I wrote this piece in 2013, but I’ve had the concept since around 2004/5. Monks in Space. A space monastery in the Kuiper Belt. Excellent.
The First Chapter
It was Brother Isador, returning from a baptism on a nearby asteroid, who found the drifting escape pod. The spherical capsule had long since burnt out its distress beacon, but the polished reflective surface made a spark in the darkness that caught Isador’s attention. As he neared it he scanned for transmissions – none. He would certainly find nothing more than the remains of a lost soul forgotten in space.
But he didn’t. Matching trajectory and velocity at about thirty metres he saw a movement through a tiny, trapezoid window. Then a face. A haggard and desperate face. Isador offered a brief prayer of thanksgiving for the preserved life within the pod – and a prayer that he might serve his maker in preserving that life further.
He approached, programmed a tiny rocket drone to thread a cable through a projecting rung, fired it, and powered up all his boosters to begin to slow the pod’s flight. Once in the hangar beneath the refectory and with the gentleness of the abbey’s air on his cheeks, Isador and the other monks wrestled with jammed catches and an electronic lock coded in an unfamiliar script. They opened the hatch and found a man inside, unconscious and breathing shallowly in the remnants of his thin air. He had a wasted and enervated body, lank and dirty hair. He wore an old-fashioned suit that seemed to have been fitted to a larger, form. How long had he been drifting in space? Neither the pod nor he could tell the monks, who carefully carried him up to a cell and laid him on clean sheets. Continue reading