“With the kiss of existence from our maker, Bilik, we came to populate the world.” Ecclesias Hyune kissed the Corel Stone then raised it toward the floor-to-ceiling window looking out onto the slate-blue sea below and beyond. “And thanks to the Great Birther, Gwaij, for bringing forth The Idea and our beloved Bilik and even his unfortunate twin Kado, without whom nothing could be compared.”
Hyune quietly placed the dense white and emerald peppered stone back into its case. He slowly turned, something he did every mid-morning for the past 64 years – the mental process of each action long dead in the monotony of routine. His long heavy robe dyed to match the moody sea, as always, did not turn along with him; turning the priest into a soft warped screw. He now faced the same sized window facing west to the distant western Border Cliffs barely visible through the slowly dissipating Old Fog.
As he turned he looked out toward the ever-shrinking congregation standing a few steps below following his gaze and words. Their actions are just as automatic as mine, he thought as he clasped his hands hidden under his oversized sleeves. Wonder how many there are today, perhaps 300 at most 350; so few these days. He continued the service; “Bilik’s creations are ever thankful to you Taqessi for carving out this sacred land and protecting us from the beyond unknown.”
The congregation was mainly made up of employees and residents of the mixed-use Bazan Tower. Almost every district throughout the Confederation houses a Bilik Gwij worship hall on the top floor of one similar cloud-grazer. All worship halls had to be the same; two windowed walls, one facing toward the sea and one facing the closest portion of the Border Cliffs. The dais had to be raised above the congregation, and only a simple open floor for the congregation to stand. Because of the simple and open plan, worship halls were always bright but sterile.
“Now, stand face to face and give grace to Bilik for giving you companionship in this island of plentitude in a sea of danger and unknown.”
The standing crowd then turned en mass to face their neighbor. Everybody stands in the same position and turns to the same person. Is this a religious ceremony or some strange meckabod training facility? The crowd responded in dead unison still facing their neighbor as if they were looking at themselves just after awakening, “We humbly give thanks for the grace of Bilik, son of Gwaij.”
Those sleepy eyes, Hyune looked away as if to avoid becoming contaminated with the same virus. He’s afraid he already has.
Without him prompting them, the automaton crowd took it upon themselves to begin the next cog in the ceremonial routine; reciting the litany for Mosh, Gwaij’s cherished companion and their hall’s patron deity.