Father Juan Pablo Martinez eyed the Spanish colony where he would build his home base in this new land. He would confess the true faith to these savages, as well as the conquistadores who conquered this new world.
Juan was a portly man who placed a lot of stress on any animal he mounted. He was prematurely balding and had been since his early twenties. Now in his mid-thirties, the loss of hair had made him look much older than he really was. Juan wore power with ease, and this was his new domain.
Spain’s king, Charles, named this colony Chiconowa, his new territory after he sent a host of ships to the new world once the success of Columbus’s expeditions reached Europe. Juan was here to claim all of this new land for the Vatican and the pope.
The trek here had been arduous and had taken over a year. His team of priests finally reached their destination with little loss of life. Juan breathed a sigh of relief. He was sent here with twelve priests, all under his tutelage and direction. Now there were only seven left.
This was the foundation of the Church in the new world, and he would ensure that everyone on this continent would finally turn to God.
Since the conquistadors had tamed this land, there had been no presence of the one true religion. Juan was determined to change all that. Handpicked by the pope himself, Juan knew this was his only chance to rise in the Church. He would meet all his ambitions or be completely ruined by how successful he was here.
The Vatican had quickly realized Spain’s new discovery opened up a major opportunity for the Church. Rome needed an influx of new parishioners, as well as more funds for the treasury.
Juan was now in charge of building this region into something that would accomplish the Vatican’s goals. The head father was hell-bent on executing this mission. Juan would ensure that not only the goals of the pope were reached, but also his own ambitions.
As the party reached the edge of the colony, Juan could see the governor of Chiconowa, Maximilian Fredrico. He had already read the dossier on this man. The king appointed Fredrico, who was in charge of this entire continent. So far, Fredrico’s rule had lasted more than two decades. However, Juan planned to change all of that.
The governor’s reputation preceded him. His power was unquestioned on this side of the world. Fredrico built a successful, growing territory for the king. But over the last few years, the population growth had stagnated, and the revenues being collected, as well as discovered, had been declining. This disappointed the king, and this allowed an opening to develop for the Church.
The pope heard rumors of the friction developing between Spain’s king and Fredrico from his spies at court. The pope stepped in with a solution that was acceptable to both the king and the governor. Rome explained the reason for the decline was the lack of God’s word and guidance in this new region. If the king approved an expedition from Vatican representatives, then the people living in the new land could follow God’s word. The locals could convert to Catholicism, and Spanish rule would be overpowering for all. God would bless the king and his venture by expanding his power, increasing his treasury, and growing his lands.
Unknown to the king, Juan was under slightly different orders from the Vatican. He had been instructed to claim everything for the Church, convert the locals to the faith, and keep the king happy while doing both.
This would not be an easy task. It meant Juan would have to discover the past amounts of funds being sent back to Spain. He would also have to learn why the population had stopped growing. Finally, he would have to find a way to maneuver his way into power. Of course, all that power would be for the Church.
Fredrico was a large man, but not fat. He had visible battle scars about his face and the mentality of a warrior. He was a devoted Catholic but known to be ruthless. Anyone who questioned his authority disappeared or retracted any accusations. Even though the governor had been all powerful for a long time, the stamped and signed edict by the pope that Juan carried with him would help the head priest begin the transition of power from Fredrico and Spain to the Church, then, of course, to Juan.
It could take a little time, but Juan was confident he could succeed. He would have to learn more about Fredrico—the governor’s likes, dislikes, and, more importantly, his weaknesses. If Fredrico began to suspect anything, Juan would have to eliminate the threat by having Fredrico replaced or exterminated.
Juan and his party traveled slowly into the village and toward the main building. Chiconowa was large, but the residences were poorly constructed. Juan thought it would be more developed and civilized, but it looked as though the conquistadors had recently arrived. For a village founded more than fifty years ago, Chiconowa still looked extremely underdeveloped. Most of the buildings were built with decaying lumber, and not stone, as Juan would have thought. No visible meeting structure had been constructed, which confirmed that God was not priority in this place. The only permanent building was Fredrico’s place of power.
More work had been done in this part of the village than anywhere else. It looked as though Fredrico’s desires took precedence over everything else. The main structure, which Juan suspected was Fredrico’s residence, was huge.
Several other buildings, such as servants’ quarters, storage structures, and a large stable, surrounded this main structure. All permanent structures were built from stone and must have taken years to complete.
The grounds were all fenced and had individual pens. The Spanish steeds used many of those pastures—some now being worked out by trainers and horsemen. It looked to Juan as if Fredrico was a lover of prime horses. He figured he might be able to use this love against the governor.
Juan kept his eye on Fredrico as he got closer to the main residence. The governor walked down the steps and toward the father. Fredrico’s arms were wide open and a huge smile crossed his face.
Juan stopped and dismounted his horse with difficulty. The animal looked relieved to be free of Juan’s girth. The greeting immediately placed Juan at ease. This new position may very well work out for him and his ambitions, as well as the Church, of course.
The head priest was certain Fredrico would bow to the Church’s authority since the governor was already loyal to the Vatican. Once the transition of power was complete, Juan would be in complete control, his authority unchallenged, and only the Pope could reverse any of his commands. He was the voice of the Church and the pope. Hence, the voice of God himself.
At this time, no one realized the horrors that this Vatican representative would unleash. All in the name of the Church, the Pope, and God. Abominations would later have to be covered up, hidden by the Church, and, hopefully, forgotten.