From the records of Lord Hudson
One by one, the beacons were going dark.
I couldn’t contact Benedict or Akshainie while they were in the metaphysical realm, since phones didn’t exactly get reception there, but I could mark their progress by observing the order in which beacons on the other side of town were snuffed out. I didn’t know exactly what they were doing with the cultists—the result from my end would be the same whether the cultists were dead or unconscious—but it hardly seemed important. I was already able to ambush and arrest three lone cultists, but I was carefully watching the beacon on the move. One of them, it seemed, was staying a step ahead of me, and after the third ambush I stopped to study its direction. I checked it against my map when I got suspicious, and grew concerned that it was heading toward the estate.
The estate, of course, could probably defend itself. Roderick and mother were sufficient to handle most isolated threats, and the estate has its own defenses, and of course they had the option of recalling father from London. But I was still concerned, and kept an eye on it until I saw it go dark as well. There was still one more isolated cultist I was tracking, but by this point the line of the other team’s progress was leading directly to what seemed to be a hub of beacons, and I didn’t want to leave them without backup.
On the way there, I received a call from mother. She informed me that Matteson had taken down a cult priest, who was now in the dungeon, and Alice had delivered some paperwork from that priest that indicated the next steps of their plan. I agreed to collect Benedict and Akshainie as soon as we were done with our next strike and return to the estate to study those documents. I also asked how Matteson fared against the priest, and she hesitated before telling me to brace myself for seeing some collateral damage when we returned. I made a mental note of that and we disconnected.
I arrived at an abandoned warehouse outside of town and meditated to sense the presence of people in the metaphysical realm. I waited about ten minutes before I felt the others arrive, and then exited the car as a massive flaming demon and a naga, unmistakably Akshainie, stepped out of the metaphysical realm.
“Is this what you normally look like, Father?” I asked.
“Normally? No,” he replied. The fact that it was Benedict’s voice unnerved me but I couldn’t put my finger on why it should.
“Do you know how many are in there?” Akshainie asked.
“Looks like about thirteen,” I said, “but these things have room for error above five or so.” They both nodded, and Akshainie drew her swords. “What have you done with the others?”
“They’re waiting to be collected, in a shed over there,” she said, pointing back toward a few old houses. “Didn’t seem otherwise occupied.”
“What’s your play, boss?” Benedict asked.
“Do those wings work?” I asked. He nodded. “Then I would like you to start at the top. Stay out of sight until you’re inside, no need to worry the whole countryside with visions of the apocalypse.”
“Akshainie, you start at the loading area over there, and I’ll start at the front entrance. We can all move in toward the center until there’s no one left.”
“Results?” Akshainie asked. I considered that we already had their plans and someone reliable to interrogate, and that we had that information because they had attacked the estate.
“We don’t need any survivors,” I said. “If you want to bother with dragging them back, that’s your problem.” With that, Akshainie and I split up and Benedict vanished. As soon as I was reasonably sure we were all in position, I charged up some offense spells and blew the door open. Inside was a robed figure frantically shoving a pile of trinkets into a suitcase; I threw a bolt of lightning that fried them before they could react. I could hear commotion beginning to echo from other parts of the building, even some gunfire, and raised a mystic shield as I made my way forward.
The other front rooms were empty, and when I entered the large main room I intercepted three people running from Akshainie with another bolt of lightning that arced between them. Split up like that, it wasn’t enough to kill them, but I summoned a sword and finished them off as I passed. Akshainie already had five slain in her path and as I made my way forward she dispatched a sixth. Benedict crashed through the catwalk above us, two figures in each massive hand. They were unconscious, I realized as we all approached each other.
“You’re bringing those ones back to the estate?” I asked. Benedict confirmed he was. “Fine. We need to return, Alice and Matteson have information for us. I don’t suppose you’ll fit in the car with those,” I said, nodding toward the cultists, then turned to Akshainie. “Will you ride back with me, or accompany him?”
“I’ll grab the others and meet you there,” she said. I nodded, thanked them for a job well done, and walked back to the car alone.
Evidence compiled for use during the trial of Father Benedict de Monte.