This story is set in the world of John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series. The latest entry is November’s The Valley of Shadows by John Ringo and Mike Massa. Mike Massa has lived a diverse and adventurous life, including stints as Navy SEAL officer, an international investment banker and an Internet technologist. He counts his greatest adventures as marriage and parenthood. Mike is currently a university cyber security researcher, consulted by governments, Fortune 500 companies and high net worth families on issues of privacy, resilience and disaster recovery. He lived outside the U.S. for several years (plus military deployments!) and has traveled to over eighty countries. Mike is pleased to call Virginia home, where he passionately follows the ongoing commercial space race, looks forward to family holidays, and enjoys reading the latest new books by his favorite SF&F authors.
Fiction Short Story
See of Darkness
"I swear I will faithfully, loyally and honorably serve the Supreme Pontiff and his legitimate successors, and dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing, if necessary, my life to defend them. I assume this same commitment with regard to the Sacred College of Cardinals whenever the Apostolic See is vacant. Furthermore, I promise to the Commanding Captain and my other superiors respect, fidelity and obedience. I swear to observe all that the honor of my position demands of me."
Pontifical Swiss Guard Oath administered to graduating recruits
The day that we locked the doors on the Sistine Chapel, the conventional wisdom inside the College of Cardinals was that His Holiness had died in his sleep from the flu stage of the devil-spawned plague. That wasn't, strictly speaking, true.
I should know.
I shot him myself.
If anyone's listening to this, then you know all about the zombie virus that the scientists called H7D3. It raced around the Earth, killing off hundreds of millions, and eventually billions. Some people appeared to be either naturally immune or capable of fighting through the first stage of the flu. That still didn't leave enough to deal with either the mounds of decaying bodies or the living, perpetually hungry afflicted, which outnumbered the sane by hundreds to one.Read More