1 New Era

Surrounded by brightly colored lights and left on the verge of insanity by auditory psychedelia on some New York street bench the city had taken all its spirit for itself. Desperate, he was bowing his head, his hands in prayer, wishing God would save him from the multicolored purgatory he was in.

In a short time, mankind advanced technologically to the point of driving those with the weakest minds mad, consuming the so-called "backward" people into the rainbow abyss of the great metropolises, which seemed more colossal factories that produced everything at a frightening rate

Before polychromatic hell took hold of his soul, a strange feeling of purification filled him, bringing him a very welcome relief at that moment. The boy raised his head to try to find the source of the appeasement, that's when something entered his field of vision. Approaching with slow steps, the silhouette of a tall person gained prominence among the mass of people passing by the street. As he got closer, more details of his appearance began to be visible.

He appeared to be an elderly man, since he had a white beard and also common traits of the passage of time, such as wrinkles and some spots on his skin. She was wearing an overcoat that came with a cape as black as the hat that rested on her head. The mere presence of the man in black made all the confusion around him inhibited, as if he carried with him a purgative aura of the world's impurities.

After a few more steps, he finally stood in front of the boy on the bench.

- Who are you, sir?

- I'm a man of God, just like you. And, observing his previous state of agitation, I can conclude that he was feeling very pressured in this world that has now been forgotten by the Creator - said the man in black, in a soft voice.

- I can't understand it. People have exchanged the Father for material and carnal pleasures, they have forgotten what He has done for all of us! - he said fervently, which made the man in the black smile, soon after taking the space that was right next to him.

He took off his black hat and put it on his lap, exposing a modest wig, looking up at the sky with its stars overshadowed by the aurora neon. A warm breeze passed both of them, bringing with it a strong metallic smell, which bothered them both deeply.

- That smell... can you smell it? They say they are the effects of the irrepressible wheel of progress - he spoke with disgust, coughing seconds later. - However, I do not know if we can call that progress. - He pointed to a church in a dark corner of the street, vandalized and abandoned, leaving only a wooden and concrete skeleton taken by graffiti.

- Other churches were built, though. Even so, it is depressing to see such disregard for a church," said the boy, taking his gaze to the Lord.

- The new churches don't have the same devotion as before, that I can tell you. Now, believers surrender to money and worldly interests as if it were something commonplace. In my day, everything was much better without all that technology.

- But what can we do? Times change, it's an eternal and unchanging advancement

- Certainly, we cannot stop progress, but when it costs our faith, is it worth it?

The phrase spoken by the old man entered the boy's mind, who pondered it for some time until the old man began to speak again.

- There is no greater treasure for a man than his soul and his faith. However, when even that is corrupted, there is no more to be done. - he said, directing his attention to one of the countless announcements and news above their heads. It was a news item characterized as urgent, a fact that was easily perceived by the tension in the speech of the newspaper anchor.

- Right now, a secret government project has been leaked all over the Internet by a hacker who calls herself the White Fox, causing a global mess that could be very damaging to the entire country. We do not know the details about the document, but it is something that goes against everything we believed was possible until then.

From one moment to the next, the transmission was cut off, changing the channel that was passing to a pulsating error warning. Then, all the screens that had channels reporting the fact suffered from the same fate, causing the street to be dominated by red tones coming from the error messages.

An abnormal silence took over the crowd but was soon replaced by a mixture of voices, shouting and the artificial buzzing of the big city.

The old man stood up, contemplating the whole situation with a soft smile, trying not to expose his emotions too much. Without turning to the boy sitting on the bench, he spoke again.

- A few days ago, I received a message from God the Creator himself, asking me to be his prophet in the new world he was about to create. Therefore, I have gathered a group of believers willing to fight for the cause of saving the people of this world contaminated by lust and human greed. I'd like you to come with me - you announced, in a surprisingly serious way.

Not being able to process all the information that was being played against him, the boy couldn't formulate a sentence to respond to the man in black's proposal. Meanwhile, he managed to say the first thing that came to his mind.

- What do you intend to do?

- I will cleanse the world of heresy, even if it costs me my life," answered the man in black, much more serious than before.

- I-I don't want any part of it! I'm not killing anyone, that's wrong!

- No one is going to die, because, by the time they choose to leave God's path, they have already died. We will only send them to the place they deserve to be, either to heaven or to hell. It is sad to know that you are not coming with us in our sacred struggle, but all right, when the divine hammer falls on you, you will be able to contemplate the majesty of our Creator - he finished, walking away and leaving the boy without reaction, too afraid to move or speak anything.

After disappearing into the crowd the gentleman in black took a mobile phone out of his pocket, dialed a number and put it next to his ear.

- Hummingbird, this is the Wolf, God's prophecy had its first step started. Start the phase 2 process immediately - he ordered the old man, pushing people while he walked in a hurry.

- Mr. Wolf, what should we call the hacker? If we use the right means, we can get her to come to our side easily. - a female voice responded on the other side.

- Use diplomatic means first. If it goes wrong, activates the predatory protocol, we can't have mistakes in this plan, or everything goes down the drain. Hanging up. - he concluded by finishing the call and keeping the phone back in his pocket. For one last time, he stopped and looked up at the sky one more time. A lonely star regained its brightness, appearing and standing out in the threshold veil. To Wolf, that was his God smiling at him, so he smiled back, continuing with his walk.

⥏☉☉✡☉☉⥑

The vibrant lights of the night went out as the birds sang, announcing the arrival of a new dawn. The golden brightness of the sun's rays passed slightly through the gaps in the blinds of Emma's bedroom, who, having her eyes covered with the intense golden light, pulled the blanket up, covering her face in a futile attempt to gain a few more minutes of sleep. Unfortunately, she knew she couldn't miss university that day, as she had been absent from school for three days because of her last trick-or-treating through the deepest corners of the Internet. She sat on the bed, yawning and blinking several times so that her eyes could get used to the brightness of the room.

She grumbled when she realized that her whole room was very scrambled, something that was very common for her, but that always irritated her. Next to the window, her state-of-the-art computer rested on the custom table. It didn't have the same beauty as before due to the dozens of cans of energy and boxes of Chinese food that were supposed to be there a few days ago.

She got up at once, stretching herself and doing some quick exercises to finish activating the muscles. She took off her clothes, which also stank a little on account of last night. Between the mess, she guided himself by his sense of smell to find the cleanest clothes she could find. She took a shirt with Freddie Mercury and the "Queen" stamped on it, jeans, a blue jacket and put it all on. She went to the PC to turn it off since it had been on all night.

However, she noticed that there was a message in her message box, which made her a little curious since she was sure to have blocked all the counts she could have for security reasons. Opening the application, a message entitled "Hello, Young Lady" lay solitary in the new messages tab.

- Is that serious? Does somebody find me? - she questioned herself, being surprised to see that it was real and not her mind playing a trick.

With some uncertainty, she took the mouse arrow to the message and pressed the button, opening it for good.

From: 𝚿 𝕸.𝓐

To: White Fox

It is with great pleasure and esteem that we come here to invite you to change the world, Miss Fox. Before you ask, we track you through a complex software invented with the sole intention of finding hackers, like you. Even so, you deserve an honorable mention, since it was hard to find you even with the program. Anyway, let's get right to it.

When divulging about the Re: Birth project to all the internet, we believe that you possess the same ideals that we do: to free the world of the heresy that the technological advance brought to our society, that now is connected by a tenuous line to the Creator, to the point of breaking if we do nothing.

So we´re asking you to join our organization. We have the resources and means to accomplish what we have planned, so you can be assured that this plan will work. God will make sure there are no mistakes.

If you are interested, please answer back so we can meet in the cafeteria near where you study, obviously after your class ends

With great joy, we salute you.

The Golden Menorah.

At first, Emma was incredulous that she had been found, but soon after she caught herself laughing at the message that had been sent to her.

- Dude, is this serious? How far are today's churches coming to get faithful people? - she said, amidst the laughter. - But that's okay, I'll at least answer those idiots.

From: White Fox

For: 𝚿 𝕸.𝓐

Try and catch me if you can, idiots. I'm not afraid of a few religious assholes.

Go to hell.

The best band in the world (Queen)

Knowing that she was being immature for her age, she sent the answer without hesitation or thought of the consequences, believing that it was nothing more than an unfounded and foolish threat from certain desperate zealots. However, his grace turned into tension when she noticed that the message was answered immediately. The tension evolved into a little fear when she read what was written.

From: 𝚿 𝕸.𝓐

To: White Fox

Since you don't want to join us, which is a shame, we'll get you using force.

Don't say we didn't warn you.

The Golden Menorah.

- Go fuck yourselves, you bunch of crazy... - spoke, turning off her computer.

Even for her, that was terrifying enough to make her want to pay attention along the way. To escape the thinkings that came to her mind, she took her backpack, and left the apartment, locking it, at last, passing through the corridors faster than usual.

Already on the street, the daytime crowds, a little smaller than the nighttime crowds, filled the streets of the city, causing Emma to be forced to slow down her walking. With avid eyes, she checked all over the place as she went through the routine route to the university where she studied administration.

From the beginning of the second millennium until the year 2025, the world grew and evolved, and with this growth, many new possibilities arose in the most diverse areas, and one of the most profitable was the area of administration, which encouraged the girl to try the course. But to do so, she left her family in San Francisco, California, to go live alone in one of the largest metropolises in the modern world in search of a prosperous future.

As she walked, she finally put aside her bad thoughts and focused on remembering home. A place that, although she had not visited for some time, made her have good memories of the time she lived with her country. When she could, she would visit them for a few days, but that was enough to make her forget the boring routine in the city irrepressible.

Lost in her illusions, she barely noticed when she bumped into a person a little taller than she was, dressed entirely in black.

- Oh! I didn't see you - she said, still a little surprised by what had happened.

However, when she looked at the person in front of her, she noticed that he was very strange. She didn't want to think she was being too prejudiced, but wearing an outfit like that on a sunny morning was a bit "different", at least for her.

- You - a female voice spoke. Soon after, the person raised her head, revealing herself to be a beautiful woman with shiny blond hair with blue eyes like two large sapphires staring directly at the young girl. - I finally found you among all these people, Fox Girl. If you don't want anything to happen to you, you better not scream or run.

At that moment, Emma was cornered.

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