For Dinner: Meat loaf sprinkled with garlic.
Mood: Very Jesuitical.
Written in the Year of our Lord 3580, March 23nd,  Saturday  night.
Location: The Fel arcology on the city Vagnar on the continent of Laufey, near the Ran ocean, on Loki.

     Nirut invited me over the next night to try to instruct me on the tenets of the Fanist faith.  I knew a little; but it was fascinating to hear it from a believer, indeed a priest in the faith.
     "Fane was a Lokiite who got embroiled in a dispute between two of the seven Creators....between Hud and Libal.  He had cleverly maneuvered them into arguing with each other, and while they were occupied, he took one of Libal's own weapons and killed Libal. Only one of Libal's godly weapons could have killed him.   Hud stood by, well satisfied that his enemy had been killed by a mere mortal.

     "Then Fane cut out the heart of Libal--and ate it. With the heart of a Creator within him, he became an immortal Creator, creating his own paradise, his own harem, and rarely heeding those below.  Yet sometimes he will interfere, out of love for mischief and confounding the plans of the other Creators. The other Creators are a plodding, uninventive lot, hardly a match for the brillant thinking of Fane.

     "We all aspire to be like him, wishing we could become a Creator ourselves....with omnipotent powers to indulge themselves."

      "Very interesting.  We call that sort of figure in folklore a Trickster. We have some of those in our religions sometimes, too. I bet it's the only type of religious figure you can relate to."

"Are there no Tricksters, then, in your religion?"

      I thought a minute. Then, hoping I would be forgiven, I started to tell him the story of Jacob and Esau, and how Jacob deceived his father Isaac into giving the blessing upon him rather than his brother Esau. I also mentioned Jacob's wrestling with an angel.

Nirut smiled. "Now those stories are almost Lokiite! There, at least, we can appreciate a human story a little..."

It's funny; those stories are exactly the sort in the Bible that mock its main theme...those which, as a priest, I am most prone to rationalize and say it's not fair to judge the Bible by them. But to Nirut, they were the most entertaining tales in the Bible.

      "There are other stories, from other religions and legendry. I will someday tell you of Hermes, who stole his godly uncle's cattle when he was but a babe; and Odysseus, who blinded a giant and evaded his fury by saying his name was 'No Man'. It sounds that on some stories, at least, we can find a middle ground...."

As I went home, I reflected how odd it was, at my age, to be telling Trickster stories to catch the imagination of an alien.


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