Nonnie Jules is the founder and President of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, as well as interviewer of RRBC authors in the famed, “Who’s On The Shelf With Nonnie?” interviews. Her interviewing skills are legendary and she decided to accompany Author, John Fioravanti, through space and time to another galaxy 700 years into the future. Nonnie’s goal is to meet the key personalities on planet Genesis featured in Fioravanti’s series, The Genesis Saga, and utilize her formidable skills to find out something more about these characters. This scene is the fifth of many, which will follow.
Setting: Nonnie and I are together in the formal living room of Professor Marco Rossini’s home on the University of Genesis City (UGC) campus. Marco is about to give us some historical background about the earliest days of humans on Genesis going back roughly 700 years – to the year 2181 CE. Let’s listen in…
Marco: “Nonnie, I want to take you back to the year 2181 – the human survivors of the Omega Virus are aboard the United Nations colonizer ship, UNS Divine Scepter, and are only a few days’ travel from Genesis. John actually found this story buried in the archives. I plan to make it part of a book I’m going to write. Do you mind if I tell you?”
Nonnie: Not at all! I love a good story, right John?” (John grins and winks at Marco.)
Marco: “Great! This story involves Jethro Hodge – an ancestor of today’s Navy Marine Commandant, Gillian Hodge – and his five-year-old grandson, Joachim. Jethro was not a military man, but rather a civil engineer and architect. He was preparing to direct the construction of Genesis City when the ship arrived. The story unfolds in his home…”
Joachim Hodge bounded into his grandfather’s cozy reading room to find its owner sitting in his favorite chair, absorbed in an old-fashioned book. Hearing the boy’s running steps, the sandy-haired family patriarch dropped the book in his lap just in time to reach out, catch his airborne five-year-old, and set him upon his book.
“Great catch, Papa!” The boy squirmed as he reached for the book under his bottom. “What’s this, Papa?”
“That’s the story of our people, JoJo.”
Jethro Hodge smiled at his only grandchild. JoJo gave himself that nickname when he was learning to talk at twenty months. All he could manage from ‘Joachim’ was ‘JoJo’ – and it stuck as the family began to use it from that day forward.
“Yes and everyone else’s family too. Tell me, what did you learn in school today?”
His Papa asked him that question almost every day, but today, young JoJo’s face lit up with excitement as he remembered the big news.
“Papa, do you know that we’re all flying in a spaceship? It’s called Divine Semper! How come, Papa?”
Hodge opened the book in Joachim’s lap so the boy could see the picture of the ship on the inside cover of the leather-bound volume. “This is our ship, JoJo; it’s called Divine Scepter.”
“That’s the same picture we saw in class today,” Joachim said pensively as he studied the drawing carefully. The boy looked up from the book and locked eyes with his grandfather. “What’s a Divine Semper, Papa?”
Jethro settled in to tell his grandson the story. “Well, JoJo, a scepter is a fancy staff carved from wood used by kings a long time ago. The staff was a reminder to their people that the king had the power to rule. The word ‘divine’ means something that belongs to the Gods.”
Joachim scrunched up his face in thought for a moment as he looked at the picture. “It doesn’t look like a staff.”
“You’re right, it doesn’t. This ship was provided by the Gods as a sign of their will that we travel to a new world.”
“How come, Papa?” Hodge smiled indulgently at the oft-repeated question.
“Well, young sir, that is an interesting story. Shall I tell you?”
“Please, Papa!” Jojo’s face was animated as he clapped his hands together in glee. He loved his grandfather’s stories.
“Alright, Jojo, get comfy now. It all started a long time ago, before any of us on this ship were born. Our grandparents and great-grandparents came from a world called Earth. But there was a terrible war – people fighting each other, and killing each other because they disagreed about the Gods they believed in.” Jethro looked to see if the boy was following. He nodded his curly head, so Hodge continued.
“One day, some people created a very powerful disease to make their enemies sick and then die. They called it a virus. It was so powerful that no one could control it… it had a mind of its own. They called it Omega. You won’t believe what happened next… Jojo… are you listening?
Little Joachim had fallen fast asleep in Jethro’s arms. The story would be finished another time…
Nonnie: “Marco! You’re just going to leave me hanging? I want the rest of it…”
Marco: “And so you shall have it, Nonnie! But first, let me get us some refreshments. I baked chocolate chip cookies this morning, and I know they’re John’s favorites…”
Join us next time when Marco finishes the story for Nonnie!