Clockwork continued

Italy Map
Here is the continuation of Anso's story, in which Anso runs in to trouble with the church and has to flee. Also, I'm testing out a new WordPress client, Journler. Not sure if it's going to work out, though. I'm looking for something that will make posting here a little easier, but so far nothing's really sticking out as being ideal.

 

Anyway, here's my story. This continues the ficlets thread starting from this point.


Anso’s face fell. “Father Marsilius, when last we met..”

 

“I have had time to discuss that incident with my superiors, and we have decided that more study needs to be done.” The elder Inquisitor watched Anso with a grandfatherly concern. “I do not believe that you have created an Infernal Device, but I need to be able to persuade the rest of the Holy Office that it is so.”

 

The young friar became frantic, and defensively backed against the table where he had set his equipment. “But if I can just give you a demonstration of how far I’ve come, I can show you that the forces at work in my machina are as natural and godly as those at work in the tools we use to tend our fields, convert fruit of the vine into wine of the sacrament. Please just let me show you…”

 

Brother Salonius stepped forward, his roughly woven black robes whispering against the stone floor. “Show us how it works, nothing more nothing less. Give us enough information to operate this device and we will leave you.”

 

Nervously, Anso began.

 

***

 

The road to Florence was treacherous on a good day, but this spring night was terrible.

 

At least the torrential rain would keep brigands away, for now. Anso replayed the previous nights events in his mind, cursing himself for a fool. He should never have attempted to apply the new power source to his machina. Anso was afraid he had done grievous harm to his eminent audience. Perhaps even killed them all.

 

The papal visit had been crucial to Anso’s plan, the Cardinal had the potential to make world knowledge available to all of Christendom. But that was gone now.

 

Rome was in ill favor these days, with the Borgia currently on the throne being accused of incest amongst worse sins; Anso crossed himself at the very thought, but they still had enormous resources.

 

Anso now hurried to his friend Ficino. He had corresponded with him at some length regarding his device, and prayed now to find solace at the Academy. Exonerating himself of the crime of murder would have to wait. He had more important work to do.

 

It was still night when Anso arrived in Florence. The streets were oddly empty. He had not been in the city for some years, but it had never been so silent. Gone were the street performers breathing fire for spare change and the constant sound of music he remembered so fondly from his first trip as a child.

 

Florence had changed much. Twice in the last hour he had been questioned by watchmen. They had both given him odd looks, and shuffled him off on his way when he asked about locating Ficino, or anyone associated with the Academy. Well, he would just have to find them himself.

 

The university was not far, Anso thought to himself. He could not quite make out the towers from where he was near the city’s entrance, but he was sure his feet could guide him to the medieval Studium.

 

Pacing the streets, Anso took no notice of the few panhandlers stooped at the foot of an arcade. nor did he notice the carved stone faces peering out from shadowed niches.

 

He did notice the black bag being placed over his head.

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