May 6, 1527: Charles V, Sacks Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica 6:35 am.
“We need to get the Holy Father to Castel Sant Angelo” Says Commander Casper Roist. His beard is thick and black, his eyes show fear, but he speaks with a calm resolve. The man whom Commander Roist speaks too is named Hercules Goldli, Commander Goldli is part of a special squad of Swiss Guards. Goldli has blonde hair and green eyes, he is clean shaven.
Currently five of the seven members of the special squad are on missions, the squad is called Agentia Coeli it was a secret order in the Swiss Guard founded by Pope Julius in 1506. The squad is granted certain privileges and powers. Not by the Pope, but by the closest representative to god, he is the Guardian of the Earth, charged by his almighty to keep the worlds of men and the supernatural separate.
Commander Goldli chews his bottom lip and says to his superior. “You should get him there; the men will need my power on the steps of the Basilica.”
“Two members of the Agentia Coeli are to be with the Pope at all times.” Commander Roist knows Goldli wants to be with the men in their time of need, but they would need his powers elsewhere if they were to have a hope of saving the Pope.
147 Swiss Guard file out of the armory that Goldli argued with Roist in, Commander Roist takes a sharp longsword from a rack and depart with a final nod to his second in command.
Goldli would take the Passetto Di Borgo, which is an elevated path that snakes through the battlements above the Vatican. Their destination is the impregnable fortress called Castel Sant Angelo.
44 men led by Commander Goldli will escort the Pope to safety, but it is looking more like the Pope will try make his stand. Goldli would move him to the fortress even if he had to carry the Pope himself. He could hear the enemy attacking Romans in the city, with 7,000 men advancing on the Vatican the last report, made Commander Goldli believe the invaders will make short work of the 500 militia between them. They needed to be cautious of the time and location of the attackers, It would take the Pope and his entourage 20 minutes to reach the fortress that is if they could convince the Pope to leave.
As Commander Goldli approaches the Pope’s dressing room three Cardinals meet him at the door. “Cardinal Luca, we need to get the Holy Father to the fortress.” Stresses the members of the clergy, it is well known the Pope can be stubborn.
“Father Indrid informed us that he is wants to go to the steps of the Basilica! What do you propose we do?”
“Everything we can to get him away, those men are going to be in the building a few minutes.” Replies Commander Goldli.
Pope Clement Point of View. Dressing Room, Apostolic Palace.
He didn’t want to abandon his post, he would go out as St. Peter did, he would embrace death with dignity befitting a Martyr, he would face down the advancing hordes with all his pageantry and majesty, the hope is that they are impressed enough to halt their advance. He first heard the blares of cannons as he attended Mass. While the defenders attempt to repel the advancing army of Charles V, the Pope seeks to greet the attackers with his full regalia.
The Pope feels is very weak and had a bad cough of late, he slides his achy arms into the sleeves of his ropes. As a sash is tied to his waist, he now hears the sounds of the attack more clearly, since the early morning they had been pelted by the army.
The open window of his dressing room allows Pope Clement to see into the nearby hospital, he had prayed over the sick several days ago. As the Pope is fitted for the heavy crucifix about his neck, the cries from the church are heard through the open window. He turns his head to see an enemy Spaniard stab at a hospital patient, he has never seen someone stabbed with a sword, he covers his mouth with shock and his knees give way.
Even in his weakened state Pope Clement barks out a loud prayer in Latin for the souls of those being slaughtered. The doors to his dressing room burst open, three cardinals enter the room along with a 2 members of his Agentia Coeli.
It is commander Goldli who speak to him. He looks so fierce, Pope Clement is helped to his feet by a nearby Priest. The Commander speaks loudly with a booming voice full of authority. “Your Holiness it is time we make haste for the Castel Sant Angelo! The enemy will be inside the Vatican in minutes, Commander Roist is rallying the men at the Teutonic Cemetery, they are going to meet the enemy for one last stand, that should buy us enough time to get you and everyone in this room to safety, but only if we leave now!”
The Pope can see the cemetery from his window. “You mean to tell me that Commander Roist and his men are going to sacrifice themselves for me...”
“Holy Father, the church is bigger than one man the Swiss Guard understand that better than anyone. The Pope will not die for faith if we stay, the only thing we will accomplish is allowing those men to die in vain.”
Pope Clement looks at the faces of his guards and his cardinals and knows that they are right. “We best get moving...” Says the Pope.
Commander Roist Point of View. St Peter Square, Teutonic cemetery near Obelisk.
The militia bowman are holding back the enemy but it won’t last long as there is less than 70 archers most of them have half a dozen arrows left. Counting Roist there are 147 members of the Swiss Guard. Roist is at the head of his men, many of them are hidden behind the high walls of the cemetery at least thirty including him stand in the path outside, they are fifty yards from the obelisk and on the most direct path to the Holy Father.
They had the doors to the Basilica barred, and the enemy would filter to this one path. Still the enemy would find their way into the Vatican one way or another.
Liam one of his main officers draws his longsword and removes the scabbard, he would not be encumbered more than their breastplates and helmets would allow. A horn blows from inside the Basilica to warn the Swiss Guard that their number had been called.
“Forward!” Shouts Commander Roist to his men in Swiss. 40 men would hold the narrow path leading back to the cemetery and the Gardens of the Vatican.
Commander Roist’s men walk in organized ranks, they come to the square, several men take their crossbows and move to the stairs. Five ranks of twenty men each stretch out to block the path. His adrenaline spikes at the sight of the enemy.
“Take courage lads, tonight if we were ever to be given a pass to heaven this is it. Forget your wives and children only the defense matters now. We need fifteen minutes to get the Pope to safety!”
The 100 men gathered begin to tap the shafts of their halberds on the stone underneath them. The sprinting wall of enemy are bearing down on them, they would hit the wall in seconds.
“Front Kneel!” Orders Commander Roist.
His front line kneels with the spear tip of their halberds pointed out!
The back three ranks take four steps back and the second line takes one step back, they stand with the halberd poised, their arms hold ready to plunge into the necks of their enemies. All this took place in less than twenty seconds. The enemy are attacking as a disorganized horde, they sprint right into the halberd of the front line.
Arrows from the crossbows fly towards the enemy. The front line is smashed by at least 100 men, yet the twenty men somehow hold against all odds. They don’t have the strength to push off the impaled due to the crushing force of their opponents heavier line.
Line two thankfully is at the ready, in unison they plunge the axe points of their halberds on to the shoulders and helmets of the enemy. Roist is in the second line he flipped the axe point to the sharp narrow edge, he gets the sharp point to sink into the neck of and enemy, in the same motion he brings the axe blade across his body and he catches the blade of the halberd into the neck of the man next to the first that he killed! Two for the price of one!
This allows line one to retract their spear tips and stab again, they are able to push the enemy several inches. Roist sees an enemy spear coming at him, moving his head to the left the tip shears a piece of his cheek but bounces of the steel of his helmet.
Liam is heard shouting over Roist’s shoulder but being in the thick of the trenches he is unable to hear. Then he feels the third Swiss Guard line three approaching. Feeling them coming from behind Commander Roist presses forward. He knocks someone down with the bottom of his halberd shaft, then as he pushes beyond the front line he drives his spear tip into the shoulder of a Spanish soldier, the Spaniards leather Jerkin is no match for the hardened folded steel of his weapon.
No sooner had he pulled it out that he has to block a longsword! The blade nearly halved the Commander’s shaft. Uniforms for the Swiss Guard, blue and yellow streak past, the Commanders men also seem to be fighting at will. The knight brings his sword to swipe up at Commander Roist, he blocks with his halberd, it cuts his weapon in half. He still has the axe of the halberd in his hand. He brings the axe of the halved halberd onto the knights wrist, even wearing a steel gauntlet the knights arm snaps in half broken from the force of the strike!
Flipping the axe blade over in favor of the pointed side, Commander Roist sends the point under the helmet and over the gorget of his neck armor, he pierces his enemies Adam’s Apple and the knight falls to the ground to grip his impaled and crushed esophagus!
Tossing down his broken weapon, Commander Roist charges forward, they had cut through the first wave of soldiers it looked like they had killed several hundred. With the same token he took two scores of casualties of his own. Commander Roist sprints from the path and bounds for the obelisk!
His men fellow, half have swords drawn, half still carry their trusty halberds. This time they meet the enemies at full sprint, the two lines collide. Commander Roist is swelled by men, he sees none of his fellow Swiss Guard, he blocks two enemy swords, back handing one the men sends the enemy reeling backwards. The other man stays where he is, he is armored more than the footpad Commander Roist dispatched with a flick of his wrist. The Commander swings his sword onto the shoulder of the soldier only to have the lad parry his attack!
Not giving in, Roist pushes him back and swipes under, this attack scrapes his sword under the mans plated armor, his blade finds its way under the armor and produces a deep cut...
The commander brings the hilt of his sword to the face of the aggressor, the point of the cross guard gouges his eye in the same motion the blade is pressed to his opponents neck! Commander Roist feels the warm mist of his enemy spraying him onto the face!
He fights for several more minutes dispatching at least three enemies, then he felt it a stab! It slipped under his armor, turning around he brings his blade down onto the exposed neck of his stabber! The boy is dead, Commander Roist pulls the knife out of his side...
Even with his body full of pain Commander Roist was not going to quit, he turns to bark orders. He wanted to reform the ranks on the steps of the Basilica.
Then caught off guard an enemy warhammer strikes him in the breastplate knocking him to the ground! He looks up at warhammer being brought down on his chest! Closing his eyes, he tries to think of heaven when the pain didn’t hit him he opens his eyes...
His second in command Liam is fighting were he stood moments ago. The one with the warhammer is beheaded, no sooner had his sword killed Commander Roist’s attack that the bodies of two knights take their place. Liam is much younger and stronger than Commander Roist, he dodges the attacks and counteracts with the ferocity that even a warrior like Achilles would admire. When Liam kills several of the enemy, Commander Roist wonders what God would think of their last stand.
Commander Roist tries to stand but his body gives out, it felt like every bone in his chest is broken. He rolls over only to have two of his men lift him. The second wave had been pushed back, at least 500 enemy lay dead or dying at their feet. 60 or so swiss guard still stand, that was the last thing Commander Roist saw as he slips out of consciousness.
Commander Liam Point of View. Obelisk, St. Peter Square.
“You two get Commander Roist to his wife, she will tend to these injuries. Make your way through the gardens send word the Vatican has fallen! Go make haste!” Shouts Liam, the two bloodied members of the Swiss Guard, with their senior Commander run from the action.
“To the steps!” Shouts Liam. About sixty of his men are left, the Spaniards hack at the wooden doors to the Basilica, ten of his men go to deal with them while the remaining fifty stare down at the thousands filling up the square.
They meet the enemy on the steps, Liam swung his sword left and right, he plunges it into the heart of the nearest Spaniard. Every dead Spaniards are one less man to desecrate this holy place. To be spilling blood on the steps of this place angers him enough to fight on.
Somehow he and a pocket of twelve soldiers move up the stairs, the doors to the Basilica are open! Only four of the Swiss Guard he had dispatched to the doors live. He and his twelve men crowd into the room. Their footsteps echo as Liam runs to the Altar of St. Peter, he and his remaining 16 men gather under the canopy of heaven.
“This is it lads, it has been an honor to fight for and with you, harden your spirits we meet the Lord in several minutes!” Hundreds of enemy soldiers sprint into the sacred chamber, the sounds of swords fill the room, Liam causes four enemy soldiers to fall, he stood on the altar, he dodges a blade, it strikes the pillar, Liam drives his fist into the face of the man, swirling his long sword over his head, he catches the man on his neck!
Then he felt it! The arrow sent him to his back! he blinks his left eye once; he looks up at the dome of the room. He can’t blink his right eyes because of the arrow, his head feels numb the sounds of swords has stopped. He passes on with one final breath...
Commander Hercules Goldli Point of View. Passetto Di Borgo to Castel Sant Angelo
The Pope had wept when he looked over the battlements and saw dozens of the Swiss guard dying, they had to keep him concealed by the cover of a cardinals cloak after an arrow was sent towards his head. They were halfway through their journey, the easy part of using the passageways is over, now came the difficult part of moving the Pope to the fortress, since all the Swiss Guard are on the grounds fighting, the fortress is sealed by the Priests seeking shelter inside.
They left the passage and are exposed on the streets. He gets word behind. “Commander 100 men are right behind us!” Commander Goldli had enough, he would take care of them.
“Matteo” Addresses Commander Goldli. “Keep the Pope moving Nathan and I will stay behind; Nathan is the other Agentia Coeli. Matteo is the last most senior officer that remains. He would take the fifteen clergy, the ten nuns and the Pope to the fortress. 41 men in addition to Matteo are the last defense of the Pope, the Pope had been unable to move very fast and needed to be carried by the strongest member of the Swiss Guard.
“So is this it for us?” Asks Nathan. "We are suppose to be with the Pope!"
“Nathan harden your soul, for us yes it is over, if we stay with the Pope than he doesn't live. Take heart we will go to the in-between for judgement, then it is on to heaven.” Commander Goldli sees the ranks of the enemy crowding the street wall to wall. He looks up at the morning sky, the weather is warm being may, still staring into the heavens, his eyes used to being exposed to the supernatural elements, can clearly see the angels of Temitope the Earth’s guardian, they hover above the city, invisible to the laymen, not so to the Agentia Coeli. Nathan also looks up.
“You would think they would help us.” Says his comrade.
“What could fifty angels do to the army of Charles V.” Says Commander Goldli with a tone of contempt. He drops his halberd and aims his arm straight, his finger is cocked, and his thumb locked upright... Humans aren’t supposed to channel their essence into their finger, the attacks are too wild to control and it will leave their hand broken and damaged.
Agents are supposed to channel this spiritual energy into their weapons. The weapon that allowed this are their swords. ‘But fuck it.’ thinks Goldli, if he was going to die than he would know how it felt to push his energy to the point of his curse mark.
A green light builds at the tip of Commander Goldli’s finger the enemy were sprinting right at them, if they didn’t stop this group the Pope was good as dead. Goldli felt the intense burn as the energy pours out of his finger, a jet of green light five feet wide flies right for the enemy...
The men attempt to shield themselves but the light passes through incinerating them! The light continues to the very center of their ranks and Goldli closes his right hand, the energy still being his caters to its masters wishes and explodes with the force of twenty casks of gunpowder. The enemy are thrown in all directions!
The Spaniards stop for a moment and then continue. Nathan hits them with the same attack causing the same effect.
Commander Goldli had only fired this attack like this once in combat against a demon. The pain is just as intense as the other time. He index finger pours blood and smoke billows out of his finger tip, his finger and thumb nails are gone!
The enemy are coming at them again, this time Commander Goldli draws his longsword and channels his power into the blade. Ignoring the pain the Commander dodges blow and strike after strike, counting fifteen deaths before he suddenly he sees men slipping past him. Supercharging his feet with energy. Commander Goldli leaps above the main engagement and lands ten yards ahead of the advancing attackers!
There was twenty of them, he would need an extra large blast. Tossing aside his sword he extends his hand and aims his bloodied fingers they were so tender, he holds his wrist with his right hand, charging extra power from his right into this left, Commander Goldli feels the energy building in his finger.
Similar to the feeling of taking a shit, Commander Goldli releases his energy. Blood and bone fragments are mixed in to the blast, the second the shot leaves his finger, Commander Goldli collapses!
This wall of flame is much bigger, there is no need to implode the energy atoms of the attack, he succeeded in destroying the whole row, he even left a crater six feet wide.
Getting back to his feet by sheer will the Commander and Nathan forget how long they fight for, Nathan eventually succumbs to his wounds, his final moment is halted by gunfire.
Commander Goldli however fights on. It isn’t until at last with Commander Goldli covered in blood and while he chokes the life out of his last opponent that he hears the bells from the fortress. The Swiss Guard against all odds accomplished their mission. Dropping to his knee, he finally pulls off his helmet. It is then more Spaniards approach, they look shocked to see all this death and only one Swiss Guardsman, the injured and exhausted Commander summons all his remaining strength and manages to get to his feet, a row of riflemen at the same time march towards him.
Blood pours from the man, his blue and yellow uniform are stained brown from gore. Staring once again at the heavens Commander Goldli sees three angels looking upon him with smiles and outstretched arms. He holds his arms spread eagle and feels the bullets before he hears the sound. Falling back, his soul pull from his body and rises into the ‘in-between’.
Becoming conscious he finds himself in a chamber, he had no feet only a white transparent tail, he had become an apparition in waiting. Commander Goldli looks around the chamber he became conscious in, all his brothers are here, not his brothers back in Switzerland, the men that died to defend the Holy Father.
A tall man with black ashy skin with a cloak and gold dagger walks into the room, he had only glanced upon the Guardian of the Earth once but that was long ago. About 21 years in fact, it was during the founding of the Papal Swiss Guard. Temitope the Guardian walks towards them. Commander Goldli sees Commander Roist, and Commander Liam. They must have fallen as well. Commander Roist addresses Temitope.
“My Lord Guardian we would kneel but none of us can seem to find our legs.” The men including Commander Goldli laugh at his joke. Temitope smiles proudly at the men.
“You brave men have nothing to kneel for, you have served your Pope and your faith. Please gentlemen file into the portal, your judgment from me is your acceptance into heaven. Temitope holds his hand up and a large portal with a green veil opens before them.
“On the other side you will find ale and new legs. Come men glory and God await you.”