The Betrayal Chapter 40 snippet
Bishop Danes sat in his reading room chair with his eyes closed. Lying to Brindle had been unseemly, he mused, but it had been necessary. There was no way that he could have told the young man, nor his master, what Father Church truly knew about the prophecies. Something’s were just best left secret instead of seeing the light of day.
With a sigh he thrummed his fingers together in a parody of praying, his mind racing. Throughout the history of man, Father Church had known of several hundred whom had fulfilled the prophecy. Always women, he mused, which was a mystery in and of itself. However, as the prophecy said, they always arrived in the times of mankind’s greatest need.
Given the events coming out of Earth, he told himself with a shudder. Things are definitely going to be dark for everyone. If someone doesn’t stop the movement that was taking shape, then the entire galaxy would know a terror mankind has not seen since the time of Hitler.
Danes felt his mind start to wander, the room around him started to fade away. Replacing it, piece by piece, was a scene straight out of Earth’s middle ages. He felt his eyebrows rise as he saw the Dark Age village start to take shape around him. When he looked down at his hands, he found himself looked at a chain mail sleeve that was common for that time.
Interesting, he thought to himself as he started to walk.
The buildings around him rose on both sides of the street he was walking down. Two story in height, they were all houses on the second level and businesses on the first level. In the distance he could see the town walls rising, the guard positions on the top of it, keeping the village safe.
Looking on both sides of him, he noticed people hurrying towards the center of town. Picking up his pace, Danes followed along with them as they moved. Ahead of him, he could see a throng of people gathered, chanting, as he closed in. With a sigh, he continued on his pace towards the town center.
Danes approached the rear of the crowd, and yet he still couldn’t see what was happening. Squeezing his way through the people before him, he moved until he could see. His jaw dropped, his breath catching in his chest, as he saw what they were chanting about.
Rubbing his eyes, he shook his head to try to clear the sight before him. This had to be a dream, he told himself as he pinched himself. Yelping in pain, he came to realize that whatever this was, it wasn’t a dream. With a sigh, he fought the urge to drop his head in shame as he took in what was happening.
There was a single woman in the town square, one who couldn’t be more then her middle twenties. Raven-haired, he noted, her blue eyes looked at everyone with a rage of disbelief and frustration. Lashed up to a stake, there were kindling of all types lined around her feet for lighting. Dressed in a simple white gown that reached down to mid-calf, she had he hands tied behind her to the stake.
“Why are thou forsaking me?” she screamed.
“Burn her!” one man yelled.
“Heretic!” a woman screamed.
Danes had never felt so ashamed in his entire life as he did that moment. It was she; he told himself, the woman again. Whatever time this was, this was the woman who had been sent to save mankind. However, instead of being saved, or accepting it, man was burning her at the stake. Could there possibly be a more shameful time in the history of the Church?
“Madam,” a man dressed in ancient Bishop’s clothing said. “You are hereby charged with witchcraft.”
“Why are you forsaking me?” the woman challenged him, and everyone else present. “Did I not save you from great harm?”
“Burn her!” came the reply.
Danes watched the executioner bend down to light his torch and he felt indignation grow in his gut. This couldn’t be allowed to happen, he told himself as his face flushed in rage. They couldn’t kill someone for heresy when they hadn’t done anything wrong! This was a travesty of justice that he wasn’t going to sit back and watch!
“Wait!” He yelled.
The executioner stopped short of lighting his torch, his hooded face staring at his. Everyone in the crowd turned to look at him, looks of anger and disbelief on their faces. How could he open his mouth and delay the inevitable, they were thinking. The woman before them had to be put to death, and nothing he did would stop it!
“Your highness,” the Bishop said. “This order is signed by your father, the King.”
“This woman has done no crime,” Danes cried. “She should be released!”
“Crown Prince, your Highness,” the Bishop said. “This woman has preached heresy against the church and found guilty.”
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