Day 5, 3:30PM, Outwater, Montana
In the tether to Creation in Outwater, Montana, Star gets the talk from Dana about not telling anyone about their little jaunt to Hell. Of course, this goes over with Star, not at all, but before she can protest, Eli is sending her back to Heaven. So she goes, and waits until her Archangel arrives. Itís a little while, and in that time Star finds some yarn and needles, and fools around until she figures out how to knit. Then Eli arrives, and he takes her to his bedroom, which is full of Stuff. Ther e is Stuff everywhere. Star even looks under his bed, where, beyond the dustbunnies and orphaned tennis shoes and socks, there are, far out into the distance, stars. Star is impressed. Eli gives her a baggie, which contains the Oracle, the I Ching. Of cou rse, it has no manual and the coins are in Chinese, but thatís beside the point. He asks Star what is up, and she relays all her information about the Creationers in the Spires and what she learned about freeing them. Star asks about Raphael, and Eli waff les, hard, on the topic. Is he good to hang around with? Well, thatís difficult to say, really. Eli announces that he has to motor, there is all of Creation out there and heís missing it. Star, soon alone, tries out the I Ching, but she doesnít understand how the Oracle works and it doesnít give her much.
Day 5, In Heaven
Star ducks in her own room in Eliís Cathedral. She gets rid of the trappings of Hell, the paint and make up and uniform, and returned herself to something more angelic. Then she took off, looking for Maxwell. She headed for the Eternal City, and as ked the Cherubs at the gate about Max, but they didnít know him. She asked some other random cherub of the sword in the street, but he didnít know Max either. So suddenly, Star gets the idea that it would be easier to find Blitzen then Max. She takes off to the Volcano. Itís not hard to miss the chanting. As she arrives, she finds herself at the back of several thousand servitors of Fire screaming "Burn! Burn! Burn!" She can see, vaguely, far ahead in the haze, Blitzen standing on stage leading the pack. She thinks that it would be cool to join him, and she tries to fly over the crowd. She draws glares. As she gets about half way over the crowd, Blitzen leads them to begin their descent to Earth. Star gets caught in the madness of the mad group, and buffe tted around. Trailing, she follows them down to Earth.
Day 5, Washington DC, 3:30 PM
Maxwell is driving with Karen back to Ron Gardnerís House, trailed behind by the Impudite on his motorcycle. As Maxwell pulls up to a light in downtown DC, he gets hit from behind. He waves for Karen to stay in the car, and gets out. He was hit by a small red Subaru, and the man getting out of the car is a middle aged man in a suit with his face contorted into a rictus of hate. The man says, "The Inquisition will have you; you have been Judged." Max decides this is just not a happy scene, and in tr affic, he whips out Soulpiercer. He stuck it into the body of the man, generating the huge disturbance one makes when one kills a human. Mike, the Impudite, yelled "Shedite! Look out!" Max piles into his car and drives like a bat out of hell, while the mo torcycled companion made for the sidewalk. Max notes that heís being chased by two cars. He hands the wheel over to Karen, and pulled himself out of the car to manuever himself, so he could leap on the following cars hood. He launched himself and landed, seeing the snarling face of an old lady behind the wheel. He smashed through the window, and got into the car, which spun and crashed. The old lady suddenly went lax, and another car went wizzing around the one that Max was in to take off after Karen. The old lady started calling Max a pervert and hitting him with his purse, but he drove her car anyone. The second car that was following tried to sideswipe him, and Max got again from one car to another. The Shedite leapt before Max could get in, and the ma n in the car cowered. Max got him to call 911, and took off after Karen. He passed one car that had smashed through a plate glass window. Then he finally came upon the car he had been originally driving, and two men in different business suits were outsid e, one holding a knife to Karenís throat as they held her up against the car. Max snuck out, and crept up on them. Unawares, Max attacked, and took out one Shedite host. Max feels a sudden pressure on his temples as someone or something was trying to get in, and then some other person started running away down the street. The other Shedite leapt from his vessel to Karen, as Max killed it. ShediteKaren attempted to kill Max, but he grabbed her and hit her with the hilt of her sword, knocking her out. He to ssed ShediteKaren into the car, just as the sirens were approaching.
Max was resolved to take the Shedite he had captured to a tether. He debated for a while, and decided on the Tether of War. When he got there, there was much in the way of activity, notably in the form of people in military uniforms. Maxwell deci ded not to go there. He pulled out, and made for the National Gallery of Art. He walks in, and finds the Seneschal without any problem. The Seneschal lead Max, carrying a bloody Karen, through some halls, to offices, through a door, and down some stairs. Max was attacked from behind, but he survived the attacks. Then the Seneschal resonanted on him, removed his need for emotions, and lead him downstairs to a room filled with figures in cloaks. The Seneschal said, "Youíve been Judged," as they snapped the Bound and Will collars around Maxís throat, put a bag over his head, and hit him with something hard. Max took the long sleep.
Day 5, Kezefís Compound, 11:30 PM
Blitzen leads his large troop of fanatics down to Earth, to the front door of Kezefís compound. They immediately start burning everything Ė guards, furniture, house staff, trees, everything they could lay their hands on. They begin to create enormo us disturbances in the Symphony.
Day 5, In Heaven
Star watches this destruction and totally freaks out. She runs back up to Heaven, and looks for people to help her. She looks for Eli, but heís gone. She asks some Creationers if they have seen Eli, and they explain to her that no one has seen Eli in years, ever since he left heaven and went to wander. She tries to say that sheís just seen him, but people shake their heads. No, that canít be right, Eli is gone. Star, totally befuddled, goes running off to the Glade to find Novalis. Novalis isnít th ere, sheís busy dealing with things in the Seraphim Council, ever since David has denounced Dominic and gone on a rampage to remove all traces of Michael from Heaven. So Star runs to the Marches, and talks to the servitors of Novalis there. She tries to f ind Malik, but she canít find her. The best she can do is a small possy of Mercurians and Seraphim of Flowers. Thinking this is the best sheís going to be able to do, she drags them down to Earth with her, back to Kezefís compound.
Day 5, 11:45 PM, Kezefís Compound
Blitzenís group has totally burned the first floor of the compound, and the second floor. The best they had found was the serving staff and the human guards and some houseguests, all of which are now busily facing their maker. They get to a door at the end of a hallway, which seems to have Relic properties. They stare at the door, and try to pull the door down. No dice. They try to burn the door. No dice. They try to burrow around the door, and while the wood of the doorframe gave way, the door did nít budge. Finally, Blitzen realizes he can go celestial, and move around it. He does this thing, and finds himself on a staircase going down, facing a pair of guards who are yelling at him to surrender now. Blitzen puts his hands up, and notes that his s even Malakim of War bodyguards are following his lead. They make short work of the guards, and start tearing into the rest of the people on the first sublevel. Blitzen takes the time to grab the kevlar and a MAC-10. After being joined by a large portion o f his fanatical group, they leave a bloody trail of bodies. And, they get to a second door, which is, this time, surrounded by stone.
As Blitzen contemplates the door, the Seraphim of Novalis are making their way through the fanatical crowd, making people calm down and be peaceful, explaining that they could go down there and maybe talk about this. Blitzen, who doesnít appreciate his mad group becoming calm and rational, tries to explain that the guy on the other side of the door is trying to become a demon prince. They try to say that maybe they should just try to talk him out of it. Blitzen starts to get really irritated, and tells them to either leave or else. They say that this didnít need to happen. Blitzen summons Gabriel. Who shows.
Gabriel does two things. She first makes everyone who is in the room, including the Seraphim of Novalis, completely berserk. The second thing she does is remove the warded door.
Maxwell starts to come too. His head is really fuzzy. He finds himself strapped to some sort of slab, chained at the hands and feet. He tugs a little, and he canít seem to get out. He makes out cloaked figures around him, but canít really make out what is going on.
Blitzen leads the charge down the stairs, right into the ambush that was waiting for him. His people started falling around him like chaff before a scythe. With his amazing agility, he dodges bullets, grabs a guy, and uses him for cover as he fires at the rest. The battle at the foot of the stairs is long, bloody, and many of the Gabrielites fall.
Upstairs, Starís people chant and sing and wish this was all over quickly.
Maxwell dislocates his left hand trying to get it free. It comes free from the shackle, but it hurts and is almost unusable. A robed figure bends over him, and he knows itís Kezef. Kezef informs him that he is relishing the irony that the last celestia l he needs is going to be a Servitor of the Sword. He assures Maxwell that he is about to become part of a much better, more enlightened experience. Before Kezef can lock him back up, Maxwell wrests his hand away, and socks Kezef in the jaw.
On the 3rd floor, Blitzenís forces break through and gain some ground.
Maxwell, chained to this Infernal Device, hears chanting begin all around him. The device heís strapped to starts to become warm.
Star casts the I Ching, and one of the Seraphim explains that it basically says Death and Doom and Gloom.
Blitzenís forces finish off the defenders at heavy causalities. They can finally hear the chanting, and they see a doorway at the end of the hallway, open, with white light coming out of it. The remaining forces rush the doorway.
Kezef announces that the time has come and all he needs is to summon Lucifer. The device becomes uncomfortably warm, and he feels like heís being drawn apart. Maxwell, thinking this is the zeroth hour, summons Laurence. Nothing happens.
In the room, the waiting Inquisitors jumps the forces. Blitzen runs through the doorway and spots Kezef. He tosses a ton of essence behind a Smite, and uses it. Kezef screams in agony, and sings at Blitzen. Blitzen feels himself being picked up off his feet, and lazily rotated in the air until heís hanging upside down. Blitzen throws his shoes at Kezef, but they explode right before they hit him in midair. He throws other articles of clothing, but the same thing happens. Kezef resumes chanting.
Outside, the Symphony has taken a shift. Her Seraphim friends are holding star, and she doesnít know what to do. She tries, against all probability, to summon Raphael. He doesnít show up. She borrows essence and tries the celestial song of tongu es to him, but she doesnít know if it works. She sends a few of them up to Heaven to get help, but she doesnít know what help that will be.
In the chamber, it seems to become very dark. Maxwell and Blitzen have a hard time making out the fighting around them, or anything accept Kezef, summoning Lucifer. They feel something happening, and around them, in the darkness, they see pink lights f licker on and off as something or someone is ascending into the room. There are sounds of battle and groans, but they seem like they are far away, like on another plane of existance. Maxwell feels like heís being drawn out of his body toward Kezef, like h eís himself but parts of him are not him anymore. Kezef stops chanting, and peers into the darkness, and whispers, "Lord Lucifer?"
The darkrobed figure walked out of the darkness. Max and Blitzen could clearly see the six glittering eyes from beneath the cowl of the robe. It said, "Iím sorry, Kezef, but I cannot allow you to be a Prince. Youíre simply going to have to die." And wi th that, Dominic lifted a hand, Kezef started screaming, and little bits of force globules starting coming off his body.
Outside, picking through the wreckage of the compound is a figure. Star peers out there, and recognizes the common vessel of one Archangel of Enlightenment, Raphael, whose comment on the entire scene is just, "Ew." He walks up to Star, and she tells hi m all the nasty things that have gone on. So he pats her on the head, and walks into the building, looking at the trashed furniture and dead bodies and blood smeared everywhere. And once again, he says, "Ew".
Blitzen ends up on the floor when the Song of Motion abruptly ended. He scrambled off the floor, and ran over to free Maxwell, while trying not to get noticed by, well, a guy who may or may not be the nastiest guy in the cosmos currently. There was tug ging and pulling and finally the burning hands came out to get Max out of the chains. Blitzen noticed that Maxwell was occasionally losing shape and then reforming. They both ran for the open door, tripping over bodies, when it slammed closed in front of them. They turned to look and Dominic was watching them. Dominic picked up what could only be a foot from the way his cloak moved, and brought it down on the squealing impling, the remaining remnant of Kezef, and it splattered in a smear of green ichor on the floor. Dominic then said, "You two are not going anywhere."
And then Raphael walked through the door. Literally. Sort of like phasing through, but with a better special effect.
Dominic didnít say anything for a second, and then said, finally, "Lord Kobal."
Raphael responded with, "Yeah, well."
Dominic made a comment about being pleased by his presence. And Raphael blustered for a bit, because he didnít expect to come face to face with pure Corruption. He was expecting something, but wasnít entirely sure what, and this was on the top of his l ist of things he wasnít expecting. Nothing like wacked out Balseraphim high on their own power to really ruin oneís day.
Luckily, Blitzen was able to summon Gabriel again. Of course she had gotten distracted and left again. But she arrived as, at first, as a long line of fire on the floor, and then into a flaming woman. And then she screamed "HERETIC!" at Dominic and the fight was on.
Blitzen didnít have trouble weathering the room as it caught on fire, but Maxwell found himself backing further and further into a corner. Raphael told them he was yanking the two of them upwards right now, but Maxwell couldnít leave without Sou lpiercer. He conned Raphael into pulling the walk through walls trick to get the sword again. He sighed and walked away and came back again, with sword, while Max tried very hard not to burn to a crisp. Then Raph removed the shackles from Max, and dragged both angels upwards to Heaven.
Day 6. In Heaven
The two of them ended up in the very edge of the Glade, with Raphael. Maxwell asked him. "Is there anything we can do for you?" Raph said, "Well, you can start by not telling anyone." Then he claimed he was needed elsewhere, as Laurence and David w ere fighting in the Groves, Michael was dealing with Baal in the Marches, and Dominic and Gabriel were having it out. He was fairly sure he needed to be somewhere to make a nuisance of himself, left them to stare at each other and babble.
Outside, the entire compound was beginning to cave in, in a very Poltergeist the Movie way. The place was imploding. [And, killing everyone who was still inside, in the cells.] Starís Seraphim friends started tugging her upwards toward Heaven, where sh e ended up in the Glade, wondering what to do next.
Max and Blitzen split up. Max heads for the Eternal City, and Blitzen heads for the Volcano. But both places are nearly deserted, and Max learns what is going on, including the evidence David received and Davidís insistence that all traces of War shoul d be wiped from Heaven to protect it. He catches up with Blitzen, and they talk about what to do. They head to the Halls of Technology to get their hands on some battle suits. They have this vague plan forming in their heads about raiding the Spires to re lease the rest of the Creationers. After all, theyíll protest what is going on.
And Star heads toward the Seraphim Council where she finally catches up with Novalis. Novalis listened to her report and held her and made everything better. In the end, Star went out to the Marches to help with the medical units. She stood at the base of Blandineís Tower, and watched the wave of battle down on the sands.