Session 16A / Messiah 1: Looking for America

In the Main Street Comedy Showcase in Ann Arbor, after the long(ish) talk, Daimon goes off to type some letters home on Jack's Mac. Of course, the Mac has been changed, so now it uses a hellscript font and a standard hellscript keyboard. It's a little d isconcerting to Dana to see a poor defenseless Macintosh subverted to the whims of Hell. She takes off to do a little shopping. Up the street, she stops at Harry's Army Surplus, and picks up a pair of steel toed combat boots, heavy socks, and a heavy duty duffel bag. On the way back, she toys for a moment with getting a tattoo, and buys a couple of cartons of cigarettes. Dana goes back to the tether, and there's some heated conversation going between Jack and Daimon in yelled helltongue, and it gives her the big queasies. Dana gives the cigarettes to Daimon, taking a pack for herself, and goes outside to screw around for a while until they're done. She comes back, and Daimon is packing himself up. Apparently he's borrowed all sorts of stuff from Jack from clothing and another backpack, to a beat up accoustic guitar. Jack apparently won't let his Lord go out the door without at least a bag of delicious ham sammiches. Half way out the door, Daimon and Dana realize they have no way to get to Howell to get Dana's car. They go back in, float a loan of $20, and 20 minutes later, the cab picks them up.

As luck would have it, not enough time has passed for Dana's car to be towed out of the Outlet Mall's parking lot. Dana was suspicious of bombs or other traps being laid on her car by the Bad Guys (tm), and searches it. When she's laying under the car, she sees something that might be a bomb, so she calls over Daimon to look at it. Now they're both laying under the car. "Does that look like a bomb?" she asks. "Looks like part of the exhaust," he says. So he decides to stand right over... there a bit while Dana starts up the car. Nonetheless, it doesn't explode. Daimon searches the car, and actually finds a map to Michigan. After being annoying for a while, he figures out the directions to Alpena.

Since getting to Alpena means taking Grand River through Brighton to I96, they pass the All Holy Greatness that is Brighton Meijer. Half way there, Daimon discovers a bandana in the pocket of the black trenchcoat he ended up with from Jack, and determine d that it was not covered with Demon Skeez - with no definition of what that actually is. They stop to pick up much in the way of supplies. Daimon regenerates a point of essence by being completely, obnoxiously annoying. (Standing at the meat counter next to the chicken and telling random people he likes to 'Fondle Breasts' was probably about the time when Dana had Just Enough.) Dana buys a plain t-shirt so she doesn't have to feel like a walking talking beer advertisement anymore.

The two of them make the six hour drive to Alpena with no interruptions and no problems. Daimon makes endless comments about Dana's musical selections.

In Alpena, Dana remembers where Max's house is. They drive past it, and notice that it looks perfectly fine, if not slightly deserted. Dana finds a pay phone, and makes the call to Jered to tell the group that she's going to break into Maxwell's house. With or without approval, she goes back. There's a package from Federal Express on the porch between the storm door and the front door. Dana pulls it out, and it's addressed to her, from somewhere in LA. Daimon sort of recognizes the address. There's no key under the doormat, but 30 seconds Daimon has popped the front door with Dana's Visa card. ("Hanging out with Thieves...") they go on inside and check out the house. It seems okay. They end up in the spare bedroom, where Dana opens the package.

There's a letter in there from Terry, along with a very expensive silk suit and matching shoes (just her size!). On the very bottom is a thin manila envelope with the report of two Media servitors being waxed while investigating an apartment in New York City by an apparent Angel - most probably a Judgment servitor. Daimon sits on the bed and makes a pretty good stab at explaining Balseraph Psychology. It doesn't make much sense, but then again, neither do Balseraphim.

Daimon starts to tangent about normal Demonic Psychology, when the two of them hear the back door to the house open and slam shut. The two of them hide, and Dana can make out three individual pairs of shoes. She can hear a familiar voice call out, "Dana , where are you?" On the second sweep of the house, Daimon and Dana are grabbed and captured by Nakir and apparently two Game servitors dressed as Men in Black who had been assigned to that area. They haul them into the living room and push them into kneeling positions. The tall, thin Game servitor explains to them the Facts of Life, and just how much they all suck, while the larger, stockier one stands behind them and levels a gun at their heads. Yes, you two get to meet Asmodeus, isn't life wonderful, and if you try anything your life is going to become very bad, very quickly. We know exactly how much you two really want to wake up next to your Hearts. They apply handcuffs, just to make a point. Gee, wouldn't essence be good right about now?

As the Asmodeans (and Nakir) are leading Daimon and Dana out to their black sedan, which happens to have been pulled up in the back yard, another, identical black sedan hops the curb and pulls into the backyard. One guy in an identical black suit leans o ut the window and sprays automatic weapon fire, which peppers Max's porch and back of his house. Three guys, in black MiB suits, get out of their sedan - a tall, thin one, a larger, stockier guy and one guy who seems completely, utterly, totally calm. Then the shouting starts - their master wants Dana, the Game can kill the other one. No, the Gamesters answer, they've been ordered to take them both in alive, and hell if they're going to hand them over. Nakir has the presence of mind to drag the two prisoners out of the line of fire. The shouting goes from yelling and screaming to the skinny Gamester nodding and starting to say, "I think we can work out a deal..." And then Nakir and the stocky Gamester decided this was bad and opened fire on the Triad.

Daimon seemed to knows secret ways to get out of handcuffs ("Hanging out with Thieves...") and helps Dana up. Yes, the character sheet does indeed say 'Escape' along with alot of other strange skills that make no sense. He has the presense of mind to gr ab his original backpack with all his stuff in it and the box from Terry. Dana is left waiting as he fishes out a small packet out of the backpack, squeezes it, and tosses. It goes off in a spray of essence and Celestial Song of Light. The six demons are momentarily dazzled while Dana and Daimon make a run for their car.

Between the shooting and the inevitable explosives two angry Calabites and Songs, well, they sort of get to Max's house before the local cops do. One of the bullets hits a gas line, and the disturbance can be felt for miles around. But hey, it took out six demons. Daimon pulls over to the side of the road and jimmies Dana out of her handcuffs (hey, now we have two pairs of handcuffs!), and lets her drive. They try to figure out how to tell Maxwell that, in fifteen minutes, they seem to have trashed his house.

They travel south to Toledo. On the way, Daimon and Dana talk about everything from Javan and the Kobalites to what it's like to be a Mediator to what they did a long time ago to the differences between Eli and Andrealphus. The trip to Toledo takes seve n hours, and they aren't interrupted by any forces of the universe (except this large 1000 point disturbance in northern Michigan from various explosions...). Dana tracks Jan'eth, and she follows the attunement to a Denny's, getting there are 2 in the morning. And you know what they say about Denny's....

Inside, Jan'eth in vessel looks like a ragged 16 year old kid. He's good looking, but young. Daimon slides into the booth across from his son and that just starts ugliness that Dana wants no part of. She sits up at the little bar next to the ice cream counter and drinks some coffee. In a moment, she's joined by Jan'eth's travelling companion... Angels have no trouble picking out Demon Princesses, even when they are looking pretty normal. Fiery red hair, tight leather pants, and oozing of confidence, Lilith looks over Dana with an air of interest. "You rescued my Grandson and you travel with my Daughter," she stated. Lilith seemed more then passingly amused at Dana supporting her Word in heaven... and continuing to do so, in a matter of speaking. Lilith gives Dana an Offer - she can work for her for a month, supporting Freedom, (revolution?) trying to get support, and leading the unFallen Dominicans against what she is seeing to be a threat - a Prince of Corruption, and the chances of, much worse, a Prince of the Inquisition. Lilith doesn't give details. What does Dana get? She gets access to some Rites and a Superior to call on if she gets into major trouble... for a Price. Dana asks what happens if she finds a permenantly Superior. Well, if the Geas is over, then it's no big deal. But Lilith assures Dana that she can deal with the new Superior if the time comes. Dana agrees, signs something, and the onus of geasa falls over her. It feels... good. Warm. Fuzzy. Comfortable. Happy. Lilith then gets up and slides into the booth with Daimon - who now gets it from both sides. Dana watches some sort of deal go down - Daimon trading more of his life away to get rid of the dissonance. And then Lilith yells at him for a while for being stupid, but Dana is out of range to hear details. Jan'eth and Lilith leave the Denny's, apparently to go pursue their part of the plot. Dana goes over to the booth, and Daimon has this look on his face like he's been kicked. He pays for the coffee, and they leave, getting into the car to find America at 3am. Some other car follows them out.

Thus starts the long trek to Boston, in search of good, solid, and certainly large tethers to Michael at Revolutionary War and Civil War sites of historic interest. On the way, they talk, Daimon sleeps occasionally to take trips to the Marches and plays the guitar, which he announces is in crappy condition but playable. Dana finds it interesting that he's an excellent guitarist, and he can just create songs out of the air... the world gets weirder before it gets more sane.

While Daimon sleeps, Dana hears some news reports on the radio. First is something being called the DREAMING, mass dreams the humans are experiencing across the country that all seem to be the exact same - blood wars and people dying. It is driving some people to the psych emergency wards after trying to stab out their eyeballs with crochet hooks at that sort of thing. The second is a proliferation of corruption from the top of the government down to local chambers of commerce - and no one really seems to care.

They arrive at a Holiday Inn in Boston at around 4pm, trying to decide what to do next.

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.