The Path of a Templar

By Sean Nichols

 

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File ID# 126-HKK-544725736  As of: 09/15/04  (From the files of the Vatican)   

Subject: Knight, Holly
Current Assignment: St Michaels Order
Area: Chicago Chapterhouse  


Full Name: Holly Kraus Knight
Social Security Number: 746-12-2384           Height: 5'6"   Weight: 120

Age: 25                 D.O.B: 5/06/80             Hair: Blonde   Eyes: Blue
Social Status: Single                                 Ethnic Origin: Caucasian 
Medical Conditions: none                           Distinguishing marks: None
Specialty: Ancient Manuscripts & Scriptures  Security Level: monk

Current Address: 306 E. Walter St. Chicago, Illinois
Family Status:  Thomas Knight (father) deceased
                      Sarah Kraus (mother) deceased
                      Jeremiah Knight (brother) Age: 25

        Here is the file of the young woman I mentioned your Grace and the statement provided by the subject, I have looked over everything and feel it needs to be brought to your attention.  There are some disturbing events happening that seem to be focused around this young woman and I feel we should take a more active interest in her doings, and how it might reflect back on the holy church of Rome.  Some of the actions of this girl and her friends are causing quite a stir in the United States, heaven please forbid she ever goes to the middle east where such actions could cause extreme tensions and/or religious riots.  I beg you your grace to consider reining in this young woman before things get to far.
                                                                                         
                                                                         Sincerely; Bishop Morgan Vincenti

         In answer to a request your grace, as we have never formally met, let me introduce myself. Iím Holly Kraus Knight and since you have requested my story and in light of the rather disturbing events that have been associated with my name, I felt it was time to tell my side of things.  I hope you will forgive me as I indulge a little and tell you about myself and the how, why, and who of my childhood so you may better understand my actions and perhaps that what has been written and shown on the news isnít exactly the truth, but then is it ever?  Iím sure many say that and almost everyone has a reason for why what happened, happened

 One might ask, what is the nature of man?  Is he truly just a chance creation like science would have you believeÖor something brought forth by the divine?  Personally I think it was Gods creation, and was always taught that in school.  Strangely I grew up a fairly isolated upbringing.  Private schools and tutors where the rule of my youth.  Going to a catholic school would be a task for some I have met, but I grew up with religion around me all the time.  You see my family has long been members of the Order of St. Michaels, A order of monks and researchers bent on searching out the location of the fabled Ark of the Covenant.  I never knew in my childhood that I was born twins, my brother Jeremiah was adopted out when we were so young that I never knew him.  It wasnít until I was fifteen that I learned of his existence, and the mystery of why he was sent away is still that, a mystery. But that jumps a head of things, my father was barely known to me. Faint memories and feelings is all I have of him. I was only 2 years old when that happened, and his death is still one of the mysteries that plague me. My mother died at birth, but I hear she was beautiful and elegant. A incredible archeologist which is how she met my father, who followed the rest of my family in the search of the Ark. She died in childbirth and father a mere two years later.  I was sent to my grandfather to be raised, and why Jeremiah was also not sent to him is one part of the mystery. But that story is saved for later, for it leads to a series of rather strange events. Where was I? oh yes growing up.

I grew up in the countryside outside of Chicago, my grandfather made the occasional journey into the city but he seemed more content with living on his land away from the hustle and bustle of city life.  Even when I finally was sent to school, St. Theresaís, it was a isolated place away from the city, which was probably better for the kids there.  We didnít have the distractions the city kids had with movies, cars, and stores.  It was quiet time with the sisters of the school and though strict, where truly trying to teach us.  Of course what other school could you get such advance classes, most children where learning math, reading, history,  But our classes went even further with Latin being required learning and history was more a world history focused on religion, less what way president Washington marched the colonial army.  Not to say we didnít learn American history but it wasnít as focused on as in a normal school. After all we where to as likely to spend as much time in Asia or the Middle East as the United States, learning the history of many countries was as more difficult than just one, but back to my grandfather. He doted on me terribly and in return for his love and caring I took up his work, learning to read ancient scriptures and the art of identifying and translating ancient documents.  I never knew why he taught me how to use a sword, but it was part of our life, and I didnít mind and summer vacations where fairly boring time living out in the country anyways.  I knew other children didnít learn such a thing and it made me feel special.  When he introduced me to firearms, I thought he just wished someone to join in his hunts, since I was the last of his true family. We had an Uncle Gregory but he was more a very close friend of the family, and I think of him as family, his wife explained many things to me about young girls growing up that the two men in my life found to embarrassing to discuss.  I didnít know till later in my teens that I was being groomed to join the order and take my grandfathers place. My teen years where a study of religion, guns, swords, fighting, and languages, because of this I didnít learn what most girls did, about clothes, music and boys.  Oh sure I was asked on dates, grandfather said it was because I looked so much like my mother, who he said was a great beauty,  I know I did end up with my fathers blonde hair and blues eyes, and my mothers slender build.  My family comes from strong Germanic stock, and because of which German was a second nature to us all, and being highly religious, Latin was very important as well. Because of all these concerns and my own developing obsession with finding what everyone else missed in the Ark legends, I didnít pay a lot of attention to things other girls did, as I said I got asked on a few dates, and even accepted a few of them to various dances, but the boys could always tell I was somewhere else, and my attention wasnít often on them.  When I turned sixteen, the official time of my entrance into the order was at hand, I started training under my grandfather to take over his position in the order.  You can imagine there was not a lot of girls in the order, yes some where married and had daughters, but actual members it was rare to find them.  Even rarer was a girl inheriting a position of rank; you see each position was passed from father to son.  Seeing as my father was dead and my brother long gone (for I was informed of him when I was old enough, but could find little  about him).

        So as you know I was the sole heir to my grandfathers position. And since I chose to join the order it became something of a shoe in.  Being sixteen in a chapter house that was over 2/3ís male was a bit problematic sometimes.  Having no vows of celibacy it became event that quite a few of the young men where smitten, and some of the older ones even took second glances, of course it probably didnít help I was still having to wear my school uniform till I graduated from school, men found it entirely to interesting, I think perhaps the church should reconsider them.  But the guys eventually grew more comfortable, and I started to think of them like brothers, let me say having about 40 men who consider you their little sister kept a lot of bothersome suitors from bugging me, and the fact the few dates I ever went on they always did sword practice that day in the courtyard, I think my dates got the hint. I was glad when I finally finished school and could take of my duties full time at the chapter house. Some would assume college was after, but truthfully for what I was going to be doing the chapters tutors where much better suited for the job.

During this last two years I grew more comfortable with being a woman in a male dominated order. I let my hair grow out and started wearing cloths to flatter my figure, and truthfully it was easier to get people to help me then.  Perhaps thatís a bit sexist, but I was never going to be one of the guys.  My grandfather told me once that I was far too innocent looking and far too pretty to even try, so be who I was and let others deal with it in their own way, very liberal thinking for my grandfather. Of course I didnít always get along with my grandfather, when I wanted to computerize the archives and daily paperwork he fought me tooth and nail.  I had the advantage of the fact he was retiring when I reached nineteen, so I was going to do it then anyways.  When I finally turned sixteen I did make one minor rebellion.  I had a trust fund from my family and I went out and bought a bright red convertible mustang. It always looked strange in the parking lot with the other memberís rather plain four doors and trucks, but in truth I had to have a way to get from school all the way to the chapterhouse in the city.  Perhaps I just had grown fully comfortable with being a woman by then.  Everyone dressed so somber and usually in dark colors, I chose whites and other light colors though I kept to a suitable suit of not to expensive quality.  Though I was once asked to politely change when I wore a skirt that was well above the knee, apparently it was deemed to distracting. Though for some outdated concept they wished me to wear skirts instead of pants, something about it not being proper for young ladies to run around dressed as men. In truth, though I didnít mind wearing skirts I was angry about even being directed to, and wore them at just below the knee almost exclusively after that.  I could have been more defiant but in truth I cared about all those lugs, so my rebellions where kept to a minimum around them.  Though they would often send me on errands downtown when a visiting priest or when another ranking official of St. Michaels came to visit.  Seems I embarrassed them one to many times around those types.  My sword and weapon skills grew more in this time and I even learned some of the martial arts,  though it seemed my sparring partners enjoyed throwing my around a little to much, perhaps I shouldnít have filched all the toilet paper in retaliation to them painting my dorm room pink. Pink is one color I would never like, white was always my favorite.  Regardless I learned that in any encounter with a man I was almost guaranteed to be out muscled, and seeing as they really didnít want to see me beaten or worse in some Middle East desert once I qualified for field research.  They where really hard till I learned that though they where stronger, I was much quicker. Once I came into my speed the fights became more even.

It was during my seventeenth year of life that another big event occurred. I met and got to know my twin brother.  Though in truth we where almost opposites in appearance, I barely topped 5`6Ē while he towered over me at over 6`5Ē, my waist barely as large as his thighs, and there was no way I could even compare to his shoulders and arms.  I wasnít weak even for a woman, but Jeremiah was easily one of the strongest men I had ever met, and he was fast, very fast.  I had a little edge over him in speed but he knew far more about hand to hand fighting, seeing as he spent quite a few years in Tibet at a monastery being trained.  Still we had the same characteristic golden hair and blue eyes, and despite his muscle my poor brother ended up with more feminine facial features, perhaps this is why he wore a beard most the time.  We had a hard time at first being comfortable with each other I knew somehow that I was connected to him, I could feel it deep inside me.  It was a slow process of feeling out each others reactions and concerns; he after all had a foster family he was quite happy with and I was a unknown quantity coming in.  I did find out that while in Tibet some strange things had happened, and that before he was much different in appearance, more akin to my smaller stature.  I donít know fully what happened to turn him into a bear of a man but he seems content with it and all that happened.  Weíd often meet and talk after school, he didnít go to the same school of course and since I had to come into town for my duties at the chapterhouse it was just as easy to stop by and see him. He always seemed to have a group of guys around him when he was waiting for me, but didnít seem to be friends with them.  They always tried to talk to me and where terrible flirts, but I was there to get to know my brother not ogle boys strutting around.  Iíd often give him a lift home and weíd talk about what we remembered or didnít remember, we both felt the bond between us Iím sure of that.  I grew more comfortable with my duties, school, and now a brother, things where looking up from before when I only had my grandfather.

Iím sorry for the long history lesson you grace, but I thought it might give you a better insight to my role in things to come. It was a dark time and Iím sure you have some reports of it from the chapter house.  So I will tell what happened from my own point of view so you can know what I felt and knew at the time.  It all started strangely with some girls I knew in school, Crystal and Shard.  That is of course not their real names, but their street names.  Why girls from wealthy parents going to a good school would choose to live on the streets of Chicago is beyond me.  Crystal was 3 years my junior and shard was a year older than me, and much to my shame I remember little about them from school.  Crystal was in one or two of my classes and was something of a prodigy; she understood things that I must say where beyond me and I donít exactly consider myself stupid.  I certainly couldnít imagine living the way they did and though I count Crystal a friend now, she is far from saintly and tests my patience on more than one occasion.  I canít imagine how they made a living and I shudder to think of the lengths they might have had to go to just to survive, if just a little of my influence rubs off, I think perhaps crystal will come to realize the streets are no where to live.  Now if I could only get her to dress a little more conservatively, well thatís not fair she isnít near as shocking in her cloths as when I met her, but I digress.

I donít mean to shock you your grace but I got involved with Crystal again through a murder, her sisters murder.  A terrible affair that screamed satanic origins, with ritual sacrifice and demon worship, and being fairly naÔve to the real world and very young, I know Iím not much older now but it seems like another life time already. Anyways I knew I had to help her, Crystal feared she would meet her sisters fate, and looking at the grizzly murder I was natural concerned for her safety, after all the order of St.Michaels are trained to defend themselves and others as well as searching out lost clues to the Ark. 

Upon my eighteenth birthday I was given my first assignment by the order.  It was of course just to be a routine thing letting me stretch my legs and see some new sights.  My grandfather asked me to look into a old church that had been abandoned awhile back and see what kind of shape it was in and if it could be reopened. It seemed to be a innocent enough task but since the church was located in a less than reputable side of Chicago I asked if I could bring Jeremiah along since it wouldnít do well for me to get into trouble on my first assignment because some street thugs thought to pick on a lone girl.  So we got together and headed out in my car,  of course it never occurred to me that my mustang might attract a lot of attention as well. The church was located mostly on its own block and had a iron wrought fence around it.  Built long ago it had the kind of stone walls that would last centuries, still the wood inside could be rotted beyond repair by this time.  Glancing around the outside I did notice a strangely familiar figure of a young girl, she was dresses more like a prostitute than anything else so I guessed that was what she was, I caught sight of a tall bald black man in a trench coat trying to remain unobserved while looking around herself, well your grace Iíve seen television and figured the man was her pimp.  I knew those things would have to be dealt with eventually, but my job was to look over the church.

Stepping out of my car a chill wind whipped around my legs sending a chill up my spine, and for a instant I thought I felt something staring at me, waiting with anticipation to devour me.  I was in unfamiliar area and I noticed it was getting towards evening, it was probably just nerves.  Regardless I thought being here after dark would be a bad idea even with Jeremiahs imposing presence. Stepping past the gate I got a sick feeling in my stomach and almost doubled over, something felt wrong, dark.  Wishing for a second I had brought a gun a long then steeled my nerves and said a prayer, I felt the sickness wash away and moved on towards the door.  My heels clicked on the pavement eerily as we approached the door, echoing when no such event should occur.  I took the key my grandfather had given me but out of curiosity I tugged on the door.  It opened with a creaking groan that echoed around again, almost like a growl.  Shivering I pulled my jacket closer about me and stepped into the gloom, blinking at the much darker interior I pulled out a small flashlight and when I clicked it on, I almost screamed and still it was only jeremiahs hand on my arm that kept me from back pedaling out the door. Iím not sure how much detail I should go into here.  To say it was sickening is mild,  blood was all over the floor and black candles laid about a pentagram in the floor, most the pews had been shoved to the side to make room. As I panned the light around I caught another sight, crucified above the evil symbol was a girl my age.  She had been gutted and apparently tortured for a good while. Iím no expert on dead bodies by any means, and the smell in the room was starting to bring back the sickness in my stomach.  Just then a wind washed over me, yet it felt like a hand sliding in my hair, perhaps it was just my skittishness at the grizzly sight. But I had to leave and backed out of the room, and into the outside air, yet it felt like the very building was watching me, trying to urge me to return.  I back completely out of the yard and Jeremiah followed looking at me with concern. I hadnít realized I was shaking at that moment but when I backed into the door of my car I almost fell from the surprise, and was shocked to see my hand shaking so bad, I may have been young your grace, but I know evil when I felt it, and it was hungry.

I must point out your grace that this young girl was clearly shaken and unsettled by the events she had beheld; I don't doubt that a murder did occur as police reports seem to back this, but that she could so easily sense such a dark presence it would have to have been a enormous aura of evil.  I point out that no other priest or clergyman of any faith sensed anything of the sort. In fact a Vatican sponsored sweep team had gone through this very church just 6 months before.  For such a evil as she describes to soak into the building in such a time it would have taken events of incredible debauchery and hatred.  I do think it was a young girlís fantasy and perhaps her uncertainty, not to mention her inexperience. She clearly was overreacting. 
                                                                                                                                                          
Sincerely; Bishop Morgan Vincenti

A sensed of being watched came over me at that moment and I looked around suddenly curious to where the prostitute and the big black guy went.  Not seeing the big guy made me more than a little nervous, but I was surprised to see the other on our side of the street and coming closer, a surreal sensation came over me as I realized she looked just like the girl in the church, or at least really similar and I probably stared in shock as it seemed if the dead girls spirit was moving towards me. I might have stumbled back but Jeremiahs hand on my arm steadied me and as I glanced his way I noticed recognition in his eyes as he looked at the girl.  Glancing back something about her stuck out and I realized she was 3-4 years younger than the girl in the church and she was nodding to Jeremiah then glanced at me and greeted me by name.  Disturbing sensations ran through me as I tried to put a name to the girl and finally through the black make up and strange hair style something tugged my memory of a similar girl I had gone to school with.

It seems, your grace, that crystal was here searching for her sister, who was missing.  She had gotten a few leads that led here and was about to go in when we drove up, she decided to wait to see more and clearly by my reaction she was concerned.  She tried to go past me and up the sidewalk but I moved after her, keenly after crossing the threshold of the church I felt the evil sensation flare up with eagerness and bit my lip, silently saying a prayer as I grabbed crystals arm and told her she didnít want to go in there.  She ignored me of course and went in, I heard her gasp as she saw the awful truth before her.  Stepping in I pulled her back even as she tried to go closer, somehow it felt wrong that she should get closer, a sensation of something coiling closer and closer about us, and in response I pulled harder and forced her to back out of the church and off the grounds.  She cursed (I wonít repeat her words as I doubt they are needed for anything) at me and Jeremiah had to stand between us, his imposing calm was a marvel. He was a pillar of strength, though I sensed he was disturbed as the rest of us, he refused to let it affect his actions and in response to that I knew I had to do the same and stopped arguing like a silly girl, there really was no need of it.  Sensing something I think crystal to understood and she quieted and asked what we where doing here, which I gladly explained. 

Now I might say I probably could have been more charitable here, but in interest of finding out what had happened to Crystals sister and others, and a small amount of unease, no revulsion would be a better word.  After all I really could not understand why she would choose to live on the streets living off charity and selling herself on the streets, of course since then Iíve learned many of my previous assumptions about Crystal where wrong. Many things that night where not what it seemed, we quickly found out her sister was not the only one missing.  We agreed to meet again as she would check her friends around the way and meanwhile I had to call the police.  When the first police arrived I was shocked at how aggressive and rough they where, I was actually pushed against the car and frisked, but since I hadnít been carrying anything they had to let me up, Jeremiah also received the same treatment.  Then one of them entered inside the Church and came back almost instantly calling on his radio for someone from homicide to get down here and that they would hold the ďwitnessesĒ. It didnít take long for a detective to arrive, and whatever I expected it wasnít the trim respectable man that got out and made his way over, glancing over us briefly before going inside, soon more emergency vehicles arrived and more police and I was growing a bit concerned, thankfully the sirens where off even though in the gathering darkness the lights strobe along the surrounding buildings. Soon the detective came over and gave each of us a closer look over; I noticed a familiar look in his eye when he glanced over me.  You might wonder why I report such a thing to you, your grace, but I feel that any feeling, sensation or insight might have meant something more than I personally am aware of at the time.  Regardless he was polite and took our statements about why and how we came upon this, surprised to find me working for the church and perhaps a bit disappointed. I do confess that perhaps a few not so proper thoughts might have been floating in my mind as well, and have long since taken confession over it.  He let us go soon after with a statement they made need to talk to us again so not to run to far away, I assured him I could be found at the chapterhouse most days, perhaps I had ulterior motive in that to but it was true after all.

 

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