the demonstrations of his power? Where are the signs and wonders that were promised?”Father Gregori’s eyes darted across the sanctuary in accusation, challenginganyone brave enough to meet his gaze for even a moment. He slammed his hand uponthe pulpit as he poured out his torrent of condemnation.“Lies! All lies! They call our Lord a deceiver, yet it is they who deceive! Do notlet their poison corrupt your ears! Do not let the acid dripping from their sanctimonious tongues burn and scorch your soul. Remember whom we serve! He isthe Supreme Lord of this world, the Almighty! Those who swear their life to him shallreap the rewards...those who do not shall suffer torment and anguish!”The priest’s portly frame trembled with valiant restraint, and he raised hisclenched fists in the air.
“Fall down on your knees!”
With a whimper, the members of the congregation jumped from their seats andknelt down upon the cold sanctuary floor, their penitent voices swirling and twirlingtogether into a chorus of sorrow and shame.Father Gregori’s eyes rolled white and he opened his hands as he began theconcluding rite to mark the end of the service. As his ghostly voice soared through thenave, a somber procession of black-robed monks appeared from the side aisles in dualstreams that converged at the center aisle. Their deep, haunting chants intertwinedwith the priest’s rapid-fire incantations, while the congregation wept and repented.The hooded monks revealed neither their hands nor their faces. As the dark paradeapproached the altar, the stream split again, and the monks began to assemblethemselves in the choir stalls behind the priest.With a deep exhaled breath, Father Gregori closed his eyes and clasped his handsin front of his chest.
“In nomine Satanas...”
The last monk in the gloomy procession lifted his hooded visage just enough toreveal a strong unshaven chin and clenched jaw.“...
The monk’s arms, twisted with muscles and emblazoned with sacred tattoos,emerged from beneath his black robes as he walked with slow, measured stepstowards the altar. In his hands, he clutched two sinister automatic pistols.“...