"You roll a 666. You don't find a coffee shop. You find a bagel shop. And they don't serve coffee, just damnation!"
"What do you want me to do with the create of grenades in the back?" - Malcolm, referring to, oddly enough, the crate of grenades which just happens to be in his trunk.
"Dominicans use some scratchy toilet paper." - Malcolm
In the registry office, looking through the records for a Justice of the Peace which matches the list that Star received, Jered gets a phone call. He hands the phone over to Maxwell, tells the group that he has been recalled back to Heaven, and makes his way to the Library of Congress to ascend. The other three turn up a name in the records which matches a name on the Dominican list: Father Grandier. They record his address and decide to pay him a visit.
The apartment is in the Georgetown area of DC, in a smallish apartment building. The Dominican, according to the address, lives on the third floor. The trio make their way up there, and at the door, Malcolm tries to pick the lock. He fails, but he does notice that the door was already unlocked. He opens the door, and is hit with a whiff of a strong copper smell. They can see the drying spashes of red on the walls from where they stand in the enterance hallway. Star goes over to the staircase, and pr omptly loses anything she's eaten in the last eight hours, plus some. Maxwell slowly closes the door and Malcolm calls the detective at the DC station, David Keeler. He tips the cops off. While waiting fifteen minutes, Star starts to pull herself back together, and the other two discuss things. It's pretty clear they were too late for this guy.
The cops arrive, along with the police forensics people and an ambulance to take the body away. While the cops start picking through the apartment, the angels stop the detective to talk to him for a bit about leads and whatnot. Then they get to go into the apartment, which is something out of a nightmare, or a horror movie with really realistic effects. The good father was lying staked out in the middle of the living room, spread eagled. He was slit neck to belly, and his innards, especially his intes tines, were used to decorate the apartment. His blood was splashed over the walls, the furniture, and was soaking into the floor. It's hard to imagine that much blood could be inside just one body. Either way, this man is very dead, and from the way th e walls drip, it was very recent. Star and Malcolm check for disturbances in the Symphony, but there is only a little chiming from the destruction of some property. The forensics people point out a few obvious things about the body, that someone had tak en a very long time killing this man, by the way that the arms and legs are perforated with puncture wounds - maybe an awl or a stiletto. And there are rub burn marks around the dead cleric's throat. The second bedroom, converted into a den, has been th oroughly and methodically trashed by someone, and there is a large burn mark in the carpetting, where someone burned a large pile of papers. Books that have been knocked off the walls include the Malleaus Maleficarum. In the pile of ash, there are very small readible bits in latin, and a scrap with 'Franc-' written on it. Malcolm theorizes what went on here.
When it becomes clear that the angels can do no more here, they chose to leave. As soon as they step foot on the sidewalk, they are approached by two people, a blond woman and a large man, dressed in almost identical and fastidiously neat black suits. T hey hold up badges... FBI. The woman is named Janice Preston, and the man is named Lee Matherson. They 'suggest' the angels come with them to have a nice chat. Star suddenly starts becoming very afraid, for no real apparent reason, and she clings to Ma xwell in terror. The five of them find a coffee shop, and when coffee is ordered for a passible cover story, the woman starts to talk. "You know who we are, and let me assure you, if you try to kill us, we are being shadowed, and I can quite assure you, you will be dealt with." So she starts to show the trio photographs of EVERYTHING they have done while in PC - visiting tethers, talking to people, looking at severed heads, the whole works. And then they talk about the Franciscan Monestary, which the Game believes is a Kezef holdout and wants 'cleared out as soon as possible'. They also talk about Factions being loose in the city - something they don't approve of, and their lapdogs, Nightmares, who like to kill clerics and leave their heads in intere sting places. If they take care of some of the Game's dirtywork, then they'll 'deal' with Maxwell's reputation with the FBI. Why, the players wonder, do you want us to do all this for you? Why, because we're the Game, of course. Don't ask silly questi ons.
So the group leaves, knowing the Shedite (shedim?) are of Nightmares and there are many nasty ickies running around the city. Malcolm drives them out to the Monestary, which is about 20 miles outside the main city of DC into Virginia. In the parking lot , with much ado, Maxwell changes clothing from black to white, and then the three of them go inside. Just for arbitrary goofiness, there is a (very) small gift shop. Malcolm goes in and sees if there is a plastic Jesus that just 'calls to him'. Um, no dice. So they pick up some of the pamphlets by the door, and look through them. There are no names in the pamphlets that match up with Star's Dominican List. They check for disturbances in the Symphony, and there are none. Malcolm ducks into a men's b athroom, leaving Maxwell to guard outside, and tries to make a small disturbance by... uh... lighting paper towels on fire. This doesn't do anything, let alone draw a celestial. Then he tries to flush rolls of toilet paper down the toilet, to see if des troying those would create a disturbance. Um, nope. So Malcolm leaves, and they argue about what to do next. Someone comes with the bright idea to go talk to the Head of the Order. After some good solid wandering around and asking people, they get poi nted toward the office of the Head, a man named Fr. Nicolaus Remy. They walk into the office, and it's permeated by a sense of profound calmness, to the point of being really eerie. There are several clocks on the wall, all ticking at the exact same rat e, at the exact same time. The walls are covered with books and framed degrees. The man behind the desk is an older man (60's) with little hair and round rimmed spectacles. [And he resonantes...] The group talk to Fr. Remy about the murders, and his t heories - he doesn't believe his Order will be targetted because they are too far outside the city. In the exchange, the Head gives the group two names of priests he 'believes' will be targets who live in DC. Maxwell gives the Head his cellphone number, and the angels leave.
The angels leave the office. On the way out, Malcolm steps into the gift shop again. This time, there is a Jesus that 'calls out to him'. He buys it - it'll look great on his dashboard. They get into the car, and Malcolm takes the car through a car wa sh so they can talk with the 'fear of being bugged or watched'. So they do talk - who is a demon, who isn't a demon, what is really going on. On the way back to DC, they try to call the two priests to warn them. The first on, Fr. Ron Gardner, doesn't a nswer his phone, and the machine picks up. The second one, Fr. Karl Meade, answers the phone. "Who is this?" Maxwell identifies himself. The cleric hangs up. Malcolm calls again, and the answering machine picks up, and Malcolm leaves a not-so-subtle t hreat. At the last moment, the cleric picks up again. There is a short, terse conversation. "You're comin' from Remy? Heh." It leaves the group feeling generally unsettled. Malcolm calls the detective, and gives him the address of the cleric who did not answer the phone - there might be some new intestines to clean off of furniture.
Malcolm drives around DC for a while, while the group tries to decide what to do about the Shedite, who is apparently of Nightmares. Star becomes very adamant on this 'no killing humans' things, although Maxwell and Malcolm have no problem with killing t he Shedite's hosts to drive it out. Star doesn't even want to hurt the humans, and she's very big on this point. So the talk eventually turns to formeldahyde, and then, to Star's Blessed Magic Hash. Wouldn't it be interesting to give some of _that_ to a demon? Star demonstrates how great it is by lighting up a little.
As the sun is just finished setting, and the demons of DC go, "Ahhhh... essence..." the trio walk into that bar that was targetted as the gang hang out. It is extremely seedy. It makes seedy places look clean. As it is so early, the only inhabitants ar e the bartender who is slowly cleaning glasses, and an incredibly beautiful black woman smoking a cigarette and drinking a glass of beer. The TV is on to some sitcom or another. Star resonates on the woman, gets her names as Mara, and knows that she lik es to be Feared. Malcolm also gets a reading on her, and knows her to be 'necessarily cruel'. So Max gets a drink, as does Malcolm, people look nervous, and leave after finding out the main crowd shows up around 11:00pm-ish. It looks like they're just some rich folks looking for a cheap thrill by coming into a bar like this. So they leave, and start to plan what to do next.