An Unholy Redemption Chapter 8.2 continued
“Brethren having found the one is no longer present, you can safely return your eyes to the east and the light that is restored.” As the lights quickly flashed on, everyone covered their eyes at their intensity. “Well that was interesting,” Lucifer sarcastically remarked to Jeremiah. “It’s not over yet. The best is still to come.” Lucifer lifted his eyebrows, let out a big sigh and thought, It’s going to be a long night. “My Brother from the North, finding the room with none but honourable men, you have my command to prove the brethren past honourable brothers.”
“Brethren, after having seen and received the light, demonstrate your qualifications to the Honourable Master of the East to show him you are worthy and honourable”. At once, and in unison, they all bowed their heads, their right hand rested on their chest covering their hearts. “Out of our death we receive life, as the darkness gives into light, all hail.”
“Then brethren, having seen you as honourable and worthy, I as the Light in the East confirm I am the one until a proven time shall restore the genuine beliefs of our established customs and order. All hail.” Lucifer looked around as they all sat down. All these men coming together for some play made up to remember some event in the past that never happened. How easily man is led, especially when in pursuit of knowledge and power. People like David are searching for an ideal that doesn’t exist. It’s just an illusion, but a very powerful one. As Lucifer was deep in thought he felt he was being watched. He turned to see Daniel looking at him. Lucifer narrowed his eyes like a lion would to try to intimidate its prey. Daniel just smiled, lowered his eyes and started writing in his book again. Then he stood up. “Honourable Master in the East, as the scribe and witness I have to enquire of you - during your time as the honourable one, have you found what we are looking for and do you know his name?”
“Honourable past Brother Scribe, I have not, but I have held the position in good stead for the next ‘one’ in hope he will be more successful in our search.”
“Having not been successful yourself, we brethren ask you to step out from the light, into a brief moment of darkness, to pass on that light to another. Do you have such a man in mind?”
“I do, past Honourable Brother Scribe.”
“Where and how is he to be found?”
“Outside the door of the temple in a sad state of darkness away from the light and our worthy eyes.”
“Then brethren, let us prepare for what is about to take place”. Lucifer watched intently as James stood and removed himself from the east and headed towards the pedestal, depicting a lion’s head in the centre of the floor and knelt in front of it. At the same time, the two brothers situated in the south and north stood and made their way to a kneeling position behind James forming a triangle, all three facing east. “Brother Caretaker,” Daniel continued, “it is your duty to hail Brother Protector and together you will lead the way for the one.” The brother caretaker bowed his head in submission, and then turned to reach under his chair from where he pulled out something which he placed over his head. He then faced the front wearing a tiger mask. The caretaker left the temple. There was a brief pause then the light gave way to darkness. Lucifer narrowed his eyes to observe what was happening. After a while his eyes adjusted to their surroundings to see the candidate being pulled and dragged into the temple by the caretaker. The caretaker and another tiger-headed man, who Lucifer assumed was David, each had a length of rope draped over their shoulders. The other ends of the ropes were firmly tied around the candidate’s wrists, who was also hooded with a black silk bag over his head. They pulled him into the temple as if he were a prisoner ready for execution, More than once he fell to the floor. However, the caretaker and David kept on going no matter what distress the candidate was in, dragging him when necessary. At last, Lucifer thought as he watched the man being dragged across the floor. The ceremony is starting to get a little interesting.
“No one must assist such a man,” Daniel said. “Let him feel the pain to remind him of what he has done and imprint in his memory the consequences of his own arrogance and actions.”
The procession came to a halt and the candidate was left lying on the floor, breathing heavily, close to the west pedestal where he had previously been seated. All this time James and his two companions had remained kneeling facing the east, not once turning back to observe. “Brothers, Caretaker and Protector, bring this wretch to his feet so he can stand in readiness.” The two dark figures reached down and pulled the man to his feet, where he stood unsteadily, and untied his hands. “Brother Protector, thank you for your assistance. Your duty done, you must return and not speak of what you have witnessed here. In due time and patience you will gain the necessary qualifications which will enable you to fully participate in these proceedings.” David saluted in the second state of reverence then turned and left the room closing the doors behind him. “Brother Caretaker, return to your seat.” He responded obediently.
“He who represents darkness and ignorance, why have you come by this way?”
“To receive the light which is a gift for everyone,” said the candidate in a nervous muffled voice from its dark confinement.
“Having been informed previously that you do not possess the necessary qualifications, why do you persist in obtaining the light?”
“I have laboured hard in my life and though meditation and contemplation. I have found myself worthy and capable to receive the light.” Daniel turned another page from the book he was reading and continued. “I know of your want and desire, this I see in your heart. Still I say again, you are not worthy.”
“Then as I speak from a place of darkness, I will not ask for the light, I will take it by any means.”
“This is your choice, as you exercise your free will. But never forget there are consequences for all actions. Are you willing to accept such a fate?”
“With due respect brother, fate plays no role in my life. My future and destiny are in my hands alone, to do with as I please. With the light from above, I can promote my will and cause by installing it in the hearts and minds of men.” Lucifer smiled. What arrogance, a worthy soul for my cause.
“Then brother, do what must be done while we bow our heads in remorse for what is about to come to pass.” Out of the darkness above, a light started to emanate from the mouth of the lion painted on the ceiling. It made its way down to James’ head below. The light grew brighter until it was glowing like a halo all around him. The two other brothers who formed the triangle had a similar light above them, but theirs was not so bright. The organ in the background played some heavenly music to aid the ambience. Lucifer watched as the candidate removed his hood, took hold of his gavel from his pedestal, and slowly crept up behind James. “Who approaches? Who dares enters the light and walk on holy ground?” The candidate slowly crept up behind James, who was speaking with his eyes shut and his hands still held in prayer. “It is the Master from the West. I have come to claim my right to the light which you possess and to gain knowledge of your name.”
“The light is void of all ownership and is possessed by no man. My name is only known by me. Remove yourself from this holy place and speak not of what you have seen.”
“I demand of you,” continued the candidate, “give me the light and let its truth and your name be known to me.” The candidate had now taken hold of James with one hand and held aloft the menacing gavel. “I implore you”, James continued, “If you take my life, everything is lost.”
“So be it.” The candidate slowly bought down his gavel and struck James on the back of the head. James fell to the floor at the candidate’s feet. Lucifer nearly laughed when James acted out his death. The room started to get darker. “I now stand before you as you lay lifeless at my feet,” the candidate said. “I curse the memory of your name and I steal the light from above. You lived in innocence and now you die in innocence.” The temple was plunged into complete darkness and all that could be heard was the sound of movement from the centre of the floor and the quiet organ playing in the background. Suddenly, a loud gavel hammered down, making Lucifer jump. The lights flickered on instantly. It took a while for everyone’s eyes to adjust. All the chairs in the north, south and west were occupied again, and the men this time sat with black hoods covering their heads. On the altar in the east lay a body, arms across his chest in the pose of a corpse. He too was wearing a black hood. “Brethren”, Daniel said and stood up. “What we have just witnessed is the loss of a brother, a life cut short in its innocence. May this sight remind you of the start when earth met its darkest hour and the great loss of his name, only to be remembered by a wound. Let this wound on his head remind us of his suffering and death in true innocence.” Lucifer again noticed Daniel looking at him; he was reciting the book without even looking at it. “He is as hopeful as I am,” Lucifer turned to listen to Jeremiah. “We had a long conversation about you after we first met you. We discussed everything that had been witnessed, from David seeing you in the lion’s cage, the wound on your head, strange events happening with the weather and a bright shooting star. These are all things spoken about in our great book which Daniel is now reading from. All communicated and passed down from my ancestor Joshua.”
“But Jeremiah, I don’t believe it,” Luther replied. “It’s just a story designed to fulfil a need in people’s lives, to fill that void. Sorry I don’t believe in truth, honour or anything of such nature. My world is built up on dishonesty and mistrust. It amazes me how people can have faith in something they can’t see. What a futile existence.” Lucifer could see Jeremiah’s look of sadness at his comments, which made him feel good. “Brethren,” Lucifer was interrupted by Daniel’s voice. “The time is approaching. We have waited for long enough, it is nearly high twelve on the fortieth day. Pray silence and observe so that we may remember what has gone before.” Everyone in the temple stood and faced the altar in the east and waited. The sound of the organ grew louder, playing even more dramatically, faster and louder picking up momentum. The light from the lion’s mouth grew bright again. Then the man lying on the altar started to move, his top half lifting like that of Dracula rising from his coffin, until he was finally standing. Haltingly, he made his way back, his hands outstretched feeling and groping his way like a blind man. After a few bumps and falls, he finally reached his chair. Daniel addressed the hooded man. “Brother before you sit down, take a moment before you open your eyes to contemplate and prepare your soul for what you are about to see.”
After a brief period, a quiet voice sounded from beneath the black hood: “I am ready”. Lucifer was confused at hearing a stranger’s muffled voice sounding beneath the hood and was astonished at what took place next. The man started to scream from beneath his hood. He then threw himself to the floor on his knees facing east. His screaming sounded louder as it made its way round the whole temple, then ended in one final cry: “Why?” The ensuing silence hurt Lucifer’s ears more than the previous screams had. The man was kneeling motionless arms outstretched facing the heavens. “Brother from the East, we have heard your cry in the wilderness to which there is no answer. What is it that you have seen?”
“I have seen a terrible and afflicting sight: my loved ones being tortured and burnt alive.”
“My heart feels your pain and weeps for your sadness and loss. What is it you ask of me?”
“Glorious Light from Above, I want my name to be forgotten, to rest in a safe place of innocence, far away from the grips of what I am going to become. Take away my love, install in me hate, take away my mercy, install in me revenge, destroy my weakness, give me strength, destroy my fear, give me courage, let me have control over all the beasts to aid me in my annihilation of man and what he has done and become. All this I ask of you, light from above. Make me the power of the lion over all men, give me wings that I may swiftly pursue my enemies and a flaming sword to remind me of my anger and wrath, which I will use to cut down and smite anyone who opposes me.”
“Brother, again my heart feels for your loss. All of this which is asked for shall be granted. Go now, become that which you must, but remember I am always here. I am the Most High.” When Daniel had finished reading his passage, the light coming from the lion’s mouth started to fade until it vanished. The hooded man staggered to his feet and blindly made his way to the pedestal in the centre of the red and blue squared floor. Lucifer watched intrigued as the man began to remove his black veil. All the brethren around the temple were becoming excited as the hood was gently peeled away from the face beneath. Then in unison, as it came off, all the brethren chanted.
“All hail, all hail to the one who has gone. All hail to he who is now, and we pray will return. All hail.” The man in the centre of the room was turning himself around, presenting himself to each compass point and all the brethren who were bowing to him. He had a golden fur mask covering his whole head. It was the face of a lion. Its eyes were red plastic fashioned to look like two inlaid rubies. A well-worn mane encircled the mask. “Where is my sword?” The noble voice sounded from beneath its feline frame. The caretaker brother slowly walked forward, still adorned in his tiger mask, carrying a large sword resting on a red cushion. He knelt before his master and presented it. The sword was removed and handled with care and respect. As the caretaker returned to his chair, the lion-headed man recited an oath. “My soul and this sword in hand are as one, and will not stop until our work is done.”
“All hail,” the brethren sounded. “With my sword, I give life to my three brothers who are still in a state of darkness.” He turned to each of the brothers in turn. “My Brother from the South, stand and present yourself to me.” He obediently stood and removed his black hood. This time the man was wearing an eagle head mask covered neatly in layers of feathers, and it had a golden beak and two golden eyes. “Honourable brother in the east, I represent the eagle and to you I swear my allegiance. With my eyes I will watch over you from the heavens, ready to swoop down and attack your enemies at your back.”
“Your fidelity is noted, for which I am thankful. May the air grace your wings with strength and love to fulfil your duty to me. My Brother from the North, stand and present yourself to me.” The brother stood and removed his hooded veil. The mask this time was in the shape of a bull’s head, its horns protruding from the top of the mask.
“Honourable Brother from the East, I represent the bull and I swear my allegiance to you. With my strength, I will roam the earth to watch over you wherever you are and remove any of your enemies in your path.”
“Your fidelity is noted, for which I am also thankful. May the earth bring forth all of its fruits to keep you strong and well-fed to fulfil your duty to me. My Brother from the West, stand and present yourself to me.” The man stood and removed his hood. Lucifer was surprised to see a human head with no mask and he noticed it was not the candidate who had been previously sitting in the west. “Honourable Brother from the East, I represent the man who seeks light and knowledge, I will watch you in your work until a time when I will be ready to receive the light.”
“Your willingness to learn is noted,” the man from the east nodded in agreement and approval, “for which I am thankful. With time and patience you will be ready to receive the light. Brothers, having been installed into your respective offices, you may take your seats and hold them in good stead until a time of change.” They all saluted and sat down. “Brethren, before I take my seat in the east, I must inform you that from time immemorial, this chair situated in the east has been occupied by many worthy and honourable men. It has come to represent the light out of darkness, alluding to the knowledge we seek within ourselves. I will guard its memory as honourable men have done in the past. I hope when my time is at an end, worthy men will guard its future. I am thankful that the brethren have shown full confidence in me and will do my best to maintain and uphold the principles and tenets of our work.”