For over a year I had studied the Church. They had a public relations department, of course, and put forth the best face possible, but openness was at odd with a cult of sacred mysteries. The adherents did charitable works, donating time and money mostly to education-related causes (but always with a coldness and a distance, as befit the way they did most everything.) Within the proper academic circles, everyone knew the Church at least in passing, and even the laity could be trusted to recall some fact about the Churh with a little bit of prompting (“Starry Wisdom? Oh! That’s that weird religion with the observatories and space telescopes, right?”)
But there were no informative texts on the faith, no in-depth examinations, no thoroughly researched and vetted papers. And to a person such as myself, this was entirely unacceptable. Someone had to do something to increase the scope of human knowledge as it related to the Church (an endeavor that I was sure the Church could respect in spirit, if not in practice,) and that someone might as well be me. I was intelligent, I was articulate, I was dispassionate yet gentle, I was thorough without being overbearing, and I was respectful while being objective as well.
And so, after more than a year, I was finally being led by the hand into the sanctum sanctorum of the Church’s headquarters on Pluto.