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Apetipope Francis III

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Exhack Exhack's picture
Apetipope Francis III
No, seriously. Apetipope Francis III was born to the name Emilio in the Milan Advanced Zoological Research (MAZOOR) facility in 2100, part of the first batch of gorilla uplifts. His overseeing developmental scientist was Father Ricardo Fellini, a Jesuit geneticist and zoopsychologist who held a personal (albeit slightly unorthodox) doctrine of inducting the new races of thinking animals into the arms of Christ rather than than debating the moral and ethical rammifications of 'playing god', as men of poorer theological backgrounds the world over might have said. Not five hundfred years ago, other clergy thought of various other ethnicities of humanity as being no better than animals, allowing the Jesuits to bring them into the fold of the Vatican, after all. He raised the ape and his siblings like his own children, but the Emilio was the brightest, strongest and healthiest among them- his transgenic and cybernetic augmentations taking with the greatest vigor. While the other uplifts were sent to other laboratories and facilities for education, Father Fellini took Emilio under his wing and taught him philosophy, theology and the sciences with equal ardor. When he was old enough to attend schooling entirely on his own, the gorilla's imposing stature and his surrogate father's clout were seemingly enough to get him a position with the Swiss Guard as an auxillary of sorts, not officially serving but allowed to attend ceremonial events, and assist them as necessary for the many years of his service. The sight of a literal 400 pound gorilla in the colorful ceremonial garb that spoke fluent in several languages made him a popular tourist attraction as well, although Emilio disliked the the pageantry and his popularity as nothing more than an oddity. He continued studying furiously, hoping for a day where he might be respected and allowed to enter the clergy itself. His passion was noticed by the moderate and modest Pope John Paul IV, who allowed him to take any position as a reward. Emilio asked to become ordained, and it was granted. Unfortunately for him, the Fall came soon after. Emilio was not so fortunate as to escape the mayhem that ensued, but made it off-world by stowing himself aboard one of the transports carrying Vatican treasures out into orbit just as the net began to close around the war-ruined planet. He barely survived the event, and for his actions in nearly compromising the rescue of the Shroud of Turin and the renewed bioconservativism of the current Pope, found himself excommunicated from the Church as it migrated towards the Jupiter orbit. Others might have lost their faith, but Emilio saw an opportunity. Drawing on his contacts, his fanbase and the uplift support network he had been a lifetime member of, he took on the mantle of a reformist Antipope in opposition to the regressive dogma of the new Papacy and took the name Francis III, taking up the mantle of some of the more popular reformist popes in the century before his birth. His new church would be open to AI, uplifts and even seek to evangelize among those alien races cognitively capable of understanding the precepts, and take into account all the needs of the moment. Bioconservativism, anti-upload and resistance to egocasting would be gone, and the renewed chaos and violence of the post-Fall age would be decried as an aberration. The Antipope Francis III quickly gathered a large base of followers both instantiated and via simulspace broadcasts, many earnest and others simply there to watch a 400 pound gorilla in a Pope Hat talk about peace and love. His church would maintain high standards of scholarity and embrace every possible technology that would allow him to promote his message, and in doing so flourished. In post-Fall society, Francis III is a major figure in uplift rights, the promotion of religion in transhuman lives and the patronage of art and old-Earth anthropology. Unfortunately I don't have anything else written just yet, but I figure he'd engage in all kinds of Christ-like behaviors. Like spending time in houses of ill-repute surrounded by prostitutes, bathing and kissing other men, fishing, going apeshit at predatory moneylenders and sharing bread and wine with his best friends. Things the Apetipope Needs: -Where does he live? -How does he make money? I was figuring using celebrity status, crowdfunding, the sale of traditional hand-made artisanal goods not generally available elsewhere. -Who would be natural allies of the Apetipope? -Who would be natural enemies of the Apetipope?
Leodiensian Leodiensian's picture
Given his attempts to emulate
Given his attempts to emulate Christ making him anti-moneylenders and presumably generally dismissive of the pursuit of wealth, what do you think he would make of reputation economics?