Jean-Paul looks down in sorrow. “And thus I have requested special permission to revoke my fourth vow, where I further promised an extra obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff in regard to his missions. To fulfill my inner mission, I can still remain chaste, still remain in poverty, and still remain obedient in my spirit of faith and love in the following of Christ. And thus I have asked that the Church allow me to retain my ordination, which I believe will be important for me in fulfilling my personal quest, but release me from the special vow to the Pontiff.”
The Father General reflects while rubbing his fingers, and then thoughtfully replies, “Jean-Paul, after two months of reflection, do you really believe that forsaking all of your good work in the name of Christ, in the name of our Lord, to enter the employ of Alexander Murometz is truly God’s calling to you?”
He pauses, studying Jean-Paul’s face. “A rhetorical question, which you have recognized with your silence.”
With a voice that echoes the spirit of the Superior General, Antoine Lemoine adds, “Please, with all due respect to your humility, let me remind you of your lifetime of deeds, which has saved souls, lives, and in some cases, prevented needless deaths. Even in your Regency, you and Brother Petrus turned around the violence that local boys perpetrated upon your students. Your academic excellence in biblical archeology and geo-archeology have made you a leading expert in the claims of human-alien interaction in the scriptures. And from this, the Pontiff has found your distinguished value towards his key commission and working group on these subjects.”
Flushing slightly at the accolades, Jean-Paul replies, “But a man, a sole man, can never be indispensable. He can be replaced.”
The Father General takes a different tack with his young mentee. “And let us not forget the work you have done to save lives. A sole man who saves a life is not indispensable. What you did in Nigeria, the Congo, and in Egypt—can you tell yourself that those children, those students, those members of our parishes would say you were replaceable? And your relief work after the great quake in Van, Turkey, or with the refugees from Northern Mali—would those survivors say you were replaceable?”
Jean-Paul gets up, stretches, goes to the window and gazes upon the Milky Way. He turns and says, “It fills my soul well, your kind words of recognition.
Especially you as my friend, but notwithstanding as my Father General. Mr. Murometz has shown me a pathway, a solution postulate to a problem that afflicts not only myself but, as I have discovered, many others. My special talents with his resources and access can help save the souls of many who are unaware that their souls could be saved. But to do this, I may need to act in ways that may seem superficially to be inconsistent with my vow to His Holiness, the Pontiff. My actions may look questionable for the reputation of the Order, especially to our detractors. Mr. Murometz has indicated that part of his family traces its lineage back to the Jesuit Order in Russia, during the time of Catherine the Great, and thus, he has the utmost regard for what I have vowed to the Order. I trust that you will trust me when I say that I intend to uphold my other three vows in what I will do.”
And with that, the Father General gets up, shakes his black cassock and in a deep voice requests, “Father Sobiros, I ask that you meditate on the wishes of the Pontiff for two more weeks. I will take your request under advisement in my conversation with His Holiness tomorrow morning. You are dismissed.”
“Father General, thank you for your audience. Ad majorem Dei gloriam. For the greater glory of God.”
And so the humbled Father Sobiros, perhaps soon to be simply Jean-Paul, leaves the Jesuit Curia. As he slowly walks back towards his residence, Jean-Paul stares at the Milky Way again, deep in contemplation.
Then his MoxWrap taps his wrist. The message reads, “Did he accept our story?”
Jean-Paul taps back,
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
A few seconds pass, and then the reply comes. “Then may the Lord be with you on your mission.”
Title: The Matriarch Matrix
Author: Maxime Trencavel
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure
The Matriarch Matrix – A speculative fiction novel of origins, faith, passion, and the pursuit of peace.
It was always his destiny to save her. It was always her destiny to die. The fate of the world hangs on their choices…
The past foretells her future…
What does it take to change a loving child of peace into an assassin for a dangerous and powerful oligarch? Zara Khatum knows. Once a fighter for her Kurdish people, the memory of the atrocities inflicted by her captors has Zara seeking one thing: vengeance. But the voices of the ancients call to Zara. In the past, in another life, she knew the secrets of the artifact…
Twelve thousand years ago…
She is Nanshe, revered matriarch of the family she led away from the monsters of the north. In the land that would one day mark the treacherous border between Turkey and Syria, she created the temples at Gobleki Tepe and founded a dynasty, heirs to a powerful object. For millennia, Nanshe’s descendants have passed down the legend of the artifact: “The object can save. But only a man and woman together can guide the salvation of others.”
Heirs to destiny…
By fate or destiny, Zara is thrown in with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian from the other side of the world and the other side of everything she believes. But he, too, is heeding the voices of his ancestors. Joined by Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, these three people—from wildly different religions and cultures—must find a way to work together to solve a twelve-thousand-year-old mystery of the powerful object that spawned a faith. The world teeters on the precipice of war. The outcome depends on them. And one of them is living a lie.
The Matriarch Matrix is a rich and deeply layered epic story – a spiritual odyssey with a heartbeat of an action adventure. It may make you think, ponder, reflect upon where we came from and where we are going. It blends our past with a speculative future of things that are not so far-fetched. It blends the drama, the comedy, the romance, the tragedy of three protagonists with different cultures, traditions, and beliefs – a Sufi woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien origin believing atheist. Their journeys separately and together will be a test of their respective faiths and their inner search for personal and family redemption.
Maxime has been scribbling stories since grade school from adventure epics to morality plays. Blessed with living in multicultural pluralistic settings and having earned degrees in science and marketing, Maxime has worked in business and sports, traveling to countries across five continents and learning about cultures, traditions, and the importance of tolerance and understanding. Maxime’s debut novel was written and edited in diﬀerent locations in Belgium, including the Turkish and Kurdish neighborhoods of Brussels, in South America, and on the two coasts of the United States.