Chapter Twenty: What dreams may come.
Jonathan did exactly as he was asked and ensured the safety of Amanda. The battle was a victory for the Knights of the Archangels but they suffered terrible casualties. The Sisters had their hands full dealing with the wounded. Jonathan himself suffered a good slash to his stomach but was told it would heal nicely. His thoughts were not for his own well being but for that of his friend Anthony who hasn’t returned to camp three hours after the battle ended. He decided to seek permission to find him and if possible bring a few others with him. He found Kelly near the command tent.
“Excuse me, Sir Kelly, a moment please.”
Kelly turned to him and said, “Yes what is it?”
“I think Anthony is in the enemy camp please allow me to search for him.”
Kelly considered it for a moment and then said, “Alright we shall join you in your search.”
“You and who else?” Jonathan asked.
“The Council. Meet us at the entrance to the ravine in ten minutes.”
Jonathan did as instructed and went to the rendezvous point. He was pacing back and forth when the others got to him showing his obvious worry. They did not speak when they met or as they made their way down the ravine. They each in their own minds were concerned about what they might find. They all feared they would find exactly that if they found him. It did not take them very long at all to reach to enemy camp finding it as they figured it to be, completely deserted.
They began searching each tent they came across for a place where someone could be hiding. Soon, worry turned to frustration as they could not find him anywhere. They came across a large pit in the middle of the camp with all except for Jonathan recognizing it for it what it was. Jonathan was confused why each of the Council members approached the pit slowly. He walked ahead of them and was horrified by what he saw. Two bodies were lying at the pits bottom and appeared to smoking as if they recently on fire. Jonathan jumped in without thinking and ran to one of the corpses.
“This is Anthony’s armor and sword. Oh dear God please be with him.” Jonathan felt the need to scream but could not find his voice. He looked over the body and saw a sword sticking out of Anthony’s side. He pictured the final fight between Anthony and Charles as an epic duel. He imagined Anthony having the upper hand because he was one of the best fighters Jonathan had ever seen. He doesn’t know why he ended up losing but imagined it may be because of outside intervention. He would never know exactly what happened, of course, but that didn’t stop him from believing Anthony died staying true to who he was.
The Council members joined him in the pit and immediately thought the worse. Kelly noticed that the bodies were burnt beyond any normal means of identification. He too saw the sword sticking out of the corpse in front of Jonathan and remembered what Anthony told them about his death. He immediately said a prayer for his fallen friend then an idea came into his head that he had to share with everyone.
“Why are these bodies burned? Someone else must have been here.”
“Who would have done this?” Andrew asked.
“I am guessing Remus.” Kelly replied.
“I can’t believe he’s gone.” Jonathan said speaking more to himself than anyone else.
Alexander placed a hand on Jonathan’s shoulder and said, “We need to be strong for him now. He would have wanted us to carry on and not give up.”
Jonathan pulled the sword out of the body’s side and asked for help to move the body back to camp. A proper burial would be the least they could do for him. They managed to get the body back to camp noticing how eerily silent the entire world seemed. They placed the body in the command tent where Jonathan went to work stripping the body. He noticed how badly charred the armor was and he felt burying his friend in this armor would be a disgrace. Amanda joined him soon and immediately started weeping over the body. Jonathan tried his best to console her but felt he would not be able to. He sent for Father Byrnes to help her out so he could get back to work.
Jonathan begged the others to let him keep the armor and sword so he could restore the pieces to their former glory. It felt wrong to him to bury his friend in something that badly charred. He felt it would be better to bury him in the tux he wore at his wedding. The Council agreed because they made a change in policy to recycle armor whenever possible. The resources of the Order are only high when they are in direct contact with the Catholic Church. There may come a time when they are cutoff from the Church and they need to be prepared for that.
Amanda would be inconsolable for a very long time following Anthony’s death. She swore she would never love another man like she loved Anthony. It was only after making that vow that she made a vow to herself to see this war through to the very end. She asked for and was granted permission to stay with the group to continue her work with Sister Ann Marie. She threw herself into work for as long as she was allowed to. The only thing in the future that she really looked forward to after that day was the birth of her child.
The day following the funeral Jonathan was summoned to the Command tent for a meeting with the Council. He made no delay in making his way there and soon found himself facing the remaining six of the Council. He was a little nervous because he had no idea why they wanted him here. Also, he had never before been summoned to meet with them so this was also kind of a surprise for him.
“Ah Jonathan, sit down please.” Ryan said because he saw Jonathan was shifting nervously.
Jonathan sat down and nodding his head to show his gratitude. “So what can I do for the Council?”
Kelly was the first to reply, “Actually it’s about what we can do for you. Before we left the Seminary Anthony had a dream foreseeing his own death. He made preparations with us before we departed for us to take care of a few things on his behalf. One was that we allowed Amanda to stay with us. The second was that he wanted you to replace him on the Council. We agreed to both.”
Jonathan was shocked and barely recovered enough to respond. “Me? On the Council? I don’t know if I am ready for this. M-M-Marcus might be a better choice than me.”
“No. The reason why we agreed to Anthony choosing his successor is because you would have been the next in line anyway. Traditionally the 7th legion is always led by whoever the current seer happens to be. That means you. The rest of the 7th including Sir Marcus will understand.” Alexander replied.
Jonathan bowed his and prayed for the strength to do what needs to be done. “Alright. If this is the way it needs to be, then so be it. I would ask that you all pray for me while I adjust to this new role.”
Jonathan left the meeting with a heavy heart. He knew that he was doing the right thing but the responsibility was almost overwhelming. He decided that what he wanted more than anything was the advice of his old friend Anthony. Anthony always seemed so confident when it came to his role in the Order. At least on the outside and that’s how Jonathan understood it. He thought the only person who might be able to help him right now is Amanda. He made his way to her tent only to find her crying. He could tell she was doing that for a while now.
“Hi, Amanda. Sorry to disturb you.”
She sniffed a few times then wiped her eyes before finally speaking. “It’s ok. I guess it’s going to take me a while to get through this.”
“That’s understandable. You just lost your husband.”
“It’s not just that. I feel a lot of guilt about his death.” She said as a new round of tears flowed from her eyes.
Jonathan raised his eyebrows, “Why? His death is not your fault.”
“He joined the Order to help protect me. He told me so.” She started to cry even harder as Jonathan wrapped his arms around her. He held her the same way he would hold one of his younger sisters. He realized how much he missed his family at that moment and felt she was a good substitute as he always thought of her as a sister anyway. He said a few reassuring remarks and soon she was no longer crying. He held her for as long as she wanted to be held.
“That may be why he joined the Order but he also believed in what we were doing. He knew the danger and found it an acceptable risk. I would guess because every time he went into danger it would mean less danger for you to have to face. I know for sure that he loved you very much.”
Amanda pulled away, went over to the dresser and opened the top drawer. She reached inside and pulled out a piece of folded paper. She walked back over to Jonathan and handed him the note. He recognized Anthony’s hand writing and it turned out to be the note Anthony wrote before the first battle outside the Seminary. It only took him a moment to read it and realized what it meant for not just her but also for him. He handed it back to her and said, “He was right. We are here and therefore it’s our responsibility to take care of it. Thank you for showing me this. Is there anything I can do for you?”
“I think I will be ok but it’s going to take time. Thank you though.”
He nodded to her as he turned to leave. He was fully satisfied with what he learned and he didn’t even have to ask her any questions about him. He was grateful for that because she looked like she could cry again at any moment. He looked around the camp as he made his way back to his tent fully ready now for what was to come. He noticed the sun was going down and bedtime would be coming soon. He never told anyone, not even Father Byrnes, that he secretly avoided going to bed at the same time every night. He figured out that if he varied his sleep schedule that it would affect the frequency of his dreams. Jonathan made up his mind to setup a regular sleep schedule from now on as the full weight of the future rested on him.
Jonathan would therefore have more visions of the future and noticed his ability increase steadily over the new few years. His visions would be what would lead them through the years to come. The next few years would see many triumphs but also more pain for the Order. The trials and tribulation that they are now going through is more than the end of time but the ultimate test of Faith. They have defeated one enemy for now but as these things always tend to go there are more dangers on the horizon.
Meanwhile, a half a world away, Remus finally arrived at his destination. He was frustrated with how the last battle went. His legion took heavy casualties and it would take years for him to rebuild it back to the numbers it once had. The only consolation he took away was finally fulfilling his mission objective. He was walking down the path leading to his father’s castle. He could see in the summer light the dark palace looked rather dreadful which is something his father intended. He made his way through the front entrance going straight to his father’s throne room. He entered without hesitation proceeding directly to his kneeling position in front of his father.
“I have the package, my master.”
His father leaned forward, “Is it how we discussed?”
“I had to adjust a few things but that’s due to lack of cooperation.” Remus replied.
“Will it still work the way you want it to?”
“I believe it will but it will just take more effort on my part.”
His father stood up motioning for Remus to follow him and walked out of the room to an ante chamber. He sat down in a chair that faced a mirror. He pulled back his hood then pulled off the blonde toupee that was on his head. Remus stood there watching when suddenly a servant poked his head inside the chamber. “Master Cuir, the new recruits are here for your approval.”
“I will be there in exactly 15 minutes. Now leave.” Leif demanded as he put the toupee down on table. “So what must be done in order to make this work?”
“All I require is a bit more time and access to Dr. Stein.”
Leif raised his eyebrows as he said, “Dr. Stein is really quite busy. If this must be done it may affect his work.”
“I understand that father. I will do everything I can to make this work.”
Leif Cuir consented to his ‘sons’ request because time is the one thing that they have going for them. He faced himself in the mirror as he removed the makeup surrounding his eyes. His face suddenly looked rather grey with very little hair on top of his head. He so enjoyed staring in the mirror when this face was exposed. It was not his face after all but the face of the person that he is currently controlling. He knew it would torture the poor soul that was still inside of this body. He so enjoyed torturing Scott because his existence afforded him very few pleasures.
Remus enjoyed watching his ‘father’ torture Scott. They shared a laugh that went on for a few minutes. Remus had the permission he sought and it didn’t even cost him anything. In some small way he was grateful for that. He departed his father’s side heading straight for his workshop where he can work on his project. He entered his workshop going immediately over to the table with the ‘package’ lying on top. He stared down at the ‘package’ taking note of the I.V. that was keeping it silent. The package was the body of a fallen Knight he acquired at the end of the last battle.
“I have so many plans for you.” He again started laughing until he saw the body twitch. “Ah. Still got some fight left you in? Well that will change soon enough.” The person on the table squirmed some more until Remus gave the order for the drugs in the I.V. to be increased. The person on the table soon quit moving altogether as the drugs took hold. Remus felt that his hard work was finally paying off and not even his “brother” Romulus would be able to top this feat.
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