For Dinner: Spicy Fried Chicken, O'Brien potatoes, a mixed salad.
Mood: Praying I won't be made a fool of.
Written in the Year of our Lord 3580, March 11th, Monday night.
Location: the good ship Earth's Memory en route from the Kami system to the Frost Giant System, at the mercy of the Edenite drive in otherspace.
The next day, the most interesting conversation I had was with the other Shaped person, Sue Strongarm, the chief engineer. Her mate Paris was her assistant.
"It's nice to see another devout person on board, even if you aren't of the Faith."
"Yes, but like I told you, I correspond with a Rushite priest."
"Human or Shaped?"
"Human. A friend on Fa---we went to college together."
"By the way, I want to say something about your meals. Spiced beef? Shish kebab? Don't you think eating animal remains with Shaped persons around---offering it to them--is a bit distasteful?"
"Uh! Well, it isn't around the Shaped people I know---but if I gave offense, I'm sorry. Remember, though, it's all rearranged organic material by the nanoprocessors. No animals were killed at all--"
"Then in the Communion Meal, why don't you have the nanoprocessors make real human flesh and blood, rather than the traditional beard and wine? After all, it didn't really come from a dead human--"
"Uh! Well....waitasecond...you're a wolf! You have to eat meat! In fact, I saw you eating meat!"
She applauded silently, smiling her wolf-grin. "Bravo! I wondered how long it would be before you realized the obvious! I couldn't resist pulling your tail a bit."
Then she said in a more serious tone, "Tell me. Do you pray often?"
"Yes. But then it's my stock-in-trade...as engines and machines are yours. And you--?"
"I follow the Rushite practice. I pray five times a day, facing Sol...or as close to as I can tell where Sol would be, here in otherspace. True, Mecca is no longer there, nor is Earth. But it is the closest I can come to fulfilling the orthodox rules."
I was familiar with Isis' history, and how the animal-derived prophet Rusho built a religion which was an outgrowth of Islam, but preached religious duty and soulhood for all sentient beings, whether human, alien, or animal-derived---or Shaped, as they are sometimes called. They justified a new Prophet by saying Muhammed was the last human prophet...but still felt themselves bound by many of the Islamic rules.
I asked, "Do you miss Isis?"
"The Flickervishes at night, floating far overhead, like floating, multicolored, phosphoeresent jellyfish---Chinese lanterns in the sky, but alive. Or the beauty of the nurocs soaring high overhead, some of the largest birds in human space, far over the immense rainbow-colored desert...yes, I miss its beauty. But my pack died in the Loki-Cluster war---as did Paris'. I lived in the far North, and he lived far beneath the equator, but we have that in common.
"When my pack died--Isis carried too many memories. A beautiful, if stark, world. But I'd rather not stay there."
"I'll pray for you."
"I'll do the same, Father...for you."
Return to Redwine at Dinner.