Brother Broderick

Doc turns down the Primates offer of lunch and a caravan.

"[Dear Brother, I thank you for your hospitality, but by God's divine blessing we have traveled far this day yet we are not tired. This miracle alone is enough to spurn me to God's greater glory and complete the task that His Holiness, Pope Alexander II, has set before me and he encouraged me to make all haste. Now if you could provide us with a good guide, we will be on our way. I'm certain His Holiness would be quite grateful for whatever help you could provide...]"

The Primate thinks a moment. "[I understand, DaVinci. I will send with you Brother Broderick. He is young but strong of mind, and is ready for such a task to lead him to inspiration.]"

"[Have him ready in twenty minutes. We have enough supplies to support him, and by the Blessing of Saint Peter we will make the ten day journey in an afternoon.]"

"[I shall be done,]" replies Primate Kristenson. He sends one of the guards to tell the initiate of his assignment.

Doc searches his pockets a moment. "[Here,]" he calls to the priest. "[A gift for your church.]" He presents him with a Twinkie.

The Primate marvels at the thing. He hands his bible and crucifix to the remaining guard, so that he can take it with both hands. "[What is it?]"

"[It's a cake,]" Doc says. "[Fresh from Rome.]"

"[Thank you, and bless you!]" The Primate is quite excited.

"[Please understand, Primate, the Pope would like to keep this quiet. Several treaties hang in the balance and agents of non-christian countries would love to have this information about the Duke.]" Doc shifts his eyes around and leans in close, speaking quietly and seriously. "[God alone know who's ears the Devil shares.]"

The primate nods. "[I understand.]"

Doc pats him on the shoulder. "[Thank you.]" He leaves the priest to his golden, cream-filled delight.

Doc turns his attention back to the Jeep. Mark is still fuming quietly while Thunderhorse rocks nervously, fists clenched and sweating. He opens the passenger door.

"We're getting a guide. I want Thunderhorse behind him." Doc leads him around to the driver's side and pulls the latch to move the seat forward.

Mark stops. "I don't know what we're gettin' into here, Doc, but I don't like it so far."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean the way that overgrown Injun kept on about Jesus bein' some flesh eatin' devil, you know? That shit ain't right. Now, I ain't no saint. Hell, I'd rather spend my Sundays in a brothel than a chapel. But I fer damn sure ain't killin' no damn preachers 'cause that thick-headed heathen ain't never heard no proper Bible stories."

"We're not killing anyone if we can help it. Now, get in the car and leave it be for now. Don't talk to him about it, not one word. He's unbalanced enough as it is, and we are very fucked if we don't stick together. We'll work it out later."

"Fine. But if this turns to shit, you better have me a damn good reason turn a gun on a priest. Otherwise I'm just here cause you got the only way out of this shithole." Mark gets into the car and does his best to ignore Thunderhorse.

Doc doesn't like what he's hearing, and he knows this is not over yet. It's the least of his concerns, though, as the curioius crowd begins to push forward, some examining the Jeep, some examining his clothes. A curious child pokes his ass with a stick while he's putting the seat back into place. The crowd is beginning to get big and loud. Some of them are becomming fearful. Almost none of them speak Latin, and they did not hear Doc's wild tale. The word "witchcraft" begins to float through the air.

"[Primate Kristenson!]" Doc calls.

The Primate is still studying the Twinkie wrapper. He looks up.

"[Your people are pressing close, and I think they are getting nervous. You may want to address them before they get out of control.]"

"[Yes, of course.]" Primate Kristenson slides the treat into the folds of his pallium, takes his bible and crusifix from the guard, and holds them aloft before the crowd. He speaks to them in Old Norse. "[Nidaros! Gather here and listen, for a miracle has blessed us this day!]"

The crowd hushes and gathers towards the church. A few linger near the Jeep, enthralled.

"[This man, DaVinci, is on a divine quest ordained by God himself, delivered by a vision to His Holiness the Pope. He was carried on the wind in a carraige drawn by angels! Their arriving here, before our church, from Rome is not witchcraft, but the Will of God! Saint Peter delivered him here, a two months journey in but a moment!]

"[He seeks a guide to take him north, the the mountains, where his sacred task awaits. What is this task, I cannot say by God's command, for it would endanger their quest to speak it. But one of us has been chosen to go with him!]"

"[Who?]" the crowd asks, caucaphonously.

On cue, Brother Broderick stumbles out of the church. A scrawny kid of about 19, he wears dirty brown robes and is carrying a small leather satchel, which he almost drops when he sees the Jeep parked outside. He immediately turns to go back inside but is stopped by the guard who led him this far. The guard gives him a little shove, and he practically falls down a couple stairs before he rights himself.

"[Brother Broderick!]" shouts the Primate. Broderick turns to the sound of his name. Kritsenson motions for him to join him before the crowd. "[Brother Broderick, it has come time for you to prove your devotion to God. You will join DaVinci on his holy quest and find Divine Enlightenment. May the Lord bless and keep you.]" The Primate gives a proper Latin blessing and begins leading the congregation in a hymn.

Brother Broderick approaches the Jeep slowly. Doc greets him with an extended hand, palm up. Broderick accepts it, grasping his forarm. "[Nice to meet you,]" Doc says in Latin. He opens the car door for him. Broderick is dumbstruck. Doc motions for him to sit in the passenger's seat. He does, cautiosly. Doc closes the door behind him.

Doc waves to the Primate and climbs into the driver's seat, shutting the door behind him. The muffled hymn can still be heard from inside the Jeep.

"[Brother Broderick, this is Mark and Alfonz, Duke of Bologna.] Mark, Alfonz, this is Brother Broderick."

"Howdy, padre," Mark says, extending his hand. Broderick shakes it.

"[Nice to meet you,]" he says. He's very frightened.

He turns to Thuderhorse. Thunderhorse snorts at him. He's even more frightened.

"[Don't mind the Duke, he's gone mad. We've got to get to the Abbey of the Morning Star to find a nun to cure him,]" Doc explains.

"[Uh... I... uhh... Go... the river, to main road north,] " he stutters in Latin. In Norse, "[I don't speak very good Latin, do you speak Norse?]"

"No," Doc says in English. The glasses speak in his ear. "Nei," Doc repeats. "Well, some." The process repeats its self.

"[Follow the river until you meet the main road, then head north. Do you understand?]" Broderick asks.

"Yes," Doc responds. He starts the car. The hymn stops suddenly and the crowd takes a collected sharp breath.

Broderick's eyes widen at the sight of the lights of the dashboard. The digital animation of the stereo hypnotizes him. The GPS display, although it is stuck on a signal searching animation that it is not likely to complete in this time or any other but Doc's own, fascinates the monk.

Doc turns the GPS off. He demonstrates the proper use of the seatbelt. He revvs the engine once, and the crowd parts. He puts it into drive and begins moving forward slowly.

"[There's no horses!]" Brother Broderick says with astonishment.

"Like I said," Doc replies, "it's angel powered. It's as good as having two hundred horses."

Doc accelerates gently to 25 mph. The crowd watches in amazement as the horseless carraige winds down the dirt roads of their medieval village, honking a good-bye.


Doc said...

Whew! That could have gone very badly and didn't. Thanks for the twinkie. I forgot about them.

Follow the directions and speak to Mark and Thunderhorse (in english) about the lie I just told so that we are all on the same page and reassure them that we are going to do this my way where no one gets killed.

Talk to Brother Broderick and hear his story. This aught to be good!


Doc said...

To some extent, I must gain Brother Broderick confidence. He has been thrust on me unexpectedly and must feel out of place. I have frightened him with my speech and my mode of transportation. He must be very uncomfortable. Let me chat with him and reassure him that he is in good God-fearing hands. I need to be able to pick Brother Broderick's brain in order to understand where we stand in this time and anything he could provide would be useful.