Happiness, it hurt like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run
- Florence + The Machine, Dog Days are Over
The party regrouped at Darius Fitzgerald’s house, to have some early evening drinks and process the events of the day. Interviewing Marci, they found she tried to stonewall on the Glorious Church of the Unified Spirit… until Silver Fang decided enough was enough, and if he was going to get nearly murdered twice in a single day, he ought to know what’s going on.
Marci finally elaborated that the Church itself was in OKC, in the Paseo district. She relayed the church’s teachings, and revealed that the Minister, Uriah Long, had found out that a near-death experience can bond a human and a ghost into a perfect spiritual state – a Shining One. She had come to believe that all of the new people she had met that day were Shining Ones, so she was definitely okay with leading them to the building.
Just before they left, Dr. Black and Eufemia ducked out to work on their school activities, and another Sin-Eater knocked on the door: Gregory, a student of Dr. Fitzpatrick. He had apparently run into some trouble, judging from his Glasgow grin – his mouth was expanded by knife blade nearly from ear to ear. He elected to accompany them to the Church. There was no resistance, as the party seemed to innately trust him.
The drive up was silent – except for the Tejano station that Hector’s truck was always blaring – until they got to the Paseo, and Marci navigated the party to the church itself. The building was unassuming, and only possessed a single floor. There was a smallish guard detail outside, though: a human who was very clearly tweaking, and five ghosts. The battle went by fairly quickly: Darius opened by using his Tear-Stained Shroud to gain a tactical advantage, while the others went all-out. One ghost had a sticky webbing it could use to trap opponents: it missed more often than not, but it was quite bothersome. Another could pull people’s blood out of their pores, dealing small amounts of damage as it did so. Also annoying, but ultimately not very threatening to the group.
The end was near when Jack doused one of the ghosts in alcohol, and Darius switched to the Pyre-Flame Shroud to ignite it. Within a few rounds, it spiraled out of control, exploding into ectoplasm and destroying another ghost. Reinvigorated, the party went on to forcefully dispel two more ghosts before the last one finally fled. Meanwhile, Silver Fang was experiencing the exhilaration of hand-to-hand combat. After ducking and weaving, not even trading blows with the tweaker, Silver Fang finally got in a body-destroying haymaker, reducing the tweaker to a meaty gelatin smeared across the Church’s front porch.
Gregory, the new guy, jumped out of the back of the truck, seeing the problem adequately dealt with. Upon noticing that the door was locked, he delivered an ironclad kick to the door, blasting it inward and completely freeing it from its hinges. Entering the building, the party discovered that the auditorium was set up just like any other modern congregation would have it. A single door was lit from inside, which they homed in on.
They burst in, interrupting some obscene communion that involved a pentacle composed of some white substance (assumed to be goat semen), candles, and a portal to the Underworld. Darius immediately opened fire on Uriah, who was performing the ritual. After bandaging up the unconscious, bleeding man, the party moved to explore the cavern that was inexplicably opened from the back of the room, hoping to track the Church to its source.