Prologue Part 2: The Advent of Fraternas Veritas
“Precarious is the life of us unchanged; tread with peril and tread with fate. Bringers of change are we, who gaze; a brother’s eyes are sharp and sister’s voice true. We are the coming of power and the onset of peace; forever one with truth, as one, as many.
As heralds of old we stand upon our watchful vigil.
Harken Brothers of Adam and see what others do not, and feel that which they cannot.
Harken Sisters of Eve and know family for which none ever have known.
As meaning has left them presuming of life and hearts filled with fear, they stand changed, brittle and blind; fumbling in darkness as they failed to grasp their grail of life.
Yet time is our friend as we grow and age and we dare welcome death as our life is taken away.
We are human and just like stars we burn bright and we burn strong, and like all stars we all will die. Only the brave will walk through the shadows of death and only through unity. Trust not those who squandered their sight but the brothers and sisters at your side.”
- Kadaan’s doctrine from The Codex, Verse 1...
Not everyone agreed with how things grew into order and the change was most pronounced around the years between 2220ad and 2243ad as genetics leaped ahead through a cascade of discoveries, the implications of one made another possible, and so on like a set of dominos. Like Einstein’s theory of General Relativity had done before, Emile Ardoin was his equal in genetics. And around the time of 2204ad a then unknown man had found a gathering by mere fluke. Kadaan was a man with humble beginnings in the poor parts of Hong Kong, China. He was worried about the growing changes of genetic altering for one reason or another. The young man of 20 years had many talents and a remarkable intellect, and when people heard his strong but gentle voice in passing in the streets, they stopped to listen. The words that came out of his mouth made sense – but life was tough for him, and as he journeyed through the world for the next nine years, he picked up things, little things like mannerisms in people and larger problems like how those that turned their backs on their roots. Kadaan soon had learned new means to make a living as he stumbled upon a book binder which held the traditions of old. And eventually he learned to read and translate many languages, but most of all it taught him patience. As he grew as a person from his reading, he noticed his mind daring to challenge everything that others had told him to believe in, to trust.
By the time he was 40, he had managed to find a core group of followers that challenged his words and views just as much as he did theirs. Nine men and five women all under their 30s, and while he knew he could teach them much, the one thing they all had in common was a principle of loyalty and morals, and he had only needed to nudge them towards his own logic. They remained together in life, brothers and sisters, old and young. Kadaan had now worked for many years on what was becoming his life’s work. The Codex was a growing tome that he bound together with his beliefs and logical questions and philosophical problems and the worries for what the future held for the true humanity.
The divide was only growing worse and the debates were infections like a rotting tooth. For many years he pondered over how to solve the problem, feeling powerless to stand against the new paradigm, the mental thinking of the new and ordered world began to set in, and the people who either couldn’t afford genetic change or chose not to was fated to become a lower rate citizen. Kadaan called his two most trusted friends to him on the night before his 60th birthday. It was a humble little apartment in the slums of Berlin, a bed and a rug was all he had apart from his codex. As they sat down together, listening to Kadaan as he told them more in depth of how bad this divide would become, and how if they would do nothing, the next generation wouldn’t know any better. For many, many years he had taught the two before him, two disciples of different talents but equal quality.
Kadaan said something they didn’t expect; he believed there had to be a way to guide humanity back into the fold. It was the racism of old that had taken a new and poisonous shape. They had their last series of lessons with him, long and more important than anything he had told them before. With the belief of equal value, he told them of how patient they had to be for the time to come. And that patience wasn’t theirs to own but to pass on, like he was doing now. The blonde man on his left was Ien, in his 40s telling him to use his connections and talents to keep their family away from everything that could threaten their future. Kadaan told him to walk in the shadows of shadows, and help grow their family.
He had taught him all he knew, wisdoms, fighting, the art of reading people and how patience was still the best tool to find those who needed them most. Kadaan then turned to Ajax, the humble and charming, and passed on his reigns to him with the codex passing hands. After a pause he had simply recited his first verse of many. On the last day of the week, he shared his final thoughts with them. Speaking of a war that was needed to right past wrongs, but not until they were certain that it was the right time. What he didn’t tell them was the poison he had taken before their arrival, and Kadaan gave his life in a way to share his final wisdom and most important lesson that was patience even at one’s most dire moment. With tears they parted ways, having been told of when the time was right and their numbers enough, the Brotherhood would no longer have their dreams be stepped upon. Through power they would serve humanity in peace, in death and life, waiting then, waiting more, passing on Kadaan’s doctrine to the few they could trust, year by year, and generation by generation, knowing it would come. Kadaan’s legacy would wage a war so radiant the blind would see it and the deaf, hear its thundering roar. The world would know war again for the sake of all.
It was the year of 2447ad, nearly two centuries since the dawn of the Brotherhood. Cain had been raised from birth with Kadaan’s teachings passed down to him from both of his parents. His father Caleb had been raised like him, but his mother came from outside.
Cain was sitting on the ledge of a mountain bordering the districts of Mongolia and China, far out the northern peak which had once been North Korea, many centuries ago now. And it changed even more in the time since Fraternas Veritas had dawned. It was one of the few places left that had The Decree’s hand protecting the nature within the region. It was a luxurious place to live in, famed for its art and artists of every kind.
Today was the day of Kadaan’s final lesson, and it had Cain thinking more than usual. His father had high hopes for him and many others too. It was a great honour to be born free, and to walk in the shadows of shadows. Yet he was beginning to feel the weight of their expectations more for each passing year. Cain had escaped his group to be alone and in peace. He was in awe of the beauty of the untouched lands which lay at his feet.
“It’s easy to see why they want to live there, yes?” Caleb said, tightening his fur coat to a side-wind. He had never told his son how hard it had been for him to let his now grown child be a part of it.
Their green eyes met as Cain shuffled back to meet his father’s embrace as his green shirt and brown leather pants moved to the wind. They looked alike in many ways, but Cain had his mother’s thin chin and tallness. Cain stood near two metres tall, a head taller than his dad, he spoke, “I need some time alone, just thinking.”
“I know, son, but you’re soon old enough to be your own man, but not yet.” His father chuckled and tugged his son’s short brown hair with a playful tug-o-war that followed for a moment.
“It’s so strange to think that we’ve been waiting so long for that great moment that Kadaan told us would come, some day.” Cain followed his dad along the path back down the side of the mountain.
“But his fears came true, we are not worth much to the blind, we’ll be dead of age or something worse within the blink of an eye to them, like a dragonfly that dies within a day.” He patted his son on the back.
“It’s really scary, not in a way that makes me doubt but I feel sad for them.” Cain looked at Caleb, wondering when he would be told how his father had been left with a scar across his cheeks, cut by something sharp as the scar was mild considering.
“Fear is something to overcome, Cain. It can’t be taught either, only experience will steel your mind.” Caleb chuckled, he couldn’t believe his son was 18 already, and he was proud of him, but the fear of losing him kept him awake at night.
It took them a while to reach their camp which situated behind a small waterfall. The path led them along a narrow and slightly hidden path into a larger mineral cave that had room for their group of fifty-four. Each group of the Brotherhood had their purpose, many lived like Cain’s family, but many more lived lives within the districts. Cain’s had a need for mobility and strength, always on the move with the rule to leave the old and weak behind with two choices, the brave path of honour that was poison or the coward’s way which had the same outcome but less swift.
Yet all cells followed Kadaan’s way of patience and loyalty, and had no communication outside of the old fashioned way. They had become so adept at hiding that not even the Eden Directive had caught more than a few of them in a century.
Together they sat down by their campfire as his mother Elyad had prepared them a proper meal of fish and rice. Her black hair had begun turning slightly grey but she was healthy and able to work and do what was required of her. Part of his daily escape had been out of worry for her, and they had argued about it which left an awkward silence between them.
Nearing the end of their dinner, Elyad looked at the two as if she wanted to say something but hesitated. She gathered some courage, and broke the silence, “We are to move out towards Hulunbuir, we are to meet up with Rhue by the checkpoint in two days.”
Caleb merely nodded and hurried off with quick steps to speak with Melel who was the head of the group, and Cain knew the routine well enough to start packing their things.
“I’m sorry for earlier,” Elyad told him, and merely got a nod and huff in return, his eyes showed enough to let her know it was okay. He was so alike his father, but was too smart for his own good, she thought with a glance at him.
“You were right, but we are who we are because we overcome it…” He sighed reluctantly, “but I didn’t doubt you, I never would ma’.”
“Tell me what it is then, Cain, please,” she helped him roll up and pack their two leather tents.
“I don’t-I… I don’t want to lose you,” Cain choked and held his tears back at the thought. He looked at her as she caressed his back and sighed all to understanding of how he felt.
“Passing away isn’t the end for us, Cain… my boy,” she embraced him dearly as he hugged her tightly, and she felt a deep cut in her heart as his tears met with her cheek. Elyad felt so powerless, she was his mother and yet there was nothing she could’ve done to make his pain go away, “This is why we are strong, Cain, we are filled with this wonder of feelings, treasure it for me. Feel pain and feel love, all of it… and know that I still have many years left.”
Cain gathered his senses with his breaths calming down, thinking about what she said, “It’s so hard though.” He whispered into her ear, and slowly returned to the packing.
“It always is, but that is how we grow, my child.” She smiled at him, knowing she had said those exact words to him more times than she could count. And she knew she could only hope that they would stick sooner or later. She stroked his neck by the hairs with a motherly pinch, and joined in to help him out.