Despite Robert’s protests and Edgar’s puppy dog eyes, Glory gave them strict orders to stay in the motor home until she returned. Glory had driven to a nearby state park soon after Father Chester had left. She waited there for the boys to wake up before leaving, explaining how dangerous Innsmouth would be.
Robert was particularly angry. “I‘m supposed to be your apprentice, and I- I saved your life once already. I‘m not useless.”
“You’re supposed to be my foster son, and I understand that I‘m not being a very good guardian leaving you here but bringing you with me would be worse. I should be back by tomorrow, and there is plenty of food.” It was not the best solution, and certainly she had no guarantee that she wouldn‘t get herself killed. Leaving them to their own devices for a day or so was only marginally better parenting than dragging them into a situation from which they might not walk away. At least she was sure that Robert would take care of the younger boy, and Edgar seemed to have become his shadow, watching and copying everything he did.
Wrapping the tarnkappe around herself, Glory jogged back to Kingsport, staying far enough away from the road that she wouldn‘t have to worry about an accidental hit and run. She didn’t need to run fast to arrive back in Kingsport in due time. Despite Phoenix’s purported exhaustion, she didn’t have to worry about resting or over exerting herself. He seemed indifferent to her physical exertion. It was only when she tried to use magic or manifest him as a weapon that he was liable to pitch a fit. Running to Kingsport, she’d be just as fresh when she arrived as she was setting out, not that Phoenix was all that keen on going anywhere near large bodies of water. He grudgingly admitted that she couldn’t drown with any permanence, his wording not at all comforting and probably not meant to be.
It was a little before noon that she found her way back to Cindy’s mother’s home, though the Church was another matter. There was no one at the house to ask, not that Glory would have played her hand so early, and the phone book she managed to swipe through an open window had no listing for the Church of Dagon, Reformed or otherwise. She was finally forced simply to wander the neighborhood and hope it was nearby.
A large cluster of cars several blocks over gave her hope that she had found the right place despite there being no signs to indicate what the place was. It was one of those buildings which would have been right at home if found in Bavaria or some quaint little German town, but which had some how been transplanted to a neighborhood of Victorian knock offs. Though it looked residential, there would then have been no reason for all the cars surrounding it. The building sat virtually alone in the crook of a Y-shaped intersection, the building itself triangular to fit into the space. Glory circled it several times before noticing the small refrigerated truck tucked between a back door and a dumpster. Well, if they had to transport a large quantity of blood, they’d certainly want to keep it fresh, right?
She had no other leads, and every instinct told her this was the place. Climbing the side of the truck, she sat on the roof, waiting for someone to come out the back door to confirm her suspicions. As noon arrived, a nearby fire company blasted its siren to mark the time. A few minutes later, the back door opened and Glory was relieved to see one of the priests from the previous evening. As he struggled to manhandle a barrel out the door, several of his congregation began leaving by the front, many of them rubbing one arm or the other. Glory shook her head. She tried not to judge people, but surely one of them could have taken a phlebotomy class and allowed the congregation to give blood in a more civilized and sanitary fashion. Though she couldn’t rule out that the scarification was religious in nature. They probably wouldn‘t welcome her thoughts on the matter any more than they‘d been eager to accept her help.
A few minutes later, Chester and another man showed up and took over the job of maneuvering the barrel down a small flight of steps while his fellow priest unlocked the truck’s back doors and leaned against the side waiting. Glory climbed down from the roof and slipped into the back of the truck, careful not to give herself away by jostling the vehicle. Wedging herself into a corner, she waited for them to load the canister and get underway. She held her breath and anxiously avoided contact with the old man as he slid the metal drum into the opposite corner, securing it to the inside of the truck with several cords.
The trip was uneventful, and dark. What do you know about these people? she asked Phoenix to pass the time, but he confessed that he’d known next to nothing about the sea dwellers up until she encountered them, having successfully kept most of my hosts away from large bodies of water for millennia, he added snidely. His hydrophobia amused her considering he was safely entrenched in her body which was itself two-thirds water, but she didn‘t feel like digging at him about it. Without any way of knowing what dangers awaited her in Innsmouth, she gradually drifted into her null state, only coming back to herself minutes after the truck had come to a stop.
She waited tensely. Inside the truck might as well have been another world for all that she was aware of what was going on outside. Finally she heard the door being opened and stood, wedging herself back into her corner to avoid being found out. The elderly priest came close to touching her as he stumbled in the dark, his palm slamming into the wall inches from her shoulder as he caught himself.
Glory waited several minutes after the drum was removed to check the door. Not that she was worried it might be locked. From past experience she’d discovered that her Mercury tattoo, coupled with her magic circle to attract good spirits and the sign of Aquarius denoting freedom was a handy combination when dealing with locks. She pushed and the door clicked softly as it popped open. Making sure the tarnkappe covered her completely, Glory jumped lightly to the ground, letting the door swing shut behind her, her egress but a playful wind blowing on a poorly shut door.
to Book 5, part 3, page 22