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 Category:  War and History Fiction
  Posted: October 3, 2018      Views: 199

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Faceless yet voidless, with no form that can ever stop trying to grow. Some may call this survival instinct viral, or parasitic. Yet it is the only way to keep moving on . . .

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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
This work has reached the exceptional level
What if Emperor Constantine did not legalize Christianity?
"Constantine Vs The Cult of Jesus" by Lance Polin

Emperor Constantine awoke from a disturbing dream, seeing that all of Rome was at war with itself, battling desperately under the banner of a bloody red cross. Was this the sign that the oracle had prophesied all those years ago? Was Rome destined for yet another holy war? It was the Christians--always the Christians! Now they were even invading his dreams, giving him nightmares that might topple all of Rome! Something would have to be done to these people.

As was the tradition among Roman emperors since the days well before Julius Caesar, monotheistic cults were outlawed. Most of the public spectacles were about killing Jews and Christians for sport. For fun. They threw them to the lions. And Constantine was not going to miss out. He would train new gladiators and watch the slaves get murdered in the ring.

Constantine wanted to watch slaves killing other slaves for his amusement.

There was this prophet--an Elijah or Elihu, and he was one of these loud-mouthed, totally convinced Christians who didn't understand the legacy of Christ and had transformed Him into a deadly weapon hovering in the sky. He shot salvation just like the Romans--destroying you for not believing properly. And so this prophet had to die. He was thrown into the pit with both Maximus the Occisor, and The Interfectorem, who was encased in armor and would swing his gigantic mace over his head. With two cracks the prophet's brains were split open and he was clearly dead, an anticlimax. Constantine was disappointed, as was the crowd. It was too easy.

The people who had been following the late prophet were Christianized Jews. Some of them even claimed that Jesus Christ was not The Son of God, but had tried to preach that we are all the children of God, he no more divine that the least faithful among us. It was legend and mythology and the painful state of ignorance that the world had settled for at this time. They made God into gods, superpowers and influence and all. These Christians, thought Constantine, with a nod towards Mars, are crazy. They believe in the divinity of the blank air and sky. They look up beyond the world into nothingness, into a spaceless vortex called the universe and somehow see a hand waving with a friendly face inviting you in for tea. We will wipe them from the face of the earth! vowed Constantine.

The Christians were running around panicking. They had heard about the Emperor's dream and they figured that it had a different meaning, the red crosses being the banner of Christ, and He was taking a Holy Roman Empire to victory and then the conversion of the world. They would impose that Christ is unquestioned, The Son of God and therefore the new leader of the faith. Anyone who defies this belief will get the same 'Roman' treatment, torturing all non-believers for the sin of disagreement.

Constantine had been a good man, or so the Christians had thought. He had been slowly awarding rights to the followers of Christ. He was about to allow them to become true citizens of Rome. What had happened? Why had the Lord forsaken them all?

As the 'convert or die' campaign became the increasing obsession of Emperor Constantine, they were unprepared for the attack by the rebel forces of Maxentius, a man outraged that Constantine instead of him was selected Caesar. Maxentius was the better general. He was a better leader of men. He would destroy this obsessed beast and let all these Christians look at him as a hero. It will be a great new world, after Constantine falls. Everything will return to normal, under Jupiter and the rest of His family.

But Constantine had more than enough malice to knock the rebellious general out. Constantine knew their weakness. They were trying to save the Christians to assure that their army would grow. And if they were trying to protect Christians, then they would be treated like Christians. All our Roman citizens have been taught how to fear the Christians through town criers and rumors. Everyone was paranoid--Maxentius was a Christian? We can't let them take over! We need to protect our culture, to defend our society from these strange and terrifying beliefs!

All of Rome went to war. It was a slaughter of thousands, people from every side, the Jews, the Romans, the Babylonian interlopers and Germanic mercenaries, all of them killing one another. And especially the Christians. There were probably about 125,000 Christians hiding in corners and cathedrals throughout Italy. And they all had a price on their heads. Sometimes the mercenaries would actually bring back the severed heads, usually with a bloody red cross carved into the forehead. It reminded Constantine of his dream.

More and more Christians kept dying as the rebellion of Maxentius became a war against Christianity. If you wanted your hated neighbor to die, all you had to do was tell the centurions that they were a Christian. It was no questions asked. The person would be taken away and hanged or burned or crucified or simply kicked to death in the street.

The campaigns went on for the next twenty years, until Constantine finally died in the year 11,804. He would go down to history as Constantine the Great, the savior of Rome. History books would be written in later years chronicling the Christian wars, and Jesus Christ would eventually be painted as a fanatical murderer who ate children and raped their corpses. All of the ancient Christians were labelled in similar ways, a poisonous odor that was thankfully gone in the modernizing world of lost belief and eventual Democracy.

Some parents tried to hang on to the old ways, meeting and praying in private. But they were almost always found out. Children would watch their parents murdered in front of them. They would be given the choice of renouncing their Lord or die. Every last one of them renounced God.

Finally even the horror stories of Jesus Christ used to frighten the young were forgotten. There were no more tales to tell. It was just another failed religion. The Christians had been defeated. By the next generation, the children, raised without Christ, would leave that hopeful yet blasphemous mythology in the past, forming a new faith, eventually, someday.

Perhaps it would be one that stood up for what is right.

What If? contest entry


Author Notes
This author, for anyone by now who has read him, likes to criticize things. S/he tries to be an equal opportunity offender, attacking both faith and atheism, right-wing and left and all the lingering ideas in between. This is not because s/he believes in nothing. It is because s/he collects beliefs, fascinated by the directions of sincerity that each person may go. S/he is not an attack dog, but does not mind being considered that way. Nothing can offend her/him--nothing. Everything is worthy of a voice.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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