Marcus leaned against the cold stone walls of the Fraternity chapel. He could feel the walls surrounding him, making him aware of his place in the chapel, he was a hunter, used to destroy the enemies from the Fraternity. The chapel had several different facilities. The training room, where Fraternity Brothers can train in firearms, blades, and other implements used to hunt. The great library, a massive room dedicated to rumors, tomes and encyclopedias of the underworld. There was the great hall, a place where there were meetings, assignments were delivered, and commandments from the elders were issued.
There were other facilities of the Fraternity, but Marcus was no privy to them. They weren't his place to ask or now, so be it. He received a text instructing him to report in. He quickly changed into his fraternity garbs, being careful to ensure he couldn't be mistaken for the subway incident. He hoped the two Brothers he encountered hadn't made it back yet.
The new duster draped around him, but his armor was absent, it felt almost confining when he received the summons today. His mind raced with a cause for the summons, the subway incident, Xennie, there were a few incidents he knew he had acted outside the Fraternity interests. They were quick to deal with those types, his guns felt cold an indifferent as they hung at his sides. They used to feel like an extension of his own body, he could conduct a symphony of death with the firearms.
Now they felt, alien. He worried he was starting to get soft, a short round in the training halls disproved that. His accuracy was still flawless, landing each shot in rapid succession.
As he left the training hall, he noticed Alexander staring at him, or through him. As if Alexander could see something inside himself, a beast pacing back and forth. It saw something back in Alexander, and it felt threatened. Marcus clenched his jaw, he knew if a battle broke out between Alexander and himself, the battle would very likely not go well for him. For the bloodies jobs Marcus has come through only by sheer force of will, Alexander cut a bloody swathe through the foe.
"Greetings Brother, how goes the hunt?" Alexander gave him a grin. Marcus felt like slinking back off, he never noticed how fake Alexander was in the halls. This was political, in battle Alexander was at home. Marcus drew back the duster to reveal his weapons.
"Just getting some target practice before the elder wishes to speak with us," Alexander nodded, Marcus knew he hated firearms. However, when you can hurl a bayonet one hundred feet, that really does not warrant concern does it?
"Aye Brother, with the rumors of the new beast in the subway claiming it as his own. We need to be at the top of our game." Marcus froze in his tracks, a beast? They were referring to him?
He was perfect, he made sure neither saw his face, he didn't use his own weapons, he caught himself before his heart began to race. They only mentioned an attack, maybe it wasn't him, and if it was, just avoid the members involved.
Then it hit him, what if they sent members to the subway to hunt down this illustrious beast? What about those down there who are in fact innocent? Damn, Marcus cursed himself for letting his blood run wild, why after all these years was his perfect resolve slipping away? He was operating without a code, and it felt great, somewhat envigorating. He shook his head, let those thoughts run wild another time. Here he needed to maintain the illusion of control. Their conversation was cut short as the church bell rang, the elders would deliver the reason they were called. As Marcus followed the others, he silently wished he had gone in to see Xennie.
Even the thoughts of Persephone being hunted by the Fraternity angered him. She was definitely an innocent, she was friendly, warm, willing to show him how the otherkin lived. The Fraternity itself was either lying or confused. Not all monsters were so bad, were they?
The questions swarmed as Marcus followed the other fraternity members into the hall. The elders stood at the end of the hall, he had known these men all his life. Yet they lied to him? What were they keeping from him?
The elder went on about the evils of the world, how the Fraternity is the final wall against the darkness and the innocent of the world. Marcus tried to listen but could feel the bile rising in his throat, the image of the shifter and the dagger against her chest playing through his mind time and time again. He could feel his heart beating in his ears, louder and louder until he realized he needed to leave. Something felt wrong with being here, and it wanted him to know damn sure of it.
Marcus remembered what the Doctor told him, taking a deep breath and focusing on something else. Sunflowers, they reminded him of Xennie, he pictured a field of sunflowers; as they gently swayed in the wind. He recalled the sundress Xennie wore one blistering summer day, he could feel whatever had gotten so angry slowly calming down. The anger retreated back to the shadows, slowly pawing against the ground. A line was being drawn, but where?
The elders did briefly mention the subway and suggested some of the more talented members look into this. Marcus raised his hand, him and Alex were chosen to investigate the sewers at a later date. At least he bought some time, hopefully. Then the one thing the elder mentioned made Marcus painfully aware of the storm brewing.
"In four days, the next full moon will begin, we all know what happens then. I want all of us out in force, exterminate all the filth in the name of our Lord." The elder's eyes caught Marcus, he could tell there was uneasiness in that one. "Marcus," the elder called out his name, "I pray you will redeem for your past failures with that night?" Marcus nodded but said nothing. He would definitely redeem himself, but would it be for the Fraternity, or for some hidden truth?
Nothing further was said as Marcus left the hall, the elder made a gesture to Alexander. As he drew near, the elder produced an envelope. "A ghoul was sighted, please ensure that he meets with a prompt end."
Alexander said nothing but gave a simple nod, a ghoul? Why would he be selected for such a simple task? It wasn't his place to question the request of the elders. He was a weapon of the Fraternity. His job was to remove the creatures of the night, not to think about the path taken. He was curious of Marcus as well, he'd never seen the stoic Marcus show emotion, now he was almost ready to walk away from the elders during the morning commons.
He would look into this further, Marcus had been acting strange since their hunt several nights ago. Maybe this ghoul was related to this? He looked at the documentation contained in the envelope as he strode from the Chapel.