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Pandora Chapel

Fugitives and Firefights

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-You are a fool Pandora-

-I needed a way out Nix... I can't let you dictate my life anymore.-

-Regardless of what you want, or need.  We required the Order to survive.  Now you'll have ARMA and the Light after you.  Kudos on effort though.-

-Wesley, or Kelly will help me...-

-No one will help you Pandora.  It's just you, and me.  How coincidental that we keep getting put into this situation.-

Pandora scoffed as she slid down the sidewalk slowly, dressed in a black long coat.  The hood pulled up over her head, hidden wards across it's surface to hide her mana, a jacket beneath that, and light gray skinny jeans that hugged her legs.  The sun had finally dipped below the cities towers, making the large statue of an angel overhead a shadow in the sky.  Any real threat remained inside her head.  

-Oh hush now Pandora.  We both know who the real enemy is here.-


-It's your destructive personality.  So, in a way you.-

-I'm sorry, my destructive personality?  I thought it was your inability to do the right thing.  But fuck me for being wrong.-

-Oh my dear, if I could fuck you for being wrong, we'd have a whole litter of Panda babies.-

-Don't call me that.-

-What, Panda?  I thought all of your friends could call you that.-

-You are not my friend Nix.   You are a parasite, and one that I plan on getting rid of.-

-You need me Pandora.  Or do you not remember who protects this vessel we share?-

-I don't need you anymore, I can take care of myself.-

-Adorable, keep telling yourself that.-

Instinct took her down a dimly lit alley.  Halfway through, a noise shattered the normal ambiance of the city at night.  A trash can toppled over with a raucous privy to a machine gun going off in dead silence.  Pandora allowed herself a brief glance from the statue overhead and caught the movement of several figures as they pushed through the alley towards her at a brisk pace.

-Luck is not on our side today my dear, I'll be resting my eyes for this fight.-

Pandora audibly grumbled an insult to Nix's manliness before she kicked over a nearby trash can and ran for the exit, reaching out with her mana to feel for any sort of statue that could assist her.  The angel could do some damage, but that was one against several men.  She didn't know if they were altered or not.  But she could hear at least one of them gaining on her.  Her hand slid carefully inside her long coat so her fingers could wrap around the hilt of her newly enchanted short sword, it sucked mana out of her, but that only meant she'd have to fight harder.  

"Gotcha bitch."

She ducked to the side, narrowly avoiding the swing of what she could only assume was a blunt object.  Her own weapon unsheathed a second later.  A light illuminated the alley as the blade burst into flame. She dipped under the mans arm as he passed her and in one swift motion she severed that same limb from his body.  A scream of pain tore through the alley as the man's once standing posture doubled over and he fell to his knees.  Pandora in a moment of mercy spun in a quick circle and hacked the mans head from his shoulders, the smell of his long hair burned inside her nose, but a quick kick to his now decapitated torso sent it backwards into a puddle.  Her eyes shot up to see the group had picked up speed at the slaughter of their companion.  She turned as a ball of flame blew passed her hood and collided with a garbage can causing a slight explosion that sent her off balance for a moment.

"Fucking get her!  No one betrays the Order and lives."

A sharp turn left around the corner met Pandora with a sight she didn't want to see.  The alleyway before her shifted as the ground quickly rose to block her escape.  "Shit."  she spun around, the flame on her sword dimming to conserve mana.  The men had all gathered at the corner to the dead end.   One of them waving his hands in strange motions as the sound of shifting stones continued to fill the air of the alley.  Anger on the largest mans face as he carried the head of the decapitated man.  Their leader she was guessing from his position behind the pack, and the rest's inability to move without an order.

"You killed my man."  The larger man growled and tossed the head at her feet, it's muscles limpness caused it's jaw to fall open and those deadened eyes to stare at her endlessly, "We were gonna make it quick, but the way I see it, we're gonna make you suffer."  A tattoo on the mans neck caught her eye.  A Gaelic symbol to her surprise, for a hunter.  She was guessing it was a an Order thug bred specifically to hunt people down.  

-Oh my dear, we've really pissed off the wrong people this time.  Ajax?  Pandora, here I thought I taught you to be more careful.-

-I can defend myself now, go away.-

-Pandora, you'll need me for this one.-

"You think you can handle her Luka?"  The leader questioned and shoved one of the men forward, a rather cocky looking man with a large pull on the flow of mana in the area.  He slipped glistening brass knuckles onto his fingers and pounded each into his palms as if testing their strength.  A magus.

-Most likely going to fight unpredictably.  He has the looks of a man with no training.-

-I see that.-

As the thought of what he could do crossed her mind the man blinked forward in a puff of shadows.  One moment ten or fifteen feet away, the next he was right in her face.  A large shadow covered fist slammed into Pandora's cheek.   The hit unnoticeable behind the black cloud that lead it.   She doubled back only to have him behind her another punch to the opposite cheek.  A crack in her cheekbone notified her of the break, that and the pain. She stumbled the opposite direction.  Her body ducked without her control as a final punch flew over her head.  A brief moment passed as the flame on her sword blazed back to life and her arm struck out.  The man moved to dodge but was too late, as the sword sliced through his neck, leaving him like an old fashioned Pez dispenser.  Not even a chance to scream as his head nearly fell from his shoulders, the stench of burnt flesh entered her nose but she paid it no mind.  That's how one made mistakes.

-Nix... I don't need you-

-Apparently... You do.-

"Goddamnit, next person to kill her gets the entire bounty."

Without thought or a moments hesitation the men launched forward.  A slew of elemental abilities flung in her direction, Nix moved her body fluidly away from each projectile.  One of the charging men flung his arms to the sides and they shifted into long metallic points.  His own body turning into a weapon.  

"Don't think so."

Nix wound the sword back with both hands and flung it forward.  The flaming weapon spun hazardously through the air before it embedded itself into the mans chest. his face immediately changed from an angered war cry, to one of pure shock and pain, his momentum alone caused him to slam backwards, which allowed Pandora's boot to drive straight down and into his throat, ending his meager existence.  A second and third man flanked both of her sides as she jerked the weapon from his chest cavity, not faltered at all by what they had witnessed.  Until the sound of wings beating the air caught everyone, except Nix, off guard.  

The giant stone foot of an angel slammed into the man on the left whom launched backwards and collided with the brick wall in a bloodied mess.  A large pike like weapon stabbed outward, caught the man on the right, and pinned him to the wall with a wail of agony.  The angel lurched forward and slammed a stone fist into the mans face, his screams silenced and his body limp.  The twelve foot tall angel pulled the weapon from the mans stomach with a quick jerk, it turned towards the rest of the group with a scowl on it's stone face and flicked the dead mans blood from its knuckles.  Three men remained.  Two rather scrawny and terrified looking men, and the leader who looked more angry than before.

"You're gonna pay for that little girl...  Those were my men."  His voice seemed to grow deeper, and more gravely.  Arms sprouted from his back like plants in fast forward.  "They were rookies, I was training them for the big times.... You were supposed to be an easy hit."  His skin grayed and cracked taking on a stone like appearance.  His arms were about as large as her.  

"Anyone ever tell you, you look like a Pokemon?"

"You're dead!"  The shout shook the alleyway.  The creature was almost as tall as the Angel next to Pandora but twice as menacing looking.  The other two men moved their hands in synchronization and out of a portal came two very large, and very deadly looking axes.  The Pokemon grabbed onto them and hefted them over both shoulders before charging, while again the other two men started chanting and moving their hands. Before her eyes a light blue barrier encircled the beasts form.

-Great they're shielding him.-

-Acknowledged Pandora, we gotta kill them first.-

-If that thing hits my statue it'll do some major damage to both of us.-

-Hmm, would be a great time to have some Order help wouldn't you say?-

-Would be a great time for you to shut up and pay attention!-

The Angel statue parried the first two strikes from the blades with ease, the third blocked successfully while the forth struck it's side and bore a whole deep into it.  Pandora let out a cry of pain as her own side bruised immediately from the hit.  Nix's plan was already formulated though, they dodged around the fight and with sword held over head launched into the air the flaming weapon swinging in an arc.  Nothing ever goes as planned though.  Upon noticing the airborne Pandora, one of the magi turned and after a short incantation a shock wave tore through the alley and struck her in the chest.  Her world flipped upside down as she slammed into the makeshift blockade, the sword and her own body dropped to the ground with a thud and clank.  

-Good plan Nix.-

-I did not see that coming.  Perhaps you have a plan?-

-Start praying?-


-Tuck our head between our legs and---


-Face it Nix.  We're done for.-

-Oh and it's all your fault Panda-bear.  Good job-

-I get it... I may have fucked up.-

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There was nothing that calmed him quite like lighting candles.  Mundane for some, easily and happily passed off to the low man on the totem pole.  For him, he requested it.  Could he light the entirety of the room in one sweep?  Yes.  One at a time?  Also, yes.  It was the creation of fire not by his own hand, but the old fashion way that kept him grounded.




Calm was not a word that he could describe of himself often.  He needed this.


Flame paused right before it touched the wick, feeling the waves of mana shifting like a stone had been thrown in a pool.  It flushed against him once, normal.  He was not the only magical being that existed in this world.  Again.  More agitated.


Flame was blown out and he listened carefully to the silence of the cathedral, focusing on the melee beyond it.  Footsteps were silent, down the steps and out the side door to the courtyard.  Beyond the high stone wall topped with wrought iron, chaos, eyes on an angel that was missing.  Sounds of violence, for once not directed at him.


Gate was unlocked quietly, mana beginning to peel back like water creeping off the beach in preparation of an incoming tsunami.  In truth, it was more of a warning... those that could feel it would do one of two things.  Quit, or fight.


He really hoped it was the former.


Stopping at the opening to the alley, scene surveyed, the quiet priest's hands folded quietly in front of him.


"I hope you'll return the statue when you're finished."


He could have been seen as a fool.  Nothing was further from the truth.


"I think you're finished.  Please leave.  The lady will come with me if she chooses."


The eerie calm, wasn't.  It was the height of his skill.  The drawn mana was tremendous, and he had prepped to rain down hellfire if they didn't stop ruining his evening.  Literally.

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-I've got it, we'll just use the angel to get out of here.  It can pick us up and fly off.-

-Right, is that before or after they kill as Pandora?  We'd literally be flying ducks instead of sitting.-

-Moving objects are harder to hit.-

-No, we finish this here and now.-

Pandora's lifted the sword and rose from the ground, her eyes set on the two Magi in the back.  She opened her mouth to make a witty remark on being outnumbered and still wiping the floor with the Order's people when a large pull on the mana pool silenced her.  The two casting Magi noticed as well and looked between each other nervously.  The larger man didn't seem to notice as he tried to pummel the agile angel before him.  A glare shot from Pandora's yellow eyes as another man entered the alleyway.  

-A priest?-

-Careful Pandora, that man is pulling a lot of mana, very few priests can do that.  You hear ghost stories when you're higher in the Order, not that you'd know because you sort of fucked up those chances.-

-Can you chill on the Order shit. Get the pictures, they were the bad guys, I'm not a bad guy.-

When the priest spoke everyone turned, the largest of the Order thugs grunted in the mans direction and aimed a pointed finger.

"Stay out of this priest.  This is Order of Light business."

-He's open Pandora, do it now.-

Nix was right.  Upon inspection the shield had dropped and the two magi creating it were distracted as well.  It was perfect timing on the priests part, and she'd be sure to thank the father when the time came.  The Angel lifted it's large pike and thrust it forward like a spear, the weapon flew through the air and like a javelin in the dirt at the Olympics pierced through one of the Magi's back and straight into the concrete.  With no chance to react Pandora was already at the other Magi's side and jammed her sword up and under his rib cage where it pierced through his body and out of his collarbone.


The large mutant man screamed out and cut short Pandora's brief moment of victory.  She felt his hand around her ankle before she could move, and in one angry swing she was thrown over his shoulder and into a dumpster with a loud metallic thunk.  The angel moved to cut the mans advance, only for him to hack it down.  Without it's weapon it stood no chance against the onslaught of Ax strikes, and Pandora quickly severed her connection with the statue before she became too injured with it under her control.

"You're dead little girl.  You better run back to your sanctuary, priest, or you'll be next for distracting my men."

"Listen, buddy.... Can't we just-" Pandora fought to stand but a gasp of pain and she slid back down,  "-work this out?"

She had been thrown into the dumpster pretty hard.  It didn't help that the almost ten foot tall behemoth of a man was extremely strong. Which meant he could probably snuff her out in a second.  Not like she could fight a giant stone man with twin ax's and a nasty look in his eye.

"No, we can't.  You die, I live on happily ever after.  Sound good?"

"Depends... Can we amend that with-" Another forced back sound of pain and Pandora shook her head in hopes that would lessen how much she hurt, "-I don't die? And we both live happily ever after?"

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"Stay out of this priest.  This is Order of Light business."


Lashes blinked softly, hands still folded calmly in front of him as he watched.  He himself was wrong, as he was so many times of late.  Lighting candles, reading in silence in a threadbare room… the priest wanted to think they calmed him.  It was violence.  Violence made the anger go away.  Violence at one simple word, Order.  Order of Light business.  He felt pity for a moment, then it was gone.  He was art personified when he worked.  Now they sent this garbage of arrogance and steel, circus of floundering aggression.  They deserved to die just for that.  She would finish them, or he would, and he felt no more need for quick and painless.  He really was losing himself… or finding himself?


He drew a long breath, mana flowing in with it.  Along the way so far as the tit-for-tat continued he’d been casting the entire time.  Heat quivering in the air too far above to be noticed, an invisible firestorm building along his flesh making the Uriel amulet against his skin tremble to hold together his outward appearance.  Serene expression watched her surprise attack.


She was trained.  Passion with raw skill and fearless of a beating, seemed to be some sort of animator… small sigh when the statue tumbled to the ground.


Shame, that was one of his favorite angels.


"You're dead little girl.  You better run back to your sanctuary, priest, or you'll be next for distracting my men."


Blink again was soft.


"Listen, buddy.... Can't we just- work this out?"


“Don’t beg,” his voice was a quiet hum, speaking to her as if they were the only two in the alley and there was no blood and death, broken marble or injured agony.  The others, didn’t exist.  Brow came down for the first time and he shook his head.  He listened to the banter for another few seconds, but was finished waiting patiently. 


The first flicker of something caught the wind, like ash that’d floated too high from a bonfire and was returning to earth as it refused to burn out.  Heat from above felt like the sun though dark, hands releasing their relaxed clasp to let his palm face the hurt woman, a shear of blue light separating her from him, her would-be killer and the sky above.  White-hot.  It began to rain, the molten droplets hitting the shield protecting her with sizzles before they liquefied further and dribbled to the ground.  The spell he’d released several moments ago had melted the metal flashing on the cathedral roof edge, it was now raining molten metal.  Stone shell or not, it was beyond scorching, yet the priest moved forward through it unscathed toward the last thug.


Closer proximity, and a final push with his free hand ignited the axes to red hot metal, changing the burn direction to pull heat away from her.  Everything his side of the shield to the wall of the cathedral was melting, scorched or on fire.  The thug staggered backward, covered in metal, without weapons, unable to gasp in sizzling air to scream, death was inevitable.


“I am the Order,” breathed out quietly, unsheathing of a blade from the underside of his left wrist quick as he kicked off the stone wall to gain height and plunge it directly into the man’s eye.  Land was quiet, followed by a thundering crash of a falling body.


It was still raining, the shimmering shield in place as he retrieved his blade and wiped it on his sleeve to return to its place, looking upward into the sky as the last of the metal fell.  Heat shifted, cooler air pulling into the alley.  Steps were quiet, oddly moving to each fallen pile of ash, small whispers and cross gestures, a fogged haze hanging in the air as the world ceased to be an inferno.  Sigh was soft, looking to her as the shield protecting her from his hell dimmed and left them both in the silence and dark of the alley.


“Can you stand?”


He stood at a distance, it would take a moment before his skin was a tolerable temperature.


“You are welcome to stay as long as you need, the Order will not harm you here.  If you wish to go I can arrange transport to a hospital,” lip quirked slightly, unfazed by any of it.  “But, I will miss that statue.”

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"Don't beg? You do realize this big motherfucker could eat me alive right?"


Pandora was surprised at the priests remark.  She wasn't in the business of dying.  Dishing out death was an alright thing for her, but when it came to getting smashed by a rock man, well that's sort of where she drew a very fine line.  But he had saved her ass already, she could only imagine what all he could do with the amount of power he was drawing in.  Her eyes shot to the behemoth though as he reared back for a strike but his axe met a blue barrier.  Save number two by Mr. Priest Man.  She'd have to owe him big.


"Not so tough now are you fuck face?"


Then hell poured from the skies.  Like it was arma-fucking-geddon and Pandora nearly cried out in surprise.  Though she realized quickly that the barrier the priest had put up was doing it's job and protected from the molten everything that was striking down like the gates of hell itself had opened above them.  The beast of a man was not so lucky.  The human in her almost felt sorry for him, but then she realized he was sent to hunt her and that changed her mind almost imediately. 


Something clicked though, and Pandora's eyes averted themself from the monster in front of her to the priest.  “I am the Order,” her eyes narrowed at him.  That was not something she was too keen on hearing.  After all she was public enemy numero something and she wasn't excited to be going from one Order goon to another.  The kill was graceful, and the death of the rock was more than welcome.  She was still stuck on those four words, and as hell returned to where it belonged and the shield dissipated she struggled away from him and used the dumpster to prop herself up.


"I can stand well enough."


-Careful Pandora.  He's shown how dangerous he can be, don't irk him further-


-Fuck him, and his Order bullshit.  I'm not going to stick around just for him to turn me in himself.-


-I'm taking over, you need to calm yourself.-




Nix righted them as best he could, though they were in more than rough shape and the pain emenated from every part of her body.  She'd been in worse condition though and the last thing they needed to do was seem more weak.


"I believe thanks are in order."  Her long coat straightened with both hands and the hood returned to grace her head.  One of those hands reached out for a shake, "I can easily replace that statue, I am an artist as much as I am a manipulator of statues... and if you are The Order, then you must forgive me when I say I can't fully trust you Father.  I was never a holy woman myself, so your robes mean as much to me as the lives of those men."

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"Don't beg? You do realize this big motherfucker could eat me alive right?"


He blinked at her, slightly quirked brow.


"Not so tough now are you fuck face?"


If he hadn’t been under the strain of concentration, he would have blinked at her again.  He was one of the few that didn’t need incantations or a foci to cast, but it still took a hell of a lot of focus.  Somewhere along the way he lost himself in the anger, in the satisfaction that he was hurting everything that had hurt him.  In the aftermath, he felt he needed more, telling himself there were no more in front of him, except her.  Was she Order?  He didn’t know.  ARMA perhaps, but they afforded ARMA at least a mercy death.  This was an example. Rogue.  Rogue from the Order?


"I can stand well enough.  I believe thanks are in order." 


He shook his head, surveying the damage in the alleyway as she seemed content to help herself up.  The former assassin understood that at least, he was self-sufficient as well.  “No thanks are necessary.”


"I can easily replace that statue, I am an artist as much as I am a manipulator of statues... and if you are The Order, then you must forgive me when I say I can't fully trust you Father.  I was never a holy woman myself, so your robes mean as much to me as the lives of those men."


Hand remained at his side for a moment, a lot of ammunition in her many words that prodded answers.  He didn’t owe her any, the magus could simply turn and go back into the cathedral without another word- this situation though kept him from doing just that.  The oddities that had sent ARMA and the Order into a tizzy these last months had been incredibly quiet, except this.  Full out sloppy aggression doing “Order of Light” business against someone.  It was his business to know.  He would throw every wrench he possibly could to make life living hell for them and theirs.  If they were also hunting others with motley assassins, he needed to know why.


Gray eyes looked down at his clothes, a simple pair of black dress pants and his black shirt, reaching up then to touch his collar.  He’d forgotten he had put it on today, the same fingers stretching outward a moment before falling back to his side.  The bodies started a dim burn of near white smokeless flame.  They had to be reduced to ash.  Eyes moved back to her, he was not a social person when he hadn’t prepared to be, especially facing someone that was under ire from the Order like he was.


“I would like that, if you could make another.  I can get the things you need,” he said quietly in reference to recreating the statue.  Right hand fingers flicked as if flinging water off, his outer burn actually, reaching to shake her hand.  Skin was unusually warm, it always was.  “Distrust is understandable, and faith is a choice that I’m not offended people do not make.”


Hand was pulled back within his own space and for a moment he watched the incredibly hot, low light fires cave bones to ash.  He was truly a terrible creation.


“They were sloppy, ill trained, but strong.  Arrogant.  Those who they mark for death outside the Order are afforded quiet mercy.  ARMA.  They sent me.  To send thugs, they were making an example of you.”


Gray eyes returned to her.  He’d spilled secrets nobody knew except for the inner circle that made him, and the use of “they” in past tense made it clear “they” no longer sent him to do anything.  Either defected, or “lost”, he didn’t specify.


“So why were they after you?”

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Pandora stared at the man from beneath the brim of her hood.  He wasn't the most talkative chap, which she'd welcome.  If he kept spewing Order nonsense it would've really made her mad.  But instead it seemed the man was content with watching the boned of his victims burn away.  Her own irises shifted to look upon the death that had taken the alley by storm.  Firestorm that is. 


-We don't have it in us to fight anymore Panda dear.  How do you wish to approach this?-


-Carefully I guess.  I'd hate to end up like these poor assholes.-


-Very well.-


"The statue itself shouldn't be too hard to replicate with the right materials.  A slab of Marble would be the hardest to acquire I believe."  She took the mans hand in her own, after it felt like her own had been held out for a while.  Though his words drew a smirk across her lips.  "Afraid I can't really trust anyone these days... Just seems like a good way to get stabbed in the back and thrown to the wolves."


She wasn't entirely surprised that the men were sent to make an example of her.  She'd never really been on the receiving end of the Order's beat stick, but had heard plenty of rumors.  They were supposed to be efficient, yet she'd killed most of the men before the priest had even intervened.  Something she definitely shouldn't have been able to do if they meant to rid of her quietly.  Which again made her think that the priest new more about the order than he was giving off.  Her yellows eyes narrowed at the man for a moment as he questioned why.  Why not?  He had saved her life, and it was that alone that gave her the slightest urge to acknowledge the question.  Instead she remained tight lipped.  Nyx, made sure of it.


-We'll have to tread carefully,  As you said we don't wish to feed the priests ire.-


-Good thinking Sherlock, I'm glad we could agree on something.-


-I will do the talking, as your mouth seems to get you in more trouble than anything.-


With a bit of effort Pandora finally shoved herself away from the dumpster and collected her sword.  The enchanted blade seemingly normal beneath the ashes of her enemies, even more so as she wiped it off with her sleeve, and tucked it into the sheeth beneath her coat.  Each movement was pained, but she still held firm as she limped to the priest and stoof a few feet away.


"As I said Father.  I don't quite trust you, so that information is not something I'm going to divulge easily.  What I shall say, is I am no longer an ally to the Order of the Light, and will do anything to keep myself alive."  A hand gestured in the direction the priest had come from, "I recall you offering sanctuary... does it still stand?"

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Soft blink met her stare.  He could only imagine what was going on behind it.  Attacked, injured, assisted by someone that openly admitted was of the Order.  Awareness of what he’d done was shifted back to the carnage when she looked at it.  Did he feel anything for killing them?  Not a damn thing,  except… satisfaction?  A taste of revenge?  He had to be careful.  Purposeful.  He’d made a plan not long ago to take this rage out in a very focused path.  The Order would hurt for what they did to him, to what capacity had yet to be seen.  He wanted to tear the whole thing down with his bare hands.


"The statue itself shouldn't be too hard to replicate with the right materials.  A slab of Marble would be the hardest to acquire I believe."


He nodded, “not necessary really.  You did what you had to do to survive.  There’s a few pieces in the courtyard but nothing that size.  Now the flashing?”  Eyes looked upward a moment to the edge of the roof he’d used, “that’s probably something I should fix soon since it’s the structure of the building.”


"Afraid I can't really trust anyone these days... Just seems like a good way to get stabbed in the back and thrown to the wolves."


Gray eyes moved back to her, then noted the state of the ash, looking thoughtful.


"As I said Father.  I don't quite trust you, so that information is not something I'm going to divulge easily.  What I shall say, is I am no longer an ally to the Order of the Light, and will do anything to keep myself alive.  I recall you offering sanctuary... does it still stand?"


“When our eyes open, most no longer find themselves allies of their keeper,” long breath pulled in, air around him visibly quivered and the temperature of the alley flushed slightly; the resulting updraft lifting the ashes up and away from both of them into the dark.  Expression was somewhat foreboding as it traveled over what looked like scorched metal buckshot littering the cracked cement, a quick glance back up to the roof several stories up.  He would have to clean that up later.  The blood, the remaining ash, Mother Nature would take care of, rumbles of some kind of rain brewing not far off.


Anything hmm?  Abilities like hers could be useful to hurting a lot of people that really needed to be hurt.


He nodded in response to her question.  “It still stands, and requires a certain level of trust on both our parts.”


Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a small set of keys.


“I won’t tell anyone outside this building you are here, you can stay as long as you need.  Place to sleep, food, medical care- the Vicar is actually a very skilled doctor if you need him.  A bit long winded when he gets you to sit still to listen, but he’s harmless.” smile was soft, a stark contrast to the brutality of what had just transpired.  He truly was a terrible creation.  “In exchange for that, you don’t tell anyone what happened here.”


Not his name.  Just what happened.  A priest that spits fire.  Those were the two details anyone needed to put people on his doorstep.  His relationship with either group right now was tentative.  Frying several members of the Order would make them think he'd chosen a side.  The only side he was on, was his own.


A wrought iron gate was unlocked, the decorative door led to the side courtyard he’d been taking care of since he’d come.  Still a little worse for wear.


“Even without my name, they would know who I am,” the wrought iron door would swing shut and lock itself once she went through.  Purposeful footsteps were deathly silent toward the door on the facade side of the building within his courtyard.  Several slabs of marble sat near a rear wall, possibly at some point a garden or fountain.  Now, they just lay bare.  Hers if she wanted.  “Left is the kitchen, help yourself… right is the rectory, far rooms on the right are empty but stocked with blankets and pillows, bathrooms are down there as well.  Stay if you like, leave if you like, sleep if you like.  What we have is yours.”


He was going to leave her to it, sanctuary didn’t mean babysitting and well… it wasn’t as if they were concerned with getting ripped off either.


“I’ll be upstairs if you need anything,” keys were slid into his pocket again.  “Lighting candles the old fashioned way.  I’ll make my brothers aware you've sought refuge and they will give you your space.”


He paused a moment before heading upstairs.


“The Order will not hurt you here,” grey eyes watched her for a long moment, a single nod welcoming her within their walls before he moved upward to finish changing out the candles.  “The worst they could send, was me.  I would not have given you the insult of pain before death.  You know my face, therefore I'm no danger to you."


It was ominous, but true.


"My name is Rhome, like the city.  With an 'h'," smile quirked slightly, then disappeared.  He nodded and went to make his way up the stairs.

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