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Aug 13, 2020 11:06 PM
the Second Coming comes to Gilead
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In between worlds, there is a bar. 

In the bar, at the moment, there is a woman sitting at a table. She's scribbling in a notebook. Extant phrases include "abortion=surrogacy?" and "add sterile mosquitos to malarial areas"

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Even after everything, Christmas is Rose's favorite time of year. 

Humming Hark the Herald Angels Sing to herself, she opens the front door to put up a wreath.

Her front door does not open up into her yard. It opens up into a bar.

Hesitantly, Rose enters, vaguely wondering if this is going to be some kind of Christmas miracle where they prove that the entire world would be worse off if she had never been born. 

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The woman at the table doesn't notice her entering, too focused on her notes. She taps her pen against her lips thoughtfully.

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Rose can't help but look at what the woman is writing. She seems to be brainstorming for some sort of unusual altruism program? Maybe one where they adopt the Cascadian model of paying people not to have abortions. 

"Uh, hello," Rose says. "My front yard seems to have turned into a bar."

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"Oh!" she says, looking up. "Yes, this is Milliways. It does that, apparently. It took my bathroom. Welcome! Enjoy a free beverage and a selection of multiversal literature; this bar attaches to many different worlds. What's yours like?"

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"There are multiple worlds?!"

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"Oh, yes. Some of them are awfully similar, some are awfully different. Great for harvesting ideas for how to fix the world."

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"Are you looking for a new world to fix?"

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"I'm always open to it. Why, does yours need fixing?"

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"Humanity is slowly and horribly going extinct."

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"That sounds in need of fixing. What's happening?"

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"Bitoxiphosphene. I-- I don't know if you have it in other worlds. It destroys the female reproductive system. Women are infertile, or become infertile young, or they miscarry, or--" a barely noticeable pause-- "or their babies die."

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"That sounds very, very bad. Alright. How is this chemical being disseminated? Are the effects acute, or chronic?"

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"Chronic. It takes years of breathing it for it to have an effect, and prenatal doses are the worst of all. It's in the atmosphere. There's no way to get it out."

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"There is now. Hello, I'm Christina Theodora, the second Christ."

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"Christ is not a woman."

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"Yeshua son of Miriam was not a woman. I am."

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She's talking to the Antichrist. 

Her front door opened into a bar and now she's talking to the Antichrist.

Rose wishes she had paid better attention to Revelation. In her defense, she hadn't exactly expected it to be a practical issue in her life.  

But... it would be strange, wouldn't it, if the Antichrist were taking notes about how to get rid of malaria. By their fruits you will know them. A demon, or an insane human, could claim to be God, but they wouldn't be able to act like God, because God is love and no mortal could be perfectly loving. 

"I won't worship you yet," she says, "although I suspect I might regret it."

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"I'm less concerned with worship and more concerned with babies dying and humanity going extinct."

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That... is not a thing an Antichrist would say.

It is moderately unexpected from a Christ. 

"Can you heal them?"

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"Yes, absolutely."

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The emotion Rose feels is one she hasn't felt in a long time. It's hard to identify. 

"Can you heal my son."

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"Yes, absolutely."

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"We have to go to him right now-- he has weeks to live, they say, but my last child had weeks to live and she died in only two-- can you bring back the dead--"

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"Yes, I can."

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"I suppose I should not wish for my daughter to return, because she is in Heaven."

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