Chapter 34 - Fear and Loathing after the Apocalypse
Blitzen survives many battles and engagements with servitors of Fire, and servitors of Technology on the burned out planes of India, and he watched his Archangel defeat and destroy her age old nemesis. Of course, right afterwards the Vapulans wanted to take samples, which made things a bit difficult. (Vapulans Experimental Mishaps IV!) At the end, Gabriel is carted up to Blandine’s tower to recover. When he returns to Heaven he goes around and gathers information about what has happened, and gets a fairly good background on the events that have transpired. Blitzen gets together a group of Fire servitors to go recruiting and proselytizing to the disenfranchised Stonies in Heaven. Of course, he runs into Leah in the Groves and starts to lecture to him. Leah offers Blitzen to go patrolling, since Leah is suddenly looking for something better to do. The Marches. Yeah, there’s got to be evil out there. Really. Blitzen goes.
Maxwell - trains his stonies, teaches them how to attack first, and time passes. He has some problems, but does get them going after a while. After a while, he gets summoned by Laurence. Laurence briefs Maxwell about his plan to rebuild Madison, RI on the East Coast of the US as a starting point for the Angelic Host. He briefs Maxwell on the situation on Earth, which makes Mad Max look nice and peaceful. Maxwell is assigned Leah as well as his Stonies, for security. When Maxwell goes to collect Leah, he runs into Blitzen and briefs him as well.
Dana socializes with the Windies, and tries to convince them that Judgment is cool and fun and stuff. They keep nodding politely and giving her jelly donuts. She finds out the situation that is going on Earth, but nothing about Hell. She goes over to the Spires, and listens to Joel lecture for a while. Regulus takes her off to the side to discuss plans for the future. This includes him saying - very painfully - the word motorcycle. Of course he had previously discussed this with Joel, and there had been some coaching. Also, Dylan is assigned to Dana as her secretary.
Dylan gets this huge banner message in his head via the Song of Tongues. "See the Execution of Nybbas! See the Crowning of Baal! You’ve been invited to the greatest show in Hell! Come pick up your press pass as the Malibu Tether!" So he descends and goes down to Malibu. It’s a small radio station.
"The new Burger King attraction. Demon Prince death cups!" - Shade
"Do you guys have refills on sinners blood?" - Allen
"Yes, it’s an angel serving a demon prince. Where have we seen that before, _Susan_?" - Shade
Dylan walked into the tether, and talked to the seneschal, a Djinn who is droning on the air about the weather. He stops and plays some music, and gives Dylan a press pass. Dylan descends the tether to Hell, following the Djinn. At the base is an Impudite. She is all excited - he’s on her collectable angel cards. Her name is Natasha, and she’s been assigned to take him to where he’s been assigned to watch the proceedings.
Blitzen and Leah go on to see Michael. He’s findable in the Groves but there’s a real wait. They can see Michael from far away --- real tiny. Blizten does things to occupy himself while they wait in line. Michael blesses the mission. They go to see Laurence, but there’s a line, and Blitzen is just not going to take another line. So instead they go to see Gabriel. The guards have been ordered to admit Blitzen, but not Leah, so Leah waits outside (again). Blitzen speaks to Gabriel, and she gives him actual coherent orders - bring those who are lost under the mantle of Heaven. Bring justice where he can, vengence where he must, and God’s Word to all others. They go back to the Cathedral of the Sword. There is still a line. So this time, they wait. They get Laurence’s blessing, and move on to find Maxwell. They gather Maxwell and descend to the East Coast. It’s Maxwell and Leah and Blitzen and eight Stonies.
Dana goes back to the Windy party. She finds Zachariah, who grins, but claims to know nothing. About what, who knows. Dana asks for someone who is kind and wonderful to help her, and he calls over Isaac. Isaac figures out where the Windy hearts are - yes, these are the ones where his is, too. Logic prevails. So they go over to a cloud where several hearts are hidden and Isaac looks into them. No… no… oh, this one has someone in Hell, it must be Dylan. Dana is convinced that she needs to go follow Dylan. She descends to Terry’s house to see if she can find anyone of the Media. She peeks in the windows. The house doesn’t look lived in - unless they’re hiding in the house somewhere.
Dana manifests in her vessel. She seems to be in biker leathers -- Regulus and Joel have thought of everything, really. She goes into the house and listens to Terry’s messages. It sounds like he was in the middle of things and then just dropped everything suddenly. There is a message from Rigziel at the beginning and two from Daimon. The messages for Terry at the end become more and more frantic and then end. She sends a song of tongues to Terry but there is no response. Dana tries to descend the tether in the basement, but she can’t. She has to follow somebody down. In Terry’s garage there is one of (Daimon’s) motorcycles.
Dylan sees all the pro-Baal propaganda. He gets some footage. His press pass lets him through the hordes of demons who are around the ampitheather (shaped, suspiciously, like the Palace of Auburn Hills). He gets let in backstage without any problem, and someone shoves a drink in his hands. Demons are doing mounds of blow – but aren’t they always? He talks to Terry, and Terry wants him to interview Nybbas to get his ex-Princes last dying statements, and to see all the proceedings. Why does Dylan want to do this? Because Terry would be sad if he had to kill him. Dylan gets the drift. Dylan then goes and gets reactions from the Common Demon.
"I loved it. It was much better then Cats…" - Dylan on Nybbas’s Execution
Maxwell, Leah and Blitzen descend. They’re in a field. It’s very peaceful, and there is no one about. They walk into town without being molested. Everything is boarded up. Side streets are cut off with dead cars. None of the boats are out of port. Crosses are painted on the side of the buildings. They go to the small town church. The place is also boarded up, and they haven’t seen any human beings yet. Maxwell breaks people up in groups, in groups of three. He sends people off to the town hall and the school to look for the inhabitants of the small town. They get into the church and find the minister, dead and charred, on the ground. They decide to tidy up inside the church.
Leah goes looking at the grocery but sees movement. She goes to the house, and there’s some scared humans there. After some controversy, she gets into the house. (Jenny and Earl, with their two children.) After some tea, Leah gets filled into the background of the town. Leah, an hour later, goes back and briefs the other two. Eventually the Stonies come back and verify Leah’s stories. Leah talks over combat fortifications with a Stone servitor. The others move to the school.
Dana looks for Terry’s stuff. She finds a bag. She also finds a .45 automatic in Terry’s desk. There are dry goods in the kitchen. She also raids Terry’s clothing supply. She stuffs all this in a bag. She resonates on the Lilim and picks up some medicine. She figures out where he is, ascends, and descends right to him. She talks to him for a while, but it isn’t profound. Daimon seems to be pretty blaise about the whole thing – either that, or once again he’s not telling anyone anything. Dana goes to the Inn in the town and gets a room for three cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup. She song of tongues Dylan…
Dylan interviews Nybbas, who is fully psychotic. When he walks out of the interview room, the hallways are strangely silent. In the shadows is the same man with the blond hair so blond it looks white, dressed in a 19th century suit. He seems taller somehow, a little more powerful, a little more… something. So Dylan gets to talk to a being who might be Lucifer (again) and who might be just some crazy demon who reminds him about the tea, favors owed, and the entertainment that is to come. Emphasis on the word entertainment. Then Dylan gets to see a Great and Secret Show. Afterwards he goes to talk to Terry, who admonishes him about dropping the camera and getting crappy footage, since there’s this bit right after talking to Nybbas where it’s totally blank. But then Terry says that he’s done with him and ignores him. Natasha takes Dylan back to the tetherpoint and basically shoves him out of hell. He goes up and then ascends to Heaven. Then he goes down to the Groves and stands in line for Michael. There’s this line, so he waits in it. He gets to Michael, says "Hey", and hands over the tape.
Maxwell, Blitzen and Leah go up to the school, and see all the people funneling in from off the road to take solace. They’ve turned the place into a makeshift hospice. As they enter, Blitzen uses his attunement to make people obsess about God. Maxwell, falling into the role of a leader, talks to the head of the new town, a mortal named Dr. Katherine Winters, who talks about what the town really needs - food, mapping, fish, etc – which is more then needing God and having people worship. Maxwell assigns Stonies to tasks and helps with the first aid.