11. 05 P.M.
ABUJA MUNICIPAL, NIGERIA
The Pope struggled to keep the Range Rover in track as he plied the busy roads of the Metropolitan city with shaky hands.
He had just been directed by a street hawker to Asokoro, where he would eventually find his way to the CTAN headquarters.
Thankfully, the SUV he had been given by the considerate aviation authorities had dark windshields and he was at least safe from the prying eyes of the public. The blazing gold street lights in the Federal Capital did little to camouflage him.
Eve as late as it was, surprisingly, the Federal Capital Territory was still alive with business activities; three-star and five-star rated restaurants and bars were still fully operational. Various night clubs boosted the atmosphere with live bands and blaring music. Roadside traders continued business unabated.
Grazie, Signore mio (Thank you my lord!) He muttered for the umpteenth time. Today’s event had obviously shaken up his nerves. He just prayed for that young and vibrant reporter. He shouldn’t have allowed her to be involved.
He had every reason to thank his stars; his paranoid nature had just saved his life today.
The APSA President had recently been making suspicious movements and he had almost foreseen what would happen, though he never suspected it would get to this extent. His mind had been on poisoning or, worse still, assassination.
The mp3 recorder was on the dashboard, including the phone belonging to the traitor, evidence of his involvement in the Vatican crisis. The Vatican City had been betrayed by a lot of laymen, this is the most grievous of all.
Lord Acton once in 1887 wrote a letter to Bishop Madell Creighton and in that letter contained a simple yet powerful Latin phrase dating 1887, “Potestas corrumpere solet et potestas absoluta corrumpit absolute” . He had once read it up but today’s events just about threw more light and really proved it.
He couldn’t help crying for the church. He couldn’t help imagining the church left under his care crumbling to nothing and here he was, unable to do a thing.
He was beginning to feel so selfish.
Forgive me, Lord . He made the sign of the cross.
He exhaled deeply as the CTAN building came into view.