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Variance & Violations

Lacy is firing a gun in this greenhouse, for some reason. It's hilarious and awkward, the way it's staged, because the rest of her cell is gathered in a circle about to do a ritual, so she's just doing some target practice in the middle of it, for no real reason except it's a cool way to come back from commercial. Anyway, they're like, "Hey Lace? Put down the gun and come do religious stuff, okay?" She does. Barnabus does this whole weird ritual where they pour blood into a cup and then pour the cup 'o blood into a wooden cutting board with the infinity logo in it. The prayer is per usual -- "Bless this circle and the ritual we are about to perform, we are your soldiers and we'll gladly give our lives to serve you, let me be your vessel O God, fill me with divine light, I am your hammer and your sword," etc. -- but at some point Barnabus is like, "Lacy! Am I boring you?"

Frankly, Lacy thinks, yes. But this is like totally a majorly sacred made-up fake cult ritual that Barnabus invented on the bus over here, so pull it together. Keon (hi!) tries to speak up on her behalf, but Lacy tells him to STFU and grabs the knife. Something about this causes Barnabus to "feel God stirring within," which means in this case his penis stirring within his pants, but the kids don't know that: "I feel God stirring within," they murmur, and then he grabs one of them, Hippolyta, and goes off to feel God some more. I still don't understand what she is doing here. They did the whole Blood In Blood Out thing when she blew up Clarice, but that was when she still thought she could get the Zoebot to Gemenon, right? I guess maybe now she's just in too deep, and maybe just warped enough by the experience that she wouldn't go home if she could. That sounds valid.

Clarice is in the makeshift tent quarters that they let the STO use, since the Church doesn't like having terrorists in the House proper, talking to a hottie STO named Diego. He tells her to stop bitching about the cold and think about how she's probably safer down there anyhow. "You've got the polytheistic rebels on the east, the Hephaistons are on the other side. One big stalemate." That's interesting, all of that sentence. If Gemenon didn't look so daft it would probably be even moreso. Anyway, Diego lets Clarice know that Obal Ferras's "ceremonial panties" are in a bunch over the Matrix PowerPoint with the little dead girls, and even that he's asked permission to rub her out.

What Diego doesn't know -- what Diego doesn't know could fill a book, but -- in this case, what Diego doesn't know is whether Mother gave Obal permission to kill her. "I'm just a poor dumb terrorist," he points out. But Clarice remembers a simpler and more brutal time, ten years ago, when the STO was the only thing keeping the Church alive. That carved out a place for her in the Worlds, a drop of blood at a time. "We were treated like saviors. Now, of course, it's different. The Church has got a little bit too safe and cozy with its polytheist neighbors, if you ask me. I think it's disgusting." Diego tries to explain that the Church still makes the rules, and she asks him to imagine a world where that wasn't the case. Something about the holy fire in her eyes -- "Wouldn't it be wonderful, Diego? To bring light to the Worlds once and for all?" -- speaks to him, and he realizes that she truly has been touched by God. (Polly Walker is a very good actress; there's no reason this scene should work, but it totally does.) She blesses him with a kiss upon the forehead, and then they make love.

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