D Is For Damien: Chapter 10
Getting Down To Business
FATHER DAMIEN WAS at home when Damien arrived, and, as Damien had expected, Kat was too. Father Damien let him in the kitchen door and as he entered the room she stared at him, looking very irritated. Damien sat down beside her at the counter and she moved away a little bit. He gave her a reproachful look so she relented and moved back.
Damien sighed and locked his fingers together upon the counter. "Kat, it's time to start getting things straight here," he began.
"We've got things straight enough for me," Kat replied.
"Not quite," Damien interjected. "You obviously don't know all that's going on here. There's this cult, Kat, and they--"
"Oh, I know that already!" Kat snapped. "Where do you think I was last year? It's called Scorpio, and this Derrick Grant guy is involved with them, and your family was involved too. But this cult excuse won't work for everything, Dami."
"It's no excuse," Damien said defensively. "I never claimed it was, and I never used it as such. Heck, Kat, I didn't even know the name of it till last year, same as you. But we've got to talk this all over, before everything else is all over!"
"Please," Kat muttered.
"Maybe I should try to help here," Father Damien interrupted, clasping his hands together as well and looking at them. They both nodded, so he continued.
"You see, Kat, Scorpio's interested mainly in three things," he started. "As all cults are." He counted off on his fingers. "Number one is to get people in your cult. Number two is to keep people in your cult. And number three is to maintain the privacy of your cult so no one really knows what it is that you're up to. Scorpio is looking after all of these things, one at a time. But what they're after now can see to the welfare of them all. Kat, do you believe in miracles?"
Kat looked taken aback. She hadn't expected that question. "I don't know," she admitted. "I suppose I'd have to see one to believe it."
Father Damien nodded. "That's good. An open mind, but not gullible. So try to keep an open mind, Kat, because what Damien and I are about to tell you next might test your belief a little."
Kat glanced from one to the other, looking somewhat suspicious, but finally sat back with a nod. "Go ahead," she said. "I'm ready."
Damien took the silver letter from around his neck and handed it to Kat. "You remember this. You were there with me when I got the gold one in the mail, and you saw how I reacted."
Kat nodded, fingering the smooth surface of the D. "What was there, some kind of poem? One is silver, one is gold, take the new but keep the old. You were surprised to get the second one. You'd been thinking your uncle was dead."
Damien nodded and took the D back. "This is a part of my legacy, Kat. This D and the other D's with it."
Kat looked stupefied. "Others? I thought there were only two."
"There's another one, hidden, and it's made of diamonds."
Kat snorted. "Pretty expensive legacy," she said sarcastically. "Is it really yours, or did you steal it from somebody?"
Damien opened his mouth to say something, something which wouldn't have been pleasant from the look of it, but Father Damien quickly cut him off. "They're not stolen," he said. "I swear to that. They've been passed down through my side of the family for generations, and as I had no children myself I gave the first to Damien."
"So what's this got to do with anything?" Kat asked.
"These D's," Father Damien started, "are what Scorpio wants. These are what they need to make certain all of their needs are seen to."
"And just how is that?" Kat asked. Her patience appeared to be waning. "What in the world can they do with a few letters?"
Damien leaned forward now and said, in a low voice, "Kat, it's said--remember, I'm saying it's said--that, when these D's are interlocked to form a triangle, the one made of diamonds forming the top, they have a special power--the power to cure anything."
A brief pause. Then Kat suddenly burst out laughing. Damien sat back, half surprised by her reaction. He hadn't expected it to be very favorable; then again, he hadn't expected this, either. "Please!" she cried, waving her hand. "Don't give me this junk, Dami. I get enough of it every other day as it is."
"It isn't junk, Kat," Damien said. His uncle noticed how his eyebrows had gone down and he seemed to almost be scowling, but was relieved that he somehow managed to hold his temper. "Family history says that these D's go back to the time of a saint called Damian--who just happened to be the patron saint of physicians. So naturally, what else should the D's do?"
Kat just grinned and reached out her hand to examine the D. "Well, how do they work then? What do I do, say 'Abracadabra'?"
Damien pounded his fist on the counter, causing her to jump back. "Kat!"
Father Damien held up his hands with a tired look, obviously not enjoying himself. "Let's all just calm down and listen to what everybody else has to say, okay? Is that all right with you?"
Kat looked dubious, and Damien looked the same, but finally both sighed and settled back, resigned. "All right, Dami," Kat said. "You've got my ears for now. But make it quick, tell the whole thing, and let's get this all over with. Start with Scorpio. What's this got to do with Scorpio?"
Damien sighed again. "The leader of the cult is named Luther Broderick," he started. "That much you might already know. What you don't know is just how long this whole thing has been going on. It's been going on for years and years, Kat, and it's not going to stop tomorrow...."
"I hope he shows up," Amy murmured, craning her neck anxiously as she watched both the doors to the store and to the outside, she and Choby and Damon seated in a booth at the B&C. She'd asked Damien to meet with them, so they could bounce some ideas off him about their book. Damon was still pretty much refusing to take an active part in it, protesting lamely how much he'd hate his life laid out in a book for millions of people to see, but Amy kept telling him to shut up until he did.
"I'd love people reading about me," Amy had said. "And I'm sure Choby would too. Warts and all."
Choby had agreed, then gaped at her. "Warts?"
"Here he comes," he said now, craning his neck. They turned. Damien entered through the store entrance this time. He obviously wasn't sure why they wanted him there, judging from the puzzled look on his face. He came over and joined them, sitting down beside Damon, who scooted aside.
"I'm kind of busy," he said, "but you wanted to talk?"
"Yeah," Amy said, barely able to contain herself. "Choby told us you didn't want us getting too involved in this stuff that's going on."
Damien nodded. "And I hope you don't. What you did already is enough, and I don't know if I said thanks or not. But I don't really need your help anymore, and I'd prefer it if you stayed out. Which means you also don't go digging up any more stuff," and he looked directly at Choby, who cleared his throat and squirmed uncomfortably.
"Well, not exactly," he said, "but we do have another idea. C'mon, you tell him, Amy."
"Yeah!" Amy said. "We've been thinking together, and we came up with the idea that we should write a book. And the good thing is, it'd be all about you."
Damien's look was dubious. "Book?"
"That's the cool part. It could be about all the stuff that's been going on. Whatever we don't know we could gloss over. We could put in all the good stuff and keep out all the boring stuff. That way it'd be a great book for sure."
Damien opened his mouth to talk, then shut it again, rolling his eyes as Amy continued.
"I could dictate and Choby could type it out. Damon knows English, he could edit it."
"I think not!" Damon retorted.
"We know you don't," Choby said.
"But the final copy would be entirely up to you, 'cause basically it is your story. We could create a whole new genre." She said the word with relish and a strong, fake French accent. "It'd be a nonfiction novel! How's that sound?"
She pressed on without letting him answer. "But the thing is, you or someone else with you would have to keep us informed of all that's going on. Like if you get killed, you'd have to let us know so we could get it right."
Damien sighed and shook his head, rubbing his eyes. "I really don't think writing a book about me is a good idea," he said. "If you guys want to test your creative juices or whatever, that's fine, go ahead. But not with me."
"Why not?" Amy asked. "A lot more interesting stuff's happened to you than to all of us combined. We could write a great book."
"That's not the point. I don't like the idea of my life story sitting out on some bookshelf where anybody could go pick it up and just read it."
"Told you," Damon said.
"Plus, do you really think it'd be too good to put Scorpio in a book?" Damien pointed out. "Not only do I not like it, but it could be a bad idea."
"But we could make it work out," Amy insisted. "Whatever you don't want to tell us, we could make up. But it would still be your story."
Damien stood up, still shaking his head. "I really don't think you should write a book about me. I don't like the idea. If I wanted a book I could have had one by now, and no offense, it wouldn't be by any of you guys. I know how you tend to see things as they happen. And it's not quite as they happen. I have to get going now. See you all later. After this blows over." He nodded at them and turned away before they could see the exasperated look he got on his face, rolling his eyes as he walked away. "Book," he muttered, disappearing out the door.
The others were silent for a moment or two, gathering their thoughts. "He can't stop us," Choby finally muttered. "We could still write a book without him."
"But you heard what he said!" Damon protested. "No book!"
"Yeah," Amy said, ignoring Damon and focusing on what Choby said. She was warming up to the idea. "Yeah, I get what you mean! I see it exactly! We can do an unauthorized biography!"
Damon sighed and dropped his head again as they started talking excitedly. "You guys just can't get the point," he murmured.