Session 16B / Armaggedon 1 : Washington DC
"I remember never to do drugs." - Maxwell
"Is Jered the smartest of us all? He's at least the grumpiest." - Liz
"Next time you see us, we won't be ripped up forces added to Kezef." - Maxwell
"You can write those names on your hand, but it will look suspicious if you get captured." - Maxwell to Star in writing the names of Dominicans on her hand so she remembers them.
10AM - Day 1.
The group of four had gone to the weapon dealer's shop in Saginaw, and then decided they didn't want any guns. Then Blitzen drove them to Pine Knob where Star smoked her Magic Hash, which made her very sensitive to the Symphony (and very stoned). She se nsed the tether in Caro still active, and they decided - wisely - not to go there. While discussing, an Ofanite of Fire came down the tether and claimed Blitzen, as Baal's forces seemed to be massing for a second attack, and they needed every man availab le to help fight off another wave of attack in the Marches. Blitzen goes. Star realized that they no longer had Blitzen's dog, Tyrone, and started to insist on going back to Howell to find the dog and take it with them. Maxwell and Jered talk Star out of this. Maxwell then points out that he once saw REO Speedwagon at Pine Knob.
Maxwell sits down to plot out a route. He's not very good at this, and picks a route which will get them to DC in a round about way. His route takes them from Toledo - Cleveland - Pittsburgh - DC.
11 AM - Day 1.
They drive through Toledo, and notice a very slight residual disturbance in the Symphony. Maxwell, amazingly, not only notices, but realizes this is the disturbance left from a Superior arriving, namely Lilith. The group wisely chooses not to stop and i nvestigate.
Somewhere along the road they pull through a McDonalds. Star gets a Happy Meal.
4 PM - Day 1.
Coming into Pittsburgh, Jered's phone rings. It's from Dana, asking to break into Maxwell's House. Maxwell gives his consent. The group makes it into Pittsburgh and gets off the freeway. Maxwell finds a Mall by the signs and pulls in. He finds a part icularly good parking spot. Then 20 minutes later, Dana calls again, attempting to apologize to Maxwell for getting his house blown up. She sounds pretty bad, even if her travelling companion was dying of laughter in the background. Maxwell is amazingly easy about this, and says that he has good insurance.
In the Mall, Maxwell quickly locates a Sharper Image, and goes there to get night time light intensifier equipment while Star wanders around trying to mingle with humanity. Yes, they have some equipment in, but only the cheapest stuff is available. He g oes to buy some of the low grade equipment, and he's accosted by an Archangel looming over him. Okay, it's Raphael, and he can't remember really how to loom right anymore, so he just sort of leans. Raphael merrily antagonizes the players, pointing out h e doesn't have any servitors to bother, and that the Seraph should 'Lighten up'. Raph drops some hints about things, such as some of the bigger, more powerful Creationers still imprisoned deeper in the Spires, along with the Dominican Malakim. Star is c oncerned to say the least. Max goes off to buy dark clothing with Jered, while Star hits on the Archangel. He, of course, is extremely charming and schmoove when he wants to be, being a Mercurian (we hope). While trying on clothing, Max removes his nip ple rings and leaves them in the dressing room. Everyone goes to Coney Island (where else do you discuss the nature of the universe with the Archangel of Enlightenment other then Coney Island?) and there's a long conversation about, in general, stuff. R aphael dispenses some vague information, a Fodor's Travel Guide to DC and gives Maxwell a toy lightsaber. Star asks for her present to be a kiss. Then the gang, down one Archangel, drives off into the sunset. Well, with it at their backs.
2AM - Day 2
At 2 in the morning, the group drives into DC. With some flailing around they locate a Best Western hotel and get a a room form the night. While Star and Jered fall into a Marches-less, dreamless sort of doze, Maxwell watches television and sees some of the going-ons in DC that the local media (natch) has picked up. No one bothers them.
8AM - Day 2
Everyone gets out of bed and Max catches one more glimpse of the television. There's a report about some dubious phenomenon called The Dreaming. Star figures out Jonny Greenberg's address.
10AM - Day 2
After having a fun time figuring out the parking in DC, Star finally gets to Jonny Greenberg's place. It turns out she hasn't seen him in something like 13 years. He's now in his late 40's, and needless to say, he doesn't recognize her. Star keeps need ling him about things, to jog his memory, and it takes a bit of work for him to blink, and say, 'Oh, I sort of remember you...' He takes her upstairs into his flat where his wife is making breakfast. They talk for two hours, catching up on old times. She starts to ask him about current events, and all he knows about is what is going on in the theater scene - which is quite a lot, but not real useful. Eventually, Star emerges on the street where Maxwell and Jered are standing. Jered suggests they go t o the biggest tether to Yves around - the Library of Congress.
It takes 45 minutes to walk all the way across town to the Library of Congress. (Star keeps asking, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?") When they get there, they get a hassle by the guards at the door. Apparently, the security guards are checking IDs for some reason, and Star has some problem getting through. It doesn't take long, though, for her to make fast life long friends with the guard at the door, and he lets her through. They do alot of walking around, running into human after human, and no Seneschal or even Soldiers in sight. When they make their way to the back offices of the Library, they start to actually uncover Soldiers, who point out that the Seneschal is in one of the back labs doing a restoration on a Medieval Bible. They are pointed in the correct general direction, and eventually lead through to a room with shelving and a large table in the middle. Maxwell and Star play a little tic-tac-toe while they wait for the Seneschal. She eventually appears, a prim woman in a bland s uit with glasses and her hair in a neat bun. They state the nature of their mission and she gives them a run down on some Celestial activity. She provides them a list of three Judgment tethers - the Supreme Court, a law firm, and a legislature office, b ut no names of Seneschals. Then she provides a list of Dominicans who were known to Destiny to be in the city, but the list has fallen out of date when the fighting broke out, and she does not know how many of these angels are still around, alive, Fallen , or what. They also ask for other tethers:
- The Vietnam War Memorial is a tether to Michael.
- The Epiphany of Our Lord, an Orthodox Byzantine Catholic Church, is a tether to Laurence.
The Seneschal also mentions that there is much increased Celestial activity in DC, almost to a fevered pitch. They give Jered's phone number to the Seneschal, and she mentions that she needs to mention their visit to Yves. This doesn't go over well with the trio, but there's not much that can be done.
The three leave with information. They pass by several buildings of the Smithsonian, which are suspected tethers to various people, and talk about the money that Star had received from Raphael - none of which is American except for one Confederate $100 bill. She thinks she can sell it for better money.
The three of them make the hike over to the Vietnam War Memorial, where there are hordes of tourists. Seeing people depressed, Star goes around cheering people up and making them feel better. Maxwell decides to make a spectacle of himself. He kneels do wn at the Memorial, sword out, and starts praying (for a Seneschal of Michael, natch) loudly in Latin. People applaud. Maxwell gets the rather amused attention of the Seneschal, who smiles and shakes his hand. He introduces himself as Carnivean, and s ays that he has no problem 'watching' the Memorial while he goes off and has coffee with the trio. They go down to a coffee shop, and Carnivean-Call-Me-Carni tries to describe the Dominican situation to the group. See, there are Inquistion Dominicans wi th their Soldiers and humans, and Corruption Dominicans with their Soldiers and humans, and unFallen Judgment Dominicans with their Soldiers and humans. Asmodeans and presumably Fate are trying to kill the first two groups and recruit the second. Factions has been spotted. So has the War. Carni talks about servitors - angels and demons - have been disappearing from DC at an alarming rate. When asked, Carni brings up a name of a Malakite of War in town who has been set after Kezef - a guy named Mach may. He gives them Machmay's pager number, and then returns to his duty.
4 PM - Day 2
The trio find a phone, and Maxwell pages Machmay. Star does a cross check of all the names on her Dominican list with the phone book and finds about a third - those with Roles big enough to warrant an entry in the phone book. She makes notes, and Maxwel l stops her from calling any of them. Machmay returns their call, and he demands proof. Maxwell sings his name and rank into the phone, and that seems to calm the Malakite. (And there was a very funny scene here with Allen actually singing.) The Malak ite arranges to meet them in a half and hour.
While waiting, they get a call from Dana on Jered's cell phone. She gives them her new phone number. The phone is passed to Star, and she asks about breaking the remaining Creationers out of the Spires. Dana explains that it is very difficult to break into the Spires, or to get anyone out. Star pleads, to no avail. Dana says some encouraging things, tells Star _not_ to go around calling random Dominicans, and gives a few plugs for Freedom because it seemed like the thing to do at a time. The phone call ends with Star a little disappointed and Dana having to go dig her travelling companion out of a used book store which is sucking his soul.
A large man right out of shadowrun shows up at the appointed time at the appointed place. Machmay is coarse, flat, and cares nothing for Celestials who can't do damage in a big way. They talk, and he points out that demons have been defiling Churches in an effort to get to Kezef, and he's going to start with them. Find them, 'pursuade' some information out of them, and send them off to take a long look at their Hearts. He whips out a list, and sends the 'Non Combats' off to two churches which were hit, and then walks off without too much more conversation.
Maxwell goes off to a doctor he was referred to by the Seneschal of the Library of Congress, a Dr. Jones. He goes and gets patched up.
Star and Jered walk over to the National Gallery of Art assuming, rightly so, that it is - or was - a tether to Eli. Star goes in and tries to find the Seneschal. No luck. She talks to some of the guards, who brings out an employee about the money, and they want her to donate it for free. No dice. She walks into the main gallery, and sings on the top of her lungs in Angelican her name, rank, choir, and band several times. The only people who respond are a pair of security guards escorting her out the door. It was too bad, Star said, that they didn't get noticed. Or did they?
They trio gather together again, just as the sun is setting, to discuss plans, and all the demons in DC go, 'Ahhh... dusk essence...'