Red was unable to move. It was mostly due to the fact that each of his
legs were tied tightly to the legs of the chair he was in and his hands were
tied behind his back, but it also owed something to the gun being pointed
at him. Not his own gun, of course, that was still invisible in it's holster,
but a regular, run of the mill, deadly, non-holy gun. His sword, on the other
hand, had been taken from him. He hoped he'd be able to find it (if he could
get out of this) but he worried that he might not be able to - he hadn't looked
too closely and he wasn't sure what it looked like. Admittedly, however, that
worry weighed less on his mind at the time than the gun pointed at him did.
He had never had a gun pointed at him before, as far as he could remember,
and he assumed it would not be the type of thing you forgot. James Bond, he
realized, was even cooler than he had thought, staying so nonchalant in the
face of danger. Of course Bond had the luxury of living twice, whereas Red
was pretty certain that this one was the only life he'd get. Somewhere in
the back of his mind, he told himself that he couldn't die here. He knew he
had to die a martyr, and there was little chance of that while being held
at gunpoint by a child molesting priest who may (but more likely may not)
be Jesus. The rest of his mind was busy not wanting to be shot.
Father David Patrick, who Red had pretty much confirmed as a pervert but
was still only an alleged Christ, was the person doing the gun pointing. Somehow,
when he'd touched Red's hand, in addition to curing what ailed him and (supposedly)
absolving his sins, he had realized that Red was a Saint. Then there was the
bit with the running and the frogs, but eventually, it ended up here, with
Red unable to move due to the ropes and the fear of death.
"Who are you?" said Father Patrick, "What are you doing here?
Are you just here to… see… the children or do you have a purpose
here? Who sent you? How did you know about my frogs?"
Red was also gagged. He mumbled something to that effect and Father Patrick
gestured to the one he'd called Simon. Simon undid the gag.
"Are you going to answer my question or are you going to be difficult?" Patrick
"In reverse order," Red said, "Both, you dumped them on me,
I'd rather not say, the latter, getting captured apparently, and just this
guy, you know?"
Patrick smacked Red in the face with the gun. Red spit, but accidentally
miscalculated the force of it, and the bloody saliva landed on his jacket,
the blood only slightly darker than the jackets natural color. "Don't
play games with me, your Holiness. I don't care if you are a Saint, I'm not
going to let you jeopardize my plans. It's not too late for you to join me,
you know. With your help, I'm sure nothing can stand in our way. I know in
some ways you and I are… kindred spirits." He leaned in close to
Red, whispering in his ear, the gun barrel pressed into his chest. "At
my side you could have… any… child… you wish."
"Ok, you know what," Red said, "This has gone far enough,
I'm not a pedophile!"
"I'm not," Red repeated.
"Of course not," he said.
"No, really. I was just, you know… saying that."
"Of course. I believe you. After all, you're a holy man, and we both
know holy men would never do such things. Simon? Let's go. He might be more
willing to talk after he sits and thinks about his situation for a while." With
that Father Patrick and Simon both left Red alone in the room to assess the
situation. Red knew he was on the first floor somewhere, but had become a
bit disoriented due to the slight beatings he'd taken on the way here. They
had brought the chair in for just this occasion. Otherwise the room was empty.
The first thing Red did was struggle against his ropes. It didn't really
do much. He wished he had remembered to tense his muscles when they were tying
him (he remembered reading that somewhere) but at the time he was just trying
to make sure their punches didn't break his glasses. He couldn't get out of
the ropes. His next thought was to get his gun, but with his hands behind
him, he had no way to reach into his jacket to retrieve the unseen and unfelt
weapon. He considered trying to toss himself over, to perhaps break the chair,
but as it was made of metal, it seemed unlikely that Red could break it so
After a moment, an idea struck him. He rocked back and forth for a moment,
and throwing his momentum into it, he managed to rock forward onto his feet.
He was still tied to the chair, but now he was standing, hunched over, with
the chair tied to his feet and arms. He tentatively tried walking. It didn't
work very well. He could only move each foot about and inch at a time. It
took him about three or four minutes to waddle in this way over to the door.
Then he looked down at the doorknob.
He slowly turned around. He tried to back up and take the knob in his hands,
but the back legs of the chair hit the door and prevented him from getting
close enough. Another minute or so of turning back around, and he tried to
grab the knob between his elbow and his side. During his third attempt at
turning the knob this way he lost his balance. He fell forward, his face and
upper body smooshed flat up against the door. It was in this half standing,
half leaning position that he realized he would just have to wait and see
what Patrick had planned for him.
Twenty minutes passed. During that time Red did a lot of thinking. It started
out very constructive- trying to figure out the route out of the building
from there, considering what Patrick was going to do with such a large quantity
of frogs, that type of thing. By the time ten minutes had gone by, he had
worked his way around to wondering if DI&R were going to make him go to
Christmas mass. At the end of the twenty minutes, he was trying to deduce
what ingredients were in McDonald's Shamrock Shake when the door opened and
his face quickly made contact with the floor.
"Jesus, what the hell-?" Simon yelled out, shocked. He grabbed
Red and the chair and rolled them onto their back. Red was too busy wincing
in pain to notice how much less distinct Simon now looked. "What happened
here? Oh, broke your glasses, huh?"
Red opened his eyes completely for the first time since the fall. He could
barely see a foot in front of his face. Everything was just shapes.
"Perhaps Father Patrick can heal these for you, too," Simon said,
picking up what seemed to Red to be the two pieces of his fractured glasses.
They had split, for what he could see, on the nosepiece. Right down the middle.
Simon slipped the two pieces into Red's breast pocket. "You can ask him
when you see him. Let's go." He grabbed the chair back and dragged Red
away by it.
"You know…" said Red, groggily, "I could always walk." Blobs
of color drifted past him refusing to solidify into recognizable items as
he was dragged along. "No reply? That's too bad, I was just beginning
to like the sound of your voice. Hey, there's something we both seem to agree
upon, right? We're not so different, you and me. We could be pals, I think.
Sure, there's that whole pedophile issue between us, what with you working
for one, and me thinking they're disgusting. And the you beating me up bit,
too. But what say we put all that behind us, ok? You let me go, I'll never
come back, ever."
"I'm afraid we can't take that risk, your Holiness," said Father
Patrick. Red's chair was spun around and he found himself facing a crimson
blob that appeared to be sitting on an enormous possibly wood carved chair. "You're
either going to join us, or you're going to die. Thank you Simon, that will
Once the door had closed Father Patrick added, "You can come back out
now." A few more shapes, three or four, came out from behind Patrick's
throne. Red was incredibly displeased to find that they were flesh colored.
They moved in close to Patrick and covered up much of his crimson color. "Mmmm,
thank you little ones. Now, your Holiness, why are you here?"
Red was squinting with all his might but could not make out exactly what
was happening at the other side of the room. "I came to hear if what
I heard about you was true."
"That I am the lord?"
"Mostly that you're a sick fuck, but that too, I guess."
"Oh come, now, name calling? It does not befit a man of your title.
Especially not one who shares my proclivities, isn't that right? Kimmy, why
don't you make our guest more comfortable?"
One of the flesh colored blobs moved away from Patrick and drifted towards
Red. With each step it took closer, Red was more and more certain that it
was a young woman, and more and more certain that she was fairly naked.
"Care to dance?" she said, closing in on him and seeping into focus.
"Oh, God," he said, turning away from her.
"Come on," she said, straddling one of his knees, "Relax.
Father Patrick saved us, he can save you, too, just like he is going to do
Red glanced over towards her face. Her eyes were wide and innocent looking,
but Red could tell it was mostly a put on. Her arms reached around his neck. "Please,
just get off of me."
"Why?" she asked, "Do you not like me?"
"Why are you doing this with him?"
"If it wasn't for him, I'd be dead. We all would. We owe him everything… our
parents said so." She loosened his tie and unbuttoned a few of his shirt
"Your parents agreed to this?"
"I gave her the life she has right now," Patrick called out to
him, "They know I could take it from her just as easily. It's mine to
do with as I please."
"What's you're name, cutie?" Kimmy asked as she began kissing at
"Stop, it, just stop it!" said Red, "Get the hell off of me!
I don't like little girls!"
"Oh come on, your Holiness," Patrick called from across the room, "Just
enjoy it. How about this: I swear on all that's holy that she is eighteen."
"Actually," Kimmy said, "It's my birthday. What did you get
me?" She reached down and slipped her fingers below Red's belt, causing
Red to accidentally tip them over sideways, sending them toppling to the floor.
Red got knocked on the side of the head fairly hard and he could feel a stinging
sensation where the chair was pushing down on his arm. Kimmy, on the other
hand, landed face first and was unable to free her hand from his belt in time
to catch herself. As close as he was to her, Red guessed that she had broken
her nose, which explained both the blood and the screaming she was doing.
The crimson blob launched itself off of the brown one and headed straight
for them. "I offer you power. I offer you a place at my side. I share
my children with you!" The crimson blob, now clearly Patrick in some
sort of ceremonial robes, helped Kimmy to her feet. "And what do you
do? You spit my offer back in my face, and you break this beautiful young
woman's nose!" He kicked Red hard in the face.
"Stand still, Kimberly," Patrick said, as Red looked up, blinking
the blood from his eye, he put his hand on her face. He could not see any
of the details, but the red color that had spilled all over the girl's front
disappeared in a moment, as did her sobs. "There, there, dear, it's alright.
Are you ok?"
"Yes, Father," she said, "Thank you."
"You're very welcome, my child. I shall always take care of you," he
said, "Just as you take care of me. Go get ready for the mass." Kimmy
and the other flesh colored blobs hurried out of the room.
"Don't make promises you can't keep, you dirtbag…" said Red, "You… you
are going to pay for this, and these kids are going to be free."
"Don't make me laugh," Patrick said, kicking Red in the gut, "They
have as much chance of being free as you do!" He stepped on Red's face,
grinding it down against the floor. "I don't think you understand what
is going on here. I am going to become God! No one can be free from God's
power! The choice will be simple, bow before me, or feel my wrath! Now, here's
the plan, tell me what you think."
Patrick walked father away, and picked something up. When he returned closer,
Red recognized it as a roll of duct tape. "First of all, you are going
to shut up," he said, crouching down to place a strip of the adhesive
over Red's mouth. He leaned in close to him and continued. "Then I am
going to kick you in the head until you are unconscious. After that we'll
fix you up nice and pretty. Then I'm going to kill you. Any objections? No?
Well, then, let's begin." He rose up, drew back his foot, and proceeded
with the kicking. Red only remembered the first three.
Red awoke to the sound of a hymn. He came into consciousness cautiously,
in anticipation of a throbbing headache that surprised him by not existing.
He could still barely see- his glasses were still off, but he no longer ached
as much as he had. Sure, his arms ached from being tied to this cross, supporting
most of his weight and all, but all the punches, the kicks… he no longer
felt their effects. He glanced down at his shoulder and saw that the bloodstain
was gone. In fact, he couldn't feel any blood at all. Not in his mouth, not
dried on his face. Maybe Patrick really was doing these miracles.
He was, as previously stated, tied to a cross. His arms were holding up most
of his weight, although his legs were also tied to the main pole at the ankles.
The ropes were tied very tightly, so slipping loose was out again. He considered
falling over again, his feet were only about a foot off the ground, but he
found the supports at the bottom of the cross were too well made. He could
not move it at all, and the duct tape was still over his mouth.
He could not see behind him, but in front of him was a mass of the color
red. From the way it seemed to sway he guessed it was a curtain. From the
sound of it, the hymn was being sung directly on the other side of that curtain.
It shortly drew to a close.
"My good people!" shouted Father Patrick. "My good people,
my heart swells seeing all your faces out there tonight! I told you that this
would be the single most important mass of our good church's history and lo!
You did come! And I do promise you- this will be the single most important
thing you ever see in your whole life. Why? Because, my friends, because the
Lord and I are going to call upon you, yes, you to summon up every ounce of
your faith and join in a Holy crusade!"
Red heard a murmur of talking from the crowd.
"Now, as you know, I have been doing the Lord's work on this Earth for
some time. I have shepherded His flock through the good and the bad, and when
great suffering befell His children, His children who knew no sin, He reached
down inside me and showed me that I could heal them! All I need do is lay
my hands upon those beautiful children, and they have been saved, both physically
and spiritually. Since that time, I know each and every one of you present
here have devoted yourselves and your children to the joy of the church, and
I want you to know that both He and I appreciate your support. But now we
need to ask for more.
"Ever since these miracles began, there have been rumors. I know you
have heard them, they spread through the town like wildfire. Someone would
see what I had done, see the impossible made possible, and they would whisper… 'Could
it be…?' 'Do you think he could be…?' 'Is it even conceivable…?'
Yes. Yes, it is conceivable, and more than that, it's true."
The murmur of talking began building again.
"I am Jesus Christ reborn!"
The murmur exploded into and outright cacophony.
"Quiet, please! Quiet!"
After a minute or two of pleading with the crowd for silence, they relented.
Half of them seemed to be cheering for him, and half wanted to kill him. They
settled down for a moment to at least hear what he had to say.
"I understand that you don't all believe me. I accept that. Just as
Jesus himself faced non-believers, I do as well. If you truly do not believe
I am the Son of God, you may go, and never return. However, a word of warning!
God does not look favorably upon those who turn on His son. Therefor consider
your decision carefully. If you truly decide that you must, then go- but know
that I take no responsibility for what may befall you. I tried to save you.
Now, you may go. Those that stay will be blessed and told of God's plan for
the Earth's salvation."
The crowd remained vocally silent for the most part, but the sound of movement
filled the room. Red had no way of knowing how much of the congregation was
leaving, but he could definitely tell that some of them were.
Red had an itch on his back. He was trying to rub his back against the cross
in such a way that it would scratch the itch, but he was having little success.
Every time he thought he was satisfied, it would creep back into the realm
of annoyance and he'd have to do it all over again. He was just about to get
just the right spot when a scream pierced the ears of every head in the room.
It came from the direction Red had figured to be the exit. He might have been
imagining it, but he though he heard every head in the place turn to face
the rear as groups of people returned inside.
"Frogs!" a woman shrieked, bursting into the room.
"Hundreds! Thousands!" added another.
"They're falling from the sky!" yelled a man.
"You see!" shouted Patrick, triumphantly. "You see what God
has in store for those that turn on his son!"
"He is the Son of God!" concluded someone. Red thought the voice
sounded an awful lot like Simon's. The crowd was buzzing yet again. They sounded
like an equal mix of fear, awe, and elation.
"What are we supposed to do now?" a man called out over the din.
"What are we supposed to do now?" echoed Patrick. "I am glad
you asked, my good man. What we are supposed to do, what we are obligated
to do, what we have been charged by God to do is to make the world back into
the paradise it once was! John tells us in the Bible that when Jesus returns
to the Earth, it will be the end of the world. He was correct, but not in
the way he thought. The world as we know it will be gone, yes, but in it's
place will be a new Eden! I shall lead us to the new paradise and you shall
be the Holy army that keeps all sinners from standing in God's way!"
"An army?" someone asked, "We're just families, just normal
"Now, you are just normal people," he said "But God will provide
for his chosen, as he has always done. You have all joined the ranks of the
Righteous! Nothing can truly get between us and our goal."
"Where have I heard that before," Red though to himself. Red felt
quite confident that this guy was not Jesus. If he hadn't seen the mass quantity
of frogs being delivered into the guy's basement earlier, sure, he might have
been fooled by his con act, but now… He knew what he needed to, all
he had to do was get loose, and get out of there. He was sure Argento would
have some good advice on how to proceed from there. Of course to do that he'd
have to deal with the ropes, duct tape, and cross, and he still had no solution
for those little obstacles.
"We have amongst our flock," Patrick was saying, "Those who
have experience in all manner of warfare. God has been grooming our church,
silently preparing us for this moment, for this day to arise!"
"Do you have the support of the Pope?"
Patrick was silent for a moment.
"The Pope," he eventually continued, "is deaf to the true
voice of God. He does not yet recognize my divinity. We will show him the
error of his ways."
"How can we go up against the entire Catholic Church?"
"I did not say it will be easy, I merely said I will be done. Once again,
you are free to leave at any time, but you know what fate awaits you."
The entire room fell silent. Not a person so much as moved.
"Very well. I thank you all," Father Patrick said. "In truth,
I suspect our strongest resistance will come from within the tainted reaches
of our own faith. In fact, they have already begun to strike against us. Just
today, the heretics, the disbelievers sent a man to infiltrate our ranks."
The murmuring again.
"Fear not, my children, for God, who knows and sees all, loves his son.
He told me to suspect this man, and I am pleased to tell you that he is a
threat no more."
All of a sudden the red blur that was spread before Red shifted off to one
side and a bright set of lights blinded him temporarily. A huge number of
gasps occurred all at once. When Red's eyes adjusted, he though he recognized
the same main chamber he had entered when he first arrived at the church.
The many moving multi-colored blobs before him he assumed were the members
of the congregation. Very near to him was the familiar crimson of Father Patrick,
with a group of smaller blobs Red could only guess to be alter boys from Patrick's
collection. Red really really wanted to make a crack, but the duct tape held
him in check.
"This is he! This is the infidel that has come to see our Lords plans
The crowd's murmur was most assuredly a negative one. Mostly anger, if Red
was reading it right.
"Don't worry, my friends! I have spoken with my Father, and he has made
it perfectly clear to me what must be done. God Himself has instructed me,
nay, ordered me to take this infidel's life."
The murmur of the crowd continued. Red was very uncomfortable with the
percentage that seemed to be calling for his blood. It was the majority. He
closed his eyes and tried to breathe more deeply through his nose. He was
just noticing how hard it was getting to do that with his hands up like they
were. He shook it off and told himself he was not going to die. He was having
a hard time believing it.
He looked over at Patrick, who was standing at the altar. He picked up something
long and light glinted off it into Red's eyes.
"God has instructed me," David said, "to take this blade and
rend the heretic in twain. It is likely the death of this man will start a
war between us and the infidels, a war we are going to win even if it brings
years of death, suffering, and all manner of misery upon us. But it is a war
we must fight!
"When I spoke to my Father, I asked Him, 'Father, could we not just
let the man live? Could we not release him and let the infidels believe what
they will, just go on as we have for years, content with the knowledge that
we are the true faith? Why must we make this man into a martyr?'"
Red's eyes widened.
"'My Son,' He told me, 'Though you are divine, it is not your place
to question your God. My will is all. You must kill this man, let his blood
stir the blood of the infidels into war. You shall prevail and you shall lead
My people into paradise.'"
Red had begun to struggle as hard as he possibly could against the ropes.
It did not matter to him if he had already tried it, and proved it futile.
It did not matter if the ropes were starting to cut into his skin due to the
force of his struggling. All that mattered was that Father David Patrick was
standing in front of him holding a sword with every intention of making him
into a martyr.
"With this, I seal all of our destinies," Patrick said. "May
God have mercy upon your soul."