3 July 1989
Benedict was praying in one of the sanctuaries when the Cardinal arrived. Silently, the Cardinal sat down beside the priest, waiting for him to finish. After a couple minutes, Benedict rose from the floor and sat in the pew.
"What is it, father?" Benedict asked, in German.
"There are concerns about your account of events in America."
"As there should be."
"There are concerns about your handling of the situation."
"I did only what was necessary to stop a threat to the Church and to mankind."
"I do not doubt you believe that. And it may be that we will, as well. But for now, what you did was...very loud. It raised more questions than it answered." They sat in silence, looking ahead to the crucifix in the front of the room.
"Am I to assume you have an idea?" Benedict finally asked.
"Go home. Take a sabbatical. I'll handle things here, we will investigate the matter further, and I shall contact you if your assistance is needed." The Cardinal stood, straightened his robe, and began to walk out of the pew. He stopped when he reached the aisle, and turned back. "I know your father is very ill. This is as much for you as it is for us. Make good use of the time, Benedict." With that, he left, and Benedict knelt to resume his prayers.
29 June 1989
Flitwick was approaching me with the knife as a chant spread through the room. I whispered a prayer.
"What a fascinating specimen. I had no idea the Vatican had stooped so low as to use nephilim," he said, placing the edge of the blade against my neck. He leaned in close to my ear. "Tell me, do they know?" I closed my eyes and continued my prayer. "Doesn't matter, of course. Once I have your blood, Nachash will rise, and all these religious trappings will fall." I opened my eyes and looked at him.
"Is that what you think? That my blood will help you?"
"Oh, now you want to chat?" he asked, slowly digging the blade into my skin. I hissed as a small trickle of blood began to flow. "I'm sorry, but we are on something of a schedule."
"Don't you know what it means to be a priest?" He reached out and touched the blood, then recoiled and screamed as smoke rose from his finger. The blade dropped and I regained control of my body. I clenched my fist and stepped forward, closing the distance between myself and Flitwick as he backed up. "Whatever I was born as, I'm a holy vessel now." The young man opened his eyes and snapped his head up to stare at me. I had a brief glimpse of his slit pupils before I was thrown backward, cracking the wall behind me.
The rest of the attendees stood, drawing weapons and lunging at me. Those outside entered the house to help. The boy screamed and grabbed his face, collapsing into a heap on the floor. As I was trying to avoid the blows from the others, I saw Flitwick move for the knife and I dove forward to stop him. As the boy screamed again, the markings on the floor began to glow and everyone was thrown, the knife crashing through a window. The markings continued to glow, and energy from them was spinning around the boy, who was working his way to his feet. I knew I didn't have much time, whatever it was that was happening needed to be stopped.
I reached out, placing my hand on one of the circles. Fire shot from my palm, burning away the marking and making the floor smolder. There was a disruption in the energy that upset the boy's balance, and he turned to face me. I felt hands all over my body as the cultists tried to drag me away. A pair of massive yellow eyes were opening in the floor. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, feeling the heat build within me.
Flames erupted from my entire body, and I heard the cultists scream as they let go. I stood, aflame, staring at the boy who floated slightly above the ground over the eyes and surrounded by swirling energy. He raised a hand toward me, and I felt the energy try to push me away. Slowly, I stepped forward, pointing my hands at the eyes and blasting them with fire. A loud, otherworldly scream reverberated through the building, and the boy jerked back. I could hear the crackle of the fires behind me spreading to the house and cultists scrambling around, but kept my eyes on the boy. He went to charge toward me, and I pulled my fists in and drew all the fire into a sphere around me. Just before he made contact, I threw my arms out, emitting a blast of flame in every direction.
The house collapsed in flames, with the cultists inside. As the fire licked at the trees around it, I walked out of the rubble and brushed ash off my shoulder. The fire on my body faded out while I continued, stopping only briefly when I found a large towel to wrap around myself to replace the cassock that had burned off. I climbed into the boat Flitwick had used to reach the site, and rowed back to the mainland as the island burned.
29 June 1989
Those attending the ritual arrived shortly after dark, already cloaked and focused on the work at hand. They didn't seem to notice me, as they gathered in the house to light candles and find their positions. There were around two dozen people in attendance, some stationed at the circle on the floor of the house and others scattered around outside. As I made my way around, I saw a pair of more ornately cloaked figures arrive on a boat and begin making their way to the house. I slipped inside to monitor the activity.
On reaching the center of the circle, one of the figures knelt while the other was given a dagger and a large fang. The one with the implements was clearly in charge, master of this event. As the master lifted the fang up and slowly turned, the others gathered began to chant and kneel. The master suddenly lowered their arms and the island went silent.
"Tonight," the master announced in a voice that was amplified and clearly augmented to sound like a chorus, "the time has come! Nachash shall rise and finish its great work!" Muttered approvals rose from the kneeling crowd. "The goats are gathered. One," pointing the fang at the figure kneeling in the center, "shall take on the sin of mankind and give himself fully to Nachash. The other shall be sacrificed to call it forth!" I looked around and didn't see anyone else with a similar robe, and no one seemed to be stepping forward as the sacrifice. "Show yourself."
I turned in surprise but found the master was indicating the one kneeling at their side. This one lowered his hood, and I saw the face of a young man, somewhere near his late teens. He had long blonde hair and stern green eyes, fixed resolutely on the one standing before him.
"Take the venom," the master said. The boy nodded, and the point of the fang was pressed into his cheek until it drew blood. I began to pace, praying for wisdom about whether or not I needed to interfere. The boy screamed out as that side of his face began to discolor, like a rash spreading along his skin, his eyes closed tight as he took deep breaths to try to stop himself from crying out. I took a step forward to act when the master turned their attention in my direction. "Show yourself," they said, pointing at me with the dagger. I immediately felt myself tugged into the physical realm, my arms and legs frozen in place, and everyone in the house turned to look at me. The master lowered his hood with the edge of the blade and I growled.
"So glad you followed my trail," Professor Flitwick said, pointing the dagger at me again. "It just wouldn't be the same without you."
29 June 1989
I arrived in Southport having already stepped out of the physical reality. I knew that the sheriff was likely not the only member of the cult who could see into the spiritual realm, the effort involved seemed unlikely they would be doing so without some reason to believe I was there. It was, therefore, necessary that I not be seen arriving in the town.
My day was largely spent bartering with a water spirit for access to the island without using a mortal ferry, which required significant discussion as such beings have a general distaste for my kind. By the time I made it to the island, it was late afternoon, and no one had yet arrived. After some hunting around, I found what I believed was the location of the ritual, marked with a similar circle to the one I'd seen in the basement of the hotel. There were only a couple buildings on the island, and all of them seemed temporary, and the circle occupied almost the entirety of one of them. I found a place outside the window where I could keep an eye on things, and waited.
Evidence compiled for use during the trial of Father Benedict de Monte.