Characters/Pairing(s): Father Renaldo, random Iscariot
Warning(s): Spoilers for Volume 8/9
Word Count: 586: Forgive me?
Disclaimer: Hirano made these guys up, not me.
Author's notes: Yesterday, I randomly thought, "Oh snap, I guess the future of Iscariot rests on Father Renaldo and Bowl-Cut Kid", and voila. X-posted to section_xiii.
Summary: He hoped he would have time to put their family's house in order.
The chief director's desk in Section Thirteen was quite nice.
It had stood for more than thirty years, ever since the last desk, and the chief director at the time, had become unserviceable after being filled with bullet holes. No one seemed to know anything about the curious incident, which, in a grand Roman touch, had taken place on the fifteenth of March. One of the individuals who knew absolutely nothing about the event was one Father Renaldo.
He had seen the better part of the tenures of three directors before not seeing the coup, and went on to watch three more rise and fall afterwards. The first man would go by way of his own gun, the second drank himself to death, and the third would find a much more spectacular way of ending his time of service. Enrico Maxwell, after all, had never wanted to do anything small.
Dear, dead Enrico had kept (and left) the desk remarkably neat and well organized. Even had Renaldo not already been well acquainted with the office of the chief director, he would have had an easy time of finding his way around after his appointment in the aftermath of World War Three.
He eyed the boy sitting across the desk, his eyes darkly-circled behind his glasses as he flipped through the files Renaldo had just handed him. "What am I looking for, Chief?"
Renaldo suppressed the crawling sensation the title triggered in his skin and replied, "Histories of violence, aggression, fire setting, etcetera. You will know it when you see it."
"I suppose," said the boy, not sounding as if he supposed at all. "And this is truly necessary? Fishing for outsiders to fill our ranks?"
"Of course it is," Renaldo answered sharply. "Most of the children are not ready, and we will not rush them. Those in your hands," the director indicated the files, "are only placeholders until proper Iscariots are prepared to join us."
"These are disposable," the boy said, not a question.
Renaldo nodded and took pleasure in the slight glimmer it inspired in the boy's eyes. "They would never understand, never appreciate our duty as we do. But we can put weapons in their hands and send them where they are needed."
"Give a purpose to the fallen," the boy elaborated.
"And the children?"
"Our highest priority. Someone suitable must take Anderson's post as soon as possible." The paladin's name could not help but cause a sour taste in Renaldo's mouth; so very many of the losses they had suffered in London were due to his disastrous mismanagement of the advance guard. Iscariots were meant to eventually die during the course of their duties, but not in such ridiculous numbers. Their best and brightest had died there, needlessly, and all of their faces stared at Renaldo when he closed his eyes.
"They are our true future," Renaldo continued. "They will carry this organization long after you and I are gone from this world. What we do to ensure that will be our legacy."
The boy nodded and went back to his reading. Renaldo stared at the wood grain peeking from under the stacks of papers before him and ran his fingers over the desk's edge. It was a nice desk; it was pity no one sat behind it very long. He hoped he would have time to put their family's house in order before the inevitable ax fell and ended his tenure.
He was glad to have come to the position old.