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The Dark Pilgrim Series
Book 4: Dark Enlightenment
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RELEASE DATE:  Spring 2008
      There does indeed exist such a planet, from where all mankind arose to branch out into the rest of the galaxy as was the Creator's will from the beginning of time."
      "He's mad!" Dione yelled as she stood with a start, pointing at the holo-vid as if it could see her, react to her.  She turned her head to look at Cebrenia, who sat with hands steepled together, silently contemplating what she was hearing.  "Aren't you going to do something?! You have to stop this transmission, else all will be lost!"
      Cebrenia arched an eyebrow, then reached down agilely and pulled out an Imperium class III blaster and stunned the annoying woman into unconsciousness.  "How's that for doing something?"
      Coronalis' speech rolled onward despite Eridanus' yelp of surprise.  "Humans have a rich and varied history, a culture polished and refined when we used to all work together, strive together for common goals, common wealth.  A time when there was not one all pervading religion like we now have, like the Drek have with their J'tan.  Humans once had many religions, many ways to glorify the Creator encompassing a wide range of beliefs and ceremonies, doctrines and dogmas.  It was a time of religious freedom, not of intolerance toward change or truth.
      "We are now more like the Drek and their J'tan than ever before.  We just call it something different.  Those who fought for our religious freedom in the Great War of Religious Independence against the Drek would be aghast at what we have allowed The Church to do to humanity.  Had the Drek won that war, there would be no difference between what the Drek would have done and what our own religious leaders have done.  We just call it The Church of the Blessed Prophets rather than J'tan, a name given to the devil's own handy work by that deceitful and heretical demon we sacrilegiously call St. Aurum Gossomer.  She destroyed our history and our pride as effectively as the Dwad-Mehstiv did or the Drek tried and yet we call her our savior, our Prophet.  She is neither.  She was and still is the death of humanity."
      "May the Creator preserve us," Eridanus breathed out as his hands went to his mouth in shock.
      "The recent attacks against humanity, the virus that kills like a plague of locust, the Drek attacks and the still unknown enemy who destroys entire fleets in secret, are the Creator's punishment for our wanderings, for our senseless trek through a wilderness of guile and self-aggrandizement which our supposed blessed savior has set us on.  We must change our sinful ways else suffer the full wrath of He who gave us life, who gave us the choice of free will.
      "We must destroy that which has been set up over us and return to the ways of our ancestors, those intrepid souls who once lived and died on Earth so that we could live.  We must rise up as one and speak our true voice, regain our lost religions and rites and in that uprising, create the world that our Creator wanted us to have, demands that we possess.
      "We must destroy The Church of the Blessed Prophets as the trothless, sinful, wicked organization it is and learn the truth of our heritage!  We must restore that which was, before it is too late and the Creator's punishment engulfs us in pits of hellfire and loathing and we are no better than the Drek or the Druzsni who worship idols and ideas based on lies!  Humanity will be strong again, humanity will be powerful!  Humanity will be right and those who are righteous will always prevail!  Join me now for the holy crusade to free ourselves from the depths of despair and let us begin the second war of religious independence!"
      The holo-grid blinked out, leaving a hollow, deathly silence in the office, the smell of the blaster discharge still lingering in the air like an after-effect of the fiery speech.  Eridanus turned toward his charge, his face pale and drawn as if he had been told his children had just been all killed, lost at the moment for words with which to articulate his abomination.
      Cebrenia didn't really see him, her eyes focused on the wall behind the holo-grid, her tongue working slowly along her pearly white teeth, her hand still laying loosely on the blaster on her desk, tapping absently away with her fingers, her other hand laid atop her belly, comforting. "Well, that was certainly interesting," she purred evenly.  "The man hasn't lost his touch."

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