In case of necessity, however, not only a priest or deacon, but even a layman or woman, nay, even a pagan or heretic can baptize, provided he observes the form used by the Church, and intends to perform what the Church performs. — from ‘The Decree for the Armenians’, Pope Eugene IV

Ramirez takes a position in front of the door with a bucket of water, drawn fresh from the river. She shoots Karen a stolid glance and nods once. Karen wipes her hands against her thighs, the thick fabric of her jeans greasy and alien, and tries not to worry. “Faith;” she says, “hope; charity.”

The twins look at each other in disgust and huddle closer together. Karen can’t tell them apart, though one is male and the other female. They are androgynously pretty, high-cheekboned and long-eyed. Their ears hang low on their sleek, elfin head, lobes bright with opals and diamonds.

The door shatters inward and Ramirez throws the bucket of water even as the men drop her with three well-placed tranq darts.

“What the hell–?” says one of them, but Karen has slipped up behind him and taken his head in her hands.

“In the name of the father,” she whispers, and her fingers whiten; “and the son, and the holy ghost.”

He screams as the spirit moves through him in a bright arc of blue.