THE CHURCH IS ONE OFthese monstrous modern buildings that’s more like a cinema than it is a place of quiet reflection.
We’ve tracked Wren down to this small town in Georgia. It took us a couple of weeks, but it turns out he owns numerous churches just like this one—including the one in Reno—and likes to move between them. He shows up to conduct a sermon at them like he’s a rockstar on tour, drawing huge crowds from his adoring worshippers.
The poverty that surrounds it is sickening. While this huge megachurch reaches high into the perfect blue sky, the homes in the streets aligning it are one story with peeling paintwork and broken fences. It’s clear where all the money has gone.
People have come from far and wide to attend, so we’re just five more bodies among hundreds, if not a thousand. We might draw the occasional glance, but not for anything suspicious. Wren has his security, but they’re with him inside now.
Music and voices filter out through the massive doors.
Rafferty turns to Asher. “Are you ready?”
Asher takes off his glasses, cleans them on his shirt, and then slips them back on again. “Fuck, yeah.”
We all clap him on the shoulders, and he gives Honor a brief but fierce hug, and then leaves us to slip around the side of the church. None of us likes splitting up, but in this situation, it’s a necessary evil.
Rafferty looks to me. “And you?”
I rub my hands together. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for almost thirty years.”
Our leader focuses his gaze on Brody, but Brody stops him with a lift of his hand. “I’m with Wilder. I’ve been ready for years.”
Rafferty gives a curt nod then slips his arm around Honor’s shoulder and pulls her in to kiss her head. “You gonna be okay?”
“Don’t worry,” she says, “I’ll place the call, then I’ll be waiting in the car, ready to get you all out of here.”
Honor is the one who helped us put this plan in place. It’s basically her idea, with a few of our own thrown in for good measure. It’s the right thing to do, and it means we’ve come here unarmed.
We don’t need guns. We’ve got something far more powerful.
I turn to face the church and square my shoulders and straighten my spine. My jaw is clenched, and I can feel the flare of my nostrils. I’m so ready for this.
Without giving the others even a backward glance, I storm toward the building. I use my massive strength to throw open the double doors. They fly apart with force, and the people standing nearby leap out of the way to avoid being hit. Exclamations of annoyance ring in my ears, but I don’t give a fuck. I plan to cause chaos. I want to bring this sermon to an end, and if Wren is forced to do so because of a disruption in his audience rather than it just being me, all the better. Wren has security standing around the edges of the room, and they’ll take me down easily enough, but if there’s a general disturbance, it’ll take them longer to both pinpoint the cause of it and also to reach me.
There’s a stage at the front, which Pastor Wren is currently presiding across. It has lights and cameras and a projector that plays silent videos of the pastor preaching his sermons.