In the mid-2600s, Ranulf becomes Supreme Pontiff of the Empire of Rome at Alexandria, a patriarchy run by priest-bureaucrats called Librarians. After twenty-two years on the throne, Ranulf’s memories flood back to him, from the time he moved to Alexandria with his mother to his present situation resulting from his choices, his training and his relationships.
Ranulf’s life has been a quest for truth, not the half-truths of the Librarians and their Secret History, but an understanding of how action rather than static dogma is the path to the future. Guided by mysterious strangers from another time and his own innate curiosity, Ranulf searches for this understanding.
Why do the Librarians hide facts from their ruler? What will Ranulf do as he gradually uncovers the truth? How will he respond when he finally understands?
Ranulf had awakened from a dream of when he was a child named Octavian. After managing to dress, he sat at the edge of his bed confused and concerned. The disarranged present invaded his thoughts.
Cannot happen. Will not happen. Must not happen. Has happened.
He focused on the colors of the wood grain of the post on the right corner of the footboard as his mind settled in this moment.
“What will happen?”
The door opened. “Time, Excellency.”
“Yes, thank you.” The weary man could not help but ask his Chamberlain, “How is it today?”
“The lost have gathered,” replied Tomas enigmatically.
The forty-two-year-old bearded man, formally Alexandros XI Heraclitus, Supreme Pontiff of the Empire of Rome at Alexandria, looked toward the younger man at the door. Tomas had been in his service for eleven years or so, tumultuous years. As Chamberlain fir the last six, he rode the storms with equanimity and poise, running the household and completing every task. Young as he was given his years in the Pontifical Household, the twenty-nine-year-old was a model servant, unobtrusive, unflappable and unfailing. A model that was aside from his habit of offering impenetrable replies to the simplest questions. At least they weren’t the platitudes Ranulf disliked so. Besides, the Pontiff was accustomed to opaque responses and known to respond obliquely himself.
The leader of the Empire was above-average in height with a slender waist rising to broad shoulders burdened by the days ahead and behind. Ranulf had what might be called a strong face if he had been a warrior, handsome in a hyper-masculine way. His physical health from daily exercise gave his skin the appearance of glowing from within even while his dry, gray-blue eyes and constantly parted lips gave his face the appearance his soul was ready to depart.
Bowing his head of shoulder-length, thinning bronze hair, Ranulf gripped the wood and raised himself. His normally inquisitive eyes were oddly bereft of activity.
“So, we begin.”
Kellan Publishing: Click Here
Bear was born in Pittston, PA, but was raised in the Baltimore-Washington area. He has lived in the Albany, NY, area for 19 years. He has been writing since the age of 13 and had his first work, a poem, published at 17. Bear has worked 30 years in higher education as a professor of political science and a student success specialist. He has lived overseas in China, Hong Kong, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
Bear currently works full time as a writer of plays, non-fiction, poetry and fiction. The Secret History of Another Rome is his first completed novel. He has written three full-length plays and a one-act play that is the start of another long play. Bear also writes political essays, which have been published at 99online.us and www.opednews.com/hkbearmcneelege. One essay was published in River & South Review’s Winter 2014 issue and a poem was published in December 2014 by Silver Birch Press in their I Am Waiting series. He is completing work on a non-fiction book, Democracy and the Social Contract, and writing a second novel, Peter.
Bear enjoys gardening, cooking, travelling, reading books on world history, working out and wrestling. He and his spouse were married in 1996 in a Christian-Taoist ceremony in a beautiful state park. They enjoy taking care of their 95-year-old house and their three cats: Rani Dolly Lama, Buster Amarillo Spotbelly and Miss KayKay Snugglegrumps.
Bear’s Author Page: http://www.kellanpublishing.com/index.php/authors/bear/