A Small Matter, Really
By Monte Cook
Only the Catholic Church of Osirus would have enough money to afford not one, but two black holes. Standing within the majestic narthex, Maria McNaki imagined the vibration of complex machinery under her feet, despite the fact that the nanosensors laced into her flesh revealed nothing other than the passing of the people in the crowd and the chanting coming from deeper within the cathedral.
The stone walls of the chamber slowly flowed with a liquid relief of gothic circuitry and religious hieroglyphic animations. The glyph depicting Setan as he tore the crucified Osirus-Christ into tiny fragments malfunctioned and remained static. Just as well. The petitioners around her made carefully devout hand signs over their hearts as they faced the ankh crucifix over the door into the sanctuary.
Religion was back in fashion this season.
Three identical priests stood next to the holy water fonts, welcoming the incoming congregation. Their white collars and black robes stood starched-still. Geneticists form-shaped all Catholic-Osirus priests into the gentle, fatherly form selected by church PR, but these three were special. The bright eyes and the shining hair indicated Aesthicel, the most expensive genengineering firm in the Earth system. This parish liked to spend money.
Perfect. That most likely meant that they were interested in obtaining more.