The Chronicles of Louis Brandon, Time Traveler – Chapter 8, Part 8

Hi everyone, I really hope to finish revising this story before I die! This is just a short segment. The part on religion and philosophy was more detailed in the original script but I felt most readers would get bored. So I rewrote it as entertainment and not “scholarship,” which often trots out stock phrases like “magisterial opus” with a dull, pretentious tone implying some kind of ‘objective’ methodology.  What a joke!

© 2022, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

Did you miss part of the story? Find it here!

“Incidentally,” Louis had been wanting to ask, “is that your hereditary surname?”

“Trade secret, Dr. Brandon,” Stella said with a smile.

“Anyhow,” he continued. “In his emails, Darkov would imply that his wiser students were drug dealers, crazy, or seeing sex workers. And he’d use his psychic powers to try to drive them nuts. He was able to subtly ‘touch’ their genitals from a distance to make them feel molested or raped. Stuff like that.”

“Weird,” Stella concluded.

“But that’s not all.” Louis continued. “He sabotaged scholarship applications to bankrupt the brighter students who caught on to his crimes. He was a real monster, that Darkov. Good thing they electrocuted him before the whole world went to hell in a handbasket.”

“The electric chair…” Stella said wistfully. “Lord, they were barbaric back then.”

“Yes,” Louis replied. “But they had to stop him, all the same.”

“I hope he was.”

“What do you mean?” Louis asked.

“Well. How do you know Darkov’s not from the 23rd or maybe the 27th century?”

“He was killed,” Louis said emphatically. “He’s dead. It’s a well-documented fact.”

Eve tempted by the serpent

“Like the Book of Genesis?”

“Okay, one never knows for sure,” he conceded. “But I sincerely hope you are wrong!”

“I think Darkov is still alive and working with the Zapples,” Stella said, looking off into the distance. My gut tells me they were behind the creeps who tried to kill us in Tronn.”

“Well,” Louis replied with an air of indifference, “We certainly shook them.”

“Hope so,” Stella said with a touch of fear. “Why do you think darkness exists?” she asked after a few moments. “Do you believe in a dark principle?”

Louis seemed interested but didn’t say anything.

“I mean, how can one principle be right and the other wrong? Didn’t the Creator create everything under the sun?” she added.

“Well, for me,” Louis began slowly, “to grow is to improve oneself—to live by my evolving sense of ethics. It’s quite simple: There’s right and there’s wrong; I try to do the right thing.”

“Okay,” Stella conceded, “I agree on that. But what about ‘universal oneness’?”

“Well, the idea of oneness is ancient,” Louis said. “But different thinkers saw it differently.”

Aristotle’s Prime Mover

“Aristotle talked about a great First Cause or the Prime Mover. Later, St. Thomas Aquinas made the idea fit with his Christian beliefs. I’m pretty up on this stuff if you want to get into it.”

“Just a synopsis, doctor,” she said with that smile.

Talking with Stella energized Louis and he admired her agile mind. He almost patted her on the back but feared she might take that as a sexist, or worse, sexual gesture. The legacy of the early 21st century MeToo movement endured right into the 23rd century. So even though quite innocent, he checked his impulse.

The sun was very low and it was getting dark. A beautiful starling flew right up to Louis and Stella and landed on the split of a broken tree, just a few meters away.

Sturnus vulgaris – A common starling

They both stopped in their tracks and Louis smiled as the bird rested there, looking at them with an unusual air of serenity.

“Look!” Stella whispered. “It’s a sign!”

© 2022, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

Did you miss part of the story? Find it here!

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