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Brown house part 3

They had met at that little Chapel, having both come separately to Homestead to seek their fortune. Just like in the gold rush towns of the Wild West, everybody and everyone came, hoping to find their future in this forlorn frontier. There wasn’t gold here, of course. People had gotten over their fascination with that meaningless metal three centuries back. It was too soft to build anything with. Sure it was good for electronics, but almost nobody used those gadgets anymore, well not anybody worth admitting you knew. Polite people didn’t fall into that sort of addiction these days. When schoolchildren today were told that kids as young as eight had been given smart phones and free access to online games back then, they shook their heads with amazement the same way kids many hundreds of generations back were amazed that cocaine was in sodas and opium was in over-the-counter preparations for malaise.

The Chapel had been the first place of worship that was built in Homestead by the settlers. It was assumed that other such sites had existed for the indigenous population, but there was no trace now, so they couldn’t be sure. The entire planet resembled one huge abandoned house where everyone had suddenly left one Saturday afternoon just after lunch. Dishes were in the drying rack, food was in the pantry, and clothes and suitcases were still in the closet. It appeared that they had all just walked away for a stroll and simply never came back.

There was no majority faith tradition represented with the settlers, and in an effort to foster a harmony here which had been elusive on Earth and other planets, they chose to pool their resources and create one building for those of all faith traditions and none. Sometimes they had group worship events, and sometimes they met separately such as the Muslims on Friday, the Jews on Saturdays, and most Christians on Sundays. The rest of the week the place was a hub of activity for all the faiths to practice the tenants they all held dear – a food kitchen for the hungry, a clothes bank for the needy, and a center of learning, sharing, and understanding for all. It was not uncommon to find children of every tradition playing together outside in the 40 acre park the Chapel had purchased when the settlers had agreed upon a building site. Only 1 acre was allowed for buildings – the rest was to be perpetually preserved as a nature sanctuary. The pagans, Wiccans, and atheists were especially pleased by this. On that one acre was also where the farm was, where the Chapel grew its own food.

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