Below is a Tale of the Sevens Prophets. This page will feature a new tale or chapter on a regular basis from this expansive universe.
“The Pillar of Fools”
A Tale of the Sevens Prophets
The Sevens Prophets: diplomats, peace-keepers, and freedom fighters whose goal is to unite the seven planets in harmony: Mother, Prosper, Home, Meld, Soul, Triumph, and Sevens. The Prophets gain their powers through the blessing of their weapons from the Prophet leadership on Sevens, and are of three groups. Whites are diplomats, with powers of shielding, telekinesis, and teleporting. Golds are defenders, with powers of healing, non-lethal energy blasts, and strength. Reds are wielders of death, with powers to drain energy, shoot lethal energy blasts, and use weapons that can kill instantly. While the Prophets are not always welcome on the seven planets, they are always needed. This is one tale of their deeds. – Eelian
“Let’s start from the beginning. When exactly did you arrive at Soul?” the Blesser asked.
“I had been stationed there a year,” Harol answered, “Eight years after joining the Reds, twelve since departing Home.”
“And in that time did you find a particular reason to kill the people of that planet?” the Gold Chair challenged.
“This is not the time for accusations,” the Blesser stated, “It is the time for questions.”
“Forgive me, Blesser, but I’d say we passed needing questions the moment Prophet blood touched their weapons.”
The Sept and those observing stood in an uproar of voices as they shouted condemnation at all parties. Three Prophets of the Red stood in the center of the Sept chambers staring at the Chairs and the Blesser, while the many Prophets in the assembly gallery surrounding the chamber spat and cried for their deaths. The first accused, Harol, wept, though he visibly forced his features to remain defiant. The second, Jerard, shouted accusations just as harsh back at both the Sept and the gallery. The final, Krish, stood with his arms crossed over his chest, wearing a blank face. Invisible bonds kept his wrists strapped and a hazy aura covered him from the shield held by ten Whites, four reds with daggers ready standing behind him, and a sweating Gold cradling a half-sheathed long sword.
In the massive chamber of mixed metals and semi-precious stones, each one colorful and grand, the six Chairs looked down from their podiums as the Blesser rapped her podium with her weapon. The White’s mace pounded and the gallery silenced to listen.
“These Reds stand accused of Propheticide, Chair of the Gold. They have yet to be condemned,” the Blesser said as the echo of her mace swept over the silent gallery.
“Now,” the Blesser continued, “If you do not wish to join the ranks of the Pillar of Fools, I should expect some valid reasons for the violations for which you stand accused.”
“I didn’t kill any Prophets, Blesser,” Harol said.
All three White Chairs rose to their feet before the Blesser raised her hand to bite their tongues. “Even a first-year White can learn the trick of seeing the truth of words, Harol of the Red. Don’t forget that I am a White, and can tell if you’re lying just by looking at you.”
“Blesser,” the only male White Chair said, “There is a hint of truth in what he is saying.”
“I sense it too. That is why I think we should look further into this. You do know, Harol of the Red Prophets, that the penalty for Propheticide is immediate execution?”
“Yes, Blesser,” Harol replied, trying to make his voice sound less shaky.
“Circumstances change, Blesser,” the Red Chair interjected, “We have already made a ruling for several Prophets that killing a fellow Prophet in self-defense or in executing a cause approved by the Sept the sentence can be lessened or even thrown out.”
“True,” the Blesser stated, shifting in her seat.
“I will not stand for that nonsense again,” the Gold Chair said, standing, “Killing a Prophet is never just. Never.”
The rapping of the Blesser’s mace was once again forced to silence the gallery and the Chairs as they argued over rulings only recently concluded.
“You will maintain a Gold-like demeanor, Chair of the Golds. And the Red Chairs will remain silent as well. I would like to hear exactly what happened before we cast judgment. Harol of the Red Prophets?”
“Yes, Blesser,” Harol replied.
“You will tell us what you saw.”
Harol came along as an escort. In normal diplomatic situations, a White was all that was required. When the White may be in danger, a Gold would be sent along as well. Harol of the Red Prophets joined his Gold and White companions as they entered the granite-pillared capital of the First Empire. The White Prophet was scheduled to meet with the leaders that afternoon in a last-minute conference.
“You said you would come. You promised to be there – the two other imperial delegates are already there!” the White pleaded.
Emperor Boros didn’t respond. He merely stared at the display screen before him, leaning forward as his gold-lined breastplate chinked at the joints. Officers and attendants of the Imperial Armed Forces walked about in a storm of activity. Some bounced code off wires. Some processed recently taken photographs of activity. Some pushed the colored discs and shapes that cast large shadows on the map wall to indicate missile and bomber locations, both First Empire and others’.
Harol did no more than turn his eyes when an Imperial Guardsman inched forward.
“Emperor Boros, you must see reason.”
“I have seen the reason of your proposal Jaret of the White Prophets,” Boros said, waving off the guardsman approaching the White before they could touch her, “And yet I see no value in it.”
“Deadline. Five minutes,” Orr, the strawberry-nosed Gold said. He checked the clock on the wall, its hand counting down from the time when the many other empires of Soul would attack.
Harol’s hand twitched on his red dagger as his teeth audibly ground.
“What reason is there in destroying the planet?” Jaret pleaded, “You must come with me to the conference – it’s the only way to save your people and…”
“As I recall,” Boros interrupted, “My intelligence informs me none of the other delegates, not the President of Alexia nor even the King of Ilay have shown up to this conference of yours.” The emperor turned to an Admiral who had just walked to his leader’s side. “Have the ships lay in sight of enemy vessels. Hold fire till my order and make sure their detonation systems have been installed correctly.”
“You installed those!” Harol blurted.
The admiral paused long enough to give Harol a look strong enough to make Harol’s hands go white on his dagger’s hilt.
“According to the terms of the Treaty of the Prophets…” Jaret began.
“Yes my White friend I know of the treaty; I signed it,” Boros interrupted, “Now if you kindly would vacate the premises I have work to do.”
“Boros, the death toll from those ships alone would destroy Soul’s oceans. I have to communicate this right away – who knows how many of the other empires have reactivated those things.”
A general who had been listening in while drawing code pulled his breech-loading pistol. Before he and the many other guardsman could direct their weapons at the White Prophet, Orr had his sword out and was holding its glowing blade before all. He also placed one hand on Harol’s dagger hand, keeping the Red’s blade forcibly sheathed.
“Four minutes,” Orr stated.
“General, the enemy is out there not in here,” Boros said as the imperials in the command center lowered their arms, “And don’t disregard my people’s ability to conquer over adversity, my good Prophets. We are aware of the lesser nations’ efforts to mimic our devices.”
“Emperor Boros, have you ever seen what those things can do?” Jaret asked.
“I should hope.” The emperor’s gilded armor jingled as he laughed. “Beautiful display. And how fitting that the year we reach to the sun we are able to bring its raw beauty to the surface of Soul. Poetic isn’t it?”
“Emperor. Millions of lives hang in the balance of what you’re about to decide.”
“And I am certain the men and women leading the other nations are very much aware of the same weight upon their shoulders, illustrated by the Prophets hanging on their every word.” He took a moment to shift the placement of a round disc on another continent and point out the change to a code-talker. “I would dismiss you, or forcibly remove you if either would have any effect.”
“There is no reason in your actions, Emperor Boros,” Jaret said and took one slightly too-deep breath, “You must explain…”
“Plead to me why. Beg for a reversal.” Those around the emperor joined in his mocking laughter. “Weep for the soon to be dead. Is that what your other Prophets are doing at this moment?”
“Three minutes,” Orr said, his sword still glowing golden.
“I shall explain what I do in simple terms, Prophet. I do this because it is the fulfillment of all the dreams of our fathers and sons, a dream of the First Empire since its founding.”
“Only in a nightmare could such madness seem beauty,” Jaret offered.
“And yet my people cheer. Even now they line the streets in anticipation – you can see it! Use your White Prophet powers and view my imperial children singing songs of joy for the coming conflict.”
“Their emperor brings them no conflict, only death.”
“You underestimate my children, Prophet. We will endure this.”
“One does not have to endure something one puts upon himself. Why start this conflict if it accomplishes you nothing other than causing conflict?”
“Still no sign of the other delegates, hmm?” the emperor laughed.
Jaret adjusted her gem-encrusted crown, trying to hide its White glow as she scanned the planet for activity. Though Harol couldn’t hear a word, it was almost as though he could sense the flurry of telepathic shouting going on from Whites across the globe.
“I will tell you why, Prophet,” the emperor said, “Because it is our time to rise above our planet. It is time for my people to rise.”
“Your madness has grown unbreakable if you believe that,” Jaret said.
“Madness, and yet it is the shared dream of all leaders of Soul. Only the Prophets are trying to stop this conflict – I ask you then why. Why do you persist on stopping a conflict universally accepted by the people of this planet? Why are you interfering so deeply?”
“Because what you’re doing is wrong.”
“Two minutes,” Orr said, “Empires warming up launches.”
“Tactical information I am already aware of, my Gold friend,” Boros said and gave quick orders to half a dozen officers.
“Emperor. Emperor! Boros!” Jaret screamed, “You can’t do this!”
“Will the Prophets stop me?”
“We will do all we can to convince you…”
“No, no. Will the Prophets stop me?”
“We are here to guide you to the…”
“Do not baby me Prophet! We have harnessed the power of water to propel our airships and seaships. We have wrapped the sun itself in a box lying in wait for the will of a single soul. We who have been to space and set foot on the three moons we once thought untouchable – we and a hundred others on Soul who have done this, and the First Empire greatest among them, ask you: will you go against our will!”
Orr’s hand eased enough that Harol was able to slowly draw his dagger.
“Answer me Prophet!”
“We, can only guide you. Not force you.”
“Very good.” The emperor placed his hands behind his back and smiled at the lighted map. “Launch changes are approved generals. Our new time is exactly three seconds earlier than anticipated to make changes for the movements along the southern seas.”
“Emperor, should we move to the bunker?” an officer manning the map suggested.
“Nonsense. We are fine here. The attack will go as planned and I assure you we…”
“You have to stop this,” Jaret pleaded, tears in her eyes.
“Ah, there it is. There is the pleading I was looking for. No, Prophet. This conflict will come. And Soul will gladly embrace it.”
“One minute,” Orr said.
“Thank goodness we didn’t have to go to that conference. What an annoyance hearing the other…”
“Harol, Harol no.”
“Let go,” Harol said.
“Harol, this is not our time.”
“Let go you fool!”
“I just got word,” Jaret said, leaning on the nearby coding station for support, “We have to leave.”
“Prepare us both then,” Orr said.
“Launch now. The timing is irrelevant,” the emperor said as Harol’s dagger shone blood red, “Let the sky burn. Let the…”
Orr screamed in pain as Harol’s dagger sank into his thigh and ripped out, shedding blood on the emperor as another dazzling streak blew a hole in his breastplate.
“Harol!” Jaret screamed.
Before the emperor could gurgle Harol had his blade at the man’s throat. “Stop it,” he threatened, “Stop it now!”
“Can’t. Won’t,” the emperor laughed with blood coming out his mouth as half a hundred breach-loaders were shouldered toward the Red.
“Do it or you die!”
The emperor only laughed.
Harol panted as he looked around, spying less than a minute on the wall clock. “No time for this.”
The same blow that cut Boros’s throat sent a blast of energy that exploded against the command center. Smoke and flames immediately enveloped the domed building and threw off the shots of the guards attempting to avenge their emperor.
The next strike came from Orr as he tried to knock Harol’s blade away.
“Harol we’ve been ordered to evacuate!” Jaret pleaded.
“Is that what you’re doing?” Harol asked as he blocked Orr’s sword.
“Yes! Orr stop that and…”
Through the smoke and flames Harol dove and grabbed Jaret by the arm. “Sorry,” was all he said as color fled Jaret’s skin and the red in Harol’s dagger grew brighter.
“No!” Orr screamed the instant Harol found the spot in Jaret’s mind giving him the locations of the other leaders of Soul, and disappeared.
The instant Harol arrived in the blue-tiled, arch-lined chamber with display maps and coding stations he unleashed a fury of crimson energy. Men and women alike screamed as explosions tore through the building. He located the president and blasted a solid stream of red that cut her down. Every standing person he shot while keeping awareness of time.
When he arrived at the red and yellow flag-studded command center with its many windows and A-framed ceiling open to the sky he teleported right next to the leader’s location and slit him in two. A machine gun series of crimson shot from his blade as he unleashed fury on the command center. The Prophets who’d been there chased after him so that he had to teleport.
At this location he didn’t bother to check for the leader, nor for the Prophets. He simply lowered his weapon and blasted a wave of destruction that annihilated the building of a color he didn’t bother checking, teleporting away a microsecond before the heat struck him.
No Prophets were present at the next capital he destroyed.
The next he teleported to was already destroyed, fires raging. He shot and killed the only man visible, screaming in pain before the Red bolt silenced him.
His trickle of remaining White power told him that only one leader remained alive. When he teleported there he saw a White holding a shield above her and the entire copper dome that housed the Emperor of this particular nation.
“Stop!” the unknown White shouted when she saw Harol. She placed a second shield around him that prevented him from firing into the crowd.
“We have to kill them!” Harol screamed, “Put your shield down so I can kill them! It’s the only way we can stop them from killing each other!” He fired bolts of furious energy that flew like stones into water before the invisible barrier.
“We have to kill them all! Before it’s too late!”
“Red, we’ve been ordered to evacuate.”
“We have to kill them! Help me! Why are you protecting this building?”
“Because the bombs have already been launched.”
Harol dropped his dagger.
A Prophet with a short sword teleported next to the White and slit her throat before teleporting away. In fright and confusion Harol screamed and put the last of his White energy into a shield as a deafening glow exploded against his senses.
“Defending yourself against a nuclear blast is quite the achievement for someone inexperienced with White techniques,” the Blesser noted.
“Jaret was one of the most powerful White Prophets, Blesser,” the White Chair said, “Used to shielding during the wars of Prosper. It was the reason she was sent to negotiate with the emperor.”
“I see. You limited the danger, and yet accidentally gave the accused all the power he could ever need.”
“It…would appear so.”
“Harol of the Red Prophets.”
“Ye-yes, Blesser?” Harol said, taking a slight step away from Jerard, the Red beside him.
“You say you witnessed Propheticide at the building in Soul known as the Electric Palace?”
The gallery responded to this with smirks and chuckles behind palms as some bold few exchange whispers and smiles. Electric Palace was a popular name for exotic dance clubs on at least three planets.
“I will have calm,” the Blesser’s voice shot into the gallery without echo, “This could easily become a private matter. The gallery will remain silent and listen intently – and listen alone.” The Blesser cast a glare at the silent Prophets before turning her eyes on Harol.
“You witnessed the murder of a Prophet, Harol,” the Blesser said, “Is the individual in this room?”
“Of course he’s in this room it was him right there,” Harol said and pointed to the man cracking his knuckles beside him.
“This is an official case, Harol, and we must be exact for posterity. Is the person who committed Propheticide in this room?”
“Can you point to him?”
The second Harol’s arm pointed to the Jerard the man shouted, “Duty! It was duty not murder! The order came from you if you…”
“We are not to you yet.”
“The Sept gave the order to pull out and leave Soul to its fate. I was trying to stop a civil war! I…”
The Blesser didn’t twitch when she gave a telepathic order to one of the Gold guards standing behind the accused. His hand clasped on Jerard’s wrist silenced him with a yelp of protest as the Red instinctively went to his belt. When his hand found no short sword he lowered his arm.
“The next outburst will cause me to place you in a shield,” the Blesser noted when Jerard had calmed down enough for the guard to step back, though he remained within reach, “Now, Harol, can you name the individual you accuse of Propheticide?”
“When we came into the Sept, you said his name was Jerard,” Harol noted.
Like the slow opening of an aged door the Blesser shifted her gaze to the Red Prophet in the middle. “Jerard of the Red Prophets. You stand accused of Propheticide.”
“I…” Jerard began before the White raised her still dim mace.
“Do not force me to shield you from outbursts. I intend to get answers from you not averted accusations.”
“This man killed more Prophets than any ever known!” the Gold Chair growled, “Even asking him to tell his side goes against everything the Sevens Prophets stand for.”
“I think you will find, my Gold companion, that the opposite is true.”
“I refuse to allow this. I call for a vote of the Sept to silence this murderer immediately!”
Two Gold and White Chairs stood in agreement with the first Gold. They called for a vote and began raising their hands in favor of immediate execution. Only the Blesser’s mace rapping on the podium set them back to their chairs.
“This is not something we can vote on,” the Blesser announced, “The Prophets have few laws but the one I am not going to violate is the procedure on execution.”
“The Prophets have few laws so that we may execute judgment on a contextual basis. Change and adaptation are fundamental and the very reason a vote on execution should be allowed.”
“Not to educate a White on Prophet law,” the Red Chair said, “But this case follows exactly on Prophet law.”
“How so?” the Blesser asked.
“The law states any witness of Propheticide is to immediately execute the murderer. Then be brought before the Sept for the truth of the action to be seen.” He spoke then to Jerard. “Then, if he is found to be truthful, he is given recovery time. If he is false, he is immediately himself executed. The only violation of the law is Harol was unable to execute Jerard at the time of his Propheticide.”
“That’s a twisting of the law!” the Gold accused.
“It’s closer than what you suggest, Chair of the Gold, so please stay seated,” the Blesser said.
The Gold Chair’s face seemed pinched for a moment before all tension flooded from his face. When he sat down he was the picture of composure.
“In order to validate Harol’s claim of Propheticide, we must investigate this further,” the Blesser continued, “Jerard of the Red, you say it was duty that forced you to kill Prophets. Explain.”