Chapter 6:


Lights Off

Joseph Taylor's point of view

Lunna: What are our orders boss?

John: We still have the advantage that our enemies don't know we're waiting for them to attack, let's keep that for now.

John: Lunna and Klovis, you will be responsible for observing the church and planning defenses

Luna and Klovis: Yes sir!

John: Stevan, I need you to go to the bell room and report any abnormalities

Stevan: Yes sir!

The 3 then left the room in silence

John: Now you 2

John: You are the people I trust most in this church right now.

John: As an interim measure you will be "promoted"

John: You will have the authority to act on occurrences that do not require my intervention

Emilya: It will be an honor to help you

"I'll do my best..." I mustered up some courage and tried to say in a steady voice

John: Well... I'll entrust you with the two prayers in the language of the angels I know

John: In the case of Miss Rose only the prayer of blessing

Emilya then looked around embarrassed, it was visible that she had learned the healing prayer without Father John's permission

We then did the same "ritual" of tests, we fetched water and Father John taught us the prayers.

There was no way to test the prayer of healing because we disapproved of self-flagellation and beyond our knowledge  everyone in the church was in good condition, so we just had to test the prayer of blessing.

Emilya achieved a blessing effect better than mine but it didn't compare to the effect that Father John did, we didn't really understand why the difference so I assumed that maybe it was like in the RPG I played, the stats directly influence the effectiveness of the “skills ”

I then tell to the 2 of my theory and they both seemed to agree with it, in the meantime we also had the idea of ​​more than one person praying over the same water, Emily and me pray over a glass of water

Our prayers seem to have added up but apparently the effect of it was less than double what would be expected

Finally, we came up with the idea of ​​praying individually over and over again over the same water. The effect was similar to that of praying in pairs but reduced.

There was only one more test left, it was the test to see if another individual could complete the prayer of another

This test took longer than the others as the 3 of us varied between speakers and prayer time. We found that the effect of the prayer depends on factors such as the "power" and how much the "mighty" recited from the prayer.

We spent about an hour with the tests until Lunna texted Father John

John: I got a message from Luna

Emilya: And what does she say?

John: She said that she and Klovis have finished analyzing the church and its surroundings.

John: I called them to discuss the ideas

A few minutes later they arrived in the room

Klovis: Wow! Are you really that thirsty?

John: You can call it research

John: Anyway... What did you think?

Lunna: For starters, we don't know what we're going to deal with, our firearms aren't enough to do significant damage to the lesser demons.

Klovis: Not to mention the Hot Demon you mentioned earlier

Lunna: Klovis we are in a church! Beware of comments

Klovis: Sorry Captain

John: Actually we don't have any information about the demons to come, my occult undercover agent hasn't responded since the last call.

Klovis: Do you think we should get him?

John: No, at least not yet.

John: I have faith that he's busy trying to fit in with the people there.

John: About weapons maybe the 3 of us have managed to figure out a way to increase their effectiveness

Luna: That's great!

Lunna: Picking up where I left off

Lunna: We don't have guns or ammo for everyone so we decided to leave them between the 5

Lunna: By the way, do you allow us to use everything we have in the church?

John: Allowed

Lunna: Right, we'll use the seat seats to cover the windows, we'll use the nails to nail the seats

Lunna: As we're going to keep the disguise, we're not going to adopt any external protection measures other than controlling the entrance and exit of the church as well as the information shared between the faithful who can communicate with the outside.

Lunna: We're in danger of attack so everyone here including me can be considered intruders, so always stay alert

Emilya: Hmm but what if new survivors arrive?

Lunna: Klovis will interrogate them one by one

Emilya looked at Klovis and he smiled with the intention of showing that she could trust him but she looked scared.

Lunna: We'll also filter out the faithful who have the ability to defend themselves and we'll equip them with makeshift weapons using church objects

Father John seemed not to like the idea of ​​using sacred objects as weapons but he knew it was necessary.

Lunna: To avoid casualties we'll build a fort for those who can't fight and we'll give basic combat training and first aid to everyone.

Lunna: Is everyone going according to plan?

We all agreed to the plan without asking any more questions.

John: So let's go down the aisle to inform the faithful

The 5 of us then left the room like a special crew you usually see in movies, as soon as we got to the altar the side conversations ceased and eyes turned to us

Father John was in the middle, Emily and I were on either side of him and behind us were Lunna and Klovis

It didn't take long for Father John to step forward and ask for everyone's attention.

John: My brothers and sisters in battle

John: I have horrible news to give you

The hitherto silent church began to murmur

John: Please don't get flustered

John: I have received news from a trusted agent that our church will be under attack.

The curious mutters became mutters of worry

John: The occult headquarters infiltrated in our city is planning to tame demons in their favor and so soon they plan to take over our church

John: But fear not! God has always been with us!

John: I personally chose 5 to help us survive this event

He then introduced us 1 to 1 as well as our roles on the team.

As soon as Father John introduced me I could see my parents show mixed reactions but the main one was fear for me. When I saw all those people looking at me I started to sweat from my hands, my legs started to lose strength and I couldn't face the crowd

"Change your posture man" Klovis whispered in my ear

"If you can't trust yourself, they can't trust you"

"Remember how you were out there, even if you're scared enough to piss yourself, don't let your enemies and especially your allies notice"

Those words encouraged me a little, as cowardly as I was I couldn't dare disturb the team.

I took a deep breath and thought of the most imposing person I knew, I couldn't look at them like my parents looked at Elai and Annie or do the other way around, that's when I remembered my avatar in the online RPG

He was a paladin who was faithful to the god of justice of that world, he was giant and his armor even bigger

I saw a unique opportunity, that paladin was just a virtual character but I am real, my nature was to help people and protect the weak, in front of that altar I swore to myself that I would not be a burden to my team but a pillar

My change in posture was visible, I was confident, ready to help everyone

"excellent! You seem to get it, now just don't get so confident"

Father John was already finishing his introductions

John: For those of you wondering, we have an extra member looking out for external abnormalities.

Despite being a priest, he seemed unusually very calm, it was like it wasn't the first time he had commanded something like that. I never knew about Father John's origins but in our previous conversations he made it clear that he doesn't like to talk about his past.

After introducing the team members, Father John told about the church's defense plan, the older ones did not take long to complain about having to use church objects as weapons and the younger ones complained about the "censorship" of  information

So we put the plan into action, everyone in the church was working focused on doing their share of the work, whenever I could I checked my cell phone to see if Elai or Annie were texting, from Father John's expression I wasn't the only one to do that

Several hours passed before Elai finally sent a message

11:06PM Elai: Hi

11:08PM Me: Hi?

11:08PM Me: You've been gone all this time and all you have to say is “Hello”? >:c

11:09PM Elai: Eh... My bad, some things happened and I ended up forgetting to talk to you

11:10PM Me: Man, we were worried about you, Father John could barely concentrate on his prayers as he thought about what could have happened

11:11PM Me: He asked Emilya to run the church and told me what was going on

11:12PM Elai: I'll talk to him

And then Father John got a notification on his cell phone and then he went towards his office

Several minutes passed and then Father John came back, I couldn't hide my curiosity and went to him

Joseph: So... How was the conversation?

John: Your friend is a big irresponsible

John: But he and Miss Walker are fine

He told me what had happened in the meantime, I was angry that he didn't let us know right after he left Adam Rickshark's room but at the same time I was relieved that the 2 and even Carmen were alive.

I didn't know if I would see the 3 anytime soon but knowing they were alive improved my focus on work.

Elai Rivers point of view

As soon as I left the room I could see the dark hallway of the house we broke into

It reminded me a little of the time I was leaving my building, that's when I remembered my scythe

"Where did I leave it?" I was thoughtful but the alcohol amnesia was still taking effect.

Walking a little further I could see Tyller sleeping on the floor saying something about loving Annie and about killing me and Carmen to get her attention just for him.

I decided to ignore it, after all Annie would get rid even of me if I threatened Carmen

After I descended the stairs to the first floor I couldn't help but be impressed to see that we managed to make the house even worse.

There was no sign of my scythe and I had to walk being careful not to wake people passed out on the floor until I saw my scythe nailed to the ground next to a woman's hair

I was relieved that it was only her hair that was cut, so I grabbed the scythe and walked out of the house.

"I think I should let John know I'm going back to church"

12:05AM Me: John I'm going back to church

12:06AM Me: By the way do you have holy water?

12:08AM John: Yes we have holy water

12:08AM John: How long do you intend to stay in church?

12:09AM Me: I plan to stay to defend the church, I would like us to discuss our approach after I arrive

12:10AM John: I appreciate you intending to protect us

12:11AM John: In the time you've been away we've got a lot of support for the battle.

12:12AM Me: Support? What kind ?

12:12AM: John: I won't go into details but as soon as you arrive we'll talk more in depth

12:13AM Me: Alright, I'll be there in about 1 hour

I still had a long way to go, just thinking about having to walk for 1 hour with the scythe in my hand made me want to give up, not to mention the demons that would be on the way.

12:18AM John: Mr. Rivers could you provide your location please?

12:19AM Me: Why?

12:19AM John: We got someone to pick you up

12:20AM Me: Will someone pick me up? Wouldn't that be too dangerous?

12:21 AM John: Who will pick you up is a trustworthy person

I was unsure whether someone would pick me up but I sent my location anyway

12:23AM John: In 10 minutes your transport will arrive

12:23AM Me: 10 minutes?!? Did you guys get a military helicopter or something?

12:23AM John: We actually got a car. The pilot said that considering how the streets are now it is possible to arrive in 10 minutes

I didn't know how someone would get to where I was in 10 minutes but I knew that priest was not a person who was easily mistaken

"well... It's 10 minutes, let's kill some time" I said to myself as I saw some demons appear along the way

I was waiting for a good opportunity to try my new brass knuckle but for some reason it wasn't in my pockets anymore

I don't think anyone where I was would rob me, especially since my jacket had secret pockets

"ahh... It looks like it's going to be the classic way" if I wasn't going to be picked up I'd be avoiding the demons

That was a perfect opportunity to learn about my limitations and maybe learn something cool

It was a good plan... At least before I executed it, for 3 minutes I was able to keep the pace, but my scythe which was already heavy, got more and more as my arms got tired.

I managed my energy until a different demon appeared

"What the fuck is this?" I couldn't hold my tongue when I saw him arrive

He was a tall creature almost like the goat's head, but instead of a goat this one had the head of an anteater. He was furry like a werewolf, his claws were big and curved like a sloth's. He had a mane like a horse, his feet were hooves which at that point I was starting to think that this was some pattern among demons

He attacked with open, clumsy blows with his claws but everything that met with those blows was destined for death.

As soon as he saw me he opened his mouth in a way that would be impossible for any common animal, you could see his skin tearing as he did so, he then gave a loud roar and came towards me like a gorilla

“So that's a pattern between you older ones isn't it? Come, monster!" Obviously I wouldn't face the anteater head-on so I dodged his onslaught, he went right over me and used his claws to brake faster

That situation strangely reminded me of a game I played, the name was "Bright Souls", it was common for the avatar to face things much bigger than them, the game was considered to be of high difficulty, even some slackers asked the developers to put the "easy" difficulty

Anyway... As much as there were similarities between the situations, I couldn't die 100 times to discover the weaknesses of that demon, not to mention the fact that I was "playing" in first person

I had to think fast, keeping dodging that anteater would only make me tired, I gathered  energy to run and then lured him to some buildings that were close to me.

I already had some experience thanks to the goat's head so I knew that if I wanted to survive I would have to break his resistance little by little

He followed me with quick advances until we arrived at a building under construction, I let him go straight past me breaking down the door, he came in with everything knocking down whatever was inside

So I was cutting around the walls to weaken the structure while he missed his attacks until in a rush he opened a hole in one of the walls

He didn't know exactly where I was at first, I took the opportunity to slash his chest

Although he felt the blow, it made him more nervous by randomly hitting the air and heading towards me again

I hid between the walls as I wasn't quick to run away, it wasn't like I wanted to run away at that moment either

When he got tired I took the opportunity to attack his legs, as soon as I got it right he turned around at an impressive speed catching me off guard

If I hadn't reacted and made an attempt to dodge his paw I would have died without knowing what had killed me, but his blow was enough to make me fly through the hole he had made earlier

I slammed my left arm into the wall while flying and my fall was not smooth at all, my arm was apparently broken and I was still short of breath from the blow and the fall.

Luckily for me that was all the house needed to finally give in, I didn't have time for anything else but to turn my back and protect my head

The building collapsed with a loud crash as I hoped none of it fell on me, luckily all I found was a huge cloud of dust.

If it was ever hard to breathe before now I was in hell for pulling in a decent amount of air. I managed to get up and put my shirt under my nose and slowly went in one direction dragging my scythe along the way.

I looked like those "reapers" I found outside my building but at least I wasn't the guy inside the building

I managed to get out of the construction area and the scenery was cleaning up and I was finally able to start breathing better even though I was injured

It was then that I heard the sound of rocks being moved and a familiar roar

It was a déjà vu that I didn't want to have had, this time I couldn't think about running, that demon also seemed to be at his last energy.

He came towards me and I wish I could scream like a warrior in his last moments but I could barely stand up.

"If I'm going to die I'll take you with me!" I looked deep into his eyes and tried to mount a guard with the scythe in my right hand

When he got closer I had already accepted to die there until I heard a loud sound of a V8 engine and then a car hit the demon making him fly a few meters and fall like a bag of shit on the ground

The car then skidded to make a 180 and then turned back towards me and came to an abrupt stop just inches from me.

The smell of burnt tire quickly overlaid the dust, I could see the car more clearly, it was a matte black Mustang GT apparently armored and with numerous scratches on the body.

I couldn't see who was inside but then the driver's window opened and a beautiful blonde poked her head out the window.

“Hey! Are you going to stand there just looking or are you going to go in?” her voice was as beautiful as her looks

"Was it Father John who sent you here?" she had to be my "free ride" back to church

"Oh, so you must be his "undercover agent", come in here and we'll talk along the way"

I had nothing to lose so I got in the car and put my backpack and scythe in the back seats.

Lunna: I'm Lunna Victoria, nice to meet you

Elai: Elai Rivers

When I got in the car I could better notice the driver's appearance, she wore a thick white blouse that covered her chest and showed her strong arms, I was wondering how she managed to keep her arms like this in the cold weather.

On her hands were thick leather gloves and on her legs were black pants and military boots.

Lunna: Hold on

Elai: What?

I didn't have time to react, she started the car without mercy

I couldn't help but be a little scared as I saw the speedometer in an instant pass 240km/h

Lunna: What is this face? Is this your first time?

Elai: Yes

Lunna: Just relax, I'll make your first time awesome

Although the ambiguity of our conversation she couldn't be more certain, the streets were empty except for the various demons that inhabited them, she curved like a drift driver in a car game and on the straights the speedometer easily passed 320km/h

It was easy to understand how she got to where I was so fast, compared to that car Carmen seemed to have a limp on all four legs

I was starting to enjoy the trip and she more and more seemed to want to impress me

"Oh too bad... We're already reaching the end" her tone of voice was still ambiguous, I wondered if it was on purpose, I would have to find out later

She then turned the car on its side and controlled the curve until it stopped with impressive precision on the side of the church door.

Lunna: And then... Was it good for you?

I was sweaty and panting, it felt like I had actually done something besides riding a car.

Elai: Yes it was

Lunna: From 0 to 10 what grade do you give me?

Elai: Hmmm I think 10

Luna: 10 right the first time!?!? haha i liked you

Luna: By the way, be careful when going out

I didn't understand what she meant so I just opened the car door and got out, before I could lean against the back door to get my stuff my vision blurred and I felt all my pain back at once. only I couldn't do anything but fall to the ground and pass out

All I could hear later were distant voices

“What did you do to him Lunna?”, “Oh my God! Elai!”, “Is he dead?”

I woke up a while later on the floor of a living room with a pillow and a blanket

"Oh you finally woke up" a female voice said looking at me while leaning against the wall

It was Lunna, she looked very worried

Elai: How long was I passed out?

Lunna: About 10 minutes

Elai: Where am I?

Lunna: In the confession room of the church

As soon as I sat down I realized I was much better but I still felt pain especially in my left arm

Elai: By the way... We haven't known each other for a long time, why were you so worried about me?

Lunna blushed for a while and then responded

Lunna: I couldn't abandon the first person to give me a 10 for my performance

I laughed a little embarrassed after she said that

Lunna: The priest said he wanted to talk to you as soon as you woke up, should I call him?

Elai: I'm going to him, after all I can't stand here

I got up a little dizzy but quickly regained my balance, I was still dusty not to mention the alcohol smell from my clothes

Lunna: Think you can walk alone?

Elai: Relax, this isn't the first time I've been hit hard since darkness came

As soon as I left the room I saw Joseph leaning against the wall as if he was waiting for me to leave the room

Elai: Hi

Joseph: How are you?

Elai: I can breathe a lot better than before but I still feel a little pain in my arm

Joseph then takes a notebook and writes something down on it, as I looked I noticed that there was something different about him, he didn't look the same as before, his look was different from before

Elai: And you? You know you look different than when I was last here

Joseph: You're right, some things changed while you were gone

Elai: I'm curious to know what happened

Elai: But first can you tell me where Father John is?

Joseph: He's just finished helping with battle preparations

Me, Joseph and Lunna then went to where Father John was, on the way Joseph told me how he had met Luna and 2 other men, about the research and the task force that was set up to defend the church.

Honestly I was impressed by the courage Joseph had in facing the demons alone, I probably wouldn't do that.

Elai: Lunna where is my backpack?

Lunna: I left your backpack in the car with your devil toy

Elai: Ok

As soon as we got to where Father John was, everyone there was quiet as if they had just seen a ghost.

Elai: No need to look at me like that, I'll take a shower when I have the opportunity

Some people held back their laughter so as not to disrespect the environment

John: I was hoping you would wake up a little later Mr. Rivers

Elai: We're closer already John, you can call me by my first name

John: Right.

John: If you'll excuse me Elai and I have some things to talk about

The 2 of us then went to his room

Elai: If you allow me to observe, your room looks a lot like his

John: I don't know how to feel about this

Elai: As long as you don't threaten to put an angel to kill me I think it's okay

John: Your ability to play with near-death situations is impressive

John: You vaguely remind me of a boy I once met when I was starting out as a priest

John: This story is for another day

John: I have to ask you now that I've got reinforcements for the church, what do you plan on doing?

Elai: I didn't have much time to think about it, you seem to trust them a lot

John: I had a serious conversation with everyone

John: And you've probably noticed from your trip with the pilot that they're good at what they do.

Elai: You're right, by the way I didn't get a chance to thank you

John: Although you may not know it, it's natural for Christians to worry about the welfare of others even if they hate you and hurt you.

Elai: I think I'm starting to understand how the 2 types of church work

John: Hmm?

Elai: Correct me if I'm wrong

Elai: You here appreciate the collective, you are always helping each other no matter what the other person's state is

Elai: They, on the other hand, are individualists, they just see others as a stepping stone to their goals and don't mind stepping on someone for their own benefit.

John: For a layman on matters of religiosity you seem to have understood the essence of both sides well.

Elai: I can say that I had some good classes recently

Elai: Can I ask you something?

John: Yes

Elai: About this whole situation... I know you are a pacifist just like most people in the church.

Elai: We are approaching a big battle

Elai: How do you feel knowing that you will have to hurt other people to defend the church?

Elai: I recently stopped to analyze the whole situation, killing the demons felt like self-defense as they are naturally evil

Elai: But killing people... I remembered the situation in the alley, I was hesitant to attack the group and I don't know if I regret what I did

John: I understand what you mean

John: If what I say is going to help you, I feel bad thinking about having to kill oppositors 

John: If I can resolve the situation without bloodshed and without surrendering to the dark side, I will gladly accept

John: But if that's not possible, I'll put myself on the front lines to protect the church.

Elai: I see...

Elai: I think I can now answer that question you asked me

John: Oh that's great. You don't need to tell me your answer as long as you are sure of your path

John: What are your plans for now?

Elai: I came back here with the main intention of defending the church but with the reinforcements now I plan to arm myself better and go back to the club

John: Do you plan to do a massacre of your own?

Elai: No, what I plan is to stay by Annie's side and keep her from getting into trouble

Elai: I had a conversation with her, she will remain neutral about this event

John: Your friend has a bigger heart than I expected

Elai: If I have the opportunity to somehow sabotage their side without killing humans I will try

John: I understand

Elai: And you? How do you expect to resolve the situation peacefully?

John: When the time comes I will try to go alone and talk to Mr. Rickshark

Elai: What? With all due respect but this is suicide

John: He doesn't know we're expecting an attack, plus he has reason to want to talk to me alone face to face

Elai: If I may ask the question, what exactly is the relationship between you 2 ?

John: This is a long story of when I built this church.

John: I don't like to talk about my past before I became a priest

John: When I was younger I was pretty arrogant even after I became a priest.

John: This church was built over an old strip tease club that Mr. Rickshark owned

John: The only time I saw Mr. Rickshark was to sign the land ownership papers

John: His appearance was the same as what you had described seeing me when you 2 met

Elai: How long ago did you build this church?

John: It's over 20 years