Holy Order 2385

Count to One Hundred and then Kill Yourself


Prion Morte Caine read the words with growing disbelief.

Count to One Hundred and then Kill Yourself

He read them again, just to be sure.

No, he had not misunderstood the command. Prophet Imran had just asked him to take his own life.


For what purpose?

He knew not.


He started counting, despite the fact that he had not fully processed the words before him. He was standing atop the small dais at the centre of Imran’s Providence. The Great Flame, a symbol of the Prophet, lay directly before him. His fellow Prions stood behind him. Half of them had already received their Holy Orders and had left to carry out their tasks.

None of those who had gone before him had struggled as he did now.


He thought back, to his childhood. Raised in New Kynda, he had been born in the embedded nation of Nome. His father had been a Nomad, a soldier who had fought to expand the nation’s diminutive territory. His mother had been from Vuria, having arrived during a mission of peace. However, after his father had been killed during a border conflict his mother had fled Nome, bringing him to her homeland.

Upon arriving, he had bumped into a Prion, and had been chosen.


Life at Origin had not been easy, at first. As the son of a foreigner he had been treated with suspicion and disdain, and he had been mocked by his peers on an almost daily basis.

Seeking solitude, he had often found himself in the servant’s quarters.

It was there that he had met Penella, a serving girl one year older than him. She had begged him to tell her stories about Nome and New Kynda, and in exchange she would soothe his wearisome heart.


For ten years they had courted, forbidden by Origin’s laws to advance their relationship. He had hoped that as a Prion, he might finally make her his wife. He had often dreamt of their future together, and of finally taking her to visit Nome.

Now, that future would never come to pass…

Because of Imran. Because of a scrap of parchment.

But… maybe he didn’t have to die…

Maybe he could refuse his Holy Order…


He could simply run away, meet Penella by the gate and be halfway across Vuria by dawn.

But that would mean spending the rest of his life as an outlaw. A traitor.

A failure.

He would be the first Prion to fail his Holy Order.

They would write of his failings. They would speak of his mistakes. How the boy from Nome hadn’t been up to the task. How the unfit Prion had failed the Prophet, and doomed the world to an uncertain future.


He could hear murmuring behind him. He was taking too long. Everyone else had read their Holy Order and departed in under a minute. He knew what they were thinking.

That he was too stupid to understand his order.

That he was too cowardly to complete his task.


He had trained for a decade for this moment.


Prophet Imran had asked this of him, and him alone. He would not fail.

He was a Prion. In life, and in death.

Penella would understand. His mother would understand… after a time.

Holding the parchment close to his chest, he stepped forward, towards the Great Flame.

Its heat warmed him, giving him strength.

One single step, and then everything would be over.

A single step, and he would be free.

And yet it would be the longest step of his life.

One hundred.

Summoning his courage, he stepped forward, into the flames.

To his surprise, he felt no pain. All he felt was a sense of peace.

He held the images of Penella and his mother in his mind as he felt the darkness come.

With his last breath, he shouted, as loud as he could.

“My guidance has ended!”

And then he was gone…

Read Be Good to find out if Prion Caine’s sacrifice had a deeper meaning!