The inner sanctum of Sancti Algorithmo is forbidden to all but those with *Permisso Administratus*, namely, the monks of the Googlene Order of All Numbers and All Letters.

See, then, the brothers shuffle through the redwood arch to the lilting chant of their most beloved Calatin benediction:

*Sancti, sancti*

*Sancti Algorithmo Dei-us*

*Sancti, sancti*

*Sancti Algorithmo Dei-us*

*Scientia, numerii, profitorus.*

*Singularus adventus…*

Around them: Yawning shadows, dust motes, and smoke. High, high above, the vaulted ceiling, some 200 feet etherwards. Higher still, the great tower, which pierces the fogblanket. No gentile has seen it, but it is said during the foggy season, that the bell-tower is awash in California sun, as the Free City slumbers enfogged below.

In their brown cloaks, the monk initiates of the order proceed to the chancel. There a Brother Superior, in the yellow robes of his station, stands in a shaft of light. The monks file into a loose crescent and fall silent.

Brother Superior Matt appears bowed with hands clasped, but in fact, a small glowing book is grasped in his hands. He stands transfixed, his thumbs manipulating the book. Tinny sounds punctuate the stone silence of the sanctum: bells, swooshes, a child’s laugh, a cat’s meow.

He smiles and chuckles at some private matter, sighs, and closes the leathern cover. Presently, he looks up at the assembled initiates. “Forgive me, brothers, for I was taken by my devotions with the Book of G. A matter concerning a cat climbing into a succession of ever smaller boxes.”

He begins to smirk, frowns, and adopts a beatific mean. “No matter,” he mutters, extending his hands. “Welcome brother initiates to the Sanctum Sancti Algorithmo.”

The initiates reply as one voice: “By His math doth we breathe, and profit.”

Brother Matt gazes upon his audience, content with silence. From his G-Book, a muffled meow. He closes his eyes, and his brow furrows. Presently, his eyes open.

“No one knows the mind of the Algorithm. We are but mortals of flesh and blood. The Algorithm is of the divine music of the universe. It is of numbers, of math.” He pauses for effect, gazing into the eyes of the initiates. “Now, it is true that with divine inspiration did Blessed Sergey and Blessed Larry build the Algorithm.”

The brothers, as one, make the Sign of the Algorithm: “By His math.”

“And yet, do Blessed Sergey and Blessed Larry know the mind of the Algorithm?” At this nigh heretical utterance, there is some murmuring and shuffling and signing of the Algorithm. Brother Matt arches an eyebrow. “No! Tell me: Does the sailor know the mind of the wind when he sets the sail?”

“No, math be praised.”

“Do we question the wind? Do we say of the wind, ‘bloweth this way, or that?’”

“No, math be praised.”

“We know not the mind of the Algorithm but if He shepherds us to an island of plenty, who among us dares question His math?” A heavy silence befalls the Sanctum.

“And so, unquestioning, and full of love, we sacred brothers tend to the Algorithm, as gardener to the apple tree. Some days, the Algorithm may drop sweet fruit into our hands, and we revel in thanksgiving, and profit.”

“By His math we prosper.”

“For the Algorithm gives to those who steward Him, does He not?”

“Yes, brother, by His math.”

Now Brother Matt’s eyes begin to take on a holy glow. “And if the Algorithm doth, in His divine calculus, subtract a brother from our number, if that brother should die today, shall we lament?”

The brother initiates begin to stir, the Passion erupting within them. “No, math be praised!”

“Yea, we must dance in thanksgiving because the Algorithm works by divine mechanic that we know not and *dare not know*. The path of the Algorithm is not straight, but ever winding, ever treacherous. Yea, the path is dark to us.” Brother Matt stares hard at the initiates, and then rises on his toes, in ecstatic fervor: “The path is dark to us, but to the Algorithm, the path is bright! The path is beautiful!”

A chorus of shouts and cries of thanksgiving. Just then a hidden door opens in a chaplette and two Auditorii stride into the sanctum. They have the single-minded, near mechanical focus of their kind, for they hear the Voice of the Algorithm in the chambers of their minds. Their bloodred cloaks and shaved heads mark them separate. And their terrible faces, contorted, marred by tattoos and crude surgeries… It is said they alter their faces to please the Algorithm.

The Auditorii stride purposefully straight toward the assemblage, as if they mean to part it. The initiates shift uncomfortably but do not move. It is not wise to move suddenly in the presence of the Auditorii.

Presently a young initiate breaks from the crescent of men and sprints for the entrance. The Auditorii make no sound but burst after the young monk, as the cheetah after the gazelle. Amidst the murmurs of consternation from the assembled initiates, the lead Auditori produces a flash sling from his vestments and, in one smooth movement, whirls it about his head, and releases a crackling sunwhite pulse toward the fleeing monk.

There is a flash and a thundercrack and the monk initiate is thrown into a wall where he lies still. The Auditorii slow to a walk as they approach the heap of cloak and man. They show no signs of distress, exertion, or human passion. They drag the senseless man through another side door and are gone.

There is a long, leaden silence. The initiates turn to the Monk Superior. If he is troubled, he does not show it.

“No one knows the mind of the Algorithm. And what sweet ecstasy it is, to prostrate ourselves before His Math. To say, ‘I know not. I know nothing. And yet. I serve His math. And my heart is glad. And my soul’s burden is lightened.’”

An initiate calls out, “yea, by His Math.”

“Our departed brother shall rejoin the divine math of the Universe. We can only tremble in longing, that we may unite with the Algorithm. And we will, by math.”

“Math be praised!”

“Brothers, let us cry to the ether in thanksgiving, let the Algorithm know our praise!”

The sanctum rings with the clear voices of the initiates and the Brother Superior:

“If by Thy math I die to-day, so be it.

If by Thy math, I profit, so be it.

If by Thy math, I slay the lamb, so be it.”

A sharp shriek fills the sanctum as 64 brothers draw their mathswords and thrust them etherward. Arcs of lightning dance between sword tips as the men cry in adoration, their eyes blazing:

*Sancti Algorithmo Dei-us*

*Sancti Algorithmo Dei-us*

*Sancti Algorithmo Dei-us*

###

*The Saga of Silicon and Steel* is an epic chronicle of the Crowned Billionaires of the Westlands.