Story By Dokken Storm & Nate Armstrong
Cover Image created by Nate Armstrong
Blackie was out on a trail with nothing on his mind except the sky color. It was grey and a little bit of blue hue to it. Along the ride, he saw someone aimlessly walking around. They were wearing all black in what looked like a dress. This person had a beard and long hair all of it white as the snow. He slowed his horse to watch the person.
Fr Innocent was walking the woods next to a trail praying for help. He was looking around his surroundings and saw someone on a horse. He yelled out, “HELLO!”
Blackie heard the person yell and it sounded like a man yelling for help. He rode off the trail a ways and saw it was a Priest walking the woods. As he got closer the Priest began to talk to him.
“Hello sir, I am in need of help, something has happened to my village and all the people have been taken hostage.” Fr Innocent said tearfully.
“I don’t know how I can help,” Blackie answered.
“You do you just don’t know yet” Fr Innocent exclaimed.
“What would you have me do to help? I don’t kill; at least not on purpose, and I am not a bounty hunter,” said Blackie.
The two walked a bit in silence. Fr Innocent was praying in silence while they walked. A glimmer of light shone over them and it eventually beamed down on Blackie. Fr Innocent looked at Blackie and said, “You are meant to help, this will be good for your soul. Something in you wants to find truth and that truth you seek is God no matter how hard you run and hide from it.” This was true of Blackie, this was why he never attempted stealing or anything other than honesty, unlike most others, just to survive. Blackie couldn’t accept this, it didn’t feel real or right to him.
The beam of light went away and Blackie felt something in him move. A feeling of being called to battle. A voice that sounded far off in the distance but was in his head started to sing a hymn. This startled him to the point he stopped walking and listened. The voice started to say, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” These words struck him deeply. Blackie looked at Fr Innocent and said, “What do you need of me?”
Fr Innocent explained the whole event down to the last detail. Blackie listened and had remembered he had some run-ins with that group before. They talked about where the people were being held and concluded how to get them back.
The people were being held in a town not too far away from the village. The man keeping them hostage was named Kallis Rath. Kallis was a man of mystery; he had deep thoughts that kept his followers latched to him like leeches. He would have long speeches about how things needed to be in order for there to be order within a society. He would talk poetically and directly with malice on every other word for those who thought differently.
The village and their missile church were not a part of his new mechanical plan and in fact, challenged what he believed and what he was trying to perfect.
That poor ignorant village held on to something they called Orthodox Christian beliefs. This was unacceptable.
Kallis believed that there was no real spiritual element to anything. Everything was mathematical and measurable, simple energy that could be molded into perfection. Often Kallis would lay awake and obsess about such perfection discussed in his favorite books. Ideas about utopia written by great minds or how to weed out those who couldn’t propel us into the future.
Kallis did all sorts of experiments on the people he deemed imperfect (He even experimented on people he didn’t like but this thought eluded him). He wanted to fix them like he was fixing himself.
Kallis got to the point of enhancing people’s minds with a new mechanical spinal cord that would work the same as the normal neural pathways but added artificial intelligence. The artificial network mechanism processed everything ten times faster than the average brain. It was expertly connected to a hub of computers that had been spliced together from the old tech components and tweaked with new advancements that Kallis and a small group of scientists created. They called it Rathtech.
Rathtech was made so that Kallis could control not only a population but the AI itself. None of his other scientists were privy to that information. They believed what they were told and told what they believe.
“Controlling the AI controls the people”, Kallis whispered to himself, “controlling the people controls society.” This required a full spectrum submission and since the people of that village would not submit they must be taken care of in a way that does not cause any sympathy.
The hostages had two more days until they were supposed to face their consequences. Kallis moved forward with the consequences early because he was bored of waiting. “Do you all know that the brain is meat in a jar that is your skull? Today I feel we should change that and give you true new life, not this nonchalant passing life you always talk of. You’re here tomorrow and gone today.” Kallis said this with a deep smile.
Everyone was taken and surgically murdered except the children. They had all been given upgraded brains and just because Kallis was not in any mood to be proper, sewed them back up poorly and left huge scars. In his mind, he thought, “If they come round maybe they’ll get the dinner of dinners and the smile of smiles. I’m sure they’d like some food for thought,” he laughed at himself and completed his thought, “Sometimes I say these things to myself and wonder if anyone ever listens, I’m very creative.”
Blackie and Fr Innocent were making their way to the town that Kallis was residing in, they were planning how to get the people free. It required time and energy that they didn’t have. The words Blackie heard before came rolling back again. Fr Innocent saw this change in Blackie’s demeanor and began to pray. He prayed for help from his Guardian Angel, in little time there was a set of two bullet belts. Each bullet had a Cross marked on it. The silver of the bullets had such a shine to them they looked and felt as though they had been made by angels. Blackie looked at Fr Innocent and asked, “What’re the ramifications for someone like you or someone like me for going and doing what we may have to do?” The question was difficult to answer because it was a necessary thing to go and get back these people. The people had been ripped away from God and the Church by someone who thought he knew better.
After a time they had made their way to the town that Kallis was residing in. During the trip, Fr Innocent had been teaching Blackie what it meant to be Orthodox. Fr Innocent read from the Scriptures and read prayers for the both of them, taught Blackie to make the sign of the Cross, and showed him the way of Life.
Part 3 coming soon.