THE DIVINE CIRCLE
Regret is not becoming, Joseph has decided. Que sera, sera. Still, this particular moment is enough for him to reflect on the one thing that had brought him here, though it occurs to him that if it had not happened the way it did, then it would have happened some other way. Like entropy, the universe always tends toward chaos, an unwinding that attaches inevitability to everything.
Although science had never left him, despite the path he had chosen some thirty years before, it was the sacrament of confession that had cast him into this netherworld within the church. An inner circle, curators of a great truth, known to only a few, and understood by none. At least not yet. For through confession, Joseph had unwittingly revealed himself to be in possession of a clue to that truth’s meaning—the first in perhaps half a century.
Advancement in the church had required regular cleansings of the soul, with each unburdening going deeper than before. When those guiding Joseph’s journey came upon his vision from that day in the Jura, those of the inner circle were quick to act, sweeping him under their cloak of invisibility, setting Joseph on an altogether different path.
As quickly as they had intervened, so they had stepped back into the shadows, leaving Joseph alone in the light, where he was unlikely to draw much in the way of attention. But not before equipping him with what knowledge there was. Foremost of their concerns were the secular groups pursuing the same quarry. Organizations from each of the major power blocs had arisen from nowhere, their command structures and funding unclear, all seeking out those that hid behind that great truth.
Of those groups, only one had made any real progress, having had more encounters than all the others put together, unshackled as they were by the governance of control that existed outside of what passed for democracy in the West. Aptly named, the Agency mirrored Joseph’s own position—to hide something well, put it in plain sight.
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