"I wish we could find whoever is telling all those lies about you and Sam and Tyler and the others," she had said with a sniff, her pretty mouth flattening in hurt and anger. “I’d just like to take them and--" The anger that flared in her eyes, on his behalf, warmed him.
"None of that. Leave it to God to handle this mess."
"I'd rather pray for a big, mean, avenging angel to come down and start banging heads together."
"All have sinned, remember that. If you let them take your peace, then they've already won."
Roger tried to hold onto those words, that wisdom and comfort he tried to give Darcy, but it was hard. Someone with powerful connections was destroying the work of decades with vicious lies, backed up with fabricated evidence. By painting him and the other founders of the Spike Center as hypocrites, drug dealers and pimps, they were hurting more people than just the ones whose reputations had been torn to shreds. If the Spike Center folded, where would all the people turn to for help, who came to them every day for food, clothes, basic medical care, a place to take a shower and feel the love of God through His servants?
When he had returned to his apartment that evening, after another fruitless meeting with the other targets of the slander, Roger had been surprised to find the note from Darcy. His heart had skipped a few beats when he read that she knew someone who might be able to help with the problem. Now, he was only a few moments away from the answer to weeks of increasingly desperate prayers.
"Darcy?" Roger stepped into a room where a thin trickle of moonlight came in through a gap in a grimy skylight. He wondered why she was hiding. "Where are you?"
"Darcy couldn't make it," a man whispered. "So sorry."Roger turned, catching a flicker of movement from the corner of his eye. He raised his hands in reflex as the long, gleaming blade whistled out of the darkness. Fire slashed across his neck. He stumbled backwards, clutching at the hot, liquid gushing. His attacker's face appeared in the moonlight, changed into something demonic with the fury that twisted it. Roger gasped, stunned, momentarily distracted by the effort to understand. A baseball bat in the man's other hand swung upwards, smashing into his head. He staggered backwards, stunned, unable to cry out, and tripped over a pile of rubble. Falling, he tried to roll out of the way as the long blade swung down again, finding the other side of his neck with fatal precision.