Case File: Take Me to Church
|Take Me To Church|
|Dates run:||April 20, 2019-July 28, 2019|
|Read the logs:||Take Me to Church|
"We know one thing." Lorna turned away from her laptop. "Anne was not planning on disappearing."
Prologue: A local branch of the CoH opens in New York City, which immediately rings the bells of any Phase 1 characters who knew about them. The Church is watched and kept on the mansion’s radar, looking for any trace of something more than just recruiting mutants and picketing anything mutant-related.
Main Act: X-Factor is hired by a worried father, who hasn’t seen his eighteen-year-old daughter in nearly a month. While that’s understandably worrying, the girl is legally an adult, and can run off if she wants to. The father reveals that his daughter is a mutant (telekinetic), and that his ex-wife had all but disowned her over it, eventually leading to their divorce. The ex-wife had joined the CoH when the NYC branch had opened, and then re-established contact with her daughter, trying to convince her to go to the Church because they can “save” her.
Knowing the Church’s reputation, they take the case — staking out the church, researching, trying to find any whiff of the CoH being more than a vocal anti-mutant group, taking what they learn from the P1 characters into account. They begin to see a pattern in the areas where other Churches have been opened — kids as young as thirteen to adults in their twenties, thirties, etc., have disappeared. There are police reports and newspaper articles, but as there’s no pattern in the victims, other than a few of them being known mutants, they’re assumed to be runaways, or their parents threw them out and they just left town.
Alex, Hope, and Arthur go to the church for a stakeout, while Bobbi and Sue go to check out the girl’s mother’s house. She isn’t home, and judging by the stack of newspapers on her front step, she hasn’t been for a while. They don’t even need to go inside to find evidence of her anti-mutant views — there’s a sign staked in the grass of her front lawn, which read, “God Hates Mutants.” They go through the papers and realize the earliest one is dated a couple days after the last time the father heard from his daughter.
With everything they know, they try to get eyes in the church by having Hope ghost through and look for her, and find out the girl is tied to a table sound-proofed basement, where a priest is trying “exorcise” her while her mother and a few others pray in the corner. They consider calling the X-Men, but determine that they need to get the girl out Now, and it’s just a few regular people. They can take them.
They break into the church and head straight down to the basement. The priest, startled and frightened, pulls a gun and starts shooting, killing the girl and her mother in the process because he is a terrible shot, and Arthur’s luck is working in their favor. They get the gun away from him and tie him down while rounding up the surviving witnesses, and call Bobbi to deal with turning the priest and the surviving members over to the police (no they can not kill them, no matter how tempting it is), while the news is delivered to the father.
Trivia and Meta
This was the Church's first appearance in Phase 2.
Yes, the plot title is from the song by Hozier. That shouldn't be a surprise. Sam isn't good at titles.