78 Unexpected

Pope Kellan runs his hands down the front of his white cassock to smooth out the one wrinkle he sees. He balances his stole on his shoulders. With a final check of his appearance in his bedroom’s mirror, he’s ready for the two-block walk from his private quarters at the papal apartments to his office within Vatican City.

Usually, he is escorted by four assistants on the walk. Since his mind is troubled today, he dismisses the group and takes the walk alone. His solo walks used to be a rarity, but he’s taking them more and more as time goes by. He hasn’t yet adjusted to the overwhelming loss of privacy that comes with having a large staff.

As he turns a corner, he happens upon a young nun dressed in the white clothing of the Vatican City nurses. He is surprised by her presence—nuns are not usually allowed on this level. She smiles politely as he stops to greet her.

“Hello, Sister. What brings you to the top floor this morning?”

The young nun continues to smile. “Father Kellan, I have come to you with a message.”

The Pope is immediately concerned. Something tells him he might be in danger. “Who sends this message? Why did you not leave it with one of the priests?”

“Please do not be afraid. I am only bringing you a letter drafted by Master Anna Cohen. It is a copy of the message she intends to deliver to the United Nations General Assembly later this month. It will show you the true intention of the Thirteen Mandates for a United World she drafted with your input. Please forgive me for the unannounced approach. I meant you no disrespect. Here is the envelope with Anna’s speech. I thought you should know what is about to unfold.”

Pope Kellan cautiously accepts the envelope and says nothing. The young nun smiles carefully and returns to the way from which she came.

The Pope’s four assistants catch up from behind and sense his troubled demeanor. His First Assistant notices the mystery envelope in his hand. “What has happened, Father?”

“A young nun nurse was on the floor unattended just now. Please check with security before we venture any further down the hallway. I need to know that the Vatican has not been compromised.” He turns to his Second Assistant. “Take this envelope to the mail room and have it checked for safety purposes. Once it has been cleared, have it delivered to my desk right away. Both of you—hurry please.” The two assistants hurry off to their assignments. The remaining two assistants stay with the Pope until security arrives.

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Triple Digit TOC by K.M. Sheridan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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