October 31, 2012 (Midnight)
Everyone is sitting in the darkened sanctuary of the Church of St. John the Revelator. Reverend Donald Buxman has just given Gary Faith the sanctuary of the Church despite his actions against Benjamin Hutton. Dillon pulls the Reverend aside and asks him what happens next with Gary.
" I’ll be consulting with Father O’Donnovan about that. He has some contacts with Rome. "
Dillon seems fascinated by this. “Do you mean there’s a Vatican prison that he’s going to?”
Reverend Buxman shrugs. “Something like that is very likely. I don’t know the details but the Church has been combating evil such as this for a very long time and has measures against those that participate in it.”
Dillon then asks if Sabrina can get access to handcuffs or manacles with which to subdue Hutton when the time comes. She says she probably can. They decide that they’ll need two sets, for his hands and his feet. Buxman says that he and O’Donnovan will handle the gathering of the sacramental implements for the exorcism. Meanwhile, everyone just hangs out to wait for the Warden to arrive.
After about an hour, the church echoes with a knock at the sanctuary door. Dillon goes to answer it, peeking out of the nearby window. He sees a female form in a long grey cloak, slightly bloodstained at the bottom. He opens the door. The form lowers the hood to reveal Leilani Capstone. She enters the church without preamble, taking in the scene. " Mr. Salieri was very vague on the phone. " Dillon begins. “There is a situation with a demon.” This gets the Warden’s attention.
Buxman gives the Warden a bit of the history of the demon, how he and Beauvais had exorcised it twenty years ago and now it was back for revenge. Capstone responds that the White Council is not usually called in for exorcisms. Dillon agrees and says that her role would be more for along the lines of containment, that they want to set a magical trap for demon so that the priests can do their work. He wants to know if she thinks that is possible. She says it is, but that if they want to spring a trap that they need a lure. Dillon reminds her that the demon hates Buxman. She seems incredulous that they intend to use the priest as bait. Dillon also allows that the demon has promised to kill him next time he sees him as well.
They set aside the idea of the lure and settle into a discussion of the trap itself. Capstone can essentially set up a reverse ward, a powerful magical circle on the ceiling of the sanctuary. She will set herself up in the rafters in order to activate it at the right time. Yuriko thinks that the fact that they are on consecrated ground will add to the power of the warding, though the wizard and the priest is not sure as neither have performed such an act on holy ground before.
Returning to the idea of getting Hutton to the church, Capstone brings up the idea of using the demon’s name to lure him in as an irritant. She can amplify it with her power, drawing the demon toward the church.
Of course, there is still the problem of what to do once Hutton is in the ward. Can Reverend Buxman and Father O’Donnovan perform the exorcism without laying hands on Hutton? Buxman isn’t sure—he’ll have to consult with O’Donnovan. He’ll make a phone call. But his gut tells him that if he can, it’ll be more difficult. Could others perform the physical part of the sacraments—apply the holy wafers, holy water, etc.? Yes, they could. Would they harm Sabrina if she were helping subdue Hutton? Yes, they could, with her special. . .condition. Buxman returns with word that, yes, the exorcism could be performed without the priests laying hands on the subject.
Finally they decide that once he is subdued with manacles, they will strap Hutton down to a makeshift “table” made of 2×4s, allowing Sabrina to be out of the way of the holy implements. Dillon and the others will be briefed on the cues of the sacraments in order to help the priests administer them so that they do not have to enter the circle. Dillon and Sabrina will subdue Hutton while Yuriko will be on ladder detail and Nick will be on standby with the makeshift table.
Everyone is on-board with the plan and arrangements are made to contact the Warden at least an hour before “go” time. She will be in contact with Buxman for access to church to complete her ritual preparations while everyone waits on O’Donnovan’s arrival.
Capstone then asks if anyone has Benjamin Hutton’s True Name. Everyone looks to Gary. He denies that he has it. But Reverend Buxman turns to him and rebukes him, saying that considering all that has been done for him that he ought to come out with it if he knows it. He comes clean and reveals that his true name is Benjamin Brandon Hutton. Capstone also has Buxman write down the demon’s name for her. The Warden also would like a personal belonging of Hutton’s for the ritual, if possible. Sabrina says she can get it from his apartment.
The Warden then asks if Hutton summoned this demon. Dillon says that he did. Then she asks if he will be turned over to her when this exorcism is done. “Well,” he says, “our investigation revealed that he believed that he was summoning a spirit of knowledge.” Capstone responds that the White Council will make that determination and bear that in mind.
November 1, 2012
The next day, Nick and Dillon borrow the church’s van to go to Home Depot to gather supplies for the makeshift “table” to be used to secure Hutton. Sabrina gathers some of Hutton’s belongings from his apartment for Capstone and also secures two sets of manacles while the Warden begins preparing her rituals. Yuriko begins preparations of sandwiches and Gatorade for everyone.
Buxman and Dillon discuss the possibility further interfering in White Council business regarding Hutton. Or, alternately, trusting that the man will be found innocent and leaving it be. Buxman brings up the possibility that the Council will want to speak the two of them, being as how Dillon brought up the fact that his investigation is what shed light on Hutton’s innocence. This upsets Dillon, making him think of being railroaded into some sort of tribunal, with rubber hoses and such. Buxman thinks that it will only come that as a last resort, that they will work through the Warden. Dillon is not reassured.
November 2, 2012
O’Donnovan is a brusque, cranky, and rather intense. It’s hard to tell if that’s just his manner, the jet lag, or something else. He’s not happy about the part of the plan in which the demon is being tackled in the circle. He thinks its foolhardy and dangerous. He keeps saying how he’s seen people that have their necks snapped by possessed people and he doesn’t want to see it again. Finally, he relents and accepts it, moving on to talk about Gary Faith.
Gary is apparently going to be picked up in a couple of days by agents of the Church from Rome. The debate is whether to wait to do the exorcism until he’s gone in order to delay dealing with the White Council regarding Hutton. Hutton is sure to finger Gary as soon as he’s able and then that will put the Church in an awkward position unless Gary is long gone. However, Buxman reminds everyone that they have a moral obligation to deal with the demon sooner rather than later. Buxman says that he will talk with his superiors in the Diocese about backing his decision to give Gary sanctuary. He should have already done this anyway—that was a mistake on his part. O’Donnovan says that regardless the men from Rome are coming. In the course of the conversation, O’Donnovan makes it known that he probably wouldn’t have given Gary sanctuary, but then he’s a “weak, sinful man—aren’t we all?” This cynicism takes Dillon aback.
While Buxman goes away to speak to his superiors, Dillon has O’Donnavan brief him and the others on the cues of the exorcism sacrament. Over the course of the conversation, he tries to glean an insight on the nature of the man’s faith, but fails. Finally, Buxman returns and says that the Diocese will back his play—begrudgingly—though they do wish that he had consulted with them first. He believes that the fact that the gentlemen from Rome are on their way did sway their decision.
With the backing of the Diocese on the sanctuary, the group decides to go ahead and begin their plan.
Dillon takes Buxman aside and asks he feels that O’Donnovan is the right man for this exorcism. Buxman reassures him that he is the most experienced exorcist he could find, that he has seen and battled much darkness in his time. Dillon is afraid that he is much too cynical and maybe not faithful enough for the job. Buxman says that he has faith in him.
Dillon then calls Sabrina and tells her to meet them at the Church of St. John the Revelator. The plan is about to go down. He then takes Buxman aside again and asks if O’Donnovan knows about his and Sabrina’s special natures. “No. . .I thought it best to omit that.”
“Will he react badly?”
“I wasn’t sure.”
“I’ll take that as a yes, then.”
Everyone loads up in the church van and heads over to St. Johns. Pews are cleared out of the entry way and looking up Yuriko sees the magical sigils that Warden Capstone has painted on the ceiling to form the wards that will be used to trap Hutton.
Dillon uses some of the extra paint left behind by Capstone to draw two magical circles for the priests to stand in. Then they call the Warden. Sabrina arrives soon after and is briefed on the plan. About a half hour after that, the Warden arrives.
The Warden has Reverend Buxman sit in the center of the “circle” formed by her ward. She then has him begin to repeatedly say the name of the demon. “Athralanax. Ahtralanax. Athralanax.” She is up in the rafters, chanting to her self. Others can make out parts of chant including the name “Benjamin Brandon Hutton”. A warm wind of power forms in the column formed by the painted circle and the Reverend, moving his hair. “Athralanax. Athralanax. Athralanax.” Yuriko observes the ritual, noting how the wizard is attempting form a supernatural connection with Hutton’s body as the priest attempts to form a connection with the spirit within. She also notes that the some of the trappings of the spell are similar to a summoning. Dillon takes up a position watching out of the front windows of the church. Finally, after about forty-five minutes, Dillon sees Hutton walking down the sidewalk in front of the building. The sun is going down and the wind is blowing leaves across the sidewalk.
“Positions everyone! He’s here!”
Everyone moves and Capstone changes the cadence of her chant. Dillon powers up his magical circles around the priests. Hutton opens the front doors to the church. He is met with silence. He steps inside.
“Buxman, you should know better than to call my name. Even this paltry chapel won’t protect you from me.”
Buxman calls back. “It is time for you to go back where you belong.”
Hutton begins to cross the room. Once he hits the area of the ward a loud whomp is heard and a shimmer light forms around him. The priests begin the Lord’s Prayer as Yuriko begins to move out from her hiding place with the ladder. Hutton sights Dillon standing between the priests and says “You! You will burn for this! Fuego!” He points a finger at Dillon and the column of light fills with flame. Hutton howls in anger and pain but no flames leave the column. Nick begins moving out from his hiding place with the makeshift table as Capstone skitters along the ceiling rafters toward the ladder. Sabrina moves from hiding toward the warded area and sweeps Hutton’s feet, knocking him off-balance. Dillon moves forward and begins to grapple with him, taking advantage of his toppled state.
Yuriko moves forward to grab a old candlestick she might need as a weapon should need arise. Hutton continues to struggle in Dillon‘s grasp, his supernatural strength stymied by both the ward and the consecrated ground. Nick continues to standby with the “table” until Hutton is subdued. Capstone shimmies down the ladder as Sabrina manages to get manacles on Hutton’s feet. Dillon then reinforces his hold on the demon and forces him prone to the ground.
Yuriko moves a bit closer to the action as Hutton manages to break himself free of Dillon’s hold, spitting and cussing the entire time. Nick continues to stand by as Capstone joins Yuriko. Sabrina grabs the still-prone Hutton and holds him down while Dillon manacles his hands.
Yuriko then runs around the action and shuts the front door. She then returns to stand with Capstone. Hutton struggles against his bonds, describing with agonizing detail how horribly they will all die at his hands. Nick slides the “table” to them while Sabrina and Dillon secure the demon to the boards with straps.
The priests have been praying throughout this entire exchange. Now the liturgy changes to exorcism sacraments proper and Dillon begins applying the wafers, the holy water, and the stole from his fanny pack at the proper cues. Everyone gathers around the ward and watches as the exorcism takes place. Finally, Hutton ceases to struggle and spit and a misty entity exits his body from his mouth and nostrils and hovers in the air for a moment and fades away.
Hutton opens his eyes and blinks taking in the scene around him. All he says is “I’m very thirsty.” Dillon what the last thing he remembers is. After a few halting sentences he says that he remembers everything—like a bad dream.
“I have a pretty good idea.”
“Then you know you’ll be coming with me.”
After everyone has some food and Gatorade, the Warden leaves with Hutton. As she goes, she turns to Dillon and says “You did good work.” Dillon watches as they head down the street. He asks O’Donnovan how they will know if the men who come for Gary will be legitimate—what if the White Council send someone after Gary claiming to be from the VBI (what Dillon has taken to calling the men from Rome). O’Donnovan says that the men will have official seals from Rome. Everyone loads up into the van and heads home, after taking O’Donnovan to his hotel room.
November 3, 2012
The next afternoon, Dillon is told that there is someone outside the church looking for him. He goes outside and is met with a stunningly handsome young man in threadbare, bargain bin clothes. He introduces himself as Trevidian and asks if they can talk.
Dillon is instantly suspicious, knowing that Trevidian is Lyst Cather’s dad and that he is supposed to be imprisoned by Queen Mab of the Winter Court. Also that he is reputed to be creative and cruel.
“How do you know me?” he asks the rogue Sidhe.
“If you must know, I got your name from Queen Mab.” This did not reassure Dillon, knowing that his name was known to the court. “I understand that you are looking into the matter of the death of my son. I owe someone a blood debt for that. How close are you to figuring out who I can exact my vengeance upon?”
“I honestly don’t know. I’m only eliminating people at this point. Hubbard was interfering but didn’t kill your son. According to the gruff, he only wanted to interfere with your ability to collect on the blood debt. But then you’ve had a long-standing friendship with him.”
“Will you keep me informed of your progress on this? If you’re already looking into this anyway?”
Dillon sighed. “Look, no offense, but I’m already tied up with you people enough.”
Trevidian‘s expression darkened. "Very well. If you will not help me find my son’s killer, then stay out of my way." Then he stormed off.
“If the rumors I’m hearing are correct, I have a good a guess.”
“He wanted me to help him find his son’s killer. I told I didn’t want to get involved. Was that the right or wrong thing to say? Have I made a lot of enemies now?”
“You’re certainly asking for a lot of free advice. . .”
“No, I’m exchanging information. Now you know the rumors are true and you know he talked to me and what about. Do what you want with that. In exchange, answer my questions.”
“You’re learning to play the game very well for a mortal.”
“Will he stalk me?
“Only if he thinks you’re on the trial of his son’s killer. You have probably made an enemy of Trevidian, but he will not be distracted by petty slights at this time or he will go right back into his prison.”
“Then Mab has him on a tight leash?”
“You could say that. He was released for one purpose, to secure the blood debt against the killer of his son.”
The two met at Darla’s Diner near the Police Bureau. Dillon caught the police detective up on the visit with Trevidian and the blood debt. He also gave Tom a description of Trevidian and a reminded him of the efficacy of iron against the fae. Tom said he would bear all of this in mind as he continued his investigation, which, by the way, had no further leads.
November 4, 2012
That morning, Gary is picked up from the church by two very well-dressed men in a rental car and taken to the airport.
The rest of the group collect iron filings.
November 5, 2012 (Late Night)
“I was coming to the church, but this is as good a place as any.”
Dillon blinks. "It’s kind of late to be calling. . . "
" Where’s Gary Faith? "
“I couldn’t say.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“I honestly don’t know where he is.”
Dillon nods . “That’s where the investigation directed us and he admitted as much.”
“And yet you didn’t turn him over to me.”
“You were very specific about taking Hutton.”
“Is that the game you’re going to play?”
“No game. I’m giving you very specific information and he, Gary, requested very specific things. If it helps, I can testify as to what I know.”
Dillon raises his hands. “Can’t I just tell you and you write it down? Would I have to go somewhere?”
Capstone smirks. “I can take your written testimony.” Nevertheless, she seems perturbed at the situation.
“I last saw Gary being taken away by two well-dressed men called by Father O’Donnovan. Gary asked for help from the Church and got it. It was a chance for repentance that he would have never gotten from the Wardens.”
Capstone sighs. “And you swear upon your name that this testimony is the truth?”
Dillon affirms that it is.
“Then I will take it to the Council.” Capstone turns and walks back into the night.
November 6, 2012 (Early Morning)
Dillon returns to the church to see police cars and an ambulance. Reverend Buxman is there speaking to the police about an apparent break-in. Father Tyler, one of the younger priests of the parish, is in the ambulance. He was badly beaten. Buxman, though, seems oddly confident that answers will be coming soon. Dillon wonders what that means.
He takes the priest aside and catches him up on the Capstone/Gary Faith situation. He also speculates on whether the break-in has anything to do with current events. Buxman doesn’t think so. “My gut says no. My faith tells me no.”
Dillon asks if there is anything he can do. Buxman responds only to pray and to persevere. Dillon calls Yuriko and updates her on the situation. There was no forced entry into the church. No disturbance in the sanctuary. Only the beating of Father Tyler. . .