfway through the chapter. And I have an uneasy feeling about Queen Grace over there. I have no idea why. XD Anyway, I really like this chapter and can't wait to read the next one.

Posted 8 Years Ago


Cynical_Art

8 Years Ago

Thank you, it means a lot to me :) And thanks for being my most faithful reviewer lol because of the.. read more
Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

XD My story is doesn't have that much details in it. Just enough to know the basic look of things. A.. read more

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Added on January 23, 2013
Last Updated on February 1, 2013
Tags: Conspiracy, plots, schemes, truth, lies, betrayals, kingdom, dictatorship, order, justice, enocide

God's Requiem


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Cynical_Art
Cynical_Art

New York, NY



About
I am 21 years old, I got my Bachelors in Science Degree when I was 19. My career profession is computer animation (I am an Environment Modeler, for those that follow the profession) but I love to writ.. more..

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