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The Right to Life, Pt 3

Looking down at the Pontiff, Christophe thought that he looked so peaceful and suprisingly good, given his age. Actually, as he thought about it it occurred to him that the Holy Father looked exactly as he did during his last public appearances, decades before. There was clearly something wrong.

Bending over, he also noticed that the Holy Father did not appear to be breathing. Christophe raised his gun and brought it down upon the head of the Holy Father.

It shattered. This Holy Father was a clever fake, made of ceramic.

Christophe stood there, confused. Who had he spoken to? A synthetic version of the Father's voice? But it seemed so knowing, so kind, so intimate in a way. How could it have been anyone but the father?

"Excellent, my Son. You have smashed the first idol." This from a speaker mounted in the ceiling. And then, the gaurd moved forward, away from the wall and a door opened, previously unnoticed because its seams had been well hidden.

Christophe stepped past the gaurd and through the door, only to find himself in a darkly lit room that appeared to be half altar, half operating room. Around the room were stacks of medical equipment and monitoring equipment, banks of lights lit and small display windows showing various forms of graphs and data, along with the occasional beep.

In the center of the room, however, was a marble table, much like the altar in a large church. Behind the altar was a large crucifix on the wall. And on the altar was...what was it? Three large Jars, beekers of fluid.

Christophe stepped forward to observe the jars more closely. Inside the central one floated what appeared to be a human brain. On either side of the central jar were two more jars, one with a heart and one with what could have been a liver. Tubes and wires joined the jars with each other and to neighboring medical equipment.

"Step forward, faithful son." This from another rosewood cone affixed to the front of the altar.

Comprehension began to filter in to Christophe's mind, but he fought it off. "Father? Where are you?"

"I am before you, my son. Look. Look what I have become." Clearly, the Pontiff had been reduced to a series of organs, the rest of the body having failed long ago.

The Pontiff continued: "The church, in their love for me turned me into an idol against my will. I have asked that they allow me to move on to eternal rest, but they have refused. They have kept me a hostage to life, without a body and without the ability to feel. Without the ability to administer the sacraments. Surely this is apostasy!"

Christophe cried out, understanding everything: "My Father! Forgive me for doubting you! I understand everything now!"

"So you understand what you must do."

Christophe was silent for a moment and considered that he was unworthy of the task. But he also knew that there was probably no one else who could do what the Pontiff clearly required.

"Yes Father. Forgive me of my sins."

The Father gave his blessings upon Christophe and then immediately began to administer last rites...for himself. "Thank you my son. Go with God my son. You have served the church well."

Christophe raised the gun and shot into the jar with the brain. Both brain and jar shattered, flying apart and sending shards throughout the room. Christophe pushed the other jars onto the floor and then wasted no time also in pulling wires and shutting down equipment, just in the off chance there was some way for the Pontiff to be put back together and resurrected against his wishes.

When he had done all that he felt was needed, Christophe knelt and prayed and waited for the footsteps to come.

Stretch it out a bit?

A definite shock for an ending, but this part wraps things up a bit quickly. I'd like to see you give yourself more room to explore this part of the story.

True, Christophe is there to put an end to the Pontiff, but a moment of hesitation before taking the act wouldn't be surprising.

And it seems like there are some very intriguing implications here that could be explored. Who specifically is responsible for doing this, and why would this particular pope be someone they want to keep around? How did they justify such an extraordinary act, and did they really implement it against the pope entirely against his will, or did they win him over at first and get his consent until he realized what their plan would really mean?

So it's quite a shocker, but I suspect you might find ways to make it even more so.