Marco was radically transformed during the last few days, formally he was spending all his days studying magic. However, he cut his entire hair and spent all his days praying silently, mumbling, crying and whispering like mad man - a man in great distress and despair. He only left church at evenings, and then at home kept his poker face.
Something changed about him, the fabrics he wore were simpler and not in line with latest fashion, he stopped working and notified his clients that he was on indefinite vacation. Marco showered less, and brushed his teeth less and spent what was left of his time giving away his possessions to charities.
Marco allowed all his gang to believe that there was no point in keeping these behind. That it was okay, but he planted some subtle messages that things were very wrong. That he was in great distress. Marco knew, that such a radical decent to despair would raise all the red flags at the Vatican - but he did not care. In fact, he was planning for that. It was all clear to him, his monitor is the local priest, the one that kept offering him confessions. Normal people just go to confess - without a priest actively offering them. It was the warning of a good man that works for bad people. Thought Marco. At least this is how Marco understood the priest's behavior now that he had clarity.
After a several days of odd behavior, and giving away everything he owned. Marco received a phone call from a person that despite years of training had no last name. A person who formally did not even exist - father Gabriel. How could the priest not report such a radical change in his behavior? A change that seemed genuine as Marco said his goodbyes to everyone that he knew. Donated his entire fortune and gave away his most beloved furniture, music collection and clothes.
- "What is the matter dear? Why are you so sad? I was praying for you"
Marco replied "I am beginning to realize the errors of my ways and my sins are too many and too numerous to count. I have no hope of redemption so ethereal damnation is my fate.
I lost everything, my family, my identity, my soul - I live in exile in a culture that is foreign to me, whose values I do not share. I lost my way and I sin all the time. I cannot stop it, the passion is stronger than me. I work in the most profane of profession, in the oldest profession in the book I am a whore.
I... I... must be stopped before I sin again. Goodbye old friend, you were my only ray of light in the monastery - but you ended up betraying me just like the rest of them. I forgive you for everything, you did the best you can. "
Marco did not let Gabriel say a word, he simply jumped from the building he was standing on.
He jumped, the long seconds passed on Marco as he was wondering how it felt to actually die. Blake was a professional, the height and the impact area were carefully calculated to bring Marco close to death without actually killing him. High tech physics at its purest form, it was one of the most believable suicides ever. Should the church dig up, they would discover that Marco participated in a violent run - a run where people lost their life. Given his pacifism they are likely to assume that the poor mage was not ready to take life. He struggled for a while, but then gave up.
When Marco wakes up he is at a remote medical facility, his wounds are magically healed but the phantom pain of breaking bones is still there. That moment where he stood on a tall building and just allowed himself to fall down without casting a spell to break his fall. That moment forever changed Marco.
It broke his bones and caused tremendous pain to all his friends.
Marco was unsure how long he was out, his body was still connected to all sort of medical equipment, needles and fluids. His friends and loved one, are likely to receive the bad news. To them Marco was replaced by a black urn of ash mad from Marco's own tissues. To fool forensic exploration, should the Vatican were connected enough to take a sample. It was a brilliant plan, Blake and the rest of the team were truly professionals.
Marco planned to begin his new life with Nikolai, without a single contact.
No friends, no family no nothing, at the fringe of society as a 'guest' of a diabolical Bratva that mocks everything that he is. For the first time in his life, Marco felt as a Shadow-runner. He was free - but was it worth the sacrifice?
Part of Marco hoped never to meet Yelena, that the scary lady would find forgiveness and mercy in her heart and would not pursue vengeance. The other part just wanted to see her again.