As the Battlestar Catholactica de-cloaked and blasted out of orbit around Planet P3x5T-Wm66bB, Admiral Buck Chasuble was a happy man. After a successful mission, this was their last stop before heading home. Five long lonely bianni away from his wives and child-horde was too long for any Giasselli priest-warrior to bear.
The Trifelge Gutinard would be pleased. Four hundred planets. Four hundred Messiahlons dropped covertly. Never a single unit lost.
This one was different, though. The Messiahlon on Planet P3x5T-Wm66bB had malfunctioned somehow and gone political. Goddam thing got itself crucified and now Chasuble had the job of getting it back.
They’d beamed the unit up, chassis and operating system, or Body and Soul as the creatures on P3x5T-Wm66bB would have it. The Messiahlon was one of the new ones: mostly organic, even the electronics, but based on an ultra-light synthetic sub-structure. Very impressive. Growing hair. Real blood. Pain receptors. High-speed processor. Sophisticated fuzzy-charity sub-routine, attack module disabled.
Chasuble sighed. He knew what he’d be facing when he got home. Synthetics protesting for equal rights. Calls for integration. Demands for recognition. Living beings!
Whiskey, Admiral? It was Ratzenblaster, the ship’s Captain. A fine officer, thought Chasuble, and a good friend these last five bianni together, roaming the galaxy. A damn fine officer and friend.
Chasuble grunted and accepted the goblet of writhing amber liquid. For a moment, he contemplated the ball of hell-worms squirming at the bottom.
You know, Ratzenblaster, he murmured, some say you can tell the future from the shapes the hell-worms make.
Non-committal as always, Ratzenblaster gazed into his drink and said nothing.
Damn fine whiskey, said Chasuble. Damn fine. Isn’t this the stuff we salvaged when we destroyed that Protestant planet. What was it called again?
Pr0D-B45t4rD, said Ratzenblaster softly.
That’s it, agreed Chasuble. Pr0D-B45t4rD. Now I remember. Say what you like about them, but they sure know how to distill hell-worms.
He held up his goblet: Buddies in Blood.
Ratzenblaster echoed the ancient Giasselli toast. Buddies in Blood.
After a moment’s reflection, Chasuble leaned back in his armchair.
This unit we picked up from P3x5T-Wm66bB.
It’s one of the Divinity series, isn’t it?
So I understand.
Which means its molecular structure is irradiated with high-grade Sanctity? And it believes it’s actually God?
And it runs with the Eat-Me plugin?
Ratzenblaster nodded and poured his Admiral another goblet of whiskey. It was as well to agree with the Old Man in one of these moods.
So. What exactly were our instructions?
C & OS.
No mention of nail clippings?
Ratzenblaster was beginning to see where the Admiral was leading.
Bodily fluids? Hair?
Admiral Chasuble swirled his goblet, studying the shapes formed by the knot of screaming hell-worms.
So we just uploaded the body and the soul.
Ratzenblaster looked at him sharply. Sir?
What am I thinking, Ratzenblaster? What do the hell-worms tell you?
The Captain looked back at his old friend. Food chain?
Food chain, agreed the old Admiral, and rubbed his brow. Dear God Almighty. We forgot the dandruff.
Last Good Friday:
Elsewhere: Stranded on Gaia