Full Circle

Part 6: Ambush

April 19, 1939
April 19 The group heads out, doing a lot of shopping. The Apcotts (stashed at Esme's friend) are okay. Gasoline is acquired, as are chickens. The car is placed beyond a little rise, ready to pull onto the road. Gerti sorts people into combatants (everyone but Dr. Schreber and Esme) and noncombatants. Perhaps Dr. Schreber is a combatant, he could spear someone...

What is being done with the gasoline? Tommy is making firebombs and stashing them in places for people to grab and throw if necessary. Tommy gives brief lessons. "Don't hold them over your head before you throw, because then all the gasoline runs down your arm." Dr. Schreber constructs two spears for himself and Esme.

Gerti and Esme are scouts. Tommy is in the car, ready to pull out to block the road and open up with the machine gun. Everyone else is at one side of the road or the other.

A farm truck passes, with some crates. Eddie thinks it's Alison driving, but Roderick convinces him out of it. The driver sees people hiding in the bushes and gets a little spooked. They let the truck go. It comes back a while later, going the other way, sees that people are still there, and takes off as fast as it can go to report the strangers hiding on the Royalston road.

Eventually, a black panel truck is sighted - one of the scouts recognizes that it's being driven by a Luna Park guy. Tommy pulls into the road, and calls out: "Esme - if we get out of this alive, will you marry me?" Esme is startled, and doesn't answer, and then the panel truck arrives, breaking the mood.

Tommy opens up with the machine gun; it doesn't completely take out the truck, but breaks the front window. The truck tries to drive through Tommy's car, but ends up coming to a stop against its front corner. Eddie maybe shoots the driver, he's not sure; everyone else misses. Gerti precision-places a firebomb under the van. Dr. Schreber throws a firebomb through the front window.

The back doors to the truck open, and a Terrible Black Thing roils out of the back, followed by maybe a couple people. The sight is significantly unsettling. Eddie is stressed out and falls over, shrieking. Dr. Schreber and Tommy both go temporarily insane; Dr. Schreber begins taking notes, fascinated, while Tommy starts spraying bullets at the "German agents."

Esme shoots Montague. Roderick attempts to grab him, but fails. Tommy, searching for targets with the machine gun, accidentally bounces a set of ricochets into Charlie, who falls. The Terrible Black Thing whips at Esme, hitting her. The spare guy misses Gerti. Montague comes for Roderick.

Gerti lights a firebomb, and serenely strides towards the black creature, quoting scripture.

And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
She hits it with her cross, in one hand, and then thrusts her arm, with the lit firebomb, up to the elbow in the creature's blackness.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
There is a blinding (yet peaceful) white explosion, and the creature is no more. Nor is Gerti's arm, which also stops at the elbow.

Montague's friend shoots Gerti, who has just become the scariest thing in the combat, as far as he's concerned. Esme shoots him. Eddie sees the light long enough to hear the Voice of God in his head, whereupon he starts shooting at bad guys, and then wanders into the woods in search of more of them.

Roderick mostly fails to grab Montague, but does keep his attention while other people whack him. Lots of damage later, Esme gets in the last hit.

Gerti manages to shake Dr. Schreber loose from his notes:

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter...
Tommy takes Dr. Schreber prisoner; he tends to Gerti's wounds. Roderick takes the license plates from the toast car; everyone (including the not-quite-dying Charlie, but not the other bodies). Roderick cuts off Montague's head, then sets the pieces on fire and gathers up the remains. He also notes that there are straitjackets and restraint kits in the panel truck, and leaves them there for the police to find.

Gerti, Esme, and Charlie are taken to the hospital; The police end up settling for the story of "beset by lunatics". Ezekial's ashes get put into a big block of concrete.