About Faithful

Faithful imagines sci-fantasy intrigue set on distant worlds where humans, not unlike ourselves, are drawn into otherworldly adventure. Its multi-character plot centers around two soldier-priests whose prejudices and world-views are challenged when assigned to sequester an exiled alien, and find themselves unwittingly on a collision course with two sisters. One sister is trying to create a new more equitable world-order and the other is secretly bent on undermining the very foundations of their universe.

Suddenly, inexplicably, Heaven expels one of its angels to the fiercely matriarchal moon-planet Aideena, where genetically the socially dominant women are Black and the second-class male population is Caucasian.

Simply called The Archangel, Aideena’s powerful enigmatic visitor manifests itself not only as a male of divine origin, but as a Black male and a force to be reckoned with.

At a time when the planet’s institutions are already confronting several challenges, societal norms of power and gender identity forged over millennia are thrown into discord. Faith, the religious authority that shares power on Aideena, assigns its soldier-priests, the Knights Templar, to watch over the Divinity and prevent it from further disrupting Aideena’s contentious world-order.

The Archangel is in fact a meta-terrestrial, an otherworldly intelligence from a higher plane of existence, which only appears angelic to Aideena-kind. The reason for its exile remains unknown, even to itself, wiped from its memory. Equally unknown is what The Archangel is capable of and what it might do.

Cast down to a space colonizing, technological advanced world struggling to reconcile these new realities with its ancient tribal traditions and the lingering mystical rituals of its past, The Archangel finds itself drawn to two Templar soldier-priests assigned to sequester it. Only recently arrived from the training academy that raised him, Michael Constantine embraces the call to service and adventure Faith propagandizes, but has little experience of everyday life outside monastic wall. Eager to prove himself and insatiably curious, he makes an unlike junior partner to the much older Paul Sebastian, who’s no stranger to life’s daggers. Valuing discipline and protocol above all, his patience thins at the unpredictable and disdains personal demands that are at odds with his own ideas of his station in life.

Seneca imagines a better world, one of great equitability across the social classes, and, determined to rewrite centuries of tradition, she commits her own considerably wealth and position to the challenge. It’s a good thing she can rely on her younger sister Daria to smooth the feathers she ruffles along the way. But, Daria is not all she seems. To the world dutiful, levelheaded, and respectable, she hides another face bent on wrecking the world. Friends and family become targets and enemies become pawns in an escalating conspiracy to corrupt the incorruptible and usurp the sinful.

I lived several years early in life in Berlin, Germany, during the time when the city was occupied and divided. The specter of Cold War tensions stifled hope of a world living in harmony and free of nationalist irrationalities.

Faithful grew out of a fascination with how dramatic the world changed for so many people when the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union dissolved. I began to imagine the challenge of adapting to a new way of life after a generation and a half of oppression. I was alarmed by the resurgence of old prejudices in the West, Eastern Europe and Russia that seemed to belong to a different era.

Originally, Faithful focused on a world in transition; how older traditions are often dangerously irreconcilable with new global-centric realities. The struggles Russia and many former Soviet countries endured in the 1990s, and commutating in the tragic years of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, deeply affected me and fired my imagination.

With the rise of global terrorism, ignored genocide in Africa and conservatism in the United States, irrational prejudices and cultural politics proved to be not the sole domain of developing countries. Enormous economic opportunity and unprecedented wealth in my own country has given credence to exercise the ugliest beliefs and fears about our neighbor. We routinely expose how little progress we’ve made in abandoning our cultural bias about race, gender and class. It seems we’ve only grown more divisive, becoming more clever with glossing over the evidence.

Still, I have witnessed a world emerge where a courageous few have been, and are, empowered to lead change. They have answered the call of social responsibility. In fact, we’ve reared a generation that places social change above other concerns and back it up with action. Certainly, there are the privileged ones who merely adapted a social persona for their own gain. I speak of the individual, often average or everyday by most norms, who finds ways large and small, often at personal risk, to listen and respond only to their conscious for the benefit of those who cannot or will not help themselves.

Today, Faithful intends to look at prejudices/assumptions about gender, race, sex and what-have-you and hopefully explore how ridiculous they are. It’s main focus is to understand the "ah-ha" moment that motivates a person to commit himself to civil action; to cast off his prejudices and dedicate himself or herself to better the life’s of others, even when society condemns it.

I have designs on a five-story arc. I am also trying to visualize the characters with illustration. I am not a real artist, so the artwork is unrefined and rather derivative. I am also evolving a glossary of terms and concepts and a guide to life on Aideena as I go along. Some of it is haphazard, but then I am mainly trying to challenge myself creatively and teach myself graphic and computer techniques that fascinate me.

Through these characters I hope to arrive--for myself--at an understanding as to when the biased assumptions and prejudices we’re taught no longer have their meaning and we become change agents, patriots, revolutionaries for our neighbor’s welfare.

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