Session 15: Goodbye Howell, Michigan....

The cab pulls up to the Main Street Comedy Showcase in Ann Arbor down on E. Liberty. Dana leaves an unconscious Daimon in the car, and runs up to pound on the front door. It takes a few solid minutes of pounding before the annoyed looking Seneschal comes to the door. He's a bland looking man wearing a t-shirt covered with an obscene slogan and sporting a nose-to-ear earring. He looks at Dana, coated in blood, and goes out to the car. There, the Seneschal almost has a heart attack, and helps Dana pull the Lilim out of the back seat. He starts praising Dana, that she's been brought by the Mediator to come and help save them (ie, kill Javan), and that she has to be a member of the new Core. Dana is confused, but helps to lay Daimon out on the floor of the bar in the front of the place. The Seneschal (Jack) goes running off and comes back with a first aid kit. He stops the bleeding, and helps Dana transport Daimon into the back living area and onto the couch. The living area is a mess, covered with posters and plates and video tapes. Jack keeps going off to Dana, leading her to the terminus of the Tether, and talking to her in and endless excited stream... in Helltongue. Dana understands none of it, and feels not to happy when she's standing in the terminus room. She gives in and explains to Jack that she's an _Angel_. He asks, "Oh, like me?" Even though she explains she's an ex-Dominican Cherub... he's still pretty sure she's still a Kobalite. You know how people get, just too into their pranks. Dana finds the tether's phone and pages Minnie. Jack finds a chair and pesters her, and Dana tells a very lame, very short three line synopsis of her entire journey. Jack picks up the phone, and makes a phone call. While waiting for Minnie to show up, another man arrives, smelling of alchohol and carrying a black bag. Jack introduces him as Dr. Jacobs, and he sets about fixing up the Lilim. Dana calls Terry to get his update, and he says, yes, he rescued Maxwell from the Bad Guys. Then she calls the tether in Howell, and the phone line has been disconnected.

In the tether, Blitzen, Star, and Jered watch the seven and a half minute surveliance tape of Maxwell being tortured by the Lusties, while Fox tries to make some sort of decision on what to do with the broken patio door. He decides on wooden planks. Bef re anyone can do anything, there are three loud reports. Two gas cannisters come sailing in through the open, broken patio window, and a third breaks the window and goes sailing off the far wall. The cannisters are already emitting a foul almond smelling gas. Jered chokes and goes down to his knees. Fox goes to grab the nearest sword, and spends essence to make it glow. Blitzen runs out the broken patio door, and gets cut down between burts of sub machine gun fire. He has enough time to see the muzzle flashes on three seperate guns. Footsteps can be heard upstairs as the terminus of the Tether is taken. Star starts to go down, and she grabs her shield to protect herself and Jered from any gunfire. Fox starts coughing, and goes down to his knees. The three men with the guns, wearing gas masks, start to approach the open patio door, and Blitzen reaches out to grab one by the leg. He trips the guy. Blitzen fires up his hands and does a little damage to the guy, and there is no ripple in the Symp hony. He gets into a grapple fight on the ground, and the guy resonantes on him, basically causing Blitzen's vessel to explode. Blitzen goes to Trauma. Inside, the other two guys with guns administer tranq guns to Jered, Star, and Fox.

Maxwell and Dana both know that something very very bad is going on.

Maxwell is a few minutes outside of Howell when he tells Terry he needs to get to the tether pronto. Terry tells his drive that, yes, they should probably transport Maxwell pronto, and his eyes glow with the thought of more headlines. They stop the car far enough away so it won't be heard, and Maxwell sneaks up. He can hear the demons swearing about accidently killing someone when they weren't supposed to. He sees three trucks across the road from the tether, and several men walking around, some smoki ng cigarettes. They're loaded with equipment. Maxwell sneaks under the trucks, and starts slashing tires. (At this point, while the five demons outside were making perception checks, one rolled an Infernal Intervention.) A rift in space-time opens rig ht outside the shop, and Andrealphus in full Impudite Demon Prince splendor walks out to survey the place. Max wisely chooses this moment to start to pray. The demons bring around the unconscious forms of Star, Jered, and Fox out. Andre leans down, and does one of those really nasty Prince of Darkness kiss things with Star,leaving a minor trail of slime and a nice cinematic moment of pulling the long forked tongue out of her throat. This spurs three frightened but saavy servitors of the Media, way off to the side but still within line of sight, to set up their cameras and keep taping.

Most of the evil nastiness ends when Laurence shows up. With some Malakim. The response is natural. Terry panics and summons _his_ superior. Who shows up in a hell of a pissy mood, but is amused that his servitors had the presence of mind to keep the tape rolling. Nybbas leans against the car and watches.

What it comes down to is a fairly spectacular fight between Laurence and Andrealphus, and the long and short of it is that Andre felt it was in his best interest to return to Shal-Mari for the time being even more pissed off then he was, if that's possible. The Malakim make short work of the Calabim, but the Calabim ignite the gas in the tether and it goes up with fireworks before they get waxed. The tether is destroyed, and Fox's vessel dies as he's sucked up into Trauma to face the loss of his Word. The fight is over. Nybbas simply removes the tapes of this combat, along with the combat at Horton's place and some other fun things that Terry has picked up. And he leaves his servitors to the mercy of Laurence. Laurence, at the end of the fight, chastisizes Maxwell in many interesting ways, conveys his innate anger, and puts Max on the trail to Washington DC. Then he walks over to the cowering Media Servitors, who were busy being dragged out of their car by the Malakim. Because they had rescued his servitor, Laurence decided to deprive them of their vessels via beheading instead of spreading their forces across the Symphony, and takes Terry's katana with him. Then the cops, ambulance, and firetrucks show up.

Jered and Star are taken first to St. Joseph Mercy, then to the University of Michigan Medical Center to go for observation.

Blitzen comes out of trauma some undetermined time later in the future. He's pushed out by Gabriel, because Plot needs him to show up every week to the game. He wanders around the Cathedral for a while, and takes in the sight of many banged up and damaged Celestials, several of which are still in Trauma. He bugs a Mercurian about this for a bit, and then descends the tether to the mill in Saginaw. He tracks down the Seneschal, Vanessa, and gets her phone numbers for her guns and armaments supplier. Blitzen goes off to call a cab, and gets it to take him to a rental car place. Too bad it's 5am, and it's not open yet. He wanders around looking for people to smite for a while.

Max watches Jered and Star recover in the emergency ward of University Hospital. Time ticks by.

Dana gets a phone call in the tether from someone who insists she goes outside. So, suspicious, she does, after she grabs a t-shirt with a beer slogan on it to cover up the bloodstains. There she meets with Eli, who smells faintly of paint thinner. Und er a street lamp he gives her a small box he had in his pocket. He insists it's a present, but she has to willingly want it. But who is going to turn down a present? She opens it and ZINGO! She picks up the Malakite of Eli resonance. Eli figures, hey, if she's going to be kicking the hell out of Dominicans in the name of the Free, the Right, and dammit, his Word, then she's going to be armed with the best thing he can give her. He also gives her a dire warning - keep David away from Dominic, or thin gs will get worse. She nods, not understanding. She asks about Daimon, and Eli replies that he's been working to get the Lilim to redeem his entire life. But not why. (Why, they're both equally confusing. Mysteries indeed.) He takes off, and Dana, f ollowing her resonance, starts making her way across Ann Arbor to the UMMC.

At the hospital, Jered begins to come around. Max fills Jered in on everything that happened while Jered was unconscious, on which Jered is typically neutral on. At the tale end of the story, Dana walks into the emergency room, and fills them in. Star comes around, and realizes that she's been hit up with morphine. While that explains lots of things, she's not too happy. She calls a nurse and requests Methadone. She gets none. A few minutes later Eli saunters in through the sliding double doors and gives the assembled angels the general thumbs up. The late night clerks in the triage give him angry frowns, so he mystically whips a UMMC ID (Which just says 'ELI' on it next to his picture) and clips it to the lapel of his overcoat. He gives Star a b aggie of "Magic Hash" and a baggie of normal hash, giving her the warning that smoking too much Magic Hash at once will do icky things. He also agrees with Star that running into Andrealphus sucks. And, because Max looks so despondant at not getting a gift, he gives him a pair of unopened cheap wooden chopsticks from Dinersty, informing him that the soup is quite good there, and in the right hands could be a deadly weapon (the soup and the chopsticks, presumably). Max claims he hasn't eaten anything in two days, and Eli generously turns the phone book on the table between the two beds into a meat pizza from Pizza House. (Apparently some guy he met named Ian Jones told him it was pretty good.) Star says that she wishes she knew that trick, and he tells her he'll think about it. Eli grabs a piece of pizza, and wanders out of the emergency room just as absentmindedly as he wandered in. Jered does not eat the pizza, but luckily he doesn't say this in front of the Archangel. (Maybe he's a vegetarian.)

When the rental car place opens at 8am, Blitzen is right there to pounce. He rents a car, a Volvo, and drives it to the address that Vanessa got him. It takes some pounding on the door to get the guy to open it, and he's in his underwear. Yeah, he knew Blitzen was coming, and yeah, that was several hours ago. Where were you, man? It turns out that this particular human is the dealer and supplier for the elements of smiting the bad guys for the tri-state area, since Angels can't exactly get guns in He aven, except for the very expensive relic kind. His basement is filled with guns. (GUNS!) Blitzen picks out a suit of t-shirt kevlar, an HK-MP5 5mm full automatic, 6 smoke grenades, 6 frag grenades, a hunting rifle and several boxes of ammo. Blitzen i s obviously going to do some _serious_ smiting of the demons on the Earth. The guy gets Blitzen to sign off on things, telling him that he's going to send it on to the Seneschal for reimbursement. And she'll get the cash from Upstairs... presumably from Marc's boys. Blitzen now heads off to a clothing store, and picks up a fairly cheap black suit with a bow tie. If he's going after the Word 'Plight of the Black Man', dammit, he's going to look like Louis Farrakhan. Blitzen calls Jered (to Jered's por table phone, which he still has) and gets their location. Blitzen drives his rented Volvo to the UMMC. And, just as a side non-sequitor, it's 'Assalaama Alaykum'.

Dana, after deciding that she's pretty much a danger and no good to anyone (and starting to sound like the Lilim, actually), she wanders back to the Kobalite Tether. When she gets there, Daimon is conscious, and he's trying desperately to ignore the Habbalah who is occasionally smack him upside the head. They were having a 'discussion' about something (mostly in Helltongue), and let it go when Dana shows up. She starts to fill Daimon in on everything that's happened.

People are released from the Hospital, and they promptly start arguing about where they're going to head to now. Some of them want to go to DC directly, the others want to take a side trip to Caro and clean up whatever is left of that place. Of course, Blitzen is going to drive, so this isn't exactly a democracy. They get into the car, and Star decides she needs to call Daimon before she disappears off the face of the Earth.

Daimon and Dana are in the middle of discussing stuff, when the phone rings. It's Star, and then the "Really Goofy Phone Conversation" starts. (For the record, Daimon tried to give Max the 'I want you to be very careful, I know you're young and stupid' talk.) Basically, Jered complains about giving away where they're going, but hey, they don't really have a plan, so what difference does it make?

The four Amigos argue about where to go, and Blitzen won't let Star get high in the back seat of the car. So she insists on going to Pine Knob, which might be an Eli tether - but only because REO Speedwagon performed there. They go, and Star smokes some Magic Hash out in the parking lot. Mmmmm.... oneness with the Symphony... wonderful.

Daimon and Dana start a conversation, which needs to be finished online.

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.