The fear was so thick in the air you could have tasted it. The red in the fasts of the Green family was not that of embarrassment but of being discovered. These Courts had yet to have fully revealed their power and I knew now this would be my first glimpse into what these people really were.
And so we waited. Mrs. Green took the hand of her two sons like they were children and shut her eyes tightly as she began to mumble words under her breath. I could assume safely it was some sort of prayer. If I had a faith of my own I might have done the same. Zek was shaking uncontrollably as he’d seen things in his time that would have made anyone shake, I was sure.
The noise wasn’t even the hard part, either. It was the wait. While the alarms sounded and bright lights started to illuminate every inch of the grounds outside and the sounds of engines running came closer and closer onto the cottage, hairs on the back of my neck started to stand. Danger was coming and yet this was not the sort I could simply run from. This was the great authority.
Sweet relief only came when the alarms stopped and the lights turned red. Before a knock would even come, the door flew open and both Zek and myself were forced into jumping onto the family seats to avoid contact with the shattered wood. While I expected men to follow, I was so very wrong I couldn’t breathe for what seemed to be a century.
Heavy steps pounded their way onto the stone before the door and then onto the rickety old wood of the floor in the cottage. Entering the family home was two incredibly tall, man-shaped robots. They wore, what looked like, white and gray uniforms that some sort of military would wear with the facial features even of men with bright red eyes and silver that reflected every surface including the red lights causing them to glow like demons in the night.
It took this to throw my mind into a sort of reality I didn’t expect. Technologically advanced was an understatement for this place. It would have even been an insult for me to feel as if I was familiar with this as the haze of reality turning into what felt like hallucination caused my legs to grow weak when I tried to stand. This was fiction.
I expected as much fear to fill the eyes of the family however they were as tense as ever without the shock of cyborgs entering their home. This was the part they expected. These were service military to the Circles and this was what looked like a surprise inspection as to the loyalty of this host family.
“Green family, recite to us Script Four while we inspect your home for treasonous items. Your guests are to bow or you will be given a negative mark on this review.”
It didn’t take much for Zek and I to do as told and in one single movement, the five of us fell to our knees and bowed our heads. Before the family started with their relay of holy text worshiped by this place, I could hear at least three other cyborgs standing outside as the grounds were also inspected.
“And the heavens melted away to expose the Gods above. Life, Death and the World looked at the sinners of this world and shook their heads at the ignorance we possessed. More ignorant than children, we wandered this world without order, without purpose and without guidance. A great man diseases washed over the people. Even children grew ill from the grotesque habits of those who did not obey.
“Only with the love and patience of the Gods did the Circles develop order in the world. To pray was to prove loyalty. To give faith in the Circles was our truest form of freedom in knowing our salvation would be guaranteed at the gates above. Many would die for the cause and those who doubt, to this day, will be punished in such a doubt for to punish is to only prove the love that Order and Obedience provides.
“Without the guidance of our Gods we will burn below in an underworld worse than any man, woman or child can bestow upon us. Let not a single human, even child, walk the surface of this world without the true heart of the Gods or they will be struck down in a fury of heathens misguided.”
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Queen of RebellionScience Fiction
The Seven Circles created a community of obedience and order to be obeyed to the highest degree. In a world where your own thoughts could get you killed, the people had lost hope in ever returning to the freedom they once had. When a woman from anot...