Well, I guess he wastes no time letting us know that we are indeed in a new "modern" era!
And... what a weird opening. o_O
The bit with the Autoscribe is cute. And very familiar to those of us today.
And wow, they still remember Brother Francis. And even close to being canonized, apparently. He'd faint dead away, I'm sure.
"Old Lazar" huh? definitely points to him being Lazarus (again), if nothing else.
"What the Lor' Hesus raise up, it say up!" That sounds vaguely familiar...
Oh hey they've got Sisters there now!
Hrm, in my book at least, it says "Take your oaths on this side of the sign." I wonder if it's supposed to be "baths"? That would seem to make more sense in the context...
Quo peregrinatur grex? Oops, I went to try to translate it via the webbernets and ended up accidentally getting some pages on this book... which isn't really important since the term ends up getting explained in the next chapter anyhow. But it sounds nicely ominous...
Interesting... we have Brother Joshua, who had an extra sixth finger, and the mysterious Mrs. Grales who he spots, who apparently has a second head. The two robbers who helped rob, and later killed, brother Francis, were the same - one with an extra finger, one with an extra head. Wonder if that's supposed to mean anything in particular, or if it's just a stylistic echo?
"He quickly dismissed the feeling that he had seen the old man before, somewhere." He seems to get that a lot!
You'd *think* that the speech about how seeing the results of the first time, mankind couldn't be stupid enough to repeat their mistakes. But then, you'd THINK they wouldn't be stupid enough to craft nuclear weapons again, then.
"I am the Immaculate Conception." Oh, that can't be good. Any chance that it's just a dream brought on by indigestion?
Hah, so the wood carving DOES still exist. I thought it must, since the Abbot recognized it.
And... now we just have to wait and read and see how it all turns out! It's looking... ominous, though.