Working on the novel, nearly done

I know my work is spotty, but here’s a chapter of something I’m working on.

Chapter 18: Requiem for a Poisoned Chalice

Edmund neither desired to be tested, nor looked forward to whatever challenge was set before him. He didn’t avoid challenge in what he thought of as his ‘real’ life of not being tormented by fairyland. This was getting beyond what he thought of as ‘acceptable’. He wanted his real life with his family and his school and his own bed and not the couch of some fairy godmother in between charity cases.

He sighed. He shouldn’t be ungrateful, the food had delighted him. Her protection of his siblings saved their lives. That little fairy had healed his feet and not even tried to put him into a Faustian bargain. He pushed away the negative thoughts and focused. A task awaited him.

He considered the grey fog he walked through, and wondered whether he passed any of his siblings struggling with their combatants. As much as it bothered him, Jack was a goner. Probably eaten by trolls, or stepped on by a giant. In fact, the amount of things that could happen kept dancing through his mind. Mika was being served rotisserie style. Richard probably was getting gored by some mystical beast in an ironic twist for the hunter. Lucy running for her life in some hellish race. Susan facing, likely, the ghosts of the past and Peter stuck in some contest against that giant minotaur. Maybe one of them had cursed shoes and was dancing for a hundred years in a cursed masque ball, if they were lucky.

The fog cleared a little, and he could see a squat form, like a toad, sitting at a table. As things became clearer, the form turned into a full toad. No, it changed to be a toad like elf. The fat thing squatted before a sumptuously laid out table. Framed by sweet meats, fruits of all climes, and overflowing bowls of candies, a lazy susan slowly spun in the center, with a pair of goblets and a flagon on top of it. The goblets were covered in beaten red gold, with gems and platinum filigree. The flagon seemed to be made of moonstone or quartz, for it glimmered in strange ways. Through the nearly glass-like quality of the minerals, Edmund could see crimson liquid sloshing within, as the toad-like elf idly fiddled with the lazy susan.

The face of the thing flopped and expanded as the ugly thing breathed. It took in an immense breath, and expanded to twice his height and width. Then, like a balloon collapsing, it spoke to him, each syllable ruffled Edmund’s hair and flapped his collar. The smell singed Edmund’s nose hairs, causing him to flinch. In every way, it looked like a toad in human form.

“Well! Look who’s here! One of the children, first in a very long while, pity under less than magical conditions.” The greenish elf leaned down, and whispered conspiratorially, which means he merely spoke loudly, not shouted. The smell got worse. “I’m more traditional than the rest the nobles here. And I like playing these things traditionally, you see!”

He paused, and leaned back, hand playing over the goblets and the flagon. Edmund said, “I see you’ve set out food and drink. Two goblets. Is one poisoned? The poisoned chalice gambit is considered a classic in our side of things!”

“Ho ho!” And with that laugh, Edmund fell on his behind from the breeze. Despite the foetid smell, Edmund felt that his flattery had been the right call. “I’m so glad you recognized it! But the poison is much more subtle! Death isn’t as fun for our kind as a hundred year sleep! You don’t know how funny it is to see them wake up and everything is different and unknown. They run around, grabbing people and shaking them.” The toad mimicked the panic of a man out of his own time. “Oh no! What’s going on? What’s happening? What are these clothes? What is that thing flying in the sky!? I don’t know what memes are! I can’t understand you!” The elf laughed and laughed.

Edmund laughed in kind. Partly, the toad-like elf was so ridiculous that Edmund couldn’t help himself, but also, the laughter was infectious. Too infectious. Edmund kept laughing, but carefully now, reading the motions and the table. The lazy susan still turned slowly under the almost careless fingers of the elf. “My name is Numenoad, and I rule all the pools from what you call Oregon down to the foot hills of El Dorado. I want you to know that you’re not fighting some… TOADY!” And the two of them laughed for a good moment.

“I’m glad for your consideration! A hundred year sleep sounds awful, and I can’t let down my siblings like that. Hm, any news of them so far?”

Numenoad gained a sly look. “Have you got a toad pun or a joke for me?”

Edmund made a great show of thinking one up. He ‘hummed’ and ‘hawed. He scratched his chin and rubbed his neck. “Weeeeellll now…” Numenoad leaned forward in anticipation. “Do you accept rhymes?” Numenoad grinned but shook his head. “Sad. Well, I’m glad I’m not going to… croak.”

Numenoad’s giant, bulbous eyes widened. “Rough, but serviceable! Clearly, you aren’t a wordsmith. Ah well, the time of bards is long gone and the next one to come is quite a bit of a hop away! What did I expect? If you win, I’ll be happy to tell you who needs the most help.” Edmund nodded.

The thick, mucus covered fingers stopped the lazy susan. “Feel free to pour the wine!” Edmund looked at the flagon askance. Numenoad laughed, again nearly falling from his perch, so greatly did he rock in his seat. “I don’t blame you for that, this is a battle of wits! Over a hundred years ago, I poisoned the handle of the flagon. I almost think it unfair, you being a tadpole compared to me… but I haven’t done this in a long time.” The webbed hands lifted the gem-like flagon and poured the wine. Edmund could smell the strong alcohol in it.

Edmund began to talk. “I can’t smell any difference. I think you played this straight. If you were doing this every day, to fight the boredom, you’d switch it up. I wonder if you even know which one it is? You’ve been sitting here a long time, you could have lost track.”

Numenoad pointed to one of them. The goblets were identical in all points, as were the two portions of wine. “This is the goblet with the ‘poison’.”

Edmund flinched. He didn’t expect this. “You could be lying. But I’ve read some fairies can’t lie.” The goblet on the right didn’t look any different. If they just pooled the poison at the bottom of the cup, he wouldn’t be able to see it.

“I can. I’m not so proud. And besides, this is my favorite game! Games have special rules about such things! It gets me hopping excited!” The squat elf let out a ‘ribbit’. “Pardon.”

Edmund continued to think. There’s always a trick to this. It could be a simple misdirection. It could actually be the goblet with the poison. It could be that he pointed to that one so that he would suspect it. The wine itself could be poisoned, but Edmund did not want to test it, just in case. He didn’t have any of Susan’s or his mother’s draughts or anything from Grandma Goodness’ house that might come in handy all of a sudden. He could literally go down infinite possibilities of the two options, based on how far Numenoad had thought it, and Edmund would bet any amount of money that he had the perfect strategies.

He went over his options. He couldn’t flip the table, that would probably end poorly for him. He could just grab the goblet, or the opposite goblet and risk it. He could… do something else.

“You know, this reminds me of some jokes. How about this? I’ll choose after three jokes.”

Numenoad laughed, but he placed his hands over his mouth. He did his best to cover up his fits of giggles. His eyes became mere slits as he sought to control himself. “Alright alright! But I’m going to warn you, I’m heard some real croakers in my day!”

“So, this is a favorite of my joke books: A cowboy lost his favorite book while on the range. One day he looks down and a toad has it in his mouth. He takes it up in surprise. He shouts, ‘It’s a miracle!’ The toad replies, ‘Not really, your name is on the cover.’” Numenoad guffawed, just once.

“Another one: A man goes to the movies. He looks around, and sees that there’s a toad besides him. He says to himself ‘I didn’t think toads went to the movies. How weird.’ The toad replies. ‘It’s not so weird, the book was great!’” Numenoad began to giggle, the air sacks on his back expanded and deflated rapidly.

“Last one! Then we choose! An old man goes out fishing. After a while he hears a voice say, ‘Pick me up!’ Well he doesn’t see anyone so he thinks he just dreamed it up. Then, he hears the voice again. ‘Pick me up!’ He looks around and sees a toad on the pier next to him. ‘Are you talking to me?’ He says. The toad replies, “Yep! I’m talking to you. Pick me up and kiss me and I’ll turn into the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen. You’ll have me as your bride and every one of your friends will be jealous.’ The man looked at the toad and thought about it for a few minutes, then, he put the toad in his front pocket. The toad screamed, “What, are you nuts? Didn’t you hear me? I said kiss me and I will be your beautiful bride!’ It was getting ‘hopping’ mad! The old man looked down at the toad and said, ‘Nah, at my age I’d rather have a talking toad!’”

Numenoad opened his mouth wide in a great “HA!” And just at that second, quick as lightning, Edmund grasped both goblets and splashed them into Numenoad’s wide open mouth!

The toad-like elf gasped and swallowed in surprise. “Well that’s never been done before. They try to spill it, not drink it, hide it… well. Good game! Ha ha ha ha!” Numenoad began to sway and his immense eyes drooped.

Edmund rushed over and cradled him as he fell over. “Wait! Your promise! Tell me if any of my siblings are in danger, and where I can find them!”

Numenoad pointed into the fog that still surrounded them. “There, you will find a younger sister in dire need of help. She is at the gate of the giant’s spice rack. She is not in mortal danger, if she gets help soon.” Numenoad giggled as he drifted off. “I should have defined the rules better. I’ll remember that for the next one. But a good game of the poison chalice involves turning it on its head, after all! You’re pretty good, kid!” And with that, Numenoad began his one hundred year sleep.

Edmund laid him down respectfully and ran into the fog as fast as he could.

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The Old Guard is dying, She wants in!

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I’m not going to lie, I don’t think much of the old guard. Not… MUCH… AT ALL!

Continue reading The Old Guard is dying, She wants in!

The Marriage of Narrative and Aesthetic in Steampunk

I have to blog more. My self-promotion is limp-wristed.

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STEAMPUNK IRONMAN! BABY YESSSSSSS!

Continue reading The Marriage of Narrative and Aesthetic in Steampunk

Personal Goals: King of the Writing Millennials!

As far as I’m concerned, there has been a desert of good science fiction and fantasy since, I don’t know, about 1950s-60s to about 2000 or so. The exceptions are many, but that leads to names everyone should already known. Asimov, Heinlein, Vance and a few others lead the top of the roster, but I’ve been continuously disappointed by anything not top shelf, and even Asimov’s Foundation series has lost its luster since I’ve grown up.

Many problems arise, from the beginning of message fiction, to the loss of the creative sparks of the pulp era to just a simple lack of action. Examples: Foundation has almost no action, being focused on the ideas of psycho-history and other subjects Asimov was interested in. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has action (repeated asteroid strikes and fighting in the moon tunnels, anyone?), but the protagonist rarely participates in it. Starship troopers may have been Heinlein’s crowning work by just having some dang fine action to keep things interesting between Heinlein’s philosophy lectures.

About 1990, Star Wars novels got good, but I can’t say the same thing about free standing Sci-fi novels. The Belisaurius series by David Drake and Eric Flint, The Dragon Never Sleeps (kinda… that’s an article by itself) by Glen Cook and then uh… Hrm. I should have wrote this in my room, where my library is stationed. The Saga of Seven Suns? (not that I own that mediocrity) It’s just a pity I can’t remember more. I looked a while back over my library, and besides some modern stuff from the last, I don’t know, 15 years to now, almost everything is approaching or way past the 100 year mark. I’ve got the first thirteen books of the Redwall series, some Cyberpunk from the eighties and some star wars books bridging the gap. So damn few.

And what’s more, most of what people have been recommending me from that era or close by isn’t really hitting my standards for a fun romp and read. Many times I just get bored since the author has good ideas but can’t pace for crap and so when he should be having a startling revelation or a chase seen, he’s spending a chapter on a dinner scene! I’m calling you out, Country of the Blind! I don’t give two shits that your character ordered London broil! They should have been talking during the scene the Strong and Independent Black Woman (TM) searched the computation rooms!

I should utter jubilation and hallelujahs to the Most High God that the Pulp Revolution, (#pulprev) and the Superversives and Noblebright and so many others are rising to the challenge. I am deeply blessed to being published by the Superversive Press, and that is why I am writing this now.

I want to rise with them. I’m writing this post because I don’t want to keep anything about my goals secret. I’m not some secret king retreating from a ‘victory’ on twitter or facebook to lick my wounds and morally posture like that gamma, Scalzi. I am brimming with confidence, if it’s God’s Will, I’ll achieve everything here. I’ll speak plain, lest I speak down or above my station: I am going to die the greatest Millennial sci-fi and fantasy writer. Of all my generational cohort, I will stand at the top, the king. I will write the books I wanted to read. To facilitate that, I invite everyone to read Astounding Frontiers (up to vol. 2 as of writing). My Seraglio is in there, as well as some others and numerous short stories that are just great. Read it, and know I desire and look to a golden age of sci-fi to come. I desire the crown, but if I can help raise a new golden age of sci-fi yet be forgotten, that too is a great dream and worthy dream.

My goals are simple, punch up to the subversives. Every time I put out a serious novel, or any of my short stories, I want them to tingle with ‘the good stuff’. You know it, that glorious cocktail of action, adventure, philosophy, wonder and dreams. I don’t want a single person to go “Aw man, how boring! I could have spent my time better!” I’m not going to go crazy here, but I think everyone should know what I want.

I want revelatory shoot outs from the crossbeams of a Space Elevator under construction around an alien world. I want an Angry Scotsman (TM) cutting his way through an alien army who thought that just because they caught him napping, they could invade earth. I want a lone scientist to discover a galaxy wide threat and defeat it with a newly invented anti-doomsday gun in one hand and a hot blond elf-alien in the other. I want Dr. Steamcannon vaulting a burning zeppelin to defeat the evil crippled Dr. Herod and his battle loving Scotsman (TM) body guard as they attempt to get away with kidnapping the queen or burning London for its ‘crimes against humanity’. I want high octane literary adventure in worlds and dreams beyond my own imagination. I don’t want an Alice in Wonderland dark remix. I don’t want a sex-fueled drug romp. I don’t want my Dr. Steamcannon to talk about British Colonialism for five pages, I want him to rebuke Dr. Herod’s Social Justice agenda with a pistol whipping and then he goes home to his similarly to Dr. Herod crippled but virtuous wife for a subtle message that it’s bigger than just ‘justice’.

I search for it, and I’m beginning to find it in various books and sources. I hope to find more. The problem I had with Jon Del Arroz’ For Steam and Country is that feeling that he held back. (and James. The boy needs to die tragically and painfully preferably wrestling the emperor during a thunderstorm on the roof of the evil palace) When he could have delivered megaton punch after steampowered megaton punch with the airship fight and the giant and everything else, I felt that he held back. Ben’s law of Ship to Ship combat: The rarer the ship, the more awesome the fight must be. Now, the sequel sounds great, and I would encourage people to read it, the ending is worth it, but still, it’s stuck in my craw. It’s a lesson to me, to never be satisfied. To pursue the ramping of awesome and emotions to heights undreamed. My audience will want me to ramp it back, but they will never complain I didn’t go far enough.

And then I’m back down again, from glorious imagination to reality. I’m remembering how dry many of the 80s to 90s books I’ve read are. I remember seeing things like Earthsea peter out and die. And lets be real here, they’re fairly dry books. My favorite being the second one, where there seems to be actual threat to the protagonist in the catacombs. There’s no great and defiant fight of pyrotechnics magic, or even the quiet will of good against evil and the grief of Gandalf’s fight against the balrog. The villain of the third book basically gives up and dies.

I fear, and will talk about this fear in another article, that the millennials will be another ‘Silent Generation’ compared to Generations to come (Zyklon and on) and the Gen Xers. We grew up on the leavings of people more concerned with messages and ‘real life’ (or whatever it is that Country of the Blind wanted) than a great story.

I want to know, who did this to an entire generation? I want to know, how can I make them pay?

Who am I kidding? I have a damn good idea who did this to me and my cohorts. I’ve read Vox’s blog and others. I’m coming for you. I’m weak now, laugh at me. Throw roadblocks in my way. I welcome it! I want to struggle to reach the top! I am not nearly as good as I need to be yet. I will reach that height, and by that time, do me a favor and die ignobly. You are not Brutus, who killed Sci-fi in the forum. You are Cassius, a dishonorable man. Fall on your sword, you who made my childhood isolation worse! Or better yet, wait until I’m famous. Read my books and despair, for I wrote them for you and me. Me and mine for adventure and glory and the brighter morning. To force open the armor of the heart and whisper that morning comes! Awake and fight! For you, to burn in the light of the God I serve and to scream that nothing you do will compare.

By the Grace of God, I will earn every accolade you were given on a silver platter through my sheer skill and glory in the writing arena. My muse is mad and screaming, and I listen and glean from her gems of plot, character and story that you  -you iconoclasts! You book burners! you anarchists! You rapists of Genres! You doomed men and women!- could never dream! I’ll wager that my gibbering muse and my berserk nature against the crumbling might of Tor that I can out write the greatest of their modernist, feminist, istist roster!

The Dragon awards are happening this weekend. I wish John C. Wright and others like Declan Finn the best in your categories. I’ll join you at the top soon!

Look forward to the third vol. of Astounding Frontiers! My story really takes off in that volume!

Now enjoy some metal versions of Disney and other movie songs. relax, my dreams are years off.

Beyond Sin, Free Will

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It’s a metaphor! Would you kindly read this article?

The fallen nature of man is beholden to nothing but base desires and appetites and passes away as quickly. We who serve Christ are given cessation to those desires and needs, but only the edge of them. Consider, that before Christ, the only real choice an unsaved man can make is the acceptance of Christ or not. Any and all other choices fade with time. Those like the author of His Dark Materials are puppets dancing to their sinful appetites. They do not actually do anything to show free will through their rebellion to God.

The choice between McDonalds and BurgerKing or even between eating at home or eating out can be traced back to previous non-choices and to non-choices before that. The desire to diet isn’t itself a choice, but rather, the decision to overcome your deficiencies because those deficiencies became too much for your subconscious to bear.

To provide an example. If you are driving to work (which is by no means a statement of free will as you will not take the consequence of being fired for not showing up to work to demonstrate free will and you are not about to hike into the forest and live as a wild man) and are hungry, and a McDonalds shows up. Because you have previously associated McDonalds with Fast and Acceptable, you choose it, thanks to the marketing of others. You order from the drive through because, again, you are on your way to work. You eat on the way. Such thing is a matter of expediency, I’m sure. The choice of McDonalds over Burger King or others is meaningless because you are not trying somewhere new.

Even when you try something new it is because you have hit some marker in your subconscious that states you are tired of the same old. The choice to choose different was already made. What is a bit of a coinflip is what restaurant you enter, but if you have had no spicy food in a long time, it is reasonable for a man to choose a place that sells such. Then, simply by looking at ones wallet, ones spending habits, ones taste in restaurant, anyone can pin it down what you might choose with enough information. A man of middle class taste and wallet, but a desire for the familiar, will choose such a restaurant as to be a Mexican chain restaurant, or one his friends have already put into his mind in some conversatoin. A woman saying, “I just HAVE to try something new!” Likely already has what she means in mind and it is because someone she feels a need to emulate or equal has done that thing already. Or even baser, to one up the person who wanted to try that thing by having it first. They are no clockwork automatons, for those would not care about the spice of their food, but the choices they could make are predictable. They do not surprise the omniscient, and, honestly, they do not surprise those who know something of human nature.

When it comes to day to day living, I am utterly unconvinced the average man shows nothing that could be interpreted as free will. You might counter: “But he did not make such and such a choice, but another” The choice to not make a choice is not a part of free will in your day to day life. If you say to me, I could become a serial murderer but I didn’t! I will laugh at you, straw man, for your weak heart is incapable of psychopathy. A psychopath would read this and nod somberly, having already accepted the more extreme version of my thesis.

The only time an unsaved man may make a real choice beyond the mundane life is when the Holy Spirit as Conscience or the Still Small Voice works on him and turns his heart to things above or better. He might be turned aside to give charity. He might give a bigger tip out of pity or because the worker chose to be better than an automaton in his job. He might give an encouraging word instead of looking inward. He might choose Christ!

When the choice of Christ is made, the game changes from 2D to 3D, in a way. Now, you are not choosing along a line of depravity, but rather, the choice of the sublime or the subterranean. Take the choice for those who engage in sexual sin. For the unsaved, unless Love moves them, they are only seeking self-sexual gratification. Or, even baser, the woman seeks to trap the man with a child. The choice not to comes down to self interest, which is predicated on the thousand things you have done before. A habit of screwing club sluts means that you are likely not going to not screw club sluts if given the opportunity, until your subconscious gets tired of the repetition. I have not even gone into those who are ruled by society’s mores! That is simply more of the same, except instead of selfishness, it is based on how much shame or ridicule you can bear in your choices.

BUT! Say you are a Christian. Besides the infinite benefit of not going to hell, you are also given a stronger feeling of right and wrong. Rather than serve selfish interest or the selfish society, you serve Christ, God and the Holy Spirit. If you study, and even if you don’t, you will be given direction of a sort. Not the literal direction, I won’t promise that, but rather, the nudging and guilt that comes with your actions. Because you now know something of right and wrong, it adds depth. God is Holy, and because He is Holy, He has rules. Not the limiting sort of rules, but the rules that comes naturally to a station and to His Nature.

Because He is Holy, He cannot be unHoly. Because He cannot be unHoly, those things that are Holy may be defined by Him. Consider these verse from proverbs 6:

“16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

These things are clear, an early look into the seven deadly sins. I like this better for an example because these are straight actions rather than a concept like ‘greed’. Basically, when you serve God, you have the choice to do these things. You know lying is wrong internally and externally. Internal is the soul and conscience, while the External is society, which teaches guilt and shame for actions and cannot bestow true freedom.

Adam and Eve had been given in the garden the most basic knowledge of good and evil. Twist the words to: “Eating of this tree is evil and will bring evil. It is the only evil thing you can do.” I use evil rather than sinful for clarity, but the words are about the same. Their freewill was binary. They did not have to make the choice, as by not doing it, they were keeping the commandment, and some may think that millions of years may pass between this statement and the snake tempting Eve into changing the binary choice of good to evil without being a heretic.

From them the choices expanded, but they are still binary. There is an insurmountable difference between good and evil. The only choice that matters beyond appetite is salvation, to the unsaved. Nearly every choice falls under a spectrum on whether it is in line with God’s Holiness or not. The unsaved may make a ‘good’ choice, but they never really break the chains of sin that bind them to hell. Consider that Catholic Dante puts the Virtuous Pagans in hell despite their virtue. Virtuous Julius Caesar may have crossed the river Rubicon to reach Rome, but he did not cross the stream called Forgiveness of Sins into the city Salvation.

The Christian may choose his higher nature or lower nature. Gluttony may now be thought of as being more than a way to ruin your good figure. Lying does more than hurt society and your relations with it. Greed is more than hoarding. Each of those things separates us from God. Free will becomes expanded. Now, instead of making choices based on the ‘choices’ that were made before, we can break the cycles of sin and separation from God.

The Pagans and unsaved can choose between non-pleasure and pleasure based to their nature. They can choose to do things that benefit society (good) or they can harm it (evil). But the saved now has that and the Holy Spirit. The formula changes to do those things that is to God’s Nature and His Desires (Good) and those that are against God’s Nature and separates us from Him (Evil).

Those who choose evil, saved or unsaved may be powerful for a time and may seem to exercise free will by defying society, but in reality, they made one choice, and now the choice is continued. But! Their choice is incontinent and barely lasts beyond the lifetime of the doer. Consider Hilary Clinton, her foundation has crumbled. Her dreams are crushed. They are putting up her daughter as if she has even half the ruthlessness her mother had. There is no hope but Christ for her. For her evil, may she be punished now or in the hereafter, as God wills, but let, even at the last breath of her life, she be still given the choice to beg forgiveness for her sins. And she is merely the most famous of the arch-villains of our time.

Counter point are the works of all the saints and the many missionaries. The dividends of the good works of the disciples ripple through society for all believers. The investments of good of the missionaries like James Hudson Taylor still gain great amounts of interest as the Chinese churches are bright lights before God. And he saw so very little of it himself! Those like George Whitefield, John Newton and Jonathan Edwards still shine like torches even after all these years. How many Catholics and others have been reinforced in spirit by the saints who came before?

They chose to serve God and because they chose to serve God, they have gained eternal rewards that shall not pass away from collective human record unless all reality is wiped clean, and not one scrap of their sermons, songs or works remain. Hilary Clinton sees the falling apart and collapse of all she works for in her lifetime, but the man who wrote Amazing Grace still rejoices in heaven with those it brought to salvation for all eternity.

See the difference in scale. See the difference in the use of their free will! See that the works of man fade and the works of God do not and grow greater. It is strange, as if the consequences for things have far reaching effects. As if we are no longer governed by our sinful appetites and given the choice to do more and do better. We can lay entangled in the roots of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, where we sleep matrix style. We can stay in the cave, where men guess at shadows. We can be content in only knowing what Pandora’s Box has left in it, or we can open it up! The knowledge of God and His Holiness is that hope that remained after all evil was released.

Repent, sinners! Embrace free will and save yourselves from Hell through the Blood of Christ Jesus! Rejoice, freedmen! We are not automatons governed by our base natures, but we have the higher and the greater!

DEUS VULT