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Fern     There is the soft sound of music being played in the back of the church this morning. Notes are strummed along slowly, almost as if the musician knows what she's doing, but since she doesn't she often hits wrong notes and messes up that fluid scale.

    Fern is sitting in the back row, a guitar across her lap as she picks at it, trying to make -something- that sounds good. Luckily there isn't anyone else in here this morning to cover their ears.
Tina Tina steps into the auditorium through one of the doorways flanking the pulpit, her ancient brass chandler's staff in hand to tend the candelabras. Blinking at the misplucked scales played over and over, she approaches the guitarist slowly, careful of the lit wick at the end of the staff.

"Good morning, Miss Fern. You seem inspired today," she observes, gently teasing her friend. "I hope you are well today."
Fern     Glancing up, Fern grins wide and says, "Tina! Hey." She stops her strumming and sits up a bit more, head shaking slightly. "Do you live someplace attached to the church? You're here all the time! Don't you ever get tired of being in here?" she wonders as she leans forward slightly.

    She leans back soon after and plucks at the guitar again, starting to fiddle with two notes that sound okay enough.
Tina "There are simple living quarters in the basement that can hold a few people, next to the basement storage rooms. Occasionally I tell people that I live between the stairs and the canned vegetables," Tina quips, shaking her head. "Sometimes I do, but in those times I pray a little more and remember why I came here. It's rare that my troubles stick around long after that. Anyway, I have a responsibility to the townspeople to be here when I may be needed, and that is very important to me."

She watches Fern working at playing the guitar for a long moment. "It is hard work to learn to play such an instrument as that. But very rewarding too, I'm sure. Maybe I can help you."
Fern     "You could help? Do you know how to play guitar?" Fern asks as she sits in the back pew, her brows lifted and eyes focused on the woman before her. "I found a few books once.. in a shop in town little town. Had some pages teaching you how to play. I'm gonna learn. Soon," she adds with a slight grin as she looks back down to the guitar.

    "Between the cans and the stairs? That's funny.." She pauses there, then looks up at Tina. "That must mean you never have time to go out on dates. Do you? Are you even allowed to date?"
"A little... I was given some very basic instructions years ago, but I wasn't able to finish the lessons, so I can't play very much. I can't easily remember how long it's been since I even held a guitar. But I may be able to help you make better sense of the information you got from those books," Tina replies thoughtfully, darting her eyes from Fern's to the guitar in the girl's lap. "I used to have a guitar pick, come to think of it... if I find it, you can have it."
Abdiel     Abdiel enters the church, hobbling in as he looks to the various people present. "Hello!" He says as he makes his way over to them, a book with a large cross on the cover. "I hope all is well, Young Fern...And you are ma'am?"
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya enters slowly, dark eyes peering around the shell of the church. "This is a church to the nailed god? It doesnt look like anyone is holding mass here for some time. The world has moved on, no?"
Fern     "I'll let you give it a try then," Fern says as she grin at Tina. The kid is offering the guitar over then, and she looks over to see those who enter. She grins at both before she looks back to Tina and says, "You heard my other questions, yeah? Are you able to date people? Is it allowed? And don't worry. I ain't askin you to date me."
Aura Aura is not inside the church yet -- but she does hear a couple of guitar notes as the church door opens to let a couple people in. "Music!" She glances this way, then that, and then walks the street outside, listening, trying to pinpoint exactly where she heard that sound.
Tina "Um..." Tina murmurs, accepting the guitar with due care and slipping the strap over her shoulder. "Well, it's not forbidden, though some of my order are known to frown on such things. It was once forbidden for the clergy to marry, you see," she says at last. She can't help smiling at the disclaimer. "Miss Fern, you are hardly the worst date I could have, so please don't sell yourself short. I could date, I suppose, if I wished to. I prefer to focus on my responsibilities ere. Perhaps I shall find the time one day."

She smiles to Abdiel and Zealot Shreya as they enter, curtseying gracefully, using the skirt of her habit in place of normal skirts. "Good morning, and welcome to the Church. I am Sister Tina, assistant to Sister Neva. How may I help you?" She blinks at Shreya's questions, shaking her head. "Oh no, Ma'am! We have regular services for several religions here, including, um, the Nailed God, as you put it," she replies, strumming a few test notes on the guitar, then a scale.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya nods and looks at the two with judgment. "Well Fern is a child so in most religions that is a problem...including yours....I thought."
Fern     "Aye, Tina.. Nono, no.. We're discussing somethin' real important. You see, I got a friend who needs a date, and I figure.. why not you?" Fern says, trying to keep Tina from talking to the new arrivals. She's on a mission! "I can't date you cause.. you're what.. twenty-something? That's quite the age gap.. but I have a friend who is a better age! You know Abigail Cane? She needs to get out there and date." She nods. "You free next.. Tuesday?" she asks, one brow arched as she stares at the guitar-holding Tina while swatting a hand at Shreya in a distracted way.
Abdiel     "I serve the one god, our lord and savior. If there wasnt any sort of minister here I wouldnt mind becoming one." Abdiel says as he chuckles to Fern as she tries to get a date set up for someone. "I dont think Miss Caine will approve of you trying to hook her up."
Roy Footsteps, although gentle, are audible coming up the poplar steps from the basement to the door in the back of the church behind the altar. After around five or six steps, the wooden basement door swings open slowly with a creak after the tarnished brass handle rotates. Roy slowly walks into the nave after the door swings open, wearing a woven gray tweed suit with matching cotton pants. Underneath his right bicep is a worn leatherbound book with the words 'Holy Bible' enscribed onto it. It's obvious his profession, with a white clerical collar to match. He makes his way behind the pulpit with his eyes still on the floor, plopping his leather book onto the pulit stand. Finally he looks up, darting his eyes at the people in the nave, noticing the guitar player on his left aswell as the flute player in the back. "Evening." He sends a gentle nod towards everybody while circumspecting the church.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya rolls her eyes. "Perhaps this is not a place of welcome for such as I, but I have no love for the nailed God. I only come to see if it was used for that purpose or a place to scavenge. Such is the life after the becoming." She points to Roy. "It seems you have competition for heresy."
Roy Roy wrinkles his nose up at Zealot, "If this 'nailed god' you refer to is Jesus Christ, then I only hear heresy from your lips." His thumb outlines the wood grain of the pulpit stand as he looks down upon Zealot, trying to find an explanation for what's going on.
Zealot Shreya Zealot Shreya chuckles. "In your obsolete understanding Im sure thats true." She scowls at the faithful. "Well best of luck to you in spreading lies. The one about giving ten percent of your earnings to Jesus except it isnt really Jesus is my favorite." She heads to the door in disgust.
Aura Yes! That's the noise! Aura walks up to the door of the church, and opens it, and her eyes alight on Tina's guitar, then shift over to see Roy and Shreya -- people who are perhaps maneuvering their way into some kinda strife, judging from their expressions and Shreya's current words. She quickly shifts her eyes back to Tina, and pretends not to notice the potential conflict.

"IS THAT A GUITAR!?" Her voice is intentionally too loud, but also full of (genuine) energy and excitement. She's never seen a guitar in person before!
Roy Roy watches Zealot walk towards the door, he calls after her, stretching his finger. "Tithe means ten, tithing is biblical. Money was given to the storehouse in the days of our Lord to promote the prosperity of the Kingdom. This church isn't ran on sunshine. Perhaps it is you who is obsolete in understanding, my friend." He watches Aura slip into the church and approach the altar to see the live music, a smile emerges on his face.
Tina "I was not proposing dating Miss Fern, Ma'am," Tina replies to Shreya, shaking her head slowly, speaking her corrections in gentle terms and without anger. "I was only pointing out that she should not sell herself short. She is one of the nicest people I know, and I think she shall make a fine date for someone in a few years. And I'm afraid we are not open for scavenging, no. There are some much better scavenging grounds outside of town, but I would avoid Dunwich... terrible things come from there."

She smiles, bowing her head as Roy enters. "Good morning, Pastor. We should have things ready for the early service within the hour," she reports dutifully, before looking to Abdiel and Fern once more. "Perhaps that is true... I do not know Miss Abigail well at all. It might be best if I speak to her before we discuss dating any further. I do not wish to intrude, or to cause hurt feelings. Still, I cannot say it is a bad idea, though I may not be the best choice for a date for her, if she would see such a thing as an intrusion."

And then Aura enters in a flurry of energy, and she blinks, looking at the girl, and then at the guitar, blushing. "Um, yes... yes it is. It belongs to Miss Fern. Perhaps you heard her playing a bit ago?"
Fern     "She doesn't at all!" says Fern to Abdiel. "But I ain't gotta listen to her on that. She's a good woman. Deserves a date now and again, don't ya think?" she says to the man before looking back to Tina. The kid smirks at her friend. "I see.. So you are not against dating her? Hmmm.. This is good."

    Fern grins wider. "I'll have to get back to her on that. She said she didn't want me setting her up.. but then she went on to tell me her type. I think she does want the help." She snickers more.

    As for music? If you want to call plucking strings and hitting all sorts of wrong notes 'music' then go right ahead!
Roy Roy bows his head to Tina, letting the smile that formed on his face earlier brighten a little more. "It's much obliged." He nods his head in affirmation at his words within the general direction of Tina. He hears 'dating' and makes an inquistive face, arching his eyebrow subtly, "Dating, who's dating? Courtship, y'mean?" He gives a sly smirk, opening up his worn King James Version bible upon the pulpit to the chapter he intends to preach out of during the morning service.
Abdiel     Abdiel just smiles and nods to Roy. "It is good to meet you, pastor. I am Abdiel Kataras, a New Canaanite missionary." He says as he offers his hand, a book held in hand with a cross on the cover which indicates what it was.
Aura Aura glances over to Roy and Shreya as the latter leaves the chuch. Looks like she disrupted that fight, at least for now -- yes, in her own head, Aura takes all of the credit for that. She looks from Tina to Fern, and adopts a more serious expression, trying not to just stare at the guitar.

"Well now, I don't know this Miss Abigail, or the situation, exactly. But I do know how things tend to go." She reaches towards Tina, trying to take the girl's hands in hers, and regardless of the success of this manuever, stares directly into her eyes. "Miss, I firmly believe this kid has the right idea. Things'll never get anywhere if you don't try dating each other. Even if it doesn't work out, it'll put something else in motion. And then that'll put something else in motion. Life is a complex series of notes and chords, and trying not to ever make any noise didn't ever help anyone accomplish anything."
Roy Roy takes hold of Abdiel's hand firmly, giving it a few pumps before releasing his grasp. "It's nice to meet you too, 'Abdiel'." He cracks a grin at the exotic Hebrew name, letting his hand slip back into his pocket. "It'll be nice to see you host a sermon here. We run a tight ship around here, many people used this building as a hangaround but it's no longer such. But now, a full fledged house of worship." He takes his hand out of his pocket and traces the binding of his own bible on the pulpit.
Tina "So she said she didn't want you to help her... and then told you her type," Tina muses, trying to follow the chain of events. "Curiouser and curiouser. Perhaps I should ask if I am her type, then, mostly to satisfy my own curiosity... I doubt you would have come to me if I didn't somehow fit the expectations she had given you," she adds to Fern, with a wry little smile.

She looks to Aura, blinking, but doesn't draw away when Aura takes her hand. "Um... I see. I shall speak to her, though I don't know what the result will be. It should be noted that some chords are never played, to go along with your logic, as they create disharmony in an otherwise harmonic piece of music. And while disharmonies may someday become harmonies, and then part of the greater harmony, some never do. A good musician can usually figure out which is which. Creating a proper chord is a matter of exercising good judgement."

She can't help smiling as she watches Roy and Abdiel greet one another. "Welcome, Mister Abdiel. We are very glad to have you here," she says, before looking to Fern and carefully passing back the guitar. "It's beginning to look like a music lesson will have to wait for now. But seek me out anytime, and I shall be glad to help you learn," she says, with a rueful smile.
Fern     "Mmm.. I don't know if you are her type or not. Are you strong?" Fern wonders, one eyebrow lifted. "Not that it -really- matters though. You're a nice person. You smell nice and are pretty, and you seem to be a good person.. and you stay here lots, which would give her the space she likes.. It might work!" Fern snickers. She then rises up and moves closer to Tina, reaching out to gently take the guitar and sling it over her shoulder. "I'm gonna head back, though.. work on setting up the date." She sounds quite proud of herself.
Abdiel     "I sure do hope that Miss Caine likes women." Abdiel says as he nods to Tina. "I do hope to give a few sermons. There is such good material to share with the wasteland. In a world of uncertainty and misery, it is a great comfort to know there is a light in the darkness."
Roy Roy looks down at his opened bible on the pulpit, and then back to Tina. He holds a single finger up saying, "One hour." In a fairly serious tone. He smiles, undoing his tenacity. He taps his watch face as a signal that morning service is approaching. He nods back to Abidel, slapping him on the side of arm. "I needed another Brother in Christ, too many blasphemers stepping through these doors in the front claiming to be a 'shepherd'. But yet, they are wolves in sheeps clothing guilty of idolatry." .. He listens to Abdiel's pluralistic words, slowly nodding his head. "This light is Jesus Christ, the one who died upon the cross for our sins, Abdiel. We're compelled by the Great Commission in Matthew 28 to go therefore and teach all nations about his Blood. This is what we do."
Aura Mouth agape, Aura's hands go limp and slip away from Tina's as the apparent music teacher starts to talk about chords. She finally manages to get out a choked: "You know music /theory/?" She glances over to Fern, about to say something at this Revelation, but pauses as Fern speaks, focusing on her words.

She wrinkles her nose at Fern, instead. "Must be nice, knowing how to set people up." She purses her lips and looks down, scuffing the floor of the church with the toe of her boot. "Everyone around here is so /talented/."
Tina "Um... only a little," Tina replies to Aura, blushing and bowing her head. "I'm not a practicing musician, though I have learned some things about music over the years. Mostly I know how to expound upon a metaphor." She reaches out to hug Aura gently, if allowed. "I have no doubt you have talents of your own, Miss... hm. What should I call you?" she asks, gently releasing the girl. "I am Sister Tina, and I bid you welcome to the church."

She looks hastily to Fern as the younger girl prepares to leave. "Please, let me speak to Miss Abigail first, Miss Fern!" Tina protests softly. "I'd rather not cause any hard feelings with her, or her family... and I do prefer my nose where it is, honestly."

She looks back to Roy and Abdiel thoughtfully. "I look forward to your sermons, Mister Abdiel. And I do applaud your work here, Pastor. Though I do hope that we shall remain a place of sanctuary as well. We have tried to do good works for those in need. The tax troubles come to mind."
Fern     Arching a brow, Fern says to Abdiel, "Duh! Why else would I set her up with a girl?" The teen rolls her eyes in that teenager way, then looks from Abdiel to Aura. "I don't know how to set them up. Tina's one of the friends I thought might like to go on a date with someone, so why not? You look.. Mm.. maybe too young for Gale," she says to Aura, nodding to herself. She then glances to Tina once more, says, "Awww, gale'e not that bad! She's nice!" and then she runs out.
Roy Roy folds his arms over his chest, turning his head over his shoulder back at Tina. "We know our Savior was a man of charity, and the word 'Christian' itself means 'christ-like'. Our church will strive to be like His church. We will hold steadfast in our giving to the poor, those affected by crisis, and those who are sick. And for those who dawn the doorway of this church, they shall recieve biblical preaching and the Holy Spirit shall be amongst them." He taps the side of his fist on the wooden pulpit, affirming his words.
Roy Roy prods the tip of his finger into the wooden pulpit, "I've always said this, Sister Tina, God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with." .. "You're apart of that mission and I also appreciate your help."
Aura Aura blinks as she's hugged. She hugs Tina back gently, releasing her as she herself is released. "You're right! I do have my own gifts. I'm pleased to meet you, Sister Tina." She leaps atop a nearby pew, posing dramatically. "I am Aura Milligan, and I have come to change El Dorado -- through music!" A pause, and her raised fist switches to a Raised Finger of Clarification. "...for the better, that is!"

She lowers her hand, hops off the pew, and walks up to Roy, slapping a hand on the pulpit, and stares up at him, into his eyes if possible. "Preaching is a weak way to change people's minds and souls. Do you disagree?"
Roy Roy peers down at Aura, tilting his head to the side. "I know of no other way to teach people about Jesus then to-.. well, teach people about Jesus!" He rolls his shoulders, leaning over his pulpit to keep his eyes upon her. "At the end of the day, I don't change a soul or a mind. It's the Holy Spirit through conviction who does that, I just give the Word of God and lead people to that journey."
Roy Roy says, "And from there, they can either choose to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, or they don't. The effective way to lead souls to the Lord is through preaching of his Word."
Tina "I truly hope so. Take care, Miss Fern!" Tina calls after Fern. Only after the girl has vanished through the door and the door shut behind her does she look back to Aura, stifling a giggle at the declaration. "Welcome, Miss Aura. As a music lover, I shall welcome your changes for the better with open arms."

She begins to work on tending the candelabras, but does not withdraw her attention fully from the conversation. "Bravo! I'm glad to see that our mission shall continue as before," she says, only to pause in her lighting as Aura confronts Roy. "I disagree... to preach is to teach, and every medium that teaches is one that can change minds and souls. It's one reason why churches used to have choirs."
Roy Roy nods to Tina, looking back at Aura. "Certainly there's different mediums to introduce a change to a man or a woman, there's ministries found in music, like church choirs as you mentioned. At the end of the day, the one who does the work is the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, they are the only forces that can change a man or a woman."
Roy Roy says, "Some might be more prone to give themselves up to the conviction of the Holy Ghost to a sweet melody with words of praise, while others will be swayed to dedicate their life to the Lord through good'ol gospel preaching."
Aura Aura blinks at Roy's response, and raises an eyebrow. "Naive."

At Tina's words, she nods. "Yes! The church uses music, rhetoric, community, the warm glow of candlelight, the sweet cool kiss of air conditioning, even the weak cadence and verse that is preaching -- without these, it is nothing, and people who come only to sing are not true followers of "God". If you left the Lord's word scratched on the dirt with nothing to support or entice, no one would bother!" She looks back to Roy smugly.
Tina "That is... debateable. The worship service and all its parts arose through traditions that changed over many centuries, as people, their needs, and the world all changed, " Tina adds, shaking her head. "It all started with ten commandments written in stone by the Lord's own hand. Though there was always someone to teach the word of God, whether it was Moses, Jonah, the Apostles, or even Jesus himself... or many others whose names are not written in the Good Book. Singing and music were added through joy in worship and a desire to share that joy through a joyful noise unto the Lord... drawing in others to hear the word was a side effect of the music, not a purpose. So yes, it's quite possible that were we to scratch the word of God into the dirt outside, some would read it, become curious, and enter to seek more information. Not all will, but that is their choice to make."
Roy Roy shakes his head, "People may change, but the Bible never does. It's a heartfelt and verbal confession of faith to be saved, it says it right in Romans 10:10. People come not only to learn in the Word, and develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but they also come to praise him in songs and hymns. If that's naive, then I'm astonished."
Roy Roy says, "Did Jesus not sing at the conclusion of the Last Supper after they broke bread, did not many of his disciples and apostles raise their voice in worship? It's been written that God understands many languages, whether it be through prayers and praise, singing, whispered, or spoken. Or tears that run down our face."
Aura Aura tilts her head to one side, then the other at Tina and Roy's words -- non-aesthetic aspects of church are mostly beyond her. "Well, okay. Writing some advice on stone tablets way back when is kinda neat, and church songs are pretty good, and maybe they wouldn't have existed without "God" being around, but... what has "God" done for anyone lately?" She gestures widely, sketching her hand in an arc to imply the entirety of... something. This church? The world? ""Rodgers and Hammerstein" did some great stuff, but that doesn't mean that if someone made buildings remembering what they did, it'd really move this world forwards."
Roy Roy places his elbows on the pulpit, looking Aura up and down. He slowly nods his head, closing his eyes. "God does more than you think. You're breathing because of him, you are eating meals because of him, and this house of worship you stand in was built in His Name."
Roy Roy says, "It takes great faith to be a Christian in these times, ma'am. We have the blessed assurance of a Heavenly home, a world much different then the one we're on right now."
Roy Roy clasps his hands on the pulpit, interlacing his fingers. He speaks down into his wrists, "The Bible says to be in the world, but not of it. I don't believe in God solely on my surroundings, but because of the Word and the impact he's played in my life."
Tina Tina bows her head. "Perhaps you are not wrong to ask such a question... and yet, what has he /not/ done? This city, which stands on a blasted wasteland scoured by nuclear fire and winter, a beacon of hope for decent people who wish to live in peace with their fellow human beings, should not exist. By all logic and reason, when the bombs fell we should all have died. But we /did not/. Some may count that a curse, or damnation, to walk this living hell among savages and monsters... but I count it a miracle that any of us lived at all, to keep the light of civilization and the word of God alive, even in such times as these."
Roy Roy says, "Amen. Glory to God, we have remittance of our sin through the blood of Jesus Christ, so graciously shed upon the cross. I'm grateful for the things that I have now, and I don't take them with a grain of salt. Whether that be my materialistic blessings, the food on my plate, or the guarantee of eternal life."
Roy Roy closes his Bible, leaving it on the pulpit. "Well, I believe I'll take my rest in my study before Morning Service begins." He speaks aloud, before looking back at Aura. "I welcome you to attend, ma'am. Perhaps you will find the answers you seek." He smiles, walking behind Tina to give her a gentle and friendly pat on the shoulder. "Blessings, Sister Tina."
Tina "Blessings to you too, Pastor. I will see you at the service. Everything will be ready on time," Tina promises with a small smile.
Aura "I feel like a "God" could do more than just promise eternal life later." Aura closes her eyes, and hums a few notes -- a chunk of a church hymn, but with a dissonant note added. She pauses, opens an eye, glances around the church. "But I guess you two /have/ studied him more. And maybe I shouldn't try to mess with that before understanding it better, or at least having some more useful thing to guide you to focus your efforts on."
Tina Tina smiles faintly, humming the same hymn in time with Aura, but without the dissonant notes. "Perhaps we all wonder that, from time to time. Why the world isn't a better, happier place if He has the power to make it so. But His plan is not for us to know. So we have faith in his word, and continue to pray that things will get better... and work to help make that happen, for faith is not prayer alone, but action in accordance with the principles of that faith... in this case, charity and goodwill."
Aura Aura smiles a bit as Tina hums along, and opens her other eye "Would you be up for teaching me what "Music Theory" you know sometime, Sister Tina?" A slight pause, and she raises a finger. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't intend to use it to glorify "God" or anything. You can have faith and wait, if you want. Me? I'm gonna go change the world. With "Music"!"
Tina "I could try... even the little theory I know is something I haven't really thought about for years," Tina admits softly. "And if you can change something for the better with music, as you want to, then I will be happy for you, and for those whose lives you have improved," she adds, with a small, warm smile.
Aura Aura grins and flashes a thumbsup. "Try to recall what you can, and I'll be back to learn from you!" She pauses. "For now, though, I think I've stayed here long enough. I have things to do... even if I'm not entirely sure what they are yet." She nods emphatically, and turns to head towards the door.
Tina "I shall try. Take care, Miss Aura, and I hope you discover what those things are," Tina replies, waving to the departing musically-inclined crusader. Then she turns back to tending the candelabra, in preparation for the next service.