3. 12 P.M.
“Holy Father, Chief Pique just called. He said that they recovered the hard disk successfully”, the Charmelengo said. The Pope had been sitting in front of a sculpted statue of the Blessed Mother.
“Grazie a Dio (Thanks be to God) . Have you received any information from the news woman?” He said, looking up at the young priest.
“No. Another bad news is that the Sistine hall section of the Vatican library had just gone up in flames”.
The Pope hung his head, depression slowly crept over him. “Why the church of the lord?” He muttered slowly.
“Papa, I understand how all this must be hard on you but it is very important that you leave the city immediately. Please, do this for your life and for your beloved church”.
He shook his head remorsefully.
“I can’t, holy son. I can’t leave the church this way. She needs me most now. I was thinking about addressing the world, I am to give them hope . . .”, he broke off.
“You’re not leaving as if forever. Believe me, Your Holiness, millions of people out there appraise your courage. You should see how passionate the world has become about you. What a story it would become when it is discovered that it has been a coy all along”. He brought out a copy of L’oservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper and handed it over to him.
“When the news gets out, no one would understand that it was done without publicly announcing that it was a coy just because of security reasons. You should leave the city. When the dust settles, I believe the security agencies can handle it. We would surely return”, the Charmelengo implored.
“You can go alone, padre. I’ll be better off alone here”, he said calmly and dropped the newspaper, fixing his gaze on the sacred statue.
“Santita, recordatevi, che il buon Duo perdona . Remember, the good Lord forgives, Your Holiness”.
“Certo, lo so!” He paused “If you insist, I’ll make a confession lest I die in my sins”.
“When we get on the jet successfully, you may confess. We need to hurry up. The plane has been readied. He said opening the mahogany doors of the wardrobe and getting out a designer tux suit and a matching pair of loafers he had given the Pope on his seventy-fifth birthday. He helped him dress up and accompanied him downstairs to a waiting chauffeured Bentley.