Kat and Sergio were thoroughly sick of driving through a desert. They had been on the road for a few weeks now, and hadn’t made much progress. This was due, in part to the rather large detours they continued to make at almost every opportunity. They would take one exit and follow it for miles until they found a way to loop back onto the main road.
They hadn’t heard anything in the news about the drones that were shot down by an air-force base in Las Vegas. They had purposefully led those drones there, but managed to get away without anyone finding out who they were. And no news probably meant that the government was trying to cover it up. A closer look at those drones, and they would probably find some things that they didn’t want to get out to the public. Those drones were of a technology far more advanced than anything on Earth.
The only member of their party who did not seem to mind all the driving was Alice, who was going through a delightfully cheerful stage of her development. They had recently started feeding her other food sources, and she seemed to love the new sensations. As always, the discovery of new things seemed to fascinate the young girl. She had also started saying a few words too, like ‘momma’, ‘car’, and ‘that’ quickly becoming common. She used the latter while pointing to something new that she hadn’t seen before, and if they didn’t investigate the new item, she would become upset. Without Alice, Kat and Sergio would have likely given up already, or succumbed to depression or extreme stress.
But now, a few weeks later, they were finally approaching St. George and getting ready to move up north instead of driving in circles in the desert. Both Kat and Sergio were looking forward to the change of scenery. That, combined with Alice’s good mood, did a lot to improve their attitudes.
As they entered the city, Kat was struck by the beauty of the area. It was still a desert, but the red rock of the valley was stunning. The town itself was quaint, and she could easily see its boundaries. In the center of the town was a large and brilliantly white building. It stood like the centerpiece of the town, easily visible from almost anywhere in the city.
“What do you suppose that is?” Kat asked Sergio, pointing to the white building.
“Oh that’s probably the Mormon temple,” Sergio responded. “There’s supposed to be dozens of them in Utah.”
Mormons. Kat had heard about them before but never gave them much thought. They were supposed to be everywhere in Utah, but Kat had never been here before.
“What do they use it for?” she wondered aloud.
“I don’t know, probably just a really fancy church building or something. Maybe for special occasions or something like that.”
“Why don’t we take a pit stop there, get out and stretch our legs.”
Sergio looked at her. She had never expressed an interest in any religious buildings before, other than to admire the architecture of medieval cathedrals in Europe. But that was more of an academic interest.
She caught his gaze and shrugged. “What? It just looks like a pleasant place to take a break, that’s all.”
So Sergio drove closer to the white building. Upon arrival, they found a place to park and they both got out. Kat groaned as she stretched. Wow, it felt good to stand. They had been driving for several hours without a break.
It was Sergio’s turn to take care of Alice, so he took her to find a public bathroom with a changing room. In the meantime, Kat found a bench and sat outside of the white “temple.” It was a very peaceful sight, very quiet save for the chirping of birds nearby. As she looked up at the building, her mind started to wander.
Religious groups like these Mormons obviously had a lot of faith in what they taught. Enough to build large buildings like this one, and lots of them. She wondered just how many of these buildings the Mormons had built. She knew of one other in Washington D.C., but that was the only one she had seen before, to her knowledge. But Sergio said there were a lot of them in Utah. So maybe a few dozen world-wide?
What gave them that level of faith, to build so many buildings without really knowing if what they taught was real. That was the hard part for Kat to understand. With the number of religions on the planet, all of which taught different things, they couldn’t all be right. Either one was correct, or none of them were. Those really were the only two options in Kat’s mind. No two conflicting religions could both be correct.
And yet, what about everything that had happened between them, Argo Force, and Invergence. No religion said anything about those. Maybe some of the religious myths originated with things like that?
Kat didn’t realize how much time had passed until Sergio came back with Alice. The girl seemed much happier now that she was changed, and she said something that sounded like “ma” as she approached Kat.
Kat smiled and took her daughter from Sergio, bouncing her up and down. They spent a few more moments enjoying the dry summer air before they decided to keep moving. They needed to find a place to sleep tonight, and neither enjoyed sleeping in the middle of a city, even one as small as St. George.
Before they left the city, however, they stopped at a small, retro frozen yogurt place. They had seen it driving by, but neither had any idea how good the yogurt would be. Kat and Sergio gobbled theirs up without much time to spare, giving Sergio a massive brain freeze. Even Alice enjoyed the few bites that Kat gave her out of her own cup. Though the fun part was watching the little girl’s face bunch up as she experienced the cold sensation. They had never given her ice cream before. Both Sergio and Kat laughed at the expressions on her face.
Kat sat back, still chuckling. Despite their monotonous travels, these past few weeks had been enjoyable. Watching Alice grow and develop a personality was one of the most rewarding experiences Kat could have ever imagined. It brought her so much more joy than she ever expected. In that moment, she wished she could freeze this moment in time and carry it with her wherever she went.
But a frown appeared on her face as she realized that it couldn’t last, not in their unique situation. They were being hunted, and she was sure that they couldn’t keep it up forever. Argo Force had still maintained its distance, not bothering to get involved. Apart from Simon, they hadn’t met a member of Argo Force since the first day when they were forced to leave their home and she had given birth to Alice. She wondered if they even cared anymore.
Don’t stop there, read the next chapter!