Chapter Two: Priest

Originally Published at on 2011-10-21.

I look down the barrel of my rifle. There still isn’t anything worth seeing but a Priest must be vigilant. When our guard is down the demons strike. At least, this is what we were taught. I’ve been on this platform for over forty hours straight now and my arms are starting to cramp up. In eight more hours my replacement will be here to release me of my vigil and I can return to Temple.

Then it happens. I see the demon’s head in the window of his steel walled bunker. I squeeze the trigger and watch as the demon’s head is replaced with shattered glass and blood splatter. I sigh and begin to push myself off the ground. Before I can even compete a push-up I drop hard on my right side and roll onto my back. Barely avoiding the knife that lands where my head just was.

Priests are trained in the arts of stealth and ambush. This also makes us extremely apt at noticing when a trap has been sprung on us. We are trained to rely on the perceptions of God in times of peril. It’s this divine connection that warned me of my attacker. Yet, all of this divine intervention couldn’t have prepared me for seeing another Priest standing only feet away from me.

My rifle is too bulky for close combat so I have to rely on my knives and sword. I bare steal and kip-up to my feet. The Priest in front of me slides his right foot backwards and pulls his sword. I lunge in quickly with my sword arm while pulls a small knife with my off-hand. He parrys, as his training instructs him, and moves to counter-attack. He is a traditional Catholic Fencer and never expects when I step inside his range, dropping my sword, to buy my knife into his chest.

I grab his sword arm and twist, forcing him to drop his blade, as I spin free. I leave my knife in his heart and watch as his slumps to his knees. I pick my sword up and with one quick flick cut his throat. Blood spills down his chest and the scars on his forehead begin to glow.

I drop everything in my hands and touch the same sigil on my forehead as his burns open. I grab the sides of his head to steady the transfer and close my eyes. The warmth of his divinity spills from his incision into my own. I feel the glow of the Lord’s Touch spread through my own body as his cheeks grow cold in my hands. Then the moment passes and he is just an empty shell.

I gather up my rifle and clean my blades. I thought I’d have more time but you can keep no secrets from God himself. With a heavy heart I mount my bike and kick the motor into action. The mercenary shanty of Gristle is near-by and I’ll see if I can find protection there. There is always room at the inn for a woman of the cloth. They don’t need to know I just killed the local Deacon.

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