Meanwhile, in an engine room, er, chapel, deep beneath St Peters:
Archbishop Scotty: “She canna take it Cap’n. I mean Cardnal. You can’t mix pope and ex-pope cold! We’ll go up in the biggest explosion since —
Il Camerlengo (aka Kirk): –the Big Bang?
Cardinal Spock: Illogical, sir. We don’t believe in the Big Bang and all that physics jazz.
Archbishop Scotty: I dinna care what you believe in, you pointy-eared Vatican. We should reach maximum overload in about 15 minutes.
Il Camerlengo: Over the starter?
Archbishop Scotty: Aye. In 15 minutes…
Cardinal Spock: I would calculate 14.87 minutes, Monsignor Scott.
Archbishop Scotty: Those few seconds will not make any difference, your grace, because you and I and the rest of the congregation will no longer be here to bandy it back and forth. This thing is going to blow up, and there’s nothing in the universe can stop it.
Il Camerlengo: We could balance our entrée into a controlled indulgence.
Archbishop Scotty: That’s only a theory. It’s never been done.
Cardinal Spock: The captain, er, Camerlengo, is right. Its our only chance.
Il Camerlengo: I’m going to need two sets of rosary beads….
[siren sounds]: whorp! whorp!
[bells ring out]
Disembodied voice: This is the Archangel Gabriel. You have just 14 minutes until the end of existence as you know it. Just time for one deadly sin and one last confession .
(to be cont.)