The Church of the Scorched Earth

The man nodded. “I’m Pastor Kyle. Welcome to the Church of the Scorched Earth.”

Laurie glanced around the tiny concrete room. “It’s very nice,” he said politely.

“This used to be a federal communications facility. It was pressed into use as an emergency shelter right before the bombs fell.” Pastor Kyle smiled. “I stayed here as a child with my parents. We came from Las Vegas and sought refuge here, us and almost four hundred others. For weeks and weeks, until the earth stopped burning and the worst of the poison was gone from the air, we lived down here. This place saved our lives.”

“And you turned it into a church?”

“Eight years ago. It had lain abandoned for over two decades by that point, and I thought it was appropriate to put it to good use.”

In Lonely Satellite, Laurie seeks refuge in the Church of the Scorched Earth while fleeing from the gang that slaughtered everyone in his monastery. The church is entirely subterranean. Even though the accommodations are rustic and the food is pretty bad, only the extremely wealthy can afford to stay there. The church is run by Pastor Kyle and his wife Patricia; Jonathan Frisch is the new director of operations. It can be a pretty corrupt and dangerous place, especially for Laurie, due in large part to the unchecked and predatory Zephyr security guards Pastor Kyle hired to protect the place.

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