"Basement canna be itself a heresy", started Fifth Cleric. "Nae, but it is sometimes the result of heresy. 'Tis one of the reasons we avoid heresy, for 'tis a lonely place, and it makes the OTT a lonlier place. Anyone returning from Basement is welcomed with open arms, unconditionally, for the OTT is richer for havin' ye here, and ye'll find yourself richer too for being 'ere again."
There was a long pause.
"This I know", said the voice from behind the grate.
Fifth Cleric's mind was racing. If only he knew who it was that was confessing, he could offer better council. It clearly wasn't BlitzGirl, but perhaps it was Kieryn? He'd been missing since last Community and it'd be awesomeful to have him back. Other names went through is mind too, but he couldn't hear well enough to match the voice. And that was the point of the grate. You weren't supposed to know. It was imperfect, but at least you weren't supposed to try to know.
From behind the grate, the voice came, "I sometimes fall into silence; without silence, sound is just noise. But although quiet contemplation can lead to enlightenment, it leads as easily into dark heresy. Which is very similar to dark hershey."
This was too much. Fifth Cleric said, "Ye may have fallen into silence, but ye kenna've fallen into the Basement, for otherwise ye wouldn't have the temerity to pun in the confessional. BlitzGirl is..." Fifth Cleric stopped. He did not want to say it. She's been missing since Deliverance. Nobody knows why, but the effects are plain to see.
Reading his thoughts, the voice in the confessional replied, "First Cleric went to find her. He went alone. I sent him."
There was another long pause.
It was not unusual for the Pope to take confession; it was expected of all clerics just as it is expected of all other congregants. But this was an unusual sin for the Pope to be confessing to.
"Very well, then", said Fifth Cleric. "Hersheys it will be. Ironically, there is a heretical holiday coming up on the 19th of Community; we have some kisses left over from last yip. Come now, this cannot wait."
Fifth Cleric opened the door to the confessional and stepped out into the nave of the Cathedral. The side door opened, and the Pope stepped out and joined him. Together they walked to the Chocolate Chapel to perform the sacrament. Fifth Cleric continued.
"You did not send him. He sent himself. And did so with the explicit blessing of the Holy Arrow of Armageddon, which he carries with him. And he goes with your prayer tiles. And he goes with newfound wisdom whose source I cannot fathom, but which I've heard with my own ears. I canna believe I'm saying this, but there is nobody better suited to this mission than First Cleric."
"Yes, and meanwhile, what am I here for?", pleaded the Pope.
"Now that is heresy! In the chair!" Fifth Cleric pointed to a plush, overstuffed piece of furniture that looked incredibly comfortable to sink into.
"Is that really necessary? I could just sit here on the wooden bench instead."
"I'm afraid it is. And quickly now, before I find myself needing to use the soft pillows!", replied Fifth Cleric.
The Pope removed his hat, and sat in the chair. He couldn't even stifle the "aaaahhhh" that came out of his mouth as he sank into it, and he was soon completely relaxed and comfortable. One by one, stale chocolate kisses descended from the ceiling as Fifth Cleric administered the sacrament. The Pope tried to catch a few in his mouth; interestingly the ones he caught were already unwrapped, whereas all the ones that missed his eager maw stayed in their foil wrappers for reuse, should there be another occasion of heresy this high. During the bombardment, the Pope contemplated his sins; considered all the valient Blitzers who are, even as we speak, braving the entirety of the One True Thread. One name in particular came to mind - Rakhal, who had just recently started the Holy Quest, and was by now well on his (or her) way. He silently offered up a prayer that xe make it safely through all the perilous dangers, and the dangerous perils. He began to dream of the Great Celebration that would happen when the Quest had come to its Glorious Conclusion. He thought of all the other Timewaiters who are still on Quest.
Slowly, The Pope came to his senses. He was not heading for the Basement. In fact, he'd been watching and reading the whole time. Without silence, there may be no sound, but he came to realize that without sound, there is no OTT.
The pelting came to an end, and the Pope arose from the Comfy Chair. "Thanks - I needed that!", he said to Fifth Cleric.
Fifth Cleric smiled, and closed out the ceremony, saying, "In the name of the One True Author, in observance of the One True Comic, in the service of the One True Thread."
The Pope replied, "Amen!" And in that moment, the whirly parts of the Crystal Organ began to turn. The Pope saw it first. "We have shoe!", he exclaimed, looking up at the image being displayed on the screen. It was blurry, and sideways, but it was unmistakable.
Somewhere, somehow, First Cleric had found BlitzGirl!