Friday, August 5, 2016

The rising sun kissed the clouds over the Roman city that would one day become known as the City of Lights.

258 A.D.
Lutetia Parisiorum

The rising sun kissed the clouds over the Roman city that would one day become known as the City of Lights. The subtle roses and salmons that overtook the quickly fading purples and blues of the night were utterly breath-taking. It was as if God Himself was finger painting the dawn into existence.

Mistral, perched high atop an aqueduct pillar, one of many that brought water into the city from the distant basins of the Rungis and Wissous. The fallen angel's eyes were not on the dawn, however--of that, he could care less--they were focused on the site of his meeting this morning. The site of his next job, or the end of this phase of his existence.

Mistral really didn't care one way or another.

But Mistral was a creature of habit. He had served as a magistrate of Heaven, before his temptation and his fall, and his heart still beat with a measured, militant tempo. He would do his level best to ensure that nothing in this meeting caught him at unawares and that he had minimized--or eliminated--all risks. As he scanned Mont Mercury and the ramshackle collection of structures around it, a pair of morning doves flew past.

"Bonum mane angelus!*" one sang out, a bright bird eye glittering in the morning sun as it spoke to him.

With a mere thought, Mistral crushed the creature. He watched impassively as the broken feathered body plummeted to the earth.

"Pretender," he said coldly, filling his own regal wings with the breeze and casting his form into the sky.

None of the early morning risers in the Roman city on the swampy eastern side of the Seine witnessed the sight of the angelic creature flying over their thatched or tiled roofs. No winged shadow fell across muddied streets or picketed fields. Mistral hid himself from any who might have an eye to see or an ear to hear.

Unlike the one who he was about to meet.

'The Fool,' thought Mistral, landing on the apex of Mont Mercury. For ages, it had been a druidic circle and after that, it was a spot held sacred to Mars and Mercury. Mistral could feel the dark, pagan energies swirling and eddying all around him. He thought it a good spot for a meeting, at least for him, but he could not understand why the one who'd called him here had selected this spot.

Something triggered the fallen's keen senses and instantly, his twin segolo were in his hands. Two massive pieces of razor-edged, cold-forged iron, the weapons were his own design. The hafts were a longsword blade with no hilt and where a hilt would normally be found, a wickedly-curved half-moon shape. They functioned as swords, as massive punch daggers, as axes, or as tridents - but in whichever horrific way that Mistral desired to use them, they caused death and destruction. Holding the razor-sharp blades, the fallen slowly spun around the wide crown of the hill, his cold, impassive eyes searching for whomever--or whatever--had triggered his finely-honed senses.

"Thank you for meeting me," came a voice from the edge of the circle. There, in the deep shadow of what was once, long ago, a standing stone and was not little more than a broken nub of rock, stood a pale man in grey.

"The Fool." Mistral intoned the word verbally this time. Like a statue on display, he pivoted slowly toward the sound of the voice.

"It is good to see you again, Mistral." the pale man said, removing his woolen hood to reveal his pale bald head, odd grey-and-silver eyes, and his charcoal-grey goat's beard with two silver stripes. "I am glad you've decided to take me up on my offer."

Mistral stalked towards the pale man, his wings filling with the cool morning breeze and the pale light of the eastern sun. The fallen's tawny, feathery hair fluttered as well, and Mistral's entire form, despite its cool impassivity, seemed to vibrate with anger and hatred. "How do you know that I will not kill you where you stand, Fool?"

The pale man smiled, sadly. "Because I know the Truth. Because I know You. Because I know of Your Choice. Because I offer you What You Want."

"And what is that, Tenet?" Mistral intoned coldly, feeling the truth in the pale man's words and hating him even more for it.

"A chance to kill."

Mistral was taken aback, but he would not allow his icy exterior crack with the outward expression. "You? You offer me a contract?"

Tenet nodded. "I do, assassin. Do you accept?"

Mistral's stony face cracked slightly and he looked around him, expecting an ambush. "What trick is this, Betrayer?"

Tenet shook his head. "No trick." His strange eyes bored into Mistral's. They both knew that he could not speak a lie.

The winged fallen lowered his weapons. "I accept. Who shall I slay for you, Tenet?"

Without pause, Tenet replied. "Denis."

Mistral pursed his lips. "The one many call the Bishop of Paris?"

Tenet nodded. "Yes. The one and the same. I want you to behead him."

*-"Good morning, angel!" (from Latin)

Art Source: "Assassin" (c)/by GreenBreen
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Tenet, #tenetstales, #Mistral, #assassin, #BishopDenis


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