‘I don’t really know much about Cocora,’ said Marcos. ‘Why did Ma stop believing in her?’
‘Oh, well, Cocora is supposed to be this benevolent and all-powerful being who is just the greatest thing ever in the history of the universe. And I think during her travels, your mother began to have trouble consolidating this idea of Cocora with the state of the world around her.’
‘Mariana saw a lot of death, even before she met me. A lot of senseless brutality and suffering. And even the holiest, most convincing rhetoric in the world has a difficult time standing up against all of that.’
‘I get the impression you’re not very religious, either...’
‘Oh, me?’ Shenado laughed. ‘I’m even worse than Mariana was. In spite of everything, your mother still believed in SOME kind of ultimate creator. She just thought all religions were bullshit.’ The reaper hesitated. ‘Agh, sorry, I keep forgetting you’re only twelve.’
‘It’s fine. I don’t mind.’ It was hard to take much offence to swear words after having seen Darktide literally squash several people into a bloody pulp.
‘Mm. But yes, Mariana still possessed a tiny morsel of spirituality. I, on the other hand, do not.’
‘Really? You don’t think there’s like a reaper god or something?
‘How can reapers exist without some kind of creator?’
‘The same way that people can.’
‘Uh... then how can people exist without a creator?’
‘Ah. A very old question, that. One that has been used to justify all manner of deistic belief in the past. Nowadays, though, we know about something called “spontaneous quantum creation.” It’s a bit difficult to explain, but in very simple terms, it means that the natural forces that make up the universe are such that there is no reason why the universe could not have created ITSELF. No divine intervention necessary.’
‘There have been other ideas about godless creation throughout history, too, and perhaps there will be still more in the future, but spontaneous quantum creation is what currently seems to make the most scientific sense.’
‘...But Ma didn’t believe any of that, did she?’
‘No. She could be quite stubborn.’
Shenado laughed again. ‘Excuse me?’
‘I’m sorry. That was ruder than I meant it...’
‘I can already tell that you’re going to give me a lot of sass as you get older.’ She didn’t sound particularly upset about it, though.