Chapter XX


After swimming with one of the gods, Frank went back to his hotel and ordered up a bottle of American whiskey.  I could tell he was still reeling from the overload of new information.  On the way back he talked aloud.  Much of what he said did not make sense to me, but that is because much of the information he was pondering I was now unaware of.  Once the encryption record was filed away I could not access it.  Only if both the Monsignor and Frank had told me to repeat the data or told me I could keep it decrypted in my memory could I think about it.  Even though Frank knew I had no record of what he was referring to he still used me as a sort of sounding board.  From what he said I could try and help him, but I knew there was a large risk of my sounding stupid. 

“Jack, I still can’t see how his Holiness can sleep at night.  I mean he is so bloody cynical about life.  Sure the masses are stupid and being taken for a ride, but unless the press speaks up about truth even the gods out there might be fooled.  I still think humanity can advance.  We have come so far from the days of when religions had absolute control over everyone.  I know most people run their lives on mostly bullshit, but every century more and more understand there is more to life than blind faith.”

Frank took a long drink from his glass.  He stared at the liquid as if it held the answers to his questions. 

“I hate it that he is right about a sudden collapse of religion.  The masses are not ready.  Shit, so many would go bat shit crazy if they lost their faith in Jesus or Mohammed.  Millions of basically good people would die and millions more would have their families and lives cast into chaos.  How many do you think would die, Jack?”

“Based on what we saw with the nuns and Buddhists about 15 percent.”

“That seems low.  If this struck everywhere at once there would not be any hospitals or any authority to try and deal with it.  It could easily double.”

“I have no data on how that might work, Sir.”

“I hope Sir Terrance can give me some insights on how this is being pulled off.”

Frank filled his glass again and took another sip. 

“I just wonder what Marianne’s deal is?”

“Deal, sir?”

“She was there Frank.”

“Has she become religious, Sir?”

“Hardly.  I just wonder why she still feels the need to help the poor.  I suppose I’m re-acting like those religious nuts who think that without God everyone would just go out and break every moral code.  No, it would be the opposite.  A secular society would be more moral, not less.”

“Do you think all moral crimes would stop Mr. Huntington?”

“No, of course not.  Humans are never perfect, but when you look at how few atheists are in prison it seems logical to assume crime would go down.”

“An interesting idea.  Do you think if secularism would become wide spread that the newbies would be as good as those who are secular now.  I mean most humanists had to go through a process of self discovery.  What would the majority of people be like if they were raised secularists just like the majority of people are raised with religion now?”

“That is a good point.  I don’t know for sure.  So many religious people really don’t have any deep convictions.  They just accept what their parents told them and yet they do murder, cheat and steal.  The prisons are full of religious people like that.  I don’t know what would happen if they had been raised in a secular family and culture.  I can only hope it would be better than what we have in the United States.  We still kill about 45,000 a year thanks to all the guns.  So many people print themselves a new gun almost every week. They are cheaper than phones now.”

“It seems conviction is the key.  Those who think deeply will have strong convictions, but looking at the bell curve on intelligence for humans it is unrealistic to expect everyone will think deeply.”

“Gods and clods” Frank said rather quietly as he took another sip.

“Pardon sir, which gods are you referencing?”

“Oh, it’s nothing, Jack.  Just something the Pope said.” 

Frank poured the last of the pint into his glass and took another sip.

“Jack, book a flight tomorrow to London.  We need to be there when the Princess contacts us.”

“Morning or afternoon flight?”

“Afternoon.  I want to sleep in.”


Chapter XXI




















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