Perkins didn’t say anything on the way over. He knew better. John looked like he could kill someone and Perkins didn’t want it to be him. Pulling up to the bar, John went to the trunk of his car first. He pulled out a hefty duffel bag and then approached the building. The ever watchful bouncer took a step toward him but John leveled him with a direct punch to the jaw. Perkins grinned at the sight and then exited the car quickly to join him.

Through the door and across the bar, John unzipped the bag in a fluid motion and pulled out its contents – the custom made gun he’d used recently against the hordes of Fallen when he battled Gabriel and the Son of Lucifer. John had made some modification to it since, ones he was hoping Midnite wasn’t aware of. The zombie guard at the door to Midnite’s office reached for his gun seeing John pull out the cannon but was too late. John spun the chamber to a particular cylinder and fired a round at him. The hefty bean bag shot was enough to level him and render him useless to Midnite for the time being. Another spin of the cylinder and another shot reduced the door to splinters.

Across the room and at his desk, Midnite rose, “This is the second time you’ve betrayed my house JOHN!” And as if weightless he dove across the desk, across the room, and was upon John. But now came the part Midnite wasn’t expecting. A third blast from the gun and Midnite was splattered with a slimy, muddy substance. Reeling from it, he fell backwards and to his knees. His eyes now glowing, he went to bring his hands up and his mouth formed the words for some devastating spell. But he found himself immobile and unable to utter curses. The mud had wrapped himself around him and bound him as if he was chained.

JOHN!” he said surprised he could speak, “What is the meaning of this?! And what is this stuff?!”

John strode into the room as stone-faced as ever. He pulled a chair up in front of Midnite and sat, setting the gun on the floor. “We are going to have a chat and I need HONEST answers. You have a way of avoiding the truth and I don’t want to be misled anymore. So now, just tell me…why did you do it?”

“I swear John, by the powers of Heaven, Hell and everything in between, if you don’t release me right now I’m g-“ Midnite began but was cut short by a punch across the jaw from John. At this point Perkins entered. Looking up and seeing him, Midnite implored to the priest, “Perkins! What is going on? Release me!” John let him get out the full sentence this time but then delivered another hit, a backhand across the face.
Grabbing him by the collar, “Why Midnite?! Why risk it? And why did you have to kill Cassie?!!!” Not letting him answer, he delivered a pair of punches straight to Midnite’s face before Perkins pulled him off. The reason for the rage very clear now, Perkins pull John back to the chair and held him down with a strong hand on the shoulder.

Sputtering from the now bloodied nose that was also broken and his vision blurring, Midnite seemed almost fearful. “You… you…should know I would never…” and he sagged a bit, clearly weakened from the battery. John went to go at him again but Perkins grabbed him now by both shoulders and pulled him up, turned him around to try and rationalize with him.

“John, what are we doing here? Is this a vendetta? If he dies, we can’t find out ANYTHING!” Perkins yelled at him. His tone was overpowering.

But John would not be entirely detoured. He freed himself from Perkins grip but started tearing the room apart. “Well if he won’t tell me, I’ll find it myself!” Drawers were pulled out, boxes dumped, antiquities smashed. Midnite flinched occasionally at the breaking of some of them.

Midnite looked up at Perkins, “Why?” he sobbed.

“Because you killed them all,” Perkins said plainly. “You kill Cherry, Ammon’s son, Cassie, you almost killed John too, and had me nearly beaten to death!”

Midnite searched for anything to say. “Francis, he was a good man. I help him before. No matter what the Church say, I like him and know he no desserve that. What would he say? He’d know I would never have… don’t you?” Midnite said, his eyes searching for some comfort in Perkins’.

But before any could be found, a gleeful shout was heard across the room. John had turned the room upside down and had come to large Ashgar warshield on the wall. Tearing the item apart, John produced a large sword that had been hidden within it. The sword was old, very old, had an immense pommel, and a crudely struck blade. Coming at once to Midnite he pointed it directly at him. Midnite’s eyes were a mix of both fear and confusion.

“I’ve never seen that before… John! You have to believe me!” he begged.

“Maybe the rest of the bullets he’s made are here too,” John said to Perkins, dropping the sword, and continuing on his hunt through the office.

Crying, Midnite stared at the blade, “Someone is framing me, someone wants me out of this,” he cried.

Perkins knelt beside him and placed a hand on his old “friend’s” shoulder. He took a breath, “This will go much easier on you if you just tell us the truth. It’s not too late.” A whispered “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” could only be heard come from Perkins to Midnite.

Then Midnite uttered a strange grunt and small shockwave erupted through the room with a rippling scream that sounded both angelic and demonic. Recovering, John turned around to see the sword pointed directly at his heart. Midnite held it uneasily though directly. “I told you John, I don’t know where this came from. But if you can’t trust me, I can’t risk that.”

He arched his back and went to lunge the sword but a large blast erupted from behind him. Almost immediately, he dropped to his knees, then fell to his face, the sword clattering on the floor. John’s eyes had followed him all the way down in shock. He then looked up to see Perkins, holding his hand cannon, the barrel still smoking, with a determined look on his face. Letting the gun swing down he walked to John and brought a hand up his shoulder.

“It had to be done John. I know you THOUGHT he was your friend but he clearly wasn’t,” Perkins said plainly. Perkins paused, took a step back, and retrieved the sword. He looked quite the warrior, with two large weapons one in each hand seemingly carried effortlessly. Looking the gun over, “Holy water and dust from Hell?” he asked.

John was struck by his ease at which Perkins seemed to handle the situation. He just nodded a ‘yes.’

“Powerful stuff. He must have had a counter-spell,” Perkins offered. John remained silent. “I’ll call a meeting. I’m sure they’ll send someone, we need to let both sides know we’ve recovered the sword, who had it and so on. I just hope Midnite was working alone and didn’t have any more of those bullets. But I’ll have a team sweep through here just to be sure.”

John mumbled an ‘ok’ not able to get anything else out. Had this all really happened? He looked down and seeing Midnite again with his back tore open from the blast shook John back to reality. He was sure Perkins had said something, but he ignored him, just walked out of the office and straight to the bar. He might not be able to forget what just happened but for at least the short term he was going to try.