A little inspirational Easter reading

In this excerpt from Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, the Jesuit priest Paul DurĂ© has tracked down the Bikura, a mysterious tribe living in the wilds of the planet Hyperion. Tiny, docile, and unintelligent, they seem to be the degenerate remnant of the original settlers, calling themselves “the Three Score and Ten” and “worshipping” in an immense, ancient cathedral at the base of a canyon. They make DurĂ© one of their own by implanting a cruciform — one of the cross-shaped parasites they each bear — into his chest.

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