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Two Britons in Florence

a topic in Gundam Wing: Continuing Legend, a part of the RPG forum.

Original GWing Storyline, now AC 202.

Two Britons in Florence

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:10 am

Florence's tiny Peretola airport lay on the north west side of the city and since the hills on that side made approaches from the north west tricky to say the least and todays wind meant that the approach was across the ancient city. Grimbold looked out of the porthole of the aircraft as the pilot circled round to the south east of the city landing almost into the setting sun which chose this evening to turn a brilliant red the city of Florence below glowed like burnished copper in the evening sun. Even for one as well travelled as Grimbold the site was enough to take his breath away, it is something for one as jaded and world weary as the old mercenary to have his spirits lifted at the sight.
Grimbold decided that he would have to spend as much time as he had exploring this anachronistic city. In a world at war and with so much that was old being swept away with modernity this place was something special. An architectural version of his beloved Aston Martin. The place must be even more difficult to maintain and keep working, and yet it was. He was tempted to wake Alan to see the city but knew his colleague was not moved by the beauty of a place as much as by how defencible it was, in case of attack. It was not that Grimbold was not capable of thinking that way but he was also able to see beyond simple millitary terms and found beauty in art and architecture that Alan would simply not understand.
If he had time he must visit the Sagrestia Nuovo the tomb of the Medici, an automatic draw to any with an even remotely artistic soul.
The plane touched down a little ahead of time and the two were speedily through the controls at the airport and soon out in the world again.

"Alan I think I will walk through the city to the hotel, can you take my bags in a taxi, no point in carrying them if I don't need to."
"Oh god you are not going all arty farty on me again are you?" Alan's question was delivered in the way of friends ribbing one another.
"You mean to tell me that presented with the beauty of this ancient city all you can consider is the best towers for hiding a sniper in?"
"Well now you mention it that big tiled doom would be a good place to start if we knocked some loupholes in it."
"You are a total philistine, I give up on you ever learing the meaning of anything other than 7.62mm or light ordnance. Enjoy your drive to the hotel, I will see you in the morning."
Alan called a taxi and loaded his bags into the boot, Grimbold passed his over and watched the car drive away in the direction of the city.
The walk into the centre of Florence was a little over 4 miles. On an evening like this it would be pure pleasure.
Last edited by Grimbold Theoman on Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:29 am

Sadly by the time Grimbold arrived at the centre of the city the best of the delights were hidden in the twilight. However the walk was good and he felt ready for a good meal and bed. Finding a small restaurant on a street corner he ate a tasty meal, just about making himself understood in his, as it turned out, rather poor Italian.
Then he wandered through the evening streets to the hotel where he found his bags already in his room.
Extracting his laptop from the shoulder bag he sent a mail to Sevtlana to assure her that they would be at the meeting.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:56 am

Waking early after a pleasant sleep Grimbold rose and showered had a quick shave and went to get breakfast. Part way through Alan joined him.
"Morning Alan, have you any plans for spending the morning in this remarkable city?"
Alan gave Grim his usual stare of incomprehension when faced with such comments.
"You know perfectly well that I have no eye for what you call beauty, except in the female gender of course where my taste is, obviously far superior to yours." At his comment it was as if a cloud fled across Grimbold's face, a look of grief that faded and was replaced with a tight look that was almost anger. It was as much expression of emotion as Alan had ever seen on his friends face in almost 15 years of working together. He frowned slightly as he thought,
"I see there is a tale to tell, is it perhaps time to set aside our long rule and talk of this?"
They had worked together on and off for a long time and yet in all the years they had never spoken to each other of their lives outside of the job. Not that they didn't talk Alan was an avid football (OOC soccer) fan, watching any game that was broadcast and spending what was to Grim endless dull hours at various cold pitches watching games live. But in all their long friendship they never spoke of the people in their lives, of loves and other friends.
It was not a rule they had ever vocalised before, they had never needed to it was just something that by unspoken agreement they didn't discuss.
Grimbold sat in silence for a moment before he answered, then taking a big sigh he started.

"I was married you know, had been for a few years. She was called Sara, we met on a protection job I was doing for some scientist at the Einhardt Research and Development Labs."
He paused and seemed to be about to say no more. Looking down at the wreckage of breakfast on the table between them for a moment before raising his head and looking his colleague in the eyes. Alan had never seen a face so full of emotional pain before and was shocked that his old friend had suffered so.
"We had some time together but also a long time apart then when they were about to launch the three new suits a little while ago they facility was attacked she was one of the dead, her death never made the newscasts, just another scientist dying for earth."
With that his face seemed to shut down the expression gone as if it had never been there. He was the mercenary again. Alan sat opposite him in shocked silence for a long time while Grimbold called a waiter over and tried to order English Breakfast Tea, something the Italians, in fact something that almost the whole of the rest of the world, couldn't understand.
Having got another pot of tea, which though not what was asked for was good, Grimbold returned to plans for the day.

"I intend to make a trip to the church of San Lorenzo and look at the Medici Chapel there after that I will take a walk through the city and meet you at the Lame Duck just before 1 this afternoon. No doubt you will find as many arms dealers to do some horsetrading with?"
Alan nodded his assent, then added, "You know how much I like to collect swords and here in the heart of Machiavelian Italy I should be able to come up with some beauties."
Grimbold nodded and rose from the table. He left the hotel and headed off in the direction of the Church of San Lorenzo.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:30 am

The walk to the church was not long but the narrow and winding streets of Florence meant it took some time. The main entrance to the church was to say the least unprepossessing. I face of the building was bare stone with ridges running across it, Michelangelo had been commissioned to design a facade but it had never been completed. There were three doors one centrally and one either side. Grimbold stepped up to the centre door and pushed it open. The interior of the church was stunning and slightly unexpected compared to the outside, and to someone used to the dull stone interior of British Cathederals. This place was bright with white painted walls and two columns of grey stone pillars supporting the roof which was also white with guilt plasterwork. There were few pews and those were towards the front of the church near the alter which was decorated with beautifully painted panels on the marble. It was quiet and peaceful only the sound of his feet echoed about the building as he walked slowly towards the first line of pews.
Grimbold had never had an faith in the word of God and recent events had done nothing to change his oppinion but that didn't change the sense of tranquility that he felt in these holy sites. So he took a place on a pew and bowed his head in thought.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:08 pm

The only problem the mercenary had with the quiet solitude of churches was the way that his thoughts sometimes turned. He was not a young man, and he had hoped that by now he would be in a possition to have retired, or at least got out of the mercenary game which was one for younger players. Though at 45 he was not old in the scheme of things when most of the competition are half your age have suffered half the injuries it takes its toll. Maybe this will be the last job, the one when he would say no more. But then he had said the same thing for the last ten years and here he was preparing to meet another contact for another "put your life on the line for us" job.

He rose and gazed around at the spectacular beauty about him, this time however it was not moving the time of the meeting was approaching and little by little he was hardening himself. Steeling his heart and head so that he could do what was required of him without hesitation. Slowly he locked away the love he still felt for his dead wife, and others he had known and still knew, he could not allow them out while working.

Before he could no longer appreciate the artistry he wandered into the Medici Chapel and watched a group of students working meticulously on the magnificent tombs cleaning them again to their pristine glory. Then turning his back on the chapel and though there were still hours till the meeting he left the church and went out into the market outside the church. Ducking his way through the press of Florentines he looked for a cafe or bar to spend some time until he could go and join Alan for their meeting.

He caught a glimpse across the square of a cafe and wandered in. The place was almost empty just a couple of women sat at a table to the left of the door. Grimbold did little more than glance in their direction before he went to a table on the far right hand side of the cafe and waited for the waitress to approach him.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Svetlana_Popova on Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:10 pm

A message arrives for Grim.

Grimbold,
The shuttle leaves at 1900 hours. Please arrive at least a half hour early.

Svetlana

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:34 pm

Having checked out of the hotel Grimbold had nowhere to go specifically, and if he was honest with himself no desire to spend time with anyone who might talk to him.
He was angry at himself for bringing the subject of his dead wife up again. he should not let it influence his business decisions, but he felt one way to give her death any meaning for him would be if he was able to help, even in a small way, to promote peace. On top of that what with work and Grimbold's natural reticence he had not grieved.

He spent most of the afternoon wandering about Florence. Got something to eat and caught a taxi to get him to the shuttle. He arrived with almost an hour to spare.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:40 pm

Alan arrived at the named time, and Grimbold greeted him with just a nod. Not saying a word he lead the way through the small airport and out to the shuttle departure gate.

They boarded the luxury craft and took the two seats indicated by Svetlana. Grimbold had his second surprise when he saw the red haired man who had also been in the cafe that morning. "Small world" he mused and sat in silence waiting for take off

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