National Novel Writing Month Day 3 – Fifth Scene written: last excerpt for today
It’s briefly after midnight and I finished the last scene for today, the 5th scene I have written: “Emilio and the Vagabond”. Now I have reached a total wordcount of 3224.
In the 4th scene before this one, the background of Emilio is recounted, how he rose from a poor boy from a small village in Sicily, going to a famous private university in Rome, until he was hired by a very special company. This 5th scene happens after Emilio, the Coordinator as we will get to know him as, met another operative, looking like a viking from a norse saga, at Piazza del Popolo in Rome:
After the Viking disappeared from his view, Emilio looked at his watch, a simple Seiko with analog hands and three faces, and decided there was enough time to walk to his next appointment near the Vatican.
He walked west leaving Piazza del Popolo heading to the Tiber and before reaching the river he turned left to walk down Passegiata di Ripetta. When he was a student he was renting a room in an old apartment building of this street on the fourth floor. There was this elegant open cage elevator where you pulled open and closed the door to activate the elevator. The whole building emitted an air of ancient elegance. Though his room was small and dark, with only a small window heading into the courtyard, it was fitted with an antique table made of heavy, rustic wood and a simple bed. He loved that table and his room as they gave him a feeling of security and grace in the modern, fast moving world.
Going away from his former residence, Emilio headed further south making a small detour along the Mausoleo di Augusto, the large grave of the same roman emperor who ordered the transport of the obelisk at Piazza del Popolo from Egypt to Rome. Augusto, formally called Octavia and adopted by his great uncle, the famous Julius Ceasar, was actually the very first roman emperor, granted legal power to rule Rome’s religious, civil and military affairs by the Roman Senate in 27 B.C. So there he was lying, a mortal man who was worshipped as a god-like being after his death, 2000 years gone and still alive in the memory of mankind. He was also very alive in the world Emilio was working in.
He took another glance at the mausoleo, left it behind him and continued walking down Passegiata di Ripetta turning to the riverside Lunghotevere. From there he took longer strides along the river until ten minutes later he reached the Ponte Sant’Angelo which links this riverside to Castel Sant’Angelo. Emilio stepped on the ancient bridge and while crossing it he admired Castel Sant’Angelo for what really was – a defense and stronghold of the state of god on earth against secular powers over almost two millennia. Built by Emperor Hadrian as his and his descendants mausoleum it was taken by the papal powers to use it for the church purposes during medieval times.
When he passed the statue of the Archangel St. Michael, he tipped his head in a greeting and moved further over the bridge. He circled around a japanese tourist group who were heading away from the Castel towards the city, most probably on their way to the next tourist attraction at Piazza Navona. At the end of the bridge one japanese tourist was left behind by the group, seemingly taking photos of the bridge and the river.
The japanese with the old fashioned film camera was in his forties and was rarely odd for a japanese tourist. He had a rugged look, uncombed and dirty. Furthermore he seemed a bit out of time with his bag of cloth slung over his shoulder. One could think he would a be a vagabond for his untidy clothes and simple carrying cloth. But if someone would have taken the time to take a closer look at him, he would have realized a alert body tension and lean, smooth muscles below his random clothes, as if he could jump at you and strike as fast and as strong as a tiger if you dared to provoke him.
„Takezo, I didn’t expect you here“, Emilio said to the stranger while standing unsuspiciously next to him, pretending to enjoy the view on the Tiber.
„Hai, times are difficult, there are great changes in the house“, replied the japanese vagabond handing him the camera, which Emilio took. „The net is falling apart and there are certain knots untying.“
„And they send you, of all people, to deal with it? I apologize, but you never had the reputation of being very subtle in your ways“, said Emilio while pretending to take photos of the vagabond with the castle of angels as a background.
„First, I agree to my reputation as being very pragmatic and direct, I do have my own ways. I even wrote a book about that in my time. Though I am admittedly not as famous in your world as that old chinese guy Sun Tsu and your fellow countryman Machiavelli I am sure your people of this time even know about my writings. Second, I am all that’s left in that line, all others are either dead or lost somewhere.“
„What do you mean by dead? In our line rarely anyone is dead, they can only be lost somewhere sometimes!“, exclaimed Emilio.
„Hai. That’s my point. This time some of the others can’t be found anywhere on any know line, so we can assume they are dead or so lost that they can be considered as good as dead.“, noted the vagabond as he slipped some chip into Emilio’s hand while shaking his hand thanking him loudly for the help.
„Take a look at the information and devise further steps. It wasn’t easy to come here in the first place, I took a great risk doing so. I have included some of my strategic suggestions into the information, I believe they can be helpful to you. So you’d better take care of it, Coordinator.“
Being spoken to with his official title, Emilio winced a bit. So it must be a very serious situation the worlds have slid into, he must take a look at the information as soon as possible. „Yes, Vagabond. I will take a look at it as soon as possible. I bid you farewell.“
Takezo bowed, but only a little, whereas Emilio unconsciously also bowed towards the Vagabond. Emilio walked further on towards the Castel thinking about the possible consequences of the appearance of the Vagabond so far away from his usual area of operation. Causing riddles among historians about the exact days of his birth, his seemingly random appearances in history with periods where he simply disappeared and his confusing allegiances with different sides in 15th century Japan is one thing, but getting so far away from his natural time frame is a very risky endeavor for the Vagabond to do.
Emilio took a quick glance over his back seeing Takezo disappearing in the japanese tourist crowd and stepped towards the gates of Castel Sant’Angelo.
Now I am off to bed, hopefully similarly productive tomorrow as today. I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into my the developing world of my future novel with 50k words. Good night!