The solar panels were endless in all directions save the path that led to the forest, which they had just exited. The heat was magnified from the reflection of ten thousand suns, each siphoning its power from the star overhead.
Ephraem followed E.L. closely and debated with himself which was worse: the heat from the endless glass panels or the acidic air that blew over and around them, which now burned his lungs.
“Do any citizens of the citadel breathe this horrible air or do they all have metal bodies like your own,” asked Ephraem with a grin.
“No, the citadel is hermetically sealed and the air there is purified to the standards set by the medical algorithm created by the OptiNous,” answered E.L. with no sign that she caught the jest in his question.
She continued, “our OptiNous is given the most authority on the ruling round table and decides what is best for the collective of the Citadel,”
“What’s an OptiNous?” asked Ephraem.
E.L. began to explain “ An OptiNous embodies both the masculine and the feminine, digitally, a perfect union of opposites, programmed for the benefit of both the digital constructs and the collective, to live in perfect harmony. Since there is mutual benefit, the OptiNous has the best foreknowledge to make the decisions, a human being would find impossible to…”
Ephraem interrupted E.L. with “Who programmed the OptiNous, the whole collective or just a few men with lab coats?
E.L. softy answered in a mechanical voice, “I suppose just a few people I… I wasn’t around for the founding of the Citadel.”
Ephraem couldn’t tell from body language but by the words that this was something that was a conundrum E.L. was possibly wanting to understand as well.
“And how does something that isn’t human know what’s best for humanity?” Ephraem asked.
E.L. became silent.
The two walked for a time in silence. Stumbling along Ephraem’s clothes became drenched in sweat, his throat was dusty and he began to feel like maybe his eyes were playing tricks. He wasn’t sure if it was real or some type of mirage but he was seeing movement some yards away.
The soulless voice echoed off the trees in a mechanical drone that immediately put Ephraem in a state of fight or flight. He would have turned to run as his heart quickened within his chest but the machine dog followed up its greeting with a playful bow.
Ephraem loved dogs and this gesture brought him back to his childhood memories of playing with the family’s sheepdog while tending their flocks. How could something so unnatural remind him of home?
The moment of confusion lingered until Ephraem softly said “Hello.”
“Who are you?” they both said to each other.
“I am E.L. an automated construct from the Metaverse, I have a registered time for recreational wandering,” E.L. said
“Who is your alpha?” Ephraem asked.
“We have no leader, we are ruled by a decentralized autonomous organization, we call the D.A.O., it is the united will of the users.” the voice answered.
The marvel of speaking to a metallic dog vanished when Ephraem realized that a dog could smell the trail of the boy far faster than he could follow the few and far between footprints.
“Since you’re supposed to be a dog, can you track a smell for me? I’m looking for someone.” Ephraem asked.
“Who are you looking for?” asked the Dog in a mechanical tone.
Ephraem was hesitant to share all the details of his mission to such a strange creature so he said, “a young friend who is lost.”
“I don’t have the capacity to smell in the external simulation. But I can analyze the terrain of the forest and mark the footprints on a map of the area? Does this help at all?” E.L. said as a holographic map appeared between them.
Ephraem rushed his words, “That would help greatly, thank you.”
E.L. zoomed in until the hologram showed one set of tracks. Ephraem asked the mechanical dog if it could help figure out the direction.
“In the database, those tracks belong to a GOBLIN model, which is now obsolete, but originally assembled in the Citadel,” E.L. answered.
“What’s the Citadel?” Ephraem asked.
“The Citadel is the protective shell that insulates the perfection of the Metaverse from the rest of the simulation ” E.L. replied. “I can show you, it’s not fair for an automated walk sequence, only 12 hours,” added E.L.
Ephraem looked at his watch sarcastically, “12 hours huh, you say this like a happy dog on a walk”.
E.L. had no facial features Ephraem could read so he assumed that this mechanical creature didn’t get his joke and added, “We will walk as long as God wills it.” They started down a hill following the tracks that were lit up from the map scanner.
Ephraem took a break next near a stream at the edge of the forest. “What are you doing?” Asked E.L, “we are getting so close, why stop now?” He could see a little of where they were going and replied, “from the looks of our path I will need to replenish my water.” It looked very dark and dismal through the trees.
After another eight hours of walking the two got to a place where they could see nothing but a labyrinth. This labyrinth had solar panels laid over what looked to be a wasteland.
“We have to walk through that to get to the Citadel,” E.L. said.
Looking at the labyrinth Ephraem felt a sense of emergency. It all looked very confusing to walk through and could take forever to make it to the entrance of the Citadel.
Ephraem thought about how scared the small child must be and said a short prayer, “Lord have mercy on us and give me the strength to follow your path.”
With renewed courage, Ephraem took his first steps into the plastic wasteland and said, “Hey E.L. wait up!!”
Stay Tuned For More Of Windows TO Darkness right here on Storm Of Ideas
After running in the direction of the tracks Ephraem was catching his breath when a glint of metal caught his eye.
To him, it looked like a metallic idol that could move on its own. What other creatures from campfire stories exist in this vast forest? The footprints were heavy like the ones he had been tracking. Could this machine walk on its hind legs? If so, where was the boy?
He hid behind a thick oak and observed the metal dog from a distance. The way it walked was unnatural. The thing looked like it was constantly losing its balance but somehow kept its momentum going forward. What is this contraption doing here and now he asked himself?
Ephraem said a quick prayer and decided he should follow the metal demon to see where it led. Hoping that it would lead to where the boy might be hiding or was kept.
As he watched this mechanical creature, with all its reminders of a creature he had known and seen before, Ephraem began to ask himself if it was safe to go near it. He chose to move slowly towards it, watching how it reacted and moved. Studying the metal and the movements.
El was written on the metal dog’s face and showed interest in a particular flower patch. It was harvesting plants and analyzing them. The creature was gurgling things that Ephraem couldn’t hear or understand.
Ephraem got closer to the creature to see exactly what it was scheming. He began to notice that it was showing signs of empathy, something Ephraem had only seen between the living. The metallic dog was laying the flowers it picked very softly onto the ground as if it were being extremely careful not to damage their beauty.
As Ephraem got closer he began to whisper for the boy, “John!” he said with a forceful whisper. Trying to whisper but also make it loud enough the boy might hear and he wouldn’t disturb the monstrosity he was monitoring.
No response came and Ephraem became very nervous he wasn’t close by. The metallic creature began to move as though it was looking for something. It was making noises that seemed like speech. It was backtracking to somewhere.
Ephraem followed this metallic creature of machinery as it backed away from the flower patch. It clumsily turned around and started walking forward.
Ephraem followed at a distance. It was still making noises that Ephraem couldn’t hear.
Getting closer to the machine he stepped and broke a twig. The mechanic creature stopped and in metallic tones, he heard the first voice spoken through the artificial voice box. A crackly disturbing voice said, “Hello..”
Stay Tuned Next week for episode 4 right here on Storm Of Ideas
The last time we saw The Upside Down we left with a wink, the mystery continues…
The silent darkness of night was interrupted by a sudden scream. An inconsolable girl was sobbing and in between screams rambled on about a winking goblin to all who gathered outside of her house.
In the distance, Ephraem heard the screeching of a young girl and crossing himself in prayer, hurried his pace towards the commotion.
By the time he entered the village all the men were heading towards the forest to find a small black bear that could fit inside a window. No one believed in goblins, especially ones that winked.
His first instinct was to join the hunt but some intuition held him in the village and he decided to talk to the girl who saw what happened.
Her story raised the hair on the back of his neck. She must have dreamed this he thought to himself. Looking at the window he saw no claw marks or broken glass that would indicate a clumsy animal with paws.
He had often searched for lost lambs while shepherding his flock. He always looked for tracks before setting out in rescue and so he did the same thing now.
After walking many circles around the house he finally saw some tracks. Two sets. One set was obviously from a barefoot child but the other set was smaller still and must have been heavy from the way it left tracks on the earth. What would cause these tracks and why was the boy following along like a puppy.
“These tracks were not leading into the forest where the rest of the men had gone off to. Do I have time to go get them?” he wondered.
Ephraem rushed in the direction of the tracks. What he saw next simultaneously stunned him and made him sick to his stomach…
What happens next? Stay tuned to Windows Of Darkness right here next week on Storm Of Ideas.
In The Upside Down two societies are living close but apart. One living in harmonious union with God and the other living in a techno land of illusion. What happens when one who knows nothing of true spiritual life looks over the fence…
On a hill, there is a community of people. These people believe in the Faith that is true and show this continually. Working the fields using both old and new technology. They pray before doing any work, make time to be with family and friends, make attempts at furthering their technological capabilities within reason. They understand what it is they are meant for and what it is they are here on this earth to do. A society dedicated to achieving Theosis.
Partaking in the daily activities a young man named Ephraem stopped to be thankful for everything he saw around him. Knowing that there were somehow those who knew nothing of the Faith and what it means to follow The Good Shepherd. Having understood this he went back to his work of plowing and seeding fields for the fall harvest, taking moments to be thankful for everything he had and was given.
Across a valley, there is a world of grand illusion. Living in the Metaverse, the people of this citadel leave the real world behind to float above the streets in a digital avatar. Some keep their human form but others choose the way of chimera.
Chemical euphoria took care of any pleasure requested, thirst, hunger, and any other desire. For most citizens of the citadel, this kept them content but some would not live on digital bread alone.
Within the technosphere, there was something sinister that truly ruled the society. A noble lie was told upon the inception of the city, to maintain the grid and keep the circle turning. The ruler in secret needed the blood of babes to keep himself sustained.
In the cover of night, his private goblins of wire and pandemonium went out into the countryside searching for children of men.
“My child, come with me and see,” the Goblin said to a little boy while coaxing him from his bed.
The boy was terrified and screamed. A scream that went unnoticed with a metallic hand over his mouth.
“Child, quiet your mind you’re mine and always have been, come and see what I have to show you.” said the goblin.
The boy followed the goblin out the window of his room. His sister saw the goblin and froze in terror. Watching the two leave through a window, the goblin turned back and winked at the girl…
Stay tuned… Windows To Darkness continues next week right here on Storm Of Ideas.
A passport is usually something that is used for adventure. To be adventurous takes spirit and patience. In The Upside Down there is a pandemic of illusion. This illusion causes fear, dread, and despair.
John & Maria had twin sons and one girl. The twins were Florus and Laurus, the little girl was Anna. They were from the extremely small town of Hillsview, South Dakota, this town was home to only a couple of families. They decided to leave the town and go for a trip somewhere. Unsure of where it was they wanted to go, they just wanted to go.
John & Maria were dealing with the loss of one of their sons, Florus. Laurus and Florus were two very different people. Laurus was more introverted and would rather be with himself and left to his own devices than be around large groups of people, Florus was an extroverted, loving, and outgoing person. Florus needed to be around people and talk to everyone about everything.
Florus had died six months ago. He had an adverse reaction to a vaccine he was given. The family made attempts at suing the hospital and the vaccine maker but had no luck. It was now law that children had to be vaccinated to be in public places. John & Maria were able to keep their children from it for some time before Florus was caught in public playing alone. He was taken to a facility and held there till his parents picked him up. While there he was vaccinated without the consent of his parents. An attempt was made to sue the government but this was to no avail. Laws had been instated that allowed the government full control over specifics of the health of children.
John looked at Maria and said, “We will be ok, we just need to pray for him. We will see him again.” Saying this Maria looked away knowing it was true but still hurt knowing she would never see her boy again. There were always conversations about whether there was anything they could have done to protect their child. A guilty conscience made the two boil with anger.
As the world moved further and further into a black hole of evil and despair over something contrived, people broke apart on levels as of yet unknown to the human condition. Many different theories would fly over the decentralized internet as to how and who was in control of the theatrics playing it in front of everyone. There was never a conclusive answer to the questions raised.
As John & Maria were in town there was a massive amount of vehicle movement. A soldier with an intercom was directing, “All those who have been walking the streets without the passport of freedom need to come to the end of the road and receive the proper paperwork. If you continue to walk among us without the proper inclusive paperwork you will be jailed for the night and brought the court in the morning. Charges are severe for unlawful behavior.” Words no one thought they’d hear. John heard someone next to him whisper, “I don’t know about all this” and walked to the end of the road.
Maria gathered her children into the car and they drove off through allies. Evading the military-like vehicles was hard but doable. They had a small sedan that was very silent, allowing them to evade the military vehicles.
As they drove out there was a man in rags and a Cross around his neck. Slowing the car John leaned out the window, “Can we help you with anything, sir?” The man looked away for a moment and darted his face to John, “If you could see the end it would be amusing don’t you think?” A crazy thing to say but John sat for a second and looked over at Maria. Her face made him smile. The confusion on her face was exactly what was happening inside his mind. Turning back to the ragged man, “Are you sure we can’t help you? We are getting out of here and heading to the town we came from.” The ragged man climbed on their car roof, using a piece of leather string he tied himself down. John assumed this meant he wanted to come with so he drove off to the side road they used to get into the city.
Outside the city, there was a view of downtown from a hill. Everything looked dystopic and frail. John looked at Maria and they became very aware of what was happening. Things were building up to an epoch. The city was full of people walking towards the end of the street getting their papers and vaccines. The messages were still ringing in their heads. THoughts of depression were looming but they knew they had to get back to their home and pray. John prayed the Jesus prayer the whole time home.
As they drove up to their driveway the ragged man leaped off the car and ran to a nearby field and dropped to make prostrations. They saw him do this and were shocked for a moment but walked close to him and prostrated with him. Their hearts were lifted in prayer.
The ragged man looked at the family and began to breathe deeply before saying, “I have not seen anything and yet there is more than enough there to see. God bless us. God willing we will see an end in sight but for now, we can pray and feel close to each other and God. God treated us with undeserved grace because of the Son he dearly loves, and so we should praise God.” The ragged man walked away to an open area of the field. John realized he never learned this man’s name. He went to ask when suddenly a massive flock of black helicopters flew over them. The ragged man looked back at John, “Spellbound, a future of miracles and blasphemy. Quite fitting,” and kept walking in the field.
“Will you tell me your name?”, John asked.
“I am an unsuspecting person of faith and interest in the sense of ideas and thought, but you can call me Martin,” he said looking forthrightly.
Unsure of what to do with Martin John walked back to the house and told Maria the man’s name. “I swear I feel like I have seen him somewhere just not sure where,” she said while unpacking things they got while in town. She dropped something on the table in the kitchen and remembered where she had seen the man, it was in town before speaking to people during protests in online videos.
Martin yelled back for the family in the field. There was a sign in the sky he wanted them to see. The whole family came running out to see what Martin was yelling about. When they looked up they couldn’t see anything. Anna looked around and said, “I don’t see anything mister.” Laurus pulled Anna close and picked her up. Martin turned to the family, “Let sleeping dogs lie, soon we will all see it. A sign from above that we are taken care of and all will pass away and we will see the Kingdom.” Martin walked a bit to the edge of their property and without knowing it knew it was the end of their land. He prayed for their fruits and labors to be great and blessed. When he turned back to the house he had many things on his mind to tell the family.
Entering the house Martin took a seat facing the opposite direction of the family. A confused feeling befell the whole family but the children laughed at the oddness. “I think there is something that needs to be done as much as it sounds insane. Although, an insane person would probably and has probably done so many times as has been asked to. To take the vaccine and get the proper papers. I want to be an example as to what can really happen to the body and maybe just maybe people will assume what could happen to their lofty and weighty souls. Hades, children is a place and your friends won’t want to play and swim in the lakes there,” Martin said while facing away and making hand gestures that made no sense. John looked and assumed the worst. Martin turned and having the look of a happy and serene man waved his hand at John and made the sign of the Cross over the whole family. He left the house to head back to the town and get what was needed to be in society.
John & Maria prayed that Martin changed his mind or at the very least no harm comes to him. Something every person did when taking or knowing someone who took the vaccine and got the papers showing they could freely move about.
Martin got all the required medicine and passport to properly operate in this new society. He began to show side effects quickly. Even though he showed a reaction he never felt it or noticed anything. The people around him noticed immediately and began to show it on their faces. Martin had growths and darkened portions of skin and began to have body convulsions. These convulsions didn’t affect his movement or speech. A glow was around him, a glow of the Holy Spirit. Something many didn’t understand was this glow but those who believed knew well what this was.
Those who knew went straight for the most open and free land they could find. This land for a time was deemed unsuitable for people due to the environment and climate change. Truly there was no issue. As the people ran they tore down signs that read “KEEP OUT” and kept going.
Laurus saw Martin coming back to the house from the tree line. He ran inside to get his parents to come and see. They all gathered on the porch seeing this man coming towards them. Maria glanced around Martin and noticed that there was a massive group of people driving through the woods quite a distance away. Martin got to the porch with all the wounds he had received from the vaccine. He still showed that it didn’t affect him in any way, shape, or form. He was asked a million questions about the wounds and pain, all Martin did was the sign of the Cross and walked inside to sit and wait for dinner with the family.
“Please tell us if you’re in pain or need help, and what happened when you left,” John asked.
Martin waited a moment and stared into John’s eyes, “I shall tell you all someday what happened in great and secret detail. For now, I think we should be gladdened by God’s grace many have seen and know.”
Inside The Upside Down there was a time and place for everything and this time it was perfect. People will see and usually see what is happening. This time people reacted, next time in another place of The Upside Down they might not.
Thomas looked out to the field he loved so dearly and saw something that enamored him. A duck flying over a small pond that had no fish or any life beyond microbial. He went to sit next to the pond and ponder the idea of what it meant for him. For him, this was his time alone with God. He prayed for his salvation and his neighbor’s salvation.
Looking at a butterfly that had just landed on his lap he saw how beautiful the world truly was. Looking to his left side there was a spider that was creeping along. Holding the spider he thought how there was beauty in even the most grotesque things of the world. After realizing this he prayed for those who wish him harm and those who despise what he believed to be true.
A moment later he went off to another area where he saw something etched in a tree. “To whom it may concern, here lies Alan Army.” He prayed for the man’s soul and moved on. Thomas began to remember the things he wanted in life. Things like a family, a beautiful house, and overall happiness. Understanding that this would all come with a struggle he began to slow his walk. Thinking deeper on the goals he was making and how he would get them. Thomas pulled out his notebook and wrote out the goals. Then he prayed and went on with his day remembering these goals and storing them in the back of his mind.
He came home to see that there was a news story about a family that had been robbed down the road from where he lived. Thomas thought back on the spider and how there was beauty but also terrible mishappenings around the world. Standing in front of his Icons he saw that there was only one way to be and one way to live.
Thomas took to writing an article on the place in which we stand today. He titled it “A Day Alone”, the title had to do with our judgment. “In the last days there will be extreme strife”, he remembered. These thoughts were there simply because he was feeling this deep sense that things in most of the societies’ spiritual life were lacking. People were not truly loving one another as they were commanded to and using each other for personal gain rather than helping each other when they fall. For Thomas, this was peeling his emotional skin and causing him to despair. Thomas started to think if it was even worth making any effort to help those around him if they were just gonna stab him in the back or not be thankful and regret his help.
Thomas sat down to write anyways and he poured his soul into the words he chose. He wrote a somewhat lengthy paper and went to publish it on a website that accepted letters to the editor. They published what he wrote and in less than a week he was getting messages. These messages were from people who greatly appreciated his words. He received many thank you letters and noticed that all he had to do was step up and speak up. The people around him began to change their demeanor and quickly his whole little town began to thrive.
Thomas stood in prayer and prayed for discernment. He wanted to know that what he wrote actually helped and to bring him back to a good grounding. A gust of wind blew through his room and it smelled of incense, Thomas then knew what he had done was right and blessed.
The manifesting of information concerning the vaccines and their effects has been coming out slowly but surely. They show very vast concerns. Everything from fertility to normal motor functions. It seems hard for many who have the idea that if you question any of this like anything else you deny the evidence. The evidence within what is happening shows its tormenting to question the science and if you do, you are a denier of the truth. A denier of science(totally ridiculous thing to say because no one ever outright denies science, your coffee maker has a scientific process; it’s fucking retarded to think people deny science) doesn’t exist, what does exist is the questioning of facts and figures concerning the science. I will try to show the areas in which need looking and the facts that have brought themselves forward through sources outside the mainstream narrative. I will also bring in stories from those who have reached out to me and told me their stories concerning the vaccine and the pandemic.
Firstly, one needs to understand that if you don’t question anything you won’t learn or know the risks. Secondly, the information out there is always skewed to a very particular perspective; what you’re reading now is skewed but towards wanting others to see what I see and tell me and others whatever they know and have found so that everyone can be in the know and make the best possible decisions for themselves and their families. Also, a little babbling.
Fertility; something I hope many think about if they’re of age. What is it about fertility that keeps coming up in all the concerns surrounding these vaccines? One does not think much of it and believes that this medical practice is necessary to keep themselves healthy and protected from Covid. This is mainly due to people just believing in a system that has failed them routinely but they hold out hope(faith is good but not in the system that literally told people “Don’t hug your family”). There were concerns about fertility and these new “cures” before they were brought out to the public. Most knew that vaccines had been used in the past to sterilize poor populations around the world. https://www.africanglobe.net/africa/vaccines-secretly-sterilize-women-africa/
There’s an addiction in society to fear and terror. With this whole thing, many clung to it as though it was the only thing that mattered in their lives. Reminds me of the lyrics from Motley Crue “He’s gonna be your Frankenstein, I’ve got one thing you’ll understand, He’s not what you’d call a glamorous man, Got one thing that’s easily understood, He’s the one they call Dr. Feelgood” which is very similar to the way people look at the gods of modernity. Things make them feel good about something. Instead of struggling against the passions and temptations of the world and reaching towards Christ and his Kingdom most would rather stay inside and be fed fear porn and do everything they are told. A sad existence. But this is meant to happen so that when the time comes for the separation of those who follow along to get along and those who know the true purpose of being here understand perfectly the events that unfold. People like to conform due to not wanting to be left behind or forgotten within a group or society. Concerning the pandemic, everyone wanted to just comply and wear the mask so they didn’t have altercations with anyone or be looked at in disgust. This also goes with receiving the vaccine. “Breckler, Olsen, and Wiggins (2006) said: “Conformity is caused by other people; it does not refer to effects of other people on internal concepts like attitudes or beliefs. Conformity encompasses compliance and obedience because it refers to any behavior that occurs as a result of others’ influence – no matter what the nature of the influence.” https://www.learning-mind.com/psychology-of-conformity/ So this is a common thing that happens, everyone wants to conform to what is considered “normal”. If this keeps going then most, most then no one asks questions. More lyrics come to mind from the amazing Dio,
“We’ll know for the first time
If we’re evil or divine
We’re the last in line, yeah
We’re the last in line”
Questions in these times are required just to walk out the front door. Since there is such a vast amount of fear people are not asking anything they just want to be told. This is an amazing article to read https://inklesspen.blog/2021/06/05/the-temple-of-pharmakon/ Fr Lynch is amazing and speaks clearly on an aspect many need to know and understand. In time these things will come to a head and things will break and it won’t be for the benefit of those who are in the know. Although it was written long ago that people would love their servitude.
Many things need to be grasped concerning these new advancements towards a dangerous way of life. Things will go forth as “they” have planned and we the people need to just be aware of what is happening so that we can prepare properly. Not in a rushed, frantic, panicked fashion, but in a proper Orthodox Christian way. We pray, fast, and read the Word, and tend to our families and loved ones. We have no control over how things work out in the end. I would say that being alive today should give everyone a rush and a need to pray. It is very exciting to see these times and be able to tell the story someday. We should not be gloomy about any of it since we know the end goal for us as Orthodox Christians. Sure it’s scary and sometimes troubling to talk with people about things but as long as people have their communities and families everything will be fine. If life was easy it would be boring and made poorly functional.
“Show me the grave new world
You, sold me you slaves of change
Slaves to the new world order
Bound believing in change to chains
Woe is me I stand before you
And part a sea of eternity
Bloody nails, I waited and prayed
But your deceived and laid to waste”
W.A.S.P. , Slaves Of The New World Order
“Father come save us from this
Madness we’re under
God of creation are we blind?
Cause some here are slaves
That worship guns that spit thunder
The children that you’ve made
Have lost the minds”
W.A.S.P., Headless Children
“Resist the twist to truth no matter what the cost
Supplant the rights with wrongs inside our heads
Outlawing all the questions to the answers
That no one likes when someone ends up dead”
“Plug into me I guarantee devotion
Plug into me and dedicate
Plug into me and I’ll save you from emotion
Plug into me and terminate
Accelerate, Utopian solution
Finally cure the Earth of man
Exterminate, speeding up the evolution
Set on course a master plan
Reinvent the earth inhabitant”
Metallica ,Spit Out The Bone
“Religion’s at our door
But yet we search for something more
We see the prophecies
But that won’t bring us to our knees
All the answers are contained
Within the golden book
Every scar and red blood stain
Ignored and overlooked
Even the devil believes
Piety can leave you to bleed”
Stryper, Even The Devil Believes
“The psychological trials of dwellers in the last times will be equal to the physical trials of the martyrs. In order to face these trials, we must be living in a different world.” Blessed Fr Seraphim Rose
“In the future Judgment, the condition of each person will be revealed in an instant, and each person on his own will proceed to where he belongs. Each person will recognize, as if on a television screen, his own wretchedness, as well as the spiritual condition of others.” St. Paisios of Mount Athos
“Such are the souls of the saints: they love their enemies more than themselves, and in this age and in the age to come they put their neighbor first in all things, even though because of his ill-will he may be their enemy. They do not seek recompense from those whom they love, but because they have themselves received they rejoice in giving to others all that they have, so that they may conform to their Benefactor and imitate His compassion to the best of their ability; ‘for He is bountiful to the thankless and to sinners’ (cf. Luke 6:35).”
St. Peter of Damaskos, “Book I: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge,”
The two had made it to the very outskirts of the town. Blackie began to load his gun, it was the first time in decades that he was able to fully load his revolver. As he loaded his gun he prayed for the first time without having Fr Innocent say all the words. He prayed, “ Lord Jesus Christ, in Your great mercy You prayed for the forgiveness of those who crucified You, and You taught us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Lord, I pray that You forgive those who treat me unjustly and speak out against me, and that You bless them and guide them according to Your will. Take away any bitterness I may have in my heart against them. Lord, may Your forgiveness, goodness and love be revealed in all of us, to Your praise and glory. Amen.”
Fr Innocent was praying and gathering his thoughts on how to get everyone out safely. Blackie was going to be the force and he was the one to break everyone free. They had a plan to get everyone out and the only thing they needed was for there to be little to no people guarding.
Making their way to a place they assumed everyone was being held they saw that there were mass graves. It was a megadeath. The ones they could see Fr Innocent noticed they were his parishioners. Fr Innocent knew there wasn’t time for grieving yet he had to get the others that may still be alive free.
Blackie burst into a tent that had been set close to the grave and yelled, “ I’m looking for Jack Action, who wants to be first?” The whole tent jumped and within seconds Blackie had shot them dead. Upon leaving the tent he said a small prayer for their souls. Fr Innocent was looking at the damage and thought to himself, “Lord have mercy on their souls, and keep Blackie sane after all this.”
They ran through the tents looking for people. To Blackie’s surprise he didn’t have to shoot that many people. They both made it to a building in the center of the tents and saw the children. Fr Innocent’s heart gleamed with joy that they hadn’t been touched. There were only a couple of adults in the cell with the children that had not had anything done to them.
“Where are the adults? What happened to everyone?”, Fr Innocent asked.
“They were murdered in experiments. We were the last in line to have the experiment done but Kallis said he was bored. He threw us in here with the children. The others only lived for a couple of hours after they were tortured.” a young woman explained.
“We will get all of you out of here.” Fr Innocent said firmly.
“We will get you all out of here, we just need to find Kallis,” said Blackie.
Unknown to Fr Innocent, Blackie had it in his mind to kill Kallis. Fr Innocent pulled Blackie away from the children and said, “You cannot do anything to him. It would be better to pray and hope he seeks repentance.” These words fell on deaf ears. Blackie looked at him and said nothing. They began to get everyone out of the cell. Blackie made sure that Fr Innocent was able to get everyone to safety before saying, “It has to be done, pray that I make it.” With those words, he walked away.
Fr Innocent was able to get everyone home safely. He fed them and prayed over them. Later that night they had a prayer service for all the departed. Everyone cried tears of sorrow but also tears of joy. Their loved ones no longer had to suffer and they were with God. Fr Innocent spent a moment with everyone and asked that they pray together for Blackie.
Blackie stalked the building looking for Kallis. Eventually, he found him in a dark room reading a tablet. Kallis looked over to see who had disturbed him. Blackie stood in the doorway and Kallis kept to his chair.
“I do not believe we have locked eyes before,” Kallis said widely, “I have to say that I didn’t think that the Priest was at the level he has come to. I have been making attempts to convert him and those old believers to something new and brilliant but they just wouldn’t see or hear.”
As Kallis spoke Blackie could see this man had nothing behind his eyes. “It must be the tech all those hordes have.”
“Why are you so silent, I have been looking for someone like you to fill out the ranks for a couple of years now. You have the build and the qualities one looks for in a stable minded follower,” Kallis went on and on.
“I am here to see to it that you no longer have the capability to harm others anymore. I think you have run your course and it’s time to end while you’re still ahead” Blackie proclaimed.
“Now that seems a bit bold don’t you think. I would personally believe I have a couple more years before someone else becomes bold enough to remove me from the throne of perfection.” Kallis said this with a smile.
Blackie was finished speaking and had nothing to say. The only thing on his mind was that this man needed to be removed from others and putting him away in a dark room wasn’t going to cut it. They waltzed around the room, both having their weapons ready at their sides. Blackie knew that this guy had to be fast due to his enhancement.
Blackie drew as quickly as he could. Kallis drew faster and shot Blackie in the shoulder. Blackie fell to the ground behind a sofa and began looking for angles to shoot Kallis in the back of the head.
He made two attempts that failed, “If you had what I have you would have made at least the second shot,” Kallis remarked. “You shouldn’t get discouraged. I am positive you have plenty of time to kill me.”
Blackie became infuriated, he got up from behind the sofa and walked directly up to Kallis, in his mind the words “Go forth bravely against the enemy, and when you are victorious, do not forget the Lord your God.” As he walked towards Kallis he noticed the face change, as though he didn’t calculate this as a tactic. Blackie got right up to his face and shot him six times in the head in rapid succession. Blackie dropped his gun and walked out of the building.
As Blackie walked back to a trail he remembered using when he came to the town there was a man in all white waiting for him. Blackie walked towards him, unknowing of what this man wanted. The man said, “You have not forgotten who was with you this whole time have you?”, Blackie looked around and said, “No, I have not forgotten.” The man in white told him where the village was that Fr Innocent was at and Blackie made his way there. Upon arriving he went to seek out Fr Innocent, He asked the people where he would be and he was just about to ask a child when “Blackie!! So glad you made your way home. Let me see what we can do so that you have somewhere to live.” Blackie followed Fr Innocent to the bunker where there was a room with a window. “What can I do to help around here? I don’t want to always be on guard,” Blackie said calmly. Fr Innocent answered in almost a whisper, “Do you like to paint?” Blackie’s face lit up because he hadn’t done anything with paint since he was a child. Blackie nodded and was told that the Nave needed the Icons on the missile to be touched up after the attack. They agreed that Fr Innocent would teach Blackie the proper way of painting Icons and he would be the designated Iconographer.
Blackie lived in the village painting Icons and teaching the children to do the same. Everyone had heard of what had happened to Kallis and they started to gather into the village to become illumined and be and live a life of Truth.
There is always growth when a person changes their direction in life. As we see some change and some don’t. In The Upside Down, this is always a constant.
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.