A RELIGION IS BORN
When Michael Altman went public with his research on the Black Marker, the world was teetering on the brink of self-destruction. Many people, myself included, felt civilization was at an end. We couldn't change the world by ourselves and most of us didn't want to. What Altman offered us, this chance at a rebirth for humanity, was exactly what our hungry, empty souls were looking for.
Practically overnight, our hope for humanity was renewed. Millions flocked to his conferences to hear him profess to know the way to a new beginning. We stared in awe at the evidence of the alien artifact that would change everything. And we did whatever he told us to.
We rallied against the government. We joined together in congregations to share his word. And we prepared ourselves for the future he said was coming.
Where were you when Michael Altman was assassinated by our government? It's the question of our generation, I suppose. It's certainly the day when everything changed for me... and the world.
The martyring of the scientist-turned-savior Michael Altman begat fanatical zealots and I was one of them. We birthed and maintained the tenements of a new religion, known now as the Church of Unitology. I was only a follower but I was suddenly part of the biggest social movement in history. The riots that followed and the crippling of our government made us realize we finally had the power to change things. ...
No one knows what is contained in the Black Marker. Some claim it contains a genetic string that grants immortality through gene therapy. Others say it contains the DNA of an alien life form. Even Altman confessed to not knowing exactly what it is for.
The Marker has been used to form the basic doctrines of the church. As claimed in the popular book, "Death is Only the Beginning," humans will learn that by death of their worldly spirit, they will be reborn in unity as a stronger, unending community. "Unity is forever."
Death is an important event in the journey of a Unitologist and seen as a necessary step to being reborn. The body is considered holy and it may not be cremated or be allowed to decay in the ground. The bodies are given to the church for safekeeping. Where they are taken is unknown, but I have seen massive Unitology compounds on all of the major settlements I have visited. Curious, I asked around. No one would tell me what was housed inside, but I uncovered evidence of massive shipments of preservative chemicals being sent to the compounds on a regular basis.
It was around this time that my superior Paragon Fontenay, brought me in for my first "soul cleansing".
Despite the headaches and the nausea that continued to plague me, I managed to sneak into the shipyard. I had almost regained full function of my legs and was able to make it into what appeared to be the nerve center of the operation.
What I discovered were ships, massive ships and lots of them. Stasis storage tubes lined each of the hundreds of exposed cargo bays. I couldn't see any of the bodies, but I knew what the tubes were for. What I couldn't figure out was why the church needed to transport so many suspended bodies in what looked like deep-space vessels.
Before I could investigate further, I was recaptured and the real "soul cleansings" began.