Everything that I am I offer to you my Lord.

At the final sylable of the prayer, Evelyn got up from the pavement and dusted off her clothes. Above her the Gate to Heaven loomed, its upper heights lost in the perpetual ring of clouds that was the Veil of God. Axe Tower they called the Gate now.

Unbelievers. Secularists. My Lord God will bring you to ruin as He did the nation of Gordon five thousand years ago.

The morning queue of tourists had gathered by the massive entrance in the hour since she’d begun her sequence of prostrations. They stared at her as they did every morning. Mooncalf eyes, idiot eyes. She ignored them as she gathered up the ropes of her cart. Within it were the trinkets, amulets and memorilibia that the cheapests of visitors desired so much. Most were poor imitations of what could be found in the lobby but at a tenth of the price.

Made in the Middle Kingdom. All manufactured by oriental infidels.

“You! Piss off.”

A tower guard was calling to her. He wore a new face, a young face. She stopped and waited as he strutted up to her, glorying in his power before the morning audience. His baton swung by his side. His hands had already begun to reach for it.

Her bones ached at the sight. She closed her eyes and awaited her beating.

Everything that I am I offer to you my Lord.

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