GM says "According to my magic notes, the last we saw Dana she was wandering around looking for... something. What she found is that the Unfallen Pissed Dominicans were collecting at a certain very warm firey spot in Saginaw, Michigan. People are still ar riving. It looks like Dedan did what she claimed."

GM says "Dana also now knows that Asmodeus is dead."

Dana thinks Dedan is amazing.

GM says "Dedan could probably kick Dominic's ass, if she was given half a chance. :) Or maybe not. Maybe under his robe there is... nothing at all." When she is told this (about Asmodeus), Dana says "Good. That means I don't have to worry about him following me around."

The place is teaming with angels. It looks like some of them have come a long way across vast distances. Some of them have this haunted, hunted look in their eyes, some of them look like they want vengence. All of them look displaced in one way or another . The mill doesn't even serve coffee, but at least it's not cold. There is a constant hum of discussion going on.

Dana follows Dedan around for a few minutes, watching all the unfallen members of the family.

Several people greet Dana as she meanders through the crowd, several congratulate her on her ability to be able to outlast Corruption this long. There are a few recognizable faces - a Cherub over there, a Mercurian on the other side of the room. Dana can see Joel through the crowd, on the far side of the room, speaking to another angel.

From afar, Demiurge | "Gee, you're still alive. Well done."

Dana cheerily greets people, embracing those who look like they might want it. "We've all done a noble thing by staying loyal to Heaven."

Dedan is quickly swept away into the crowd by someone else drawing her attention. Those who are embraced look either grateful or stoic - Judgment has always had the reputaion of being stoic. They bow their heads. Some hug back. Some tell Dana to "Go with God" or "Walk in Justice" or "We're going to kick Dominic's slithery ass right into the black pits of Hell" - that last might have come from a Malakite.

Dana nods in agreement with all of those comments, answering "Damn straight" to the last. With Dedan pulled away, Dana heads over toward Joel, though still taking time to talk with people in the crowd.

Demiurge pages: Am I currently talking with Joel, or elsewhere in the room?

Joel looks up from the people he was speaking to, and nods his head in Dana's direction. "Torquaret," he says in an emotionless voice. "Glad to see that you have joined us."

You paged Demiurge with 'With Joel.'.

Joel is being about as joyous to see somene that the Elohite ever really gets.

One of the men talking with Joel looks across. His brows knot above his nose, greyish-white. Hair of the same colour is combed sharply back, and his suit is cut neatly over a form that might actually be quite muscular. He frowns.

Dana says "I didn't even get an invite. I had to crash this party on my own. Glad to see you're okay." Her voice is positively perky compared with Joel's. "What's new?"

The man glances towards Joel. "This is the Torquaret who you mentioned?" His voice is a sharp baritone.

Dana looks at the man, and reaches a hand to him. "I am. Hi."

Joel says "Yes, my friend, this is the Cherub that I mentioned."

The man glances at Dana's hand for just a moment too long, before grasping it in a large-knuckled hand of his own. "I am Regulus."

Regulus says, "From what I have heard, your conduct has been for the most part exemplary." It seems to give him mild indigestion to state this.

Dana shakes his hand and grins. "Nice to meet you. I do what I can."

<> Dana likes this guy already!

Regulus gives a brisk dry shake, then releases Dana's hand. "As you should."

Joel says "Regulus and I have been discussing the next logical steps to take."

Dana nods. "What are our options?"

Regulus says, acidly, "A Trial is necessary before Judgement."

Dana blinks. "You want to put Dominic on Trial?"

Joel says "And we have need of a third."

From afar, Regulus hms. It's the Seraphic instinct to try and take charge, I suspect, unless Regulus is definitely deferring to Joel.

You paged Regulus with 'Oh, hell no. The Seraph of course wants to take charge. The Elohite knows it is optimal for the Seraph to believe he is in charge even if he isn't. :)'.

From afar, Regulus laughs.

Long distance to Regulus: Joel learns from Pat. :P

Regulus says, "You would appear to have some of the most recent and accurate evidence upon the doings of Dominic."

Dana ponders this, sorting out the best of the dozens of things she'd like to say next. "How could one of us, or even the three of us, carry out a sentance against Dominic?"

Joel says "It will be backed by the Archangels, and the will of God. We will Judge him, and then we will decide on correct and fair punishment. And then he will be punished."

Regulus' brows knot again. "But he must be duly Judged first, or we are untrue to ourselves."

Joel says "And we must be true to our Natures."

Regulus nods.

Joel looks at Dana, impassively.

<> Dana says "Hey, GM, is the accused required to be present at Trials?"

<> Joel says "Hmmmmm."

<> Joel ponders.

Dana says "True. Though in a sense, since we have already made the decision not to follow Dominic, we have already Judged him."

<> Joel says "Usually, it's nice to have him about. :) I mean, so that he can be duly punished."

<> Dana throws moral quandries about. Hee.

Regulus says, sharply, "Have we defined his crimes? Have we agreed upon his guilt?"

Regulus says, "This ill-defined mild-mannered personal attitude is pleasant enough, but is not Truth that we can give to all others."

Joel says "The crimes against Heaven need to be discussed in the forum of an open court before we can condemn him."

Regulus nods.

Dana softens her voice a little. "I meant that in our own minds we have each passed some sort of judgement already. Yes, of course there should be a formal procedure."

Regulus pages: Boy, this guy is a hardliner.

You paged Regulus with 'But you love every minute of it.'.

Regulus pages: It has its moments. ;)

Joel says, with the tone of finality, "Then there must be Three, and he must be Judged."

Regulus says, "Judgement will be done."

Dana nods. "It will."

<> Dana draws a little bullseye on her forehead.

Joel says "Yes, it will."

Joel is giving Dana one of those, "I've already made up my mind" looks.

From afar, Regulus | Dominic says, "I wish to speak in my own defence. Listen to me..."

You paged Regulus with 'That's why we have Michael around, see...'.

<> Dana says "Hey, GM, is the implication here that WE will do the judging (the three of us) or that there will be a big drawn-out affair on the level of, say, the Seraphim Council (not that it exists anymore, but...)"

<> Joel says "The implication is you three. It's hard to miss. :)"

Dana says "Then logistics is the biggest issue. How can we find Dominic? And once we do, how can we avoid his lies?"

There is a commotion at the door, and someone yells, "Let me just kill the little bastard!" The rising sound of angry voices comes over the tide of the angelic chatter, and a muttering begins.

Dana looks over toward the door.

There are several angels saying something angrily. It's impossible to see the details all the way across the room. There's a flash of light off of something metallic, and male voice which cries, "I'm unarmed! I'm trying to give myself up! Please don't kil l me!"

Regulus snorts. He says, "Just one moment," and starts stalking across.

Joel begins to follow Regulus through the crowd, beckoning to Dana as he passes through. The crowd parts like the Red Sea before him.

<> Dana assumes that Regulus's name didn't ring a bell?

Dana follows Joel.

<> Joel says "Er, roll Int."

<> Dana rolls the d666 and gets 1 4 CHECK: 4.

<> Dana makes int! woo!

Regulus pages: Large Weapon (Birch)/5... no no no.

<> Joel says "You know him! He's a Seraph of Judgement, an Inquisitor, a powerful Wordbound Angel of more then a little repute."

<> Joel says "He has the Word of Discipline."

<> Dana says ""Basically, has he always been this much of a hardass? I mean, I know he's a judge and all.....oh. Discipline. That would be a yes, then. :^)"

<> Regulus grins.

<> Regulus says "Poor Joel, stuck with him. ;)"

<> Joel says "Why yes."

<> Dana feels like she's gonna get lectured A LOT during this trip.

<> Joel says "So you have Discipline, Fairness, and...... You."

Regulus pages: Regulus probably attempts to activate his resonance, btw, interrogation of screaming captives for the use of.

<> Dana says "Discipline, Fairness, and nuthin. Sigh."

<> Dana says "Fairness, no problem. Discipline? Well, not probably in the way HE thinks. :^)"

You paged Regulus with 'It likely just goes off.'.

<> Regulus says "Actually, Dana, think about it. You're Judgement+Freedom. He's Judgement+Rules. You two sort of balance, in a way."

From afar, Regulus nods. Just tell me when to twitch and mutter, "He's lying." :)

You paged Regulus with 'No problem.'.

<> Dana says "I know, I know. But he's gonna yell at me a lot. And somehow, I don't think that using a Lilith rite in front of him would be a good idea. :^)"

<> Regulus grins.

There is a crowd of angels, all standing around one person who looks like he's been through a war and back. He wears a dirty, soiled business suit, the tie long lost. His eyes are wild, he looks like he's walked miles in his nice leather shoes. Over him i s looming a very large, angry looking man. And several other angels hold his arms.

Regulus snaps, "Identify yourself." There's a ring to his voice like metal.

The disheveled man swallows hard, and says, "Ichabod. Of... was of..."

From afar, Regulus picks up "Game"?

The disheveled man blinks. The large man who is clearly brandishing a sword looks interested in shoving piece of metal A into slot B in the general vacinity of the prisoner's chest.

You paged Regulus with 'Yup.'.

Dana steps closer to the disheveled man, almost protectively.

Regulus says, sharply, to the sword-wielder, "Hold your hand. He was of the Game, and is now without Prince."

Regulus pages: Want to be the one who asks if he was followed here?

Regulus pages: as you're the sensible guy. ;)

You paged Regulus with 'Sure.'.

Joel looks down his nose at the captive demon. "Were you followed here, to the best of your knowledge, Hellspawn?"

Ichabod looks nervous. He shakes his head. "No. No... I took all the back ways in. I never saw anyone."

Regulus pages: Hm. Shall I just get the truth that he doesn't think he was? :)

You paged Regulus with 'Yes.'.

You paged Regulus with 'The truth is, he took pains to not be followed.'.

Regulus says "He speaks the truth."

Regulus frowns slightly. "He took pains to make it so, even."

You say "We shall allow him in. Put down your weapons, and bring him inside. We will debrief him."

Regulus takes a step forward. "Why did you seek us out, Ichabod, and how did you know of this place?"

Dana steps between Ichabod and the large violent man.

Dana waits for weapons to get put away.

The violent man puts down his weapon. It's obvious he wants to kill, but maybe he'll get to kill soon enough.

Dana turns her attention to Ichabod, once the threat seems to have passed.

Ichabod droops where he's being held by angels. "I came because I had no where else to go. Suddenly there was nothing, and no where to go, and the knowledge that our Hearts were held by someone new, someone interesting. We were monitoring the movements of you, and after it happened, there was no where else to turn. So... I came."

Dana motions to Joel, "Band?"

You paged Regulus with 'He's an Impudite.'.

Regulus says, absently, "Impudite. And true so far."

Joel says "We will not deny anyone shelter from Corruption, if he is true to his purpose. If he is not, he will die where he stands."

Regulus says "Quite."

Ichabod cries out, "I'm not _lying_! And they're killing us and collecting us at our Hearts!"

Dana nods. "Were you in Hades when it happened?"

Ichabod shakes his head. "No.... no. Dearborn."

Regulus says "A corporeal location."

<> Joel says "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Game hangs out in Dearborn. You always knew this, deep down inside."

<> Dana suspected this all along!

Dana says "Was your assignment in Dearborn related to our activities or those of Corruption?"

Ichabod sags more. "Both."

Joel says, "Hmm."

Dana says "Elaborate."

Regulus says "Spying."

Ichabod says "We knew that... um. Spying."

Regulus' brows meet above his nose. "Merely because I have used a word is not an excuse for you to borrow it. A fuller answer."

Ichabod says "Spying alot?"

Joel says "Maybe we should let the Malakite kill you."

Dana steps closer to Ichabod, all cheeriness gone from her voice. "On whom, specifically? How? Where? What?"

Ichabod shirks back from Dana. "We were tracking you. We wanted to know if you could be... pursuaded.... to see our cause. In the light of Dominic being stark raving loony - no insult intended really but he is - and we thought we could offer you, who seem ed sane, a better deal.

Regulus says "Accurate."

Regulus pages: Were they also intending to try and kidnap her/the others if it failed?

You paged Regulus with 'Why yes.'.

Joel says "Hmmm."

Regulus's voice is harsh. "They also intended to take you and your comrades by force if necessary."

Regulus says "But I suppose that no better could be expected."

Ichabod says "Would saying 'sorry' help anything?"

Dana stares at Ichabod. "No."

Dana says "What were your other activities?"

Ichabod says "I was working in a law office... I hadn't been on earth all that long."

Regulus says "Accurate, but he evades the question."

Joel says "We can kill him and find another Gamester, if we need one."

Dana says "What else had your demon superiors ordered you to do?"

Ichabod says, his voice trembling, "I was told to follow... and report... and if I came into contact try to pursuade... and tell my Masters how many of you were left. But I don't have those orders anymore! My Masters are all dead!"

Dana says "Your only orders were to spy on me and try to recruit me? This is what you are saying?"

Ichabod says "Well, um.... sorta."

Dana points at Regulus. "Now you know he's not going to like that answer one bit."

<> Dana says "Seraphs don't understand the word "sorta""

Ichabod looks up at the big, mean, nasty Seraph.

Regulus says "I do not."

Regulus folds his arms. His eyes are cold granite.

Regulus says "Answer me this. Did you expect Corruption to attempt to take her?""

Regulus nods towards Dana.

Dana stares intently at Ichabod, her eyes like daggers.

Ichabod says "Our information told us that Corruption wanted her badly."

Regulus says "So you were also using her as a bait to track Corruption?"

From afar, Regulus imagines this is all showing up as yes?

You paged Regulus with 'Indeed.'.

Dana says "How else did your organization obtain information regarding Corruption?"

Ichabod says "Well, um, er.... it had crossed our minds. But we wouldn't let her get killed! We had orders on high up to make sure she was okay!"

Regulus snorts.

Regulus says "Pfeh."

Regulus says "We waste our time, Power, Guardian. This fool says nothing of use."

From afar, Regulus does the traditional Seraph as bad cop role. ;)

Dana narrows her eyes at Ichabod. "He speaks the truth. I suggest you make yourself useful pretty quick."

From outside the door comes the sound of gunfire, and the wet sound of bullets hitting bodies.

Someone yells, "We're being attacked!"

Dana looks at Joel. "Weapons?"

Joel nods. "This is a Fire Tether, after all."

Regulus pages: Can I yell at people to take their assigned posts?

You paged Regulus with 'Why YES!'.

Dana makes a 'Why didn't I think of that?' look, and looks around for an appropriate weapon.

Regulus snaps to the angel holding Ichabod, "Put him somewhere safe." His shoulders straighten, as he calls, "Someone check to the rear! Assigned posts get your guns! Report, NOW!"

There are guns. Guns. GUNS!

Ichabod is dragged off to a room in the back of the mill where this is a nice, thick, happy padded lock.

Regulus pulls an automatic from inside his suit jacket, and works the slide with a satisfying *clunk*.

Regulus heads for an upper window, gun in hand, and leans against the wall, squinting out.

Dana picks up a nice, heavy crowbar, because, well, she really doesn't have anything else to do.

Outside, coming literally out of the bushes, are blobs - black clad shapes against a black sky, pinpointed by the muzzle flashes of gunfire.

Regulus calls, over one shoulder, "Someone check that the retreat out the back is secure! Someone else make sure that the way's clear to ascend if necessary! And where's the Seneschal?"

Regulus's eyes widen. He turns away from the window, to yell, "MALAKIM!" as he throws himself in a dive to the floor. Above him, the window shatters and sprays glass.

People scurry like mad, securing doorways and windows. The sounds of guns being racked echos out.

Dana says "Oh shit" and runs toward whatever seems to be 'the back'.

<> Dana says "Is the tetherpoint this way?"

<> Joel says "It's near the back. You remember the big pool of molten iron for refining. You know that Vanessa's office is up the stairs there and in the back, on the second level, overlooking the main floor of the mill."

Dana runs that way and looks for Vanessa.

There is a crash of glass, a patter of gunfire, and some screams coming from the loading dock of the mill. Dana pushes past several other armed Dominicans on her way to the tetherpoint, most of which have the look of vengence and death in their eyes. Mala kim.

Regulus pages: I think, in the event of a large Corruption attack, the Dominicans should probably do a staged retreat up the Tether. If they sit there, they're going to get killed. But this involves some holding back to cover the others.

Dana frantically screams "VANESSA!"

Regulus leans up, and snaps a shot out of the window, then ducks again - but this is lost in the fusillade of gunfire. His voice is louder, as he calls, "STAGED RETREAT! BY THE NUMBERS!"

Several of the defenders in the front of the mill are mowed down by automatic gunfire.

Vanessa almost bumps headlong into Dana on the way to the locus of the tether. She yells, "GET EVERYONE UP THE TETHER!"

At the front door, two of the attackers break through the defenses, and breach the doorway. They're inside, and firing at people as they run toward the tether. The floor becomes drenched with the blood of vessels.

Dana nods and runs to the tetherpoint, tears streaming. She helps carry anyone who is too injured to make it to the tetherpoint on their own.

Several are injured, and Dana's clothing becomes soaked in their blood. A few die and return to their Hearts - whereever that may be - long before they ever get to the tetherpoint. A few others, thankful looks in their eyes, ascend to the Volcano.

Regulus falls back from his position, firing into the mob at the door.

Dana helps people through the tether as long as she can, falling back when Regulus does, keeping an eye out for Joel.

The mob at the front door begin to fall at the rain of gunfire from the Dominicans. One, clutching a hand over his stomach, desperate to keep the loops of intestines from falling out and coiling on the floor, speaks through bloodied lips, "Dominic, my Mas ter, come to us..." and the Symphony jangles with the expenditure of essence.

Dana screams "Ascend! Now!" and jumps through the tether.

Joel is firing his own weapons, teeth gritted, calm rationality in his eyes.

Regulus says something that Seraphim probably shouldn't say, and fires directly at the speaker's head, before turning and running.

<> Dana says "As long as it isn't a lie, he can say it. And I bet it isn't. :^)"

Behind Dana, as she ascends, she can feel the twisting, the churning, the changing of the Symphony as something big tries to tear its way through with clawed hands.

<> Dana ascends faster!

The world changes around Dana.

Dana silently prays that Regulus and Joel got out. Then she prays the same thing out loud.

Around Dana are the celestial forms of many an angel. But she cannot see Joel or Regulus immediately.

Dana sits for a moment, blinking away tears and watching, and hoping.

Laying on the ground at Dana's feet is the unmistakable form of a Bright Lilim. They're difficult to miss - and in a tidy suit, no less. She moans. Others pop up, and then slow down, and then... no more. Regulus and Joel never appear.

Dana says softly to Dedan "Are you okay?"

<> Demiurge grins. Roomsweeper to the universe, baby.

<> Dana says "Yep. I show up and everybody dies."

Dedan groans, and looks around. And then she says, with all the gravity that one single angel against the universe can muster, she says, "We cannot leave them to that monster. We must get them out. We will get them out. It is the way, and it is _just_."

Dana helps Dedan up and says simply, "We will."


Flaming edge graphics from Our Domain Gallery of Graphics
The "In Nomine" and "flaming feather" graphics are
(C) 1997 Steve Jackson Games, Incorporated.
Used with fnord.