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ALWAYS!

“Welcome, your Eminence.”

“It is good of you to see me, Master. I know that you are busy as the end of the third millennium approaches.”



The office of the Master Historian and Chronicler looked out on to a shaded courtyard. The courtyard was surrounded by the Church’s vast library building in the American Holy City of Atlanta.

“I can always find time for the representative of our companion Church. What brings you here?”

“His Holiness is concerned about the recent discovery coming so unexpectedly and disturbingly after such a long period of peace. I realise that you are officially only a lay person but your position provides for great influence within your church.”

“I understand. Please ensure his Holiness that the find has been thoroughly suppressed. The young students making the discovery have been shown the error of their ways. They have been also praised for their judgement in bringing the find to the attention only of the Holy Church. The artefact itself has been destroyed, naturally.”

“I understand it was a sign unearthed on a dig near a major city site?”

“That’s correct, a simple sign with only the one word.”

“Well, I am grateful to you for this confirmation. I, that is we, needed to hear it from your own lips not just the sealed, printed message the courier brought.”

“Such news could not be sent even over the securest of Nets. A drink before you leave?”



The historian opened an intricately carved, wooden door that hid a small refrigerator and removed two cans. He passed one to the Cardinal and gave the benediction.

There is only one Coke
and that is Coca-Cola

Both men made the standard response ‘Always!’ then drank the ice cold liquid.



When the Cardinal had gone into the stifling, winter heat, the historian pressed a hidden catch to open a concealed space in the wall. He removed the sign that he had assured his visitor had been destroyed. He held the sign in his hands, the word ‘Pepsi’ could still be discerned on its pitted surface. After a few moments he returned the sign to its hiding place. Some day he would destroy it as he had already claimed. Such conflict could not be allowed to rise again. The fighting and destruction both Churches had striven so long to stamp out. No, there was only one true Church and it could not tolerate any competition. After all even their ‘companions’ in Rome kept the real faith, drinking the only Cola.

Derek Smith


------
DA Smith



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