My philosophical question is, "Are we there yet?" - Maxwell
Leah, Malakite of War, has been pretty much dragged through every battle in the last several days. First it was the Marches, and now it's on home turf in the Groves. He's found himself now fighting friends, the Servitors of Stone, instead of enemies. His regiment is stopped, though, when the ground begins to shake and the Symphony seems to change, like something that was there before now simply isn't. The Stonies begin to get very vague looks in their eyes, and then begin to surrender. The fighti ng is over. Everyone is herded into the center of the Groves, where Michael can be seen, calmly wiping the gore and flecks of stone from his armor and hair.
Inside Blandine's Tower, which is still a large pillar of flames, the group huddles. Blitzen asks Blandine if Beleth Tower still stands, as it was being similiarly attacked, and Blandine informs him that there is, right now, no way to know. Blitzen l ooks wholly unsatisfied with that answer, and is about to pursue this when the tremor is felt through the Tower and there is a change in the Symphony. Laurence, who gets through to Micahel, tells the group they are going to the Groves. Now.
Getting out of the Tower which is still on fire is a bit of a task, and Maxwell employs Ethereal Shields. They fight their way out of the Tower, and deal with being divebombed by hungry Ethereal creatures with teeth, but far enough away, the monsters thin, and find exploding like popcorn kernels on the side of Blandine's Tower to be more interesting then eating a few angels, no matter who they are. They get to the Groves, a few more Servitors of the Sword who happened to be there attach themselves to the party. [At this time the party becomes short one Bright Lilim in a small puff of essence, but it's hardly noticed.] They pass through the collected servitors in the Groves and angels part before Archangel Laurence like Moses and the Red Sea.
Before the collected angels, Michael and Laurence give each other Manly Warrior Hugs. And then the great debriefing starts. Michael pulls the collected group back and out of the limelight, and listens to what people have to say. Then Michael says th at he needs to reconvene the Seraphim Council, and orders the collected group to go off and gather the Archangel Superiors. Michael also advises them to speak to the servitors of Trade, since he desires a restructuring of their communication structure un der his command. And on learning about Star's contacts with Raphael, he points her in the general direction of the distant Cathedral of Enlightenment, and tells her to go up there and bring him down, at any cost. He gives her a similar device the others had to contact him. Then Michael assigns a Malakite to the group, Leah, to act as a liason between the group and himself.
Laurence, at the end, pulls Maxwell aside and tells him that he wishes to speak after Maxwell's task is done.
After getting their orders, the group decides to split up. Blitzen would strike out on his own as the other three, Leah, Maxwell and Dylan, would go in a different direction.
Dana is on the far side of the Volcano, watching Dominicans arrive as they come up the tether. She keeps waiting and waiting for Regulus and Joel to appear, but they never do. Dana starts to get the Dominicans inside, into the rooms in the Volcano, b ut Dedan yells at her about time wasting and they need to get into rescue mode as soon as possible. Dana claims that these people need to get inside into shelter, into protection, and have their spirits uplifted. Dedan glares and tells Dana she has 10 m inutes. Dana goes to help people. There are rooms available near the Trauma rooms in the Volcano, and Dana lends a hand to the servitors of Fire to get people situated. Then Dana gives them some ideas about gathering up evidence and beginning to prepa re for a trial. Then 9 minutes and 30 seconds later, she finds Dedan already starting to head off. Dana realizes that she knows someone who knows his way around Dominic's Cathedral..... Dylan. Time to rush over to the Halls of Creation and take a gander at his Heart.
Blitzen goes back to the Tower of Dreams to talk to Blandine. He flies up into the sky, and can see from a very far distance the green lights of laserfire around Beleth's Tower - thus it must still be standing. He just goes through the flames and mun ching creatures to find Blandine and informs her of Michael's purpose. She readily agrees. Then Blitzen looks for a powerline, and discovers that he can ride it all the way into the Halls of Technology, since the shielding around the building is slowly beginning to come down. He finds a terminal in a room with a Mercurian, and sends Jean a message. The response is that Jean will meet him in 5.276 minutes. This does not make Blitzen happy, as he has to wait. He sends back a message, and the response it that now So Blitzen bugs the Mercurian to help him with experiments in wandering around in wiring and randomly setting off his Malakite of Fire attunement. This destroys a few spare circuitboards, gives the Mercurian something to get excited about, an d gives Blitzen something to do. And then he gets to talk to Jean, who listens to proposal for reforming the Seraphim Council. Jean suggests that it would certainly be optimal to stock the council with Elohim instead of Seraphim this time, as to give a balanced objective outlook to the problems facing Heaven. Jean also mentions that he has extended an offering to the servitors of Trade to come into the Halls of Technology. A job done, Blitzen heads off to the Glade.
Maxwell, Dylan and Leah ascend up and up and up into the loft above the Groves to the land of the Wind. There, they meet with the Malakite Isaac, who urges the group to go blow some stuff up to get all the frustration out of their system. It's very r elaxing, he says. They ask where Janus is, and Isaac tells him that he's down in Miami, having a good time. Maxwell asks if anyone around is an Ofanite, and no one owns up to it, even though there are several very obvious Ofanim floating around. One ge ts pushed out, one named Jenobah, and he agrees to take a message after hassling Dylan about coming back to Cha-, er Wind, and hanging out with the group. [Even though Maxwell tells him that the message has to be delivered NOW. "Now," Jenobah says, "is a relative term."] See, they would like him back, it would be the THING. Dylan says he'll think about it, and the group moves on toward the Eternal City.
The three head to the Library, and at the same time, Dana and Dedan are seeing Dylan's position through his Heart. They also head toward the Library.
Maxwell, Leah and Dylan get to the Library, and walk through the front door. The place is deserted, and there isn't a sound to be heard. They go around to the check out desk, and there are two computers and a phone. The computers have the look of so meone who was in the midst of their work and just... stopped. Maxwell uses the terminal to attempt to send a message to Yves, and the return message is for Maxwell to come and see him. As the three start to disappear into the stacks, Dana and Dedan arri ve. They call out to the three, and acquire themselves Dylan.
Maxwell and Leah meander through the stacks and there is no one to be found anywhere. They find themselves in a large room, and Yves is sitting behind his book. The conversation is short. Yves informs them that he will certainly be there, and that i t is very important for all the other Superiors to be there. Very important. And then Yves sends them on their way. Again, they see no servitors of Destiny. They leave to go to the Glade.
Blitzen arrives in the Glade about the same time Maxwell and Leah show up, and the three glob together and discuss sharing notes. They head to the Volcano, and track down Soldekai who says yes, Gabriel is currently engaged in mortal combat [FIGHT!] wi th Belial. The three discuss how to separate Gabriel from Belial, and come to the conclusion that the only person who could talk to Gabriel is Yves, and they head back to the Library.
Dana, Dylan and Dedan head toward the Groves, looking for Laurence. Not finding him there, they head toward the Cathedral. And then they realize that they have no way of getting around the Cathedral. Dylan starts screaming on the top of his lungs, " Archangel Laurence, we need to speak with you!" While he is screaming, he is crept up on by a Daimon who asks quietly, "Why are you yelling?" who comes out of nowhere. At this moment in time, Blitzen is charging through the skies with Maxwell and Leah i n tow, and happens to hear this and land. There is discussion, and Leah resonates on Dana with an obscenely high check digit. Leah is not a man of subtly or tact, so he just blurts out, "You're working for who? LILITH?" This devolves into a confrontat ion which is never really resolved, and everyone goes on their way.
At the Library, Blitzen, Maxwell and Leah never seem to get anywhere near Yves. They wander and wander and wander around in the stacks, never seeing another soul. Leah spots the occasional strange book on the shelves, a bit disturbing - books on mass acres, on serial killing... but of course all books are in the Library. They find a terminal in a corner, and it's broken. Blitzen quickly repairs it and they try to send a message to Yves, but it's like a black hole. Blitzen uses his resonances to fin d their way out.
At the Cathedral, the coalition made up entirely of the letter D try to follow Maxwell's instructions to get through the building, and end up in the old deserted Seraphim Council chambers which now look much the worse for wear. This isn't getting them anywhere quickly. They start discussing their options, and Daimon points out that Dominic will likely be interested in using his political enemies as object lessons, and this means showing their executions in TV. Time to talk to the Media again.
Leah and Blitzen, on the way across Heaven again, yammer and bond. The group heads to the Savaanah to locate Jordi, and this is the first area in Heaven which isn't war torn, deserted, or totally destroyed. It's like nothing is happening here. They locate an Elohite who explains that he is discussing important natures with the fishes, but he will try to get them to see the Great One. In the center of the Savaanah is a huge bonfire, and around it are Jordi and his servitors, and there is a great con ference taking place on the fate of the insects after Armageddon, a very important topic. Finally, after much waiting, Jordi casts his attention on the group, listens, and says he will send a part of himself. The group leaves.
On the way across Heaven again, Blitzen finds a terminal and sends a message to Raziel, just because. They head to the Halls of Creation, and wander around until they can locate someone with the Song of Tongues, which they do - a Seraph. They request a message sent to Eli. The Seraph tells them that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of messages of this nature have been sent to Eli over the last 100 years, and he doesn't respond. But the message is sent anyway. Then they ask for a song of tongues to be sent to Novalis, and one is also sent. And then the group descends to Gabriel.
The D-group descend from Heaven to Terry's lawn, and Dana realizes that she missed her appointment with him by a half an hour as it is now 2am on the West Coast. They go in and locate and talk to Terry, who is neither in a good mood nor in a sharing m ood. After much conning, and the knowledge that he's going to end up covering the Polka Festival for eternity at this rate, Terry says that he'll give Dana "press passes" and then claim to never have met her. That and a trip through wardrobe should do t he trick. Dana thanks him, and the group goes off to plan where it is quasi-peaceful, out by the pool.
Maxwell, Leah and Blitzen descend to India, where the fight between Gabriel and Belial fills the sky. The ground is charred, and covered with the blackened, burned bodies of both angelic and demonic servitors. Fire and ash fall from the sky. There i s nothing but the devastation. Leah decides to not hang around this, and ascends immediately to Heaven. Blitzen attempts to yell at the duelists, but this has no effect at all. Maxwell and Blizten ascend to the Glade, where Leah and Blitzen promptly go back to discussing/bickering philosophy.