November 6, 2012
That afternoon, Dillon goes to the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Hospital to visit with Father Christopher Tyler. Before visiting with the priest, Dillon contacts Reverend Buxman to find out how “in the know” Father Tyler is about matters of the supernatural. Reverend Buxman indicates that Father Tyler is not “in the know” in the fight against the supernatural. Speaking of which, he would like to speak to Dillon after his interview with Father Tyler.
Father Tyler is a younger priest at the parish who identifies well with some of the younger, more educated parishioners. He was raised in the Church and went straight into the seminary and sometimes comes off as a bit naïve, which puts off some of the more seasoned members of the congregation.
Father Tyler is propped up on some pillows in a hospital bed. He is connected to some monitors and has a few bandages on his face. His arms, not covered by the hospital gown, are heavily bruised. He turns slightly in Dillon’s direction as he enters the room and tries to smile warmly. “Dillon, how are you? Have a seat.”
At first the two talk about his injuries, which are substantial but stable. Mostly, he is battered and bruised, but should pull through. Nothing is broken. The doctors wish to observe him overnight, but will probably release him in the morning.
Dillon decides to steer the talk to the crux of the matter—what actually happened in the sanctuary last night. At first, Dillon can tell that Father Tyler is reluctant to talk about what happened. He’s hesitant, but Dillon skillfully guides him into revealing what actually happened to him last night.
“I was lighting the candles in the sanctuary. The outer doors were open. I open them sometimes to allow some of the indigent folks to come in and pray. It was just past midnight at this point. I…I know we don’t normally open the doors at that hour, but I wanted to show that we open our arms to the poor, the needy. I am sometimes thought to be, well, cold, to some of the less fortunate in our congregation and I wanted to make a gesture, however small, that we, that I, am open to their concerns. It is prideful, I suppose, but , well, it was such a small thing. But last night was different. I was in the older part of the sanctuary, near the locked door. I felt a cold wind blow in. And then I felt a force. A presence. A sense of menace. Then I saw it. It was semi-transparent. Man-shaped. And it glowed slightly in the candlelight. Then the blows came. Hard and fast. And then I was unconscious. That’s all I remember. You must think I’m crazy.”
Dillon reassures him that he does not think him crazy and thanks him for the truth of his story. He notices that while he’s been talking to Father Tyler, Tom Casing has texted him, asking Dillon call him.
Dillon asks Father Tyler to clarify about the figure that he saw—did he see any details such as a face or anything to identify the figure? “No,” Father Tyler says, “It kind of glowed around the outside and was shadowy in the middle. It was just vaguely man-shaped. I didn’t get a good look at it before it started pounding me.”
“Is there anyone who would be angry enough at you to do this?” Dillon asked.
“No, no one that I can think of. Besides, I don’t think it was there for me. I think I just came upon it in the old part of the sanctuary there near the locked door and it just came at me.”
“Locked door? Have you ever been in there?”
“Yes, only once. It’s a scriptorium with a small library.”
Dillon thanks the priest for his time and wishes him a speedy recovery. He then heads out and texts Tom Casing, asking if he wants to call or meet somewhere or what. Tom texts back: CALL BACK—BREAK IN CASE. So Dillon calls him.
“We got a break in the ritual murder case. We’ve been looking at older cases, trying to find a link and found something. Back in 1987, there was a series of ritualistic murders by a man named Ronald Feeney. They all bore markings very similar to the ones we’ve been seeing in these murders. Feeney was killed in the final raid of his hideout. He had taken a kidnap victim, a five-year-old boy named Edgar Abel. Edgar was to be his final victim, but was saved. Since then, Abel has been in and out of institutions, diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. He has a history of violent outbursts, but no homicides. However, his last known whereabouts was Oklahoma—where that car was stolen from. He’s now a ‘Person of Interest’ in this case and we have a APB out for him.”
Dillon asks if there is a picture and if he can have it. Tom says that there is and that he can, so he sends it to his phone. Dillon also asks if there is occult paraphernalia with the Feeney case evidence that he can look through. Casing is reluctant at first, but says that since he is an occult consultant that he can probably look at it once he gets a hold of it. Once Dillon gets the picture of Abel, he indicates that it is the person that he and Yuriko and Nick had followed that night from the youth hostel. Unfortunately, as Tom puts it, there is no A-B-C—no chain of evidence, to link Abel to the murders. Only a chain of coincidences. Dillon confirms again that he can look at the evidence with Tom once he secures it and hangs up. Then he goes to Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church.
Before heading into Father Buxman’s office, Dillon goes into the older part of the sanctuary and takes a look at the locked door. He notes a series of scratches and carvings around the frame of the old door. Then he goes to meet with the priest.
Buxman indicates that he had a very “interesting” conversation with a young woman that’s been volunteering at the food pantry this afternoon. She seems to have some insight into the attack on Father Tyler, in fact. It seems this woman, by the name of Angelica Underwood, believes that the attack was motivated by someone called “The Shrouded One” that is targeting the Church. Much to Dillon’s surprise, Buxman reveals that the Church has charged Saint Andre’s with protecting a certain book, a magical grimoire, from being found. Apparently this Angelica knows about the book and believes that this Shrouded One is trying to get it.
Buxman is confident that the Church can continue to protect the book, but Dillon is not as confident about this Angelica character. He suggests that Reverend Buxman hide the key to the scriptorium, beneath which the book is apparently hidden. The book is also protected by the spiritual wards (only against spiritual creatures) and has other “physical” protections. Apparently the fact that the sanctuary was open lessened the protection of the Church’s threshold. Dillon is also afraid that Buxman is the next obvious target for this Shrouded One—or Angelica—or anyone else who may know about the book. Buxman also feels that Angelica means them no harm, but Dillon is not so sure. Buxman suggests that Dillon speak with Angelica and get some of his questions answered and gives him her card. It lists her as a licensed massage therapist and has her name and number. He’s skeptical but takes it. First he wants to talk to some people before talking to her, get some information first. The priest also entrusts the key to the scriptorium to Dillon. The two then part ways.
Dillon then goes to visit Yuriko. She is also skeptical of the coincidental nature of this Angelica person turning up just before the attack on Father Tyler and her information on the book. She agrees to keep the key safe in her apartment behind all of her wards. After discussing the matter, Yuriko decides to follow up on the Shrouded One with Aleister to see if he has ever heard of such a person. Dillon is going to see if Nick has ever heard of Angelica or if he can find out anything about her and also will follow up with Tom Casing about the evidence from the Feeney case.