Wherein the empires of the world conquer in search of slaves to provide riches to carry on in war, and
so on forever, and the people are exhausted. Dictatorships throughout the world bend precipitously
towards ruin, and their leaders have mortgaged the future and fight among themselves for the remains of the
present. Desperately clinging to power, they tighten their subjects’ yokes into garrotes. Life has become so
profane that thoughtful people struggle to keep the sacred alive in the world; they struggle even to articulate
it. All around the Mediterranean, the streets are full of revolts of conscience, and in both the West and the
East, new hegemonic powers built on radical forms of social control threaten to smother the world in a
darkness that no light could ever throw off.
The year could be 2012 CE, but in this story it is 6 BCE. Roman conquest in the West and Qin hegemony in the
East are violently reshaping the world and the lives of its inhabitants, and the people of Judæa draw strength
from proud traditions to hold out against a growing Roman occupation. Meanwhile, the Judæan urban upper
class, reduced to little more than a fifth column of Rome’s invading armies, has nothing but scorn for the
people’s hope that a hero will rise up among them to lead in taking their homeland back. They see no future
for the world but for these empires of a scale never before seen to enslave all humanity and call it civilization,
and they seek a place of privilege in this emerging order. But in this they turn their backs on the wisdom that
it is worthless to prosper at the price of humanity. Will these villains reap the evil they have sown?