MILES TO THE south, on the outskirts of Bilbao, an Uber sedan raced south along Highway AP-68 en route toward Madrid. In the backseat, Admiral Ávila had removed his white jacket and naval cap, enjoying a sense of freedom as he sat back and reflected on his simple escape.
Precisely as the Regent promised.
Almost immediately after entering the Uber vehicle, Ávila had drawn his pistol and pressed it against the head of the trembling driver. At Ávila’s command, the driver had tossed his smartphone out the window, effectively severing his vehicle’s only connection with the company’s headquarters.
Then Ávila had gone through the man’s wallet, memorizing his home address and the names of his wife and two children. Do as I say, Ávila had told him, or your family will die. The man’s knuckles had turned white on the steering wheel, and Ávila knew he had a devoted driver for the night.
I am invisible now, Ávila thought as police cars raced by in the opposite direction, sirens wailing.
As the car sped south, Ávila settled in for the long ride, savoring the afterglow of his adrenaline-fueled high. I have served the cause well, he thought. He glanced at the tattoo on his palm, realizing that the protection it provided had been an unnecessary precaution. At least for now.
Feeling confident that his terrified Uber driver would obey orders, Ávila lowered his pistol. As the car rushed toward Madrid, he gazed once again at the two stickers on the car’s windshield.
What are the chances? he thought.
The first sticker was to be expected—the Uber logo. The second sticker, however, could only have been a sign from above.
The papal cross. The symbol was everywhere these days—Catholics around Europe showing solidarity with the new pope, praising his sweeping liberalization and modernization of the Church.
Ironically, Ávila’s realization that his driver was a devotee of the liberal pope had made pulling a gun on the man an almost pleasurable experience. Ávila was appalled at how the lazy masses adored this new pontiff, who was permitting the followers of Christ to pick and choose from a buffet table of God’s laws, deciding which rules were palatable to them and which were not. Almost overnight, inside the Vatican, questions of birth control, gay marriage, female priests, and other liberal causes were all on the table for discussion. Two thousand years of tradition seemed to be evaporating in the blink of an eye.
Fortunately, there are still those who fight for the old ways.
Ávila heard strains of the Oriamendi hymn playing in his mind.
And I am honored to serve them.在线阅读网全本在线阅读：http://www.yuedu88.COM/