In truth, Godric had no idea what brought him to this particular mountainside garden. The scenery was nothing special, it was quite a hike from the town, and as far as he could tell, there was only one person in it. But when the relatively young vampire had risen that evening, he found himself drawn to what the locals called the Mount of Olives. He leaped silently from tree to tree, approaching what he assumed was a human, and happened upon the praying man.
“Father, if you are listening, if you deign to respond to your child, please, send a sign,” the man whispered too quietly for human ears. Godric jumped down, landing softly in front of the kneeler. They looked at each other for a minute.
“You are not an angel of the Lord,” the man said.
Godric shook his head.
“Why are you here?”
“I was hunting,” Godric told him truthfully.
“You have legionnaire markings. Were you hunting Jews?”
“I do not distinguish my victims by tribe or belief,” Godric explained, cocking his head to the side and letting his fangs gleam in the moonlight. Why wasn’t this man afraid?
“I wish everyone would think like that,” the bearded, plain man said. “If people didn’t distinguish between different tribes and beliefs. We are, after all, one under the Lord.”
“What are you doing out here?” Godric asked, confused. “There are things in the night that could hurt you.”
“It’s not any creature of the night I fear,” the man told him. “I am marked for death, but not from any sort of animal.”
“Marked for death? What crime have you committed?”
“They are going to charge me with heresy,” the man said. Godric didn’t miss how the man used a future tense. “Then, they are going to torture and execute me to serve as an example to those who dare challenge the Romans. No offense, of course.”
There was a short pause as the two studied each other.
“What are you praying for?” Godric asked.
“For strength,” the man replied. “And for those who will come after me. More than anything, I fear that my message will die with my disciples.”
“What is your message?” Godric inquired, curious as to why this man wasn’t nervous, even though he was facing death, not just from a hungry vampire, but from the law.
“I want my people to remember that we are all one under the Lord,” the man explained. “That we are all equal- Jews and Gentiles alike- and that it is possible to live in peace.”
“I could save you, you know,” Godric blurted out impulsively. “I could fight whoever comes for you, or turn you, or take you away with me-”
The man was shaking his head and smiling. “I had plenty of trouble getting Peter to stop trying to save me. I don’t need to be saved.” Then the man paused, and looked at Godric, really looked at him. “But there is something you can do for me.”
“You’re immortal, aren’t you.”
“Remember my message.”
Godric nodded again.
“Tell it to those who need to know.”
“I will,” Godric found himself promising.
Suddenly, they both heard shouts in the distance, and the vampire could see torches through the trees.
“They have come for me,” the man sighed. “Go. And don’t forget.”
Godric vanished into the trees just as the man stood to face his fate.
Two thousand years later, Godric remembers the message, and tells those who need to know.