The group of prophets broke their fast at the end of the third day. Ariel seemed to be the only one who knew exactly what their mission would be. Even Bernardo was not fully aware of where they were going and what they would do when they got there, but he discerned that he had a large part to play.
They had parked their cars in the lot at the marina near the village. It was raining heavily by the time they reached them. William motioned for them to take shelter under a pavilion that was near the docks. Ariel unfolded a map and spread it on a wooden table. He pointed to a large city in a Middle Eastern country. It was a city that was considered to be the center of business and trade in the world at that time. "This is our final destination, brethren. This is Babylon, the whore that we will confront."
It didn't take long for William to gather the group of prophets, since they all had some sense of what was coming for the inhabitants of planet Earth. Years ago, there was some semblance of being able to live a human existence, but the persecution of those who rejected the ways of the world had grown so strong that it was apparent that the Lord's return was imminent.
They didn't have a real meeting place anymore. It had been seized a number of years ago when they were declared to be terrorists by the government. Now, they met in secret, and changed their meeting place frequently. For this rendezvous, they were informed through the grapevine to arrive at William's house one at a time. William's aged mother, a stalwart prophetess, greeted each one with a hug and a kiss. She had been part of the group for most of her eighty two years, and was closer to them than she was with some members of her own family. "I think everyone is here, William. Hopefully, the police didn't notice."
The truth was that few in the Village were prepared for an event as monumentally evil as the execution of Pope Stephen and his companions. When the rumors began to surface that the assassinations were guided by factors within the church, many people began to panic. The church had been a stabilizing influence in the Village for many generations, and now it seemed that there was nowhere to turn.
A new Pope was appointed, a man who was open to many behaviors that had been considered sinful since the beginning of mankind. He no longer required a belief or a love of Jesus, or any kind of belief in God to continue as a member of the church. He postulated that there was no such thing as hell, and that God would take everybody into heaven. Any priest that did not agree with what he said were sent to "reeducation centers." Many simply left the church, but the Pope had no shortage of people who had more allegiance to him than to God.
No one really took notice of the old man. His clothes were worn, but not shabby. His wide brimmed hat covered a full head of pure white hair. He was seated at one corner of the Village marketplace, stroking a short, white beard. If anyone could see under the pulled down hat, they would look into eyes that were infinitely deep.
It didn't take long to get the sputtering and protesting Grossmont secured into a holding cell at the village police department. " I haven't done anything wrong. You haven't got one shred of evidence I had anything to do with the mercury poisoning."
When Carlos slammed the cell door shut, it clanged with finality. " We don't have time to stand here in argue with you Grossmont. Thanks to you, I have a lot more work to do today. Don't get used to that nice cell you have now. Where you're going makes this place look like a hotel room."
Carlos went to the locked gun cabinet, retrieving his thirty ought six. It was his weapon of choice. His father had given him the gun when he was a young teenager. Carlos was an expert marksman and was extremely comfortable with this particular firearm. He grabbed three boxes of shells totaling seventy five rounds. "What kind of ammo do you need Alik?"