St. Lucius Church
18 Amby Ave.

Are we Catholic, Lutheran, or simply Anglican? Our sign and website certainywon’t tell you, nor will the Brutalist architecture of our edifice. Come roll the dice and possibly be denied communion this Sunday!

Squidgey United Methodist
221a and 221b Baker St.

We’re a little more divided than united right now, and the two halves of the congregation aren’t really speaking to each other right now. But we are still open for worship and business! Go to the left of the white line painted through the church if you are okay with alternative lifestyles, go to the right if you are a bigot.

Squidgitarian Universalist
1 Infinite Loop

Think of us less as a church than as a buffet, where you go every Sunday (or whatever day you prefer) to worship whatever you want (from a god, other deity, universal life force or even the almighty dollar) or just pick and choose from our combo menu! The Buddhist Special with a side of Yoga-Level Hindu is especially popular right now.

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Squidgey Heights Church of God
1127 Whiteacre Rd.

We set ourselves sharply apart from all the other Squidgey Heights churches that are, by implication, not churches of God or at the very least churches to the incorrect, Latin American, God.

The G Spot
227 W. Hwy 18

You can tell by our name that we are a hip place where young couples, preferably young couples with severa children, can come and worship and tithe together. You can also tell that our name was thought up by an all-male, all-retiree focus group.

Squidgey Arian Church
90 Downton St.

Arianism is a sect so old that it has been the subject of several crusades against it by the Catholic Church. Come see what all the fuss is about, and learn about the minor doctrinal differences that led to millions of deaths, in the church that Pope John XX called “a blight unto the eyes of the Lord.”

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Sparkwort
Zeusoflorea electrii

The sparkwort is capable of generating an electric charge, which it uses in the wild to deter predators. As an ornamental, it can be an enticing and luminous addition to a garden, but can also be highly dangerous: large specimens are capable of producing fatal shocks and interfering with electronics, and they also act as literal lightning rods during stormy weather and are infamous for starting brushfires.

Wandering sproutella
Sproutellium lawrencii

Be sure to stake this beautiful perennial once it reaches about a foot in height, or it will begin to wander at night, creeping silently about on leglike roots. An episode or two of wandering are harmless, but if allowed to wander freely the sproutella will eventually enter its sexually active phase, in which male plants develop razor-sharp flower-darts that can cause painful wounds, sepsis, poisoning, or death in some sensitive individuals. Female plants, for their part, will become bolder and attempt to climb over houses and fences, eventually becoming brazen and attempting to batter down barriers (and people!) with heavy, woody, unfertilized seed pods.

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King Manuel’s Hopemelon
Rotondea lisbonicca

Bred by Dom Manuel II, the last king of Portugal, during his exile, this variety of hopemelon is particularly large and easy to grow. Easily recognizable by its purple-and-white aproximation of the Portuguese royal flag, it is also the most potent hopemelon easily available to gardeners. It might be advisable to start with a weaker variety like the Prince Charlie or Leo’s Oscar, since the King Manuel can produce sky-high, unrealistic, and dangerous hopes very easily.

Roswell Eclipse Pod
Feedmi seymourii

The most popular—and most dangerous—of the extraterrestrial pods first cultivated as ornamentals in the 1960s, the Roswell Eclipse will only germinate during a total eclipse of the sun (though cuttings can be taken at any time) and requires the fresh blood of sapient beings to grow. Most are satisfied with immature pods that require only a few weeks of blood; larger specimens are very dangerous and capable of hunting and devouring prey on their own. Do not listen to them if they beg for food; whatever they offer you, don’t feed the plants.

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Screaming witchweed
Vvitchiviparus eternus

Despite the name, the mature plant produces more of a moan than a scream, though some designer varieties can speak certain words in a variety of accents instead. Hardy up to 1000º but will wither from frost, strongly-presented hemlock boughs, and sundials. Long-period perennial that will regrow forever at intervals of 500-1000 years.

The Spriggler
Gonophorium maxidillae

Heirloom variety first cultivated in 882 BC, though its modern common name dates from the 1615 Congress on Malefic Growths. The Spriggler is a hardy vine that will provide shade and nitrate fixation, as well as woody if edible okra-like pods. However, in addition to needing water, bright sun, and pH-neutral soil, The Spriggler also requires one secret per day, whispered into its roots, for maximum growth. Try McSpriggans, a newer Scottish cultivar, if you have fewer secrets to give.

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“What’s with the cat?” Van said, gesturing at Mr. Squibbles.

“She and I have an understanding,” said Ashtar. “I give her some food and she gives me some warning. We split the rats she catches, and I let her use a feline pressure suit I found.”

“She?” said Van. “Mr. Squibbles is a she?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Why the ‘mister’ then?”

“Because it’s hard to tell when they’re kittens,” Ashtar said. “By the time I realized he was a she, the name had stuck.”

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“Hey, HEY!” Van croaked, as Ashtar’s chokehold threatened to squeeze the life out of him. “Easy! I’ll tell you everything I know.”

Ashtar eased her grip a bit. “Talk,” she said. “You play nice, I like what I hear, I’ll let you live. But the second you’re more trouble than you’re worth, I will snap your neck and leave you two minutes of contemplation before you die. We clear?”

Van gasped as Ashtar’s grip relaxes a bit. “Crystal,” he said. “Can’t blame a desperate man for trying, can you?”

“No more than you can blame a desperate woman for not putting up with it,” Ashtar replied. “Talk. You’re starting to bore me.”

“Okay, okay,” said Van. “All the administrators abandoned Dome B a while ago. They took the last working crawler to Dome Q.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” said Ashtar. “How long ago?”

“A year, maybe two. The sols kind of blur together after a while, you know?” Van smiled weakly. “I don’t remember a Dr. Sheran Quiria specifically, but then again I couldn’t tell you the names of any of our admins even before they abandoned us to die.”

“You’re doing well.” Ashtar eased her grip a bit. “Now tell me what things are like in Dome B.”

“Where have you been, under a rock?” Van said.

“Dome A,” said Ashtar.

A hint of curiosity flitted across Van’s face. “You tell me about Dome A, I’ll tell you about Dome B.”

“Fine,” Ashtar said with a light squeeze to Van’s trachea. “Dome A is dying, and people there are fighting over scraps. The two biggest warlords each have less than a dozen guns apiece, and they’re fighting tooth and nail for the right to die last.”

“Sounds nice,” Van said. “There’s no law here in B. Not even any warlords. We’re all just scraping to get by. We get the occasional person from C or D, but no one from A.” He paused, then continued: “What do you care about this Dr. Quiria anyhow?”

“He’s my father,” Ashtar said. “Good enough for you?”

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