We march on. Ever on. The gods decreed we leave our home and march on. We, the Chosen, the Righteous and Annointed by the Almighty, march on. We have been given a blessing that we and we alone can embrace.
March on, said the Gods. March on and you shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Our abode awaits you should you march to the great arch in the sky. March and do not stop. Do not weary. Do not fail. And do not stop.
It has been over three centuries. Some days covering as much as twenty miles. Others as little as five. Every day we march. We stop only to rest in the evenings. Always in the same direction, we march on.
We herd our animals ahead of us. The vast swarm of grazers cleans and baptizes the ground. Not all are appreciative of our sacred duty, our blessed place and our sacred gift of our passing. We have fought wars. We have upended civilizations. We have ended cities, so we may march on.
There have been heretics. Those who embrace evil and claim the march is pointless. Those who preach, die. Those who flee, we attempt to catch and kill. Some have escaped, but few, precious few. They will be damned in the next life, for we will punish them ourselves when we reach Heaven and visit them in Hell. Secure in our orthodoxy, we march on.
Some fled ahead of us. This has happened before and will happen again. They have heralded our march. They warned those ahead and those in turn raised an army to oppose us. From wall to wall they stood, one of the greatest armies to ever oppose us. We cared not. Had we failed to crush them, some would have survived and regrown our numbers from the few. That had happened before and would happen again. The march to heaven is not for the weak, the unsure or the unbeliever. And so, we march on.
Once, one city let us pass, but a sole woman rode out and faced our horde. She was weary with oppressive depression. There was no stopping us and she feared for her and her own with our passing. She rose a hand in greeting. I paused to speak with her. Our Gods were not xenophobic, just that we must march on.
She spoke with me a very short while. Bewildered and lost, I thought, perhaps, she might join us. I was mistaken. So terribly mistaken. She was not bewildered for herself, but for us.
"You realize we live not on a world, but on a ring?" She said we lived upon a great ring that circles our Sun. There is no end and no beginning to it. And my people have only traversed not even one three thousandth of its circumference. The Great Arc was not Heaven, but just the other side of the ring. Its flashes, not the signs of angels and those from before giving us hope, but seas and waters on the far side. We would only return to our beginning and Humanity would probably be extinct before we reached even that. She said our march was...pointless.
I ought to have struck her down, but her obvious sincerity and lack of malice stayed my hand. I did not. No one else would speak with her and I rode off.
My faith was firm.
The Gods decreed and we obeyed. We marched on.