Man follows Meaningless trails through a dark forest, tearfully scorning those who have come before him and those who will come after him. It is his burden to march forcefully towards his grave. One day, he lifts his head up to see a light which shines through the trees. And as he, in all his primitiveness, approaches this light, he is awakened. How is it that man has evolved to understand abstract thought and aesthetic value? How it is a song can moves him to tears? Melodies and harmonies shake him to his inner most foundation and leave him just as tear stricken as on the meaningless trail? But these tears are different, they are tears of such unimaginable emotion that words cannot begin to describe them; instead he sits in silent reverie; it is a pensive state, one that brings him to the realization that life is indeed worth living. ~The Code of Theogen
The code of Theogen is recited before each and every meeting that we have. We consider ourselves Humanists above all else. Theogen was the pen-name of our founder Nick Romanov. He and the original founding fathers started our society out of Drace University in Massachusetts on November 24, 1859. Our goal was to suppress the idiocies of superstition. We have long since lived the ideologies outlined by our Constitution. We eventually expanded out of the Universities. Books have been banned, we have been there to fight these bans; people have been killed for their beliefs, and we have been there to see that justice is served. Our primary weapon is our knowledge. And our primary goal is to ensure intellectual discourse, pursuit of knowledge, and defense of those who are not properly equipped to defend themselves. Admission to this highly selective society is rigorous and intense. Through my admissions process is how I met Sal. Sal is still my best friend to this day. My name is Charlie Thurman; I am the standing vice-president of our society- The Paladins of Autonomy. It was in 2025 when we officially become a powerful force in a world of globalization. Humanist ideals became the forefront for the ideologies of the most educated people. The more social justice we did, the more revered our members became. Eventually the people elected us to lead the global government which saw the elimination of nations and the unification of humanity. I have been with the Society for many years now. I have flown to countless places and have met countless people. Sal was next in line for the presidency after our current president passes away. It has been a long climb up the ladder to get where we are today. Sal married after we were honored with admission to the Society, he and his wife had a baby girl immediately after the ceremony. He somehow managed to balance a family and the Society all in one schedule. I never understood how he did it. I focused entirely on my career that is why I am currently above Sal but that will soon change once he is elected President. While Sal had his baby girl at the age of 19, I took a slightly different route. In all my journeys around the world, none stays in my mind more than the one I took eight years ago. I was in South Africa on an investigation of a missionary. Rumors flew around about them forcing the people into Church groups in order to receive food. We had been dealing with a serious problem with famine throughout the entire continent. I was fairly low in the pecking order as I stepped off the plane into the desolate landscape It was in this small rural village I met a small orphaned, 8 year old, Indian boy named Kaylan. I had led a small group of soldiers into to the church which stood majestically on top of a hill. I don’t think any of us could have been prepared for what was inside as the soldiers forced the open the door. Inside the dark, damp church were three long rows of children sitting Indian style on the floor. As we flashed a light on them we could see their ribs. They were children of all different races. They turned to us and looked at my soldiers and with such confusion. Each and every one of them wore a begging look across their face. Their wide eyes beamed at us. A fat nun waddled from her chalk board over to us. “What is the meaning of this intrusion?!” She demanded. I was still a rooky back then probably about 27 years old, during our studies we would read about things like this but to see it in person incited an uncontrollable anger. “You insipid woman, how do you explain the condition of these children?!” “What I do with them is my business!” She returned. “They are all, each and every one of them, on the brink of starvation!” Her blind cruelty and lack of empathy was too much for me. “All they have to do is learn their bible verses and they will be fed…” She said smoothly. “And how well can they read?” My question caused her to stare blankly. I was fed up with her “Arrest her!” My soldiers obeyed mindlessly completely unaffected by the condition of the children around them. “For what?” She was angry, and confused. “You are charged with crimes against humanity under Article 1 of The Constitution of the Paladins of Autonomy. You shall be receive a fast trial through the World Court…take her away.” I said gathering my professionalism back. “You people think you can just come into our lives and force us to love one another! Just to get along like the thousands of years of hate never existed! You are trying to destroy our roots! Our faith!” I had to get the last word in. “Your faith has cost us enough progress and has more then wasted years of these children’s lives.” She was taken out and thrown into a truck to be taken off. At this point we had Global Courts established in every region of the world. The South African Global Court dealt with problems like this all day and night. The kids we found would most likely be shipped to orphanages. These were the world’s children and we all had an obligation to take care of them; this was another point outlined in the Constitution. We began to help the children stand up, most of them could barely stand; their muscles were atrophied from not moving for so long. Kaylan’s legs were skin and bones. I went up to him and kneeled down. He tried to stand and run away but he was too weak. “It’s ok; I’m not going to hurt you.” I took out a snack bar and my canteen of water and offered it to him slowly, he would not take it. I placed it down on the ground in-between us and backed away slightly. He cautiously made his approach, once he had the snack bar in hand he struggled to open it. He did indeed get it open and I slowly opened the canteen while he inhaled the snack bar. I placed the open canteen in front of him and he drank the whole thing instantly. His eyes lit up, I felt a strange connection with him. If I had met him even one year later than I did I might not have adopted him. But, his eyes called for someone to protect him. I was 27 and lived by myself. I needed him as much as he needed me. So I adopted Kaylan, I was able to go around the bureaucracy because of my position in the Order. By spring time of next year, I had him living with me in New York, I was 28 and he had just turned 9. He was healthy and he was getting plenty of exercise now. I was able to provide him with a real education. We bought an Australian Shepard Dog to keep us company; we named him Socksy because of his distinctive marks which made him appear as if he was wearing socks. Kaylan was speaking perfect English by the time he was ten. That was when he met Eva, Sal’s daughter who was right about the same age. We were never sure who was older. I never knew Kaylan’s birthday there was no information on him when I took him in, all he knew was his name. We decided to make his official birthday the day we found each other, May 31st. Eva’s birthday was July 16th so officially she was older, but they would always argue about it. From the day they met they were the best of friends. Sal always had a desk job because of his marital status. I would always go on missions and Kaylan would always be welcomed to stay with Sal and his family. He would bring Socksy with him. Eva and Sal would run off exploring the city with Socksy following close behind. My travels always kept me away from home, but every time I would come home I could see Kaylan changing into a man with each passing day. Soon he and Eva were 16 and Sal and I were looking more like old men. Whatever the future held for us, it was secure. Now was the time for our children to forge their future. I hope that Kaylan will pursue the Society like myself. I’m not quite sure what will come of Eva, woman are not allowed to join the society- that always infuriated her. Time will tell. The rest of the story will be told from Kaylan’s point of view.
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