01/10/22 Snippet, GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND.

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I looked over to see Oft carefully staring at a wall fresco. “What’s that? Oh, right, those are your gods?”

“Illuvitarians are monotheists,” he replied, with the air of somebody who’s said that phrase a thousand times in his life. “But yes, these are images of the Exalted. At least, as the inhabitants of this world knew Them.”

As frescoes made in a dead alien style, in both senses of the term, the images weren’t bad. I only knew enough of the Illuvitarians’ not-gods to recognize the names, but the One-Eighteeners had used the same kind of iconography as we did when it came to physical objects. I mean, there’s only so many ways you can draw a tree, star, or a mountain. “It’s lovely,” I said truthfully. “Very peaceful-looking.”

“Would that it had been less peaceful, and more protective,” muttered Oft. He then rubbed his face. “Forgive me, Pamela. It is at times like this that I remember how my faith is the last guttering ember left of a church that once sustained trillions of believers. And that we must protect what is left.”