literature

Chaper One

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Chapter 1 – The Order of Magdalene

He could hear the calming sound of rain in the background as someone called his name.

“Gilliam…” it echoed almost hauntingly.

Everything was fuzzy and out of focus as he wearily glanced around. He was standing outside in the rain without a soul in sight. It was some kind of park although he couldn’t tell where. The rain slowly began to die out as a thick white fog rolled in and made his vision that much more bleak.

“Gilliam…” called the echoing voice once more.

He paused, turned and faced a tall man standing in the distance. He wore and hat and trench coat reminiscent of 1920’s styles and stood there, head down, stroking the tip of his beard with one hand and cradling his elbow in the other. Once again he heard his name called and began to approach the figure.

“Gilliam!” someone cried with a tinge of urgency.

The voice sounded closer and much more familiar than before. He felt someone nudge his shoulder and, as a reflex, his eyes flicked open. He blinked several times as his eyes began to adjust to the light. Above him, to his left a bit, he saw the puzzled expression of a young man his age.

“Oh…hey…” he mumbled as his friend walked off.

He yawned and stretched for a moment and then crawled out of bed. Still half asleep, he walked over to his dresser and grabbed shirt.

“Why are you up so early, Rick?” he asked his roommate.

He was fumbling around in the drawers of his own dresser on the opposite side of the room and took a few moments to answer.

“I’m headed to St. Catherine’s. Mesa’s not back yet and we’ve got work to do this morning.” he replied, now rummaging through the junk on the top of his dresser.

“Again?” his friend asked with some surprise, “That’s gotta’ be the third time this week.”

“It is.” Rick answered, grabbing his belt from the clutter and putting it on.

Ready, they both turned to the door.

“Good luck.” He said as he walked down the hall to the left.

“Thanks, and I’ll meet you at the armoury.” Rick whispered back, closing the door behind him and proceeding to the right.

Still a bit groggy, Gilliam headed down the corridor toward the washroom at the end. As he walked quietly by the stained glass windows along the left hand wall, the sun shone through them, projecting colourful images of saints and other divine figures onto the opposite wall.

This hall wasn’t much different from any other you’d find at a civilian boarding school. It was a large rectangular building with a small dining hall at its main entrance and lush green ivy covering most of the outside brick. Behind that could be found the ground level rooms, mostly used for cadets, which formed a kind of square-in-a-square shape. The upper floor only covered a portion of the one beneath it and was slightly smaller and, as it was used exclusively for exorcists 3rd class and higher, the place had fewer residents. Up there, the design was that of a ring of rooms encircling a lounge in which the young men could relax, talk, read or even shoot some pool on one of the two tables.

Rather small in comparison to any of the girl’s dorms, this building was home to 78 cadets and 24 exorcists of class 3 or higher. It was perfect for the young men of the Order. As he stepped inside the lavatory, Gilliam grabbed a towel from the stack and went to go take a shower.

Outside, Rick glanced down at his watch as he casually sprinted toward St. Catherine’s Hall, the south dorm. Dashing through the main courtyard he darted around the statue of St. Magdalene and continued forward. It was 6:14 and it seemed that everyone was still asleep, or at least, not out and about yet. With the morning sun shining to his left he slowed and quietly slipped into the building via the main doors. Inside he passed though the dining hall, stopping instantly as noticed he was being watched. She had been writing something and, after giving him a quick “I won’t tell.” wink, went back to doing so. Relieved, he crept up to the stairs and ascended silently. Finding room 244 he knocked softly and waited. A moment later the door opened and a young woman with long blonde hair stood in the doorframe wearing nothing but a large dress shirt.

He smiled shyly, “Good morning Rose,” he eventually sputtered.

“Morning,” she said, smiling back, “I’m guessing you guys have got work to do?”

“Uh, yeah….we’ve got a briefing in about 10 minutes so if you could just…” he trailed off as she disappeared into the darkness of her room.

After a few whispers and sounds of movement Mesa emerged from the shadows looking a bit dishevelled. Giving him a peck on the cheek she released him into the company of Rick and slowly closed the door. The two friends looked at each other for a second and then headed to the stairs.

“So…what’s today’s mission?” Mesa finally asked, running his hand across the stubble on his face.

“I’m not too sure,” replied Rick, “all I know is what Gilliam told me last night. We’re going to some school to take down a demon who’s masquerading as a human.”

Mesa yawned deeply.

“Why does it have to be so early?”

“Not every school starts as late as ours does. We have to try to prevent this from becoming a crowded scene.”

“…makes sense.” Mesa finally uttered.

Heading through the dining hall again they pushed open the northern doors and emerged into the light of the rising sun on the other side. Looking quickly around, they briskly walked back to St. Peter’s, the men’s dorm to the north. Moving along the same concrete path Rick has traveled before, they soon came up on the statue of St. Magdalene once more. Passing to the right of it they heard a man’s voice pierce the early morning silence.

“Gentlemen…” he said, “where might you be coming from this early in the morning?”

The pair froze, turned slowly to face each other and then a bit more to face their fate, the man sitting on the bench behind them.

“Bishop Remington…” Rick trailed off.

“Sir…” his companion added dumbly.

“Exactly what were you two up to?” continued Remington.

“We were uh…….uh…..that is….uh….” Mesa stammered desperately, looking over to his co-conspirator for help.

A sly smile painted itself across Rick’s face as he narrowed his eyes slightly and said, “We were just coming from St. Catherine’s, Sir.” with a kind of sarcastic confidence.

Mesa’s eyes went wide and he stared at Rick with a look of sheer terror. Sister Anne, the headmistress of the local branch of the Order, was very protective of her only niece. If she ever found out about his involvement with Rose, he could be expelled! Frantically darting his eyes back and forth between his friend and he Bishop, he noticed the older man rise from his seat wearing a sly smile of his own.

“The heart wants what it wants.” He uttered profoundly.

Mesa was still tense. Unlike Rick, he didn’t know the Bishop well enough to predict what was his fate would be. His eyes locked with those of Remington and his breathing stopped.

“Relax, Mesa,” he said coolly, “I won’t mention a word of this to Sister Anne, monk’s code of honour and all. Just air on the side of caution and don’t forget what happened to Romeo and Juliet…they died.”

Shielding his eyes from the eastern sun with his hand, the man chuckled slightly at his own last comment, gave Mesa a pat on the shoulder and went upon his way, walking to the Chapel. Mesa let out a huge sigh of relief and began to breathe again.

“Man,” he finally said, “sometimes that guy scares me as much as you do. Luckily you both have a good sense of humour and…” he paused.

“Loyalty?” Rick asked.

“Something like that. I don’t think there’s a single word for it but that’ll so for now.”

Rick smirked a tad and continued his trek toward the armoury with Mesa in quick pursuit.

Returning to his room, clean and shaven, Gilliam threw on his usual uniform, blue pants, a white undershirt and a matching blue jacket overtop. He grabbed his gun belt, slipping it should the holes and buckling it up. His belt buckle bore the Magdalene cross, as did much of his other clothing. His jacket, for example carried a cross on each of the upper arms, facing outward, much like the arrows of rank on a military uniform. The outfits were similar to the old ones, as most things in the Order were, just a bit more modern in their design.

Making his way up the cobblestone path that approached the armoury, he passed Father Jacobs and gave a slight wave. Inside he headed for one of the tactical rooms toward the back of the building and found one with its door open and lights on. On one side of the room the walls were adorned with various old style rifles, likely those used in old demon slaying campaigns, and on the other, newer models of the very same firearms. They were purely for décor but he was sure that the modern ones, and probably most of the older ones, still worked, if ever they needed to do so. Finally, on the larges wall, the one opposite the door was a large blackboard for drawing up plans and whatnot.

On the table in front of him he saw a standard issue handgun and a few magazines of Sacreds. A young woman stood, her back to him, studying a drawing of some kind that was on the resting on the ledge of the blackboard. Taking a step closer he identified it to be the blueprints of the site they were to visit this morning. Hearing that step, he turned to face him with a cheerful smile.

“Gilliam,” she said, “how are you this morning?”

“About ready to get started,” he replied quietly, “yourself?”

“Same here, we just have to wait for Rick and Mesa.”

“They should be here soon, I told Rick not to be late, as timing is important in this case.”

“Was he off to drag Mesa from his lover’s arms?”

Gilliam didn’t answer. Instead he just nodded with a sarcastic grin and pulled out a chair from the table. He sat, leaned his head back and stretched his arms until he could feel the tiredness drain from him.

She grabbed one of the 9mm magazines from the table and slapped it into the base of her gun.

“I can’t count the number of times he’s been late for a briefing because he spent the night over there. Do remember that time didn’t even show up at all for a job?”

Gilliam looked over with one open, uninterested, eye.

“She’s practically got him on a leash.” she continued in her usually joking tone. “What’s next, she’s gonna’ teach him tricks?”

“Relax,” Gilliam said causally, “it’s just the novelty effect, he’ll be fine once things start thinning out.”

“Yeah, maybe.” She replied after a long pause. “We could use him if he didn’t have his head in the clouds…or other places,” he shuddered comically, “…all the time.”

He stared over at her, his calm but friendly stare locking with her crystal blues.

“Anything at all for the one you love.” he said, smirking again.
The first part of something I started writing after watching a bit too much Chrno Crusade. I'm guessing more of you aren't familiar with the series but whatever, maybe you'll like it anyway. Technically it's fan fiction but I tried to make sure it didn't carry any of the normal stigma that goes with that term. I can't really describe, so use your imaginations. I'll make more descriptions and background info in chapter two, assuming I have reason to write one. Comments would be appreciated as I don't really know what I'm doing. Thanks.
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SapphireFox726's avatar
Awesome job! Never actually seen the show, but from what I can gather is good, lol. Anyway, awesome job, the way you describe things is awesome, so well detailed and thought out. ^^