16 February 2007
The papers we brought back from the church indicated a complex plan, but we were aided in our study of it by some interrogation of the cultists we recovered. There were a few cells scattered around, and they were all going to attack in unison once they received a specific sign. Thankfully, we were able to work out the nature of that sign: the priest we captured was supposed to kill a specific bishop some time today, with the help of a different local cell, and when he sent off a message confirming the deed the others would strike.
Of course, the priest was in no condition to actually carry out that step of the plan or to alert the others to his situation, and they were unlikely to realize he was out of commission. Alice’s claim that he was connected to at least some of the cultists gave us some pause, but we determined that with the ley network’s disruption it would take them longer to check on him than it would take us to act. So we set out.
Alice was left in Melinda’s care after she barely stopped me from ripping Michael to shreds for putting Alice in danger. She promised she would have words with him herself, and I trust that was why he was pulled aside as soon as our plan was made and I didn’t see him before we left in the morning. ‘We’ being Akshainie and me. We were tasked with protecting the bishop at any cost today, to ensure the signal to strike never went out. Meanwhile, Benedict and Michael would round up the cultists from the other cells, who should be gathered nice and tight in their positions.
We arrived at the bishop’s house early, and he greeted us and welcomed us in for breakfast. He had been told we were coming, but was given little more than that, so we roughly explained the situation and showed him our papers from the Hudsons confirming our work was under the auspices of the crown. But there was no activity while we were eating, so Akshainie made her way to an upper floor to watch for movement outside as I escorted the bishop in his duties. We made our way to his study, where he was planning to carry out a period of study. When we got there, he asked me about my faith, and I confessed that while I had a generally Christian understanding of the ultimate afterlife, thanks to my grandmother, my own relationship with the supernatural was a bit too complicated to fit into any religions I’d yet encountered. He pressed for more information on that, and while I hedged my answers a bit to avoid giving away too much detail about myself, we spent the next few hours talking about ghosts, natural spirits, and my function as an Anchor. He seemed fascinated by the idea, but was insistent that all of what I was saying could be explained with a Christian understanding of the mystical side of reality. I entertained his theories, but remained unconvinced.
I was growing antsy, and the increasing frequency of Akshainie poking in to check on us suggested she was, as well. But nothing was happening, and the bishop began urging her to stay and explain her experience of the supernatural. He didn’t know she was a naga, of course, and we didn’t tell him, but she did finally sit down and begin talking about Hinduism until we all returned to the kitchen for lunch. It was there, while we were cleaning up after eating, that we first noticed some movement in the shrubs outside.
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