Ascension: Ripples

“Unfortunate,” stated the Cardinal. He tapped the goblet, sending ripples through the ruby fluid.

“A necessary sacrifice,” replied the Provost.

“No doubt. But nevertheless, we feel the loss – such wisdom and experience are not easily replaced.” He drank, then gestured for the vessel to be taken.

“Even the wisest can wander astray,” said the Provost.

The Cardinal nodded. “I remember a time,” he began, indicating a noncon attendant, “when these creatures still walked among us.”

The Provost looked surprised. “But that must have been…”

“Two centuries – maybe three?” He smiled. “But of course, I was young. And perhaps you did not realise quite how old I am.”

“Cardinal, I did not mean…”

“No matter.” He dismissed the apology, and continued: " I remember – how they walked and spoke like any other. How they shared our tables, and our beds. And all the time: empty. Unaware. How could we not have known?"

“Man was ever blind to the evil in his midst.”

“Indeed. And now, perhaps, a greater evil threatens us.”

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