Title: Protector of Rome
Author: Bj Jones
Sylum Timeline: Way way way in the future
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He moved with ease.
For he had walked these steps a hundred thousand times before.
The crowd parted.
First the media.
Then the people.
Finally the Cardinals.
The mass of red swept itself aside as he continued his journey to the steps of the Basilica.
He stopped a few feet past the Pillars of the Church, his focus on the Pope who stood before him.
Returned once more.
He had worked his way through the ranks of the Clergy, all the way to Cardinal. Bribed, threatened, and manipulated the College to win election at Conclave. Within six weeks of his taking office, his corruptions spread through the Church.
Indulgences sold for a price.
Mercy given for a favor.
He claimed that the plague of Vampires on this world was due to the sins of the Church. Declared divorce once again unforgiveable, homosexuals were to be banned, children of unwed mothers not to be baptized. Forgiveness was not a blessing, but could only be earned.
The hungry grew hungrier.
The outcast became more disgraced.
The sick became sicker.
Alexander VII lived in luxury, wearing fine silks and gold crowns. His favorite Cardinals got cushy jobs, and extravagant homes, while those who opposed him were exiled and destroyed.
“Who do you think you are?” The Pope stared down at the Man in White.
“I was given the task of protecting St. Peters Church from those outside who would bring Her harm.” He paused, head raised as he looked brazenly at the Pope. “Or from those who choose to corrupt Her from within.”
He smirked wickedly. “I will not have you corrupt the Vatican any further with your greed. You have no place in His Church, Rodrigo. You did not before. You do not now.”
“And you have no power here!” he growled snapping his fingers.
Vatican Police and Swiss Guards moved between their Pope and the well-perceived threat.
With a flare of the dramatic, the Assassin threw his hood back, revealing a familiar face to them. “My name is Ernesto Olivetti, Inspector General of Vatican Security. You know who I am. I command you men to put down your weapons, for this is not a Holy Man who was divinely Chosen, but a man who has sought power and greed for his own earthly desires.”
The Square went quiet.
The first to bow their heads in respect and walk away were his Vatican Police. For the story was legendary within their ranks, that on the day after Pius XVII had been buried, Inspector Olivetti’s office, along with his rooms in the Apostolic Palace, had been Sealed. The only thing he left behind, were his badge and gun, which were now located in the Vatican Archives.
It had been rumored that when the Church most needed Her protector, he would return.
Many had laughed at those who still believed.
But they held onto the hope that one day it would prove true.
That the Inspector would once again take charge of the Vatican, and prepare it for the safe return of Pope Patrick.
The Swiss Guard hesitated, but the steel of determination in the Inspector’s eyes, made them take a united step backward. They knew of the myths and legends just as much as the Vatican Police. Their histories had been intertwined for generations. It had only been until recently, with Alexander VII, that the two forces were once again separated.
The few men who continued to move forward, were easily disarmed and tossed aside.
None were killed. Only their pride was wounded.
“You think I would rely on loyal guards?” Rodrigo snapped his fingers, and out from the main doors behind him spilled mercenaries, armed with military grade weapons, and all wearing body armor. “Kill him!”
From the sea of Cardinals came the ‘Brotherhood’.
Ezio took his place at his father’s right.
Altaïr on Ernesto’s left.
Nikolai slid next to Altaïr, his rifle resting on his shoulder.
Javert stood quietly next to Ezio, sword in hand.
Aveline took point next to the Frenchman, while Shau Jun closed the flank next to the Russian.
Behind them, two men – one who had carried the name of Pius XVII and the other a Monseigneur – bowed their heads in prayer.