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Author Topic: String theory. [Justica]  (Read 233 times)

String theory. [Justica]
« on: January 16, 2020, 03:27:05 AM »
[ july 845 ]

There were few factions as oblivious to logical thinking as the Church of the Walls.

Quirin had pondered their actual reason for existence multiple times over the years. There was some closely-guarded secret, one that he sought but did not have the patience to infiltrate for. Their need to turn to some higher power, their god, was pathetic and in serious need of rethinking. Why would any creator of humans bother giving them titans to deal with, who would go to the extent of building three giant Walls to protect them instead of simply vanishing the supposed brutes? Fairytales, all of them. He supposed all needed something false to tell themselves. In their case, it was apparently making up tales about somebody who had more in common with the supposed devil.

Nevertheless, they had their uses; Quirin had observed their attempts to delay the Garrison's initiatives and work upon the Walls. Though he hadn't yet interfered in such work, considering the danger of publicly associating himself with a religious cult as deranged as they were. It wouldn't do for an officer of the Military Police to be fraternising with the unstable cockroaches without reason.

So he had found a reason.

Utopia District had recently taken up a new Minister - Siegfried Justica. Inexperienced, he figured. Enough to be more easily influenced. Picking Utopia had not been a strategic move. It was the Minister he'd sought out, a perfect shell to fill with ideas in time. For there would be a time when it would be needed. It would prove, ever more, what a valuable asset he was. Jarek had his influence; Quirin had his own. A thorn in the side of the people trying so hard to fortify the Walls.

Let them weep.

"Officer Drexler," he introduced himself outside of the Church's building in Utopia. It had been easy enough to pull strings for this meeting. An innocent exchange. Obviously he was here to deal with the apparent threat made to the Church, a note from an anonymous lunatic who demanded they immediately empty their coffers and pay back to the district after the death of some poor soldier, Frederick Scott, who had been recently eaten by titans. They blamed the Church's protests that the Garrison had lessened patrols on the Wall in that area.

It was entirely bullshit, and Quirin had quite enjoyed writing it.

So there he was, on guarding duty for the Minister during his activities for the day, to ensure that there was no threat. The Military Police had sent some hapless recruit to investigate the threat, though it would yield no recruits and no harm would be done. A perfect circle, completed with ease and not a thread frayed. Entering the building, he followed one of the lowly idiots to find the Minister. « Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 03:33:26 AM by Quirin Drexler »

Re: String theory. [Justica]
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 10:47:52 PM »
The fierce morning sun was warm on Siegfried's back and at this point in the confessional, both his hands and those of the townswoman he grasped gently were damp with sweat. He felt content, pleasantly anchored in the streams of information and noise around him: the hushed hubbub of Utopia outside, the woman's voice matching his own as they prayed together, the Great Voice whispering encouragingly to him, kind as the sun.

"...and it is in Their grace that we thrive, in Their protection that we find peace, in Their power that we find salvation. All things are done in Their mercy," the two of them intoned together.

"All things are done in Our mercy," the Great Voice agreed. "All things."

The church bell began to strike Ten. Siegfried gave the woman's hands a small, encouraging squeeze and smiled at her as they opened their eyes and raised their heads. They released the circle they'd made by holding one another's hands, but did not yet rise from their kneeling position. She did seem reassured, now, but still Siegfried asked, "Has our session here today put your mind at ease, Holly?"

She sighed in relief, loose flaxen hair slipping over her shoulder as she bent a little, like a flower in a breeze. "Oh yes, Minister, thank you!" She smiled.  In his former life Siegfried might have found her pretty, but none of that mattered now. What mattered now was the will of the Walls.

"It broke my heart to hear of your mother's troubles," Siegfried said as he rose and helped the young woman to her feet. He held onto her hand with both of his a moment longer, "I'm sincerely glad if I have helped in any small way. Please come to me whenever you are in need -- the Walls have heard you as I have heard you, and will continue to listen."

She pressed at her watering eyes with the back of a finger, "I'm grateful, Minister. Forever grateful. I see things so much more clearly now -- I can't wait for Mother to meet you!"

"As I'll be overjoyed to meet her," he said. He released her hand and together they stepped off the special rug he used for such private confessionals, which blazed like a coin on the polished wood floor of the small room behind the church's sanctuary. He opened the door for her and saw her out. "Thank you for coming, Holly. I'll be seeing you at tonight's service!" he smiled after her as they emerged into the sanctuary proper.

"Thank you!" she called happily over her shoulder as she skirted the edge of the recessed prayer circles in the center of the room on her way out. Once she was gone, all was empty except for the sheets of gold light cast through the leaded glass windows either side --- not as grand as some he had seen, for this was a more modest district -- and the presence Siegfried had felt every moment of his life for sixteen years.

"Another kept on the path, and another to find it," said the Great Voice.

Of course. It is my duty, Siegfried thought. He turned to the intricately-carved mahogany statues of Maria, Rose, and Sina that stood vigil on stone daises opposite the main door to the church, and pressed a hand to his heart as he bowed to them. The slight weight of his chains of office swayed as he did so. All things are done in Your Mercy.

He came upright and turned on his heel, taking a deep, satisfied breath as he surveyed his church with soft brown eyes. It was empty now but later today it would be full -- in the last few weeks or so he could honestly say that he had a committed flock large enough to fill the circles regularly. They were saved. They would be protected. He was guiding them. But as the morning bell tolls finished he knew there was yet more to be done.

Guide me as you did that fateful day, and I will honor you a thousandfold. Show me your will and I will serve. Reveal my every purpose, O Holy Ones. Take me where I must go. « Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 05:04:32 PM by Siegfried Justica »

Re: String theory. [Justica]
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2020, 07:49:35 PM »
It was ridiculous, he found, that the church could have such glamour and riches and yet use so little of it to do anything remarkably useful. Who wanted to deal with urchins and those seeking to be told that yes, they were doing the right thing, and no, they weren't but if you just do this then everything will be better! It made him scoff, seeing those crawl to religion and beg for forgiveness. They didn't want to confront their behaviour, nor truly make amends for it.

All they wanted was to feel good about themselves.

That was all it was about, and he couldn't fathom what the ministers were actually doing. Did they care? Were they so sure of themselves in 'helping' others that they would devote their lives to it? Perhaps he could have understood, were they doing anything for the good of mankind.

But they weren't. And they wouldn't enjoy his methods either.

The idiot led him inside, and there he came to see Minister Justica. What a ridiculous name. Likely false, he had already decided. But there was only so much information he could get about those within the church. There were secrets around the church, ones kept so tight to the chest that an outsider surely couldn't prise anything out.

"Minister," he greeted warmly, not sparing a glance around. "My name is Officer Quirin Drexler. I'm the member of the Military Police Brigade charged with ensuring your total protection today." And longer, if need be, though he hoped to wipe away the supposed threat without issue by the morning. Some excuse would come up. A Garrison soldier had falsified the reason for the threats, or a civilian had wrongly accused the church. Desperate and grieving, it was only natural. The church was unlikely to pursue charges when nothing was done.

And if they did? He'd find a scapegoat.

Re: String theory. [Justica]
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2020, 07:20:39 PM »
Siegfried focused on the present at the new voice. He turned to the door where Paul -- not quite Assistant Minister, yet, but reaching for something like it -- stood with a Military Police soldier. Paul did not hesitate when Siegfried waved a kind dismissal from across the room, and hastily retreated. Siegfried made a note to himself for later to coach the shyer boy more. He crossed, smiling confidently.

"A pleasure, Officer Drexler," he called.

If he was honest, though, he had to rapidly remind himself of the reason for this. It certainly hadn't been his idea -- he'd only experienced reluctance or skepticism at worst in his encounters with the locals -- but Minister Holloway had warned him that being grouped with...less civilized Church members was a frequent risk. The fall of Wall Maria -- The Breaking, as Siegfried called it privately -- had shaken the Church and as a result its members had become more radicalized, or at least frantic. Threats in response had grown, and even in a relatively peaceful district such as Utopia Minister Holloway was adamant that precautionary measures be taken.

Siegfried was not without exposure to the Military Police, but there was something about this Officer...it wasn't that he felt unsettled, exactly, and nor was it the younger man's distinctive appearance -- pale hair like the glare of the sun on water, sharp blue eyes, a somewhat androgynous face -- but Siegfried paid more attention than he normally would. Something felt...off. It was akin to those first months after he received his deliverance, when he was convinced anyone and everyone knew who he had once been and was determined to expose him, rip him open. Though reasonably, that could not be the case here. He couldn't remember anyone fitting this description in his graduating class and certainly not in the Scouts.

Perhaps it was because despite all this, the Great Voice remained silent. There was no guidance to be given. This was rare. The hair on the back of his neck stood up.

Don't fear. Have faith. There is a reason it is silent.

Siegfried refocused. Perhaps the Great Voice was testing him. He was determined to keep his guard deliberately down, as was his habit. Deceptive openness. A guard being up was often more telling than the alternative. It was surprising what one could avoid telling by being honest.

He held out a hand in greeting, "Minister Siegfried Justica." Indeed, he would continue to extend the same courtesy of familiarity as he would to his flock and the townspeople, despite his gut warning him. "But feel free to call me Siegfried, Minister Siegfried, whatever you like. I'm grateful to have you here. Are you local? I hope you didn't have to travel far to be here."


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