The Cybernetic Pope

Jean_Paul_Laurens_Le Pape Formose et Étienne VII _1870

“Le Pape Formose et Etienne VII” by Jean-Paul Laurens (1870)

Here is a short story about, well, a cybernetic pope.  You know what they say: strange and bizarre tales are good for the soul.  They don’t say that?  Well they should.  Written on the 4th September 2016.

The Cybernetic Pope

Pope Formosus, the Cybernetic Pope, raised his arm and commanded the swarm of mechanical wasps. They descended upon the sacrificial children and within minutes had converted them into pulp. Their screams recharged Formosus’ cerebral batteries, and their juice flowed through the channels into his abdominal cannisters, enabling him to continue his papacy for another month.

Smiling, the reanimated head of the Catholic church activated his hypersonic heel boosters and blasted across the tiles of St. Peter’s Basilica. He was due out on the balcony in a few minutes to let his loving followers know that the cycle had been successful. He also had to pick out the seventeen children who would become the next month’s sacrificial lambs. The Pope had to select them now, for the fattening process could take up to twenty eight days.

Formosus arrived at Vatican Papal Teleporter #8, connected his cerebral jack to the port and was molecularly deconstructed. An instant later and he was standing on the basilica’s famous balcony, overlooking a vast sea of elated, cheering minions.

“My children,” he began, sending his robotic voice out over the crowd like a billowing cloud of PCP smoke. “The cycle has been successful. I am once again fully charged and fully dedicated to governing your sweet, innocent minds”.

The crowd roared. The Pope’s metallic lips twisted into a wry smile.

What a change a thousand years makes. The year following his death in 896, the Cadaver Synod orchestrated by Pope Stephen VI had seen Formosus’ corpse exhumed and put on trial for perjury and illegal papacy ascension. He was found guilty and his body was mutilated, his acts and ordinations invalidated and he was dumped unceremoniously into a pauper’s grave. Later, he was dug up once again and thrown into the Tiber River. However, his corpse washed up on the banks and began performing miracles. The subsequent public uprising led to Pope Stephen VI being overthrown and imprisoned, where he was eventually murdered. Pope Theodore II later convened a synod that annulled the outcome of the Cadaver Synod and had Formosus reburied with full honours.

That was in 897. Formosus lay in his coffin in Saint Peter’s Basilica for the next thousand years until the second coming of Jesus Christ in the form of a giant wriggling mass of black tentacles. The Messiah had telepathically told the people that he had come to inform them of the Last Days, the final ten years of life on Earth before his Father would come to perform the Great Cleansing and nullify existence itself. Christ appointed the final pope himself, claiming that Formosus was the chosen one. He was exhumed once more and taken to the Vatican’s Cybernetics Division (which had made such scientific breakthroughs as the exorcism rifle, giant roach priests to preach the word of God throughout the radioactive wastes of North America and of course, the robotic nun). They worked feverishly to get his frail husk up and running once again.

Pope Formosus left the balcony and teleported himself to St. Peter’s Basilica’s command centre. There were always more matters to attend to for the Cybernetic Pope during the Last Days of life on Earth. Using his secure wireless connection with the main console, he downloaded the coordinates to Serbia. There were reports coming in from the Vatican spy satellites that the Hell Well had erupted again and the mecha-priests had failed to stop the spawn from breaching the Barriers of Blessedness. Being the only sentient entity capable of smiting the hellspawn in numbers this large, Pope Formosus attached his fusion cannon and loaded himself into the orbital launcher.

The Lord’s work was never done.

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