Author : Gordon Day

The man was dressed in ivory and on his chest for all to see was a red bolt, declaring his allegiance to the Militant Atheist order. His audience did not know it yet, but he would be the last to publicly wear it.

His lightly freckled cheeks begin to vibrate in tune to his lips as he turned on his PA system and began his speech.

“The world is a carnival of sins, temptations, sorceries, and fear organized by men who claim their faith holds them above such vice. They promise to deliver from the bite of reality and to place you into the hands of God. He will lighten your load, they say. The captain of his ship will take you through the straits, where vile cliffs of indecency border on each side. If you do not wish to pay for charter you are left on the beach of a world crumbling apart. And if you cannot suffer his orthodox rule while aboard, you are thrown into the salty depths.”

His bulky, but soft frame had become the object of a small collection of consciousness.

“But brothers and sisters, I ask you to divorce such rancid and illogical thoughts from your head. The parcel with which man has been burdened with is not sin, but intellect. It is not our task to carry it to the top of a mountain to sacrifice, but to carry it through the universe in an effort to understand how chaos is ordered. We are not the product of a divine manifestation, but of the natural tendency for reproduction to overcome the static and inert.”

The crowd had grown larger as the freako unhinged his jaws and openly defied not just God, but the society that had long since rejected the need for science.

“We must rise from the mud that we have mistaken for gold. We must open not our hearts, but our minds. We must expand past the limits of spirituality and discover the boundaries of our physical and glorious reality. Life is meant for-”

A thunderous cascade of lightning erupted from the sky. The crowd recoiled a half second to late as the heretic was consumed in light, a black imprint against so much white.

Edson scanned the courtyard again. There was no undue damage, though the radiation would cling to the stucco of the houses for a couple of months. And he did not see any more ivory fools. He leaned back in his chair and said, “Hey boss, looks like the satellite flattened him. And I don’t see any more mice in the underbrush.”

The commander replied, “That’s good, imagine, going into the capital city, and trying a stunt like that. He might have actually started a revolution out of the darkness!”


Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows