|← Jerome NVBI - Jerome 1 →|
My name is Father Jerome; there are records of my birth in 1895 but even those have turned to dust. I have not. At the time of writing this, I am 246, my birthday is coming up in a few days. I want to make myself sound human; whatever the history books say, if they are still written after tomorrow, they will call me a monster. My organization is an affiliation of pro-death activists, and we are only working for the restoration of the order of nature, nothing more. Millions will perish if we are successful, but mankind will be free to live and die once more.
I've lived too long, and in my age have become much afraid of death. The young ones, who are still human age, do not know this fear. They should be born with it, men create the most beautiful artwork when they are terrified of dying, terrified of being forgotten. There was an age where all we wanted was to be remembered. People shook the world in whatever ways they could, some with art, some with violence, some with love. I tried loving the world but was turned away, I've been every kind of artist imaginable in my time and there was no relief in it. Nothing I did made a difference, I just kept living and feeling hollow. A church, founded around the Phontonica days, took me in. They told me that they were afraid of immortality. I told them age was not so frightening. They called me Elder, or Father, they wanted me to lead them, to teach them how to be unafraid of living.
I told them every story I had, the wars I'd witnessed, those I've fought in. How the world turns and changes and it is always so beautiful. In those days is was easy to believe that modern medicine and the advances we were making were worth something. Two years later I was given the honor of being named the oldest man alive. I soon realized that as long as I paid my dues to Reach and Photonica I would keep that title forever. It was my choice.
We became so peaceful and some of my flock aged and died in the natural way, others bought Deep Stone for their homes. The earthquake came and went, we mourned those who died and kept vigils every night or months. The rebuilding was the most difficult part. My home in Seattle was gone and I moved to Victoria. It felt more stable there, and my flock came with me. We started a new church and found even more people afraid of living. We learned so much in those years, and we felt humbled by the earthquake, knowing that death could still occur even if aging had stopped.
Then the Beacon Project was completed. Almost overnight our cities, our homes were inundated with immortality. It was forced on us and some who I knew fled the city. I remained behind, wanting to continue passing my wisdom to whoever would listen. I'd lived so long that the memories of death were fading, I was forgetting how it felt to be so close. When the riots broke out, at first I told my flock to be calm. Some wouldn't listened and were killed by cops in the streets.
After the riots my flock grew irate and inconsolable. They demanded I tell them what life meant at that point. We discussed, late into the night what life meant now, if it was meaningless. I don't want to blame them, they didn't corrupt or sway me, I merely listened. Everywhere, they told me, people were demanding the right to die. There were the stories of those in accidents, inches from death; those of people tortured in extravagant ways that, before, would've been impossible; these people were kept alive, brought back by the horrid light of the Beacon. There was a part of me that understood this urge to die. I'd known such men in wars.
We saw the helpless ignorant people charge at the beacons and get cut down by riot squads. We saw the Bellevue beacon rigged with explosives. It did nothing. I told them: we have all this time now; we can wait. I don't want to say we plotted, but we were given a small sample of the truStone from the Bellevue beacon and told to research it. We were looking for a way to take them down, we were looking for a way to change the world. But the world kept changing. Alexander Ward took over the city and started hurting his people for peace, for a way to me. He saw me as a threat, and the Beacons as life eternal. I've now come to believe he worshiped the Beacons, or perhaps his adviser. The world outside New Victoria fell to pieces, and activists who came into Victoria secretly told me how beautiful the outside world was. Th Beacons had been destroyed and, though millions died, the world was renewed with purpose. Those who still lived could feel the thrill of it, and those who were sick struggled against their own bodies. But then the walls went up, and New Victoria was locked away. Still, I persevered, as did my followers.
We succeeded, through divine wisdom or raw ingenuity, I'm not sure anymore. The Abbess Magdalena gave us strength. His Holiness helped us struggle with the Scripture, and our own hearts. We nearly faltered, but then new recruits came in and told us how it was to walk the city streets at night, how the NVBI terrorized the people. We held on, and eventually broke through. We felt an opportunity coming on, and soon Victoria will fall, the last of the great cities. The world is ready to be quiet once more. Tonight, I will pray and tomorrow I go to do God's work. For those who must suffer under my guidance, I'm sorry. For those unready to see the new world, know that all we wanted was hope.
November 20, 2142
|Beacons||Series||Anders: 4 | 6 – Elspeth: 1 | 2 | 10 | 11 | 13 | 15 – Jerome: Cautionary | Journal – Lewis: 2 – Moncada: Letter to Wife | Obituary – Steve Wilks: 4 | 5 | 6 – Triya: 1 | 3 | 4 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 12 | 13 | 15 | 17 | 20|
|Standalone||Abbess | Anti Beacon Flier | Crossroads | Cycles | Letter to Resident | Non Human Beacons | Smugglers Note | Time Capsule | Trooper Noir|
|Jerome||Series||Jerome: Seattle | Cautionary | NVBI | Journal | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4|