Second Scribe peered out. "Something's moving, but... what of it?", she replied. "That's so far away, and it could be anything. A bird, maybe?"
"You wish enlightenment?", asked The Pope. "Shall I have that... bird... fly out here to demonstrate that not all is as it seems?" Second Scribe demurred. She knew all about the enlightenement of birds. The Pope continued: "It is time. Xe comes. Let us begin." And with barely a nod, he signalled yappobiscuits to give the downbeat and the Smopu Hvala softly wafted across the valley. One by one the clerecy, garbed in their finest ceremonial robes, took their places on the Great Stairs of the Cathedral. They were followed by the BlitzGirls taking their appointed seats behind the clerecy, and by the two Near Heralds, who stood flanking them at the top of the stairs. As the Smopu Hvala came to a close, First Cleric joined The Pope and Second Scribe, his hands tucked inside a fold in his robes.
Out by the Grotto, Sustainablizer heard the sweet strains of this Most Holy Hymn, and realized that he had gotten his dates mixed up. This must be Seadix and xe was missing the services. Xe was going to have to correct the logbook, but that was going to have to wait. Maybe if xe followed the Second Commandment he could still make it to services in time for the chanting of the Kampucha. But when xe heard the sound of the Ram's Horn, he knew this was more than an ordinary matin service. This was something big, which would explain all the people that were gathered. It probably had to do with whatever it was that they were digging up on the shore. But whatever it was, xe hurried along without stopping to ask so xe wouldn't miss it.
The Pope stepped forward, and in a voice that carried clearly throughout all the land, spake thusly: "I speak now of endings and beginnings, for every end is the beginning of a beginning, and every beginning is the end of an end. It is often said that the ends justify the beginnings, and the beginnings justify the ends, but that is not the kind of Holy Contradiction upon which our Great Faith and Community is built. Such justification does not work even in typesetting, let alone in life. Rather, every end is truly an end, and should be experienced as one, for this allows us to completely embrace and appreciate that which it was that is at an end. And every beginning is truly a beginning, a new opportunity, a new life, a new branch of experience that we cannot fully enter into if we do not focus on what it is rather than focusing on what once was."
The Pope's voice was strong, and Sustainabilizer heard it all clearly. But xe couldn't figure out what he was talking about. Xir own voyage had just come to an end, but somewhat abruptly due to the unexpected lack of depth compared to what the charts had indicated. But that got xim to thinking. The shore was also odd in some way... lower. It was as if the sea was ending. But that couldn't be - the sea was, well, the sea. It did what it wanted. But as he approached the Great Cathedral, a feeling in his gut managed to rise to consciousness - the sea must want to end. But why? And what did that mean for us? The sea was a comfort as well as a danger. It was where xe went to wait for it. It was a much slower pace than even the Monestary. It was relaxing, it was fulfilling, it was, well, the sea. So, why? Now was not the time for the First (and Greatest) Commandment - it was time for the Other (and Just as Great) Commandment.
The Pope's words rang out as Sustainabilizer raced towards the congregation: "We are all on a voyage through Time, but some of us are called to make another voyage through Time, perilous, arduous, and glorious, even as the first voyage continues apace. All voyages must end, and the end of this voyage is cause for great honor and celebration. For in ending, the voyager completes the Most Holy Quest, returning to us as a BlitzGirl. We are here now to celebrate the Glorious Arrival of Sustainablizer.
"Sustainablizer - arise and kneel!"
By this time Sustainablizer had just reached the congregation. It took a moment for xir to realize what this was, as he thought he had managed to slide in unnoticed, even hiding in his sailcastle for a wip. Can't fool The Pope though! In a bit of a daze and still out of breath, Sustainablizer stepped up on the dais and knelt before The Pope.
The Pope placed his hands upon Sustainablizer and continued, "Sustainablizer, in honor of your completion of the Most Holy Quest upon which you have embarked, sailing the sea of Time in your time at Sea, in which you have truly Waited For It as it was meant to be, by the power vested in me as the Pope of the Holy Contradiction do I concescreate you and bestow upon thee the title of BlitzGirl the Next. And furthermore do I consecrate your ship's log, the Gospel of Sustainablizer, a True and Holy Record of your Quest, to be counted among the Holy Books alongside the Gospel of BlitzGirl and all the rest of the Holy Books, that it provide inspiration to all who follow, whether by sea, by land, or in BlitzRocket, indeed to all Timewaiters, for all time and all of Time."
Stunned by the thunderously molpish response from the congregation, Sustainablizer got up and turned around just as yappobiscuits gave the downbeat for a glorious fanfare in the form of a fugue that had been composed specifically for this occasion.
After the music had come to an end, The Pope continued, "While absent you were present, and while present yet you were absent. Such a Holy Quest is of awesomeness like unto the sea. Smopu Hvala nuvi dict amuah!" And with these words, the crowd cheered so, that the mountains themselves might come down from the thunderous accolades. But fortunately, they remained where they were, and Sustainablizer was carried away for the most glorious feast that had ever been had. The Pope remained behind for a moment to deal with a few minor benedictions, which gave First Cleric a chance to break away and congratulate Sustainablizer personally.
"I have made something extra special to commemorate this most momentous moment!", he excitedly blurted out. It is a dish I have devised myself, that nomolpy has ever before tasted. I've been wanting to make this since..."
Sustainablizer cut him off, fearing for the worst. He'd heard about some of the things First Cleric considered food. "I am certainly not worthy of such attention!", xe stammered. "I'm just me - nobody special."
"I'll not hear of it!", declared First Cleric as he took Sustainablizer to his cauldron. "Your Quest is Glorious - it deserves the molpishest!". And with that, First Cleric whipped out the tiny slab wth the whirly things, held it over the cauldron, broke it, and to a communal gasp that felt like an earthquake, dropped its delicate ribbon into the roiling liquid.