This is a fan fiction set in the world of S. Andrew Swann's Moreau Series, who owns the copyright and may order this story removed for any or no reason at any time. I certify that I am making no financial gain whatsoever from the writing of this story. Tom Mazanec

Teacher's Choice

Chanel High School

Bedford, Ohio


Father Smith had a lot on his mind. Last year one of his students had turned in a term paper arguing that moreaus had spiritual souls. Although the term paper had accounted for 40% of the final grade, Father Smith had felt he had no choice but to give the paper a grade of F, thus depriving the student of a passing grade and forcing him to repeat his senior year at the school. That student had turned in a different term paper this year, one on the Theology of the Right to Life movement. A nice, safe term paper that was not controversial at all. But another student had done his term paper on moreaus this year, and had come up with the conclusion that moreaus were just clever animals who die and are dead. A perfectly orthodox position.

Until today.

This morning the Plain Dealer had headlined the Ex Cathedra proclamation of Pope Leo XIV that moreaus did, in fact, possess immortal souls, even if genetic engineering was still a sin. And Michael Fields had handed in his term paper this afternoon, containing a thesis which was now heretical. Father Smith flipped open his cell phone and pressed the keys.

"Hello? Fields residence."

"Mrs. Fields? This is Father Smith, of Chanel High School. May I please speak to Michael?"

He heard the calling of Mike's name, and then "Hello? Fr. Smith?"

"Yes, Mike. This is about your term paper. I'm afraid it is not acceptable."

"You mean because of the Pope's announcement? I wrote the term paper before the announcement."

"I know. But I cannot give it a passing grade now. Rome has spoken, the case is closed. I am afraid that you will have to either hand in a new term paper by tomorrow morning or receive a failing grade for the course."

"That would mean that I would have to repeat the year. I can't do that. I would never be able to get a scholarship and attend college if that happens."

"Mike, I have no choice. I can't give a passing grade to a term paper which defies Catholic dogma. Can you get a new paper by tomorrow? That is the deadline for turning in the grades."

"I can't write a twenty page term paper in one night! You flunked Steve last year for turning in a paper giving moreaus souls. Now you're flunking me for the opposite?"

"Everything changed Mike. I'd love to pass you but I have to respect the truth. Just because I was wrong with Steve does not give me the right to be wrong with you. Two wrongs do not make a right."

"Go to Hell, Father." There was a sharp click of a phone being slammed down. Father Smith stared at the wall a long time.