The church wasn’t overly fancy. However this was one of the bigger kindred gatherings. He saw almost all of the Sanctified members here. Quite a few Invictus and a couple of Carthians. The mass hasn’t started yet. To Albert’s surprise, he didn’t see Rhea anywhere around. She never missed the mass.
Oktavia wasn’t here either, however Nikolas was there, in his wheelchair.
After a deep breath Albert started walking towards Nikolas, though carefully looking for any signs of negativity or disapproval. After all, Albert is just a tiny little rat when compared to Nikolas.
“Good evening. Haven’t seen you here before.” he said
“Good evening. Yes, usually Rhea comes here, but she does not seem to be here for some reason..” Albert pauses, waiting for some kind of response.
“She has important duties for tonight, as I’ve heard” he said with a cold voice, his ghoul standing behind him looked almost like a statue, unflinching, unmoving.
“I see. She has been quite secretive for quite some time now..” Albert said, thinking “yeah, her whole life” . Albert took small a breath and continued – “But that’s not why I’m here. I’ve come to talk with you. As insignificant as I may be, I’d like to request your help in a certain matter.” Albert paused, waiting for Nikolas to tell him to get out, preparing to do so, if need-be.
It didn’t seem that Nikolas is even listening to Albert, looking somewhere in the distance. When Albert finished speaking and started watching Nikolas’ reaction, it looked like he woke up. Did the lack of buzzing sound wake him?
“Did you find your place in God’s picture?” he asked.
Albert thought for a moment – “If god has a plan for me, then I’ve only seen the peak of the iceberg. Right now I’m just a cogwheel in this massive, running mechanism..”
“Ain’t each of us, such?” he asked without really giving an opportunity for Albert to respond. “Continue.” he said quickly.
“A kin has been wrongly accused of murder and will surely be executed, should no one interject. Since I am in no power to do so, I seek someone whose word would never be questioned. I would repay, of course, in any way I can.” Albert said.
It didn’t seem that he’s paying attention, lost in his thought. Or perhaps dazed off into sleep or something. It was quite awkward speaking with him.
A bit uneasy, Albert continued – “I feel the more appropriate way to approach this is to ask ‘How may I help you?’ I guess that without proof, there’s not much reason to trust me.. In this world, at least.”
He was looking somewhere behind Albert. “Help me? You can barely help yourself and you are to help me? A year, Mister Heckles, a year.”
“A year?” Albert asked, a tad confused.
“A year. For a year you will come to the mass and you will listen. Perhaps you’ll learn how to help yourself. And I will intervene on Donaldas’ case.”
‘Going to Church..’ Albert thought. It brought back memories of going to sunday mass with his mother when he was just a small kid. He usually didn’t pay much attention to the preacher. But Lancea is not your usual church.. “Of course. Thank you.” Albert said with relief in his voice.
“You’ll have to make that promise in latin.” he said. Latin meant a true commitment, it meant the same as signing a contract, failing at that it could hold repercussions. Promises in Latin are not given up lightly.
Without hesitation Albert promised in Latin. Though his skills were still a bit rusty, being with the Invictus certainly taught him how to speak Latin quite fast.. If not for that, he’d be in an awkward situation.
“Learn well, perhaps you’ll find your position in God’s plan after all.” he said.
There was an audible opening of a door, and Bishop Solomon Birch stepped into the room. By his sides there were two men, both of them carried a pillow. One had golden claws upon it, the other one had a golden mask. The mass was about to begin.
Albert nodded and joined the others, sitting down on one of the benches. He notices some of the other Invictus members sitting as well, including Baron Godfrey, they must have come here while Albert was speaking with the nosferatu elder.
At the time Bishop Birch, has put on his Mask and Claws. He starts speaking in latin, about their holy mission in here, welcoming those who are here for the first time. Reminding everyone that enemies are everywhere about and that soon they shall be cleansed by the will of God.
After this he goes into explaining the good Lancea et Sanctum provides to the world, reminding that only through their actions Humanity is cleansed and purified of evil. He’s a glorious sight.
And in the end of it he continued.
“As you know, this is the last sunday of the month, and as usual a Scrounger has found a mortal who deserves to die.” after these words, the ghouls went back to the door, where they opened the door and helped carry in a mortal. The mortal was brought in by a familiar vampire presence, behind a mask, but Albert felt it’s Rhea.
Albert thought to himself – Though killing might seem excessive, there are States that permit the death penalty. Yet many criminals still run amok. Perhaps Lancea is actually keeping the streets much safer?
The man was crying and trying to shout for mercy at his kidnappers.
Bishop just laughed. “Did you grant mercy when they begged for it?” he said striking at his side with his golden claw, the smell of blood filled the room. Then he addressed the congregation again. “Here we have, a pitiful excuse for a human. A Rapist, a murderer. And he begs for mercy? Do you think God shall have mercy upon his soul?”
The man could barely breathe.
“And so we are here, the tools of God, to drink upon the kine and purify them.” he nodded to his ghouls, who dragged the human to in front of the altar, “As Longinus drank the blood of Christ, so we too shall drink blood. Come with me.” he said stepping down to the human, lifting his mask up a little and tasting the mortal. After that, everyone stood up and started walking towards him, each taking a bite, each drinking his blood.
Albert could smell the blood. He felt hunger rise up in him.
Albert goes up and drinks the blood too.
Albert briefly talks with Solomon afterwards.