(Holy Saturday) Catechumens and Killers1

1 requires familiarity with massively multiplayer online computer games

Meredith stands outside Jesus’ tomb. She’s a pixel person. She’s got red hair and a white dress and she’s constructed of ten thousand polygons.

“Do you think he’ll show?” she asks.

“I don’t know, ” Sabin says. He’s a thin pixel man. Kind of coffee colored, kind of gray. “I heard some Romans caught and killed him a few days ago.”

“Wow, ” Meredith says. “Long time between spawns.”

“It’s the only thing that keeps camping down,” Sabin says. He gestures around. There are a few dozen people waiting around the tomb. “Think about it—if all you had to do to kill Jesus was to wait until the last group was done, there’d be hundreds, thousands of people here. Rome would be full. As it is, people just kind of swing by, hope they’ll get lucky. Only a few of us sit around and wait.”

“Yeah.”

Meredith sits down on a gravestone. She plants the butt of her spear on the ground.

“Why you here?” Sabin asks.

She looks a bit embarrassed. “Just kind of spectating,” she says. “LOL.”

“Not in it for the loot?”

She looks at her spear. “This one’s +8,” she says. “And improves my fortitude and magic to boot. It’s already better than Longinus.”

“Too bad,” Sabin says. “There’s the grail, too, you know.”

She snorts. “They’re selling 5-packs at the auction,” she says. “Buy 10, get a free indulgence.”

“Ah.”

She looks at him more carefully. “You know that,” she says. “So why are you here? Leveling up?”

“I want to ask him a question,” Sabin says.

“Oh?”

“‘Why?'” he says.

A pixel rabbit hops by. It’s got a basket of eggs. It looks Meredith up and down.

“Wanna cyber?” it asks.

She shakes her head.

It tilts its head to the side. “Or we could fight. There’s a save point and dueling arena in the tomb.”

“I’m camping Christ,” she says.

“Me too,” the rabbit says. “But it’s more fun if you do something while you wait.”

“Why you?”

“I’ve got a secret hacker code,” the rabbit says. “It lets me see things as they really are. So I was curious.”

“I don’t think they actually implemented the underlying godhead,” Sabin says.

“It’d be an easter egg,” the rabbit says. “They’re programmers. There’s no way they could resist.”

“I want to know if things get better,” Meredith says.

The rabbit looks at her. “Around level 20 or so,” it says. “Then you can get at the really cool quests.”

“No,” she says. “I mean, I want to know, is there really a moment when the world starts making sense again?”

The rabbit sits down. “Maybe,” it says. “I mean, tomorrow’s Sunday, right? Maybe Jesus’ll respawn then and fix everything. Maybe not. I doubt we’ll be able to tell.”

“. . . will they post an announcement?”

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