My wife CF and I are out and about. At a mall or somewhere a young conservative suit with close cropped hair hands a flyer with an invitation to a seminar on money management, being held in a few minutes nearby. We discuss it briefly, and decide to attend.

It's in a large auditorium. We settle in the back, in the last tier of seats. But money isn't being discussed -- it actually seems to be a revival meeting of some sort, another sleazy attempt to sell religion. But I quickly discover that Lord Foul himself is running this meeting. I try to remain still and unnoticed, but when CF suddenly comes to the same realization she blows cover and blurts out "What's going on here!".

Lord Foul's awareness catches it immediately, even from down on the stage where he has manifested himself. An almost autonomic Wave of Changing strikes CF, turning her skin a coarse daemonic dark red. I grab her and whisper "Think of Sara, dear", and she changes back, but she sits with her head in her hands, shuddering and gasping. I realize this "seminar" is a full-force enslaving, and very few minds will survive.

I get up and pull CF up, back out to the lobby and the elevators. She is still reeling from the unexpected attack -- fortunately, I have warning, so my defenses are building quickly, but I have to get her out of here.

A couple of guards converge on me and I tell them that my wife is very sick. They apparently believe me, and offer to give us a ride to our car.

I don't want to trigger Lord Fouls automatic defenses again, or make them suspicious, so I agree. I am able to keep a plausibility field going until our car reaches a cul-de-sac in a nearby residential area, and have them drop us off by a car in front of a house -- not our car, of course. They leave, but seem suspicious. I keep an eye on them as they drive away, and as soon as I think they can't see us anymore I start back across the street in the direction of our car. Suddenly I see their car cutting back towards us, and another car zips in and disgorges a Deputy and a couple of flunkies. This is too many for me to deal with immediately, so I put up a stronger plausibility field, suggest they write a ticket, and warp out of this reality for a time, so I can regroup.

I can feel Lord Foul's flames beating against me while I gather myself -- He is more aware of me than I realized, and is concerned. He is right, of course -- I am to be feared. But I can't let him know while my strength builds. To gain time I project the argument that if he enslaves us I will destroy him, though of course I really know that is impossible. As anticipated, he is amused. A booming thought projects through the void..all his best lieutenants want to destroy him, he says -- that's how he gets his strength. This show of weakness makes him think that his minions can handle the situation, so his attention diverts elsewhere.

I can't have Lord Foul attacking my wife and child, and I have to arrange the best way to handle things. For a few minutes I mull the situation, and then warp back. The Deputy and his two flunkies are still there, busily writing tickets. The two guards have arrived as well, their demonic forms occasionally wavering through. I regretfully vaporize them all, even though it is only a temporary thing, and they don't really exist anyway.

Unfortunately, I cannot deal so forcefully with Lord Foul. Unlike the minions, my research reveals he actually does exist. I can make my Circle invisible to him, and push him to the periphery of our existence, but his root is in the Reality I Cannot Change. I arrange for transparency, and we are safe for the time being. But I am deeply troubled that he has come so close to the surface, and that we were so nearly caught.

October 14, 1996