The dogmatic city Sid Mantelis was the last remaining vestige of human civilization. To enter into the sacred protective society of clergy and holy men one had to veritably sell ones soul, promising unwavering devotion and take an oath never to leave the establishment. In return those who lived under the control of the clerics were offered full immunity from enslavement by the aliens. None saw through the subterfuge.
Huge cathedrals spanned the numerous courtyards which spotted the landscape creating a brilliant radiance seeming to shine from heaven itself. A small group of dominant men dressed in cowls and robes could be seen walking quickly about the grounds of the immense super city. The clerics ruled the ecclesia with an iron fist by excoriating the idea of ever leaving. Their grand achievement was called Sid Mantelis.
The cathedral spires spanning the biosphere leapt from the Earth and splintered the silver wisps of an oxygen rich sky. As night fell on the sacred city it left sepia-toned hues and shadows that surrounded the gardens of dense foliage. Beauty belied the evil which stood hidden in plain view. The clergy were unwittingly the authors of their own destruction – no human life could survive the Earth’s transformation.
The magnum opus that is Sid Mantelis grew out of necessity. There is no one person or organization to blame, more of a confluence of actions and a constant redirection of power which allowed it to thrive. The people who gave birth to Sid Mantelis were a group of greedy, lying, back-stabbing, power hungry madmen whose ability to dominate the will of the people was their grand prestige.
The city contained several squares surrounded by vast interlocking pathways. Each square was composed of elaborately carved bushes in the shape of animals that served as images of the various gods. The images could be found embroidered on the garments as well, sewn into intricate patchworks or fashioned out of several pieces of cloth. The city was a monument to human achievement in times of great difficulty.
Worship occurred regularly at scheduled intervals throughout the day. I made my way through the city with the help of my mute friend who served as my eyes. He was a young boy who had come into my employ through necessity, and not out of my own free will or desire. But, we had grown fond of one another; despite his inability to speak, or mine to see. I saw him in a vision one day and later there he was.
An ornate mahogany staircase led to a long hall opening into an enormous room. The ceiling was covered with hand beaten copper that gave the appearance of sunlight, even in the twilight hours. It was early morning now, and between the shimmering marble floors and polished canopy it was difficult to discern where the room ended and the heavens began. We made our way silently through the rectory and stood in wait.
A handsome man in his mid forties dressed completely in black moved swiftly towards us and extended his hands in salutation. “Trinidad, my love.” he grasped my hands firmly and brought them to his lips kissing them softly and exhaled, “What brings you to me at this hour? Is it the dreams again?” I had been plagued by awful nightmares, which alone would mean nothing, but for me they had a habit of coming true.