(untitled) Guess What I forgot…?
Slight change of focus today. I do not post much about the book or of its progress. I prefer to work in the shadows and one day I hope to surprise you with a completed work. This week I have been working on the book and would like to offer some backstory for your review. Everything you are reading has been written in the last 48 hours. So it is hot off the press and this feels like the backstory that I imagined but up to now have not been able to convey in the work. I know there are some grammar issues but at this point, I am more concerned about content. Does it make sense, does it give credibility to the SOG, does it give you a sense of the historical context, and can you separate fact from fiction?
I am also reconsidering the name of the book. The novel has been called the Soldiers of God (SOG), up to this point. Firmus Of Yahweh is Latin for Soldier of God. I have been thinking that Firmus Of Yahweh (The Book of Lot) might be a better name for the novel. Do you like it? Hate it? If you have a thought either way, I would be glad to hear about it.
I thank you in advance for reading and I thank everyone of you for your continued support. It is very comforting to know that you guys are out there. I feel all of the support and I see evidence of it everywhere I look.
Scene set-up. Eddie is being nominated for induction into the SOG. He is standing on a stage with Abraham, Noah, and Sampson.
Abraham faced Eddie before speaking. “Eddie, we envision ourselves as men and women who defend God and protect those who can’t protect themselves. We have a code of conduct that we follow very strictly and we know that you will also follow it. You proved it tonight both to God, and to us. But most importantly you proved it to yourself. We gave you every indication that we wanted you to murder Jose tonight. We gave you the means, the motivation and the justification. On the deck of the All’ alba del mare you made the decision that his life was more valuable than anything else in your world. I hope that you can accept the fact that you are worthy to join us on this crusade.”
Abraham continued. “For centuries men and women like us have been fighting evil. Our order was established in the fifteenth century and has existed to this day. Our forefathers have never been perfect because at our core we are human. However, they strived to remain in the shadows, working in secret, while always being faithful, loyal and dedicated to their mission, their fellow servants and to God. They have always been and Lord willing, we always will be. We are descendants of the great warrior class, the guardians of the Vatican.”
“The Papal Swiss Guard was originally formed by Pope Julius II in 1506. Three years later, Julius created a secret conturbenium. The squad of eight soldiers were tasked to rescue Julius’s illegitimate daughter, Felice della Rovere from the enemies of the Pope. She had been captured during the War of the Holy League in the battle of Venice. According to Papal history, they snuck deep behind enemy lines, rescued the lady, evaded for seven days before escaping. They succeeded in the mists of a battle which was eventually lost by forces supporting the Vatican.”
“Their victory showed Julius that a small group of highly skilled warriors could succeed where traditional armies could not. They continued to perform special missions for the Pope until Julius’s death in 1512. Lorenso I de’ Medici was the patriarch of a powerful Italian banking family during this time. He had serious reservations about the Firmus remaining under direct Papal control. It was because of his influence his second son, Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici became Pope Leo X. His first official decree was to disbanded the conturbenium. The third son of Lorenzo, Giuliano promptly reached out to the conturbenium and offered them the opportunity to work directly for the Medici Family. The three men became the original trinity calling themselves the father, son and ghost. Their orders were clear, save those who could not save themselves.”
“The eight Swiss warriors accepted the assignment and took the title Firmus Of Yahweh. They grew their ranks directly from the Swiss Guard forming a formidable force that roamed the world searching out evil and destroying it. As the known world grew, so did the ranks of the Firmus. In the mid-1700’s, discussions were held about expanding the Firmus to the New World. The opportunity to crossover to the new world came from Filippo Mazzei.”
“Mazzei was a respected doctor, who chose to leave Italy and minster to patients in Egypt. In the summer of 1760, Mazzei was brutally attacked outside his home in Cairo. The roaming band of thieves kidnapped him and his family holding them captive for seventy-two days before they were rescued by the Firmus. He recognized one of the Firmus because Mazzei had bandaged his wounds a year earlier. At Mazzei’s insistence, the comandante of the Firmus arranged a meeting for Mazzei with the Medici family. He persuaded the Medici family to allow him to become a comandante della guardia and explore opportunities to form a new detachment. He assumed a position with the Medici Bank as a mercantile importer and deployed to London. His mission was to investigate opportunities in the New World. Setting up business in London, Mazzei found favor with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Adams, who were very open to the idea of Firmus. The Firmus of Yahweh began operations in the colony of Virginia in 1763 under the command of Mazzei and his new colonial friends.”
“As the Revolutionary War heated up, they were placed under the operational control of General George Washington. The Colonial Firmus trained the infamous Culper Spy Ring, and engaged in limited combat action against the British. Their most notable mission began innocently as a random interdiction mission. Three members of the Firmus masqueraded as highway robbers and took custody of British Major John Andre’ and his staff. Major Andre’ had a document in his possession that incriminated American General Benedict Arnold of conspiring to surrender West Point to the British in exchange for 20,000 pounds and the promise of the rank of General in the British Army. The Firmus acted quickly and apprehended Arnold before he could escape. They held Arnold in a farm house outside West Point and were prepared to transport him to stand in front of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.”
“General Washington dispatched his chief spy Major Benjamin Tallmadge and a secret team to take control of Arnold. Having trained Major Tallmadge and his team, the Firmus believed that Major Tallmadge was going to deliver Arnold to stand trial for his treason. Tallmadge lied to gain control of Arnold taking him directly to the British forces in New York City. Arnold was secretly exchanged for the release of thirty seven captured Colonial Officers. This action caused a severe rift between Washington and Mazzei. Eventually, Mazzei withdrew the Firmus from Washington’s command and placed them under the command of Thomas Jefferson.”
“Jefferson, Adams and Patrick Henry became the first American trinity giving direction, instruction and support to the Firmus. The Firmus has evolved over the years but our mission has not. We are dedicated to protecting those who cannot protect themselves and we destroy evil where we find it. Today, we are proud to induct you, Edward Paul Norris into our order.”
Noah stepped forward holding a silver tray. A baseball sized pendant rested on purple cloth. “Eddie, this is one of the very few surviving artifacts that document the story Abraham just told you. We know that there are three existing documents that survived to tell the story of the Firmus. They reside in the Vatican under lock, key and heavy guard. We have in our possession this pendent and the sword that Sampson is holding. They were acquired following the fall of the Italian government in June 1944. Members of the Firmus invaded the Vatican and secretly removed them from the Vatican vault. Four days later, Pope Pius XII issued a secret decree that is still in effect to this day. Until the pendant and sword are returned, the Firmus is considered a terrorist organization by the Vatican and an enemy of the State. He placed the remaining items in the most secure levels in his facility resting with documents that have the highest importance to the Vatican.”
“This pendant was made by Michelangelo himself and is the official symbol of the Firmus. The ruby is a perfect sphere and it represents a world lost in sin. The white gold cross represents the perfect Christ and his sacrifice for mankind. The diamond in the head of the cross represents God who is the father of all. Finally, the bottom of the cross is not gold but platinum and it is shaped to form a sword. This represents us, the Firmus. We strive to be pure and of highly refined quality so that on the day we are called, we will be found worthy of the task before us.”
Thank you for your time and if you have any comments, I would appreciate them.