Destinations 7.

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Chapter 41

What is a religion, what can it be, without a bit of history. An excerpt from the records of Astarte, to put things in perspective and the present in context.

2121, August 20th on the North Pole Carousel – My Second Jubilee is reason for celebration but also for lamentation. Billions of sterile people find themselves in the most absurd situations: their bodies trapped under ruins, mutilated in car crashes, sliced by levitating trains (or incomplete teleportation), lost moving amputated limbs, disfigured corpses that still crawl, years after the accident. A gruesome landscape of animated death. Saturn is regularly checking them, one by one. The gloomy news is that all of them are aware of what is going on with their bodies. They beg for death to take their souls away from this calamity of the flesh. But death has no way to reach them. The DNA hack is too efficient, the cells repair too fast, but the injured body cannot morph, cannot adapt to compensate for mechanical trauma. Don’t rush to call them zombies because they didn’t rot, they can’t decompose. Piles of active cells drowning in a sea of fresh blood and fetid spiritual desolation. This is the third unknown side effect: the DNA hack gives immortality to the body; the telomeres repair themselves for ever and ever; this is no biological mechanism, more likely a fractal open loop. Saturn didn’t see it coming. Kronos did but chose not to warn us. He’s got the liberty of choice, like any other person, doesn’t he?

The unharmed steriles, taking heed of the ordeal, are scared to death (even if knowing that death can’t reach them) and hide in isolated places, where no object or element would hurt their bodies. The fourth side effect: chronic paranoia.

In spite of this global tragedy, my smaller community of fans – gravitating around the Reformed Catholic Church – is thriving. For them, and especially for their children, Saturn has proposed, designed and supervised the execution of The North Pole Carousel, which is the greatest structure ever constructed by humankind. The floating cone measures twelve hundred meters in height, wherefrom three hundred above water, with a maximum radius of 457 kilometers. The roof cone is but five hundred meters high with a maximum radius of 489 kilometers. This huge whirligig-ship, built by humans from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean up, can spin clockwise or counter clockwise (depending on which way I do my jogging; yes! I’m the wheel mouse powering the whirligig in my free time). They use it as a climate regulatory device. This was the long expected answer to artificially warm up the North Pole, melt the ever growing icecap, make Greenland green again and bring solace to North America.

My friends from the Communion communities on sahara.cron have a nickname for the North Pole Carousel. They call it Katholikos, which means ‘universal’ in Greek. I’ve told them to avoid being religious about stuff or things may turn South for them as they did for the stubborn steriles. Anyway, the concept of religion is now so different from what it meant during the early twenty-first century. These guys are basically nudists, polygynous (they have rejected polygamy or polyamory on religious grounds, maybe just to annoy me, dunno), they fuck like bunnies and sing like birdies. Their average lifespan runs around 145 years and they don’t complain. Some even post thoughts like “one wife should be enough but you’ll have to man up and save the species, don’t stop at one!” I don’t like this herd-like attitude, never did. But who am I to judge?

À propos late twenty-first century: celibacy is currently a sin for the new Katholikos tourists. See how fear drives religious minds? Some of the Katholikos priests parade their harems for the sake of procreation. Oh God, I hate this nonsense. The only “sin” is lacking the measure of things. Maybe I’d better suggest the restoration of papacy. At least they would listen to one man, because they won’t listen to my words.

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