I went to Gavin's church today. It was a brilliant scheme--undermine faith by giving man a godless religion to believe. Without faith, man would be powerless against the vampires, and they could end the masquerade and come out to rule the world. Thereafter, men would be cattle. Even with Gavin dead, the church was still on course, and I needed to derail it. So Whisp and I went to church, and sat in the front row, and played games with the preacher's head.
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It was actually kind of fun. The guy would talk, and I would interrupt his thought; then as he got back on track, I interrupted his concentration. Then I did it again. Then I got daring, and put a suggestion in his head that he should tell the truth. He told everyone that there was no reason to believe this stuff, that it was all a scam. He was doing very badly. They wrapped up the service early, and took him in the back. He was terrified as to what would happen. We followed them back there. My excuse for being there was to tell them that I was looking for Gavin, that I had found the book he wanted. While I was there, I managed to get alone with the preacher whose strings I had pulled, and, in Greek, told him, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. That release of supernatural power broke down some of the control the vams had over him. It was one thing to use him to break the deception; but he was human, and also mattered. What I had done would destroy the church in ways that would undercut it for a long time, but he should not be the one to suffer all the consequences.
On our way out, we ran into trouble: the chiak was after me. Whisp turned into a bird, and he flew out one window of Raal's cab as I went out the other. We split up, and in a few minutes lost the hunter. However, it tracked him, racing across rooftops. He took it on, and called me psionically. By now I was several miles from him, and it was difficult to see him in the sky at night. However, when he fired that multiblaster of his, it lit up his location like lightning. He missed the target, and melted most of a city block of pavement damaging a number of cars. I headed that way to help him, and he activated every bit of hardware in his body. It was touch-and-go, but using every trick he knew, he managed to kill the chiak. However, the thing was quite tough--by the time it was dead, there was nothing left of it or any of its equipment. It was more than it appeared--part of its abilities were technological, screening devices which Whisp's computer had been able to detect, energy weapons, very unexpected. But there was too little left to get any information from it.
I wasn't done with Gavin or his church, even though he was dead. Father Holer, Raiden, and I had pooled our resources and created a dozen pages of hand-written Greek text in the style of the second century, on poor old paper. Then I photocopied these, and mailed them to his office at the church. I followed this up with an ad in the Trib: Gavin--Did you receive pages of Book of Nod? Should I pursue this?--Alchemist". I expect that what's left of Gavin's properties will be ripped apart by vams searching for those pages. If anyone asks me whence they came, I'll tell them they were sent to me by a contact at the Westminster Cathedral library in England--let them try to enter that bastion of faith.
The Coffee Shoppe is closing its doors. I'm pleased to say I had something to do with that. I got some PC-13 epoxy--bonds everything to everything--and went in to the dimly-lit club late one night, having a soda at a center table. Then I dabbed the epoxy on that Malcavian attractor I got from Henry, and lifted it telekinetically to the ceiling, where I glued it to one of the beams. Since then, the place has been unable to maintain its mood, as more and more of its clientele have been truly mad in so many ways. We're getting a salvage permit for the place, and are going to pull out the beams, load them in a truck provided by Luke, and Raal, Whisp, and I are going to drive out to the southwest desert to dump them where there is no shade for many miles. Let the Malcavians come to it then--and if ever they recover it, they can kill each other to possess it.
Plans to take out the Presemium are coming into shape. Father Holer has taken my advice on creating holy ground. He bought a lunch wagon, and consecrated it for the use of the mission. They take it out on the streets and create a sidewalk cafe around it with a couple of simple ropes, then serve soup to the homeless, coffee to firefighters and police at emergencies, stuff like that. It's called the State Street Mission on the Move--and wherever it's parked, it creates its own holy ground, unassailable by the vampires. That will give us a safe place from which to work. However, a new problem has developed, and I've got to find a way to deal with it: I've got a ghost in my safe house.
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