A night in a decent hotel with a spa and a buffet did wonders for recuperation. Natalie’s arm was still broken, but would be healed in a week, less if we could swing by the Great Lakes and meet up with Maddie and convince her to heal us. The others wouldn’t go for it, but I had been extra persuasive to Nat last night.
I went into the PI’s office. His secretary, a young woman with her light brown hair in a ponytail, smiled at us, then nodded for us to go back. Inside Matt’s office, we saw Kate standing next to Matt. Another woman stood to the side with a bundle of papers. A few years older than the one in the outer office, she looked a lot more confident than the secretary did.
“Okay, that’s everyone,” Kate said.
Nat and I were the last ones in, so we had to stand while Wally, Delphine, and Rich sat.
Matt nodded. “All right. The good news: we think we’ve got a way for you to capture your guy.”
“Capture?” Rich said. “That doesn’t sound good. I would much prefer kill, destroy, or unmake.”
“Not going to happen,” Matt said. “You’re dealing with an immortal entity the power of which is mind boggling.”
“But you found his Achilles Heel so we can take him down? In a day? Who is he?” Wally was skeptical, and so was I.
Never dealt with this guy myself, but Jack seemed to think he knew his stuff, and Kate has certainly warmed to him.
Matt shook his head. “No clue. Not based on the information we have. Incidentally, if you want to know more about a supernatural entity in the future, I’m going to need more than a physical description of how he kicked your tails.”
“Prick,” Rich said.
“Anyways, what we’ve got is an idea that might be universally applicable. See, a fallen angel, by way of logic, is going to be on the opposite side of God, essentially a demon. And we know from the Bible that demons are subject to Christ and exorcisms.”
“So you want us to perform an exorcism?” I asked. “None of us are priests. Hell, I’m pretty sure Rich would burst into flames if he walked into a church.”
“Just to clarify, a Vegas wedding chapel is not a church,” Rich said.
Everyone chuckled at that. Well, everyone but Matt and his woman. Kate leaned in and whispered something to Matt.
He shrugged. “Again, no. No exorcisms for you guys. Wouldn’t work, anyway. He’s not possessing anyone. He’s physically here. So you have to bind him, but since none of you are priests or wizards, we have to cheat a little. Jen?”
The woman nodded and started passing papers to all of us. The first page was a picture of a priest’s robes behind glass. The second page had a picture of a symbols overlapped on one another. First was the symbol of the trinity, that weird, three-lobed shape that overlapped. Inside the center was a cross. At the junction of the cross was a pentagram.
“Okay, on the first page is what you’re going to use to bind him: the purple stole, the cincture, and the maniple.” He pointed on his own copy of the picture.
“Are you fucking shitting me?” Wally barked.
Rich and Delphine followed up with their own.
“Guys,” Kate stepped forward, “I’ve been through this with him already. He convinced me.”
“These are all symbolic of Christ’s binding. They’re going to carry that symbolic power with them because of people’s beliefs.”
“Kate?” Wally asked.
“I’m with him on this, guys. It doesn’t look like it, but Matt has been through some shit.”
“But belief and faith?”
“Over two billion people identify as Christian,” Matt said. “Half of those are Catholic. You want that kind of belief behind you when you go up against a fallen angel. You need it, in fact. Unless you’ve got his name, this is your only option. You use the vestments to bind, and then you send him home.”
“And that’s what this is?” I gestured to the second page.
“Not exactly. Kate told me you guys know how to open a . . . rift? . . . to the place. This symbol is to keep the other nasties from getting out. It should repel them.”
“So we tie ‘im up and make dis out of lightnin’?” Delphine asked.
“Ideally you would use holy water or fire, or even a combination of all three. None of our research has specified which symbol should be made out of what, just that—What did it say, Jen?”
“ ‘Composed thereof from the various elements to ward away the touch of evil,’ ” she quoted.
“Um, right,” Natalie said. “So where do we get the clothes? Just strip a priest?”
“No,” Matt said. “You’re going to need vestments with a bit of history in them. Specifically these,” he pointed to the picture. “You’re going to need to steal them from a museum.”
“Now this sounds like my kind of plan,” Jack walked in grinning, Anna Maria behind him.
“Oh hell,” Matt said.