Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Microstory 1202: Jeremiel Sachs

When the town of Springfield, Kansas went through the Deathfall portal to the rogue planet of Durus, different people had different perspectives on the matter. It was no surprise that a not insignificant number of them believed that they had all been damned to hell. While it would turn out to be untrue in the Biblical sense, it did bear some similarities to the idea of an afterlife of torture and pain. Death and hardship was all around, brought by monsters and killers. It’s a wonder that anyone survived. Tyrannical leader, Smith could see right away that the source mage children were special, and he used his position to garner favor with them. Though they were not even born at the time of the Deathfall, he recognized how important they would become. People would follow their guidance, whether they gave it willingly or not. He needed to not just be on their good side, but to be in control of them. As he predicted, people would come to trust the children’s leadership, though he was no longer around as they grew up. Without his control, the people started developing their own thoughts about the source mages. Many, drawing on their earlier religious beliefs, formed a spiritual dedication to them. They started worshipping them as new gods. Most of the others rejected this blind devotion, but not Jeremiel Sachs. He wanted to be idolized, praised, and gifted. He didn’t just allow them to build a church in his name; he commissioned it. To them, he was the spark of life where there was no other life. They started referring to him as The Flower on the Rock. The other source mages might have had their differences amongst them, but they still maintained an indelible bond. Jeremiel always found himself on the outside of the group, and he had mixed feelings about this. He was the last to be told of any news, and was often not included in important decision-making. He loved his life, but recognized that there was a lot missing. He could have as many followers as there were people on the planet, but he still wouldn’t have any friends.

Of course, there was a scientific explanation for why Jeremiel and his contemporaries had time powers, and why they were able to give powers to others. They weren’t angels or gods or any other form of supernatural creature. They were people who enjoyed an uncommon connection to the metaphysical structure of the universe, and could exploit loopholes within the system. Over the years, the people of Durus began to accept this reality, including those who worshiped in Jeremiel’s church. Still, the loyalists did not stop revering him, because he was still more powerful than anything they could dream of, and that wasn’t going to change, even by logic’s reasoned hand. When the Mage Protectorate fell to the destructive forces of the war with the monsters, the church took a heavy blow. Their gods turned out to be mortal, which again, they knew in their minds, but could not before then accept in their hearts. The church fell into rapid decline after that, until there was no one left to believe. But there was still hope for the movement. After decades of political turmoil, Durus finally found its place in a binary star system. It was stable, self-sufficient, and finally beginning to truly innovate. It had advanced beyond most religions, but no one had yet put forth a clear reason why choosing ones, salmon, mages, and paramounts existed at all. The lingering mystery sparked a new fire, and the religion was revived. Descendants began to worship the source mages once more, with Jeremiel back in the center of it all. The fact that they were long gone only helped this cause, for the intrigue of idols who were completely inaccessible was alluring on its own, like it is in most religions. In just a few short years, the new followers were stronger and more committed than ever. And they were convinced that Jeremiel Sachs was bound to return to them one day. Unlike other superstitious organizations that believed something like this, it was entirely possible that Jeremiel’s followers were right.

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