Date: Monday 4 February 2041ce 1115z
Location: Last World Citadel, Louisville, Kentucky (-0500)
After the elevator let them into the lobby, the four Chaplains went to the Chapel, a place of worship which could fit nearly two hundred. It was kept small on purpose, with a very small congregation composed mostly of long-term Citadel staff that left enough seats open for invited guests visiting Citadel for spiritual reasons or official church business.
This early in the morning, there were never any visitors; The chapel was illuminated only by a few wall sconces, leaving many shadows and dark corners.
The routine of coming to the chapel first thing in the morning had begun in school, when Melissa found herself nominated for the Young Chaplains. She had found it funny at first, thinking the name of the course got its name from the practice. Now, she understood it’s necessity for the Faithful: A set routine of meditative contemplation to train their sinful nature to obey God’s laws, even though God no longer watched or cared.
We cannot secure True Salvation living as the heathen or the infidel.
The Chaplains dispersed to their regular seats. Michael was the most fluid of them, having a number of pews that he floated between depending on whim. Shannon would sit in the front row next to the aisle, where she would always sit either watching her grandfather or, when another reverend was preaching the sermon, sitting beside him. Aaron sat in the front row, also, but always on the other side about midway down. Melissa herself sat in the second row behind Aaron, but adjacent to the aisle as well, where her father had sat before his passing two years ago.
How different it must have been before God gave up on His creation.
The quiet meditation was the closest the Last World Congregation got to prayer; The remnants of Old Earth Christianity, the never ending chaos of man-made religions that distorted and perverted God’s offer of free salvation, still prayed, but the answers they claimed to receive were nothing more than the comforting voice of their own egos.
But the time before the Honored Reverends served as vassals for the Voice of God was different. Back then, God was everywhere, awaiting those who truly believed to finally see and hear him.
How could so many have rejected what had to have been so obvious? When you could talk to God whenever you chose?
Everywhere Melissa looked in the world, the evidence of God’s absence was most obvious.