Chapter One (Part II)
In the Garden of Eden

“Why today?” she pleaded. “Of all days, why the eighth anniversary of the attack on the New Capital? The attack you helped organize.”

Kenny took one last drag of his cigarette and smashed it in his ashtray. He looked at his wife, Elizabeth, with no regret in his eyes. “Elizabeth, I organized that attack for a reason and the end has certainly justified the means. It is time we forgive not only the former powers but to forgive ourselves. Did you really like being in the Alliance when we were teenagers?”

Elizabeth simply shook her head. “But Kenny, you know we use today as the new birthday of Maria. She might not ask anything but she has questions. It’s like she knows her father is alive.”

“That would be my doing,” Kenny grinned. “I told her that Shane is alive and looking for her.”

“You did what?” Elizabeth leaped out of her seat. Her voice bouncing off the stone walls of the den like office they were occupying. “If Shane is alive he is not looking for her. He’s looking for you! He’s already killed Alexander.”

“Shane is a lost lamb, a child who feels forsaken. It’s why I always preach forgiveness, especially on days like this. I hope to our Lord and Savior that Shane hears my message.”

“But—“

“Elizabeth, I love you. But is Shane’s hands the only one stained with blood?”

Elizabeth sighed, “No, Kenny. And it haunts me every day.”

“How do we know it doesn’t haunt him? I know he’s alive, I can feel it. We were like brothers before the attack on the New Capital. Now get the kids, I have a sermon to conduct.”

The auditorium was filled, religious zealots sat next to converting atheists, the elderly intertwined with the college students. The lighting was fired up, the most on the giant cross that was engraved on top of the stage wall. In the back, the cameras were rolling as the music faded into memory. Their leader, their preacher, was now on stage. Kenny Pillman, son of renown tattoo artist turned hate monger associate, scanned his congregation with a smile. His eyes landed on the birthday girl, the modestly dressed, Hispanic mixed eleven year old Maria. His warm smile made her smile widely as she clung to her adoptive mother’s side.

“The Bible teaches us to forgive as our Heavenly Father forgives. Forgive each other, forgive those who wronged you, even forgive yourself. I know many of us have trouble doing that last part. We have done wrong to others, we sought our pound of flesh. Even I have fell victim to such thinking. Those who know my story will agree, but for those who are new to the program or this congregation let me fill you in.
“I am Kenny Pillman, son of Jamie Pillman who has been called one of the best tattoo artists in the last fifty years. The problem with his reputation is he associated himself with the Aryan-Viking Alliance and the Organization 28, which is a hate group/ white supremacy organization. I did not know he was my father until the day he died. He told me, minutes before he killed himself in front of me, that he never wanted to be part of that lifestyle, nor did he wished it on me. Sadly we both led that life and he was stuck. After his death my best friend, Shane Magner who most of you know as the man who killed former president Alexander Hamil, left to hide in Puerto Rico. So I was alone, alone with no one but my wife Elizabeth and my God.
“I have learned to forgive my own transgressions, for I know God has forgiven me. But I know a few people, including my friend that I mentioned, more than likely have not forgiven me. But I would like to go into Matthew 6:14…”

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