Friday: Battle Ground - Dr. Elizabeth Bannon Series Book 4
“Almost one year on from the world shocking news, the ninth century monastery perched high on the Siarc Mountains is once more making the headlines. But did it ever stop making it into the headlines? This past year, story after story has been leaked as to the true purpose and role of the Massomite monks. Their role, it is stated, is to safeguard and record the true world history, which is claimed, is not what world governments want us to believe. What is the real truth of our past and history? World governments have demanded access to what they are calling a “World Treasure”, but up until lunch time tomorrow, it will remain protected by local state legislation as it has been for the last twelve months. Come tomorrow afternoon, it will no longer fall under that protection. World media have scrambled to the Siarc Mountains in the hope of speaking with Abbot Fernando, the man in charge of the monastery.”
The female reporter is replaced by a dark television screen. Placing the television remote on the desk in front of him, Abbot Fernando stands, facing the window nearest to him. Closing his eyes, he waits for her response. Her voice reaches his ears. Calm and collected.
“I believe we have one advantage over this situation.”
Facing the woman he has learned to trust, he has come to depend on her counsel and wisdom. She is knowledgeable about the situation, and he cannot deny the fact that she has changed physically and physiological in the past year, partly due to the alien DNA roaming within, rebuilding her block by block. Returning to his chair, he sits and rests his eyes on hers.
“Whether our own government knew it or not, they gave us this time period to ready ourselves. We always knew international sway would eventually squash our government’s local law. The media only know what has been leaked to them by Project God Trials and the Order of the Secundo Aurora. They don’t know that Jacob and I are alive. We’ve moved the library to another location,” Elizabeth explains, standing and stepping towards the window. Casting her gaze onto the hazy sun shining onto the valley below her, she feels confident. “Now is your chance to make an announcement to the global media camped outside the monastery gates. Inform them that the solitary life of your Order is no more. You’re opening the monastery as a place of education and spiritual learning.”
“Do you think Markus will rest at that? He’s the only one of them that has actually seen the library; he knows it exists.”
Placing her eyes on his, she pauses momentarily conjuring the image of Markus. The man deceived them and had been on the side of Dr. Speel all along. “He might do, but for this past year, we’ve been silent and said nothing. Now that your Order is being exposed to the world media and world governments who will want to question and scrutinise everything you do, it’s time we shone some of the light elsewhere.”
“Sounds like you have the plan ready,” Abbot Fernando allowing a little smile to light his face.
Elizabeth nods, returning to her chair, standing behind it.
“We’ve recruited and trained a new shadow figure who is my eyes and ears on the ground. Let him do what he’s trained to do and gather intelligence where he can. Secondly, and this is the most risky move...,” she pauses reassuring herself of the plan. “We’ll issue our own published report that we’ve been compiling during the last few months and send it to the media, telling the world what we know of Project God Trials and the Azack Programme along with what we have on the Order of the Secundo Aurora.”
“That will certainly make for some interesting reading for the media and governments alike, and will definitely take the light off the monastery.”
“We have the patient case files and the blood tests of the virus that was inflicted on Quesser Creek.”
“Your name will be brought up in all of this.”
“I’m aware,” Elizabeth pauses. “It’s my parents I am fearful of. It was one of the hardest things I had to do this year, having my death notice issued. My parents have been through enough. I don’t wish to open the door to more questioning reporters, but I have committed myself to this cause, and we must make our move now.”
“I understand, and if the need arises, I’ll send a monk to offer spiritual guidance and counselling for your parents. I know Markus will never believe you died here during the attack on the monastery last year. It’s imperative that once we open the doors of the Siarc Monastery and leak the news of the Azack Programme and Project God Trials, you remain under cover at the new library base. No one can ever know about you.”
Acknowledging with a nod, Elizabeth resigns herself to her coming future of living underground and out of sight.
“Just one question?”
“What?” Abbot Fernando returns a look of curiosity.
“How can we disguise the old library space downstairs?”
A smile crosses Abbot Fernando’s lips. “This has crossed my mind, and I think it’s time that Siarc Brew gets a new home. It will become the new winery.”
Elizabeth agrees with a smile. Abbot Fernando rises and moves around the desk until he is standing next to Elizabeth.
“This could very well be the last time we see each other in a while. Once the doors open tomorrow, you’ll disappear, and every movement I make will be monitored for a long time to come.”
“Yes, I’m aware,” she replies with a quick smile.
“They will use every resource at their disposal to scour the country side to look for you and the library.”
“This is why it’s imperative that we digitise the library as soon as possible. I know you disagreed with the idea, but the logistics of moving and safe keeping it are now too much of a threat. Once digitised, we’ll bury every last manuscript in some remote region of the world,” Elizabeth answers with a firm voice.
“How is it progressing?”
“Jacob has increased the number of monks; we currently have eighteen percent of the library digitised, with those books already packed and ready for burial.”
Stepping away from her, Abbot Fernando returns to his chair. “Only eighteen percent! This will take a long time.”
“There are numerous volumes of material dating back over one thousand years.”
“That brings me to my next point I wish to discuss in person before we cut contact. My hope of having you for the next Abbess for the Massomite Order of Monks will have to wait. You cannot risk exposure.”
“Not yet, I can’t,” Elizabeth answers and steps towards him smiling. “But when Markus is an old man and Dr. Speel dead and buried, I can step back into the limelight, still as a young woman, thanks to my new genes and slower ageing process. For now, the Order couldn’t be in better hands,” she reaches and gently places her hands on the abbot’s.
“You’re right! Let this mess we find ourselves in blow over us if we can and then we can discuss further. All going well, time is something you have on your side,” the abbot smiles.
Elizabeth acknowledges, pondering the thought of what kind of future she will have if she survives without falling into the hands of Project God Trials, for if she does, her future is very clear.
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