Walt thumbs through the document and stops, holding his finger at a certain point. "This business about justification by faith alone--"
Luther’s eyes light up. "That’s my central theme and my main grievance! You see, I suddenly realized that there is nothing I can do to earn my eternal salvation but simply to trust in the shed blood of Jesus."
Kerry sighs and looks at the other two. "There’s that name again!" He then turns to the monk and asks: "But what can Jesus possibly have to do with it? He was just a good man--a prophet, who taught many good things. But that’s all. Nothing More."
"He was the divine son of God,” insists Luther, “and He died for our sins, so that now we need only to trust in Him. We are saved by faith in Him alone."
"But, surely," insists Daniel, "Our good works must count for something. I mean, admittedly, we can’t be perfect, due to the entrance of sin into the world, but if that could be prevented--if there were no origin sin, surely we could be good enough to earn our own salvation."
"That’s probably what the church is talking about." adds Walt before the monk can reply. "Perhaps it’s only waiting to find a better way to deal with origin sin."
"So why fight the establishment, Martin?" asks Kerry.
"Yeah!" adds Walt, "If you believe salvation is by faith in Jesus alone, fine. But keep it to yourself. I mean, why stir up trouble needlessly?"
The monk’s face is grim. Suddenly, he rises from his seat, grabs an inkwell from the desk and hurls it in the direction of our three friends. "Satan, the Lord rebuke you!" he cries out at the top of his voice. "Fowl demons, sent from hell to dissuade me from my purpose! Be gone!"
They move quickly to the side and out of the study. They hear the inkwell slam into the wall and break as they run out of out of house, not pausing to look back.
"What’s wrong with him?" asks Kerry, "Is he crazy?"
"No," replies Walt, "Just a little fanatical."
Back at the ship, they quickly work out the coordinate settings and repair the slight damage, talking while they work.
"That name again--Jesus--it keeps coming up."
"Yeah! It’s uncanny!"
"Why people want to worship him and trust in him as if he were God or something is beyond me."
"I tell you, I don’t care if I never hear that name again!"
"That goes for me too!"
CHAPTER 10: MIGHT AND RIGHT
Having revised the directional settings and repaired the damage, they try to contact home base. At first, the transmission is a bit garbled. But it soon becomes clear.
"Hey! What happened to you guys?" We’ve been expecting to hear from you long ago. You really had us worried!"
"Sorry, but we couldn’t call. We got pulled foreword to the future by a transmat beam and were forced to fight in a senseless war. With the help of some strange natural phenomena, we barely escaped. Than we discovered we had a stowaway, of all things! But, fortunately, he had a device which enabled us to go further back. But, we took off without him by mistake in 1490. Than the lever got stuck and the directional switch got moved somehow, so we went forward again to 1517."
"Wow! You guys sure have had some bad luck, haven’t you? But don’t worry. We’ve been working on something here which can help propel you further back."
"A new fuel formula." John’s voice breaks in. "By adding the right amount of alcohol to the fuel, you can add more force and increase the number of revolutions. And then, by adjusting the coordinate settings properly to allow for the extra buildup of speed before departure--"
"Save the details, as long as it works!"
"Yeah, that would be tremendous!" All three become excited at the prospect of being able to take longer leaps back in time.
"Listen!" It is Mark’s voice again coming over the communicator. "Do you guys still have that bottle of brandy that I suggested you take along for emergencies?"
"Yes, it’s still in the storage."
"Well, get it and a cup. Listed carefully. Pour 3 1/2 cups of the brandy into the fuel. Than set the coordinates to 006459."
"This should help to put you a little further back," adds John. "It’s not really perfected yet, so this will be the trail run."
"Walt goes to the storage area and retrieves the brandy. "3 1/2 cups--but this will be almost the whole bottle."
"Hopefully you’ll be able to find some more wherever you land."
"And," adds John, "call us when you land without fail."
"Will do. Roger, over and out."
Walt takes the bottle and the cup over to the engine and pours the required 3 1/2 cups into the fuel tank along with the necessary amount of new fuel. "Ready on the controls, you two?"
Kerry goes over to the lever, while Daniel sets the coordinates to the required number.
"Well, here goes nothing!"
Again, they land in a clump of trees in field.
"How lucky can you get?!"
But, again, the indicator has broken in flight, leaving them to guess their whereabouts. A light fog covers the landscape, but, through the fog, they can see the outline of a huge castle surrounded by smaller buildings. The scene before them calls up memories of pictures they had all seen in books of legend and history.
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