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Equilibrium Fan Article by Cleric Wolf
The Martial Solution:
The role of the Grammaton Cleric in Libria



   

Kurt Wimmer’s vision of the future is a starkly dark portrayal of what could happen if society survives a third world war, a war that tears down the core roots of our own society and buries it firmly in the rubble. It would be a horrific undertaking for any kind of government to re-establish itself in the post-war trauma that followed but for some reason Father’s regime survived and prospered, thanks mostly to the drug Prozium and the enforcement of the Grammaton Clerics, the lethal right-hand of Father’s new justice.



The foundations of a new world


Rome was not built in a day and the many roads that supposedly lead to it also took a lifetime to perfect, much of Libria’s technology would have been at first, the remains of the old world. Those little bits of our 20th century that survived the holocaust, weapons of course would have been a lucrative commodity for many back-street and black-market traders – you can guarantee that if something like society crumbles there will always be those people that seem to have a nearly-mythical supply of what ever you might need at the time.

Nothing would have been truly lost and Father’s first work would have been to re-create his structure, government and all. In the fiction, House of Cards, I delved into one of the darker aspects of the human soul, the government’s endless need to experiment on other beings for its own ends, be it social or scientific – in this case the forerunner of Prozium. In House we learn that the Prozium is far from finished and it has catastrophic results for the poor ill-fated Sweeper that is chosen to receive the first dose – he becomes psychotic and highly dangerous.

But it is from those early scrapings and the first few bricks and mortar of the new society that the current government and military force grew. The most famous and most dangerous of all of course are the Grammaton Clerics, these fictional monastic warriors of the future are trained in a superlative martial art, the Gun Katas (1). This has been the subject of much debate and hard-headedness from simple fans to martial arts experts attempting to rationalize the proper Gun Katas as they stand, which I believe is highly unlikely – as Gun Kata goes it’s a good, but flawed concept.

Yet it forms the backbone of the Grammaton Cleric’s arsenal and their fighting techniques. It is not however the be-all and end-all of their training, the saying: man cannot live by bread alone, comes to mind as I write this.


I could write reams upon the government and the very Tetra Grammaton itself and my own views might differ from other people out there, but that’s ok, this is what fan-fiction and fan-articles are all about. I don’t mind if people disagree with me, or they think something is different, we each make of Libria what /we/ make of it. That’s Kurt’s gift to us – Libria is ours to shape as we see fit, he’s given us the floorplan and just a taste of what’s possible – leaving his baby in our hands to nurture and hopefully grow.


So what are the Grammaton Clerics?

Super human soldiers of a new regime? Master Martial Artists that combine the very best of the attack/defense forms with the use of firearms or gun orientated monks that rely upon an almost computer-quick light-speed instinct to defeat their opponents?

There is very little known about the Grammaton Clerics apart from what you can glean in the movie: Equilibrium, this isn’t very much if you add it all up so it leaves many holes and places to extrapolate. We know that they are trained with Gun Katas and the use of their specific firearm, but what we don’t know is how long that art took to perfect and how much iteration the Kata must have gone through.

In the first embers of Father’s dream there was probably the first glimmers of dissent from those who saw the regime as a way to control people, Father’s dream might have begun as a perfectly normal desire to curb the emotions of an overly violent society and instigate a form of control – with no thought to the possible uses of the drug to fully keep society in line.

But there are those people who do not want to become mindless drones, told what to watch, to listen to and what to do by giant figures in power – much like our own societies today as we edge further and further towards total control. The MPAA and the RIAA, or the many groups that try to influence what we watch and what we do, censors and moral majorities – all have their say and individual power-plays – all screaming for us to follow their chaste example and ban violent video games or music with evocative lyrics.

It wouldn’t take much of a push for the governments of the world to instigate Grammaton like policies, we see it all too often on TV or listen to it, read about it in the news. It’s quite a frightening thought when you put all that in perspective. So we can extrapolate from this what we know about our world and add to that of Equilibrium’s mythos with a few core ideas in mind about this new regime.

What ever good it tried to do, it failed, it’s an oppressive and highly dangerous society ruled by the cream of the social elite. Father is dead and DuPont keeps up the charade perfectly, using the Grammaton Clerics to enforce his iron will on a society that for the most part can’t be scared of putting a foot wrong, because they don’t have the emotional capacity to feel ‘scared’.

Anyone that doesn’t take their ‘dose’ learns quickly that the society is full of murderous power-mongering despots and it’s not the Utopia that they claim it is. I think after a while many Sense Offenders welcome death – since it’s a much better alternative than being hunted down and shot like dogs.

And to do it, DuPont has his fanatical and loyal enforcers, the Grammaton Clerics.



A brief look at the Grammaton Cleric

A Grammaton Cleric is the archetypical image of death, smooth, slick and dangerous looking. They are dressed to kill and killing is a business they know very well. The very image is designed to strike fear into the hearts of the Sense Offenders.



But if most Librian’s have no emotion why bother with having a fear-inspiring enforcer, the Cleric and the Sweeper are designed to evoke emotions and can be used to weed out possible Sense Offenders from regular citizens. Most citizens would ignore the presence of the enforcers, they would of course comply with any orders and so forth being programmed that way by years of societal control.

A Sense Offender would react to the danger and someone trained in the intuitive arts would spot it, before the Sense Offender could hide it.

Decisions made like this can only come from a regime and a ruler that does not take Prozium. Taking a drug that renders emotions worthless would hamper any kind of decision making process that involved the well-being of a world. So we know that DuPont and his inner Cleric elite circle are off the dose, for this reason. It makes them sloppy however and they are easily defeated by a Cleric that does not use Prozium to dull his emotions but walls them away inside his mind, akin to a Shaolin Monk and their ability to (supposedly) channel Chi energy.

But enough conjectural rambling aside, now that I have ratified certain elements I can continue with the exposition.

Despite the Cleric’s slick appearance and almost priest-like attire they are an organization that works upon a strict code of combat. With this code of combat comes the knowledge that there is a chain of command.

Father
Vice Council (DuPont)
Elite Grammaton Clerics
Senior Clerics (First Class)
Clerics
Junior Clerics

The Elite Clerics would be responsible for the day to day protection of Father/DuPont and they are in essence looked upon as his bodyguards. They are rarely seen but their presence would be felt if Father needed to make a show of force.

First Class (Senior) Clerics are those like John Preston, they have the best training and they are the prized golden children of Father’s regime. These are given special investigation duties and tasked with recovering Sense Offender artifacts from the Nethers. These Clerics would also train the lower ranked Clerics in the Gun Kata and many other combat forms.

Clerics are the run of the mill mainstay of the regime, these are the front line troops that DuPont would consider the most expendable, since they are not as prized as the First Class Clerics and many of them would be given patrol and protection duties – some of the more promising Clerics would make it to First Class.

Junior Clerics would be the student Cleric, like those we see in DuPont’s ‘Gun Kata’ lecture, these could fill a variety of roles from paper-pushing to filing jobs, cataloging various items and generally doing nothing more exciting than chasing down a rogue bit of information. Only when they have truly excelled at their training or if they show any kind of promise, would they be considered for promotion to a Cleric.


A Clerics Training

Given what we know about the Clerics it’s reasonably safe to assume that they operate upon a monastic or even monk-like lifestyle. In the movie we hear them talk about the Monastery and what we must remember is many people trust priest-like figures, this is probably another minor form of societal conditioning instigated by Father to help keep people in line.

Clerics of all ranks would attend regular scheduled (clockwork timed) studies in the halls of the Monastery. The lessons would be broken up between cerebral learning studies, martial learning studies and Gun Kata studies. With times set aside for breaks, taking Prozium and imbibing food and drink.

Any talk by classmates would be purely technical and socializing would be frowned upon.

Cerebral studies would be a number of subjects, akin to what we have in our world: Mathematics and complex equations, history (pre WWIII and so on) and many more lessons dealing with law and even computer operations.

Martial studies would be given over to the study of non-firearm based combat techniques: Sword and other weapon use, hand to hand combat, CQB and restraining techniques would all be covered as well as weak-points and lethal moves.

Gun Kata studies could be considered the highlight of the Cleric’s day (if they bothered about those kinds of things) and would cover several Gun Kata related subjects:

The history and theory behind Gun Kata.
Gun Kata instructional videos and programs.
The correct use of firearms, cleaning of firearms, firearm safety protocols.
The Gun Katas themselves (primary weapon)
Gun Kata advanced techniques, Gun Push fighting and anti-Cleric solutions.
Secondary Gun Kata techniques, use of rifles, shotguns and other firearms.



A Clerics life would be one of constant information digestion and training, sleep cycles would be carefully controlled and they would be given gym time to perfect their physical fitness and body musculature. It would be a hard and grueling regimen of many years before they could even be trusted to join the ranks of full-fledged Cleric, just look at the many Martial Arts in the world and understand how long it takes to even learn a few moves – then extrapolating from that I reckon it would take at least ten years (Intensive life inside the walls of the Monastery) to learn the basics of Gun Kata enough to please the regime.

You would enter the Monastery at an early age, much like the Shaolin monks and their temples – you would not leave until the masters were satisfied with your progress, failure would not be tolerated and those that couldn’t keep up with the Grammaton life, would be relegated to Sweeper status or even worse.

By the time that the Cleric was out of the training period they would most likely be molded into the perfect killing machine for DuPont. Emotionless and ruthless with a strict ‘shoot first’ ‘shoot second’ and ‘third’ mentality rather than asking questions, just watch Preston’s first entry into the Sense Offender’s room at the start of the movie – no questions asked, no quarter given just one reaction from the ‘cold god of death’ bullets and more bullets.

Even when John starts to feel he looses none of his killer instinct and eventually turns it upon those he’s served as a faithful member of the Tetra Grammaton for a long time. He must have gone into the Monastery since he was able to utter the words: Not Without Incident.

This could have been a much bigger and deeper look at the Order but I wanted it to cover only a small part of the much larger picture, as anyone knows who knows /me/ will understand – I do not dot every I and cross every T in my writing – what I do hope is that this will answer some questions, raise even more and perhaps become a little bit of a resource for those people that want to write Grammaton or EQ based fan-fictions. I am by no means the be-all and end-all on the subject – I just happen to be an author with a passion for world creation and most of all, a fan of the movie, so if you like what I’ve written that’s good, if you don’t that’s good also – either way I have entertained and hopefully broadened a few horizons.

Credo -- Wolf