Broliver "TheSquirrel" Stagnasty

Dichotomy: Sixth Installment "The Calling"

  
By:  Broliver "TheSquirrel" Stagnasty  •   •  9 years ago  •  7 comments

Dichotomy: Sixth Installment "The Calling"

Yes, said aQtwa, That is my name.

And you, aQtwa, did come freely before the Tainver and did acknowledge and enumerate your sins as adultery, greed, thievery, and drunkenness of the body and the spirit? the Highest of the High Brethren intoned from his seat, almost like a barrister reading a list of charges.

Yes. Indeed I did, replied aQtwa. He would have proffered an explanation, but aQtar laid a hand on his arm.

The Brethren continued on, And in the full sight of Mondiasalo did you confess to these failings of the corporeal body and mind, and of the everlasting heart and soul, and beg forgiveness and absolution?

Yes. In the most painful detail, I did. And, aQtwa continued, gently removing his friends hand from his arm, his cadence reflecting the words It was granted me. And I was Reborn Unto Mondiasalo. And Through Mondiasalo. And For Mondiasalo are my works done after. Mondiasalo be praised for His Mercy on us all.

It is not usually a wise thing to interrupt the High Brethren when speaking, but it will be overlooked this once, as we have brought you here not to go over the sins of the past, but to ask for, in Mons Name, greatness to be aspired to.

You have done well since rebirth, and we have noticed. You have been active in the community, spreading the word amongst those who are lost, feeding those who have no food with the sustenance of Mon. You speak well of Mon, and often. You have transcended the sins of the past with your expressions of Faith in words and deeds. The people who know you speak of a truly devout man. Ask a wretch in the slums of the city about you, or inquire about you to the pillars of the community, and the same answers return time and again: He is good man, or, A shining example to all Tainver, or, A true example to live by. Some have even gone so far as to suggest, the Highest of the High Brethren paused here to let disapproval enter the countenance of his face and the tenor of his voice, That you are the next Prophet of Mondiasalo, come to set the world to rights.

To be perfectly clear, We of the Brethren do not hold you in quite that high regard. But, we do think that you would be, with your appeal that cuts across the financial spectrum and your image as a wholesome, religiously honest individual, an excellent candidate for the position of Senator of the Free State of Darmon.

aQtwa, for the moment speechless, stood seemingly rooted to the spot and let the import of the Highest of High Brethrens last sentence sink in. Twenty-five stern faces stared at him from their seats. As he studied each one, looking into the individual eyes for some hint that this was a horrific joke, he determined that they were, in fact, totally serious.

The Highest of the High continued, Believe us when we say this. Mora is awash in corruption. Stunted by a lack of moral direction that we feel is do to the absence of Mondiasalos guidance. This lack of guidance has led to a State that has no moral bearings, no framework upon which to hang the laws, no unbending definition of rightness. This state of moral turbidity is causing the nation as a whole to drift, to lose ground to the SamHalal and the godless Gaemel and Gaeaists.

We Believe, he said, the capital letters unmistakable, his voice rising in volume and ringing across the room as he spoke, That you are the man, the Moral man, the Just man, the Righteous man, who can lead the Free State of Darmon, the nation created by the Tainver as a testament to Mondiasalos Will, from the darkness of iniquity back to the light of Holiness.

For all of the Highest of the Highs dramatic fervor, the rest of the faces took on attitudes that might have been seen as different from the speakers own. The man just below and to the right, was scrutinizing aQtwa carefully as the speech went along, as if he were trying to bore a hole in aQtwas cranium and see just what he was thinking. With the others, it looked as if some might agree with the sentiments being expressed, but some of the faces remained as dour and reserved as the moment he had entered the room.

The High speaker allowed the silence to continue, drawing out uncomfortably long before he spoke again, Well, man. What have you to say for yourself? Surely you must think something.

I do, aQtwa said slowly, taking the time to choose each word carefully, I am very honored by your expressed opinion of me. That you think I have the wherewithal to stand for election in the present political climate I find most flattering indeed, especially when considering my past before I emerged from the darkness of the same state of moral turbidity which you say encompasses the nation.

I have lived on both sides of that argument, the bad and the good. I have gotten rich from the sweat of many men, drawn my accounts from less than legal trade. Many acts, of which I confessed all my memory held, will be dredged up to try to impugn my character. Many are the deeds, having brought shame on my not so pure name and my familys reputation, which will be forced into the light to be observed by all who care to do so.

Why think you, then, that it is me who makes the good candidate, rather than someone who has remained pure throughout their lifetime? What is it that should make the common farmer want to vote for the likes of me, when in my past I have fleeced him of both home and livelihood? What could make the honest businessman lend me the support of his enfranchisement, when he views my past life as a money lender little better than the common thief?

Some of the more dour faces were beginning to nod in agreement with what he was saying, Even here amongst the Brethren I do not sense total unanimity of support. If you, the most respected religious leaders in the country cannot speak with one voice

We do speak with one voice, and it is mine! the Highest of the High exclaimed, standing and moving his hand in front of him with a cutting motion that left no doubt the debate, little as it had been, was over.

It is because you have stood on both sides that you will attract the common man. It is because of your time spent astray, only to come back more fervent than ever to the side of the Right and Good, that you will attract the Truly religious Tainver. It is because you did freely see the error of your ways, did freely confess your sins against man and Mondiasalo and have freely given of your time and money after returning to the faith that they will see redemption when they look at you.

Your time in the dark will convince the less scrupulous that you have not truly changed and they will hope for the chance to curry favor, to play along with their schemes and plots to enrich themselves at Moras expense. Your conversion from money lender to deeply religious man of the light will give hope to the common man who wants to be good, but sometimes finds himself going astray.

The fact that in your life a bright line can be drawn between the two disparate parts of your life lends credibility to the whole idea of salvation. If someone who has done these things, he said, pointing to the sheaf of papers before him, Can turn around and devote his life to the Goodness of Mondiasalo, what person can say, Not me. I have sinned to deeply?

What say you? Yes? Or No?

Well , thought aQtwa, That certainly had the air of a demand . He studied the faces before him yet again. He glanced at his friend, aQtar, who was smiling and nodding so rapidly as to look as if he were not quite all there. He turned to the tapestry emblazoned with the Tainver riding to Girbon on the Last Day. He thought of his wife, sitting in the Gardens of the Maids.

Yes.

The High Speaker of the Tainver sat with an audible sigh, and when he looked up, he had a smile on his face. Obviously, the Brethren had been in discussion about this for some time. Obviously, despite the assertion that all were in agreement, there were some present who counseled against such a plan. aQtwa knew that he had just agreed to go down a path that would take him away from his religious studies; take him away from the insular life that he had constructed since his rebirth into the Tainver.

We must, the High Speaker said, interrupting the babble that had started with aQtwas acceptance of his task, Commence in earnest. Plans are in place and must be set into motion. aQtwa, I think that you should go share this news with your family. You will be traveling quite a bit in the near future, and we think it best if you leave your affairs tidy, as, I am sure, do you. We will send for you in the morning. May Mondiasalo, the One True God, shine on your life.

He found Migdula in the Gardens of Maids, a courtyard on the interior of the temple that was specially set aside for the religious contemplation of the women who called the temple their home. Or, rather, he sent a message with one of the serving girls dedicated to the upkeep of the gardens requesting her presence on the outside of the gardens. No male persons were ever to enter the gardens, and no male person had entered the gardens in the three thousand cycles since the temple had been built, at least none were known in the records of the temple.

When they had made their way back to the bustle of the streets, she asked, So tell me, dearest husband, what have the men of the Brotherhood of the Tainver to discuss with you that I, a mere woman, could not bear to hear? It must have been in another language, perhaps some secret, monosyllabic dialect that only men possess? It could not have been in one of the four that I do know, or else I may have been able to lend assistance.

It is nice to see that you used your time in the gardens to good advantage. Contemplation should lead to clearer thought, aQtwa said with feigned moralistic note in his voice, However, when the thoughts are of violence, it is not always good to clarify He smiled at Migdula, hoping to divert her wrath on this subject.

Oh, I am perfectly clear on whom I shall perpetrate my violence, Migdula smoldered, looking straight at aQtwa, and I think I will start with you. Her stern demeanor melted to a mischievous grin. With a wink she added, When we get home.

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Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   Perrie Halpern R.A.    9 years ago

I don't think I trust the brotherhood. They make me very uneasy, even if they are supposed to be men of god. I don't think they are what they make themselves out to be. But then again, I don't think I trust aQtwa either.

 
 
 
Neetu2
Freshman Silent
link   Neetu2    9 years ago

I agree with Perrie's comment, Brolly. You do convey the unease well because that is what you mean to convey. Religious thought has so many double meanings and intricacies that it can never fully be deciphered - therein lies the "mystery" of faith, to be sure. Open to all interpretations and confusion.

 
 
 
Broliver "TheSquirrel" Stagnasty
Freshman Silent
link   author  Broliver "TheSquirrel" Stagnasty    9 years ago

The Brotherhood is human, not some cyborg collective consciousness. Therefore, they see things and do things as humans do, with all of the variation, grandness and pettiness that is human. This propensity displayed in humankind is why I cannot bring myself to endorse any of the revealed religions.

Your observation, Perrie, that you don't trust aQ'twa, why is that?

 
 
 
Neetu2
Freshman Silent
link   Neetu2    9 years ago

Do you trust humans, Brolly? I don't mean individuals, just as a species, in general.

 
 
 
Broliver "TheSquirrel" Stagnasty
Freshman Silent
link   author  Broliver "TheSquirrel" Stagnasty    9 years ago

Neetu said:Do you trust humans, Brolly? I don't mean individuals, just as a species, in general.

Yes, as a default position. I find it somewhat difficult toseparate the unknown individual from the species, because they are unknown. When I meat someone for the first time, they will receive the benefit of the doubt, until and unless they have done something to indicate a different response. This is sometimes a bit difficult to do for two main reasons: One is that I am from New York originally, and east coaster's (from my observation) are not the most trusting of people, and secondly, and most dastardly, are the effects of prejudice.

A prejudice means that a person comes prejudged, for some reason or the other, and that prejudice can be a good prejudice (one that leads you to think good things of the person) or bad (one that leads you to think not so kind thoughts). For example, if one meets someone who is dressed primly and properly and that person conjugates all of their verbs properly, you may be inclined to automatically give the persons opinions more weight. But if the person is a little bit scruffy, then one might tend to give that persons opinion less weight, simply on the basis of looks.

 
 
 
Neetu2
Freshman Silent
link   Neetu2    9 years ago

I do understand your pov. Yes, to give someone the benefit of the doubt, to trust until the trust is broken, is the right way. Yes, you are right about New Yorkers. Lol, funnily enough, I consider myself a New Yorker because that was my point of entry into the US, where I first set up home and where my one child was born. So, yes, I am one. But I do trust people more than the average New Yorker. However, I still find it difficult to completely have in the human race in general. The selfishness and devious motivations are all too apparent.

 
 
 
Nigel Dogberry
Freshman Silent
link   Nigel Dogberry    8 years ago

I have re-read the series. Waiting for more.