Chapter XXXIV

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Father Agostino pressed a wrinkled hand to a glowing panel. It beeped and one more wall vanished into thin air, just as before. "It's not much further."

"This Geneticus that you and Lazarus have alluded to?" Emilio asked. "It is God, then?"

"Well, sort of," the old priest replied. "Here we are." As the two men approached a flat empty wall, a computer terminal slid outward from its surface and several blue laser beams began flickering over their bodies. "Don't move, Emilio, it's just trying to determine if you are friend or foe."

"Pardon? What is?"

"The artificial intelligence security system Lazarus made. It's called Gertie. I have no idea why he gave her that name."


"Hello, Mr. Defrancesco. I am pleased to meet you," replied the very feminine voice.

"How does the world not know about all of this down here, Father?"

"I am not completely sure. That is a question for Lazarus. I believe the Vatican's first computer was created back in...what was it? 1892, I believe."


"Gertie, can you turn off the music?"

"Yes, Father Agostino. You have both been given top level access. The music is now off."

Emilio gasped as another wall disappeared, exposing a clean, white room lined with glass enclosures. Inside of each case were several stone tablets attached to the boxes' back panels. Placed in the very center of the sterile chamber, was a pedestal encased in a thick glass tube.

"Go on, you know you want to..." the priest said with a grin and indicated with his hands for his guest to enter.

Emilio felt like a kid in a candy store. He wished Julius could see this. "Oh, yes, I have not forgotten you, my dear friend; you are why I'm here," he thought and then something caught his eye. "What language is this?" the archeologist asked, peering at the first stone tablet he came to. "I have never seen anything like it."

"It's Cenerean."

"I have never heard of that culture."

"It's the first language. The tongue of the Creator."

"You mean God?"

"No, I mean it's the language of the Cenerean woman that created the artificial intelligence machine that made our universe."

Emilio stood erect and scratched his head. "I cannot believe this. It's insane."

"I am very sorry, son, but this is the truth, like it or not, and now, you know why we have had to keep all of this knowledge hidden. Why the Church had to do what it did."

"Well, after what I have seen of this mysterious woman, I believe that the time is coming when all of this will be revealed."

"And on this, we both agree," the priest said with a nod. "Do you wish to know more?"

"Please," Emilio replied. "So, tell me about this Geneticus."

"In the beginning..."

Emilio laughed. "Hold on, that is how you are going to start the story, Father?"

The priest looked at Emilio with an odd expression on his face. "Sì?"

"Very well, proceed."

"Alright, a damaged A.I. machine built our world to save itself and its Creator from death. It needed a planet similar to her own to rebuild her data, well soul in our world, but it was damaged. A University student..."

"A what?"

"Just listen...A University student on Cenerea named Jay helped the machine rebuild itself and the two of them saved the machine's Creator. Her name was Wendy."

"Jay and Wendy...oh, my."

The old man smiled. "Most new recruits make that connection as well. Especially those from Jerusalem."

"So, what about the son of God?"

"You speak of Joshua? Jesus, the Savior?"

"Sì," replied Emilio.

"He was the son of the Creator. That is true."

"Why would they send him to Earth? Jay and Wendy, that is?"

"They didn't. Geneticus did. Follow me, Emilio. Let me show you something." The priest made his way over to one of the glass cases and tapped on it. "I know you cannot read it, but Vatican linguists say at first glance these four symbols appeared to be only an odd combination of words strung together. Possibly untranslatable jibberish. But, others think, and this would also include me, that they refer to the devil in some derogatory fashion."

"Interesting," Emilio said. "And what makes you think that?"

"Because these tablets over there..." The old man pointed over at another glass case, adjacent to the other. "They use the same odd words right before describing an evil woman with red hair and green eyes. A woman sealed in a stone tomb."

Emilio shot the old man a frightful look. "So, my wife was right."

"And this is why you are here. Your friend Julius, we believe, is helping Il Diavolo. We need you to reach out to him and make contact."

Emilio squinted. "So, the Church wants to use my friendship with Julius to get someone close to this woman?"

"Not just"

"Why me? I am no one special," Emilio asked.

"To that awful Julius Mannheim you are. You are the only person on the planet that will be able to get near enough to Il Diavolo to kill her."

"How can you kill someone like this woman?"

The priest walked over to the glass tube in the center of the room. "Look in there." He pointed at the sharp rock displayed inside.

Emilio leaned in. "It looks like a chiseled rock on a broken stick, maybe a spear?"

"Look closer."

"I don't...wait. Is that red hair attached to it? Did someone use the blade to cut off some of Il Diavolo's hair?"

"Not only that, but when our scientists examined the rock, they also found traces of extra-human DNA on it. We call these beings extra-humans because they are not from outer space, but a physical layer above us."

"Jesus, too?"

"Sì, since he was the son of the Creator that makes him an extra-human as well. Adam and Eve were probably extra-human, but that story is one for another day. Those details seem to be a bit fuzzy," the priest said, matter-of-factly. "Although it's not official, most in our group believe that Jay and Wendy were Adam and Eve..."

"And also the parents of the Savior," Emilio asked. "And Wendy was the Creator of everything."


"I need to lie down," Emilio said.

"I believe you will be alright, Mr. DeFrancesco. Although your heart rate and brain activity is elevated, your vitals appear within normal parameters. I would not be too concerned," Gertie interjected.

"She likes to do that," Father Agostino said. "She seems to get lonely down here."

"You do realize I can hear you, Father."

"I do."

"Regardless, you are correct," the machine said. "Please understand you are more than welcome to visit anytime you wish, Mr. Defranscesco. I have you in my database now."

"Grazie, erm, Gertie."


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