Father Enrico Santiago's fingers fumbled with the bullets as his slid them into the gun. He hadn't touched this gun in nearly 20 years, and his hands shook, raw nerve and adrendlin flooding him. Old emotions he had long since tried to forget, even older memories that had been better left in the past, all came flooding back. He slid the last round in the chamber and clicked the breach shut. Enrico closed his eyes, and remembered the last time he had held this gun. Twenty years ago at Bull Run.
He remembered running through the woods, wondering how a simple boy from poor parents in the New Mexico territories had ended up here. He remembered thinking that it would be a grand adventure, a chance to free himself from poverty. All he knew at that moment then though was the blood on his hands. He remembered the men he had killed and the horrible sounds they had made. He recalled watching his unit get cut to pieces and the screams the screams of the dying all around. He could even still feel the hot furrow of the bullet that creased his shoulder. He fell to the ground hard, tasting a mouthful of mud and he hit. He knew then, that all he really wanted to do, was to live. He prayed to God to help him at that moment as he drug himself towards the only cover he could find, a small hollow. He had pulled himself into the hole, bullets flying above him, his face streaked with tears and anger and fear. It was there he came face to face with the man he would become. Enrico Santiago. Army Chaplain.
The Chaplain had been shot in the head, though how he had fallen in the hollow was anyone's guess. It was that day though, that Edward Richmond died, and Enrico Santiago was born again. He had always had dark hair and skin, living in New Mexico had provided that, plus rumors of infidelity in his fathers past mean he probably was part Hispanic. His father hadn't been much for the Bible, but his mother had made him read from it daily and it was that information he used n the first few months. Enrico surrendered to the Union and after a few weeks in a prison camp and was released under another chaplains care, Father Hester. Hester had arranged his freedom in exchange for heading west with him to found a new mission. Hester didn't survive the journey, though Santiago did.
He had spent the last 20 years living a lie, trying to lead a good life and help people, he really had. There was one thing more important to Enrico Santiago though than helping people. The one thing that had caused all of this in the first place. A fear of dying. Enrico tucked the gun deep beneath his robes and stood up. No, Enrico wasn't going to go quietly at all.
End of Line.