Logs:Swiss Guardian Angel
|Swiss Guardian Angel|
|Dramatis Personae|| |
8 October, 2015
Armin stops by Mary, Star of the Sea Church to make a generous donation and to offer his services as a holy protector.
Mary, Star of the Sea Church Sanctuary
Logfile from Fallcoast Log opened 09/10/2015 - 00:11:36
=====> Sanctuary - Mary, Star of the Sea Church - Fallcoast <=====
The church is laid out according to the classic cross floor-plan. The nave is divided from the aisles on either side by a series of pointed arches, up to where the altar sits under the crossing. The southern transept is blocked off by an elaborately decorated iron screen, the church's pipe organ visible behind it. The northern is mostly filled with a little chapel, divided by a carved wood screen, and doors leading to the sacristy and out to the churchyard. The whole space is intricately decorated, from the pattern of the tile floor, mosaics on the walls, to the blue ceiling with its pattern of gilt stars. The pews are heavy dark wood, elaborately carved.
Most of the imagery depicts incidents from the life of Christ and of the Virgin. The mosaics set between the elaborate stained glass windows are the Stations of the Cross, with memorials to deceased parishioners above and below them. The windows themselves were deliberately designed in blue and green tones, so the whole space is filled with an almost aquatic light on bright days. The great east window is almost entirely blue, save for a compass rose of white and yellow glass in the center. The design is stylized, with a rippling pattern that makes it look as if the blue mantle of the Virgin is rising from the waves themselves. She smiles down benignly on the little ships that make up the window's lower border.
Armin has arrived.
It's all in the posture, really. Shoulders held just above his hips, Poised without being stiff. The sort've casually good posture that takes forever to learn, and a lifetime to carry quite as casually as Armin does. Six foot tall, and well not terribly imposing. He's decidedly athletic but in that lean way mountain climbers are, there isn't much bulk here. Black hair cut short and combed neatly off in the exact same haircut a thousand other professional young men seem to have, probably some sort of conspiracy right? What is notable beyond that picture perfect posture, is his gaze. It's noteworthy for it's utter calm, a level of casual disinterest you could definitely call cool. A man forever caught in the grey area between utter indifference and outright boredom, or so it would seem.
His wardrobe is decidedly more noteworthy of course. A flawlessly tailored three piece sharkskin suit, which seems entirely like the sort of thing you'd expect Frank Sinatra to have worn during his height. Contrasted with a brilliantly white silk undershirt, trimmed with neat matte titanium buttons and cufflinks to match. Black belt with silver buckle, neat black shoes which seem at least as bespoke as the suit. The color here then comes from the accessories, namely a brilliantly red pocket square in a laser tight fold peeking up from his jacket pocket. His tie is no less vivid of course, and affixed with a neat titanium tie pin bearing a skull over crossed rifles. There is a watch, which is of course a Rolex. Thankfully there is of course no hat, though occasionally there is a neat black leather messenger bag trimmed in titanium.
It is a beautiful autumn night in Fallcoast: just the right temperature, quiet, calm. The churchyard is in some disarray. While the well tended garden is still in full bloom, the graveyard portion in the north of the churchyard is dug up, and police tape surrounding a huge mound of dirt next to an open grave flaps in the breeze. But all else is otherwise serene. There are a few lights still on in the rectory and the convent, but the lights in the church basilica shine radiantly through the large, arched, stained glass windows, beckoning the lost and weary traveler inside.
Through the double, red, wooden doors is the large basilica. A lone, tiny figure kneels on the hassocks at the chancel, in front of the altar, next to the rack of devotional candles, her head bowed and hands folded in prayer. When she hears footsteps echo from across the basilica, she lifts her head and looks over her shoulder at the newcomer.
Armin moves quietly considering those hard souled shoes of his, and just inside those wooden doors he pauses all the same. Lifting a heel on the back step and otherwise pausing to catch the door against his shoe, before ever so gently letting it sweep closed behind him. His gaze wandering for a moment, not with wonder or wariness as much as simple curiosity. Then with a subtle shrug he lifts his hands to subtly adjust the exact position of his tie and onward he goes. Taking a moment further to glance about for a donation box, before slowing to a pause and taking his left wrist in his right hand to wait in mute silence. Ever the picture of patience of course, it has been the better part of twenty years since he's been in an American church of any description. Well beyond that whole Pentecostal thing, but we'll not discuss that unfortunate episode.
Sister Cándida stands, turning to face the newcomer, and starts the long walk up the middle aisle to meet him where he stands. She folds her hands beneath her scapular and looks at him curiously during her approach. She offers a warm smile and, once clearing the last periphery of shouting range, she greets softly, "Hjalo ond good eveneeng." She stops before Armin and looks up, smiling.
"Good afternoon Sister, I'd have left it in the box but I'm afraid I didn't see one."Smoothly Armin lifts a hand to unbutton his coat, and reaches inside to produce a small package wrapped in butcher's paper. Neatly folded and secured with a single thin gold ribbon. That'd be cash money yo, and without another moment's hesitation he offers it over. "I'm afraid I won't be around to place this in the collection myself, but I wanted to make sure this got to somEone. If you have a moment, I do have a question incidentally."Glancing back towards the door he came in through, before letting his gaze slowly drift back. "I couldn't help but notice on my way inside, did somEone bother one of the graves here?"
Sister Cándida's eyes widen when the realization washes over her as to what is in the package. She dares not touch it, even though her vow of poverty wouldn't forbid it, but she has never touched so much currency, and is almost fearful to attempt it now. "Lait me show joo to deh collection airn..." she says, taking Armin by the arm and leading him to a tall depository post with a small slit in it. There is no way the package would fit through the slit, but if opened, ten to twenty bills could fit through the slit at a time. As she walks him, she inhales and exhales deeply at the question, "Jes...dere hjwas an...eenceedent..."
There is no hesitation in being lead, and once he's lead along? He gets to it without pause. Delicately untying the ribbon and coiling it around a finger, before delicately unfolding the paper to reveal...Well No Armin does dress like Money but he's not -that- well off. Five grand or so though, well thats absolutely nothing to sneer at and he parts with the bills without delay. "I do hope it was just punk kids or something more foolish than anything?"A beat, as he feeds the last of those bills inside. Then neat and precise he gets to folding the wrapping paper"They money by the by, isn't mine. I was paid for a service rendered some years ago at another church, and well it was made clear to me I was to accept payment. I'd meant to return it to another church nearby, but unfortunately life conspired and I never quite got around to it. I'd all but forgotten, until I saw the grave. Rekindled some old memories, you might say."
Sister Cándida blinks, wide eyed, at the bills, mesmerized by them as Armin slips them, ten, fifteen, twenty at a time, into the ornate iron collection urn. When the last goes in, Sister Cándida looks up at Armin incredulously. She shakes her head and smiles, "May God bless joo for jour kindness ond generosity." She folds her hands, closes her eyes and bows her head to Armin, before returning her hands to beneath her scapular and looking back up at him. She walks with him over to a pew and gestures for him to sit with her. She explains, as she leads, "Wail, deh police are eenvestigateeng deh eencidaint." She tilts her head and inquires, "Hjwat sairvices do joo provide for deh Chairch, may I ask?"
"I'm really the last person you should ask to explain the religious reasoning as to why, but theres a little town outside of Jalisco in Mexico? The Church there had, disagreement with some who followed Sante Muerte. There was a considerable amount of violence, they tried to burn the church down twice. Once during Sunday service, after they blocked the door with a car. Luckily they escaped through cellar I believe, and of course accusations of black magic, hexes and so fourth. Of course the Police did not want to get involved, so the Parishioners decided they needed to protect the church. So they hired Swiss Mercenaries, incidentally My family and our family business is Swiss and we are indeed Mercenaries. When the contract was accepted we were told we were to be guarding a School, they never said anything about the church it was attached to."Armin's voice is, well it's -clean-. There's no real accent here, his pronunciation is precise and the pacing perfectly timed. Following casually as he speaks, before taking a seat.
"We refused their money, initially refused the contract for misrepresentation. We have some distant family ties to the Vatican guard you see, so this was all very awkward. They insisted we keep the money, pleaded with us and after some discussion we agreed to stay on the job. That sum, was my payment which they gave me for what we did. I don't feel as though it would be right for me to keep it, there is a difference between being a Mercenary and being a thug."And a pause, as Armin lets that hang out there. "Incidentally, they dug up the graves there too. For all sorts of supposed black magic, hexes and curses and what have you. So when I drove past today and saw the tape...."
«Dios mio!» Sister Cándida exclaims, "Joo air like deh Sweess Guard awf Jalisco!" She smiles broadly, amused by the story despite its many horrific aspects. "Joo air like a guardian angel."
"I appreciate your kind words sincerely, but Sister I am a mercenary. I was paid for what I did, I did take their money in the end and we did our jobs."Armin does at least offer the most vague, ghost of a smile. "In anycase, you can imagine my curiosity having seen the grave outside. Do the police have any leads you think, I do apologize if I'm intruding. I'm just a curious sort, can't help but feel a little restless."A pause, as he finally ties that little string around that neat little folded bit of paper and tucks it back where it came. "Has anything like this happened before around here?"
Sister Cándida shrugs at the inquiry into the progress of the police investigation. At his second inquiry she just shrugs, "I am nyew hjere. I only came to dees pareesh a few weeks ago. Bawt, no, I am sairtain dat dees hjas nawt hjappened hjere een recent heestory." She smiles at Armin.
Armin nods softly, letting his gaze wander a moment. "Well unfortunately PMCs are barred from taking on that sort of work inside America."Pausing to produce a business card with a snap of the fingers. "All the same if there is anything I can do to help you keep this place safe. Please do let me know, alright? There are lines that should not be crossed, stealing a corpse from a church graveyard is a few miles past the line as far as I'm concerned."There is a momentary glance towards the door, before rising and offering his hand towards Candida. "I suspect I should leave and let you get back to things, I don't mean to impose obviously." Sister Cándida takes the card graciously, and reads it before tucking it into the pocket of her habit. "Meestair Armeen, thank joo vairy moach for jor donation od for jor offair. I weel be sure to let deh pastor know of jor veeseet." She stands and bows her head, pressing her clenched hands to her forehead before looking up to him and seeing him out. "Ond I hjope joo weel not be a strangair. Eet ees nevair too late to coam back to de Chairch speereetually." She stops at the threshold and radiates warmth in her smile.
"Just, keep my donation between you and me alright?"Armin's card is pretty straight foreward. "Hirsch Security Contracting, Logistical Director Armin Hirsch" and some contact information. Looks like he does have an office in the city, for whatever thats worth. "I appreciate the thought, but Religion was my Father's interest. Never my own."With that he adjusts that tie just a touch further, and well off he goes right towards the Exit just as calm and quiet as he entered.
Sister Cándida stands at the threshold watching Armin as he disappears into the night. She removes the card from her pocket and reads it once again, before looking up to find him gone. She turns, and goes back to her prayers.
Fade to black...