Chaper 6.5 – Sermon

The old church becomes Doc’s home over the next few days, as he fixes broken plumbing and repairs items around the building that have fallen out of maintenance.
He does this in exchange for a safe place to sleep and regular meals. It is a commodity he had not enjoyed since he found himself “here”. His conversations with Gerard on the topic of science and faith take on new scope, given the state of their present situation.
Both men are forced to consider possibilities they would have otherwise dismissed. Gerard concedes on many of his preconceived ideas of the universe, but stands firm in his faith. He admits that as a clergyman, his spiritual understanding continues to evolve in much the same way scientist’s understanding of the physical world evolves.
Likewise, Doc finds himself perplexed by the things that cannot readily be explained by science. The wedding ring he wears on his hand causes him more confusion than anything. There is no theory or equation capable of explaining how he still possesses an artifact from a bygone existence. But there is no doubting it has been the ring’s presence that drives him. Without it, he would have regarded his family as memories of a vivid dream.
Doc is disappointed when Gerard declines the offer to join him in traveling Sunset Valley to search for answers. The pastor could prove to be instrumental in remembering details Doc may have forgotten. Despite Doc’s outward frustration, Gerard insists that he is much more valuable serving the homeless in this building. The shortage of ordained ministers also means having nobody to replace him while he is gone. And he cannot just close the doors.
There is no need for Doc to verbalize the obvious rebuttal. He sits alone in the courtyard, one Sunday morning, listening to Gerard preach his sermon to rows of empty pews. He genuinely feels bad for the young minister, who is quite simply being crushed by the competition. As Doc skims the newspaper, he is drawn to a tiny article about a local church closing to make way for a new dance club. Before he can read any further, two men dressed in priestly garb arrive in an automobile and begin walking toward the church. They walk past Doc, only giving him a nod as a greeting.
Doc’s eyebrow raises involuntarily as he pushes at the bridge of his glasses with this forefinger. Surely the article could not have been referring to this church? Inside, he can hear that Gerard has stopped his sermon. There is no shouting or raised voices; only silence for several moments before the same two men quietly exit and quickly depart in their automobile. After awhile, Doc realizes that Gerard has not continued his sermon.
No matter how curious he is to find out what was said, Doc decides to distance himself from the pastor’s business matters. Father Dupont has been very generous in allowing him to stay and earn enough simoleons to travel overseas. As the noon sun moves to hide behind the church’s steeples, Doc decides that there may be no better time than the present to make the trip. He has helped out as much as he can with minor repairs and maintenance.
Sim City is the closest airport to Sunset Valley. He will have to fly into the big city, then hitch a ride from there. Doc finishes reading the newspaper, then takes the first few steps toward his journey. He stops abruptly when the hears Father Dupont’s voice flatly asking him to wait. He has changed out of his clergyman’s frock and into casual clothes. Humorless and monotone, Gerard states that his parish can no longer be sustained financially; and that the council has decided to sell the property before it is forced into foreclosure.
He will be reassigned immediately to work at the Sister Ciara Mission in Africa, after taking a short sabbatical. Gerard turns his back on the parish he has worked tirelessly to preserve, and offers his assistance to help Do discover what happened to his family. Gerard stands in silence as they wait for the cab, and says nothing about the grim feeling he has had since seeing Doc standing in the narthex…
…that this is the beginning of the end.

6 thoughts on “Chaper 6.5 – Sermon

  1. On another unrelated note, I have to know…in terms of staging and storylines, exactly what town do you do your set up in? I want to say it’s Sunset Valley (at least it looks that way from the screenshots) but I’m not 100% sure. And do you download the extra buildings (i.e. the church) or do you build them yourself? It just all looks so detailed and drawn out that I’ve begun to wonder…


    1. Good question!
      The vast majority of screenshots are set in Sunset Valley. I liked the rust-belt feel of Twinbrook, and it fit well into the subplot with Gerard and Doc in France. Some of the other urban shots at the end of chap 5 come from Champions-Online.
      The two churches, the small one in Sunset Valley and this large one in Twinbrook are both my designs. The one in Sunset Valley has a nice “protestant church in the country” feel. I went for more of a baroque theme for this one.
      One of these days, I’ll actually get around to uploading all this stuff to the exchange. I did once, but they must clean them up after a certian time, because they’re not there any more.


      1. Yeah, I get hesitant myself when uploading things to the exchange, I lost all my first generation uploads when they were cleaning, I suppose. D:

        And I see, I do most of mine in Sunset Valley as well, and surprisingly, I haven’t actually gone through to see what Twinbrook looks like in depth, I’ll have to check it out soon now that it’s on my mind.


  2. Amazing cliffhanger! (Once again) I can’t believe how many of those buildings and structures were created by you! That’s really crazy…in a good way haha. I have to agree with adiobebop … they’re so detailed and realistic. Great job!

    New chapter on my blog!


  3. awfully sad for Gerard….to put your life into trying to make something succeed, only to have it taken away without having a chance to fight for it.

    That last line is a big one….the beginning of the end..oh dear…


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