His Magnificence

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Evening, 11 September 14 N.G.

In the dim confines of the pentagon-shaped, stain-glass ceilinged Capitol Cathedral on the top level of the North Capitol Tower, Ultimate Minister Francis Stewart and the tower chaplain, the Honorable Frederick St. Pierre, stood face to face, hands folded, heads bowed, eyes closed. A white light shone down from a spotlight immediately above at the apex of the triangular ceiling as St. Pierre, one of the first-ever practitioners of the Joshuan faith, clad in his traditional Joshuan gold garb, prayed with Stewart while standing in front of the alter.

Stewart personally hand-picked St. Pierre to be the Towers chaplain for a simple reason: his religious and political beliefs don’t conflict with Stewart’s. St. Pierre was formerly a venture capitalist and a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps during the Endgame. But most importantly to His Magnificence, he was a yes man that always perfectly played the role of sycophant; conveniently telling Stewart what he wants to hear when he wants to hear it. This night was the perfect moment for such bootlicking.

Although Stewart was sweating through his white buttoned shirt beneath a black blazer with a bright red tie, he postured himself like a general on the battlefield; back straight, intensely focused. At 2050hrs, St. Pierre provided Stewart a service normally reserved for Sundays, pre-SAA and Covenant meetings, and various holiday gatherings. The purpose of this impromptu night prayer session was for His Magnificence to calm his nerves for what was to take place in the next ten to fifteen minutes.

“Frederick?” Stewart gravelly inquired, fidgeting with the Freedomian flag pin on his left lapel.

“Yes, your Magnificence,” a tenor-voiced St. Pierre gently pulsated from his balloon-like face, his brown eyes brightened by the spotlight.

“Do you think this is wrong?” Stewart apprehensively asked his chaplain. “Addressing the nation like this? On Remembrance Day? I mean…I only called for this speech in the Holy Auditorium two hours ago, and I provided little details. Will this cause a panic?”

“Francis,” St. Pierre replied with a smile, firmly planting his right hand on Stewart’s right shoulder. “In his second book of truths, Joshua said, ’in moments of great adversity and vulnerability, God calls upon all His people to cast aside feelings, thoughts, and sometimes, traditions, to heed His calls, to tackle adversity with grace and passion, and to be audacious.”

“Yes,” Stewart whispered. “This is one of those moments.”

“Your Magnificence, what you’re about to do breaks half a dozen societal norms in our great country. But God and Joshua placed you in this moment for a reason, and I fully believe you are prepared for it.” St. Pierre leaned closer to his star disciple. “Do you believe this is too important of a moment in history to pass up such an opportunity to be bold?”

Stewart focused his eyes on his chaplain’s. The nervousness within ceased, and his dictatorial instinct, coupled with a righteous sense of validation, took over.

“Yes, father,” Stewart menacingly growled. “It is too important.”

“Good,” St. Pierre replied. “You have all you need.”

Stewart nodded in approval, glancing at his smiling chaplain with a thousand-yard stare.

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