The Winds of Change – Part 9

♣♣♣ Part IX ♣♣♣
A Cabal of Vipers
Apocalyptic Fiction by Jason Youngman

While Jason and his crew headed north, Borgia and Thomas made their way to Vatican City to inform the Eleven of what took place in Solomon’s Crypt. The Eleven was the name chosen to represent the elites of the Catholic Church. Essentially they were 11 Cardinals who took it upon themselves to transform the Church through the divinely invested power given to them through the office of St. Peter. The name itself was derived from the eleven apostles of Christ in view to the betrayer, Pope Francis, who they deemed played the role of Judas Iscariot to the letter. Among the Eleven were Cardinal Medici and other heads of state, including Bishops of the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was a cabal of fierce ingenuity that no outsider could destroy. Their combined wealth alone rendered the US military spending as pocket change in comparison. They were bent on attaining a one world order and were using whatever means to achieve their end. Jason was to become their man in the field, but they failed to foresee the degree of power that he was soon to accrue.

“Have you ever seen the Vatican from a bird’s eye view?” asked Borgia.

“Of course,” replied Thomas, “why do you ask?”

“It kind of looks like a lock and key,” observed Borgia, “if you consider the way the larger structures sit next to one another.”

“Perhaps you are projecting your own fears onto what you see,” suggested Thomas.

“What is that now?” enquired Borgia, “My perceptions are shaped by fear?”

“Well, maybe not entirely, but in part,” reasoned Thomas.

“Or maybe your judgement is coloured with fear in this matter. Just because I detected a lock and key, that doesn’t suggest I hold the Church to be some kind of prison under lock and key.”

“So why did you bring it up? Where did the notion of the Church being some kind of prison come from, but from your own imagination?”

“Wait a moment, Thomas, this conversation is taking a wrong turn. All I’m trying to say is that some of the main Vatican buildings are shaped in such a way that they put me in mind of a lock and key.”

“Very well,” said Thomas, “but why did you perceive this particular object, or rather, what does a lock and key represent for most people in general?”

“It implies being trapped in some way,” grinned Borgia.

“Exactly, as in being held against one’s will?” prodded Thomas.

“That’s another way of rendering it,” countered Borgia.

“How would it make you feel if you were arrested and locked away?” asked Thomas.

“I suppose it would depend on the conditions of my holding place,” replied Borgia.

“So if the Orsini’s boys were there,” Thomas cleared his throat, “which in all likelihood they would, considering that you are arrested and thrown in jail, would this really be a time for celebration, Borgia, or would you experience some fear at least?”

“I see your point Thomas. While under lock and key, yeah, there is a good probability that harm would come my way, so I suppose you’re on the right track. Maybe my view of the big bad world is jaundiced by my own deep seated fears.”

“Our core beliefs largely determine our orientation of the world but that is not to say that fear is not useful.”

“Good heavens no!” reacted Borgia, “fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

“Machiavelli also wrote that ‘since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.’” Thomas’s tone felt sarcastic.

“The same can be said of the Catholic Church. It preserved its power throughout history mainly through fear.” Borgia matched the tone of his interlocutor.

“Many have attempted to defile the Church,” declared Thomas, “but the Holy Spirit has preserved her as God’s faithful steward.” His smug attitude burned with a corrosive acid in Borgia’s mind.

“You mean to say the Vatican has preserved her and made her into a den of thieves! In the name of Christ, Thomas, don’t you sit there all hypocritical like saying that Jesus wanted his Church to become filthy rich; didn’t he drive out those who were making profit from the temple?”

“But Jesus wasn’t addressing an institution such as ours,” Thomas grasped after a severed branch while his argument sank into the quicksand of desolation.

“You got that right,” retorted Borgia, who then changed the subject by asking the driver of their whereabouts. The driver pointed his finger to a building just in front of them and mumbled the word ‘money’ with a strong Italian accent. They were greeted at the executive entrance of the Vatican bank by two Swiss Guards, and escorted to a large empty lobby room where they were instructed to remain seated. A few minutes went by in silence, which felt like an eternity for Borgia, but for Thomas they were only seconds. From the beautiful handcrafted mantle pieces that propped the most stunning portraits of past presidents to the high ceilings that required multiple marble pillars to support the roof, the ambiance was out of this world. Borgia thought it odd that one of the most exquisite statues was without a face, but Thomas knew it was of Angelo Caloia, who was charged with embezzlement and money laundering. Another red hearing to keep the public’s attention away from the Vatican’s actual agenda.

Cardinal Medici entered the lobby through a large door that was guarded by two sphinxes that appeared alive. He invited Borgia and Thomas into a room that looked even more majestic than the lobby. Medici seated himself at a round table with the Eleven. A few of them looked hundreds of years old, and had elongated heads, as though they were aliens. Borgia and Thomas could hear them speak to one another telepathically.

At the far end of the table, attired in royal purple robes, their leader Melchizedek pierced into the eyes of the friars with the intensity of a thousand swords. Without speaking aloud he called the room to order and thanked the friars for attending. A deaf silence fell upon all those who were present, but the leader maintained a one-to-one psychic connection with Borgia.

“The Borgias have played a significant role in the dynasty of our Holy Roman Empire. Your bloodline has preserved you a place at our table. Would you like to hear the voice of your forefather Rodrigo de Borgia?” Melchizedek communed with Borgia.

“Pope Alexander the VI!” shouted Borgia with enthusiasm. Medici immediately shushed him, but Melchizedek signaled it was perfectly fine for the young friar to speak out loud.

“There you have it,” Melchizedek spoke without verbal sound, “my beloved Rodrigo speaks through you.”

Borgia’s heart burst open with delightfulness, but then he quickly tried to swallow his enthusiasm with self-loathing.

“Ah, you see,” observed Melchizedek, “you also possess his favorite son’s nature. Like you, Cesare was born to rule the world with an iron fist. He failed because he refused my counsel. Will you make the same mistake; choose your words carefully, for in my court our word is sealed forever.”

“My Lord have mercy upon me,” Borgia communicated in mind, “but has not my abbot Jason been ordained for this very purpose?”

“He certainly has,” replied Melchizedek, “but will you not be his eyes and his ears?”

“Yes my Lord,” answered Borgia, “till death do us part.”

“Very good; so you will be his second. That is, if he should fall away from the path, it is your head that shall bear his crown, so remain vigilant, courageous Borgia, for Jason is but mortal.” When Melchizedek finished communing with Borgia, he looked to the Chief Officer of the Swiss Guard and pointed his finger to the back door.

Borgia bowed his head in obedience as he waited for the soldiers to apprehend him. When they took hold of Borgia’s arms, he stood straight up at attention. The Chief Officer charged his men to escort Borgia to the inner chambers.

Thomas’s eyes watered with panic. He could barely fight the urge to grab hold of Borgia. Even Cardinal Medici wormed in his seat with concern.

“Worry not for your friend,” assured Melchizedek aloud, “he is being introduced to some associates of mine. Now then, Thomas, tell us first hand of Jason’s encounter beginning with the opening of Solomon’s tomb.”

About Philosopher Muse

An explorer of volition and soul, a song under a night sky and a dream that forever yearns to be.
This entry was posted in Fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Winds of Change – Part 9

  1. inese says:

    Sorry Jason, I will be coming and going…
    So, the long-headed alien cardinals… Are they interested in money too?
    Love and fear do exist together. It is called “Stockholm Syndrome” 😉
    Excellent tale!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s