Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Opening my eyes, I take in the dusty church. Broken pews are stacked along the far wall and the stained glass window is covered in so much filth that the light hardly shines through. I unclasp my hands from around my rosary and stand, brushing my knees.
A call is coming in, my blackberry vibrating against my hip.
I answer, voice echoing around the sanctuary. It doesn’t matter. Father Killian knows me and there is no one else here that could be bothered . I offered him protection once. He accepted. It is the price of good business.
Time to go to work. Stepping out of the church, I get into the black car waiting for me.
“Did you have a nice vacation, Anthea?” He is asking about Peru.
“Yes sir. Excellent weather. ” Everything is fine, just as you’ve read in the files.
It is better we speak this way. You never know who might be listening.
Mycroft Holmes has finished speaking. His eyes are closed and head tipped back. Working on overdue filing then. The information from the Peruvian incident. The car glides away from the curb, smooth and silent. Pulling out my phone, I sort the emails I received while I was in church. Hmm. There is a small personnel issue. That will have to be sorted immediately.
People are always surprised to find out I’m Catholic. Not that there are many that do, my job doesn’t make it easy to keep up relationships. I wasn’t raised Catholic, in fact it was the complete opposite. I was raised by a bunch of hippies. By a bunch of hippies, I mean a communal household composed of deadly and brilliant ex-soldiers, spies, and scientists. Fascinating really, what humans get up to. My birth father was ex-special forces. My birth mother was a scientist in a top secret facility, more secret than Baskerville. The others who helped raise me had similar stories. Somehow they all had banded together to move on from their past, in a small cottage in the country. I was unplanned, a happy accident, and they raised me well. There are few people who can say they knew how to kill a man in forty-four different ways by the time they were eleven. Even fewer can tell you they knew how to hide the body and tap into security feeds to delete the footage. There were two factors those who raised me had in common. The first being that all of my family, had things they wanted, needed to forget. They combated this with yoga, meditation and healthy eating. Everyone had hobbies. We wore hemp clothing, grown and sewn by Aunt Marian. Uncle Franz raised genetically altered bees, that glowed in the dark and only pollinated hyacinths. Mom was a carpenter. Dad painted watercolor canvases. It was a nice life, albeit a bit different from most children. It was a shock getting into the real world. More about that later though. Not much more mind, most of my early years are classified. Most of my later years as well. The price you pay for working for the British government. Mycroft swooped in, already in indispensable to the higher ups. Swept under his wing, I too became indispensable, to multiple governments. My loyalty of course is always to Britain. Not that they pay the best, but I was born and raised here. Loyalty cannot be bought. The second factor of my family was that they were all vehemently opposed to religion. It wasn’t the idea of God, mind you, it was actually religion. The whole organization, they said, was set up to fail, to become corrupt. I know enough of the world to know exactly how right they were.
But, Catholicism drew me in. It wasn’t the idea of organized religion, or praying to a God that might not even be there for help. It was the peace that I experienced the first time I let a prayer spill from my lips, the words dripping like gold droplets from my tongue. I found it fascinating, that this religion could do something for me that years of meditation and soul searching in my youth hadn’t. I asked Father Killian, once, what drew him to the church. He said it was the echoes of all the souls that had come before him, all the emotions that swirled around the sanctuaries and poured out of the old books. Then he got up and made tea, refusing to talk about it anymore. I understood though. Some things, you just don’t talk about. I do have to admit I find it comforting, the idea of a deity waiting to judge me for my sins. I have never pretended to be a good person. I may work for angels, but sometimes you have to dance with the devil. That is life. People are judged by others these days. But no one knows what I do. So I wait till I die. And remain dead, seeing as how I have died before. When I die for good, I won’t pretend to know what is coming. I’ll just wait my turn. But until then, I have work to do. A nd if my work exposes me to the seven deadly sins, who cares? Everyday I see it. Envy. Sloth. Pride is always so prominent in my field. Everyone thinks they own the world. Wrath is common as well. Gluttony and Greed walk hand in hand. But my favorite is Lust. It does so much for the human population. Despicable really, and at the same time I understand its draw. I see hundreds of stories played out in front of me each day. Terrible the things humanity does when they believe no one is watching. Catholicism drew me in at first with its peace, but I lingered for the violence. An almighty God willing to strike down sinners? Makes me sleep better at night. Who would I be if I didn’t believe in justice? Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. Don't mind me. I tend to ramble when no one but we can hear. I so love the way the mind works.
Love though, is another matter. You see I was raised in love and if there was none to be found in the Catholic religion I wouldn’t be there. Love and power walk hand in hand in most cases. I find it exhilarating. My employer however sees love as a disease. Something that causes you to lose your senses and make mistakes. I won’t say he’s wrong, but the benefits are certainly worth it. Someone to hold at night? Someone to kiss you good morning, despite your terrible breath? Oh, and the power a good shag holds. Surprise on your face there. Didn’t know I knew that word did you? Come off it, I’m not a china doll. I’ve had my string of lovers. Not one night stands mind, actual lovers. I’m rather picky, but when I set my mind to it, I normally can woo who I want. I’ve got my eye on someone now actually. Waiting for the stars to align properly, and a certain NSY employee to end up in my bed. She's got the loveliest hair. Would look absolutely gorgeous spread out across my pillow as I lick my way slowly down- Hmm. Impure thoughts. Perhaps, I ought to say a few more Hail Mary’s. Judging by the email update I’ve just received, it looks like the boss might get lucky too. I’ve been trying to get Mycroft Holmes to make a move on Gregory Lestrade for ages. There’s just been an update on the file. Looks like Greg’s finally getting his divorce.
Excellent. I’ll drop that on his desk in the morning. Give the boss a nudge in the right direction.
Who knows what will happen?