Reply To: The Hosts of Mars

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Mother Shirley, the head of the Covenant, was smoking in her private capsule despite the strict restrictions and despite the health risks, at her ripe age of 99.

She liked to quip that nobody had ever told her what to not do and lived to say the tale. She had smoked since age 45, after the death of her third husband, the only one she had shed a tear for. Never turned back since, and maybe it was the reason she was still alive after all. Smoked like a mighty salmon.

She grinned painfully at her reflection. Ugh. Despite all the beauty treatments, she was starting to look like a decrepit mummy. No amount of wariki body butter and ant royal geel would do the trick now. She had to resort to more extreme measures after no doctor would dare to try a peeling on what skin was left on her face.

The acrylic mask was always prickly at first, and took a few uncomfortable seconds to adjust. It was now firmly set, and sure, it restrained a bit the movements on her face,… well, she was never one for laughs out loud anyway.

With her shaking scrawny arms, but her grip strong as ever, she attached the limbs of her exoskeleton, and with now more assurance, finished to dress in proper garments on top of her fishnet corset.

She was all set for the morning sermon. She would have to strain her voice a bit, and for that the smoke had helped too. She had a lovely raucousness in her vocal chords that made all the old farts of the Covenant thrilled by what she said in hypnotic stances.

After that would be done, most importantly, they would go forth to the promised land, and she was to spend her glorious next century on a new empty planet she could mould to her vision.